"She's not a man-eater," says Josh Reeves, talking about his three-foot-long water monitor lizard, Beast. A few years ago, he purchased the reptile legally through a Portland pet store. But if a new bill currently in the Oregon legislature is successful, Reeves could be slapped with a $2,000 fine and face a six-month jail sentence. "She'd be better off in Indonesia," admits Reeves, "but she isn't a danger."
The proposed bill, H.B. 3065, would not only break the hearts of exotic animal lovers by stiffening permit requirements and prohibiting the future breeding and acquisition of exotic pets, but it could also take a bite out of the exotic pet store industry. A large animal wholesaler based in California blamed the bill on "radical animal rights groups pushing their agendas on the state of Oregon."
Not endorsed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the bill would add African twig snakes, coral snakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, rattlesnakes, and crocodiles to the list of animals banned as pets in Oregon. That list already includes non-human primates, most bears, wolves, and all cats except for the domestic house cat. JAYMEE CUTI
SMOTE IN THE HEAD
On Wednesday, longtime activist attorney Alan Graf filed a lawsuit against Mayor Katz and the police department. The complaint names three plaintiffs, each alleging that police beat them up while they were protesting for peace or, in the case of Randy Lyons, simply doing his job.
An engineer for KATU, Lyons was tending to cables while protesters occupied Burnside Bridge. According to the complaint, a police officer "smote him in the side of the head with a baton." After Lyons tried to identify himself as a member of the press, "(t)he officer responded with expletives and then dragged Mr. Lyon back to the rear of the KATU truck attacking and smashing Mr. Lyon into the rear of the truck."
The complaint claims to have video evidence of similar beatings and unprovoked pepper-spraying.
The press release announcing the lawsuits also charges that "Mayor Katz publicly worries about the cost of the police action against the protestors...[but] one cost that the Mayor does not mention is the cost of the destruction of democracy in this town." PHIL BUSSE