Oregon's rural-urban divide widened when the Man announced last week, "Screw you, everywhere but Portland." According to U.N. global-warming experts, Eastern Oregon is but a couple degrees from drought and desolation. Meanwhile, in southern Oregon, Jackson County lost its libraries due to insufficient federal funding. First books, next...roads? Cops? Illiterate vigilantes on ATVs? At least some will be weak from dehydration.

In a brilliant PR nod, Gov. Ted Kulongoski and first lady Mary Oberst will live on food stamps during the week of April 23-29. With just $65 to spend, Kulongoski says he'll be hungrier but wiser about the plight of the poor. At least the guv's got plenty of cheese.

As if having Star Trek's George "Lt. Sulu" Takei and comedian Margaret Cho voice your documentary wasn't cool enough, now Portland's own MediaRites has won the prestigious Peabody Award for Crossing East, its eight-hour radio documentary about Asian-American history.

Wanna learn how to go for the political jugular from the masters? You're in luck, war-room wannabes. Karl Rove, a.k.a. "Bush's Brain," will speak at a to-be-announced location (rumored to be Tigard) Friday, April 13. And Bill Clinton, a.k.a. "Hillary's husband," does the same in Portland on Tuesday, April 17. For starters, don't be soft on terror (Rove) or hard on camera (Clinton).


Word just reached Portland that the biotech bubble may have burst. Oregon Health & Science University's rollout of its preliminary vision for a new 20-acre South Waterfront campus has space for condos instead of the budding biotech companies originally planned.

Federal vultures are circling Fred Monem, Oregon's prison-food buyer, as two executives pleaded guilty last Wednesday to bribing him. Their cooperation means the feds are poised to get a nice bite of Monem's currently uncharged hide. Dinner time!

And the "Cop-Out Award" goes to...the Portland Rose Festival! Tapping Time magazine's trendy (and tiresome) "You" as Person of the Year, the Rose Fest is rousing the community to nominate their very own grand marshal. Our vote goes to (cue groin grab) the Man in the Mirror.