It's no trade secret that any story or report related to Mt. Bachelor, good or bad, has a built in readership in this town. So it was with more than a passing interest that Upfront listened to a recent tipster who told us that Mt. B brass were getting ready to enforce a long-posted -- but never adhered to -- ban on sack lunches at Mt. B's slopeside lodges. Upfront didn't wait for the receiver to cool before putting in a call to Mt. B's marketing director, Alex Kaufman, who set the record straight on sack lunches. Contrary to what we had heard, Mt. B is not cracking down on brown baggers at Sunrise or Pine Marten lodge, Kaufman said. Quite the opposite, he said, the staff at Bachelor have actually added microwaves to allow more skiers and boarders to reheat food on the lower level of the main lodge. In addition, he said Bachelor has revamped the menu at the lower level café to focus on wallet-friendly foods like hot dogs and sandwiches.
Voila PR disaster averted.
In A Cloud Of Smoke
"We're getting people who love to go to bars, but because of asthma wouldn't. And even people who were smokers loved it. They said 'I smoke but I don't necessarily like to smell smoke,'" bar owner Brian Grano told the newspaper.
One Oregon blogger who said he is a non-smoker disparaged the ban as morality policing and opined that people behind the smoking ban will be coming for our beers next.
"Beer lovers should be especially alarmed, because the neo-Puritans are coming after us next. Some people smoke in bars because it brings them pleasure. They can have their vices and I can have mine. But there are other people out there who think the world can and should be rid of all vices," wrote the Portland blogger Bill on his site "It's Pub Night."
Now Upfront enjoys the occasional Camel Light when out with the fellas, and we're certainly not sweating the smoking ban - but you'll get my pint glass when you pry it from my cold, dead, smokeless hand. And if you do, try not to spill the beer - that would be the real sin.
When You Are The Story
Like most other large media outlets, National Public Radio, has taken a big hit as of late as its corporate sponsors cut back on underwriting and listeners tighten down their purse strings. The result is a large-scale layoff at NPR, to the tune of 64 employees, including Ketzel Levine, a long time reporter for the radio station. Ironically, Levine, who lives in Portland, was working on a series of stories related to unemployment and the souring economy when she got news of her lay-off. She made the best of the obviously bad situation by writing her own story into her series called "American Moxie: How We Get By"
"Every story that we all do, we're always looking for the perfect ending. And suddenly it was handed to me. It was not one of my choosing, but as a storyteller, what could make a better story," Levine told the New York Times.
The Little Blue Pill
American officers told the Times that exchanging small gifts is one of the best ways to cultivate sources in Afghanistan where the ongoing conflict with the Taliban has hindered any real social progress.
Upfront always knew that GeeDubya had a hard on for the Taliban, now it appears the tribal chiefs will too.