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EW! A Blog.

July 19, 2013 06:06 PM

If you're planning to attend the "Nix the Neonix" rally at Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza tomorrow (July 20) it's suggested that you bring a kazoo and a bee costume. If you lack those items, no worries, you can learn some lyrics in advance so after you're educated about neonicotinoids and bees, you can sing in protest. Lyrics by Scotty Perey.

"Neo Neo Neo Neocotinoids" to the tune of "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here"

 

"My Favorite Neonicotinoids" to the tune of "My Favorite Things."

July 17, 2013 04:32 PM

As we will write about in Slant tomorrow, Upworthy picked up this video about Occupy Medical made by three UO students and good things happened.

July 16, 2013 03:05 PM

By JeanMarie Purcell of Eugene

one dark night in a small Florida town
soon the whole world would know
what would  become a story of renown

as a dark skinned boy would walk to a store
soon the whole world would know
a passer-by thought him up to something more

walking alone he was up to no good
soon the whole world  would know
not only that — he was wearing a hood

the two came to blows in someone’s front yard
soon the whole world would know
the light skinned one saw himself as a guard

protecting all those who lived near abouts
soon the whole world would know
neighbors overheard calls for help and shouts

the light skinned one knew he acted the right part
soon the whole world would know
using his hand gun he shot straight to the heart

of the black boy on his way home from the store
soon the whole world would know
a trial and bad law would open the door —

an unarmed boy would be found the guilty one
soon the whole world would know
that the shooter was given back his gun

many a watcher was scratching his head
soon the whole world would know
one suffered some bruising, the other is dead.

 

July 12, 2013 02:23 PM

Bee advocates and anti-pesticide activists have long known said that pesticides, and specifically neonicontinoids are implicated in bee deaths and die-offs. The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides announced today that Rep. Earl Blumenauer has revealed a new bill — the Save America's Pollinators Act of 2013 — that would "suspend registration for certain neonicotinoid pesticides and perform a new evaluation of their impacts on pollinators" (see the full press release below). 

Neonics, which are widely available in places such as Jerry's Home Improvement and Bi-Mart, are linked to the deaths of thousands of bees in Portland, which led to the Oregon Department of Agriculture insituting a temporary halt to the use of  products containing dinotefuran, a neonicontinoid that was sprayed on flowering trees. 

Local bee advocates are planning a "Nix the Neonics" event on July 20 at Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza with songs, theater and a scavenger hunt. More details in next week's EW.

 

Eugene, OR - Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) revealed a new bill today that directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend registration for certain neonicotinoid pesticides and perform a new evaluation of their impacts on pollinators. Neonicotinoids, a particular class of pesticide, have been widely linked to declining bee populations and were recently determined to have been the cause of dramatic and ongoing bee kills in both Wilsonville and Hillsboro, Oregon.

Blumenauer's bill, the Save America's Pollinators Act of 2013, is co-sponsored by Representative John Conyers (D-MI). It specifically targets systemic pesticides registered for use in seed applications, soil applications, or foliar spray on plants that are attractive to bees. If passed, EPA would have 180 days to restrict these uses. They would also be required to work with the U.S. Department of the Interior to report on the current status of bee populations in the United States, and to monitor more closely the changes in population levels.

"It's encouraging to see lawmakers responding seriously to this issue and proposing real solutions," said Josh Vincent of the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, an organization supporting the bill. "These pesticides have drawn a lot of scrutiny from beekeepers, scientists, and environmentalists because of their increasingly evident impact on bees. We agree that EPA needs to take a closer look at the effects these chemicals are having, and that they need to do it sooner rather than later."

Supporters of the bill, including other advocacy groups like the Xerces Society and the Center for Food Safety, are now organizing to grow momentum in the House of Representatives. 

July 11, 2013 05:20 PM

We've long been sad that the Ems left their longtime digs at Civic Stadium to play at the fancy new UO PK Park. PK is snazzy, but Civic Stadium is a classic. But now the Ems are pitching on and honoring Friends of Civic Stadium with a "Civic Stadium Night." Friends of Civic has been fighting to keep the wooden ballpark standing and not paved over and turned into a big box store. For more on the effort go to www.SaveCivicStadium.org and support the cause.

CONTACT: Alex Stimson

DIRECT: (661) 713-2497

E-MAIL: alex@emeraldsbaseball.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Eugene, OR – The Eugene Emeralds, the San Diego Padres Short-Season Single-A affiliate, are rolling back the clock and honoring the stadium they called home for 40 years with “Civic Stadium Night” on Saturday, July 13th in an effort to honor and save Eugene’s cherished and beloved Civic Stadium, the original home of Emeralds baseball.

Saturday’s July 13th game against the visiting Everett AquaSox, the Seattle Mariners Short-Season Single-A affiliate, will feature special promotions, tributes, and memorabilia to honor the Ems former home, starting with deals at the box office.

Fans are invited to bring their old ticket stubs from Civic Stadium to the box office at PK Park, and in return the Emeralds will be offering $5 tickets to Saturday’s game, with a maximum of 4 tickets per stub.

The stroll down memory lane starts once fans enter the PK Park gates, as the night will feature a special video tribute to Civic Stadium, old memorabilia and Ems regalia, and a special visit from former Civic Stadium PA announcer Wink Guthrie, who will be back up in the press box to split duties with the Ems’ current PA announcer, Ted Welker.

Most of all, the Emeralds are proud to invite Friends of Civic Stadium, a local group dedicated to the preservation and modernization of Civic Stadium as a sports and recreation venue for years to come.

Built in 1938 for high school football and baseball, it became the home of the Eugene Emeralds in 1969 and quickly engrained itself in the history of the franchise. For 40 years, the Ems spent summer afternoons and evenings calling Civic Stadium home before relocating in 2009 to their current home, PK Park.

If you’d like to learn more about Civic Stadium Night or purchase tickets to this special evening, visit www.EmeraldsBaseball.com or call (541) 342-5367. The Eugene Emeralds box office is located at 2760 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, next to PK Park and Autzen Stadium.

For more information about the effort to save and preserve Civic Stadium, visit www.SaveCivicStadium.org

July 6, 2013 11:38 AM

Oil trains are coming through Oregon and the Northwest, as we recently reported. Columbia Riverkeeper has expressed concerns about what could go wrong if a train carrying thousands of gallons of oil derailed.

Today the Wall Street Journal and other news sources report that portions of a train of 73-oil-filled cars derailed in Lac-Megantic in Quebec Canada.

There was an explosion, 1,000 people were evacuated and there are others still missing. The crude oil was heading for Maine.

The Associated Press says a large swathe of the town was destroyed. The AP also reports oil has spilled into a nearby river.

July 3, 2013 01:26 PM

We've been writing about Dr. Eben Alexander and his Proof of Heaven book. A new story in Esquire questions the doctor's credibility.


 

July 2, 2013 09:46 AM

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has been on the run from American authorities for whistleblowing "evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies" is the source of much speculation on where he will head to next as he sits in "limbo inside the international airport transit lounge at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, where he has been ensconced out of public view for nine days."

The B0livian embassy reported that President Evo Morales traveled to Russia to "participate in the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries," and Bolivia is on the list of countries where Wikileaks has applied for asylum for Snowden. The New York Times reports that "President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, visiting Russia, said that while he had not yet received an application from Mr. Snowden and would not use his plane to ferry Mr. Snowden home with him, he held out the possibility that Venezuela might ultimately agree to shelter Mr. Snowden." 

Morales has said he would consider sheltering Snowden and that" Bolivia was there to shield the denounced" leaving open the possibility that Snowden could travel to Bolivia on Morales' plane.

July 1, 2013 12:16 PM

The Oregon House of Representatives today passed the largest-ever budget for the state’s public schools.  The budget is a $1 billion increase over the last biennium, and will allow many school districts across the state to re-hire teachers and stabilize programs after years of cuts, according to a press release from the Office of the House of Representatives.

“The last half decade has seen over 7,000 teacher layoffs and seemingly endless cuts to school days,” says House Speaker Tina Kotek.  “With this budget we’re offering school districts certainty and stability; we’re positioning Oregon schools to turn the corner so we can begin reinvesting in the most critical element of our future prosperity.”

The $6.75 billion budget directly allocates $6.55 billion for the state’s public schools, coupled with $200 million in school district savings to the Public Employee Retirement System enacted in SB 822, which passed earlier this session. 

Rep. Peter Buckley is quoted saying, “When we crafted the state budget, we prioritized schools with a $6.75 billion investment. I’ve been pleased to learn what that means for many school districts across the state, including those I represent, who are adding teachers and programs.  After years of cuts, it’s time to start rebuilding. We still have more to do, but today marks a turning point in Oregon’s recovery.”

The budget passed 53-5 with two excused and now goes to the governor’s desk for his signature. 

June 27, 2013 02:53 PM

This is Rep. Phil Barnhart's report sent to weekly newspapers this week:

With the end of the legislative  session fast approaching, we are still working to accomplish what Oregonians sent us here to do. 

Oregon voters have spoken loud and clear about their priorities.  They want us to close tax breaks for the rich and to make our tax code fairer for the middle class.  I hear this routinely at coffee meetings from constituents in all parts of my district.   Democrats hold a slight majority in both chambers, but Oregon’s Constitution requires a supermajority to pass revenue raising bills.  That leaves lot of questions unanswered.

Can we rein in tax breaks to strengthen education funding?  We still have an opportunity to take action to strengthen budgets for schools.  To date, Republicans have blocked any revenue for schools from moving forward.   

Will we be able to provide health care and long term services for senior citizens?  By renewing existing assessments that support hospitals and nursing homes, HB 2216 would bring in $2 billion(much of it coming from the federal government) to cover services for senior citizens and hospital patients, and protect and create thousands of jobs in the healthcare industry.  But despite receiving broad bipartisan support from the state House, Senate Republicans are holding up that bill in the name of partisan political games.

Can we give schools the stability and certainty they need?  Senate Bill 5519 would begin to turn the corner and stop the recent disinvestment in education by allocating $6.55 billion to school districts in addition to $200 million in PERS savings we created with the passage of SB 822  That is $1 billion more than the budget passed in 2011,. But Senate Republicans are blocking that bill too.

All of these questions are still up in the air because Senate Republicans are using the equivalent of the filibuster to obstruct important bills from passing.  We could help schools reduce class sizes, support our medical sector, and make our tax code fairer for the middle class.  But Senate Republicans have chosen partisanship over solving our state’s problems.  I will continue to work for honest solutions, and to make Oregon a better place to live.

At the end of a session things can move very fast.  By the time you read this we may have resolved some of these problems, or not … stay tuned.

During the legislative sessions Rep. Phil Barnhart can be found at the Oregon State Capitol,  Salem, (503)986-1411, or email rep.philbarnhart@state.or.us