Samantha Buck's coffee shop in Astoria is tiny, barely wider than the arm span of a grown man. But Buck's two-year old shop--affectionately called Sam Buck's, after herself--has become a thorn in the paw of the mighty coffee conglomerate, Starbucks.
When Starbucks moved their first store into seaside Astoria, they served Buck with a cease and desist order, claiming that the phonetic similarities of the coffeehouses may confuse patrons. But Buck refused. And, last Friday, the tug-of-war over the trademark came to a breaking point, when Starbucks served Buck with a summons. She has 20 days to change her store's name or face legal consequences. In Astoria, support for Buck has galvanized into a bitter resentment against several corporations who have recently moved into town.
"They want everything," said Sue Skinner, who is helping Buck steer through the legal maze of intellectual property laws. A decade ago, Astoria almost exclusively hosted locally owned businesses. But over the past few years, companies like Costco, Fred Meyer and now Starbucks, have squeezed out smaller companies.
"This has totally radicalized her," continues Skinner, referring to Buck's struggle against Starbucks. "She no longer shops at Costco or takes her young sons to McDonald's." To contribute to Buck's legal funds, call (503) 325-1935. PHIL BUSSE
PLAYING WITH FIRE
On Tuesday, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested two suspects in Portland and put out APBs on two others. They claim the four are responsible for a fire that consumed a logging truck near the controversial--and recently canceled--timber sale at Eagle Creek. Although no links were made to the Earth Liberation Front, federal prosecutors did point out that incendiary devices used at Eagle Creek were similar to the firebombs that exploded Ross Island Sand & Gravel trucks two Easters ago (an incident for which the ELF claimed responsibility).
Among the suspects indicted was Tre Arrow. Best known for his nonviolent protest when he perched for 11 days on a ledge outside the Forest Service's offices, he remained at large at press time. The two arrested suspects, scheduled for trial on October 16, will face up to 30 years in prison. PB