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October 31, 2014 12:47 PM

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 04:58 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 12:52 PM

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 10:59 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 04:35 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 06:50 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 02:05 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 01:35 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.

October 3, 2014 05:20 PM

 Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show notes the current contretemps over the UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts canceling its community figure drawing classes that feature nude models because, the school says, it got lewd phone calls in response to flyers looking for models.

He didn't note the irony that the UO canceled art classes over fears of indecency but allowed its athletics program to bring a sex offender to campus to talk about "the consequences of poor decisions.”

This is the kind of thing the UO says is not OK on campus.

And this is what the UO says is OK on campus.

Scratching my head …

September 22, 2014 10:34 AM

Charlo Greene of Alaska's KTVA quits on live TV after revealing she was the founder of the AK Cannabis Club (which she reported on earlier in the broadcast) and will be working to legalize marijuana in that state.

The reaction of her coworker is priceless. 

 

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 Full article on Alaska Dispatch News: http://j.mp/adnakcannabisclub

 

September 17, 2014 12:18 PM

Oh, wait, I KNOW you missed The Band of Heathens last night because it was pretty much just me and 20 other people at the WOW Hall on a Tuesday night.

You missed a great show and the Heathen's new Tom Petty-esqu song "Carry Your Love," which debuted on Texas Monthly yesterday a couple hours before the Eugene performance. Click the image to listen:

Despite the sparse audience The Band of Heathens were their usual mix of instrospective, danceable Americana rock — you can shake to it or just listen, and last night was worth  doing both. Let's face it, it's asking a lot to pack the WOW Hall on a Tuesday; if this had been a Thursday or a weekend there would have been a lot more people, as there were when BoH played Sam Bonds on a Friday last November. Points for making a cover of "The Mighty Quinn" the encore. Hell, points for an encore with such a small (albeit enthused) audience. 

Midway through their set, an audience member hollered out "Play 'Medicine Man'" off the "Top Hat Crown and the Clapmaster's Son" album.

"What?" responded Ed Jurdi, "I can't hear you over all these people." (OK, I think it was Jurdi, he's the beardy one. I had some hard cider in me at that point).

 

If you're unfamiliar with The Band of Heathens, their albums have topped the Americana charts, and they've played Austin City Limits and SXSW, getting them a shout-out in the Wall Street Journal.

BoH tapes all their shows and announced they recorded the WOW Hall show, which you can buy and download on their website. Don't miss them next time  or you can catch them in Portland Sept. 20 (lucky PDX, that's a Friday).

September 7, 2014 06:31 PM

I admit it, I didn't watch the new Mat Kearney video until today. I got the press relases, I saw the R-G did a story, I saw friends posting it on Facebook. But the moment I see something is paired up with Duck football, I lose a little interested (that's blasphemy if you live in Eugene, isn't it?). 

But I talked to a couple friends with good taste in music (and a similar "meh" attitude about football) and they praised it so I pulled up the video … and it's pretty darn good. The song is anyway. Given a certain feeling that the Ducks are a little oversaturated, the video is a little football heavy, but the wistfulness of the song and the historical footage make it work. About minute 48 there's a shot of sailboats on Dexter Reservoir with Parvin Butte (pre-current mining destruction) that made me even more wistful.

Also it has horses. I'm a sucker for horses. 

 

If you were unaware that Kearney is a Duck's fan, then you missed "Chip Don't Go."

September 4, 2014 05:12 PM

When I started reading the "long-form journalism" piece on SB Nation about former UO Duck player Colt Lyerla I was speechless. Not because he alleges the UO promised him a house and car (hey at least it wasn't allegations about being offered sex this time) but because of the florid descriptions of Lyerla and over-the-top language that "A Place to Call Home" is peppered with. Papers including The Oregonian and the R-G weeded through it until the pulled out the details about the alleged offer, but I feel that just getting out the actual news in the piece isn't nearly as much fun as reading the rather remarkable prose.

The descriptions of Lyerla are what make the piece. Here's the first one:

In person, he appears impossibly large. His measurements — 6'4, 242 pounds, as of February's NFL Combine — are plausible enough, but up close, the body appears to be something out of a create-a-player generator in a video game, his outsized proportions more virtual reality than man-made. It starts with the hands, soft tensile masses perfectly engineered to catch footballs. His enormous calves challenge the elasticity of his socks, while his forearms seem as thick as telephone poles. Even as he sits at the small glass kitchen table, in a baggy white T-shirt and black basketball shorts, he seems to loom over it. His dark brown eyes, cleft chin and strong, smooth jaw line complete the look of someone who has never been an underdog on the field, and who has never lacked attention.

The metaphors really make the piece. Later, there is this one:

He was used to being an anomaly because his body enabled him to do things that defied what so many others had hardwired into their genetic code, a hacked iPhone when everyone else still operated on factory settings.

Yup, a football player = hacked iPhone.

You can read and enjoy the whole piece for yourself at SBNation.com

According to the R-G, the UO Athletic Department responded, “The University of Oregon takes seriously any allegation of a rules violation and the compliance department will thoroughly examine the information to determine its validity as we do in all cases.”

September 3, 2014 05:10 PM

KWVA's Occupy Radio broadcast hosted by David Geitgey Sierralupe and Rivera Sun discusses Gaza and … Eugene this week. Specifically we get into what is undercovered in Eugene media. I only talk really fast a couple times.