But Portland as the second-most-lusty city in America? Upfront was, we must confess, somewhat taken aback.
All the same, there it was in black and white in the pages of Forbes Magazine: The Rose City ranks Number 2 in the respected publication's scientific (well, sort of) compilation of the Ten Lustiest Cities in America.
A word about the methodology: Forbes asked the research firm of ACNielsen to provide it with a per-capita index of over-the-counter contraceptive purchases in major US markets over a one-year period. Taking the average as 100, the intrepid Forbes data-crunchers then scored American cities on the basis of how much their contraceptive purchases ranked above or below the average.
Oddly enough, the traditional fleshpots like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas didn't even make the cut. Tied for second place with a score of 227 were Portland and San Antonio, TX. Interestingly, Portland females were substantially lustier than Portland males (325 to 212).
Moving on up the West Coast, soggy and lusty old Seattle came in at fourth place with an overall score of 124. In fifth place - rather a surprise here, or maybe not - was the Mormon stronghold of Salt Lake City at 207, followed by (no surprise here at all) Washington, DC at 189. Denver was first with a score of 289, nearly three times the national average. Giving new meaning to the term "Mile High Club."
How to Succeed in Business, 2008 Version:
Become CEO of the nation's biggest residential mortgage lender and stuff its portfolio with shaky sub-prime loans.
Cash out $140 million worth of your stock options in the company before the bubble pops.
When the bubble pops, fire almost 19,000 employees and sell what's left of the company for one-fifth of its former value.
Do not go to jail. Collect $115 million severance package for your good work.
According to the Los Angeles Times, that's the neat little deal Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo will pull off if he manages to unload Countrywide to Bank of America.
Mozilo, 69, reportedly has been guaranteed salary and bonus payments totaling almost $88 million, plus a lump sum payout on two pensions worth at least $24 million, plus assorted perks including lifetime health care for himself and his wife, lifetime free rides on the company jet and payment of his country club bills for the next three years.
Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), saw the Mozilo story as a teaching opportunity.
"We have a moment here," he said in a press release. "With examples of unchecked greed trumping patriotism and fairness proliferating all over this country - and with CEOs profiting excessively while workers don't even have health care - it's critical we hold our financial institutions accountable to our economy and the fundamental beliefs we hold dear. Wouldn't this be a great time to prioritize what those families who lost their homes in the sub-prime meltdown need rather than Angelo Mozilo's next golf game?"
Come on, Andy - if Mozilo doesn't get enough time on the golf course, how can he keep that terrific tan?
The End Is Near: Blowing Hard at The Bulletin
When Source staffers looked out our front window last Tuesday morning it was evident that winter was finally here - a fact that was officially confirmed when a mother and son cross country skied past our front door (Upfront 1-9).
But up at the Bulletin (elev. 9,000 feet above rational) "winter is here," somehow translated into the "end is near" for writers and editors who scrambled their winter response team around town to catalog every car accident and snow shovel purchase and snowball fight. The coverage resulted in some gems.
In a grasping attempt to "localize" the snow story to every facet of the Bulletin's "news" hole, the Business section came up with Upfront's personal favorite, a hold-your breath revelation that one, yes ONE, pizza place stopped deliveries.
"Think a steaming pizza delivered to your door is a comforting end to a snowy day? Some Central Oregonians were denied such a pleasure thanks to a raging storm," the story began.
Wow, I guess the sky really was falling.
Be Our Music Reviewer!
You don't think we'd actually hire a slacker like you, right?
But we do want to know what you think of your most recent CD purchase/iTunes download. We're looking for reviews of the new Mars Volta album (Jan. 29) Drive-by Truckers (Jan. 22) Cat Power (Jan. 26) Jack Johnson (Feb.5).
Or send us a review of your latest, greatest album purchase - provided it has a January or February release date. We'll pick the best reviews and run them in the newly redesigned Source Weekly when it publishes Feb. 18.
Send reviews to Arts and Culture Editor Mike Bookey by emailing him at email@example.com. We'll give priority to those who file reviews before the Feb. 6 deadline.
Rock on, Bend!
If the environmental threat posed by bovine exhaust fumes has been keeping you awake at night, you can rest easy now: The Oregon Dairy Air Quality Task Force is on the job.
Upfront received a news release this week informing us that the task force - which was created by an act of the state legislature in its 2007 session - will hold its second meeting on Jan. 23. Thereafter the body will convene every month through June, after which it is scheduled to present its findings and recommendations to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Department of Agriculture.
Okay, we've had our little laugh, but this is actually serious stuff. The Los Angeles Times has reported that the average dairy cow emits 19.3 pounds of "volatile organic compounds" - that's "cow farts," in laymen's terms - every year. In some localities, such as California's San Joaquin Valley, it's been shown that cow emissions contribute more to smog than car emissions. And then there are the fumes that rise up from those big steaming piles of cow manure.
California already has taken steps to deal with the cow emission problem, and Oregon is following its lead. The 15-member Oregon task force has been authorized to "study the emissions of air contaminants from dairy operations, including but not limited to those regulated under the Clean Air Act" and "evaluate alternatives for reducing emissions."
One emission-reducing alternative reportedly being considered in California involves changing the cows' diet. Not having a degree in animal husbandry we're not sure what that would entail, but cutting back on chili and beer would seem to be a good start.