T   H   H  E
  T   H   H  E
  T   H   H  EEEEE

PPPP   OOOO  RRRR  TTTTT L       A   N   N DDDD  I   A   N   N TM
P   P O    O R   R   T   L      A A  NN  N D   D I  A A  NN  N
PPPP  O    O RRRR    T   L     AAAAA N N N D   D I AAAAA N N N
P     O    O R   R   T   L     A   A N  NN D   D I A   A N  NN
P      OOOO  R   R   T   LLLLL A   A N   N DDDD  I A   A N   N

The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News

November 12, 2002 Edition - ANNUAL TONYA BIRTHDAY EDITION
(C) 2002 Portland Ice Skating Society

As any Tonyaphile knows, today is Tonya's birthday. We celebrate 
it with an extra-long edition of The Portlandian, full to the 
brim with lots of Tonya and skating related news and a good dose 
of ISU and USFSA bashing, as always.


As Tonya puts the unfortunate events of April behind her, she's 
stepped into another legal wrangle - but this time she's the 

We've always thought Tonya was rather saucy, and so, it appears, 
does someone else. Tonya may not know that Paul Newman makes 
salad dressing, but she certainly knows who's been making hot 
sauce with her name on it - and making money at her expense.

Back several months ago we reported in our "Skate Oddities" 
series about a novelty Tonya item spotted on e-Bay: a bottle of 
hot sauce featuring a rather unflattering cartoon rendition of 
our favorite skater. Well, this item hasn't amused Tonya, and 
she's now threatened a lawsuit against the maker, one Jon Farmer 
and his PDX Hot Lix company.

Farmer says he developed the recipe and has it made to order. The 
label was done by Portland cartoonist Joe Spooner. It's been sold 
in Made in Oregon stores, amongst others, for around $5, but was 
pulled from the shelves recently after a cease and desist letter 
from Tonya's lawyer.

Tonya's San Diego-based attorney William Markham says: "(The 
label) portrays her as cigarette-smoking, bubble-gum-chewing 
trailer trash and that's not who Tonya Harding is". "She is a 
world-class athlete who trained for years on end, and in a 
horrible episode lost all that." "She went from Olympic contender 
to a publicly notorious person who, to pay her bills, has to 
trade on her ignominity," he said. "That's bad enough. Then to 
profiteer from it at her expense... that's wrong."

We think he's hit the nail on the head. Cartoons and comic books 
are one thing but commercial products like hot sauce are a 
different matter and are not considered protected free speech 
under US law. This appears to be one area where Tonya is on firm 
legal ice.

If you want to take a look at the sauce, you can see some 
pictures of it on our "photos" page:

A Portland area TV station also has an item about it, including a 
video clip that can be viewed, at:


Tonya's former manager, Michael Rosenberg, is working on a new 
cable TV channel that is every skating fan's dream: called The 
Ice Channel, the station plans to feature non-stop re-runs of 
skating contests and skating-oriented movies.

You can see a sample listing of their proposed programming at 
their web site at (though don't bother if 
you're using Netscape 4.x - it won't display at all. Mozilla and 
IE seem to work fine, though).

We think that this could be the perfect opportunity to get Tonya 
on the tube, maybe doing a bit of commentating, or perhaps even 
her own show. It could be called "Harding's Half Hour", and would 
feature Tonya as a skating schock-jock making outrageous and 
controversial statements, like that Speedy should be hung up by 
his private bits and boiled in oil. Oh wait, I forgot - that 
wouldn't be controversial.

By the way, the E! channel is also re-running its "True Hollywood 
Story" feature on Tonya over the next few days, on Nov 13 and 18. 
If you've never seen this, it's well worth a tape.


October saw skating history being made, with not one but two 
ladies landing triple axels at the Skate America contest. With 
their achievements, Yukari Nakano of Japan and Ludmila Nelidina 
of Russia became the first ladies apart from Tonya and Midori Ito 
to land this jump in a major competition. Nakano, who is trained 
by Midori Ito's coach, Machiko Yamada, also did one in Japan 
earlier in the month at the Chuba regional contest. Another of 
Yamada's proteges, 12-year old Mao Asada, did one the day before 
in the novice A section at the same contest.

Those who saw the Nakano and Nelidina axels, however, generally 
regarded them as inferior to both Tonya's and Midori's. Indeed, 
the overall consensus was that the rest of their skating was not 
very good. We think it is testimony to Tonya's achievement that 
it has taken almost 12 years for more skaters to join her in this 
exclusive club.

There's even been one done recently on roller skates!


Back in March we wrote:

   Le Gougne's ever changing accounts of what went on raise some 
   interesting questions: for instance, is she actually a    
   nutcase? Or is she someone just trying to save her sorry ass 
   now that the scam has been blown? It's tempting to think so. 
   Certainly her retraction is inconsistent with statements made 
   by Jon Jackson, an ISU judge and a lawyer, who has said he was 
   present during the exchange with Sally Stapleford when Le 
   Gougne is alleged to have said to her: "I did this for my 
   dance team. It's a deal with the Russians, first place for 
   first place." But is there something even more sinister going 
   on? Those who know Le Gougne say that until this incident she    
   had a reputation as being a qualified and reliable judge. Le 
   Gougne herself has claimed that she has been "subjected to a 
   series of physical and verbal attacks". Is Le Gougne being 
   used as a scapegoat for dirty deals being done higher up?

Well, it looks as if our speculations have proven to be right - 
just when the skating corruption scandal semed to be as bad as it 
could get, it got worse: what was already something extremely 
seedy and disgusting has now turned into something criminal with 
the arrest of an Uzbek man with ties to Eurasian organized crime.

Alimazan Tokhtakhounov is alleged to have links to drug & arms 
dealing, art smuggling and stolen vehicles. He was also earlier 
accused of involvement in a plot to extort $10 million from the 
head of a Russian sports foundation. Wiretaps by Italian 
investigators involving matters unrelated to skating recorded a 
conversation between him and another man identified only as 
"Chevalier", in which he discussed rigging the results at Salt 
Lake City. Also recorded were incriminating conversations between 
Tokhtakhounov and French ice dancer Marina Anissina and also 
Anissina's mother. Tokhtakhounov is now being sought by the FBI, 
who want to extradite him from Italy where he currently resides.

Quoted in the New York Times, former ISU council member Claire 
Ferguson said "So much has happened in the past - Tonya and 
Nancy, everything - but this could reach a whole new level as far 
as damage to the sport". "It's very serious and frightening. No 
one knows what is coming next" said Ferguson, was also head of 
the USFSA at the time of the Tonya/Nancy scandal.

With this comes a possibility that everybody except our readers 
will probably find shocking: that Russian skating may be in fact 
controlled by the mafia. It also is a blistering indictment of 
the ISU, who after supposedly conducting a full investigation 
into the irregularities of the 2002 Winter Olympics completely 
missed this aspect altogether.

Some people have accused us of being anti-Russian with our 
comments earlier this year about cheating by the former Soviet 
bloc countries. We're not anti-Russian, merely anti-cheating, and 
these revelations back up our claims that cheating and corruption 
are deeply ingrained in the skating culture of that part of the 
world. They also dispose of the last feebly-hanging tissues of 
credibility that the self-righteous Tonyaphobes may have had in 
their concerns about Tonya violating the "sportsmanship" of 


2002's Skate America may have come and gone, but a short, barely 
noticed thread on back in November 
of last year about the previous Skate America shows the spirit of 
Ebenezer Scrooge is alive and well at the USFSA.

In a "security" policy that sounds like something the World 
Bodyguard Service would dream up, the USFSA instructed its staff 
to junk the dozens of teddy bears, stuffed animals and other 
gifts thrown onto the ice at 2001's Skate America contest 
because of fears they might be contaminated with anthrax.

Given the apparent concern for the safety of its skaters, you'd 
expect the USFSA would follow this up by having these supposedly 
highly dangerous objects collected from the ice by guys dressed 
in space suits and then sealed up in plastic bags and incinerated 
as is normal with hazardous waste. But no. Instead the toys were 
collected by children given the stringent protection of - rubber 
gloves!!! The toys were then tossed in with the normal trash. 
Apparently the USFSA doesn't care if the garbage collector is 
exposed to anthrax. Heck, at least the kids had gloves.

Equally laughable was the fact that this policy was not 
accompanied by equally strict security elsewhere at the rink. 
There were, according to the posters to rssif who were present, 
no background checks on food service staff, surely a much easier 
avenue for those wanting to sabotage the event. Indeed, some of 
the food staff weren't even observing basic hygiene practices, 
with loose hair spotted by some observers dangling into the food. 
Apparently anthrax from teddy bears is bad but botulism from 
poorly prepared food is okay to the the USFSA's security gurus. 
Nor is it consistent with the policy of the IOC, who imposed no 
ban on such objects at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

To cap it off, as is typical of the USFSA's bungling bureaucracy, 
there was no public announcement that such gifts were banned for 
security reasons, nor were the skaters even told. No doubt many 
foreign skaters must think Americans are a bunch of tightwads as 
a result. Too bad, also, for the many skating fans who must have 
wasted thousands of dollars on such gifts, money that could have 
perhaps been redirected to something more beneficial for skaters, 
like a donation to the USFSA's Memorial Fund, rather than spent 
on toys to be tossed in the trash. Attempts by fans to even find 
out what was and wasn't allowed were fruitless, with nobody being 
able to give a straight answer, about par for the course for this 

Since then, the policy seems to have been relaxed - now only toys 
brought in from outside banned. Fans can now buy stuffed toys at 
arena to toss (the fact these toys can be tampered with after 
purchase seems to have escaped these guys). Which, of course, 
brings us to what's probably the the real reason is for this 
policy: like the camera policy, it's just an excuse to make 
people buy overpriced merchandise rather than allowing people to 
take their own photographs and bring their own gifts.

The events of September 11 were despicable. But in our opinion 
almost as bad as the terrorists are the sleazebags who exploit 
legitimate "security" concerns as a cover for money grubbing and 
profiteering. I'm sure Bill Gates, Mr Monopoly himself, would be 
proud of the way the USFSA is gradually doing to skating what he 
so successfully has done to the software market.


We resume our series in which former "Skater" editor Joe Haran 
gives his perspective of his time with Tonya. Tonight, Joe talks 
about what happened to Tonya in the months following the 1994 
"incident", in particular how one of Tonya's romantic partners 
not only sabotaged her attempts to defend herself against the 
USFSA but also scuttled her attempt at a film career.

13 December 1999

Terry Hall, Head
Special Duties Section
Portland Ice Skating Society
New Zealand

Dear Terry,

Thank you for your message!  Yes, I think my problems in fully 
accessing various Tonya M. Harding sites are due to the antiquity 
of my equipment; but I shall contact my mentor in these Apple 
matters, Robin H. Shaylor, to see if there's any more system-
tweaking I can do.  Regarding upper-case sensitivity:  yes, I 
learned from Robin that care must be taken in that area; so 
whenever I enter any URL I always use lower case.  It's only in 
letterhead, address and body-of-letter situations that I use both 


Okay, I'll try describing bits of the situation surrounding 
Tonya's involvement with Douglas Lemon.  

When Tonya vanished from my view behind the Linda (Cloud)-
Stephanie-Vonnie Wall in January of 1994, I figured it would only 
be a matter of a few days until I would see her again.  By "see 
her" I mean "be with her" as in the past.  Apart from a few very-
brief encounters at the skating rink, that former state of 
relations never re-materialized.  As the weeks and months wore 
on, I became both angry and sad that my excellent little friend 
had gone away.  Of course, I was heartbroken for her: 
vilification in the public media, extreme punishment by the 
justice system, cruel punishment by sports-governing bodies, et 
cetera.  I longed to see her, to give her a big hug and tell her 
how much I cared for her and how much she meant to so many of us, 
et cetera.  But that was not to be.

In spite of my efforts in defending Tonya to the media circus, 
which efforts were appreciated by journalists in the field but 
not by their bosses in home offices -- in spite of my well-
received "PDXS" cover article about Tonya in June of 1994 -- and 
in spite of my history of support for her, Linda Cloud and Vonnie 
Reifenrath continued to stone-wall with feeble excuses my 
attempts at discovering from them why Tonya would not see me.  I 
had known for some time that Tonya's latest boyfriend, Douglas 
Lemon, was a jerk:  he told people with whom he worked that he 
didn't care for Tonya, but was only using her for sex and would 
"take her for all she's worth" money-wise and then dump her.  
Nevertheless, Tonya was smitten by Lemon.  And Cloud couldn't 
have been happier. 

Lemon was a loading-dock worker at the large Meier and Frank 
department store at Clackamas Town Center.  I don't know how they 
initially met, but she developed a relationship with him during 
the time in '93 when she and Gillooly were apart.  Lemon would go 
to rinkside during his work breaks to watch Tonya skate; but he 
would always do so from the upper level, never coming down to 
rink level.  He'd stand there with his arms folded across his 
chest, usually in the company of several co-workers from the 
loading dock.

For reasons known not only to herself, Lemon's mother Cloud kept 
encouraging Tonya to please Lemon at all costs -- a task Tonya 
embarked upon with maximum effort:  constantly trying to please 
him at the expense of her skating career  (she didn't go to the 
United States Figure Skating Association [USFSA] hearing at which 
she was banned for life, though a prominent civil-rights attorney 
had thoroughly prepared her defense and was stunned when Tonya 
decided not to appeal), because Lemon didn't want her to go; 
constantly trying to please him at the expense of her sojourn 
into film making (Lemon, against the wishes of the producers, 
insisted Tonya not do anything "sexy" nor even so much as kiss 
anyone); constantly playing a totally-submissive role at home 
(Lemon would rant and rave at Tonya whenever anything to do with 
figure skating came up, he would order her to send visitors away, 
et cetera); spending her hard-earned money on a house in the 
riparian Oak Grove area of the City of Milwaukie, which house was 
in both their names; et cetera.  Well, as attorneys say, "there 
came a time" when I'd reached the limit of my tolerance for the 
Cloud/Lemon machine.  (Dan Cloud was actually a nice guy, but he 
wasn't up to the task of intervening in this catch-Tonya campaign 
of his wife's.)

There was, no doubt, a manifestation of my depressed state of 
mind involved in what I did next.  Consider the survival-mode 
nature of my life at that time:  angry at Tonya's failure to 
communicate, bereft of money, depressed by the loss of Tonya's 
friendship and by the difficulties thrust upon her, homeless, 
retaining few friends, scrounging for food (called "cruising" by 
the homeless community), et cetera.  An acquaintance of mine, 
also upset by Lemon's stifling of Tonya's future, suggested I 
write an over-the-top handout which he would distribute rinkside 
at Clackamas Town Center.  Well, I wrote it:  a biting and 
sarcastic announcement of the formation of a "Doug Lemon Fan 
Club."  Everything I wrote, apart from the assertion that the 
non-existent "fan club" actual did exist, was true. I had 
impeccable sources, who were ear/eye witnesses to all these Tonya 
events.  No, I should never have done such a thing:  Tonya's 
"private" life, however masochistic and screwed up, was after all 
hers to endure come what may; and even though her future was 
going down the tubes thanks to love-map genetics, I should have 
left the whole thing alone.

A few nights after that literary creation was distributed in 
small numbers (not by me, as I never again went to Clackamas Town 
Center after The End For Tonya had come in April of 1994) -- as I 
was sitting on the floor of the print shop whose proprietor 
kindly let me sleep there (he gave me a key to the shop) -- I 
heard a loud banging on the front door.  Looking around the 
corner to the front-office area, I saw Cloud and Tonya outside 
the glass entrance-doors.  So, she knew where I was all along!  
My little ex-buddy had been shown a copy of the handout and had 
exclaimed:  "That's Joe's writing!"  No dummy, this Tonya 
Harding.  Unaware of whether or not a hitch-hiking ploy was in 
effect -- you know, where the girls do the thumbing and the guys 
run out of the bushes when the car stops -- I just kept quiet.  
Muscle-man Lemon was renowned for his physical violence; and his 
posse comitatus of pals was well-known for the same reason.  
Tonya and Cloud then went to the side door and banged on that for 
a time.  They finally gave up and went away.

Shortly thereafter, Linda Cloud went to the United States 
Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) Portland Medical Center to 
lodge a complaint against me:  I was a danger to Tonya, et 
cetera; an out-of-control mental case, et cetera.  Well, she 
didn't get anywhere with that ploy.  There's no USDVA vehicle for 
non-verifiable "complaints" made against "patients" by people 
coming in off the street.  Besides, I was in regular private 
sessions with USDVA mental-health professionals at the time:  a 
psychiatrist, a psychologist and a social worker who acted as my 
therapist.  Had it not been for those caring and dedicated 
people, I might not have survived that era.  So, I never even 
heard about Cloud's complaint from anyone at the USDVA.  Another 
one of my excellent sources told me about it, though; and we both 
had a good laugh.  Nobody, especially not Cloud, believed I was a 
monstrous bad guy; but Cloud was a master at control -- and my 
ill-conceived prank was just the sort of thing she had to jump 
on.  Even the remotest possibility that she and her beloved son 
wouldn't end up with Tonya's money was cause for drastic action.  
Joe the Exposer must be debunked!  Or, Joe the Debunker must be 
exposed!  Well, the January 1995 edition of "PDXS" set forth 
Lemon's character; and since nobody complained to the newspaper 
about that second well-received cover article of mine. . . .

So there:  I've said it.  Yes, I did something that made Tonya 
mad; but that was well after she'd originally stopped talking to 
me.  The only silver lining to that period of time is the fact 
that Tonya and Lemon are no longer together, in spite of her 
then-often-repeated and just-as-often-denied requests for his 
hand in marriage.  (She even wanted to lend Lemon the money to 
buy her a "promise ring" which she'd asked him for, but he never 
gave her one.)  This happy result would undoubtedly have come 
about regardless of my stupid prank or any other external action.  
All I can say further is this:  I am very sorry, from the bottom 
of my heart, if that incident or anything else I may have ever 
done/not done or said/not said hurt Tonya; and I hope some day 
she will forgive me my shortcomings.  After all, she seems to 
have found religion and should therefore be familiar with the 
concept of forgiveness.  I am in no way mad at Tonya; and as I've 
stated in a previous letter, I no longer blame her nor find fault 
with her for having mysteriously written me off in January of 
1994.  But, as Tonya is nevertheless responsible in that matter, 
I do want to hear about it directly from her.  I am, in fact, 
only sad about the way things turned out between us -- because I 
miss her very much; and I think she could have benefited from our 
continued friendship.  I know I would have.  I would like to 
apologize to her for any perceived wrongs for which she holds me 
responsible; but that must be accomplished in person, face-to-
face.  Now comes an incident, based upon a mistaken 
identification, which has puzzled me for years:  Tonya's claim 
that I was a stalker.

This might have been pay-back for the "Doug Lemon Fan Club" 
incident; or, she may have actually thought I was stalking her.  
Well, I wasn't.  I avoided her known environs at all times -- the 
totality of her environs being unknown to me anyway. One day in 
late 1994, when Tonya was at the rink, she called out to her 
phalanx of hangers-on:  "There's Joe!"  Supposedly, I was sitting 
near the railing on the upper-floor level of the skating-rink 
area.  She took off running with Merrill Eichenberger (her 
"manager" at the time), Reifenrath and others trailing behind; 
and she ran up the escalator to the sighting area, saying: "This 
is where he was sitting!  Look! There's his food!"  This upper 
tier was the location for that modern shopping-mall banality, the 
"food court."  Tonya then ran through the gawking-at-her-
bouncing-anatomy maze of shoppers, with the puffing non-athletes 
trying to keep up, to the nearest exit-door area; but, gee, I was 
nowhere to be found.

That's because I wasn't there in the first damned place!  I 
sometimes wonder what she would have done or told me, should I 
have been there.  By the way, Tonya's big beautiful blue eyes 
don't see perfectly anyway:  she's supposed to wear corrective 
lenses for driving, but she didn't when I knew her.  She kept her 
pair of glasses in her purse, just in case she ever got pulled 
over.  Upon hearing of this incident, I broke my self-imposed 
exile and went to Clackamas Town Center in order to tell the 
security people that I wasn't stalking Tonya.  I did this more to 
reassure her than to get myself off any hook.  The security 
people ho-hummed the whole thing:  the former chief of security, 
promoted to shopping-mall manager, had gotten to know me from the 
days of The Tonya Harding Fan Club (THFC) and the media-circus 
episode; and he knew I wouldn't engage in such a depraved 
activity.  But rumors like that can have a life of their own; and 
I'd be pleasantly surprised if today's Tonya Guards haven't been 
told about it.  If Tonya has refrained from any further spreading 
of this rumor, I thank her.

I'm sorry for spending so much time talking about the Tonya-Joe 
relationship, but I've wanted to get it all off my chest anyhow.  
I honestly cannot think of any other phenomena which could be 
factors in Tonya's present-day attitude toward me.  I rest my 
case on this entire subject-matter area and throw myself upon the 
mercy of whomever reads this:  namely, yourself and those to whom 
you may pass this on.






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