State of Whose City?

On Friday, January 20, at noon, Mayor Tom Potter is slated to deliver his State of the City speech—his first major address since taking office last year. But good luck getting a seat: While mayors around the country tend to give State of the City speeches to the city council, at city hall, Potter—following in Vera Katz's elitist footsteps—is keeping with Portland tradition and giving his speech at the City Club's Friday Forum. The $20 luncheon is sold out, but if you've got $5, you might be able to squeeze into the cheap seats to hear Potter wax on about public involvement.

"When the City Club issued its invitation, we quickly accepted," explains John Doussard, Potter's spokesperson. "While it's too late to do anything about it this year, I will talk with Tom about other venues in the future." Like a community center, he added. AMY JENNIGES

Dignity Upheld

Enjoy it while you can; for now, at least, the US Supreme Court appears perfectly willing to put the smack down on the Bush administration when it oversteps its bounds. In a 6-3 ruling, the Court upheld Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, telling the attorney general's office it use the Controlled Substances Act to prevent physician-assisted suicide. Dissenting were Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and—somewhat tellingly—new Chief Justice John Roberts. The case, Gonzales v. Oregon, was the first Roberts heard at the high court and was expected to test whether he would side with his professed "state's rights" philosophy or if he would toady up to religious conservatives. Guess we know the answer. SCOTT MOORE

First Things First Files

On Tuesday, January 17—the last day to file—the First Things First Committee sent the city auditor 40,988 signatures to get a repeal of the Voter-Owned Elections on the citywide ballot this May. The auditor will verify the names on the list, but the group only needs 26,691 valid names to qualify. SM