That chop-licking sound you heard last week was the collective salivation from Oregon's TV and radio advertising departments. The source of their slobbering: news that the fall state ballot may have nearly a dozen initiatives, all sure to generate a feast of ad cash.

Welcome back, moppers! Portland Public Schools formally invited back to work the school janitors it illegally laid off four years ago and replaced with nonunion workers. The district has yet to decide whether to cough up back pay for the scorned cleaners.

Note to would-be burglars: Don't mess with a 320-pound mama's boy. Last Thursday, 41-year-old Tim Hughes returned to the Northeast Portland home where he lives with his mom, only to find a transient rifling through the drawers of his mother's vanity table. When police arrived, they found Hughes lying on top of the smaller man. Meanwhile, Hughes' mother has been bragging that her "baby boy whooped the hell out of a criminal."

Local college basketball fans rejoice over the return of early NCAA championship rounds to Portland. March Madness, which hasn't rocked the state since 1983, will return in 2009 now that Oregon has eliminated its sports lottery games. That convinced the NCAA's morality cops that we're free of gambling's corrosive influence (other than NCAA office pools, of course).


Disgruntled public servants and patients mutilated by public hospitals can shoot the moon when suing the government, thanks to a court ruling last week that effectively removed the cap on lawsuits against public agencies. Where will we find the moolah for bloated settlements and high insurance premiums? Your pocket, sucka!

Former Portland Police Chief Derrick Foxworth swore he didn't abuse his power in his "relationship" with desk clerk Angela Oswalt. But newly released documents (after an investigation cleared Foxy of most charges) sure make him look like a good boyfriend: While chief, he used his position to help Oswalt rearrange her schedule so they could spend more time together.

Portland motorists tempted to gamble on metered parking spaces saw the stakes rise last week with the announcement that overtime fines will jump from $16 to $24 on July 17. Time to figure out those new green machines.