A federal study reports that 5.8 percent of Oregon households experienced hunger at some point in the last year--the highest percentage in the nation. Researchers describe Oregon's hunger rate as "quite remarkable" for a state that recently boasted the best economy in the country.
The city is rocked by a series of grisly discoveries: the bodies of three women, each assaulted, strangled and abandoned, in Forest Park. Police set up a trap for the serial killer, baited with a decoy streetwalker who resembles the victims. They catch Todd Allen Reed, 32, a produce worker with a history of sexual violence. Reed is now awaiting trial.
After a bitter campaign, employees at Powell's Books vote to unionize by a narrow margin--161 to 155. The move comes at a crucial time for the world's largest used bookstore, which is fighting fierce competition from online booksellers while extending its labyrinth of shelves.
Gaining unprecedented media attention at the speed of light, Local post-riot-grrl band Sleater-Kinney releases its third full-length album, The Hot Rock.
Survey says drug use among teenagers--specifically of marijuana, cocaine and speed--has leveled off in the past three years. In contrast, experts estimate that nearly 5 percent of all school-age children in Multnomah County are taking Ritalin.
Police unmask Maul, the prolific graffiti artist whose tag defaces walls all across the city. Far from the deprived inner-city youth they were expecting, Maul turns out to be a Reed College senior named Sara Fisher. She avoids jail by paying almost $3,000 in restitution, spending 400 hours on cleanup duty and making four awkward public apologies.
"It's like Christmas," says PJ Gilmour, who organizes a 55-person rotating squad to spend nearly two weeks outside the Eastgate Theatre--all for the thrill of being among the first to see The Phantom Menace.
Jammin' 95.5 FM becomes the first commercial Portland station to switch to a low-octane mix of hip-hop and R&B--even though similar formats consistently earn the highest ratings in L.A., N.Y. and Seattle. "I've got my cargo pants on and my baseball hat turned backward," says 47-year-old General Manager Tim McNamara.
HomeGrocer.com begins Portland-area deliveries in May. WW reviewer and self-declared "supermarket junkie" Jim Dixon reckons the Internet grocer is serious competition for Freddie's.
Portland experiences an outbreak
Portland catches millennium fever: New Agers pack up their crystals and head for the hills, while suburbanites stock up on dried beans at the Bishop's Storehouse on Southeast 82nd, a Mormon cannery (requests are up more than 400 percent). The only thing more frightening than the prospect of a global technological meltdown is the thought of all those ponderous end-of-century retrospectives yet to come.
THE CURSE OF THE NEW CARISSA
BY CHRIS LYDGATE
THE FATAL PINPRICK:
Deaths from heroin overdose in Multnomah county
BY CHRIS LYDGATE
The local economy is as strong as it's ever been. Employment is steady; incomes are rising. There's a chicken in every bucket and an SUV in every garage. Why, then, is Portland in the middle of a heroin epidemic? Over the past decade, fatal heroin overdoses in Multnomah County have risen more than 600 percent--and treatment providers say they are increasingly inundated with younger addicts, who have succumbed to the lure of the cheaper, more potent heroin now available on Portland's streets. "How can we allow this to go on?" asks Richard Harris, executive director of Central City Concern, a local nonprofit agency that operates the Hooper Detoxification clinic. "It's an outrage."
BY JOHN GRAHAM
The structure's function and ownership fluctuated for years, until Alex Rosenast and Tomie O'Neil (owners of Seattle's RKCNDY) bought it in '92, made the necessary seismic upgrades and handed the booking reins back to Monqui. Thus LaLuna was born--and so was a major chapter in the life of Portland music. No one club better represented Portland's shift from small-town underdog to big-time contender. At the time of LaLuna's grand opening--New Year's Eve '92, six years to the day after Monqui first parted company with Pine Street--the Pacific Northwest was spearheading a so-called "alternative music" revolution, and the ability of local bands like Sweaty Nipples, Dharma Bums, Pond, Hitting Birth, Hazel and Heatmiser to fill the 1,000-capacity room helped draw national eyes to the humble city once passed over by a Seattle-happy press.
Soon Portland acts became known on the national stage. The Spinanes. Elliott Smith. Everclear. Dandy Warhols. Quasi. If the eccentric X-Ray Cafe gave them "training wheels," roomy LaLuna was the full-size motorbike they rode to stardom.
In 1999, however, Monlux and Quinn finally tired of clashing with OLCC liquor licensers, who had long been a thorn in the club's side. Monqui passed the lease on to an upstart Florida promoter, and the building mutated once again, this time into an ill-fated rave club called the Womb, which closed mere months later. If Darwin was right, however, the venue will be back again.