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February 21st, 2007 WW Editorial Staff | Winners & Losers
 

Where "Year of the Pig" finds new meaning.

     
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WINNERS

Forget for a moment that the state legislators who failed to report lobbyist-paid trips to Maui are getting fined just a few hundred bucks each. The real winner: the entire Legislature, which got a ruling last week from Secretary of State Bill Bradbury's office that members can tap their lobbyist-heavy campaign accounts to pay ethics fines.

Hooray for mountain locator units that helped in the rescue of eight Mount Hood climbers over the weekend. Thanks to climbers having those devices as well as newfangled cell phones, disaster was averted.

What will Schumacher's Furs protesters do with their Saturdays now? Their weekend calendar opens because store owner Gregg Schumacher has announced he won't move his 112-year-old business to the burbs when his downtown lease ends this spring.

Oregon Zoo's Tusko the elephant earned a bloody red badge of courage after a potentially life-saving surgery removed most of his second (and only remaining) tusk last week. If you believe in names determining your life's fate, the now-tuskless pachyderm can be glad his keepers didn't name him Scrotumo.

LOSERS

Up in smoke goes $79.5 million in a punitive-damages payment frrom Philip Morris to the family of Portlander Jesse Williams, a smoker who died a decade ago of lung cancer. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed out the award, citing faulty jury instruction.

Lon Mabon, former leader of the anti-gay Oregon Citizens Alliance (see "God, Gays & Glasnost," WW, Feb, 7, 2007), took a holy hit last Wednesday when the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Mabon had transferred funds illegally to get out of paying a 1992 judgment.

TriMet's employees union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, is in temporary trusteeship amid the union's charges that financial secretary Tom Wallace "embezzled" $200,000 from a fund used to reimburse members' child care costs. The union says Wallace and his family have pulled together part of that money and that Wallace is committed to repaying the full amount. Wallace didn't return a message from WW seeking comment.

 
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