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February 4, 2013 11:32 AM

Kai the homeless hitchhiker saves a woman by whacking with an hatchet a driver who thinks he's Jesus and has just rammed his car into an electric company worker because the PG&E worker is black. 

True story. It happened in Fresno.

 

"He's like you know what, I've come to realize I'm Jesus Christ and I can do anything I want to."

"I grabbed the hatchet and I was like smash, smash, SMASH."

The PG&E worker is going to be ok; he has a broken leg. The driver is in jail, charged with attempted murder. Not sure where the hitchhiker wound up, but if he makes his way to Eugene (chances are good) then I say someone should buy him a drink.

February 1, 2013 06:00 PM

Local artist Mark Rogers has an uncanny way of painting the mundane in a fantastical and macabre light. His show The New Ending opens tonight at Jameson's  tonight - part of the First Friday ArtWalk. Check out EW's Feb. 7 issue for an artist profile.

January 31, 2013 03:06 PM

Trains can be dangerous so be careful. Also, because this disturbingly adorable little warning video out of Australia features a song that will get stuck in your head. 

Not to be outdone, the Safety Council of Australia would like you to drive more slowly.

January 31, 2013 03:15 PM

One hell of a concert is slated for the Matt Knight Arena March 4. Headlining is Passion Pit, the indie-rock band whose  album Gossamer was on many-a-top-ten list for 2012. Then there's Matt and Kim whose single "Daylight" was one of the songs of the summer in 2009. They also released Lightening in 2012. But there's one more gem on the bill: the the punchy, intoxicatingly fun Icona Pop. The DJ and synthpop duo hails from Sweden and their song "I Love It" was just featured in the Jan. 27  Girls episode "Bad Friend."  

January 30, 2013 01:32 PM

The recent fights over access to downtown Eugene's traditional public forums — the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza and the federal building plaza — are headed for the courts to debate the constitutionality of telling protesters that their free speech is limited to certain hours of the day. Tuesday marked a skirmish in the battle as activist Alley Valkyrie again tested the bounds of the exclusion order put on her by County Administrator Liane Richardson and County Counsel Stephen Dingle that is intended to keep her out of county buildings after she was charged (not convicted) of trespass for staying in the Free Speech Plaza after it was closed. 

Mayor Kitty Piercy has told Valkyrie and county staff that Valkyrie can come to city meetings, but in emails back and forth with Valkyrie, Dingle has maintained that she will be arrested if she enters the building without written permission and an escort. In an email written after Valkyrie attended a "name-clearing hearing" for former county attorney Marc Kardell, Dingle wrote:

I want to make sure that you understand that your presence at the Marc Kardell name clearing hearing did not result in your arrest for trespass because of a miscommunication.  Specifically, I want to make sure that you understand this is not a waiver of the previously imposed exclusion order. I have now had the opportunity to check with the City of Eugene regarding the assertions you made in your last email and  I learned nothing that would change the County’s position.  If you are present in the Public Service Building or Harris Hall for County functions without specific written permission from either the County Administrative Officer or County Counsel you will be subject to arrest.

Lane County does not have the resources to provide an escort. You may continue to enter the PSB or Harris Hall for city-related business as outlined in my earlier email.

In a return email, Valkyrie pointed out the irony of the county not having the resources for an escort while at the same time proposing giving Dingle a "huge" raise (the proposd 14 percent raise that has been declined for now would have taken Dingle's salary from $145,995 to $166,400).

On Jan. 29, Valkyrie attended a County Commission meeting to give public comment. 

Filmed by Joe Tyndall, edited by Dustin Ross

After the public comment period ends, commissioners can respond to the commenters. Commissioner Faye Stewart responded to a constiuent who had concerns over a flooded roadway and to Dexter resident Pam Driscoll who discussed mining at Parvin Butte, the firing of Kardell, and concerns about the county's participation in the Association of O&C Counties and its recent problematic use of "executive session." Commissioner Pat Farr commented briefly on the the AOCC issue.

Commissioner Pete Sorenson addressed Valkyrie's remarks and said that "Every government in our country has a responsibility to allow people who want to peaceably assemble and speak to do that" and that it was a protected right under the state and federal constitutions. He said it was important for elected officials to respect the right of people to speak out.

Commissioner Jay Bozievich told Valkyrie, "We did recognize who you were and allowed you to stay and speak because we don't want to limit your rights," adding, " That is not the intent of the order." Then he gave the example of the state Legislature and said, "There are time, place, manner, restrictions to some free speech to allow goverment functions to continue," and said Valkyrie can address the board when she wishes to in the future. 

To see the full remarks go here and click on the Jan. 29 HACSA meeting. 

January 25, 2013 07:01 PM

A salary of $175,656 for embattled County Administrator Liane Richardson and $166,400 for County Counsel-to-be Stephen Dingle (his contract has not been voted on). Those are the salaries on the table for Richardson and Dingle if proposed raises go through, according to The Register-Guard in a story Jan. 24. Materials related to the upcoming votes are available here on the county's website

That's about $40,000 in raises at a time when the county is strapped for cash, irate readers point out on the R-G's page and in Letters to the Editor EW is already receiving. Ironically the Lane County Board of Commissioner's vote on the raise is the same day as a public hearing on a possible public safety tax, according to the agenda. 

As EW reported this week, the county is facing a possible legal case from former attorney Marc Kardell as well as a suit from activist Alley Valkyrie on constitutional grounds after Richardson closed the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza to protest for several days and barred protests after 11 pm. Richardson and Dingle have also barred Valkyrie from entering the county building. After the closure and Richardson alleged protesters had defecated in county planters, another protest was held at the plaza Jan. 7 and 21 more people were arrested. During the protest, gingerbread Liane Richardson cookies holding a raisin were handed out. You can guess from the picture what the raisin signifies … 

Photo courtesy Louise Prévost, the baker

Those interested in making comments to the county, either about the proposed raises or about the public safety proposal should attend the County Commissioners' meeting during the 1:30 pm public comment period and the 5:30 pm public safety hearing, also on Tuesday Jan. 29, at Harris Hall. For more details, see the agenda. No idea if the commission is interested in more creative cookie-baking. 

January 22, 2013 05:50 PM

The Sierra Club is going to break 120 years of tradition and policy and get all civilly disobedient on the Keystone XL's ass, according to blog posts and press releases from the conservation organization that has long tried to stay out of the get-arrested-for-the-environment fray. A blog post from Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune says, "For 120 years, we have remained committed to using every 'lawful means' to achieve our objectives. Now, for the first time in our history, we are prepared to go further."

Citing Martin Luther King, Jr and Walden, Brune writes the day after Obama cited climate change in his inaugural address:

The Sierra Club has refused to stand by. We've worked hard and brought all of our traditional tactics of lobbying, electoral work, litigation, grassroots organizing, and public education to bear on this crisis. And we have had great success -- stopping more than 170 coal plants from being built, securing the retirement of another 129 existing plants, and helping grow a clean energy economy. But time is running out, and there is so much more to do. The stakes are enormous. At this point, we can't afford to lose a single major battle. That's why the Sierra Club's Board of Directors has for the first time endorsed an act of peaceful civil disobedience.

In doing so, we're issuing a challenge to President Obama, who spoke stirringly in his inaugural address about how America must lead the world on the transition to clean energy. Welcome as those words were, we need the president to match them with strong action and use the first 100 days of his second term to begin building a bold and lasting legacy of clean energy and climate stability.

That means rejecting the dangerous tar sands pipeline that would transport some of the dirtiest oil on the planet, and other reckless fossil fuel projects from Northwest coal exports to Arctic drilling. It means following through on his pledge to double down again on clean energy, and cut carbon pollution from smokestacks across the country. And, perhaps most of all, it means standing up to the fossil fuel corporations that would drive us over the climate cliff without so much as a backward glance.

In an interview  last week (see the upcoming Jan. 24 issue for a story), noted economist Jared Bernstein told EW that he doesn't think the Keystone XL will be stopped. "There is going to be a pipeline someday," he said. And said instead of starting from a place where we assume there isn't going to be a pipeline we should "be smart about where it goes." 

Is the Sierra Club big enough to be a game changer? Also today, the governor of Nebraska approved the pipeline through his state and sent a letter to that effect to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. Who knows, now that the Sierra Club's gone wild.

January 22, 2013 06:20 PM

January 18, 2013 06:22 PM

Too late for the Calendar this week: We hear from Doug Card that he’s doing a free program at 2 pm Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Lane County Historical Museum at the Fairgrounds, on "Wiley Griffon, More Than a Mule Car Driver." Card will talk about recent research that “uncovers new insights in to the remarkable life of Eugene's first well-known black man, who lived here from 1890- 1913, as well as on the history of Eugene, both good and bad." This event is in honor of the centenary of his death and the kickoff for MLK events.

See http://www.lanecountyhistoricalsociety.org/

January 16, 2013 12:36 PM

Chip Kelly is leaving afterall for the Eagles and it must be official if the UO already posted the job opening for Head Football Coach. But don't expect Kelly's $2.5 million-plus salary - the pay is "commensurate with experience." See job description and application details below:

 

POSITION:  Head Football Coach
SALARY RANGE:  Commensurate with experience
PERIOD OF APPOINTMENT:  Full time, twelve month position

QUALIFICATIONS:                        

Bachelor’s degree required.  Minimum 5 years' successful collegiate/professional coaching experience.  Excellent written, interpersonal and oral communication skills required.  Knowledge of NCAA rules and interpretations required.  The successful candidate must have the ability to work effectively with faculty, staff and students from a variety of diverse backgrounds and a demonstrated dedication to the full academic and social development of student-athletes.  Preference will be given to candidates who effectively communicate a plan of action for program improvement, have been affiliated with highly successful elite program(s), have demonstrated knowledge and implementation of offensive and/or defensive strategies, have demonstrated understanding of the University of Oregon Football program and can highlight consistent and significant skill development of student-athletes both individually and collectively.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Responsible for the management and administration of all phases of the Football program in a manner that upholds the philosophy and objectives of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Promotes an atmosphere of compliance.  Adheres to and enforces all policies and procedures of the Department and University, as well as the rules and regulations of the Pacific-12 Conference, the NCAA and other authorities that may legitimately influence the intercollegiate athletic program.

Oversees the recruitment and selection of student-athletes.  Ensures compliance with NCAA guidelines for contacting and recruiting prospects.  Initiates the process for determining academic eligibility and issuing National Letters of Intent.

Provides leadership and instruction in the academic, athletic, professional and personal development of student-athletes, to include advising team members in academic, disciplinary and personal matters, when appropriate.

Monitors the eligibility status and promotes the academic progress of student-athletes by working closely with the Compliance staff.  Assists in enforcing support services or activities: study hall, tutoring, academic advising, etc.

Develops and submits the Football program’s annual budget request.  Manages the program within the framework of a balanced budget.

Works collaboratively in the selection, purchase, fitting and maintenance of team equipment, to include uniforms, athletic equipment and supplies.

Schedules and conducts regular practice sessions in and out of season, as permitted by NCAA rules and regulations.  Develops and implements strategies for motivating student-athletes to perform at maximum levels as both individuals and a team.

Works collaboratively with Athletic Director or sport liaison to develop a competitive event schedule.

Ensures that team travel arrangements are in compliance with the University, Pacific-12 Conference and NCAA rules and regulations, to include monitoring the development of travel itineraries and coordination of travel plans.

Oversees the conditioning and training of team members, in conjunction with the Strength and Conditioning staff to ensure that student-athletes are physically prepared for competition.

Supports the Sports Medicine staff to ensure student-athlete welfare.

Supervises assistant coaches, graduate assistants, interns and other support staff to ensure their compliance with applicable rules, policies and procedures and promote an atmosphere if compliance.  Provides orientation, training and guidance, as needed.  Conducts performance evaluations and recommends salary increases, as appropriate.

Participates in clinics, exhibitions and camp activities, as approved.

Participates in public relations activities, to include fundraising appearances, speaking engagements, television and radio interviews, and press conferences, as approved or requested.  Represents the Department at professional, civic, charitable and alumni events.

Compiles data and reports, as required by the Department and University.

Develops and publishes team rules regarding general standards of behavior, with the approval of the sport liaison.  Enforces team rules with appropriate disciplinary action.

Ensures the safety of student-athletes and coaching staff through careful monitoring of the condition of athletic equipment and facilities utilized by the Football program.  Submits requests for repair, maintenance and improvement of facilities to the Facilities staff when appropriate.

Cooperates with all coaches within the intercollegiate athletic program to enhance overall Department operations.

Performs other duties as requested by the athletic administration, including but not limited to Athletic Director and sport liaison.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:                                  

Submit letter of interest, resume and the names and phone numbers of three references via email to Mark Ruckwardt, atathletichr@uoregon.edu.  Mailed or faxed applications will not be considered.  Review of applications will begin immediately.  Finalist must successfully complete a criminal background check.  An equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

January 16, 2013 02:17 PM

The NFL is on everyone's lips today in Eugene as Chip flies the coop. So it must be time for a bad lip reading.

In other, dare we say more important news, President Obama has unveiled new gun control proposals, the Washington Post reports.

Obama spoke in a White House ceremony to formally unveil the proposals and to sign executive orders and paperwork initiating immediate administrative actions, including steps to strengthen the existing background-check system, promote research on gun violence and provide training in dealing with “active shooter situations.”

January 11, 2013 03:46 PM

Downtown Eugene's filling up. Empty storefronts are giving way to bars, restaurants and stores. What else does it need? We vote on more food cars for Kesey Square …