Jack Pollock
Is Not! Is Too!

Although drivers have to put up with anti-abortion billboards plastered along the I-5 corridor, it is apparently not as funny when the sign is on the other side of the street. Upset by an I-5 road sign which proclaims, "The Pope is the Anti-Christ," several Oregon priests have threatened to sue Outdoor Media, the billboard company hosting the sign, which is just south of Portland. (The message is actually paid for by a private individual.) An attorney for the company threw the threats back in the faces of the clergymen, and replied that if they are so upset, they should mount their own billboard with a counter message. PHIL BUSSE

Gone Bike Gone

Here's the myth: Bike thieves use freon to freeze locks and then snap them off like icicles. Here's the reality: Bike thieves use sidearm car-jacks that put undue pressure on the seemingly invincible U-locks, and snap them in less than 10 seconds. Cable locks? Forget about it.

According to Dr. Steve Beedle of the Portland Police Statistics Support Unit, bicycle theft around Portland is up 20 percent from last June. "One of the worst places in town to leave your bike is Portland State University," said Bike Central CO-OP Business Manager Jen Featheringill. "Bikes get stolen up there all the time."

On average, the Police Property and Evidence Division annually receives 800 reports of lost or stolen bicycles. Supervisor Bill Swanson did an unscientific study and concluded that only one of 20 stolen bikes is ever recovered. He believes the remainder are either sold, pieced out for parts, or thrown away. "The best thing for a thief to do is go north to Seattle or south to Eugene and pawn the bike," Swanson said.

Moreover, remedial safety measures--like registering a bike with the police--are no longer a preventative option, as their program was dissolved in 1992, and replaced by two smaller programs based in the Hollywood and Columbia Village Community Policing Offices.

"This is a major flaw; we've tried to reconnect, but it never happened," said Hollywood Community Policing Office Volunteer Norm Rosenbloom.

Swanson did provide a suggestion: Engrave your driver's license number and "OR" (for Oregon) on the bracket of your bike, where the pedals are mounted. MAGGIE YOUNG