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In Other News...

The Shadow Knows! He may be one of the most invisible men in America, but even rumors of Dick Cheney's presence in the region had progressives and environmentalists hopping mad. Last Tuesday evening, several dozen protesters tromped through a soggy field to demonstrate outside the Embassy Suites, where Cheney was staying.

Cheney has been maligned as a shadowy force in the federal government. From the get-go, it was reported that Cheney had a far-reaching scheme for the U.S. to essentially colonize the Middle East. But Tuesday's demonstration focused more on Cheney's malignant role in domestic affairs. In November, the Sierra Club sounded the alarm after Cheney tried to sneak an Energy Bill past Congress and the Senate that would have rolled back federal protections for the Clean Air Act, as well as opened up more public lands for oil drilling.

With no public review, the bill sailed through Congress. But the Senate, in a mostly party-line vote, stopped the plan in its tracks. Even though Republicans abandoned the bill last November after its defeat, it is believed that Cheney is looking to push a similar Energy Bill through in the near future.

Cheney has visited Portland twice in the past two years. Both times, there was little more than 48-hour notice of his visit. The VP hosted a $1000 per-plate fundraiser for the Republican party. In the upcoming presidential elections, it's expected that Oregon will be one of the primary swing states. PB

KEEP PORTLAND WET! On Wednesday, city council will finally consider and vote on a controversial ordinance. Introduced by councilman Randy Leonard, the new law would give power to the city to regulate "problem" liquor stores and bars--that is, any business that has three complaints lodged against it in 30 consecutive days. Enough complaints and the establishment would be sent to a hearings officer who could then dictate the "time, place, and manner" in which alcohol would be sold. For example, a bar might be asked to add a bouncer or shut down early. Store owners are worried about the subjective nature of what constitutes a complaint. PB Voice your opposition on Wednesday, city council chambers, 1221 SW 4th, 6 pm.


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