1. The Portland City Council has voted to appeal state utility regulators decision to let Enron distribute PGE stock to its creditors. Basically, the Oregon PUC blew it when it approved the transaction to separate PGE from Enron. It's like Enron died yet wants to take PGE with it. (Enron wanted to distribute a third of PGE stock to creditors in April.)
2. A Portland police officer who was injured firing a .45 caliber Glock 21 is suing the gun maker and the ammunition maker to boot. For how much? A total of $53 million fifty thousand dollars. So basically what this is saying, if the police shoot a citizen, the citizen get spare change but if the police shoot themselves, they get $50 million plus, right?
3. A Federal Grand Jury has charged a former Clackamas County Sheriff's deputy with armed robbery (Not with that pesky Glock, I hope. A guy could hurt himself with those things... ). David Verbos robbed a bank and a pharmacy, stealing - what else? - money and drugs.
4. Washington State has joined Oregon, California and New Mexico in suing the Federal government over the Bush Administration's version of a roadless area rulings. The four western states want to restore the Clinton protection of the nation's dwindling forests and wild areas. (Here's the rest of the story: The Admin made the new ruling after a Federal judge in - of all places, Dick Cheney's home state, Wyoming - declared the Clinton ruling "illegal". This from an administration that has taken the word, "illegal" to new lows... )
5. Washington State has a gigantic new Salmon Recovery Plan. It's going to cost a lot, it's going to concentrate the mighty forces of money primarily on urban waterways and it is not guaranteed to work. Currently the Sound's Chinook, bull trout and Hood Canal chum are on the Endangered List.
6. A group of California students and parents have filed a lawsuit claiming the high school exit exam is illegal and discriminatory. Too bad California is broke, so good luck collecting, kids!
7. Fighting continues to spread throughout the LA county jail system, largely sparked by ethnic animosity.
8. FSRN: This is a taped story, same as yesterday's reader, on the US bullying Europeans into accepting Frankenfood. The US won a preliminary victory in its WTO case against the EU's moratorium on dubious food.
9. Surprise! Surprise! The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina could have been prevented if: a. The Administration had wanted to protect citizen rather than hand their land over to developers. b. The Administration had put competent people in charge of rescue efforts. And c. If God had missed and hit Los Vegas.
10. Scooter Libby told a Federal Grand Jury that he had been authorized by Cheney to disclose classified information to journalists. (The whole State of Wyoming shuddered)
11. Senators have reached a compromise in the USA Patriot Act, and it goes a little like this... If you get a court-approved subpoena for information in terrorist investigations, you have the right to challenge (good luck with that) the requirement that you not tell anyone. All the same, play it safe, and don't run to the press... ) Alco you don't have to give the FBI the name of the lawyer you call when the National Security Letter arrives. And lastly, most ("most"? ) libraries are not subject to demands in the Letters for information about suspected terrorists. Feel better now? Neither do I.
12. Bush says that all this spying has saved lives (by which he means American lives. Everyone else is fair game). Apparently, a bunch of Malaysians with bombs in their shoes were going to get into the cockpit of an airliner (Picture the scene: 'Open up! I'm from Kuala Lumpur and I've got a bomb in my shoe!" Pilot: "Yeah right, sport. I'm from Ulan Batur and I've got a snake in my pants... Hey someone tell the flight attendants to stopping serving this guy booze... ."). The plot involved flying the plane into the tallest building on the West coast: The Library Tower in LA. Alas, Bush called it the 'Liberty Tower' (Again, picture the scene: The terrorists flying the plane in loops and circles over LA, studying a place mat map from Denny's, urgently trying to find this 'Liberty Tower' .
13. Cindy Sheehan will not run for Senate. She would have been running for Diane Feinstein's seat. With all due respect to Cindy Sheehan, I think we're doing just fine with Feinstein.
14. Teachers are being punished for protesting the Iraq war in schools, allowing students to protest the war and for not insuring that students do not stray into the mine-fields of Tough Questions (Somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and Ulan Batur... )
15. Oil companies that extract oil and natural gas from public lands are technically required to pay for the right to make obscene profits - especially if they are making obscene profits. Trouble is, they are refusing to pay up. Indeed, Kerr-McGee has suggested that they just might challenge the requirement.
16. Jill Carroll appeared in a video yesterday. There was a letter delivered with it to al-Rai TV in Kuwait (At least that lets al-Jazeera off the hook - for now) Does this mean Carroll is alive? One thing, it means her captors are serious.
17. Vladimir Putin has invited Hamas leaders to Russia.
18. Location, location, location: Israel is planning to build a "Tolerance Museum" - financed by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center - in Jerusalem. On top a thousand year-old Palestinian cemetery. Hey, this is downtown Jerusalem... it's a tight real estate market... .