The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from a city whose residents believe they have far too many rights, bikers and its mayor especially, astrippers and tattoos secondary - Not Vegas but Portland - on assignment for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly.
OLCC: No problems at all, except for this damn town hall meeting
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission may not have chosen the best format for its open gathering Monday afternoon with local liquor licensees, as what was billed as a "town hall" meeting quickly turned into a chance for community leaders, citizens and a sliver of Central Oregon's licensees to tee off on the OLCC and its regional manager.
That manager, Jason Evers - although stating that the meeting was his idea in order to create a dialogue with the community- sat mostly quiet, his shaved head hunched down over a notepad on which he wrote voluminously as a city councilor, county commissioner, tourist industry official and a small group of licensees accused him and his regional agency of, among other things, making regular practice of retaliating against businesses that complain to the OLCC and also changing regulations on a case-by-case basis.
OLCC brass were on hand in the form of director of enforcement Jeff Jett and spokeswoman Christie Scott, both of whom tried to explain away the barrage of allegations (some of them against Evers), but that didn't stop a few explosions, including a pair of owners calling Evers a liar... several times.
"I've been lied to by the regional manager before he was a regional manager and it was all signed off on by his boss," said Corey Weathers, owner of Corey's Bar and Grill, pointing a finger at Evers, then calling him a liar once more, just in case the first time didn't stick.
Bend City Councilor Jodie Barram read a prepared statement, as did Visit Bend President Doug LaPlaca, stating that licensees were afraid to come to the meeting in fear of retribution. But OLCC brass didn't seem to think that was a valid excuse as to why of the 500-plus licensees in the county, less than 10 showed up, wondering aloud if perhaps the meeting was under-publicized. That explanation didn't seem to fly with Chuck Arnold of the Downtown Bend Business Association.
"I appreciate your optimism, but I assure you that licensees are not here because they're afraid of retribution," Arnold said.
Although the words "retaliation" and "retribution" ping-ponged around the room for much of the hour-and-a-half-long meeting, the OLCC officials insisted there's not a problem with its approach or management in Bend even as their "forum" turned into a public skewering at the hands of elected city and county officials, as well as representatives from the business and tourism industry. Hey, there's a bright side - at least they all found something they can finally agree on.
A smackdown harsher than Hulk Hogan vs. the Macho Man a decade ago, Supreme Court Justice Ruth "Darth" Bader Ginsberg said "Suck it!" to the pending deal for Fiat to buy Chrysler. Indiana state pension funds successfully argued that their $42 million loan given to Chrysler would be paid back in Italian sass and sleeze instead of cash, forcing the Fiat/Chrysler merger to be delayed. Ginsberg's thrashing, in the face of White House eagerness to rid America of all industry, opens the doors for the entire Supreme Court to hear the case; don't delay, though: Chrysler is said to be losing $100 million daily, 789 dealership agreements have been voided including our own TSS after the better part of a century, and eight plants are scheduled to be closed.
More Shocking News
Hoard Slim Jims! All is not well at 4851 Jones Sausage Road in Garner, North Carolina --- The roof of the plant where Slim Jims are made collapsed on Tuesday, over a dozen ConAgra Foods employees were injured, yet no status of America's and Macho Man's essential protein-sodium sustenance was given as of press time. Even more shocking: Ten banks are paying back $68 billion total in TARP bailout funds, led by JP Morgan (who totally needed that quick cash, thanks man!) and other banks that charge you every time you wonder how much of your money is with them. Actor John Voight called President Obama a "false prophet" --- The White House responded by citing Voight's acting work since Deliverance, then flashed pictures of Angelina Jolie's chest and lips, with no additional commentary necessary. The GOP is so confused that they are now trying to run Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney for President in 2012 (no VP, only Chief Execs); once Obama beats all of them, the Grand Ole Party will finally read a census and decide to close-up shop.
What is a Journalist?
Confirming "the grave crime they committed against the Korean nation and their illegal border crossing," North Korea sentenced Euna Lee and Laura Ling to 12 years in a labor camp. This proves two things: Don't work for Current TV (or Al Gore for that matter) and don't sneak into a known dictatorship looking for good scoops. Fret not: Laura Ling's sister Lisa is supposedly some Hollywood star, so at least she will be released soon, get a book deal, and become even more famous; meanwhile, her fellow journalist will learn to praise our "Dear Leader" King Jung-Il and his totally capable sons.
Farewell Roe v. Wade, and Grasshopper
A new strategy for Pro-Lifers to end all abortions: After Dr. Geoge Tiller was shot to death at his church in Wichita, Kansas last week (by someone who holds every life as precious), the late-doctor's Women's Health Care Services Inc. (= abortion clinic) will be closed permanently. Let us all bow our heads in prayer - for that story, and in memory of David Carradine, the finest actor to force his less-talented kids on us since John Voight, Martin Sheen, George H.W. Bush, et al - Grasshopper, life is pain. After being found in a suite in a luxury Bangkok Hotel, initially reported as "naked, hanging in a closet," and dead at the age of 72, David Carradine lives on. His family is now hiring private detectives to prove that he "couldn't have killed himself." Reports from officials have surveillance tapes showing no one entering or leaving Kill Bill's room, and that the autopsy showed signs of auto-erotic asphyxiation (anyone remember the lead singer of INXS?), which no family should suffer through, nor accept. Sleep well, Grasshopper.