Portland lost a popular member of the local scene last Wednesday, August 10, when 27-year-old Eliot Manion drowned in the Pacific Ocean near Lincoln City. Eliot was well-loved, and involved in various local activities including coaching the Rose City Rollers Roller Derby Team, participating in Portland Organic Wrestling, and playing softball with a local business league. He was an employee and friend of the West Burnside bar, the Matador. Eliot was born on January 18, 1978 in New Mexico, and moved to Portland five years ago. Sunday night the Matador hosted a well-attended memorial service. Friend Ahren Lutz says about Manion, "He was really generous and cared about his friends a lot." The Mercury would like to send our condolences to Eliot's friends and family. He will be missed. KATIE SHIMER


It's been a bad summer so far for bicyclists, with 10 cyclists and pedestrians already killed in accidents involving cars. But although Mayor Tom Potter started off his term with a highly publicized ride with Critical Mass, since then he has largely remained mum about cyclists' rights.

In the absence of action or even words from city officials addressing biker rights, a group of bike enthusiasts have stepped forward to demand more attention.

Last week, the website www.bikeportland.org asked its readers for "close calls" submissions. That site is normally devoted to announcing fun-related cycle events, but within 48 hours the site was plastered with three dozen accounts of harrowing "close calls" and minor accidents that could have easily been worse. There were even a couple of apologies from motorists.

Organizers say they hope to gather up stories and use them to lobby city officials to do something to improve safety for cyclists in town.

The issue of cyclist safety has been steadily increasing over the past few years. Two summers ago, two members of the Spooky Dance Band were killed when a drunk driver plowed through them. They were biking along SE Belmont at the time. The driver was traveling 70 mph on the residential street. Earlier this summer, Willamette Week reporter Angela Valdez was struck when a car swerved in front of her. She was thrown to the pavement and fractured her spine; she is still recovering. PB