Take heart, Wal-Mart foes, and let Portland suburbanites show you the way. Opponents of the mega-store notched a win Monday in Beaverton when the City Council rejected the big-box planned for the Cedar Mill area. And in Gresham, a citizens group has appealed Wal-Mart's designs for that fair city.

Partisan politics (and lawmakers spouting hot air from both parties' extremes) is safe for the moment. An initiative aimed at electing more moderate D's and R's to the Oregon Legislature by opening up party primaries failed to collect enough signatures to appear on the state ballot.

Hillsboro will soon be famous for more than its Silicon Forest and good Mexican food. Last Saturday, the city made the Guinness Book of World Records for, you guessed it, the "Biggest Crowd Wearing Balloon Hats." A throng of 1,874 donned inflatable headwear, shattering the previous record of 1,491 set two years ago by those fun lovers in Singapore.


Portland's wi-fi cloud is getting off to a slooow start. The Oregonian reports that PGE and MetroFi, the city's wireless contractor, can't agree yet on what rates the utility will charge MetroFi. Meanwhile, the city says it also can't use wi-fi to gather parking-meter data as hoped.

Stoners, stay paranoid about the Man bogarting your stash. An initiative to make pot offenses the "lowest priority" for law enforcement in Portland failed to gather enough valid signatures for the November ballot. No word yet on how many "Mary Janes" appeared on signature pages.

The only thing louder than enviros' wail at the Bush administration was the growl of chain saws in the Siskiyou National Forest. The felling of trees this week in the forest's federally protected roadless areas marked the first time that's happened since Bill Clinton placed such areas off limits to logging in the final days of his presidency.

Just when recent player moves made it seem safe to be a Trail Blazer fan again, along comes killjoy owner Paul Allen's announcement that plans to sell the team are off. Ticked? Then don't buy tickets until the buffoonish billionaire sells the team to somebody with an actual plan.