As the State Turns

Because Backwash Wasn’t Depressing Enough
Nasr Iskander, a minimart owner in Salem, was just hit with a two-year prison sentence. But why?! Not Iskander!!! Noooooooo!

Because this piece of sh*t was trading cash for food stamps at a 200 percent, a 50 percent… at a profit that requires math to word the right way. Math I’m not willing to do. Basically, you give this dude $200 in food stamps, and he gives you $100 in cash. The scam involved Iskander making fake charges to the store and pocketing the profits. According to OregonLive, he ripped the state off for nearly $190,000 over the last few years. That’s literally, without taking into account any potential bulk discount, like 190,000 burritos that should’ve gone into the stomachs of food-insecure Oregonians.

At long last, my burrito math has paid off.

Ahem. Anyway, clearly the people were in on the scam, as they willingly forked over their cards. So, there’s that. Message to those folks: thanks for abusing a system that some people actually rely on to survive. Good job, I hope that crack was worth it. People still smoke crack, right?

Iskander wasn’t alone in his bustingness, I should note. A relative and employee of his, Karima Hanna, was also implicated.

As part of Iskander’s plea, he has to pay the money back, and has started with $50,000. I’m surprised he could come up with that kind of money, considering his defense was basically, “I had to do it to support myself because business is hard.”

Lol, good one.

Mussels Muscle In
I’ll be honest with you, I’m only talking about this topic so I could write that headline. Let’s get it over with.

Mussels. Nobody knows what they are, but they’re gross and invasive. Errbody is trying to keep two species of mussel, zebras and quaggas (who the f*ck names these things?), from hitching a ride in on boats. Why? Because they breed like crazy, kill endangered clams and sh*t, and have very few predators on the continent. In fact, the Columbia River Basin is the only U.S. River system left that isn’t totally infected with the buggers.

Who cares, right? Everyone should. You know the Great Lakes? The infestation there costs like half a billion dollars a year to keep in check (that’s a lot of clams). Remember the Lake Huron salmon industry (of course you do)? Poof, gone. These squishy little bastards apparently change the ecology so drastically that all of the nutrients, etc. end up circulating only at the bottom.

Mussels. Damn.

Both Oregon and Montana (where the basin starts) are doing a lot to fight what seems like an impending doom, doubling inspections and implementing other regulations I’m too lazy to look up. State, local, the tribes, the federal government… everybody is freaking out. Now I’m freaking out. I haven’t spontaneously learned to hate an animal so much since that wiener dog chased me down the street in second grade.

Well. At least that got interesting.

Did You Know…
…that last Friday was “National Pizza Day?” Me neither, until I read about a Northeast Portland Dominos being robbed on it. Seems like it was worth mentioning for the irony. Though, that’s not really ironic… more like just a coincidence. Either way, I wrote it, you read it. Congratulations: the cycle is complete. You did your part. Just send in your name and address and we’ll get that super cool Corvallis Advocate beanie out to you. Your kids are going to want to steal it!

There is no beanie.

Portland Sends $900,000 Worth Of Stuff To Ukraine
A Ukrainian immigrant living in Troutdale has organized this whole she-bang for three years in a row now, rallying Medical Teams International and Emmanuel Mercy Mission. All sorts of medical supplies make up the nearly one million dollars of merch – including everything from gauze to wheelchairs. Ukraine is in year four of serious military conflict, which has basically screwed their economy and left many hospitals without supplies.

My hope is that one day Ukraine will return the favor after Donald Trump drives us into the ground.

Nerd in Bad Disguise Wanted in Bank Robberies
There’s a nerd in a beanie, some dorky glasses, and his grandma’s sweater robbing banks in Wilsonville, and the police want your help. As in, they want you to call them if you know who this goof is. Clearly, he needs to be protected from himself.

So far, he has robbed two banks in just a few weeks, and has gone the, “here’s a note with my demands, Ms. Teller,” route. None of the information out there explains whether or not he had a weapon or something else to threaten them with. Maybe his penmanship is just really pleasant… he looks the type.

My guess is that the crime spree has resulted from running out of paints for his Warhammer 40,000 collection. Hey, that sh*t adds up.

By Johnny Beaver