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Dirty Dancing, More Loko, A Population Push and Persistent Poachers 

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Dirty Dancing Too Much For Portland Teachers

Students were getting a little too close for comfort at a Portland High School, causing teachers to cancel the school's winter formal. Cleveland High School in Southeast Portland has cancelled the dance due to the new style of dance known as "grinding." Obviously a little movie from 1987 known as Dirty Dancing hasn't been in the TBS heavy rotation lately.

Teachers say they've tried everything, from changing the music to having chaperones shine flashlights on couples dancing "inappropriately" to even selling T-shirts that said "No bumping, no grinding." The teachers decided to collectively not chaperone the dance, effectively canceling the event.

I'm not a high school student, but I'm pretty sure this elevated grinding to the coolest thing to do, over drinking and texting during math class. And who is buying these T-shirts? If the answer is anyone besides other teachers and some parents, I'm calling BS on the whole operation.

Campaigns like this have been making news across the country. And while suggestive dancing may be uncomfortable for some to watch, it's what's popular on TV, in clubs and therefore, at dances. And as we all learned from Dirty Dancing, if your daughter can't dance at the lodge at Kellerman's, she's going to find a way to sneak into the staff quarters where the real fun is. (SR)

No More Blackouts in a Can?

A few weeks ago, Upfront let you know about a few of the incidents involving impossibly drunken youngsters who ingested the sugary caffeinated malt liquor beverage Four Loko. Since then, the state of Washington, as well as Michigan, Utah and Oklahoma, have imposed a ban on the sale of Four Loko, but before the ban went into effect, there was a massive influx of sales of the rot-gut syrup. One store in Spokane sold more than 30 cases in a little over an hour. And now, Sen. Chuck Schumer has announced that the FDA has ruled that caffeine is an unsafe food additive, a decision that will likely ban Four Loko and all other energized malt liquors.

Oh, and in related news, a 20-year-old man in Pasco, Wash., was found naked in a stranger's home after having broken into several other houses. When he was arrested, he told police the last thing he remembered was drinking a can of Four Loko. (MB)

Facebook Confuses 500 Million People

There was a lot of buzz this week when King Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was planning on offering a messaging system. Holy crap, people thought, Facebook is going to have e-mail and they're going to take over the world! Not really, says King Mark.

"It's true, people are going to be able to have Facebook.com e-mail addresses, but it's not e-mail," he said at a press conference.

He went on to say that the new process will handle e-mail, as well as Facebook messages and instant messages, but it's not exactly e-mail. Also, you could send a friend a text message through Facebook. Are you super confused? Well, so were most of the technology media after the announcement, which really forces us to question the communication skills of Facebook, a company that's all but rewritten the book on communication. And again, it's not e-mail. (MB)

What Mass Exodus?

The popular wisdom around Central Oregon is that our region is losing residents, pushed out of the area by home foreclosures and a stagnant job market. However, recent figures released by Portland State University suggests that might not be the case. To the contrary, all three Central Oregon Counties actually gained residents with Deschutes County posting the biggest bump. According to PSU, Deschutes added more than 1,300 residents between July 2009 and July 2010. Sparsely populated Jefferson County added about 150 residents and Crook County, which once led the state in unemployment, managed to add a few souls, roughly 95 people according to PSU's population research center. Better buy now before the next boom. Well, maybe not. (EF)

The Poaching Problem

Opening day of deer season is an event that hunters approach with a certain degree of reverence. Births, vacations, and medical procedures are all scheduled around the commencement of deer hunting season in Oregon and other states. However, a recent Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) study conducted near Bend shows that an alarming number of would-be hunters is paying no heed to the official start of the season. Instead, these "hunters" are poaching hundreds, if not thousands, of animals, part of an epidemic of illegal hunting that state officials say is depressing mule deer populations below target levels and decreasing hunting opportunities for legitimate sportsmen. According to the Oregonian, which examined the phenomenon in a recent piece, mule deer levels have fallen to 216,000 animals from historic highs of more than 300,000 animals and well below the state's target population of roughly 347,000 mule deer. ODFW's five-year study fitted 120 deer with radio collars. Of that population, 21 were killed legitimately by hunters and an almost equal number, 19, were taken by poachers, a result that shocked researchers. The other predator is, of course, the automobile. ODFW documented some 1,600 mule deer deaths along Hwy. 97 in the study area between Bend and California during the five-year study. (EF)

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