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Nude=Lewd?

State wildlife agents on Sauvie Island will be patrolling an altogether different kind of wildlife this summer: frolicking nudists at Collins Beach, a popular spot where Portland's naturists have flocked for more than three decades to let it all hang out.

The fate of the favorite spot of Portland's nudies was determined by Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Ted Grove, who ruled recently that the Oregon Fish and Wildlife department must police the beach, post signs, and create a brochure explaining the rules and boundaries of Collins Beach.

Grove's order attempts to resolve a long-running dispute between nudists and homeowners Glen Mark and Teri Powers, who argued that nude beach-goers frequently trespass onto their property--the only house in view of the beach--to engage in lewd sexual behavior. In a two-day trial that began May 1, Grove sided with Mark and Powers.

Frank Wells, a member of the group Friends of Sauvie Island Clothing Optional Beaches, (FOSICOB), says for 10 years the homeowners have run off the nudists by creating trumped-up charges of "trespassing, vandalism, and sex, sex, and sex," because public nudity itself is not illegal in Oregon. Nudists still worry that the ruling could set a nuisance law precedent that might affect other clothing-optional areas in Oregon. STACEY CROLL


Death Penalty Update

There is perhaps no more compelling argument for the death penalty than Timothy McVeigh. If not him--who killed 168 innocent people--then who? Assuming the execution is carried out (despite the month-long delay mandated by attorney general John Ashcroft last Friday), the first federally sanctioned execution in 40 years will probably do little to push Oregon's opinions on the death penalty in either direction.

Oregon public opinion in favor of the death penalty has held fast for the past two decades. In 1962, during Mark Hatfield's first term as Oregon's governor, Leroy McGahuey was put to death for a grisly double murder. Hatfield helped sway public opinion and, two years later, Oregon voters repealed it. But in 1978, Oregon voters followed a national trend and reinstated the death penalty. Currently, 25 men sit on Death Row in Salem. PHIL BUSSE

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