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Slant 4-19-2012

County Commission candidates Rob Handy, Pat Farr and Nadia Sindi drew a small crowd for an evening City Club forum April 12, with Handy and Farr getting a little testy with each other while Sindi was looking queasy. She was suffering from food poisoning and was probably wishing to be anywhere else. Hopefully she will be recovered for the next two forums (see Activist Alert). 

Farr has accused Handy of inaccuracy and deliberately mischaracterizing facts. We haven’t seen evidence of that other than maybe Handy labeling Farr an “ultra-conservative,” but we did hear some disturbing statements, reportedly from the Farr campaign. One of our readers participated in a Lindholm phone “survey” that had some potentially libelous questions, such as, “Are you aware that Rob Handy was investigated for perjury?” and “Are you aware that Rob Handy was involved in a sexual harassment lawsuit?” Both of these allegations are false, of course. Farr is currently on leave from his staff position at Lindholm, and the Lindholm Company has donated $2,500 as an in-kind contribution to the Farr campaign. The person who was surveyed considered this call to be “offensive” and a “push poll,” an effort to sway public opinion disguised as an impartial survey. Farr and his campaign did not respond by press time to questions about the survey.


• Congressman Peter DeFazio put out a shocking observation  about the U.S. Postal Service when he spoke to City Club April 13.  He said he thinks “the people managing the postal service  are trying to destroy it,” citing examples of terrible management. That’s not so shocking when you remember the Grover Norquist/extreme right strategy of shrinking the government until it fits into a bathtub. We should help DeFazio in every way we can to save the postal service, starting with demanding leadership that believes in it.   


Issues remain after the Oregon State Marine Board voted 3-2 last week to uphold the ban on internal combustion motor boats on Waldo Lake. The rules could be overturned in the Oregon Court of Appeals, and the case could end up in the Oregon Supreme Court. Deep pockets are behind the litigation. Meanwhile, the Oregon State Aviation Board is adamant that float planes be allowed to land, taxi and take off anytime they want, and the Marine Board has reluctantly agreed. Float planes are rare at Waldo, but when they come they certainly violate the 10 mph speed limit on the lake, they can bring invasive species on their pontoons, they are more prone to crash than wheeled planes, the noise of take-offs can be deafening up close and the sound carries for miles over water. 

The Aviation Board will be looking again at its rules for Waldo, but members are expected to only talk about limiting parts of the lake that can be used, restricting times of use, and discouraging practice take-offs and landings. Comments can be emailed to aviation.mail@state.or.us or mailed to 3040 25th St. SE Salem
97302-1125. See http://wkly.ws/185 for individual board members’ email addresses and phone numbers.


• In Slant last week we talked about our early prediction that conservatives would use Occupy Eugene as a campaign issue, and then we went on to mention mayoral candidate Kevin Prociw’s bashing of Occupy Eugene in a recent candidates forum. Prociw tells us, however, that it was a “mischaracterization” to associate him with conservatives. He says it’s “an easy mistake, I’m sure, as anybody running against Kitty Piercy would seem conservative. However, in the traditional sense of the word, I am not. While I do advocate for fiscal responsibility and accountability, you will find that I am a member of the Independent Party and that many of my values are more progressive.”


• Congrats to UO volcanologist Katharine V. Cashman. The professor was one of 220 elected nationwide to the 2012 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Cashman studies volcanic rocks and has worked to explain the nature and predictability of volcanic eruptions. 


• It was a splendid show on Dexter Reservoir April 13-14 when more than 1,300 rowers and scullers raced their shells and sculls across the laned lake. The sun even shone. High school, collegiate and master athletes came from the Pacific Northwest, Arizona and California, some sleeping in tents scattered around the lake. This 18th annual Covered Bridge Regatta, hosted by the Oregon Association of Rowers and Oregon Rowing, is the only regatta Dexter will display this year. It’s a huge volunteer effort with crews of parents and friends serving heaps of food, cleaning up, putting on the races, cheering their teams. The 2013 Covered Bridge Regatta will be April 13-14 with the Dexter Dash and Dinner April 12 for masters. 

SLANT includes short opinion pieces, observations and rumor-chasing notes compiled by the EW staff. Heard any good rumors lately? Contact Ted Taylor at 484-0519, editor@eugeneweekly.com