Down The Drain

Last Saturday, 65 members of ACORN--an advocacy group for low- and moderate-income families--dumped buckets of water and muck down the sewers in front of PGE Park. They were there objecting to the way the sewer system is run in Portland--a system they believe takes advantage of low-income residents.

Specifically, ACORN members object to fees imposed on residents in SE Portland for storm water sewers. Even though they have been forced to pay a series of fees, the majority of streets in those neighborhoods do not even have storm sewer drains nearby, according to Andrew Ginsberg from ACORN.

The city appears to be listening. "We are absolutely very concerned about this," says Rich Rodgers, assistant to Erik Sten. "We know these bills really add up," he explained. "We're doing everything we can to help these folks out." The city plans to meet with members of ACORN later this week. KATIA DUNN

Asleep On The Job

When Oregon Department of Forestry agents chased a protester from his tree-sit last week, they may have thought they won that round against activists. But it seems as if their overly aggressive tactics--hounding the protester in a tree until he fell asleep and plummeted 60 feet to the ground--has ignited a new fervor against the state's forest service.

This past summer, two local environmental groups, Cascadia Forest Alliance and Hard Rain Alliance, turned their attention to logging in God's Valley, a coastal state forest. Those protests came to a boil when several activists perched in trees intended for logging. Attempting to dislodge them, loggers cut out the tree from underneath one protester, Tre Arrow. He leapt to the nearby branches of another tree, but fell after dozing off.

"There is no excuse for how [they] handled us out there," said Arrow in a recorded statement. He suffered a broken hip and collapsed lung. "It bordered on attempted murder, to be honest," he added.

Last week, environmentalists demanded that Governor Kitzhaber drop charges against 20 protesters who were arrested at the logging site and insisted on an extensive investigation into the official involved in Arrow's accident. In spite of protests, on October 16, ODF auctioned off more coastal old growth for logging. JOSEPHINE MARTELL