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January 24th, 2007 WW Editorial Staff | Winners & Losers
 

Wham, bam, thank you, Sam.

     
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Wham, bam, thank you, Sam.

WINNERS

A week after stiff-arming Portland General Electric's rate-increase request, the state Public Utility Commission last week again stood up for customers by rejecting PacifiCorp's request to build two new coal-fired generating plants in Oregon. The PUC's backbone saves ratepayers money and marks a win for enviros.

Small-business owners and Commissioner Sam Adams are all smiles after City Council voted unanimously last week for Adams' proposal to reduce a hated local business tax by about $3 million annually. City Hall's latest bid to prove Portland is business-friendly means business owners can soon claim a higher deduction on their city taxes, and a rise in the income level at which their taxes begin.

Walt and Jean? Sure, naming Portland's aerial tram cars after two state-educational "firsts" will be a big hit with the PC crowd, but it's hard to believe there weren't more dynamic suggestions among the hundreds received by Adams, the city's commissioner for transportation. Perhaps Adams should have gone with "Pan" and "Dering."

LOSERS

Fluoride foes' bite appears as strong as their bark in the still-minty-fresh 2007 Legislature. A bill requiring fluoridation of municipal water supplies looks to be foundering in yet another legislative session. Meantime, supporters of cavity-free teeth are left on the defensive, trying to debunk the health and environmental concerns damning the bill.

In the same week that four families filed separate suits nationwide against MySpace for the site's alleged role in other adults' sexual abuse of the families' underage girls, one Aloha father found his 14-year-old daughter in bed with two 21-year-old Portland men—her "friends" from MySpace. No truth to any rumor that Rupert Murdoch's company will be dealing with the PR hit by publishing any MySpace "If I Did It" tales.

Arteries throughout the city were all verklempt as Multnomah County Commissioner Lisa Naito's resolution to ban trans fat in local restaurants appears deep-fried for the moment by a county attorney who says the county lacks the authority to enforce the ban. Commissioners will meet Thursday, Jan. 25, to consider the resolution anyway. But they'll need state approval for all-out prohibition. Tater-tot speakeasies, anyone?

 
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