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June 28th, 2006 WW Editorial Staff | Winners & Losers
 

Hot Air Rising, Cold Sufferers Falling.

     
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WINNERS

Gov. Ted Kulongoski scored crucial points with enviros in a tough election year when he persuaded the state's Environmental Quality Commission last week to adopt California's plan to reduce vehicle emissions. The stringent standards, to be phased in starting in 2009, are fiercely resisted by automakers, who say they'd rather make money than breathe.

Rainy Oregon a baseball hotbed? Yes, thanks to Oregon State University baseball coach

Pat Casey, who skippered his lineup of homegrown Beavers to a national championship Monday in the College World Series against North Carolina.

Sure, ice-cream vendors and air conditioning repairmen rejoiced over the recent spate of record-breaking temperatures. But with the mercury hovering around 100 degrees on Sunday and Monday, the rest of us Oregonians longingly remembered those happy months of endless, cold rain.

LOSERS

Give former Oregon Democratic Party chairman Marc Abrams a ticket for chutzpah. The Oregonian reported last week that Abrams, now a senior assistant attorney general, tried a couple of novel approaches to beating a May 31 speeding ticket. First, he argued that he was keeping pace with the cop who stopped him for going 88 mph on a 65-mph stretch of Interstate 84. Then Abrams claimed immunity from prosecution outside of Marion County because he says he was driving on state business. Abrams ended up agreeing to pay a $97 fine.

It's not all in your head, allergy sufferers. Oregon really does blow for you. The allergy information website pollen.com reports that the nation's five worst cities for allergies this past weekend were all in Oregon (Portland ranked third-worst). And the longer-term news gets no better for allergy and cold sufferers. Starting Saturday, July 1, a new state law goes into effect that makes many of your favorite decongestants available only by prescription.

Smokers who think they've dodged state cigarette taxes by buying their cigs online are feeling the hot breath of Oregon's Tobacco Compliance Task Force. The task force reports collecting $700,000 in recent months from customers by stepping up enforcement of taxes they owe for their online cigarette purchases.

 
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