President Barack Obama's transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, came to town this week, calling the Rose City a "model for the rest of the country" as he met with streetcar advocates and a small invite-only crowd from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. (He was even supposed to bike across the Hawthorne Bridge one morning, before deciding he was too "under the weather" to make the trip.) LaHood is the head of a federal agency, the US Department of Transportation, which historically has been overwhelmingly car-centric. But he promised Portlanders that the feds would no longer "favor" cars over transit, biking, and walking. SARAH MIRK

More than 150 workers at Dosha Salon Spa's four Portland-area locations are set to decide by the end of this month—March 29 and 30—whether they ought to form a union and join the Communications Workers of America Local 7901. The union drive is aimed as much at increasing pay as it as at improving working conditions for the chain's employees, supporters say. It's not the first time employees have mounted a union drive—and the election is expected to be hard fought. Some employees who don't support the union have appeared on Lars Larson's radio show, and management reportedly is pressing hard to make its own case for the status quo. DENIS C. THERIAULT