While Portland business owners complain about downtown crime (you know, like those annoying panhandling teens with dogs), violent crime dropped 4.6 percent last year in our placid city. That compares with a 2.5 percent rise nationwide.

Cancer-stick smokers inhaled the sweet smell of victory last week with the demise of efforts to get a 60-cent-per-pack cigarette tax on Oregon's November ballot. Backers of the idea said they couldn't gather enough signatures before the July 7 deadline.

Thanks to the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, Oregon women can skip the sermon if they need a quick fix after an equipment failure or a night of hasty passion. The board adopted new guidelines requiring pharmacists to provide the morning-after pill, even if they think God wouldn't approve.

Former Portland Timbers defender Brent Sancho helped his underdog Trinidad and Tobago team pull off a major upset in the first round of the World Cup. The small island nation tied powerhouse Sweden, setting off debaucherous in-the-streets dancing that would put our Timbers Army to shame.


Another week, another black mark for Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto. In a story first reported in the Portland Tribune (with The Oregonian failing to credit the Trib in its version the next day), it turns out Giusto's beleaguered jail staff let a male inmate get into a female inmate's cell long enough for the two to do what comes naturally to people behind bars.

At least slow-footed Trail Blazer Zach Randolph shows interest in speed off the court. Randolph was riding in a car stopped last week for speed racing; the two guns found in the car—both his—were licensed and registered.

The city of Tualatin has put its foot down on alligators. Officials have threatened a $1,500 fine in the case of a man with three cold-blooded pets who lives next to a daycare. The owner, James Brown, says he and Chomper, Hisser and Snapper will move out rather than face such biting discrimination.