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March 29th, 2006 WW Editorial Staff | Winners & Losers
 

Celebrating the great outdoors.

     
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WINNERS

Outdoor-sign companies are salivating over the end of a 34-year-old ban on billboards along the state's highways. We're betting last week's ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court will prompt Clear Channel to spring into action with beautifying half-acre placards for outlet stores and smooth-jazz radio stations. Isn't it nice when things just sort of work out?

Those of us needing oxygen got some qualified good news following alarming initial reports that Oregon's air quality was third-worst in the nation. The EPA says a new study showed higher rates of cancers caused by airborne chemicals here because Oregon collects more, and better, data than other states do.

The anti-fluoride crew (a group long accustomed to being tagged as conspiracy theorists) is off celebrating a new federal study that raises health concerns about the cavity-fighting chemical, such as increased likelihood of bone fractures and Alzheimer's. Portland is the largest U.S. city that still doesn't fluoridate.

Department of Shameless Self-Promotion alert: WW reporter Nigel Jaquiss won top local-weekly newspaper honors Tuesday from Investigative Reporters and Editors for his coverage last year of Texas Pacific's attempted purchase of PGE.

LOSERS

Oregon elections officials may have put the kibosh on proposed ballot measures to turn the defunct greyhound track in Wood Village into a casino. The would-be challengers to the dominance of Indian-run gambling have re-filed new casino initiatives after learning last week that the Secretary of State's Office had found legal problems with the two measures.

Mount Hood's yeti population better take cover. The Oregonian reported Sunday that increased global temperatures have already melted about a third of the ice in Hood's 11 glaciers. The long-range forecast: In another 180 years, the mountain's slopes will be completely bare.

Portlanders already pay some of the country's highest sewage rates. But if the EPA gets its way and forces the city to pay millions more for additional improvements, sewage ratepayers will fork over even more to have their poop spirited away. The EPA's threat of a lawsuit to force the fixes slaps many in Stumptown as evidence of a long-standing grudge against our fair city.

 
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