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November 21, 2014 12:02 PM

UO Ducks football player Marcus Mariota got a speeding ticket. And paid his fine, the R-G reports. Not only is he good with the law now. He's good with God.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota on Thursday quickly put a speeding ticket behind him, pleading “no contest” to the traffic violation and paying off a $260 fine, according to Lane County Circuit Court records.

Mariota, 21, could have asked a judge to reduce the penalty he faced after a state trooper ticketed him during the early morning hours of Nov. 12 for driving 80 mph in a 55-mph zone on Highway 126W near Veneta.

Speeding is news when you're up for a Heisman trophy. And when other Ducks sports stars caught speeding have said things like, "We smoked it all."

But Mariota is OK because not only did he win the R-G's approbation for paying off the ticket, and the state trooper said he was polite and respectful, but also televangelist Pat Robertson says speeding is not a sin — so take a deep breath Mariota, you are good with God, even at 80 mph.

"Is it a sin? I think it's a sin to hurt somebody. I think it's a sin to drive recklessly ... If your driving imperils other people, you are sinning, there's no question about it. But in an open stretch of road, you go to Texas, I think some areas, there's no speed limit at all. There are times when police do pick you up, but I better not say any more. But the whole idea of traffic — it is... sin or not sin — it is to regulate the flow of traffic to keep people from hurting each other."

 

h/t The Oregonian for the Robertson info.

November 19, 2014 04:13 PM

"I would do it again — as soon as I get this bag of chips open."

"What's queefing?"

Grandmas, weed and Cards Against Humanity

"I don't feel as high as they look to me."

November 13, 2014 03:29 PM

According to the Oregon Secretary of State's Office there are 13,000 contested ballots in the November election because voters either forgot to sign, or their signatures didn't match. That's more ballots than it took to win some of the races — and that GMO labeling measure is darn close 49.83 for and 50.17 no according to the most recent election results. 

Lane County voters liked the GMO measure, by the way, with 57.6 in gavor and 42.4 against.

The Salem Statesman-Journal has taken advantage of the 2013 law that allows the names of voters with contested ballots to be released (as did some Democrats in the primary) and the newspaper has put the names of the voters into a database. Want to see if your ballot was counted (or your friends' or your neighbors' — it's a little creepy stalkery that way? Click below and search away.

November 6, 2014 02:13 PM

And you complained about Meghan Trainor's "All About that Bass" for its lack of feminism and because it made the skinny girls feel bad? Well how do you like it now that it's an anthem for Darth Vader and the Empire? 

November 3, 2014 11:32 AM

Angry Yoga: Be in the present because there is no future. It's Canadian, but this is so very Eugene.

October 31, 2014 04:51 PM

County commissioners Sid Leiken and Jay Bozievich have responded to an April 22 letter from the Oregon State Bar that cleared former county administrator Liane Inkster (Richardson) of complaints to that she engaged in fraudulent behavior that would reflect adversely on her ability to practice law.

Inkster nominated herself for a position on the Oregon State Bar’s Disciplinary Board in March, and a story by the R-G led to a bar investigation into what had led to her being fired by the county and if she made fraudulent statements or engaged in criminal conduct.

The commissioners said in a statement that today, Oct. 31, is the first they have seen of the letter from the bar. EW received the letter from the bar Oct. 30 after inquiring into the status of the bar’s investigation into Inkster and asked the county for comment. The bar letter says Inkster told the investigator, Assistant Disciplinary Counsel Mary Cooper, that Leiken and Bozeivich, who were the chair and vice chair of the County Commission at the time, knew and approved of the changes Inkster made to her take-home pay. Those changes led to the termination of her job with the county. 

The letter to Inkster from the bar also says that there was an "full independent audit" at the county that proved she did not act fraudulently. Leiken and Bozievich call that "curious" and say "No audit was done of Ms. Inkster's misdeeds."

At the time Inkster’s case was forwarded to the district attorney, they write, who investigated but did not file charges as she had already been terminated and agreed to pay the money back.

In the letter from the bar it says that Inkster told the investigator that her employment with Lane County ended over a “contractual dispute.”

Bozievich and Leiken write, “Had the bar looked closely at the situation it likely would have come to a conclusion consistent with the two previous investigations.”

In their response, the two commissioners say they will be asking the Oregon State Bar to reopen the investigation into Inkster, interview all parties involved — the letter from the bar indicates only Inkster was interviewed — and issue a revised letter of findings. The statement from the commissioners is below. You can read the letter to Richardson here.

October 31, 2014 11:47 AM

From the guy who brought you "Cow with Guns" comes a YMCA parody complete with a bad cop costume and catchy lyrics (I don't know how "Label GMOs" as a lyric can be catchy but it's stuck in my head.) I dunno if the grape costume means to parody Fruit of the Loom commercials from the 1980s, but it works for me.

The video was actually created for the 2013 GMO intiative in Washington that was defeated, but it works for Oregon now.

October 30, 2014 03:58 PM

Lane County Board of Commission then-Chair Sid Leiken and Vice Chair Jay Bozievich knew of the changes in Liane Inkster’s compensation, according to a letter from the Oregon State Bar to Inkster (formerly Richardson).

According to the letter, after the conclusion of an investigation by Greg Olson of USO Consulting and Investigation, “the board later conducted a full independent audit” of Inkster. “It concluded that [Inkster] did not act fraudulently and that the board chair and vice chair knew and approved of the changes in [her] compensation.”

The entire April 22, 2014 letter concludes that Inkster did not knowingly make an “inaccurate representation of material fact that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law.” EW received the letter after inquiring into the status of the bar’s disciplinary investigation into Inkster.

The Oregon State Bar opened an investigation into Inkster after she nominated herself for a position on the bar’s Disciplinary Board after “Inkster had been sacked by the Lane County Board of Commissioners for covertly boosting her pay in violation of county policy,” according to The Register-Guard.

But according to the letter from the state bar to Inkster, she and “the board agreed to terminate [Inkster's] employment contract based on contractual dispute. No one found that [Inkster] acted dishonestly, fraudulently or deceitfully.”

Inkster told Olson that commissioners Leiken, Bozievich and Faye Stewart had knowledge of her compensation changes. Leiken and Stewart denied that knowledge to the investigator, according to the report. Bozievich told the investigator he knew of one of her pay changes but denied knowing about the change that allowed Richardson to sell back and turn into immediate take-home pay much more  of her unused paid vacation and sick leave than county policy allows.

According to the letter, Inkster told the Assistant Disciplinary Counsel Mary Cooper that the issues began when the Lane County board “wanted, for political reasons, to delay discussions” over whether she should get a raise. At the time, Inkster was making more than $150,000 a year.

EW has asked the county to respond to whether Leiken and Bozievich knew of the changes and has asked for a copy of the county's independent audit into Richardson that found she didn’t act fraudulently.

The letter from the bar is below.

October 27, 2014 11:52 AM

Scientist Tyrone Hayes came to Eugene last week to talk about his research on the pesticide atrazine. If you missed his talks, KLCC will play his City Club of Eugene talk, "A Second Silent Spring" Oct. 27 at 6:30 pm, or you can listen to it here

Or you can just listed to Hayes' "The Atrazine Rap."

October 25, 2014 09:59 AM

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that former Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy's complaint against the county, Liane Richardson (now Inkster), Sid Leiken, Faye Stewart and Jay Bozievich can be amended and move forward for a decision. 

The Circuit Court ruled that: "While the district court did not specifically address whether amendment would be allowed, the district court entered judgment soon after dismissal, effectively precluding amendment. In general, leave to amend should be freely granted."

Handy's lawsuit, which was also filed by his constituent Brian McCall, claimed "in part, that Lane County, three of its commissioners, and the county administrator denied Commissioner Handy access to his office and his emails for months, creating great difficulties in carrying out his job as an elected official, which also impacted his constituents, " according to a press release from Handy. 

The full press release is below and the appeals court ruling is here. EW will ask Lane County for comment for a story for next week's issue.

On Thursday, October 23, 2014 the 9th Circuit Court of the U.S Court of Appeals released its decision on the appeal of Rob Handy, former Lane County Commissioner and his constituent, Brian McCall against Lane County, individual Commissioners Faye Stewart, Sid Leiken, and Jay Bozievich and former Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson (now Inkster).

Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns Judge Aiken's decision dismissing Rob Handy's lawsuit against Lane County.

The original lawsuit claimed, in part, that Lane County, three of its commissioners, and the county administrator denied Commissioner Handy access to his office and his emails for months, creating great difficulties in carrying out his job as an elected official, which also impacted his constituents.

The federal appeals court overturned Chief District Court judge Ann Aiken's decision not to allow Handy to clarify his original complaint. The appeals court ordered that Handy and McCall are allowed to amend their complaint and go forward to a decision on the merits of their claims.

According to Rob Handy, “We filed this suit to bring attention to the politicization of the offices of the Lane County Commissioners and how those in power misused that power to further a political agenda. The three commissioners named in the lawsuit are still in office and the concerns remain valid. We have been seeking access to justice and are looking forward to moving forward with this case in the courts.”

Local attorney Marianne Dugan represented former commissioner Handy in the appeal and continues to represent Handy as the case moves back to the jurisdiction of the District Court.

October 20, 2014 03:35 PM

Last week the Lane County Blood Bank sent EW an email that says, "Halloween is a great time to talk about blood and we’d like to bring some attention and educate your readers on the need for blood in our community."

Err, umm, yes, I suppose Halloween is a good time to talk about blood, now that you mention it. And nothing says Halloween like the Lane County Bloodmobile, right? 

You do have to give the Bloodbank points for a holiday-themed news peg. Plus the agency forever earned my affection when it began the "Pints for a Pint" donate blood and get a beer thing

The American Lung Association trumped the Bloodbank's vampire, zombie, blood, donate thing by sending me a bag of candy. Yup. Before I opened the enclosed card, I fell for it — assumed it was a bag o' kids treats. I was right about to throw the bag on a coworker's desk when out of the depths of my Monday mind I remembered that no one just sends a reporter candy. They want something. I opened the card. 

The American Lung Association didn't just send me some Starbursts, Rolos and Dum Dums. It also sent me some watermelon flavored nicotine liquid, rolling papers and a Swisher Sweet. 

Ironically the coworker whose desk I was cavalierly going to throw the bag of treats on has been trying to quit smoking for two weeks. I'm not sure the  grape flavored cigar wrapper would have amused him.

So there you are, if you want to get the word out, send an email about blood or send a goodie bag of candy and nicotine. Now go donate blood and don't let kids get hold of nicotine products that look like kids treats.

And I'm going to put the watermelon flavord nicotine vapor bottle on my shelf next to the organic personal lubricant (Good Clean Love) and the condoms (Center for Biological Diversity). 

 

 

October 13, 2014 05:50 PM

If you live in Eugene you probably do know someone who has watched an enviro bill pass or fail on C-SPAN like it's the final seconds of a close game. 

We are so doomed this season …

October 10, 2014 01:05 PM

It's an oldie but a goodie. Lane County's interesting decision making and the R-G's headline keeps resurfacing on the internet.

(Click the image to go to Facebook and see it fullsize). 

If you've been living under a rock (or just not on FB) then George Takei of Star Trek fame and author of  Oh Myyy (There Goes the Internet) runs a FB page that posts funny clips, memes, photos and observations to more than 7 million followers.

Yup, Lane County's circa 2006 error refuses to die and a couple million more just saw it. On that note, don't forget there is an election next month. Kevin Matthews, Faye Stewart's challenger in the primary is staging a write-in campaign. That would be him posting merrily on Takei's Facebook page in the picture above.  And yes, Stewart was indeed in office in 2006. 

October 10, 2014 12:35 PM

The moment you see a post on social media that's too crazy, too good or too stupid to be true like fracking companies using pink drill bits to raise breast cancer awareness  … it's usually fake. When people post and repost those things it drives me a little insane. SO I've been ignoring all those pictures of pink drill bits that people have been posting, because who would do that in real life, honestly?

As it turns out a company called Baker Hughes.

According to Mother Jones:

The irony here is that one of the primary criticisms of fracking is that the fracking process injects possible and known carcinogens, including benzene, formaldehyde, and sulfuric acid, into the ground and surrounding environment. A 2011 senate investigation of 14 leading fracking companies found that, between 2005 and 2009—far from the height of the fracking era—the companies had "injected 10.2 million gallons of fracturing products containing at least one carcinogen."

The mind boggles.

There is a CREDO campaign to ask the Susan J. Komen Foundation to "stop pinkwashing fracking" that points out Komen backed down on defunding Planned Parenthood after a public backlash.