Good news for Oregon vineyards: Winos are rich and thirsty. According to an Oregon State University study released last week, wine grape sales in Oregon hit record levels in 2006, bringing in $46.7 million—a 28 percent increase over 2005. Because the perfect complement to a mature pinot is more wine.
No man is an island. And after Portland Tribune owner Robert Pamplin Jr. pulled his offer to donate Ross Island to the city, Mayor Tom Potter brought in outside help. Ex-Mayor Vera Katz got the call to hold Potter's hand while he negotiates to get Pamplin's donation back on the table.
Whales, rejoice! Oregon respects its aquatic-mammal dead. Gone are the callous days of dynamite—which the Oregon Highway Division used to "dispose" of a beached whale in 1970. In the name of interspecies sensitivity, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has buried a fallen 40-foot-long cetacean that washed up in Newport. Parks and Rec will have to redo the job, however, because the tide has exposed a section of the carcass. For now, WMDs are off the table.
State Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) is legislating herself right out of a run for governor (see page 11 for more). New details about apparent conflicts of interest between Johnson's land dealings and two bills she's sponsored may put her prospects for statewide office on ice. Wait a second! Corruption and pork-barrel legislation? She could be president.
Turn off the AC. Oregon ratepayers of the state's two largest utilities—Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp—face double-digit rate increases after a federal court decision ended the utilities' subsidy payments from the Bonneville Power Association. The Man wants you to sweat.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has no balls—and neither does the skinless, skateboarding corpse in the ads for the its new Body Worlds 3 exhibit (see page 41 for more). As The Oregonian pointed out, prudish museum officials ordered designers to censor the posters to digitally remove the subject's testicles. And in a memo to former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, museum officials thanked Ashcroft for the idea. If Big Brother is a eunuch, is he still technically a brother?