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February 23, 2015 01:05 PM

As of  noon Monday, Feb. 23, a petition to UO trustees entitled "Stop suing rape survivors University of Oregon" has garnered more than 500 signatures. The Change.org petition is in response to the UO and basketball coach Dana Altman's counter-suit against an alleged rape victim.* According to The Oregonian, "Oregon and Altman's suit seeks to have the original 'frivolous, unreasonable' complaint' dismissed and recover legal fees from either the alleged victim or her attorneys."

The petition, which was started two days ago, reads:

The University of Oregon has become the first institution in higher education to sue a rape survivor pursuing her rights under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act -- all after violating medical privacy laws by seizing her counseling records from the campus health center, and asking campus counselors to give her substandard care.

Send the UO a message: suing rape survivors will not make campus safer for the 1 in 5 women who will be sexually assaulted, harassed, or raped each year on campus.

The petition provides links to both The Oregonian's story and to an R-G story detailing an email from a UO therapist who alleges she was told to alter counseling care for the student and that the "student’s clinical records were accessed without her knowledge, without the student’s permission and without any court authorization."

Names of those listed as having signed include those of UO faculty, graduate students, alumni and undergrads.

 

* EW uses the word alleged not to indicate doubt in a rape victim's story but for legal reasons to indicate that the accusations have not been proven in a court of law.

Update: the UO has dropped the suit.

February 23, 2015 03:11 PM

We all make mistakes, but The Register-Guard wins typo of the week with this one in the article "Final Frontier" from the Feb. 21 issue:

“'Microgreens will be the first cash flow boost,' Jason Waligoske said. 'That will be followed by mescaline, baby spinach, other greens."

In the print version, it appears after the jump under "Unusual varieties planned."

Indeed I would find it "unusual," and in fact a little trippy, if I were to find mescaline in my salad rather than mesclun mix.

The story continues, "'My wife is from Germany,' Jason Waligoske said. 'Some of that outlook is her desire for produce that is over there that is hardly ever seen here.'”

Recreational pot has been legalized in Oregon, so why deny fans of fresh hallucinogens and hard-to-find produce a little peyote-type snack to munch with their microgreens?

February 12, 2015 11:30 AM

The ongoing battle between car sharing service Uber and the city of Eugene has taken to social media. Let the Twitter wars begin!

Uber has launched an online petition asking Eugene to back down on its stance that the ride service must obtain the same $400 permits local taxi companies have. It is using the hashtag #EugeneNeedsUber.

Eugene is responding with #EugeneDeservesSafety and tweeted back at the petition that Uber could "Or you could just agree to City driver checks, insurance reqs, & car safety checks. Not hard."

Snark from a city Twitter feed? #winning.

 

In the R-G's story today, which also gives some background on the Uber-dispute over the regulations, it says the city did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the petition, but the city is commenting now. 

The city responded to the criticism that Eugene's "old regs" are a "big problem" with " Actually, updated code for apps & offered to do more once Uber agrees to safety reqs - driver checks, insurance, & car checks."

 

We're hoping the city keeps tagging us on its responses throughout the day. You can follow the tweets at the city's feed here.

February 12, 2015 06:06 PM

Update: Kitzhaber has resigned and Oregon has the nation's first openly bisexual governor.

Portland media has been having a field day (or rather field month or two) with Gov. John Kitzhaber's troubles and the back and forth question of whether he plans to step down or not. Now, as the story gets weirder, it's gone national with the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and the Washington Post, among others, tracking Oregon's non-lethal version of OJ Simpson's slowspeed chase down the freeway. 

Here's the WaPo's summary of what it calls "The Long, Bizarre — and Dumbfounding — Saga of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber."

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) had decided to resign his office Tuesday over continuing questions about his fiancee's actions as a consultant, according to the Oregonian. Then, on Wednesday, he reportedly changed his mind.

The governor is pretty clearly holding onto his career by a thread. As summarized over on GovBeat, first lady Cylvia Hayes was guiding state employees on the implementation of a new policy even as she was doing private consulting work for a group pushing the same policy. The story has taken several turns, most recently with the Oregonian, the state's largest newspaper, calling on Kitzhaber to resign. A recall effort has also been launched, as has a criminal investigation by the state attorney general. And tangentially, there's that whole matter from last year about Hayes havingmarried an 18-year-old Ethiopian to secure a green card for him in exchange for $5,000. She neglected to inform the governor of this before the media unearthed it.

In its article, "Love and Politics Collide as Scandals Plague Oregon’s Fourth-Term Governor," the NYT kicks off with more on the enviro aspect of the Hayes saga and the fact Kitzhaber is a long-term governor:

The inquiries stem from contracting work that Ms. Hayes, 47, a clean-energy consultant, performed and was paid for while living with the governor and advising him on clean-energy issues. Those issues have long been a priority of Mr. Kitzhaber’s administration, but now they are bound up in, and perhaps undermined by, questions of whether love and politics got too cozy in the governor’s mansion.

But the deeper trouble is that after 12 years in office, the governor’s enemies and critics — and erstwhile supporters, who think he has simply stayed in office too long — have grown like compound interest over everything from his laid-back management style to the disastrous rollout of the state health insurance website, which never fully worked and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

Today's latest was the news that Secretary of State Kate Brown — who would take the governor's seat should Kitz step down — was rushing back from Washington DC, leading politcos to speculate he was ready to leave. Before her plane landed, Kitzhaber announced he was in fact not stepping down.

Here is Brown's press release in response and you can hear more about it via KLCC.

As the Christian Science Monitor reports, fellow Dems such as state Treasurer Ted Wheeler are calling for Kitz to step down. 

Willamette Week, which broke the Hayes saga originally, is now saying Kitzhaber's office sought to destroy thousands of documents.

The Oregonian, which has been birddogging the issue as well is now providing live updates. 

Anyone taking bets on which late night and news-satire or commentary shows Oregon will be on tonight? This almost beats the attack owls.

January 2, 2015 03:19 PM

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes did an interview with Duck quarterback Marcus Mariota before his Heisman win and before the Rose Bowl win that is sending Mariota and the Ducks to the National Championships against Ohio State. 

In the interview with FCA, of which he is a member, Mariota discusses his Christian faith and going "all in for Him."

Some highlights (and you can read the full interview here as well as a perspective from Charisma News (Breaking News. Spiritual Perspective) on the interview here.)

 How is your faith a part of you being a football player? 

 Being a football player, faith plays a huge role. When things start to get rough you find comfort in your faith. Knowing that no matter what, you can dust yourself off and be okay. And you know you do it for [God’s] glory. You do it for your teammates, your family, but also for His glory and to represent His name.

and

What has God taught you about yourself while at Oregon?

… I’ve learned that no matter what, my faith will guide me. However I play on the field, I know my faith will guide me. After sports, my faith will guide me. As I’ve grown in my faith, that’s something that’s given me comfort. God has taught me that I can trust in Him. No matter what–whether things are good or bad–I know I can always trust in Him. And that has really allowed me to go All In for Him.

Neither the Charistma story nor the FCA interview mention that whole "Jesus, girls and Marcus Mariota" thing.

December 7, 2014 01:37 PM
 

Video of law enforcement officers beating a Ducks game attendee with police batons was posted on Facebook by Kim Bliss and is swiftly making the social media rounds. The footage from the game in Santa Clara, California is disturbing particularly in view of the recent attention to police brutality and overzealous use of force the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases have wrought.

Those cases of course involve white officers shooting and killing unarmed black men, and minorities are disproportionately affected by police brutality — despite what Bill O'Reilly might think — and that's quite different from beating a fan at a Ducks game, but perhaps an incident like this helps bring the discussion of excessive use of force to a larger white population who think "that wouldn't happen to me." 

Bliss writes in her post, which you can see below with the video, that the man getting hit with the batons "was there with his son and tried to go down the wrong pathway" and says the police had a Taser out right before she began to record. 

 

 
 

Update: The Facebook post has been taken down, but Deadspin has the video here.  The sports news site says it has confirmed with the Santa Clara Police Department that its officers were involved.

Still image from the video.

November 21, 2014 01:02 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 05:13 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 04:29 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 03:13 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 12:32 PM

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

October 31, 2014 05:51 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 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.