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February 25, 2014 10:40 AM

Phone calls aren't always from who the caller says they are — keep that in mind if you get calls from EPD or the IRS and they seem fishy. According to EPD:

Eugene Police recently received a call from a man and his twin in another state who have received two calls from someone claiming to be from the Eugene Police Department advising that they have warrants for both their arrest and that they need to return the call immediately to ‘get this taken care of.’ This is not a practice EPD would use for a warrant.

There was another reported scam from a UO student within the last week, who sent $1,000 to “the IRS” using a pre-paid money card. He was told his bank account would be frozen and he would be arrested if he didn’t pay.

The police remind you not to feel weird about refusing to speak with a caller until calling back at an established number, like EPD's non-emergency number, 682-5111. They add a few recommendations:

  • Don’t give out personal or financial information to someone who calls you.  If you are unsure, hang up and independently find the phone number of the alleged represented agency and call yourself.  A law enforcement agency will not ask you for this type of information or request that money be sent by way of money order for any reason.

  • Beware of high pressure techniques, such as the need to give information or make a decision on the spot.

  • If it sounds quirky or weird, it probably is.

Yep, watch out for those quirky ones.

February 18, 2014 10:15 AM

Next time you're out and about, keep in mind that EPD is watching for common causes of accidents: speeding, misuse of cell phones, misuse of seat belts, following too closely, lane violations and failure to obey traffic control devices. Of course, EW readers always drive wisely.

Here's where they plan to be:

 

·         February 26 - Valley River Way & Valley River Drive
·         March 18 - I-105 & West 7th
·         April 29 - West 18th & Chambers 
·         May 19 & 23 - MLK & Coburg Road  
·         June 17 - West 11th & Bertelsen 
January 28, 2014 04:44 PM

Post-snowball fights, etc., here's some UO news we can be proud of:

 

EUGENE, Ore. — (Jan. 28, 2014) — Geraldine Richmond, the Presidential Chair and professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon, has been chosen to serve as president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Richmond will begin her three-year term as an officer and member of the Executive Committee of the AAS Board of Directors on Feb. 19 at the close of the 180th Annual Meeting in Chicago.
 
“The impact of Dr. Richmond’s work can be seen on this campus and around the world,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the UO Graduate School. “For her, research is a means of discovery and of training and of cultivating the scientists of tomorrow. Her passion for scientific research, teaching, and international engagement makes her an ideal choice to serve as the president-elect of the world’s largest general scientific society. We congratulate her on this tremendous honor.”
 
Richmond received her Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1980. She is a distinguished researcher in the field of surface chemistry of complex surfaces and interfaces, a discipline with relevance to environmental remediation, energy production and atmospheric chemistry. She has served on several national scientific advisory boards, including the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Advisory Committee and her current appointment to the National Science Board.
 
In her candidate statement, submitted after being nominated for president-elect, Richmond said she planned to work with the AAAS’s members, officers and directors toward a common goal of assuring the health and vitality of the scientific enterprise around the world. She spoke of the importance of scientific diplomacy and international collaborations and the unique global role played by the AAAS, as well as the need to continue to advocate for science funding and to assure a strong, diverse, motivated and inclusive scientific workforce.
 
Richmond holds the UO’s Presidential Chair in Science. She delivered the UO's Presidential Research Lecture last May, in which she discussed the essential properties of water – everything from the way water and oil interact to the ways in which water sustains life.
In addition to her service to the National Science Board and the University of Oregon, Richmond served on the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of the Oregon University System and its seven universities, from 1999-2006. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Physical Society (APS) Davisson-Germer Prize for Atomic or Surface Physics, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Charles L. Parsons Award, and was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences.
Richmond also is the founder and chair of COACh, an organization created to increase the number and career success of women scientists and engineers both in the U.S. and in developing countries. COACh provides training workshops, mentoring and networking activities and support to recruit and retain women for careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
 
Richmond received an AAAS fellowship in 2003 and is one of 36 current or retired UO faculty members who have been recognized as AAAS fellows by their peers for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. Most recently, in November 2013, the UO’s J. Josh Snodgrass, a biological anthropologist, and Tom H. Stevens, a biochemist, were named fellows. They will beformally presented with official certificates and gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pins during the AAAS annual meeting in February.
At the close of the 2014 Annual Meeting, Richmond will begin her term as president-elect and Gerald Fink will begin his term as AAAS president. Fink is a professor of genetics and founding member of the Whitehead Institute at MIT. The current president, Phillip A. Sharp, will become chairman of the AAAS Board of Directors. Sharp is a 1983 Nobel Prize winner and professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.
 
Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journals Science, Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling.
The full election results can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1evhmJ5.
January 17, 2014 03:13 PM

And you thought "Double D Blond" was eyeroll-worthy. Hop Valley got some bad press when Rebecca Rose of Jezebel wrote about a post from Beervana's  Jeff Alworth that claimed the real name of Hop Valley's "Mr. IPA" is "Mouth Raper." Alworth cited an alias page from ratebeer.com as proof, and a commenter added that she'd looked up the brew on Untapped after seeing it on Twitter as "Mouth Raper," and all the reviews there listed that as its name.

Hop Valley says it's just "Mr. IPA." The brewery posted a response on Facebook: 

We have a series of draft beers named Mr. Orange, Mr. Black and Mr. IPA. It has come to our attention that an urban myth and street name has emerged surrounding Mr. IPA. We take this very seriously and are sensitive to these issues. Accordingly, we have pulled the product and are instructing our distributors to replace any remaining kegs with other offerings. We apologize for any harm or misunderstandings this has created.

Commenter Dana Garves replied to Hop Valley's post, accusing the brewery of lying rather than admitting its mistake. The comments were later taken down, and Garves says she did not delete them herself. A couple of other comments skeptical of the apology are still up as of 1:30 pm Friday, Jan. 17. Here's what Garves originally posted:

Maybe Hop Valley can brew some special batches named for feminist superheroes or something? I'd buy that, even if it was an IPA.

PS: Anyone making the argument that the name was "just a joke" should read Lindy West on how to make a rape joke and Patton Oswalt's excellent essay about rape culture and rape jokes.

December 20, 2013 01:13 PM

On Jan. 1, penalties for talking on the phone in your car are going up. And for the first time, there's no smoking if a kid's in the car. From ODOT:

 

Fine increases for mobile device usage

Senate Bill 9 changes Oregon's traffic offense of operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile communication device from a Class D violation to a Class C. The minimum fine for a class C violation is $142, and the fine for this offense can be as high as $500. The fine's increase is aimed at reducing the number of crashes that involve a driver talking on a handheld phone or texting. In Oregon from 2009 to 2011, nine people died in crashes involving a driver who was reportedly using a cell phone at the time of the crash, and 673 people have been injured.

Using a cell phone while driving falls under the category of "distracted driving," and this type of distraction is an increasingly dangerous behavior across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the U.S. 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, compared to 3,267 in 2010.

The behavior is especially dangerous for younger drivers: 11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.

Any activity that diverts a person's attention away from the primary task of driving is dangerous. A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study revealed that physically dialing a phone while driving increases the risk of a crash as much as six times. Texting is riskier still, increasing the collision risk by 23 times.

Even though a majority of Oregonians believe texting and hand-held cell phone use while driving is unsafe, some still choose to do so. According to a 2012 phone survey of Oregon drivers, more than 70 percent said they know cell phones are a safety problem and that phoning and texting while driving are illegal. In spite of this, cell phone convictions in Oregon have steadily risen from an initial 40 in 2008 to 22,892 in 2012.

New smoking offense created

Senate Bill 444 created the new offense of smoking in a vehicle while a person younger than 18 years old is in the vehicle. The maximum fine for the first offense is $250, and the maximum fine for repeat offenses is $500.

This new law is considered a "secondary" law: a police officer may cite for this offense only if the officer has already stopped a vehicle for another violation or offense.

December 16, 2013 04:40 PM

EPD's police blotter highlights from the first half of December are a good reminder: Verifying that the person tying you up is trustworthy might take some time, but it might also save you some trouble.

A 22-year-old man reported he met another male online and they began emailing back and forth. There was an agreement to meet at the 22-year-old’s apartment to play a game involving being tied up. Once the 22-year-old realized the game was getting out of hand, it was too late. The suspect loaded up anything of value and left. It took some time, but the victim was able to free himself.

October 23, 2013 02:52 PM

We couldn't make this up. From People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals:

October 23, 2013

Group Wants to Debut New Tongue-in-Cheek Attack of the Pigeons! Video Short at UCLA Bruins Game

A feathered fan of the No.3 University of Oregon's football team—a pigeon dubbed "Timothy," who apparently enjoys blocking one of the school's stadium cameras—has prompted PETA to ask the team to promote respect for all pigeons by posing a scary proposition. In a letter sent to the school's athletic director today, PETA asks the university to debut PETA's tongue-in-cheek Attack of the Pigeons! video short (available for preview here) on the Jumbotron during the Ducks' next home game against the No.12 UCLA Bruins on October 26. The video, shot like a kitschy B horror movie, playfully takes a look at what life would be like for humans if pigeons treated humans the way that some members of our species treat them.

"Timothy the Pigeon's popularity creates the perfect opportunity to push for compassion for all our feathered friends," says PETA Special Projects Manager Alicia Woempner. "PETA's video is a quirky way to point out that it's not nice to harass pigeons, who are gentle, attentive parents who mate for life and only want to be left alone to raise their families—and maybe take in a ball game or two."

Video in question is here.

October 18, 2013 09:57 AM

Oregon's first statewide Drive Less Challenge kicks off Oct. 21 and runs (and bikes and walks and carpools) through Nov. 1. The aim is to reduce vehicle miles traveled by 500,000 miles. Sign up at DriveLessChallenge.com/challenge to participate, and you can get an informational kit; you can even request a couple of freebies like leg straps for biking and pedometers.

For more Eugene-centric information, like connecting with carpools and figuring out your best bike routes, check out point2pointsolutions.org. Sponsors Bike Friday and Wells Fargo are donating prizes.

September 16, 2013 03:45 PM

The FBI released its "Crime in the United States" data for 2012. Eugene recorded 72 forcible rapes in 2012, down from 78 in 2011, and it's interesting to compare Eugene's reported crimes to other cities in Oregon. There were 40 rapes reported in Salem in 2012, up from 32 the previous year. Portland is cut off of the chart below for space, but 231 rapes were reported there in 2012, down from 258 in 2011. (Portland data is included in the chart.)

When comparing statistics on sexual assault, the numbers don't really reflect reality — the Department of Justice's "National Crime Victimization Survey: 2006-2010" stated that nationally, the majority of rapes (56 percent) go unreported to police. Eugene's stats could mean that the city has an unusually high reporting rate thanks to the work of groups like Sexual Assault Support Services. It could also mean that the rate of rape is higher here. It could also mean that there is a low reporting rate and things are really, really bad. As a SASS staffer told EW over the phone: "It's not like comparing apples to oranges. It's like comparing apples to rocks."

2012 Sexual Assault Data

August 5, 2013 05:57 PM

Adieu, Crown Vic, we hardly knew ye. Fewer of those familiar headlights will pull Eugeaneans over in coming years; EPD will now purchase Ford Interceptor SUVs. Check out the Interceptors along with three others that the cops considered Tuesday, Aug. 6, at EPD headquarters.

More info from EPD's press release:

	Eugene Police Department
Unveils New SUV Patrol Sedans

SUMMARY:  As a result of Ford no longer manufacturing the Crown Victoria sedan, EPD
has spent two years testing patrol vehicles currently on the market. We will now
display each of the four tested vehicles to the media and show the differences
between each vehicle.


What:   Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Caprice, Ford Interceptor Sedan, and the Ford SUV.
When:   TUESDAY, August 6, at 10:00 a.m.
Where:  Eugene Police Department Public Parking Lot
300 Country Club Road, Eugene, OR 97401
Who:    Sergeant Angie San Miguel will present the vehicles, and patrol officers
will be on-hand to explain and demonstrate the differences and allow media to ride
in the vehicles.

After two years of testing and research, Eugene Police Department will be purchasing
new fuel-efficient patrol cars that are expected to save 35 percent on fuel compared
to the older Crown Victoria models that are being discontinued by the manufacturer. 
The new model, the Ford Interceptor SUV, was tested along with five other vehicle
models and scored highest on operational and fuel efficiency.###

July 24, 2013 11:06 AM

An EPD officer who resigned in December pled guilty to sex abuse charges. Here's EPD's press release; we're pretty sure that the December 2013 is actually 2012, since 2013's December hasn't happened yet:

Today, Stefan Zeltvay, former EPD officer, age 44, of Eugene pled guilty to five counts of Sexual Harassment and one count of Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree.

Zeltvay, who has resigned from his employment with EPD, was with the department since September 18, 1995.

Eugene Police received a possible criminal complaint about Zeltvay on July 10, 2012. During the criminal investigation, EPD learned of new, potentially criminal acts by Zeltvay and began investigating those. Ultimately, the findings were forwarded to the District Attorney.

The criminal investigation identified a number of women who were sexually abused or sexually harassed by Zeltvay. His criminal acts occurred over a period of years.  The incidents of abuse happened in a number of settings. They occurred while Zeltvay was on-duty and off-duty, during social functions and on personal time. His criminal behavior involved inappropriate comments and offensive and sexual touching.

Because of the history and nature of the abuse, EPD is concerned about the possibility there could be more victims. Anyone with information can call Eugene Police Sgt. Scott McKee 541.682.5144. If they are uncomfortable calling police, they can call the Police Auditor at 541.682.5016.

Zeltvay employed by Eugene Police as a patrol officer in September 1995 and worked patrol and rapid deployment unit until he became a School Resource Team Officer August 10, 2003. At this time, there have been no sustained reports of crimes from the schools. Zeltvay was placed on modified duty October 31, 2012 and then on paid administrative leave on December 20, 2012.

EPD Career Positions and Dates for Stefan Zeltvay:

Hired September 18, 1995. School Resource Team since August 2003.

Position Hired Into: Police Officer, September 18, 1995

Assignments per PAF history

Probationary Recruit Officer: September 18, 1995- March 18, 1997

Patrol: March 1997- January 4, 1999

RDU (Rapid Deployment Unit): January 5, 1999-February 5, 2000

Patrol: February 6, 2000-August 23, 2003

School Resource Team: August 24, 2003-December 19, 2013

Desk Duty (modified duty on 10/31/12)

Placed on Admin Leave: December 20, 2013

May 9, 2013 10:26 AM

Today is a big fundraising day for Basic Rights Oregon because it's the first-ever National Give OUT Day (see what they did there?), in which people give to causes that support gay rights. The video after the link describes several aspects of gay rights that BRO is working on, which is important because sometimes they get forgotten in the midst of the big conversations on marriage equality.

The School Garden Project helps Lane County schools with gardens, and we all know that this nation needs to work on its messed-up relationship with food. What better way than to help kids understand food by growing and eating some of the good stuff? Now the organization is in the running for a Seeds of Change grant, and they need help with online voting (through May 17). Go vote for them!

May 7, 2013 09:46 AM

There's a rally to support union negotiators at UO today:

 

 

WHAT: RALLY - Faculty at University of Oregon support their Bargaining Team

WHERE: Knight Library (Northwest Entrance)

WHEN: Noon, Tuesday, May 7

WHY: Faculty are rallying in support of their negotiating team to send an unambiguous message to the Administration: prioritizing high quality research and education means reaching a fair agreement with the faculty union now.

 

May 6, 2013 06:54 PM

Now that warm weather is upon us, all the fun bike events are coming out to play. Here are a few of Eugene's events this week (May 7-12):

Tuesday: Bike Commute Fashion Show. From 7 am to 9:30 am, roll the red carpet and have your picture taken in your best bike commuting gear. The event even includes free minor bike repairs, so meet up on the South Riverbank Path behind the Campbell Center.

Wednesday: National Bike to School Day. Go to school by bike. Heck, bike by a school even if you're no longer a student. Solidarity!

Thursday: Bike in Shapes. While the details for this month's ride aren't set yet, previous maps are pretty awesome, and you can plan on meeting at a local bar and then heading off for a super fun ride. Check the Wordpress site Wednesday night for details.

Saturday: WREN's Walkin' and Rollin' Event: Local organizations display educational information to help you get to know your local wetlands while you walk or ride.

Sunday: CycloFemme. The annual Mother's Day event celebrates women on bikes. Dudes and those who don't want to check a gender box are also welcome.