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EW! A Blog.

August 7, 2013 12:36 PM

August 7, 2013 01:57 PM

Robert McChesney, co-author of Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America and author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy, is quoted today by the Institute for Public Accuracy saying:

As the commercial model of journalism is in free fall collapse, those remaining news media franchises have become playthings for billionaires, generally of value for political purposes, as old-fashioned monopoly newspapers still carry considerable influence. The United States went through this type of journalism at the turn of the last century and it produced a massive political crisis that led eventually to the creation of professional journalism, to protect the news from the dictates of the owners. Today professionalism has been sacrificed to commercialism, and the resources for actual reporting have plummeted.

 

Perhaps nothing better illustrates the desperation facing American journalism and democracy better than the fact we are reduced to praying we get a benevolent billionaire to control our news, when history demonstrates repeatedly such figures are in spectacularly short supply, and the other times we relied on such a model crashed and burned. America meets an existential crisis with an absurd response. No wonder this is a golden age for satire. We have to do better.

August 2, 2013 03:27 PM

One of a series of videos from Dr. Pam Wible of Eugene.

July 25, 2013 03:55 PM

July 25, 2013 03:13 PM

GLOOM from skot coatsworth on Vimeo. GLOOM is Eugene musician Brit Thomas Brody. Videographer Skot Coatsworth of Portland is the brother of Steve Coatsworth of Eugene.

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 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 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

June 25, 2013 04:06 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down rulings on two cases involving same-sex marriage Wednesday, June 26, and a Eugene rally is being planned at 5 pm at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza at 8th and Oak. Other rallies are happening tomorrow in Portland and Ashland. The rallies are being planned by the ACLU of Oregon and Oregon United for Marriage. Portland contact is Amy Ruiz, (503) 929-1036.

June 19, 2013 12:13 PM

One of several videos from a recent City Club program on affordable housing.

June 14, 2013 04:51 PM

Paul Cienfuegos was in Eugene this week and will speak at the Florence Public Library this evening (June 14) from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.