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April 25, 2014 04:38 PM

Eugene pundit George Beres, former sports information director for UO, got quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times today on the topic of unionizing college athletes. http://wkly.ws/1qg

April 25, 2014 03:41 PM

The voter registration deadline for the May 20 Primary Election is Tuesday, April 29. People who are not registered to vote in any Oregon county may register online at oregonvotes.gov no later than 11:59 pm April 29. The online option is available only to those with a valid Oregon driver’s license, DMV-issued identification card, or learner’s permit.

Other registration options are to submit a voter registration form to the Elections Office by 4 pm April 29, or mail a voter registration card to the Elections Office with a postmark no later than April 29.

New voters who will turn 18 on or before the May 20 Election Day may register by the April 29 deadline and receive a ballot, even if they are still 17 on the deadline date.

For any questions on voter registration and elections in Oregon, go to lanecounty.org/elections or call 682-4234.

Lane County Elections is located at 275 W.10th Ave. in downtown Eugene. Public office hours are 9 am to noon, and 1 to 4 pm Monday through Friday. On Election Day the office will be open from 7 am to 8 pm.

April 22, 2014 03:20 PM

Judge Michael McShane has denied the attempt by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to delay arguments in the federal case against the ban on gay marriage in Oregon. McShane will hear arguments as scheduled at 1 pm Wednesday, April 23, at the U.S. Courthouse in Eugene.

McShane is not expected to rule on the legality of Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage until at least May 14. He will also consider NOM's motion to intervene in the case and will hear oral arguments on that issue May 14.

Meanwhile, vigils supporting marriage equality are being planned throughout Oregon. Eugene's will be from 5:30 to 6:30 this evening at the U.S. Courthouse. The vigil is likely to continue at the Courthouse tomorrow.

April 21, 2014 10:49 AM

This just in from White Bird in Eugene:

Fourth year dental student Julia Allen from Arizona University of Oral Medicine in Tempe Arizona was surprised to find her rental apartment burglarized over the weekend. “I opened the door and everything was taken out of the drawers and closets and thrown all over.” Allen works as a volunteer at White Bird Dental Clinic providing dental treatment to low income patients and had gone on a day trip to the Oregon Coast.

The apartment is provided by White Bird Dental for the students during their rotations of public health dental clinics. The program allows White Bird to see patients at a reduced cost and allows the students to explore a city for a possible future dental practice.

Clinic manager Kim Freuen says the biggest loss was Allen’s dental loupes. The loupes are headbands with magnifying lenses and lighting, custom fit to each person and cost $4,000. She will be taking the test for her dental license soon. Part of the test is proficiency of working on patients which will be difficult without the dental loops.

White Bird is asking the public to help find the dental loupes. If you have any information please call White Bird Dental at 344-8302.

April 18, 2014 02:58 PM

Oregon’s Last Comedian Standing finals are tonight at Kowloon Restaurant & Lounge, 2222 MLK Blvd. near Autzen Stadium. Schmoozing begins at 7 with showtime at 8. Entry is $5 to $10 at the door. One hundred contestants from around the state are down to six tonight: Juan Knuston, Jake Woodmansee, Chris Green, Will Gibbions, Scoot Heering and Andy Schanz. Cash and prizes are valued at $10,000.

April 16, 2014 11:23 AM

Moonalice coming to Cozmic May 3.

April 4, 2014 04:03 PM

Walter Cronkite breaks the news to a shocked nation.

April 1, 2014 05:32 PM

Read a review of Mark Naison's new book on public education under attack by conservatives dedicated to privatizing education and the massive profits that are to be made:

http://wkly.ws/1pz

Here's an excerpt from the review:

One of the many carefully orchestrated myths of the corporate “reformers” who have hijacked American education this century is that opposition comes only from the Tea Party and from teachers union ‘dead enders.’ All right-thinking Americans, the myth goes, recognize that our public schools have failed and that education in the United States can only be saved by alternatives like vouchers and charter schools, by public schools staffed by temporary Teach for America instructors, and by imposition of “standards” by an elite that knows what employers need. Led today by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, billionaire Bill Gates, College Board head (and Common Core State Standards creator) David Coleman, and Students First organizer Michelle Rhee, this well-funded “reform” movement has been steamrolling over resistance for years, opponents often destroyed before they even know they are under attack.

March 28, 2014 03:33 PM

New video from the city and LTD looks at challenges of traffic on Charnelton with EmX.

March 28, 2014 03:17 PM

Annie Leonard, writer and illustrator of The Story of Stuff, will be giving the Dempsey Lecture at 7:30 pm Thursday, April 17, at Hudson Hall at Willamette University in Salem. Might be fun to carpool to this free event.

March 24, 2014 11:44 AM

 

Will Oregon environmental organizations share his enthusiasm?

Update: NO.

Susan Jane Brown of the Western Environmental Law Center, which has been fighting the controversial liquifiend natural gas proposal responded saying:

"Senator Wyden’s comments on Jordan Cove show an unfortunate lack of understanding about, and appreciation of, the environmental and social costs of the project. Oregonians who recreate on the public lands and waters crossed by the pipeline, or private landowners who would have their property taken for the benefit of a few rich foreigners, know better. We hoped Senator Wyden would as well."

Wyden's full press release is  below.

Wyden Applauds Approval of Jordan Cove LNG Terminal

 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore, issued the following statement on the Energy Department’s approval of Jordan Cove’s application to export liquefied natural gas from Coos County, Oregon:

“This announcement is exactly what Coos Bay, North Bend and America need: new jobs and new investment, while factoring in a changed geopolitical landscape through a case-by-case process.

I urged DOE to consider this application without delay, and I am pleased the department decided that Jordan Cove deserves to move forward.

Priority one for me has always been ensuring American jobs and employers see the full benefits of the natural gas renaissance. The Department of Energy must monitor markets closely and be prepared to adjust course should any threat to American jobs or energy security emerge.”

Jordan Cove’s terminal was approved to export .8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. The project must now receive approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before beginning construction. Jordan Cove is the seventh LNG export application to date approved for nations without free trade agreements with the United states. 

March 20, 2014 02:08 PM

March 19, 2014 04:19 PM

Want to understand the history of Crimea better? One scholar writing on the topic this week is John Quigley. The below essay can be found on the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law, see http://wkly.ws/1ph

The current situation in Crimea can of course be analyzed from the standpoint of use of force under international law, but other aspects merit attention as well. In particular, if one approaches the situation from the dispute settlement angle, one can ask what the appropriate status of Crimea should be.
Crimea occupies a strange posture because of its history. It is territory that originally was populated by the Tatars, who were then overtaken by migrating Russians starting in the eighteenth century as the Russian Empire extended its reach southward. The Tatars regard the Russians much as the indigenous peoples of North America regard the Europeans who came to their territory and took it over. That relationship suffered even more during World War II. Because the Tatars harbored resentment against the Russians, the German invasion seemed to many Tatars a favorable development, but the response of the Soviet Government was to exile the Tatars en masse to Kazakhstan.
Nonetheless, Crimea was part of Russia through the nineteenth century. Because of its position on the Black Sea, it provided an ideal location for harboring Russia’s Navy. When the Soviet Union was formed in 1922 it was within what became the Russian republic of the USSR. Then in 1954 it was transferred into the Ukrainian republic, which may have been thought to make sense geographically. The population remained, and would remain, predominantly Russian, however.
When the USSR broke up, Crimea’s status became a hot button issue. The population feared losing its connection to Russia. If they were now foreigners as far as the new Russian Federation was concerned, what would happen to their pensions? Would their children be able to attend Russian universities? At that period the Ukrainian government welcomed back the Tatars. Grateful to the Ukraine, the returning Tatars provided a reason for Crimea to continue to be affiliated with Ukraine.
The parliament of Crimea declared Crimea to be independent, but then a status of autonomy was created for Crimea within Ukraine.
The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe became concerned that the fears of the Russians of Crimea over what they regarded as the anomalous presence of Crimea within an independent Ukraine might lead to hostilities between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The High Commissioner of the OSCE for national minorities undertook consultations by way of preventive diplomacy. Focusing on the possibility of a special status for Crimea within Ukraine, the CSCE appointed a three-person group – two lawyers and one economist – to facilitate dialogue between the authorities of Ukraine on the one side and Crimea on the other. I was one of the lawyers.
In my exchanges with officials of the Crimean parliament, I was constantly pressed to know why self-determination did not apply to Crimea. The sentiment of the population was rather clearly against a continued affiliation of any kind with Ukraine. Yet at the time, the Russian Federation did not seem prepared to engender the hostility with Ukraine that would ensue if the Russian Federation were to encourage Crimea to separate from Ukraine and become a part of the Russian Federation.
The recent changes in Kiev seem to be bringing into greater prominence a Rightist element organized around the Svoboda party. This element is not well disposed to Russians, instead insisting on strong Ukrainian nationalism. It was doubtless this element that prompted the Ukrainian parliament to nullify a 2012 Ukraine law that had given minority languages official status in regions of Ukraine where they are spoken. Under the 2012 law, Russian had been designated an official language in sectors of eastern Ukraine, and in Crimea. The nullification of the 2012 law came just after the parliament voted Victor Yanukovych out of office as president and seemed that it might poise Ukraine on a trajectory that would result in discrimination against the Russians of Ukraine. That move frightened the Russian speakers in Crimea. It was also a challenge to President Vladimir Putin, to whom the Crimeans look for protection.
The language issue, moreover, had implications for Russia-Ukraine legal relations. Russia and Ukraine have a Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership, dating from 31 May 1997. In Article 12, “The High Contracting Parties guarantee the ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious identity of national minorities on their territories and shall create the conditions for the encouragement of this identity.” That clause was inserted at Russia’s insistence, precisely to protect Ukraine’s Russian speakers. The 2012 law was later restored when Ukraine’s new president vetoed the parliament’s action, but the veto came too late to allay the fears of Russian speakers as to the direction of Ukraine’s new government.
The existence of this treaty clause makes Ukraine’s treatment of its Russia minority an issue that implicates the treaty rights of the Russian Federation.
The Russians of Crimea see themselves as being in a posture not unlike that of the Albanians of Kosovo, as that group perceived itself, in 1999. That situation led to military intervention that secured separation. While differences may to be sure be found between the two situations, the Russians of Crimea do, in the main, fear for their future within Ukraine.
The Crimea parliament voted on March 6 to separate from Ukraine and to join Russia. It in fact indicated that the separation is effectively immediately. Nonetheless, it has scheduled a referendum vote for the population of Crimea for March 16. The ballot will ask voters to choose whether to join Russia, or to remain in the autonomy status in Ukraine under the Ukraine constitution. The vote may well go strongly in favor of affiliation with Russia. The Government of the Russian Federation has not indicated whether it would accept Crimea, but in the Russian Duma, parliamentarians are indicating they will address the issue.
The majlis – the legislative body representing the Tatars of Crimea – has indicated it does not recognize the recent actions of the Crimea parliament as legitimate. The Tatars may boycott the referendum. They oppose affiliation with Russia. If Crimea does affiliate with Russia, the Government of Russia will need to move proactively to assure the Tatars that their status will be protected.
Affiliation with Russia, if it comes about, is likely to be regarded by the Western powers as a product of Russian aggression. They might deem the affiliation invalid, an outcome that could result in uncertainty as to Crimea’s status and potential difficulties for its inhabitants.
Self-determination is a concept whose implementation in the international community has been inconsistent. Given the history of the territory, the population of Crimea has a plausible claim to self-determination. If Crimea remains within Ukraine, it may be an irritant between Russia and Ukraine for a long time to come. It could well be to the interest of Ukraine that Crimea affiliate with Russia. The Government of Ukraine does not see the matter that way, to be sure. It regards the action of the Crimea parliament and the scheduled referendum as unlawful under the Ukraine constitution. It will also point out that Russia has agreed to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Whatever the outcome, it is important that the Western powers, Ukraine, and Russia all refrain from regarding the Crimea question through the lens of geopolitics at the world level. The issue should not be whether President Putin or President Obama emerges a winner. The focus should be on the welfare of the population of Crimea.

March 18, 2014 03:03 PM

This video promotes a specific mutual fund at the end, but there are others that can help you divest from fossil fuel industries that contribute to climate change. We got this video from EnvironmentOregon.org.