Sadistic trappers may soon enjoy a total open season. If an Oregon advisory board gets its way with proposed new rules for killing nuisance animals, it would be legit to dispatch raccoons and possums with PETA-shocking methods like barbiturates, gunshots, "captive-bolt" devices and carbon dioxide chambers. For smaller animals, the new rules would allow neck-breaking, decapitation and concussions.

Since all publicity is good publicity for third-party candidates, don't weep for Constitution Party gubernatorial hopeful Mary Starrett. While a challenge filed last week trying to knock her off the ballot might eventually help Republican Ron Saxton, the flap should at least help attract more hardcore right-wingers to Starrett's camp.

The SUN will continue to rise, for the moment. The Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) program got a four-month reprieve from killing its after-school and social-services offerings at eight sites, thanks to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners' temporarily restoring the needed money.


Not a great week to be an elected official from Multnomah County. State ethics investigators announced new inquiries into on-the-job dealings of two local pols. Multnomah County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey (below) is defending herself against accusations of giving a leg up in a county project to the development company where her hubby works. Meantime, the ethics panel is also looking into whether state Rep. John Lim (R-Gresham) may have used his office to score cheap airplane tix.

Oregon's grass-seed growers went into full freakout last week with news that a genetically modified strain is ON THE LOOSE. The sci-fi-sounding escape of gene-modified plants into wild grass has farmers scared of a devastating crop contamination.

Sliding into irrelevance? Associated Oregon Industries, long the state's largest and most powerful business lobbying group, has struggled with budget woes. Surprising then, that the group, which has been slow to reflect shifts in Oregon's economic base, passed over a top Intel exec to choose a union-basher from Tulsa as its next CEO.