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October 30, 2014 03:08 PM

Eugene's Pamela Wible, M.D., spoke twice at the American Academy of Family Physicians Scientific Assembly in Washington, D.C., recently. Find a transcript of her talk online at

http://wkly.ws/1u6

October 30, 2014 04:58 PM

Lane County Board of Commission then-Chair Sid Leiken and Vice Chair Jay Bozievich knew of the changes in Liane Inkster’s compensation, according to a letter from the Oregon State Bar to Inkster (formerly Richardson).

According to the letter, after the conclusion of an investigation by Greg Olson of USO Consulting and Investigation, “the board later conducted a full independent audit” of Inkster. “It concluded that [Inkster] did not act fraudulently and that the board chair and vice chair knew and approved of the changes in [her] compensation.”

The entire April 22, 2014 letter concludes that Inkster did not knowingly make an “inaccurate representation of material fact that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law.” EW received the letter after inquiring into the status of the bar’s disciplinary investigation into Inkster.

The Oregon State Bar opened an investigation into Inkster after she nominated herself for a position on the bar’s Disciplinary Board after “Inkster had been sacked by the Lane County Board of Commissioners for covertly boosting her pay in violation of county policy,” according to The Register-Guard.

But according to the letter from the state bar to Inkster, she and “the board agreed to terminate [Inkster's] employment contract based on contractual dispute. No one found that [Inkster] acted dishonestly, fraudulently or deceitfully.”

Inkster told Olson that commissioners Leiken, Bozievich and Faye Stewart had knowledge of her compensation changes. Leiken and Stewart denied that knowledge to the investigator, according to the report. Bozievich told the investigator he knew of one of her pay changes but denied knowing about the change that allowed Richardson to sell back and turn into immediate take-home pay much more  of her unused paid vacation and sick leave than county policy allows.

According to the letter, Inkster told the Assistant Disciplinary Counsel Mary Cooper that the issues began when the Lane County board “wanted, for political reasons, to delay discussions” over whether she should get a raise. At the time, Inkster was making more than $150,000 a year.

EW has asked the county to respond to whether Leiken and Bozievich knew of the changes and has asked for a copy of the county's independent audit into Richardson that found she didn’t act fraudulently.

The letter from the bar is below.

October 29, 2014 11:07 AM

An illustrated talk by Noah Strycker, local author of The Thing with Featherswill be from 6 to 7:30 this evening (Wednesday) at the Eugene Public Library.


Here’s the blurb about Strycker on the library website:


Approaching bird behavior from new and surprising angles, Strycker explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, self-image in magpies, life-long loves of albatrosses, particle physics of starling flocks, and other mysteries — revealing why birds do what they do, and how we can relate. With humor and wit, this talk draws deeply from cutting-edge science and anecdotes from the field.



A well-known and widely published writer and photographer, Noah Strycker is Associate Editor of “Birding” magazine and author of a previous book, “Among Penguins.” He has studied birds on six continents with field seasons in Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Australia, Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and the Farallon Islands, and his “life list” is approaching 2,500 species. He also works as a naturalist guide on expedition cruises to Antarctica and Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.

                

October 28, 2014 12:30 AM

A bloody hell of a good time was had at the Second-Hand Zombies Salvaged Costume Show. Envision Journalism and Her Campus Oregon joined forces for the first Halloween Thrift Fashion Event held in the EMU Ballroom. Here are some of the runway looks supplied and styled by local shops Buffalo Exchange, Kitsch-22, and Custom Cranium.

October 27, 2014 06:26 PM

Fun new video from Steel Wool, filmed right here in little Eugene.

October 27, 2014 12:52 PM

Scientist Tyrone Hayes came to Eugene last week to talk about his research on the pesticide atrazine. If you missed his talks, KLCC will play his City Club of Eugene talk, "A Second Silent Spring" Oct. 27 at 6:30 pm, or you can listen to it here

Or you can just listed to Hayes' "The Atrazine Rap."

October 25, 2014 10:59 AM

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that former Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy's complaint against the county, Liane Richardson (now Inkster), Sid Leiken, Faye Stewart and Jay Bozievich can be amended and move forward for a decision. 

The Circuit Court ruled that: "While the district court did not specifically address whether amendment would be allowed, the district court entered judgment soon after dismissal, effectively precluding amendment. In general, leave to amend should be freely granted."

Handy's lawsuit, which was also filed by his constituent Brian McCall, claimed "in part, that Lane County, three of its commissioners, and the county administrator denied Commissioner Handy access to his office and his emails for months, creating great difficulties in carrying out his job as an elected official, which also impacted his constituents, " according to a press release from Handy. 

The full press release is below and the appeals court ruling is here. EW will ask Lane County for comment for a story for next week's issue.

On Thursday, October 23, 2014 the 9th Circuit Court of the U.S Court of Appeals released its decision on the appeal of Rob Handy, former Lane County Commissioner and his constituent, Brian McCall against Lane County, individual Commissioners Faye Stewart, Sid Leiken, and Jay Bozievich and former Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson (now Inkster).

Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns Judge Aiken's decision dismissing Rob Handy's lawsuit against Lane County.

The original lawsuit claimed, in part, that Lane County, three of its commissioners, and the county administrator denied Commissioner Handy access to his office and his emails for months, creating great difficulties in carrying out his job as an elected official, which also impacted his constituents.

The federal appeals court overturned Chief District Court judge Ann Aiken's decision not to allow Handy to clarify his original complaint. The appeals court ordered that Handy and McCall are allowed to amend their complaint and go forward to a decision on the merits of their claims.

According to Rob Handy, “We filed this suit to bring attention to the politicization of the offices of the Lane County Commissioners and how those in power misused that power to further a political agenda. The three commissioners named in the lawsuit are still in office and the concerns remain valid. We have been seeking access to justice and are looking forward to moving forward with this case in the courts.”

Local attorney Marianne Dugan represented former commissioner Handy in the appeal and continues to represent Handy as the case moves back to the jurisdiction of the District Court.

October 24, 2014 12:46 PM

Excelsior Farm in Eugene grows herbs and veggies for Excelsior Restaurant, Farmers Market and CSAs (community supported agriculture) for families. Here is there new video about a campaign to raise money for a new greenhouse that would allow them to expand.

October 22, 2014 03:51 PM

Like it or not, the Common Core and the associated Smarter Balanced testing are on their way. As the Statesman Journal wrote last week, the Smarter Balanced test will cost Oregon about $4.5 million more than the old Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. 

As the story says:

Students are expected to master more critical thinking and problem solving skills under the new standards. They have to demonstrate that they understand concepts rather than just memorizing math equations, write opinion pieces at a younger age and more.

Changing student learning goals meant that states, including Oregon, needed a new test that would measure whether students were grasping these new standards.

"We believed very strongly that we wanted an assessment that had more student construction and writing and that those elements would require human scoring and would mean an assessment that was more expensive," said Crystal Greene, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Education.

In Portland, the school board has decided not to submit "acheivement compacts" connected to Smarter Balanced tests, meaning that Portland schools won't use the test scores to measure student achievement level. 

Here in Eugene School District 4J, the district has set up a series of information nights for parents who have questions about the Common Core. Tonight is the fourth and last session. 

According to 4J's website: 

Things are changing in your student’s classroom, in homework, and in assessments of his or her learning. Oregon and more than 40 other states across the country have developed and adopted shared academic expectations, called the Common Core State Standards. They are clear, consistent guidelines for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level in math and English language arts in order to be ready to graduate with an Oregon diploma, ready for college, careers and life. It’s all to help students develop the knowledge and higher-level thinking skills they need for their future success.

Tonight's session is 7 pm Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the cafeteria of Sheldon High School, 2455 Willakenzie Rd. 4J's website says that the sessions will start with an informative talk and then parents will break into groups. 

October 22, 2014 11:26 AM

Just for fun — If you are a fan of Criminal Minds, check out the BuzzFeed tribute to Matthew Gray Gubler, one of the most fasincating characters on TV today.

http://wkly.ws/1u0

October 22, 2014 11:14 AM

Look for our elections and endorsements issue tomorrow (Thursday) with a surprise cover, a little flashback to 2005 for those who have been following us over the years. Meanwhile, we see the League of Women Voters has a new website covering the elections statewide.
http://voteoregon.org/voter-resources/

October 20, 2014 07:44 PM

I missed their sets unfortunately but caught a couple of portraits of Bas and Tope.