Jack Pollock
ALL BARK? Last week, the feared Measure 37 became a reality. Under the voter approved initiative, landowners can ask government agencies to either relent their land-use regulations or pay up. For example, if a farmer decides to subdivide his land into a condo development, the county must either agree or compensate him for whatever value he believes the condo development would bring in.

Last Thursday was the first day that property owners could begin filing claims. Yet, in spite of the promises of an environmental Armageddon, the number of claims filed so far with the city amounted to, at most, a handful. A Bureau of Development Services representative was unsure of the exact number filed (only one was publicly listed). But, she added, "They are not coming in fast and furiously like folks expected."

The low turnout is good news for Portland, since city council was unable to agree on a filing fee in time for the first day of claims--or, more accurately, the council couldn't agree that Mayor Katz's $200 fee would adequately recoup bureaucratic costs. (Portland stands alone in this position, as nearly every other municipality in the state was able to come to an agreement in time to prepare for Measure 37 claims.)

Multnomah County instituted a $1500 fee. By press time, the county had received only two claims. SCOTT MOORE

OLCC HOLIDAY CHEER Does the Liquor Control Commission hate small businesses? During the last week in November, OLCC agents conducted sting operations on 85 small businesses in Multnomah and Clackamas counties. But instead of visiting bars and restaurants that cater to a young crowd (chain restaurants like T.G.I. Friday's and college bars), the OLCC targeted upscale establishments like Wine Down and Higgins--venues which don't typically see anyone under 30 and haven't previously been cited for underage service. And, instead of sending in agents to check patrons' IDs, resorted to a sting operation using underage volunteers.

None of the proprietors targeted wanted to go on record, citing a fear of further recrimination from the OLCC. But nearly one-third of the businesses have said that the stings amounted to entrapment. Several also believe the OLCC has targeted small business because they lack the resources to fight tickets. SM