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May 13, 2013 12:51 PM

Efforts to save Waldo Lake may be paying off for clean water enthusiasts and lovers of Oregon's lakes and forests. A bill has passed in both the Senate and House in the Oregon Leglislature that would ban float planes from landing on the lake. Removing polluting motors from the pristine lake has been a conentious issue with efforts by the Forest Service, conservationists and others fought at every step. The bill now gets sent to Gov. John Kitzhaber to sign into law.

Here is the info from the Sierra Club:

Oregon Legislature Protects Waldo Lake

Passes Law Banning Motorboats and Sea Planes on one of the purest lakes in the World

(SALEM, OR) —Voting 37 to 20 during a late morning session on Monday, the Oregon House of Representatives passed SB 602-A, banning the use of motorboats and seaplanes on Waldo Lake in central Oregon. This action follows last month's 18-11 passage of the bill by the Oregon Senate. The legislation was introduced by Senator Floyd Prozanski and Representative Paul Holvey, and will now be sent to Governor Kitzhaber, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

Located near Oakridge, Waldo Lake is Oregon's second deepest lake and rivals Crater Lake and Russia's Lake Baikal as one of the three purest lakes in the world. The lake is so clear that boaters on its surface can look down nearly 150 feet and discern the lake's bottom (giving one the impression of floating in outer space).

"Waldo Lake is a unique Oregon treasure," said Brian Pasko, Director of the Sierra Club's Oregon Chapter. "Today's action by the Oregon legislature will protect Waldo Lake's unique ecology and ensure that it is a place for quiet recreation and solitude to be enjoyed by Oregonians for generations to come."

Passage of SB 602-A reaffirms a 2012 decision of the Oregon Marine Board prohibiting the use of motorized watercraft on Waldo Lake except for boats using electric motors and traveling under 10mph. The decision was made following a lengthy public comment period that engaged over 4000 Oregon citizens in the decision making process, the vast majority of which supported the motorized ban.

Following the Marine Board's decision, the Oregon Aviation Board issued a temporary rule last year allowing sea plane landings on Waldo Lake. The Aviation Board's decision was made contrary to the Marine Board's determination, even though there are many large lakes near Waldo Lake that allow for safe sea plane landings and sea plane recreational opportunities. Passage of SB 602-A resolves the conflicting decisions of these two state agencies.

"Sea planes and motorized boats present a number of environmental risks to Waldo Lake, including an increased potential for the spread of invasive species and pollution of the lake through potential fuel spills, " said Pasko. "However, Waldo Lake is also highly valued by the public as a place for quiet recreation. SB 602-A will protect the public's expectations and support for the current management approach at Waldo Lake."

According to Forest Service surveys, over 75% of visitors agreed that motorized boating negatively impacts their recreational experience at Waldo Lake. Almost 70% of respondents favored only allowing non-motorized boats or electric motors on Waldo Lake, and 86% favored controlling the level of noise from motorized recreation.

The full text of SB 602-A can be found at: http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/sb0600.dir/sb0602.a.pdf

May 12, 2013 10:36 PM

The best way to say goodbye to the International Space Station?

Sing "Space Oddity."

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield rocks out in outer space and is possibly the most tech savy space walker ever. You can see his educational videos via the Canadian Space Agency or his own YouTube channel where he talks about how to poop in space. He has a Twitter feed where he famously tweeted with William Shatner.

He also recorded Is Somebody Singing (ISS) from space with Barenaked Ladies.

May 10, 2013 05:38 PM

Now that the Dalai Lama has come and gone, it's time to change the world. You can start doing it one book at a time, so says Gertie the Bookbus.

On Saturday, May 11th from 1-6 pm, Books To The People will hold a Pie and Ice Cream Social and Mother's Day Cookbook Sale at the Westside Christian Church, 1866 Chambers Street (opposite the Bi-Mart parking lot).

Incorporated in 2009, Books To The People is an Oregon nonprofit which sponsors GERTIE THE BOOKBUS, our blue and white repurposed bookmobile which drives around and gives away great books for absolutel free. In addition to the pie and ice cream, our fundraiser will feature music, poetry, tables piled high with cookbooks and wonderful doorprizes. Suggested donation is $10 for individuals and $20 max for families. All proceeds go towards operating expenses (like books and fuel!)

See pics of Gertie at bookstothepeople.org or else look up Books To The People on Facebook. For more information, or to donate books, time, money or pies, call 541-520-9821.

April 29, 2013 01:41 PM

Want to weigh in on the city fee, the Lane County tax levy or the 4J funding issue? Then be sure you are registered to vote here in Lane County, and if you are not registered, get er' done by 4 pm Tuesday, April 30.

To check if you are registered with your current address go to this link at the Oregon secretary of state's website.

Not registered? If you have a valid DMV number from an Oregon driver's license, learners permit or ID card, then you can register here

Otherwise go fill out this online registration card, print it out and either mail it (postmarked by 4 pm April 30) or drop it off at the Lane County Elections office, or go to the office and fill out a card there. The Lane County Elections office is located at 275 W.10th Avenue, on the corner of 10th and Lincoln in downtown Eugene. Public office hours are 9 am to noon, and 1 pm to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. On Election Day, May 21, 2013 the Lane County Elections Office will be open from 7 am to 8 pm. It's conveniently located about two blocks from the Weekly, so feel free to stop by and pick up a paper or wave at the baby birds (starlings?) nesting and pooping over the employee entrance.

In other news, it's bag ban time. April 3o is also notable in that it's the last day that stores in Eugene can give you a single-use plastic grocery bag with your purchase. That's why everywhere you've shopped in Eugene this past week from the liquor store to the Kiva has been cheerfully offering you (or forcing upon you) the last of their plastic bags. As of May 1 plastic bags (not including produce or bulk food bags) are verboten and it's 5 cents to get a paper bag. 

First time I ever wrote an article for Eugene Weekly about banning plastic bags, the ban was barely a gleam in the Eugene City Council's eye. And I got my first grumpy letter. Awww. 

April 29, 2013 02:30 PM

Online and in the May 6, 2013 Sports Illustrated NBA center Jason Collins writes:

I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay. I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.

For the full first-person story, go to Sports Illustrated's website.

For the backlash, go to ESPN where, according to Think Progress "An ESPN sportscaster went on the air on Monday to publicly gay-bash Jason Collins, the NBA player who came out Monday morning in an emotional op-ed, the first active male player of a major American sport to come out. Speaking on ESPN’s Outside The Lines, Chris Broussard said that he would 'not characterize [Collins] as a Christian.'”

April 26, 2013 01:28 PM

Some authors revel in rejection, others hide from fame, but when you get a chance to go see authors, established or up and coming, read their stuff, you get a chance to see the man or woman behind the curtain. Why judge a book by it's cover when you can come check out the writer?

In the next week we have a cornucopia of authorial riches. On Sunday, April 28, Donna Henderson, author of The Eddy Fence (Airlie Press, 2009) and Oregon Book Award finalist Sara Burant, author of Verge (Finishing Line Press, 2012)will be introduced by poet Carter McKenzie. The event benefits Beyond Toxics, which says:

These featured Oregon poets offer works of deep attention to the natural world and to our place in it. Whether in praise of the forces of nature or in elegy from environmental devastation, their poems rise out of protest against indifference to and appropriation of our resources and communities.Through precise and luminous language driven by the willingness to witness both the beauty of the natural world and the damage that threatens it, each poet offers in distinctive ways a new capacity for inhabitance. These are poems rooted in fierce gratitude for what sustains us all.

Then on Tuesday April 30 it's Oregon Writers Night at Sam Bond's when authors Daniel Kine and Eliot Treichel will be reading from Kine's Up Nights and Treichel’s recently released collection of short stories, Close is Fine. The event is all ages from 6-8 p.m. Kine and Treichel  follow the reading with a short question-and-answer session.

April 22, 2013 05:10 PM

Occupy TV's second episode of the second season features Alternative Radio's David Barsamian and more.

April 18, 2013 05:39 PM

This information was just sent out to University of Oregon students and faculty:

Dear Members of the UO Community:

Today, we learned to our disappointment that doors leading to the Native American Student Union (NASU), the Vietnamese Student Association and Black Women of Achievement (VSA and BWA) had, respectively, been vandalized. We are shocked and saddened that events like that can happen on our campus.

As a community of scholars, we are committed to civility and welcoming all of our students. We are also committed to values of understanding, inclusion and mutual respect. That is why such uncivil acts have no place of abode in our midst.

The University of Oregon Police Department is investigating the incident and perpetrators will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. While our law enforcement authorities are carefully investigating the two incidents, preliminary investigations indicate that no member of our campus community appears to have been hurt in the process, and that our students continue to feel safe. At the same time, our students are shaken by the unfortunate as well as uncivil incidents, and we share their frustration.

Meanwhile, staff members at the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence (CMAE), which is an affiliate unit of the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI), and offices of Dean of Students and Undergraduate Studies, are reaching out to the student leaders of the Native American Student Union, Vietnamese Student Association and Black Women of Achievement. As things stand now, we neither know the motivation of the perpetrators of those acts, nor do we know whether they are members of the university community. Yet, we want to reiterate that anyone found to be involved will be dealt with appropriately and according to law.

We also want to add that such sad incidents go a long way to remind us of the importance of honoring and treasuring one another. We urge everyone to cooperate and act responsibly.

Therefore, anyone with information related to these unfortunate incidents is urged to contact the UO Police Department at 541-346-2919.

Sincerely, Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, Vice President, Equity and Inclusion Robin Holmes, Vice President, Student Affairs

The Vietnamese Students Association posted a response on Facebook earlier today in response to the vandalism.

It was truly upsetting to find our VSA's sign slashed, vandalized and shredded on the ground outside our office. We at UO VSA wish to promote tolerance, peace, understanding and friendship to all students, irregardless of their race or nationality. Although it is shocking and saddening to have this happen to us, we will NOT be intimidated by this cowardly and disgusting act. To the individual who did this to us, I want to make this personally clear: You do NOT scare us, you will NOT break us, and you will NOT crush our resolve to promote and celebrate our culture here at our University. We will continue, as always, to provide a family to our members, serve as a resource to our campus, and stand in solidarity against racism, prejudice, ignorance and cowardice.

April 16, 2013 11:33 AM

Has former Lane County Commissioner Jack Roberts been improperly forced out of his position as the executive director of the Lane Metro Partnership? An email from Roberts to public officials details what led to him write a letter of resignation on April 8. The email alleges he resigned  in order to maintain funding from the cities of Springfield and Eugene and from Lane County. He writes, "these things are often as much about personality and other people's ambitions as about merit."

Lane Metro is a nonprofit organization that according to its website is "the official source of economic development and business information for Eugene, Springfield and Lane County Oregon." Roberts is also a regular columnist for The Oregonian newspaper.

Roberts also quotes County Administrator Liane Richardson as saying, she would be willing to restore the full $100,000 of funding to Lane Metro but emphasized, "The commissioners won't approve funding for Lane Metro unless there is a change in leadership."  Recent Lane County Commission agendas don't reflect any public discussion of a change in Lane Metro leadership.

Roberts, a Republican who is a former Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries, goes on to express concern that other Lane Metro employees will be terminated and writes "However I do strongly urge you to resist pressure to terminate Phillip or Christina much less to allow outside parties to dictate personnel decisions to you as a board. As a 501(c)(3) organization, this may not even be lawful."

EW has obtained the email written by Roberts that was sent to the board of the Lane Metro Partnership, as well as to the mayor and City Council and other public officials.

Dear Lane Metro Partnership Board Members: In the Register-Guard tomorrow or Wednesday, there will be a story about the Lane Metro Partnership. I¹m not entirely sure what the article will report but as members of the board you are entitled to know the underlying facts before you read about them in the paper.

On March 27 I met with Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson, Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz and Springfield City Manager Gino Grimaldi. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss whether all three jurisdictions would be willing to continue funding the Lane Metro Partnership at the current level if I resigned as executive director.

Previously, Grimaldi and Richardson had informed me that funding for the Metro Partnership would not be included in their proposed budgets for Springfield and Lane County, respectively. Ruiz indicated that funding would be included in his proposed budget for Eugene and would be utilized for economic development in some other form if the Metro Partnership died due to lack of funding from Springfield and Lane County.

As board members, you understand how tight out budget is and know that without funding from Lane County and Springfield we could not operate through the next year. Consequently, even though neither Grimaldi nor Richardson had initially suggested that I was the reason for their decision not to continue funding the Metro Partnership, I suspected this might be the case and therefore offered to resign if that would make it possible for them to would agree to continue our funding.

At the meeting on March 27, Grimaldi indicated that budgetary conditions did not allow him to restore the full funding of $50,000 a year but said that he could come up with $25,000. Richardson said she would be willing to restore the full $100,000 but emphasized, "The commissioners won't approve funding for Lane Metro unless there is a change in leadership."

No one told me why they wanted me gone or why they were unhappy with my performance. Nonetheless, I've spent enough time in politics and in government to know that these things are often as much about personality and other people's ambitions as about merit. My feeling, both then and now, was that it was better for me to leave than for a 27-year economic development partnership to die. Therefore, I agreed to leave.

I did express concern that my leaving before the budget process was complete could provide ammunition for those who have long opposed the Metro Partnership on principle or otherwise had eyes on our money. What I offered was to write a letter confirming my agreement to leave contingent on the three jurisdictions maintaining their funding for the Metro Partnership for the next fiscal year.

Two days later I received a phone message from Jon Ruiz confirming that Eugene and Lane County would continue their full funding and that Springfield would commit to at least $25,000. Believing that this was the best that could be obtained, I signed three letters dated April 8 that each read as follows:

"Dear Ms. Richardson, Mr. Ruiz and Mr. Grimaldi:

"Pursuant to our previous discussion, I hereby agree to resign my position as the executive director of the Lane Metro Partnership no later than June 30, 2013, contingent upon Lane County and the City of Eugene maintaining their funding for the Lane Metro Partnership for the 2013-14 fiscal year in the amount of $100,000 and $50,000, respectively, and the City of Springfield making a good faith effort to secure at least $25,000 of funding for the same fiscal year."

I then called Jon Ruiz and asked what he wanted me to do with the letters and he asked that I send all of them to him because "Liane said we don't want these floating around in public." I hand delivered all three letters to Jon personally that week.

That is where I believed matters stood until April 11 when I met with Steve Korth, our board president, and John Brown, our immediate past president. At that point I learned that the agreement I thought we had was changed and that apparently someone claiming to represent the three government jurisdictions had approached some board members with a plan for me to leave by May 1 and that Phillip Hudspeth also be terminated. They apparently also informed them that Glenda Poling would be stepping in as the interim director for the Metro Partnership.

I told Steve and John that these terms were never discussed with me and that I could not support either of them. In particular, while I was and am willing to fall on my own sword, I am not prepared to drag Phillip or Christina on the funeral pyre with me. I personally want to apologize to each and every board member for not informing you of my earlier discussions and in particular for not consulting you before signing my letter agreeing to resign. While I honestly believed that I was making a personal sacrifice for the good of the organization I realize now that I was usurping the prerogative of the board and failing to meet my responsibilities to keep you informed regarding matters that are critical to the continued operation of the Metro Partnership.

If you as a board decide to terminate me for this action, I will not object. However I do strongly urge you to resist pressure to terminate Phillip or Christina much less to allow outside parties to dictate personnel decisions to you as a board. As a 501(c)(3) organization, this may not even be lawful. I know it is not something that any board member should be asked to do by any funder of such an organization.

April 8, 2013 10:47 AM

Hopalong Cassidy needs a new leg and local rescue group Save the Pets is raising money for the pup's surgery.

According to the video information on YouTube, "A woman who lives in Silverton found Cassidy dodging traffic on Interstate5! She put him on Craigslist and a man in Albany took Cassidy to foster him so that he wouldn't go to the pound. Cassidy's femur is broken in 2 places. He needs to see a specialist and then get surgery. we need to raise donations so that we can pay for this." 

Money can be donated for the surgery through the Youcaring.com fundraising site. About $4,ooo needs to be raised, and the site has raised almost $700 so far.

UPDATE

Sondra Arrache of Save the Pets reports that Cassidy is at Oregon Veterinary Referral Associates and the group has enough for Cassideny's surgery. 

April 4, 2013 05:11 PM

Daniel McGowan's recent Huffington Post blog post about the secretive federal Communications Management Unit that he was held in might have landed him back in prison, the Huff Po is reporting.

McGowan's wife Jenny Synan "told HuffPost that she asked a BOP official why her husband had been re-imprisoned after his release to a halfway house in December. She said the official told her that the HuffPost article violated a term of his release that restricted him from interacting with the media."

McGowan was sentenced in 2007 to seven years in prison for participating in ecologically motivated arsons in Oregon as part of what the FBI called Operation Backfire, which involved property destruction across the Northwest. No one was injured in any of the actions, but McGowan and others were given terrorism enhancements on their sentences. 

In late August 2008 he was transferred from FCI-Sandstone, a low security prison in Minnesota, to the CMU at USP-Marion, which was created to monitor so-called terrorist prisoners. McGowan had issued updates from prison speaking out on environmental issues,  appeared on a calendar featuring political prisoners and was the subject of a then in-progress documentary film. If a Tree Falls went on to garner an Oscar nomination.

McGowan's April 1 blog post, written while in a Brooklyn halfway house, details his time at the CMU. He writes: 

The units are designed to isolate prisoners from the rest of the prisoner population, and more importantly, from the rest of the world.  They impose strict limitations on your phone calls home and visits from family and friends -- you have far less access to calls and visits than in general population.  The communications restrictions at the CMUs are, in some respects, harsher than those at ADX, the notorious federal  "Supermax" prisonin Colorado.  Also, unlike ADX, they are not based on a prisoners'  disciplinary violations. When my wife and loved ones visited me at the CMUs, we were banned from any physical contact whatsoever.  All interactions where conducted over a telephone, with Plexiglas  and bars between us.  Until they were threatened with legal action, CMU prisoners were only allowed one single 15-minute phone call per week.

McGowan's attorneys released a statement on the The Center for Constitutional Rights's website saying

Daniel McGowan is back in BOP custody. He was taken by federal marshals from his halfway house this morning, and brought to the Metropolitan Detention Center. We have received information that this was triggered by an opinion piece he published on the Huffington Post Monday, and we are currently trying to confirm this and learn more about the situation. We were unable to meet with him today because, we were informed, he was being processed. We will seek to meet with him tomorrow and follow all avenues to secure his release. The name of the piece is “Court Documents Prove I Was Sent to Communication Management Units (CMU) for My Political Speech.” If this is indeed a case of retaliation for writing an article about the BOP retaliating against his free speech while he was in prison, it is more than ironic, it is an outrage.

McGowan is part of the lawsuit Aref v. Holder, which challenges the violation of CMU prisoners’constitutional rights, such as the right to due process. The case argues that transfers to a CMU" are not based on facts or discipline for infractions, a pattern of religious and political discrimination and retaliation for prisoners’ lawful advocacy has emerged." The CCR says that "recently amended the complaint to include claims of retaliation for First Amendment protected speech."

April 3, 2013 12:33 PM

Want to make some "Romance Pants"? Head on over to Instructables.

Romance pants are a pair of pants that dims the room lighting and raises the stereo in relation to the fly zipper being pulled down. Of course it does not stop there. The romantic coup de grace involves electronically ignited candles triggered by the unbuttoning of the waist button. This subtle sensual assault is sure to shock and awe any prospective partner into ecstatic submission. As the evening progresses, this smarty-pants technology will undoubtedly to set the mood to the appropriate level of 'getting it on.' Romance pants are definitely where the future lay.

h/t NPR

March 29, 2013 05:14 PM

This just in from the Oregon Country Fair's PR service:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, March 29, 2013

Online pre-sale tickets for Oregon Country Fair Start April 1 VENETA, Ore. — Presale sale tickets for the 44th Annual Oregon Country Fair (OCF) go on sale, April 1, 2013, exclusively through TicketsWest.com.

The three-day festival is July 12 thru 14, west of Eugene, Ore. near Veneta. The online pre-sale tickets will be available on a limited basis through Sunday, April 14. The Fair will again offer on-line pre-sale buyers appreciation gifts with qualifying purchases.

This year’s fair will feature 17 stages of entertainment, more than 80 food booths and nearly 350 craft booths featuring more than 700 vendors. Vaudeville, circus acts, spoken word, wandering musicians, face painting, parades and many other fair favorites will return this year. Fairgoers are sure to find fun and surprises around every bend in the path.

The early list of confirmed entertainers on the Main Stage this year includes Carolyn Wonderland, Black Prairie, The Motet, Rootz Underground, Jambay and the return of acts like the Shook Twins and Papadosio. Dozens of additional entertainers will be announced in the weeks ahead for one of the West’s premier summer entertainment events.

Full schedules will be posted on the OCF website at www.oregoncountryfair.org in early June.

Starting Monday, April 15th Oregon Country Fair tickets will be on sale at TicketsWest outlets, by phone at (800) 992-8499 or online.

No tickets will be sold at the fair site. Fairgoers are encouraged to ride to the fair aboard the complimentary LTD bus service provided by the OCF. Will call is at the fair site only. For information on riding the bus to the fair, visit the transportation page of the OCF website.

If bought in advance, ticket prices are $22 for Friday, July 12; $24 for Saturday, July 13; and $22 for Sunday, July 14. Tickets purchased the days of the event are $24 for Friday, $28 for Saturday and $24 for Sunday. Prices do not include TicketsWest service fees. A ticket good for all three days of the fair may also be purchased for $57 in advance only. Children ages 10 and under are admitted free with a paying adult and there is a $5 discount for individuals who are alter-abled or ages 65 or older.

TicketsWest outlets are located at numerous Safeway stores throughout Oregon and southwest Washington. For a complete list, click here. In addition to TicketsWest outlets, Oregon Country Fair tickets will also be available at other locations to be announced soon.

Parking at the Oregon Country Fair is $8 per vehicle per day in advance, $10 per vehicle per day on-site. Parking passes may be purchased with admission tickets or at the fair site the day of the fair, but fairgoers must show an admission ticket drive onto the site. ###

March 27, 2013 12:51 PM

Procrastinating on final exams and thinking about the Steubenville rape cases led a UO student, Samantha Stendal, to create a 26-second anti-rape public service announcemt that's gone viral with more than one million hits in just a few days and news stories from today's R-G to the Washington Post's blog.

A drunk girl is passed out on the couch and young man aks, "Guess what I’m gonna do to her?”

Stendal told KGW news that she was angry about the rape case's news coverage, which has been more sympathetic to the rapists than the victim, "“I wanted to make something that was more positive than what was being shown. We should be treating each other as human beings not blaming victims.”