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EW! A Blog.

November 1, 2012 10:40 AM

Congratulations to Lord Leebrick Theater  who will receive $200,000 from the Meyer Memorial Trust whose trustees voted unanimously in support of the local theater's project to build a new facility on West Broadway. The new theatre is slated to be ready for performances in early 2013. Let's raise our glass to even more shows that Eugene audiences love, like Avenue Q, which landed Leebrick in a tie for first place in this year's Best of Eugene Best Theater Performance. This nudges the city a little closer to BOE voter's wish for the Best Thing That Could Happen to Eugene: Downtown revitalization.

 

 

October 31, 2012 05:58 PM

So Art Robinson sued Congressman Peter DeFazio for a cool million over billboards with Robinson's name and quotes on them, that were put up by DeFazio's campaign with link to the website whoisartrobinson.com

Tea Party climate-change denier Robinson is trying to take DeFazio on again for Oregon's 4th district congressional seat.

According to the conservative website Human Events, the suit is dead in the water. 

According to the story: 

David Mark, editor-in-chief at Politix and author of “Going Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning,” said, “Robinson has virtually no shot of winning because it’s not clear at all that the advertisements are illegal.”

October 31, 2012 02:09 PM

Over the course of 9 Fiery Furnace records and eleven solo albums, we’ve come to expect odd things from Matt Friedberger. The Furnace’s 2005 release “Rehearsing My Choir” features spoken-word from Friedberger’s Greek-orthodox Grandmother. The keyboardist and composer’s stuff is weird, sometimes unlistenable, but always intriguing and often downright brilliant.

So when the press release for his upcoming album Matricidal sons of bitchesis this out-there and awesome, we thought it would be best to just get out of the way and let you read it:

Matricidal sons of bitchesis not the soundtrack to not a film. But what if it wasn't?”

“Hmm. I don't mean to bore you, but to leave out the dashes for once, a Poverty Row picture was a not even a B picture. For instance, the production budget didn't really have the money to pay for a decent script, or acting, or photography.

“So: my newfangled old-fashioned Poverty Rue (in France) production didn't have the money to pay for a script, or acting, or photography. Being challenged all the way round, a Poverty Row movie certainly couldn't often pay for original music. A film would have to fill itself out, in general, with stock, 'royalty free' cues from a "Synchronization Service".

“Well then. Keeping to tradition, here on Poverty Rue my non-filmed film would have to have as, or on, its nonexistent ("nonexistent", because the (nonexistent) soundtrack is not the soundtrack, but the picture (or the not a picture) itself) soundtrack as much ready-made sort- of things-you've heard-before as possible. Or at least, as is feasible.”

“You'll see what I mean. Well, you won't see what I mean. Matricidal sons of bitchesis a horror movie, by the way. A scary thought. And the music isn't even scary.”

Matricidal sons of bitchesis out Oct. 30 on Thrill Jockey Records. Friedberger opens for the Sea and Cake 8 pm Monday, Nov. 5, at WOW Hall; $13 adv., $15 door.

October 31, 2012 11:39 AM

A four-year-old in the swing state of Colorado is tired of  "Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney."

We are too sweetie and it will all be over just as soon as we're done trying to keep Mr. Romney from taking away your Big Bird.

October 31, 2012 05:37 PM

So today at the Lane County Commissioners' meeting … 

They laughed, they joked, they talked about a public safety tax and they took secret pictures of each other and posted them on Facebook.

Here's more or less how the meeting went.

ANIMALS

Several citizens gave public comments asking that the commissioners retain the Lane County Animal Services Committee and fill the vacancies that have opened up on it. (See our story in tomorrow's EW.)

During the "Commissioners' Remonstrance" Commish Bozievich sends goodwill to those affected by the East Coast storm and then says he felt most people are not prepared for disasters and suggests some sites to go to for advice and also suggests  to give blood.

Commish Stewart shares the East Coast good wishes and asks County Admin Liane Richardson if she was ready for an update on the Animal Services Committee. Richardson says she hasn't heard anything from Eugene or Springfield about creating a multijurisdictional committee.  Stewart suggests it be made clear to Eugene and Springfield their input would be needed to form a committee that would extend beyond the animals in the county's purview (aka only the animals in the unincorporated areas).

ANIMALS and CLIMATE CHANGE!

Commish Handy says the county needed to send a message to Springfield and Eugene that a multijurisdictional taskforce is needed. He too voices his concerns about the storm and remind everyone that climate change is a huge issue right now and policymakers need to take it seriously.

He gets a couple gold stars for that. 

Sorenson thanks the animal folks for coming and reminds the board of needed to fill spots on the animal services committee. He also comments on the storm and pointed out some of the devastation comes from poor land use planning and not protecting land that could be used as buffers and points out that around here we have houses built too close to lakes and rivers. And he points out the link in the increase in storms to man-made climate change.

More gold stars. 

Leikin says he's talked to the mayor of Springfield and not seeing a lot of "appetite" for a multijurisdictional committee and suggests folks go to the next Springfield City Council meeting and voice their concerns. He sends out his storm concerns and gives some other shout outs.

Then they do a their consent calendar thing.

Then Liane Richardson talks about disaster prepardness.

Bored yet? Me too. Hang in there, it gets more fun. Or just skip down to the end.

PUBLIC SAFETY

The public safety update starts at about 21:30. Richardson sas if something's going to be put on the ballot (aka asking the voters if they want to have a tax) things need to be discussed. 

Sheriff Tom Turner comes in and does a jail funding update. The county is going to lose 15 more jail beds. 

He says with Judge Hogan retiring the new appointee will be from another county (Multnomah) and thus there will be less cases here. A change up at Sheridan will also reduce Lane County's numbers and overall less prisoners from the feds. Funding for 20 fewer beds from the feds means the county loses 15 beds because jail beds are closed in wings or groups. 

And then the commissioners talk for a long time about public safety. At about an hour in, Sorenson brings up concerns about the jail-only focus of the discussion. Turner says Sorenson's questions are "difficult."

The idea of a tax gets discussed (told you so). Leiken says the most important thing is that what is put forward is something that would win in the voters' minds.

Stewart makes an interesing point about how creating a public safety district could  run up against that pesky Metro Plan that makes the county and cities work together.

Bozievich grumbles about Sorenson's criticisms of materials not being available on the website and talking to "the press." Hmm, wonder who that is? Anyway,  Sorenson's not the only one complaining about that. And I'm just going to throw out there that if the agenda said things like "public safety poll and ballot measure" instead of just "public safety" that would be a little more clear. 

Anyway, basically they get around to saying if they are going to put a tax on the May ballot they need to start polling and get a timeline going after the election and by early December. 

The discussion goes on in that vein. Feel free to watch the whole video here

PICTURES!

I'm guessing it was after the meeting ended that Commish Jay Bozievich posted on Facebook what he was doing durings some of the discussion: taking pictures of Pete Sorenson. (I'd ask Bozievich if his Facebooking was post meeting but despite his recent comments on my blog about transparency, last I checked he said he would only talk to me if I asked my questions via a public records request, and those things are kind of spendy when it comes to the county. Anyway, he tends to be pretty by the book, so I'm guessing his FBing was after the meeting.)

And here I was thinking that posting pictures of the kid you're mad at was something high school kids did.

I love county politics. 

October 30, 2012 05:32 PM

Who knew giant brown spiders were so controversial? Our story No Worries About Giant Brown Spiders elicited a number of responses from readers who say that they indeed have encountered hobo spiders south of Corvallis.They even sent pictures. Awesome. Who doesn't love spider mail? (FYI: me).

Our article featured Dr. Melissa Scherr of the Northwest Entomological Research Center discussing the lack of scientific evidence that hobo spiders cause necrotic bites. According to the Mayo Clinic, bites from other bugs are often misdiagnosed as spider bites. In fact doctors say that most "spider bites" are actually pus-filled abscesses, often caused by MRSA (I linked to about.com for that because all the links to doctors' pages featured links to photos of gross loooking abscesses and I chose to spare you the trauma I just went through. But go ahead, Google "spider bite abscess" and see what happens.)

Scherr saying hobo spiders have not been documented south of Corvallis kicked off controversy among spider watchers. But wait, please DON'T send me more pictures of your giant brown spiders, instead, use this handy sheet and a microscope to prove your hobo point (and duly noted per an observation from an astute reader: freeze spidey for at least 24 hours first to prevent him from jumping back to life mid-miscroscopic examination). 

This letter came in last week, but due to its length did not make it into our letters section (200 word max people!). But I think the descriptive language — a slorping pork sausage finger that later came to look like whipped cherry Jell-O, and the unique cure, via a kitchen spice — render this letter blog-worthy. 

Dear Eugene Weekly,

An article posted in the Register-Guard Oct. 3, 2012 titled "No Worries About Giant Brown Spiders", and written by Camilla Mortensen, referenced Melissa Scherr, of NWERC, on the subject of certain local spiders who may or may not be venomous, specifically Hobo spiders.  There are several items of what I believe to be misinformation contained in Paragraph 3 of this article, to which I ask to draw your attention.  I think that it is ingenuous at best for Ms. Scherr to say that Oregonians tend to fear Hobo spiders because of a "belief that they have a venomous bite that causes necrosis", but that "spiders like this rarely bite us."  Rarely as compared to what?  People are "rarely" bitten by bears, pit bulls, or sharks, either, yet are still considered to be a serious risk to humans.  We are not natural prey for any of these predators, but they all have biological mechanisms that can cause serious damage to human flesh. 

A male Hobo spider bit me on the back of my right pointer finger about 4 years ago.  At the time, I was working in the family practice office of Dr. Joanne Holland, MD, in Drain, Oregon, and living on her farm outside of town.  We had a patient who had been bitten on the back of the neck, and had received treatment from the ER at Sacred Heart Hospital.  I think Dr. Holland has had two other patients also bitten by Hobos under treatment, and then there's me.  I read as much of the on-line available information as I could find, then down-loaded, collated, and printed out a little Hobo spider handbook to provide cautionary information to the Community.  It left me with a fairly well informed awareness of what to look for in identifying and dealing with them.  Thus, when a spider next to the light switch on the bathroom wall confronted me, I was pretty sure I was looking at a male Hobo spider.  Silly me, I thought I'd use the toilet first, and kill the spider second.  I was bitten while in the act of throwing on the light switch.

Yes, I saw the spider bite me- sort of.  It happened so fast, the spider jumping forward and back again, that I was not sure if I had seen it, but just in case it had happened, I watched my finger closely.  Unlike Black Widow, Brown Recluse, or Yellow Sac spider bites, which produce immediate sharp pain like bee stings, there was no pain.  Sure enough, in about 15 minutes, what looked like two tiny pimples appeared.  Over the next 24 hours, the pimples grew, became more and more virulent, and eventually merged into one large misshapen dome.  The surrounding flesh grew increasingly swollen and hot to the touch, and I began experiencing sever nerve sensitivity, mental confusion, and chills.  By two days after being envenomed, all four of my fingers and the thumb, plus about half of the palm, had swollen to twice their usual configuration.  I could not touch my left finger to thumb around the right pointer finger that had been bitten, the skin turned translucent, then transparent, and the flesh underneath liquefied.  It looked like I had dropped a pork sausage in to boiling water, with bubbles and liquid slorping around under the skin.  I cannot accurately describe what it felt like, the mental anguish, nerve pain, nausea, and hypersensitivity.

 To cut a long story short, Dr. Holland an I elected to try a non-standard treatment regimen, and rather than follow a standard heroic procedure, and remove the necrotic mass down to live flesh, we left it alone, merely covering the finger in a loose cotton bandage for protection.  When the skin finally ruptured, the liquid gelled and turned a cottony white.  AMA said cut that out of there, but I did not allow it.  Instead, I left the necrotic mass in situ, and coated the entire finger in powdered turmeric, the kitchen spice.  It is also a very powerful anti-biotic, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agent used throughout Asia.  My finger formed what looked like cherry Jell-O whipped in a blender surrounding the white mass, which I identified as "granulation tissue", the mechanism through which the body regenerates lost flesh.  By leaving the necrotic mass intact, it encouraged the formation of granulation tissue, which gradually displaced the necrotic mass, and filled in the bone-deep crater with the real me.  My finger is still with me, at about 90% mobility and strength, although the skin over the bite area is very thin and scarified.  My overall metabolism was radically altered, and I now find myself much less able to bear cold temperatures than pre-bite. 

So, what has caused me to write to you today is the huge female Hobo spider I have sitting in a Mason jar on my counter.  I found this Amazon at the top of my bedroom wall, right over my head.  The body is fully 3/4" long, and the long, central legs span more than 2" front-to-back.  She is big enough to see her eyes, and the leg hairs are quite visible.  I caught her about 5 days ago, hoping for a more qualified ID, but have so far not found anyone who can help.  I am, however, 100% sure that this is a female Hobo spider in my jar.  Since my bite, Dr. Holland has used hormone-baited sticky traps, and caught several inside her Medical Clinic in Drain.  This is the first I've encountered in my house in Eugene, but she is a prizewinner, better than twice the size of the male that got me.  I have taken some not very good pictures, and have not yet done anything with the spider in her jar.  She has spun web all over the bottom of the jar, and unless someone tells me otherwise, I intend to set her loose in an un-populated area in another day or two.  If you wish to contact me at lonergan2@yahoo.com, I can send you the e-file of my pics.  My cel number is 541-xxxx-xxxx, and DR. Holland can be reached at 541-xxx-xxxx.  I hope you will correct the misinformation that you appear to posses to account for my evidence.  Hobo spiders ARE definitely to be found South of Corvallis, they ARE aggressive, they CAN and WILL inflict a potentially very serious bite, and it WILL cause Arachnoid Necrosis.  I’d be happy to share what information and experience in this matter that you find of interest. 

Best of days to you and yours.

M. Lono Burke

October 30, 2012 05:13 PM

What's happening with the Courthouse Garden property? Just added today to the Eugene City Council work session agenda for noon Wednesday, Oct. 31, is a an "Urban Renewal Agency Work Session: Disposition of Real Property," and we hear from a city planner that's it's about the Courthouse Garden site. We have not been able to confirm whether or not Northwest Community Credit Union will be asking for a waiver of system development charges on what could be a $10 million project. NCCU wants to buy the 1.8 acres for a new headquarters building and bank. The council meets at the Eugene Public Library downtown.

October 29, 2012 07:33 PM

The Lane County Board of Commissioners is meeting on Oct. 31; what scary things might be on the agenda in honor of Halloweeen? (The board will be meeting on Wednesdays only through early December, then they will move to Tuesdays to avoid conflict with the Eugene City Council, which is currently sharing Harris Hall, and footed part of the bill for its renovation.)

Taking a look at the agenda, it looks like "public safety funding" is going to be brought up by County Administrator Liane Richardson. The agenda doesn't provide any materials though, so we're kind of curious as to what the discussion is doing to be about.  Our guess: taxes.

Here is the full agenda, if you want the materials that are provided, follow the link here for the version on the county website.

 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31,  2012 – REGULAR MEETING

(9:00 a.m.)                               (Board of Commissioners’ Conference Room)

1.      ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

2.      #PUBLIC COMMENTS 

Expected maximum time 20 minutes:  Speakers will be taken in the order in which they sign up and will be limited to 3-minutes.  If the number wishing to testify exceeds 7 speakers, then additional speakers may be allowed if the chair determines that time permits or each speaker's time may be reduced to fit within 20 min.)

3.      COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE (2 min. limit)

4.      EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 5.      CONSENT CALENDAR

(All items listed here are considered to be routine by the Board of Commissioners and will be enacted by one motion in the form listed below.  There will be no separate discussion of these items.  If discussion is desired, that item will be removed from the Consent Calendar and will be considered separately.)

BEGINNING OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * * (estimated 2 minutes)

A.      County Administration

1)      ORDER 12-10-31-01/ In the Matter of Award of Contract for Developmental Disabilities Remodel (David Suchart, Facilities Planning and Construction Director)

2)      ORDER 12-10-31-02/ In the Matter of Award of Contract for Remodel of Portions of the Mental Health Building (David Suchart, Facilities Planning and Construction Director)

A.      Human Resources

1)      ORDER 12-10-31-03/ In the Matter of Establishing New Salary Ranges for Physician Based Classifications. (Cindy Tofflemoyer, Sr. Human Resource Analyst)

B.      Public Works

1)      ORDER 12-10-31-04/ In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property For $13,500 to Sally Jo Schwader (Map No. 19-03-15-40-08900, Adjacent To 675 S. 7th St., Creswell). (Jeff Turk, Property Management Officer 2)

            END OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *

6.      COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

A.      Announcements

B.      DISCUSSION/ Public Safety Funding (Liane Richardson, County Administrator) (estimated 30 minutes)

7.      COUNTY COUNSEL

A.      Announcements

8.      COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS

A.      Announcements

9.      PUBLIC WORKS

A.      ORDER 12-10-31-05/ In the Matter of Electing Whether or Not to Hear Arguments on an Appeal of Hearings Official’s Decision Upon Second Remand, Limited to Review of the Septic System Capability, for a Group Care Home (file PA 09-5314/Teen Challenge) (Jerry Kendall, Associate Planner) (estimated 15 minutes)

10.  REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

11.  EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

            (Commissioners' Conference Room)

12.  OTHER BUSINESS

*NOTE:          Next scheduled Board of Commissioners' Meeting Tuesday, November 6, 2012 and/or Wednesday, November 7, 2012

 Commissioner Pete Sorenson says  at the Oct. 24 meeting, during the commissioners' remonstrance, he criticized the fact that nothing has been done — no public meetings or work sessions — since the board last dealt with the public safety issue in August. Board Chair Sid Leiken informed him that the issues would come up this week, Oct. 31. It's slated for a 30 minute discussion.

So why do we think it's taxes? Sorenson tells us the last time the public safety issue came up, in August, he sent an email to Leiken suggesting a work session to build on all the momentum about public safety. People in Lane County were (and are) pretty upset about the July budget cuts that led to jail releases (and the end of Lane County Animal Services, but that's another story).

Nothing happened til the public safety issue came up on this week's agenda. 

Looking back at the August agendas, public safety came up back on August 1, also under Richardson's County Administration purview. But again, there are no materials attached. That's ok because the news of a possible safety levy that being discussed came out in the R-G, KMTR and elsewhere.  The county paid a pollster to study if Lane County was ready for a tax. The poll, which is on the Lane County Sheriff's website, said yes, as long as the tax was carefully crafted, sunsetted in five years and followed other considerations.

But the county decided to wait, which is why you won't be voting on it next week. You MIGHT vote on it in May, though.

But how are conservative anti-tax commissioners like Bozievich, Faye Stewart and Leiken going to tell voters to vote FOR a tax? EW's guess is that hey will probably keep the focus on "jail beds," aka making sure there's enough room in the jail for criminals and accused criminals, because that's an issue that gets a lot of media attention.

But progressive commissioner Sorenson says "basically jail-only public safety is not a solution." He points out that budgeting for more jail beds but not making room in the budget for other services that have been cut that help prevent people from going to jail or help people not go back to jail after serving time doesn't solve the public safety problem. Sorenson reminds us the October is "domestic violence awareness month" and that's one of the many social issues county budgeting can affect. He also wonders how a fair tax might be determined. 

Wondering about these things too? County Commissioner meetings are open to the public and public comment starts about 9 am in the Commissioners' Conference Room, 125 East 8th Avenue.

October 29, 2012 04:14 PM

Hurrican Sandy is hitting, and our Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of dramatic pictures of the storm. And fake pictures of the storm. That inspiring shot of the soldier guarding the tomb of the Unknown Soldier? It's recent … from September.

And that really dramatic shot of the storm swirling over the Statue of Liberty? Check out this FB post.

The Atlantic has come up with a handy "Insta-Snopes" guide to fake storm photos. Or you can just go right to the real Snopes BEFORE you post.

October 28, 2012 08:35 PM

October 26, 2012 10:16 AM

Just to keep you up-to-date on Lane County news: We are a hotbed of gonnorhea.

 

Number of STI Cases in Lane County Spike According to Health Officials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

According to Lane County Health & Human Services, the latest data on reported cases of sexually transmitted disease and infections shows a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of gonorrhea cases and a 14 percent increase in Chlamydia compared to the same time period in 2011. Both gonorrhea and Chlamydia are major causes of serious reproductive complications in women and gonorrhea can facilitate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission.

“We are very concerned by the numbers we’re seeing here in Lane County, both due to the long term damage these infections can cause and the fact that they are often symptomless,” said Lane County Health Officer, Dr. Patrick Luedtke.

While some men may experience painful urination coupled with abnormal genital discharge, most women with gonorrhea experience either no symptoms or mistake the associated painful urination, bleeding and vaginal discharge with a bladder or vaginal infection. According to Luedtke, prevention and effective treatment are the cornerstones of control efforts. 

“Nationally, treatment of gonorrhea has been complicated by the ability of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to develop antimicrobial resistance, here in Oregon we have no documented resistance, which is good news for infected individuals,” said Luedtke.

All individuals are urged to practice preventative measures, such as condom usage and regular testing, and if you suspect you may have gonorrhea or Chlamydia, see your physician immediately. 

Lane County Health & Human Services is a department of Lane County. Their programs and services create a healthier and safer community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Learn more about the work of Lane County Health and Human Services at: http://www.lanecounty.org/Departments/HHS  

Jason Davis

Lane County Health & Human Services

Public Information Officer

(541)246-2043 (Direct)

www.lanecounty.org/hhs

Just out of curiosity: Anyone know why the county is lower casing gonnoreah but upper casing chlamydia? I just want to make sure I've got the right sexually transmitted-nfection grammar for future reference.

October 26, 2012 12:20 PM

Cirque du Soleil's Quidam runs daily through Sunday, October 28.