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June 4, 2014 04:08 PM

It’s official: Wolf OR-7 and his lover have been busy making magic together and are now the proud parents of at least two wolf-lings, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Adorable baby wolves are good news in general, but OR-7 is particularly important because his love affair resulted in the first known wolf reproduction in the Oregon Cascades since the 1940s. Oh what a night!

Meanwhile, the California Fish and Game Commission voted today to include gray wolves in the California Endangered Species Act, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. If OR-7 and his family want to take a trip down to California, they can now do so under the state's protection.

As Journey’s family helps rebound the gray wolf population in Southern Oregon, keep in mind that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended that gray wolves be removed from the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act. As Rep. Peter DeFazio says in a statement released today, “If the Service delists the gray wolf, states could declare open season on gray wolves like OR-7, his mate and these new pups.” The final decision will come later this year. 

June 3, 2014 10:22 AM

After David Minor died in a biking accident in 2008, friends and family paid tribute to the social justice activist in a number of ways, from naming the David Minor Theater in his honor to establishing the David Minor Memorial Fund with the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, helping improve access to healthy, locally grown foods for low-income people.

Eugene City Bakery is helping support that goal by donating a portion of the night's proceeds to the David Minor Memorial Fund Thursday, June 5. Drop by, nosh on some pizza and listen to the Joanne Broh Trio from 5 to 8 pm. More at the event's Facebook page.

June 3, 2014 03:59 PM

Rumors that the Eugene Celebration and parade are being canceled this year are true, according to Brendan Releford of Kesey Enterprises, the private organization that runs the celebration along with the McDonald Theater and Cuthbert Theater. A press release is expected to be sent out to media at about 5:30 pm today (Tuesday, May 3)

Releford says the event was financially successful last year for the first time but crowds downtown at evening peak times were a problem. "The size of the event doesn't fit the core anymore," he says. "We tried to come up with a footprint this year that makes sense and we've hit roadblocks at every turn."

"We want to come back strong next year," he says. The parade has also been canceled for now, but doing just the parade is "not out of the question."

June 3, 2014 11:45 AM

My first question when I saw this scam alert was: Who the heck would have "extra asphalt" that they would just go romping around rural Lane County trying to smear on your driveway? 

WATCH OUT FOR PAVING SCAMS IN LANE COUNTY

News Release from Construction Contractors Board

Posted on FlashAlert: June 3rd, 2014 11:14 AM

Salem - Paving scammers may be at work in the rural Lane County. Property owners should be wary of people who show up on their doorstep with "extra asphalt" they offer up in a deal. 

The state Construction Contractors Board (CCB) recently learned of a property owner in Marcola who was approached earlier this year with an offer to pave his driveway. An investigation is under way. 

Call the CCB at 503-378-4621 if anyone contacts you for paving you didn't solicit. Legitimate contractors typically do not solicit work door-to-door. 

Meanwhile, here are some ways to spot scammers: 

* You don't call them - they show up at your doorstep. 

* Their vehicles often show out-of-state license plates. 

* They say they have leftover materials so they can give you a great price. 

* They quote an initial low price, then demand more to finish the project. 

* Generally, they are not licensed with the CCB. 

 

### 

About the CCB 

The CCB is the state agency licensing 33,000 contractors. Anyone who is paid to repair, improve or build a home must be licensed. Learn more about how to have a successful project at www.oregon.gov/ccb.

Contact Info:

Cheryl Martinis, 503-934-2195

May 29, 2014 05:43 PM

I would have taken more science in college if my profs had sung to me. Dr. Richard Alley brings together my love for folklore with the dangers of climate change in this glacier-oriented version of  "The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night."

Alley created this video and others like "Peaceful, Easy Obduction" for his Geology of the National Parks course, according to his YouTube page

"The Great Penguin Waltz" was apparently not for his class, but is educational nonethless — points for rhyming the words "Aptenodytes patagonicus look good in their nighties."

May 28, 2014 12:24 PM

The Common Core approacheth: Starting with the 2014-15 school year, Oregon public schools will do away with the old OAKS testing and usher in the Smarter Balanced Assessment, a new standardized test that evaluates student performance by Common Core standards. If you're not sure what the Common Core is or wondering why it has parents, teachers and students all out of sorts, check out EW's story here first, but then come back and hop onto NPR's Common Core FAQ, published yesterday. In it, you'll find all sorts of interesting answers to questions, such as, "Where did the Common Core come from?" Turns out, the standards have surprising connections to corporations like Exxon Mobil and Microsoft. Or, there's this little bit of information:

21) Who is making money off of Common Core?
 
Potentially lots of people. The size of the K-12 instructional materials market in the U.S. was estimated at $20 billion in 2012 (PDF). By comparison, the size of the trade publishing market was $6.53 billion in 2012. According to a survey last year, 68 percent of school districts planned to purchase new materials aligned with Common Core.
 
The transition to Common Core coincides with the ongoing transition to digital educational materials like apps and e-books. That means that it's not just the traditional textbook publishers and test makers, like Pearson and CTB/McGraw-Hill, that are lining up to create Common Core-stamped products. It's also big technology companies like Apple and startups like Amplify — a brand owned by News Corp. that produces a tablet designed for classroom use and a multimedia Common Core-aligned curriculum.
 
Other potential profit centers from the Common Core will be in professional development for teachers to prepare them to teach the standards, and extra tutoring and test prep for students to help them learn the more rigorous standards and pass the new, harder tests. Parents already spend an estimated $11 billion (PDF) on tutoring, test prep and counseling services.
 
Also of note: Earlier this month, Oregon's teacher's union, the Oregon Education Assocation, called for a moratorium on Smarter Balanced. "Oregon is moving forward with a new unproven, high stakes standarized test — Smarter Balanced — as soon as next spring," OEA president Hanna Vaandering says on OEA's website. "When the timeline doesn't allow for giving 100 percent to preparing our students, none of us should be suprised by the prediction that 65 percent of all students will fail the first test. This makes absolutely no sense. Why would we spend millions of dollars on a test that students are predicted to fail?"
 
 
 
 
May 28, 2014 10:47 AM

Western nations have been embroiled in Middle East politics for centuries, actually millenia, but do we really understand the complexities of that part of the world? The Bush-Cheney administration, for example, was clueless in getting us involved militarily in power struggles that have been going on for centuries. This Vox.com website has a series of historical maps that can shed a little light on why the Middle East is the way it is today.

http://wkly.ws/1rl

May 28, 2014 12:46 PM

Windham Hill recording artist Scott Cossu will be at The Jazz Station in Eugene Saturday night, May 31. Show begins at 8 pm. Joining him with be John Croarkin and Bruce Cole. $10 or $8 for members. Email office@thejazzstation.org to get on the mailing list.

May 27, 2014 04:22 PM

If you've missed out on Bike Month thus far, there are still chances to celebrate before May runs out.

Friday, May 30, celebrate Breakfast at the Bridges from 7 to 9 am at Blue Heron Bridge, behind Cesar Chavez  School on the Fern Ridge path.

Saturday, May 31, roll with the Eugene Circus Bike Ride beginning in Monroe Park at noon and ending at Island Park in Springfield. After the ride is a barbecue picnic potluck and free circus show. More info at wkly.ws/1rj.

Saturday, May 31, is also the date of Springfield's first-ever Kidical Mass. Families will ride from Willamalane Center to Volunteer Park, enjoy (bring-your-own) lunches and free snow cones. After the picnic, the ride returns to Willamalane. See smarttripsspringfield.com for more info.

May 22, 2014 04:53 PM

Corvallis attorney and Pacific Green Party activist Blair Bobier has an essay in Common Dreams today on "The Power and Potential of DIY Democracy."

"A seismic shift in the American political landscape has gone largely unnoticed," he writes.  "Yet, the implication of this political earthquake knows no bounds."

http://wkly.ws/1rb

May 21, 2014 12:50 PM

Bill Moyers takes a look at the radical right-wing agenda of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, that is trying to change national policy through manipulating state legislatures.

May 21, 2014 12:26 PM

Frank Moore, age 91, is well known in Eugene and around the region for his longtime conservation work on behalf of Oregon rivers and his unique story. He spoke at the McKenzie Flyfishers monthly meeting May 19 and has given a TEDxPortland talk about his life.

May 20, 2014 01:44 PM

Rachel Maddow takes a look at more odd political goings-on in the Beaver state this week, including Loren Parks and his weird interventions into Oregon causes and candidates.