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  • 21 Nov 2014

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  • 22 Nov 2014

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Mark & Dave: Arts tax? Back to drawing board

Do you know how many Portlanders actually paid their $35 arts tax last year? Only about 55 percent. So now, the city is hiring debt collectors to go after the folks who fail to pay. Just what we need, another overly aggressive rude person taking money out of your pocket and giving it to the city of Portland. Sounds like a job for Randy Leonard.

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Clearly the city of Portland needs to find a better way to collect the arts tax. Here’s an idea: Just tack it to the water bill — problem solved. Oh, strike that. There’s no room left on that bill.

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Cops in Portland soon will be walking a beat in a handful of neighborhoods. Officials think that more one-on-one interaction between officers and citizens will reduce crime rates. It’s also a great way to tell if you live in a bad neighborhood. If cops are the only people walking your streets, then you do.

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A burglary suspect in Vancouver was tackled and held down by an alert homeowner last week. In the course of the struggle, the suspect pleaded to be released because he had just, as he said, “pooped his pants ...” The homeowner immediately recognized the would-be burglar was telling the truth, but refused to let him go. We won’t lie, we would have let go. Would you have continued to hold him down? Now let’s see how well he can hold it together in prison.

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Here’s something that will make you feel, well, small. A sixth-grader from Oklahoma set the national record for Girl Scout cookie sales at 18,107 boxes. These weren’t office sales either, but at the 12-year-old’s stand — which she set up weekdays after school and on weekends, often putting in more than 40 hours per week. The No. 1 seller? Thin Mints. This might explain the rapid rise in Oklahoma’s obesity rate.

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You read the story about the Portland woman who saved $3,000 as a down payment for her dream home, only to be forced to choose between the house or her dog’s emergency surgery. She was just about to decide when a pet fundraising website raised more money than she needed. Interesting how we will jump to the aid of animals we don’t know, but when it comes time to throw a few bucks at Right 2 Dream Too, hey, don’t touch my wallet.

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Our Vancouver readers will be happy to hear that Washington State made WalletHub’s list of Top 10 states with the lowest taxes. Clearly they didn’t factor in those souls who work across the border in Oregon. All of a sudden no one is smiling anymore. Wyoming is the state that taxes its citizens least at 66 percent below the national average. Then again, you’d have to live in Wyoming, so there’s that.

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Tim Carr, a Republican who wants to be governor, says legalizing marijuana and taxing it heavily would make Oregon an economic juggernaut. And while he was quick to tell us he is not a user (but some of his friends are) he won’t turn a blind eye to weed and hemp’s economic potential. “Things grow here!” We’re not sure what shocks us more: that a candidate is ready to turn us into America’s pot supplier, or that it was a Republican who said it.

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An Alaska state senator wants women to take pregnancy tests before drinking in bars. Why? He wants to do away with fetal alcohol syndrome. He claims if women find out they’re pregnant at the bar they’ll stop drinking. And we think when they sober up, they’ll vote for his opponent. Mark and Dave suggest background checks on all the men who enter bars. Let’s make sure they have the means to support a child before they start drinking. You with us?

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Kudos to Metal Toad, the Portland web development company that’s asking Gov. John Kitzhaber to think twice about totally ditching the Cover Oregon website for the federal version. For a cool $10 million they think they can deliver a functional made-in-Oregon model. The guv likes to suggest that we, as citizens, shop at home. Maybe he can do the same? Just saying, if we’re wasting money anyway, why not waste it in

Oregon?

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The Miami Marlins team president wants the major league baseball franchise to play faster. He said the games are taking too long. Not if you’re the Hillsboro Hops. Compared with the drive from Portland to Hillsboro, the game flies by.

Listen to Mark and Dave from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays on AM 860 KPAM. Follow them at www.facebook.com/themarkanddaveshow.