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  • 24 Nov 2014

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Mark & Dave: Portland a sweet spot for Halloween loot

According to Zillow, Portland ranks No. 9 on the list of best cities for Halloween trick or treating — based on safety, how far kids have to walk and how much candy they can get. San Francisco was No. 1. Guessing Portland would have ranked higher if we didn’t require reusable bags.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you. The city of Portland is warning businesses that use “A-board” signs to drum up customers that they may be in violation of city code. You know the signs we’re talking about, mini A-frames that adorn too many sidewalks in front of too many stores, impeding the public right of way. There are so many A-frames in the Pearl it makes you feel like a hurdler.

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Portland International Airport was rated America’s No. 1 airport by Travel & Leisure Magazine’s readers, the almost 90 percent on-time record being a major factor, along with the MAX light rail to and from downtown. We rode the Red Line from PDX to downtown recently and found some very intimidating characters stepping on and off the train, happy to use seats reserved for seniors and disabled and not surrender them.

We witnessed a woman who was hopelessly harassed for her phone number (she ended up claiming she was a lesbian to fend off the wolves), a MAX operator who looked like she just stepped out of the Right 2 Dream Too camp, and wide-eyed tourists who were no doubt re-thinking why they took this train. All this in a 30-minute ride downtown. The words of Obi-Wan Kenobi echoed down the line: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. ...”

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The Chalkboard Project’s survey of high-school students surprised many when results showed most students think school is too easy and that too many inept teachers are still on the payroll. Who among us ever would have admitted that school was too easy? We must be teaching them something because they certainly know how to complain.

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The government is up and running 100 percent again, and you can feel the vibe! We kind of liked the shutdown. It was nice to have a couple of weeks without fear of the IRS. It was relaxing to have real conversations without the NSA listening in. But, as Rep. Greg Walden said, the agreements to open the government are only temporary. We feel the same way about those elected representatives who ran us aground ... temporary.

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Have you picked up on the latest trend in movies? The hottest flicks in town are Sandra Bullock’s “Gravity,” Tom Hanks’ “Captain Phillips” and Robert Redford’s “All Is Lost.”

No, the trend is not a bunch of geezers holding their own at the box office — it’s the story arc to these movies. Survival. Something in these past five years of economic disaster, war, violence, and out of control government dysfunction has left us all feeling like the antihero in these movies: Alone, adrift, and facing what we’ve made of (and what’s left of) our lives. And without any spoilers, these movies awaken the possibilities in us to be our best.

There’s a hunger out there, and these filmmakers have tapped into it. Now if they could only turn Congress

into a rom-com.

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Be careful what you wish for. Petitions will make the rounds that could end with the creation of a Portland water and sewer district. As the Trib reported last week, already being questioned are words in the proposed measure that include prohibitions to “privatize” or “regionalize” Portland’s water system. Read this or any future proposals carefully. A major brokerage firm just last year wrote an industry piece on water, calling it an “under-invested corner of the market.” And you know when those Wall Street types get their talons into a public resource, little, if any, good ever comes of it. At least for the end user it doesn’t, and you know who that is.

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A Dallas, Texas, teacher has been fired for posing nude for Playboy. She did not work for the school when the photos were published, but parents complained anyway. Not sure about you, but, growing up, this was never an issue in our school. Maybe because all of our teachers looked like Aunt Bea.

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A Medford couple accused of joining the Mile High Club on a flight from Vegas have each agreed to pay a $250 fine. Boy, those airlines have a fee for everything.

Mark & Dave are back on the air! Listen to Mark & Dave from 3 to 6 p.m. weekday afternoons on KPAM 860 AM.