The Federal Trade Commission objected like a drunken ex to the proposed marriage of Whole Foods and Wild Oats, two natural-food stores that compete in Portland and 20 other cities. The FTC says prices could increase at the stores. Whole Foods and Wild Oats are now free to date the real winners in this scenario: acquisition-ready major grocers, who just dodged a power-couple bullet on the order of Brangelina.

Is it jungle love? Frederick, the Oregon Zoo's lonely teenage Amur leopard, just met Kia, an 11-year-old female pal on permanent loan from the Erie (Pa.) Zoo. But don't expect any Freddy Jrs. For now, the two are taking it slow.

Grudging props to the Portland Mercury for serious savvy about our media brethren. The Merc turned duct-tape reservations on parade routes into what called the "Most Brilliant Street Theater of the Decade." Mercury editor Wm. Steven Humphrey organized a vigilante campaign to tear up tape laid down by selfish Rose Festival paradegoers. And "Tapegate 2007" dominated local media all weekend. (For more, go to this week's Rogue, page 11.)


Congratulations, Oregon college graduates! You're leaving school with the nation's eighth-highest average debt—roughly $20,000 each. And repaying it with in-state income could be hard, since Oregon also has the nation's eighth-worst unemployment rate. But cheer up: You're slightly less screwed than students still in school. On Friday, the state Board of Higher Education voted to raise tuition rates about 3.3 percent around Oregon. Pomp and circumstance? Try poverty and eternal debt.

Impoverished music and film lovers lost on June 9 when Beaverton police busted 10 people for selling pirated CDs and DVDs at local swap meets. So, if you want to hear the insightful director's commentary for Delta Farce, you'll have to pay full price.

Three Oregon members of the Northwest Roller Jockeys club—a reference to roller pigeons, not the latest X-Games event—were arraigned last week for illegally killing hawks and peregrine falcons that prey on their beloved flying rats. In the group's online forum, one hawk-hater suggests they "shoot, shovel, and shut up," but it seems someone squawked.