• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

EW! A Blog.

September 17, 2015 01:22 PM

The University of Oregon has faced heavy criticism for taking the student counseling records of survivors who have sued the school — or even just threatened to sue the school — for mishandling their rape cases. While the Oregon Legislature has worked changed that, loopholes remain open. Oregon lawmakers are now taking the issue up on a federal level, according to today's press release.

Wyden, Bonamici Release Draft Bill to Protect Student Privacy

Oregon Lawmakers Ask for Input on Legislative Proposal to Protect Student Health Records

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., today released draft legislation to better protect student privacy on college campuses in Oregon and across the country. 

The draft bill would change portions of the federal law that governs student records by putting additional privacy procedures in place before a school’s lawyers can access a student’s personal information, including medical records. The current law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), allows educational institutions a significant amount of discretion in accessing student records without the knowledge or consent of the student.

The draft bill, the Campus Litigation Privacy Act, is modeled after guidelines released in August by the U.S. Department of Education that encourage colleges and universities to put individual policies in place to protect student privacy on campus. The department’s draft guidelines are not binding, and once finalized, schools can choose whether or not to adhere to the recommended best practices.

“The Education Department has issued important guidelines on this issue, but protecting student privacy shouldn’t be voluntary,” Wyden said. “Representative Bonamici and I are working together to ensure heightened protections become the law of the land and we are seeking input to make this proposal even stronger. Students should be able to seek health and mental health care on campus with confidence that their private records will be kept confidential.”

“Students’ health records are not adequately safeguarded, and if students don’t trust the confidentiality of campus-based services, we run the risk of discouraging students from seeking care,” Bonamici said. “I look forward to receiving feedback on this proposal and advancing legislation to strengthen privacy protections for students. I am pleased to be working with Senator Wyden on this important issue.”

FERPA governs student education records, including on-campus health treatment records, while off-campus health care providers must adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In legal cases, HIPAA includes additional protections, such as patient authorization, for patient medical records when the records are disclosed.

Earlier this year, Wyden and Bonamici asked the Department of Education to clarify the privacy protections for students on college and university campuses regarding access to their health records.

A summary and text of the draft bill are attached. Submit comments until October 17 here.

September 16, 2015 03:22 PM

After all the hullabaloo about In-N-Out Burger making its Oregon premiere in Medford, it's now Corvallis' turn to take the spotlight: Burgerville is headed for the land of OSU.

For those already acquainted with Burgerville, we can hear the cheers already, but for the uninitiated, let's just say it's the Oregon spin on fast food, with local ingredients, vegetarian options and pretty much the best milkshakes ever, made with fresh Oregon blackberries and strawberries.

The chain includes 40 restaurants in Washington and Oregon, but the closest one to Eugene so far has been in Albany.

Burgerville will officially make its announcement 11 am Friday, Sept. 18, at 2300 N.W. 9th St. in Corvallis. The location was previously a Wendy's restaurant. 

Burgerville's mobile food truck will be on site to serve up free cheeseburgers, hamburgers, lemonade and cookies while supplies last, according to the restaurant. 

Eugene has a few empty Wendy's restaurants, too. Maybe Burgerville will come to Eugene next? 

September 16, 2015 04:02 PM

Local birder Noah Strycker has set a world record for most species of birds spotted in one year.

New World Record for Most Species of Birds Seen in One Year

Audubon Blogger Noah Strycker Notches 4,342 Species, Will Continue through 2015

THATTEKAD BIRD SANCTUARY, India (September 16, 2015) – Today, globetrotting birder and Audubon blogger Noah Strycker (@NoahStrycker) entered the record books with the most species of birds seen in the same calendar year. He surpassed Alan Davies and Ruth Miller’s previous record when he spotted a Sri Lanka Frogmouth for bird number 4,342. Noah began his “Big Year” on January 1 in Antarctica and is expected to reach his goal of 5,000 birds well before December 31. He has been recording his journey for the National Audubon Society in a blog called “Birding Without Borders” as well as marking his findings in eBird. His full list of species seen so far can be found here.

“It has been amazing to connect with birders through the Audubon blog,” wrote Strycker. “I've been blown away by the feedback and response it has received! There are millions of bird lovers all over the world. In 2016, I get to relive the whole adventure while writing a book about the experience. Instead of a travelogue, the book will be a reflective, fun narrative about birders and our place in the world.”

Countries visited: 27 and counting

First bird seen: Cape Petrel, January 1, Trinity Island, Antarctica

Most memorable sighting: “In Brazil, near the Pantanal, I visited a Harpy Eagle nest and waited four hours until one of the eagles showed up. When it arrived, it was carrying half a coati (a raccoon-like animal) in its dinner-plate-sized talons. Seeing that eagle swoop in was one of the most dramatic and memorable birding moments of my life.”

“Noah’s big year shines a light on the beauty and wonder of birds – and on all the threats they face in a rapidly changing world,” said Audubon VP for Content Mark Jannot. “One out of every eight birds worldwide is globally threatened, and we hope Noah’s blog will inspire more people to help save them.”

According to BirdLife International, one out of eight birds across the globe is threatened, with up to 200 species facing imminent extinction. Habitat loss, invasive species, pollution and increasingly the effects of climate change have resulted in the decline of birds everywhere. Bird populations tend to reflect the health of their ecosystems at large due to their heightened sensitivity to the quality of their surroundings.

Follow the rest of Noah's journey at audubon.org/noah.

The National Audubon Society saves birds and their habitats throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.

September 16, 2015 11:00 AM

A neighborhood forum on the South Willamette Special Area Zone (SW-SAZ) rezoning will be from 7 to 9 pm tonight (Sept. 16) at the Good Samaritan Society Community Room, 3500 Hilyard Street. This forum is sponsored by the four neighborhood associations affected by the SW-SAZ rezoning: Friendly, Amazon, Southeast and South Hills Neighbors. Presentations are scheduled from city planning, neighborhood groups and 1000 Friends of Oregon. The largest segment of the forum will be a public Q&A.

September 14, 2015 10:19 AM

Advocates for the unhoused in Eugene are rallying at Wayne Morse Plaza (8th and Oak) and care oming before the City Council tonight. They point to a recent statement of interest filed by the U.S. Department of Justice that says "making it a crime for people who are homeless to sleep in public places, when there is insufficient shelter space in a city, unconstitutionally punishes them for being homeless."



SEPTEMBER 14, 2015



The US Department of Justice on August 6, 2015 exerted new federal muscle against local governments that criminalize homelessness .   In a United States Letter of Interest in a Boise Idaho case, DOJ stated unequivocally that enforcement of anti-camping laws when there is inadequate shelter is unconstitutional.

Lane County’s One Night Homeless Count has repeatedly validated that Eugene has hundreds of unsheltered homeless citizens. The city's official website confirms this.  Consequently, Eugene's enforcement of its anti-camping law, 4.815,  is unconstitutional.

In the DOJ "Conclusion" in the Boise case, US Attorney Sharon Brett stated, " If the Court finds that it is impossible for homeless individuals to secure shelter space on some nights because no beds are available, no shelter meets their disability needs, or they have exceeded the maximum stay limitations, then the Court should also find that enforcement of the ordinances under those circumstances criminalizes the status of being homeless and violates the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution."

"Thus, criminalizing homelessness is both unconstitutional and misguided public policy, leading to worse outcomes for people who are homeless and for their communities," admonished the DOJ. 

Citizens, both housed and unhoused will attend the 7:30 PM Monday, September 14, 2015 meeting of the City Council to demand  a moratorium on 4.815, Eugene’s anti-camping ordinance and that all outstanding tickets be suspended or dismissed.  The group will also demand a moratorium and suspension of 4.807 Criminal Trespass 2, a "quality of life" charge, and of the Parks Exclusion (Restricted Use) which is given without judicial review in violation of the 4th Amendment "due process' clause.  

The final demand is to put a moratorium on interrupting anyone who is settled to sleep on public land who is not blocking pedestrian or vehicular traffic from dusk to dawn  It is intended that the moratoriums remain in place until Eugene develops laws, policies and practices that comply with the US Constitution,  Oregon Law and International Law.  

September 8, 2015 03:00 PM

Backpacker magazine has a tongue-in-cheek, so to speak, video that is both funny and disturbing. Click on the image below to link to the website.

September 2, 2015 11:03 AM

What is the impact of climate change on civil unrest and war? See this new story from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Click on the story to read the entire post, which has been translated from French.

September 1, 2015 01:40 PM

Democratic Party of Lane County Chair Chris Wig today announced his run for Eugene City Council Ward 1 in the 2016 primary election. Joshua Skov announced his candidacy last week for the position now held by George Brown. Brown may or may not seek re-election.

Here are additional statements from the press release sent out today by Wig's campaign:

“Eugene is growing, and we’re not growing with it,” Wig said. “I have demonstrated my ability to work with diverse groups of people, and I’m running for city council because I’m ready to bring Eugenians together to address our most pressing concerns.”

Chris Wig believes our city’s concerns, such as housing, homelessness, drug addiction and police accountability, require new solutions. He will build coalitions of Eugenians to create a safer, healthier and more prosperous city.

“Time and time again, I’ve seen Chris stand up for our shared progressive values. He will be an effective voice on the city council, and I’ll be encouraging my neighbors to support him,” said Sloan Heermance, an author and retired teacher who lives on College Hill.

Through his successful leadership of the Lane County Democrats, Wig has also earned the support of elected leaders, including Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian. “Democrats in Lane County have achieved tremendous success under Chris’ leadership. He’s a rising star, and Eugene would be very lucky to have him on the city council,” Avakian said.

Chris Wig has lived in Ward 1 since moving to Eugene to earn his master’s degree at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. He is employed as a drug and alcohol counselor at Emergence Addiction and Behavioral Therapies, where he works with clients from the Lane County Drug Court and Veterans Court. Wig serves as Chair of the Democratic Party of Lane County, a member of the Eugene Civilian Review Board and a founding member of Grupo Latino de Acción Directa—Lane County’s premier Latino community action group.

To date, Wig has raised almost $4,500 in contributions, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s website.

Eugene City Ward 1 encompasses portions of the Downtown, Jefferson-Westside, Friendly Street, and Far West neighborhoods.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/friendsofchriswig or call 357-7095.

September 1, 2015 03:15 PM

Most of us love our amazing National Park system, but some turn to Yelp to voice their frustrations. Bugs, crowds, parking get people ranting. And it can be entertaining. This story is from Mother Jones.