Editor's note: As we usher in a new year and a new decade, we've decided to re-vamp our Upfront column. To our great surprise and delight the decision coincided with the re-emergence of Scoop Lewis, Ace Reporter ™, from self-imposed exile. He's back and ready to give the straight poop on the past week's events every Thursday in the Source.
Monday, Dec. 27
City of Bend is crowing over approval of a zoning change that clears 256 acres of land in Juniper Ridge for light industrialn use. "There now is a clear path for developing the employment sub-district," says Bend Development Manager Jerry Mitchell. Now all we need is a clear path to some tenants ... State and local governments race to combat the menace of "Spice," a kind of synthetic marijuana. The DEA already has temporarily outlawed the stuff for at least a year while "studying" whether to permanently ban it. Wonder how that will turn out ... Another spicy development: Whole Foods stores in 20 states (but not Oregon) pull toxic gingerbread houses from shelves. The confections, made by an Illinois bakery, are blamed for a Staphylococcus aureus outbreak that sickened at least 100 in the Midwest ... Another toxic development: Alaskan Tea Party Senate candidate Joe Miller says he's still "considering his options" after losing to Lisa Murkowski by 10,000 votes and losing his appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court. No word on whether a gig on "Dancing With the Stars" is contemplated ... East Coast digging out after monster blizzard.
Tuesday, Dec. 28
Party like it's 2007! Preliminary numbers on the holiday shopping season show spending up 5.5 percent, back to pre-Great Recession levels ... Northern overexposure, maybe? Poll numbers not looking so good for Sarah Palin: She has only a 33 percent favorability rating in her home state of Alaska, down 12 percent from last year ... The Hot 'n' Saucy Defense: A 50-year-old Florida man charged with exposing himself to a 17-year-old girl on a flight from Salt Lake City to Lewiston, ID, tells cops "he spilled Tabasco sauce on himself, which caused his crotch to burn and itch," according to The Associated Press ... East Coast still digging out after monster blizzard.
Wednesday, Dec. 29
Nothing like a fine Oregon whine to toast the New Year: The town of Forest Grove has been trying to stake a claim as the birthplace of Oregon pinot noir. Nearby Newberg takes strong exception. "No one can question that the heart of pinot noir - nay, the entire Oregon wine industry - lives in the hills surrounding Dundee," says an editorial in The Newberg Graphic ... Build now, sit in traffic jams later: State Sen. Chris Telfer and Rep. John Huffman say they'll try to get The Lege to loosen a rule that makes cities and developers pay for road improvements before building new road-choking projects. Great for Wal-Mart, not so great if you have to drive through the north end of Bend ... The long and short of it: NFL fines Brett Favre $50,000 for "failure to cooperate" with investigation into charges of sexual harassment, says there isn't enough evidence to prove he sent "objectionable photographs" to former Jets employee Jenn Sterger. The decision "is an affront to all females and shows once again that, despite tough talk, the NFL remains the good old boys' league," says her lawyer ... East Coast still digging.
Thursday, Dec. 30
Mama done took the Kodachrome away: The last roll of Kodachrome slide film - introduced way back in 1935 and beloved by generations of photographers - is processed at Dwayne's Photo in the small town of Parsons, Kan. Dwayne's was the last lab in the world equipped to process the venerable film, which Kodak stopped manufacturing in 2009 ... Mama Grizzly growls: Christine O'Donnell, Delaware's Tea Party darling, tries to refudiate charges that she improperly used funds from failed 2010 Senate campaign to pay personal bills. "This is simply an establishment trick to stop the anti-establishment Tea Party movement in its tracks," O'Donnell says, unconsciously channeling some 1960s radical.
Friday, Dec. 31
How now, Dow Jones? The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at 11577.51, up 11 percent for the year, marking a second consecutive year of gains in spite of Obama's "anti-business" administration ... No break for Billy: Bill Richardson, in his last act as governor of New Mexico, refuses to issue posthumous pardon for William Bonney aka Billy the Kid. "I felt I could not rewrite history," Richardson says. Legend credits The Kid with gunning down 21 victims ... On the Tea Party circuit: In Alaska, Joe Miller finally concedes victory to Lisa Murkowski. In far-off but equally snowbound New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie defends going to Disneyland while his state was being battered by the blizzard. "I had a great five days with my children. I promised that," he said.
Saturday, Jan. 1
Mac attacked: People relying on their iPhones to wake them up Jan. 1 are screwed by operating system bug that prevents alarm from going off. Supposedly problem will correct itself by Jan. 3 ... Oprah OWNs it all: Oprah Winfrey launches her own TV network, called OWN. Eventually, the bulk of programming will be repackaged reruns of her TV show. Eventually, Oprah Winfrey will own the entire universe ... Rum, sodomy and videotape: Raunchy homophobic videos produced by and starring Capt. Owen Honors of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Enterprise and shown to thousands of troops surface. The videos "were not created with the intent to offend anyone," Navy says in a statement.
Sunday, Jan. 2
Let the witch hunts begin: U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who'll be heading the House committee in charge of investigating the Obama administration, says on Faux Noise that it's "one of the most corrupt administrations in history." Way to keep an open mind there, Darrell ... Quagmire, cont.: U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), on "Meet the Press," says it will be "enormously beneficial" to have U.S. troops in Afghanistan "in perpetuity" ... News from the reproductive beat: In Campion, Colo, a rare "panda calf" is born - a baby cow with black and white markings that make it look like a panda cub. Meanwhile, in Poland, a woman gives birth to twins with two different fathers - one her husband, the other a guy who she was having an affair with ... Hey, it was a slow news day.