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EW! A Blog.

February 29, 2008 12:35 PM

Looks like the UO has become the national poster child for vulgar sports fans. A "Over the Top" Feb. 26 article in Sports Illustrated leads with the example of the UO:

"Kevin Love knew it would be bad. But not this bad. Sure, he'd chosen UCLA over Oregon after being the consensus national player of the year as a senior at Lake Oswego (Ore.) High -- but what happened to his home state's rep for peace, love and understanding? On Jan. 23, the day before the ­Bruins-Ducks showdown in Eugene, Love found more than 30 voice-mail messages on his cellphone when UCLA stopped for a layover in San Francisco. He listened to the first one: If you guys win, we'll come to your house and kill your family. He played another: We'll find your hotel room and blow your f------ head off with a shotgun. He ­didn't bother to check the rest. 'I mean, these were death threats,' Love says."

Death threats are usually serious crimes. Maybe the authorities should take some of the zeal they use to track down campus music pirates and check some phone company records?

February 27, 2008 01:37 PM

Is it better for global warming to read a newspaper online or in the dead tree edition?

Considering the electricity required to power computers on both ends of the internet, a Swedish study says it may be about the same.

"It should be noted that with a reading time of 30 minutes per day the environmental impact of the web based newspaper was often in the same range as the printed newspaper environmental impact, sometimes higher sometimes lower. The same result was presented by Hischier and Reichart (2001) in their comparison between printed newspaper, television and internet. Hischier and Reichart showed that using the Internet for around 25 minutes or watching the television for roughly 1.5 hours gave environmental impact of similar magnitude as a printed newspaper."

The 2007 report from the Centre for Sustainable Communications at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm does say that mass use of more energy efficient readers now in development could change the environmental equation in favor of the internet.

The Swedish report could be biased by the nation's large pulp industry. Of course newspapers also have a strong bias. They haven't figured out how to make much money on the internet and without the dead tree editions, they'd go bankrupt. That could save a lot of trees falling in the forest. But, then again, if no one was around to report on it, who would hear about it?

February 26, 2008 10:25 AM

Everyone on the internet thinks everyone else on the internet has already seen these videos. HOWEVER, it's possible there are still people who are not aware that Sarah Silverman is f*cking (please note: only in this sort of instance will I ever fake swear) Matt Damon, and Jimmy Kimmel, well, you'll just have to see what he's been getting up to in return.

It starts with this:

Poor Jimmy! Also, I began to heart Matt Damon after I was done wiping tears of laughter from my eyes. The boy is funny! Who knew?

But Jimmy, of course, is not to be outdone. It took a little while for him to find the best way to get back at both Sarah ... and Matt:

This is what the internets is for.

* This is a joke. Clearly the best thing Affleck and Damon have done since Good Will Hunting is Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. **

** This is also a joke.

February 25, 2008 05:48 PM

Full City on 13th and Pearl, circa 4 pm Monday, February 25. You: Curly-haired fellow with a Mac laptop, a gold fanny pack and a scowl. Us: One arts editor seeking an intern and one college student seeking an internship, both chatting incessantly and over-caffeinatedly about all manner of faintly internship-related things. What that embarrassed smile I directed at you on the way out meant: Sorry, dude! I could see your scowls but she couldn't. We both felt really bad when you moved to get away from us.

The Noisemakers

February 22, 2008 04:20 PM

Hmmm, old Republican white guy runs for President and turns out very horny. If this sounds familiar to you, down boy, you're not the only one:

February 19, 2008 10:18 PM

District Attorney Doug Harcleroad has dismissed Eugene Police Sergeant Ron Swanson’s criminal allegation against independent Police Auditor Cristina Beamud.

"That’s good news," said Mayor Kitty Piercy, responding to a letter from Harcleroad at tonight’s City Council meeting. "He has concluded there is no evidence of any violation."

February 15, 2008 10:43 AM

Of course the best music news I've heard in some time comes with a catch: the weekend Cat Power plays the McDonald (April 12) is the same weekend I'm supposed to be Seattle for the EMP Pop Conference. Damn! Maybe I'll just start driving south at about 3 pm on Saturday ...

February 15, 2008 06:02 PM

Eugene Police Auditor Cristina Beamud announced today that a Eugene police sergeant had accused her of the crime of official misconduct, that the police chief had referred the matter to the district attorney and that the district attorney was investigating.

At a press conference, Beamud issued a statement: "On February 4 a police sergeant submitted a memorandum on city letterhead accusing me of official misconduct. This memorandum was directed to the City Council. The City Council supervises me and I account to them. However, the correspondence was also directed to the Chief of Police. The Chief directed the allegations to the District Attorney and the District Attorney is investigating the matter."

Beamud said she did "not want to discuss the factual details underlying these allegations for fear of compromising or influencing the investigation."

Beamud’s statement continues:

"I would like the public to know at this time that I fully intend to cooperate with this investigation. I deeply believe that public officials must fully account for their actions and I am confident that the process and the investigation will not reveal any wrongdoing on my part. I do not want this to obstruct the important work that I have to perform and I am concerned that these allegations may serve to disguise the bigger issue — that is the establishment of a viable, transparent system of police oversight."

Mayor Kitty Piercy said at the press conference:

"I applaud the auditor’s commitment to transparency and accountability, and her absolute confidence that she can go through this, whatever process the DA puts in place, and come out the other side with clear evidence that she’s doing a good job. In my case, I’ve seen the accusations and there’s not enough specifics in them to indicate to me in any way that any wrong-doing has been done."

February 13, 2008 11:20 PM

The 4J School Board gave little indication tonight, Feb. 13, that they would alter the recommendation of Superintendent George Russell to force the poor, largely Latino children out of a neighborhood elementary school in South Eugene to give the building to whiter, and wealthier alternative school children.

Russell recommended last week to close Harris neighborhood elementary and give its building to the Eastside and Charlemagne alternative schools. Harris is 67 percent free and reduced lunch while Eastside is 5 percent and the Charlemagne French Immersion school is 10 percent. Harris is 25 percent Latino while Eastside and Charlemagne are both 1 percent Latino.

Kristen Larson, a parent of three Harris children, told the board that the decision to close Harris for the alternative schools was "basic discrimination against the lower income families." Larsen said, "if you support these recommendations, shame on you."

But not a single board member gave clear indication that they did not.

School Board Member Charles Martinez did question how it was decided that the alternative schools would have an "immunization from closure" during the district's "Schools of the Future" process to consolidate schools due to declining enrollment and supposedly reduce inequities. "I don't think that's consistent with board direction."

Russell admitted that school board minutes clearly show that closing an alternative school should be "open for consideration."

So why didn't Russell recommend closing an alternative schools to boost enrollment at neighborhood schools?

Russell said if the board directed him to close the alternative schools, "I'm happy to do that." But he said it was his impression that the board had eliminated that option. "I felt that was not really on the table in light of the decisions that had been made previously."

An Eastside parent testified to the board reading a statement from her school's parent group thanking the superintendent for giving the Harris building to them. "Our community appreciates and supports George Russell's recommendation."

In other news, Russell said that unlike every other school, Charlemagne students would be immune from his recommendation to limit transfers to Roosevelt Middle School and South Eugene High School. The French immersion students would be given automatic places at the two popular schools even if they did not reside in the appropriate school boundary.

February 12, 2008 04:50 PM

Despite the horror that was Revenge of the Sith, I still get excited about Star Wars news. It's like a compulsion. Or something. I was one of those kids who wore my Princess Leia underoos to shreds and only wanted to play Star Wars, OK? It's in my blood. So I greeted this news with excitement and suspicion all at once:

A new era of Star Wars entertainment begins in 2008 when STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, from creator George Lucas, premieres as an all-new feature film in August, followed by the television series debut in the fall, in a partnership announced today between Lucasfilm Ltd., Warner Bros. Pictures and Turner Broadcasting System Inc.

Check out the pix at USA Today.

As MTV News helpfully points out, the Clone Wars era — though totally fascinating — is "a minefield of potential continuity errors." But it'll have clones! Awesome.

February 12, 2008 05:43 PM

Australian news doesn't get a lot of coverage in the U.S., but it catches my eye when it does; I lived there for only four months, but I fell fully in love with the country. And this is absolutely wonderful news. Kevin Rudd, the new prime minister who replaced John Howard (I am refraining from making rude remarks about Howard; let's just say I was certainly no fan of his), has formally apologized for the treatment of Australia's indigenous people (that's just one possible link; there are so many).

"We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians."

There's a fantastic multimedia piece on the event here.

February 8, 2008 06:16 PM

Eugene 4J School Superintendent George Russell has recommended that the district kick the poor kids at Harris neighborhood elementary school out of their building to make room for wealthier kids from the Eastside and French Immersion alternative schools.

Harris is 67 percent free and reduced lunch while Eastside is 5 percent and the French Immersion school is 10 percent.

The recommendation is part of Russell's "Shaping 4J’s Future" report on school closures and moves. The 4J School Board will meet to discuss the report on Wednesday, February 13, at 6 p.m.

Here's Russell's summary of the key recommendations:

—"Close Harris Elementary School for the 2008 – 2009 school year and redistribute students to Edison and Parker elementary schools. Redraw the attendance boundaries for Edison and Parker. Relocate Eastside Alternative School from Parker into the Harris building for the 2008 – 09 school year. During 2008-09, make additions to the school that will allow it to accommodate adding the French Immersion school for the 2009-10 school year.

—Move Meadowlark students to a new school at the Kinney Loop site in 2011-12. Buena Vista would then become a K-5 stand-alone school at the Meadowlark site.

—Close Coburg in June 2011, and relocate students to the new school at Kinney Loop site in 2011-12, and reassign middle school students from Cal Young to Monroe.

—Close the Fox Hollow building and move the French Immersion School to join Eastside in the Harris building in 2009-10.

—Move the Family School and establish it as a 1-8 school sharing the facility with the Arts and Technology Academy at the Jefferson building for 2009-10.

—Implement a differentiated staffing ratio based on the percentage of free-and-reduced lunch students, English Language Learners, and special education students (excluding students receiving only speech and language services). Schools serving higher percentages of these students would receive more staffing then other schools.

—Limit transfers for middle and high schools. Each middle school could accept up to 5% of the middle school students residing within the boundaries of another region. No school could accept transfers that would result in a student enrollment that exceeds the middle school size maximum enrollment target of 600 students. Each high school could accept up to 5% of the high school students residing within the boundaries of another region. No school could accept transfers that would result in a student enrollment that exceeds the high school size maximum of 1500 students.

—Transportation. There may be some additional transportation costs related to boundary adjustments and school consolidations. I recommend that we also consider providing transportation within each region to alternative schools in that region.

Another option that I [Russell] considered, but am not recommending at this time is:

—Consider closing Twin Oaks Elementary in June 2011 and send students to McCornack and Crest Drive."

February 8, 2008 11:35 AM

Biofuels may increase, not decrease global warming because they result in farmers clearing natural vegetation for crops, according to studies published Thursday in the leading journal Science and reported in the New York Times.

The studies indicate that even biofuels produced on already existing cropland could increase global warming as farmers in other areas clear rainforests and other natural areas to take advantage of a resulting rise in commodity prices.

Of course, biofuels are a renewable, not fossil fuel and may have other non-global warming advantages such as supporting farmers and world peace. The U.S. is unlikely to invade Iowa for its corn.

Scientists are also studying how to some day produce biofuels economically from agricultural bi-products, which would eliminate the land-use impact.

February 7, 2008 08:24 PM

... because Stanford is going to kill us.

Don't get me wrong. I think the Ducks could win this game. I just don't think they will, despite the (depressing) tendency they have to play up or down nearly to their opponent's level. Almost as bad as OSU, almost as good as WSU or UCLA.

Alas. We miss you, Aaron Brooks!

I'll be sitting here like it's ye olden days, listening to the radio and trying to type with crossed fingers.