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July 16, 2015 03:35 PM

Just in this afternoon from Womenspace ...

"In light of the recent tragic losses our community has had to endure, Womenspace will be holding a silent vigil to honor those who were taken from us too soon by their intimate partner. We will be meeting at the Springfield City Library to honor those lost and support anyone affected by intimate partner violence."

The vigil will be at 5 pm Friday, July 17, and ths Springfield Library is a 225 N. 5th Sreet.

"The mission of Womenspace is to prevent domestic violence in intimate partner relationships in Lane County and support survivors in claiming personal power," reads the email to supporters.

"Womenspace is the primary provider of domestic violence services in Lane County. For almost 40 years, the agency has helped IPV survivors reach their goals of safety and self-sufficiency. Womenspace provides survivors with crisis intervention, safety planning, peer counseling, advocacy, education, resource referrals, and satellite offices serve rural communities. Their Crisis Line is available 24/7 at 485-6513 or (800) 281-2800."

For more information please contact Teresa Aslin, assistant executive director, at 485-8232.

July 9, 2015 04:13 PM

This just in from EWEB:

Low water forces shutdown of Trail Bridge turbine
With the McKenzie River at or below historic low flows for early July, the Eugene Water & Electric Board on Friday will shut down its Trail Bridge hydroelectric generation turbine, and anticipates it may have to further curtail generation at its Walterville and Leaburg facilities later this summer.
The generation turbines at EWEB’s McKenzie River projects require a minimum flow of water to operate properly. When water volume decreases below a minimum threshold, running the power generation equipment risks damaging the turbine units.
“While it is unusual to take the units offline, it isn’t unprecedented,” said Generation Manager Mike McCann.
“We have had to do this before at each of the projects, just never this early,” McCann said. “We are not alone as there are other utilities in the Northwest experiencing the same conditions.”
The Trail Bridge turbine is part of EWEB’s Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project, located about 70 miles east of Eugene. The Trail Bridge powerhouse, located below Trail Bridge dam and reservoir, can generate up to 5 megawatts of electricity, or roughly equal to about 2 percent of Eugene’s average daily consumption of electricity.
McCann said he expects the utility will shut down the Walterville turbine later this month due to the low water levels. The Leaburg facility will continue running one of its two turbines until late July or early August, depending on river flows. EWEB will be able to run its largest hydroelectric generation facility, the Carmen plant, in a “peaking” mode to produce power during the typical daily high-demand hours.
Despite the curtailment of McKenzie generation, EWEB will have adequate supplies of power through the summer. The Bonneville Power Administration, which markets power from a network of 29 hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, supplies EWEB with the majority of the energy consumed by Eugene residents.
As a result of the low river flow conditions, the public may notice that reservoir and canal levels are lower than normal. This is a temporary condition and operating levels will rise again when river flows increase. The utility will use the downtime to accelerate its preventative maintenance.
EWEB will keep a minimum amount of water in its Leaburg and Walterville power canals to mitigate drying of the canal embankment soils due to warm weather. Excessive drying could damage the embankment soils and increase dam safety risks when the canals resume operation at normal flow levels.
“Once it starts raining, and it will, EWEB will begin generating again,” McCann said. “We don’t expect any long-term negative effects to our infrastructure due to the low water conditions.”

July 2, 2015 03:38 PM

A tribute video to longtime LCC Board member Bob Ackerman.

July 2, 2015 11:56 AM

Check out this cool (literally) creation that uses a cheap fan, a piece of plumbing, a styrofoam cooler and a block of ice.

June 30, 2015 05:41 PM

Mayor Kitty Piercy has called for an emergency meeting of the Eugene City Council to discuss a fireworks ban over the holiday weekend in light of fire danger in the area. The mayor’s ability to call such a meeting is pursuant to ORS 192.640.

Here is the statment from the mayor's office today:

"In response to community concerns about fire dangers associated with severe drought conditions, Council will hold a special meeting and public hearing on Wednesday, July 1 at noon in Harris Hall to consider ordinance changes that would prohibit fireworks of any kind to be deployed between the date of Council action and July 6, 2015.

"Currently, legal fireworks are only allowed in Eugene on December 31, January 1, and from June 23 to July 6 each year. The prohibition of fireworks during the rest of the year would remain in effect. These dates were established in an ordinance passed by Council last year. Since that time the Eugene Police and the Eugene/Springfield Fire Department have ramped up education and outreach so that Eugene residents are informed of regulations and have information on how to safely discharge fireworks. Fireworks shows that require a permit, professional inspection, and fire crew onsite would not be affected."
A copy of the ordinance is available on the City’s website www.eugene-or.gov.

June 24, 2015 03:00 PM

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley released the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed “fast track” trade legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other future trade deals:

When crafting a new trade structure, our national objective should be raising wages and living standards for middle-class Americans. Past trade deals have consistently failed to live up to their promises and made it harder for working Americans to get ahead. Unfortunately, the fast track bill passed by the Senate today does not change that fundamental structure – a structure which has led so many past trade deals to create job losses and falling wages for working Americans.

Many Americans understand that competing for jobs with workers earning rock-bottom wages in other countries hurts them and hurts our economy. That’s why I pressed to use this opportunity to make sure that future agreements truly have meaningful, rising labor and environmental standards, and that they’re able to be enforced. Despite the hard work of many on both sides of this debate, this trade framework ultimately does not achieve enforceable standards on critical issues like minimum wages, currency manipulation, environmental standards, and labor standards. Thus, while some industries may benefit from this framework, new trade deals under this structure will hurt American workers. That’s why I voted ‘no’ on fast track today.

June 23, 2015 02:16 PM

Fox News is all huffy this week over a "Coaching for Educational Equity" conference in Oregon, calling it a waste of taxpayer money that labels "white privilege as oppressive." The confab runs next week in Cottage Grove and the local Tea Party wingnuts are expected to show up carrying protest signs. All the conference really does is address issues of race and equity at an institutional and personal perspective.

June 18, 2015 04:42 PM

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has a new series of videos intended to encourage recreational fishing in Oregon. Fishing license sales have been dropping over the years, which has reduced revenue for ODFW.

June 16, 2015 03:11 PM

Local physician Pamela Wible, M.D., has a fun new video encouraging medical doctors to create better clinics.

June 15, 2015 12:34 PM

Qatar somehow landed a lucrative World Cup siting in 2022, but how many migrant laborers will die from heat stroke and horrid working conditions? Click on the story to read more.

June 11, 2015 01:27 PM

Blue Oregon, a progressive blog, takes a cricital look at the recent history of editorial positions of The Oregonian under former Publisher N. Christian Andersen, who is now editor and publisher of The Register-Guard. Click on the story to link to the blog and activate the blue links.

June 2, 2015 01:41 PM

This new video from Community Supported Shelters features people in the Eugene area who are homeless in "Safe Spots." Paula Goodbar of the CSS board produced the video. Click on the link above for the full video.

May 29, 2015 12:31 PM

We celebrate our military and war movies are super popular. Here's a different perspective.

May 20, 2015 01:13 PM

Interesting anonymous commentary on the Zero Hedge website:

As the student loan bubble steams along towards the $1.5 trillion mark, pundits, researchers, and even (gasp) ratings agencies are starting to sound the alarm. While everyone is (as usual), around three years behind when it comes to admitting what’s been outlined extensively in these pages, we’re at least glad to see that the world is waking up to the fact that i) $1.3 trillion is a lot of money, ii) delinquency rates are far higher than the headline figures suggest, iii) students are never, repeat never, going to repay all of this, and iv) it is taxpayers who will eventually foot the bill.

To the latter point there, the calls for across-the-board debt “forgiveness” have already started and even if they hadn’t, and even if The White House weren’t looking at ways to make the discharge of student debt “more efficient” in bankruptcy, there are a number of reasons to believe that when it’s all said and done, taxpayers will be on the hook at least for hundreds of millions and more probably for hundreds of billions. Consider for instance that the cost of closing just one for-profit college could well run more than $200 million in federal loan forgiveness. Then there’s IBR (that’s “Income Based Repayment") in which borrowers whose disposable income isn’t deemed sufficient when it comes to making monthly payments have the remainder of their loan forgiven after 25 years. There’s literally no way to know what the cost to taxpayers will ultimately be from IBR plans, but what we do know is that an increase in the number of borrowers opting for some kind of IBR plan is one reason why Moody’s thinks some $3 billion in student loan-backed paper may be at risk for default.

So against this backdrop, America needs a plan, because as we’re fond of reminding people, one person’s liability is another person’s asset, meaning debt is never really “cancelled”, it’s just written off at some else’s expense. Ideally, opportunities in the job market and a robust economy would allow new graduates to obtain high-paying, full-time jobs which would in turn allow them to pay down their loans, but since that isn’t going to happen any time soon, we’re open to suggestions.

Fortunately, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has a plan that will ensure future generations of taxpayers aren’t stuck paying for their parents' college degrees: simply tax investors so the entire country can go to school for free.

Via Bloomberg:

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wants to take from the rich in order to make public college tuition-free for everyone else.

On Tuesday, the Vermont senator will hold a press conference in the nation's capital at which he will introduce a plan to use a so-called Robin Hood tax on stock transactions to fund tuition at four-year public colleges and universities.

Sanders' bill sets a 50-cent tax on every "$100 of stock trades on stock sales, and lesser amounts on transactions involving bonds, derivatives, and other financial instruments," the group Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street said Monday in a press release.

"The Robin Hood tax would also slow the growth of automated high frequency trading, which makes the stock market more dangerous," the press release stated. "A small tax would make risky HFT unprofitable, and help reduce the excess speculation on commodities like food and gas that drives up prices, which will protect the economy from computer-generated collapses and market manipulation."

Sanders, who is the only candidate so far to mount a formal primary challenge to Hillary Clinton, argues that making college tuition-free will help America compete in the global marketplace.

"We live in a highly competitive global economy and, if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated work force in the world," he said in a press release on Sunday. "That will not happen if, every year, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and if millions more leave school deeply in debt."
There you go. Problem solved. We’ll leave it to readers to judge what kind of reception that plan is likely to get from GOP lawmakers, but we will venture to propose an alternative: make market rigging algos fund the education of the nation’s best and brightest by taxing all canceled orders. Then again, that plan would only generate revenue for one day because it would put the HFT crowd out of business overnight.