From the department of "sometimes it's better to be lucky than good,'' comes a gift for Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Independent state Sen. Ben Westlund's decision to halt his bid for governor leaves disaffected Dems with one fewer excuse not to vote for the Democratic incumbent (see Westlund interview, page 19).

Big Brother isn't everywhere. Multnomah County Jail inmates released due to overcrowding will no longer be monitored by the Department of Community Justice. Officials say the policy change is an attempt to free the county of liability if an inmate it was monitoring commits a crime.

Starry-eyed teachers passionate about politics have fertile soil to till in Oregon's high schools. The recently released Oregon Civics Survey of high-schoolers revealed that only 25 percent of surveyed teens could identify Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith as the state's U.S. senators.

Break out the champagne: Oregon's coastal salmon fishing is officially a federal disaster. That seemingly bad-news announcement paves the way for Congress to throw fishermen a financial line.


Portland State University couldn't stop an episode of Dog Bites Man that was filmed by Comedy Central on campus in May. Viewers of the recently aired show saw a PSU media literacy class fall for a fake news team telling students what they need for success. Like maybe a little skepticism?

If only money grew on those fruit trees! Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. agreed to a $400,000 settlement with former workers at its North Portland plant after a lawsuit in which eight workers alleged they were fired wrongfully, and other charges that the company failed to pay hundreds of workers overtime. Del Monte denies any wrongdoing.

The underworld of traveling door-to-door magazine sellers has been exposed. The Portland Tribune reported that the sellers make as little as $20 per day and are often subjected to physical and sexual violence.