Eugene Weekly : News : 8.26.10

News Briefs: Actors Get Electric in Eugene | Photos Win at the Fair | Robinson Fundraising Illegal? | Tamarack Seeks Support | Key Panel Has Only 3 People | Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule | Lighten Up |

Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes

Something Euge!


Actors Get Electric in Eugene | Photos Win at the Fair | Robinson Fundraising Illegal? | Tamarack Seeks Support | Key Panel Has Only 3 People | Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule | Lighten Up


Nathan Fillion broke Arcimoto — or at least the electric car company’s servers.

Nathan Fillion (right) and Jon Huertas test a prototype Arcimoto Pulse. photo by Jeremy Bronson, courtesy of Arcimoto

Not on purpose, of course. On Aug. 12, the actor — currently on Castle, but widely admired for his roles on Firefly and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog — announced on his popular Twitter feed, “I found it! I found my spaceship! It’s real and I’m getting it!” He meant Arcimoto’s electric car, the Pulse, and he included a link to the Eugene company’s website. An hour later, he Tweeted, “So, is a little overwhelmed.” 

Overnight, Arcimoto president Mark Frohnmayer says, he and his colleagues got their servers sorted. Over the weekend, the Arcimoto website had between 10,000 and 20,000 visitors. Fillion, meanwhile, kept Tweeting about the car: “The Arcimoto Pulse is a space fighter of a car. Completely electric. Completely stylin’. Get in the cockpit and fly!” Last Saturday, he and his Castle co-star Jon Huertas came to town to check out his spaceship.

So how did this all happen? Frohnmayer says that Fillion and Huertas had been looking for a sustainable electric vehicle for some time when they stumbled on Arcimoto. Fillion, contacted them via email, saying, in Frohnmayer’s words, “I love what you guys are doing and I want to promote it for free. Let me tell the world something great. Let me tell them I’m driving an Arcimoto.”

Fillion came to Eugene to take a test drive and get some video footage. “We have some little vignette ideas we want to try out and see where they go on YouTube,” Frohnmayer says. The Pulse — an all-electric car with a targeted base price of $17,500 — isn’t in production yet, so Fillion and Huertas drove the fourth-generation prototype, which looks something like a dune buggy that escaped from Tron. The two-seater, three-wheeled car can reach 65 mph. It’s virtually silent; the only notable sound as Fillion and Huertas pulled out from in front of Arcimoto’s Blair Boulevard offices was the chatter of bystanders, a group that included at least one pair of admirers who’d driven down from Portland in hopes of meeting Fillion (who signed Firefly DVDs and snapped pictures with fans).

After the first test drive, Fillion and Huertas sat in the sunny patio at Pizza Research Institute with the Arcimoto staff, and Fillion sent out a Tweet inviting his followers to ask questions about the Pulse. A few dozen questions rolled in, and Fillion, between telling stories about working on Firefly and Castle, tossed them to Frohnmayer and his team and relayed the answers back to his fans, essentially amplifying Arcimoto’s message. The actor’s Twitter feed has more than 608,000 followers; the car company has just about 800. “Between him and a few other buddies, they’ve got more like four million followers on Twitter that they can hit with a few re-Tweets,” Frohnmayer says. “So that’s good stuff.“ 

The Pulse is still in development; Arcimoto is beginning the development of the fifth prototype, which, Frohnmayer explains, “will represent the first thing we actually intend to be a product, pending funding.” He’s currently working to raise the funds to bring the car into production — a task with which Fillion’s involvement can only help. “One can hope,” Frohnmayer says. — Molly Templeton



Just about everything local folks can make or grow got judged at the Lane County Fair Aug. 18-22— sheep, poultry, bunnies, pigeons, pickles and pictures.

EW’s Art Department chose the photojournalism contest winners. First place went to Jacye Giddens for the “Steeplechase Splash,” shot with a Canon EOS 5d with a Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS lens. EW art director, photographer and all around graphics guru Todd Cooper says the winning shot is “a great capture with nice light.” 

Amateur photographer Jeff Green took the second place ribbon with his photo of a member of Apolcalyptica Fire Factory performing at the Lane County Fair in 2009 (Green says he’d love to get contact information for the performer). 

Third place went to Cindy Irene for her shot of an elderly couple sitting in a garden. See the winning photos at — Camilla Mortensen

(Top to bottom) 1st Place “Steeplechase Splash” by Jayce Giddens, 2nd Place “Fire dancer #1” by Jeff Green, 3rd Place “Love Lasts”
by Cindy Irene



The Democratic Party of Oregon filed a complaint Aug. 16 that argues right-wing Republican congressional candidate Art Robinson has violated federal election laws, which prohibit corporations from soliciting contributions from anyone other than shareholders, employees and family.

Trent Lutz, DPO executive director, wrote in a letter of complaint to the FEC that Robinson “has clearly violated the law by accepting 1,000 contributions that were solicited illegally. His apparent use of his corporation to further his campaign constitutes a serious violation of the law.”

Robinson is challenging Peter DeFazio for his 4th District seat in the House of Representatives. 

According to the complaint, Robinson has twice used his Access to Energy newsletter to solicit contributions. Access to Energy is a corporate newsletter owned, operated and written by Robinson that goes out to paid subscribers. The newsletter has featured articles proposing that nuclear waste be dumped in oceans, arguing that oil spills are good for oceans, and calling for the banning of public education and the reinstatement of the chemical DDT, which almost wiped out the bald eagle and other species.

The R-G ran a story last week on a complaint, also filed Aug. 16, by the Oregon Republican Party alleging that DeFazio violated election laws with his newsletter to his constituents, but somehow the paper missed the DPO complaint against Robinson.

According to a statement from DeFazio’s office, his newsletter was reviewed and approved by the bipartisan House Franking Commission, and the House Administration Committee has been contacted to review the alleged conflict with the Independent Party’s online primary election. 

Robinson’s own newsletter is put out by Althouse Press, a corporation registered with the Oregon Corporations Division, the DPO writes in its complaint. Althouse’s mailing address is the same address as AtE.

In the March AtE newsletter, Robinson tells subscribers to send their campaign checks “to Access to Energy, PO Box 1250, Cave Junction, OR 97523.”

And in his May AtE, Robinson writes that once subscribers have donated their full legal limit of $2,400, “Other family members, husbands, wives, children and friends can also individually contribute up to $2,400, providing that the contributed funds were not given to them by others for the specific purpose of avoiding the limits.” In the same issue Robinson says he plans to continue to use the newsletter to raise funds. More than two-thirds of Robinson’s campaign donations have come from solicitations to the paid subscribers, the DPO complaint says. Lutz has asked the elections commission for a prompt resolution to the matter. 

A City Club of Eugene debate between DeFazio and Robinson, as well as Mike Beilstein of the Pacific Green Party, has been scheduled for Sept. 10 at the Eugene Hilton. — Camilla Mortensen



While the recession has hit everything hard in Oregon, nonprofits seem to be taking the brunt with fewer willing donors to support their services. Local nonprofit Tamarack Wellness Center has fallen into financial crisis with the loss of a major donor. The center itself — which offers swimming, yoga and massage therapy as a means of promoting good health — relies exclusively upon donations and fees to keep itself functional. 

The center currently faces a $60,000 shortfall. Among the community organizations depending on Tamarack’s therapeutic pool and wellness programs are EC Cares, Holt International, Mobility International, the Albertina Kerr Center, Womenspace, the Lymphoma Society, Bridgeway House, Lane County’s Developmental Disability Services, Senior and Disabled Services, the Oregon Supported Living Program, the Relief Nursery and Pain Management Partners.

As of now, Tamarack has raised $15,000, and so finds itself with 75 percent of finances left to gather. Ann Cole, Tamarack’s board chair, says: “We are confident we can raise the support we need to keep Tamarack alive.”

For more information on the center, or to donate, see  — Andy Valentine



The deadline for nominations is Aug. 30 for the 12 vacancies on the 15-member Secure Rural Schools Act Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) for the BLM Eugene District. Expiring terms and previous vacancies have left the panel with only three members: Lane County Commissioner Faye Stewart, Linn County Commissioner Will Tucker, and Long Tom Watershed Councilor Dana Dedrick.

The committee makes recommendations on how to distribute millions in federal funding, and the panel is considered important enough that members are appointed by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. New members will begin evaluating and prioritizing projects submitted in spring 2011. 

Any individual or organization may nominate one or more persons to serve on the committee. Nominees must reside within Lane, Linn, Benton or Douglas counties.

 RACs provide opportunities for citizens and interested parties to participate at the early stages of project development. They also recommend projects for funding and provides continuous coordination with BLM officials. In 2010, the Eugene RAC recommended the distribution of about $1.2 million in federal grant funding.

“This is an unique opportunity to make a difference, and to bring a new perspective to this body,” says Pat Johnston, the new public outreach coordinator at the BLM Eugene District. She can be reached at 683-6181 or 520-2159, and application forms can be found at


Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule

• BLM Final Environmental Impact Statement — Herbicide Spray Plan is out: see Herbicide active ingredients 2,4-D, Dicamba, Glyphosate, Picloram, Bromacil, Chlorsulfuron, Clopyralid, Diflufenzopyr + Dicamba, Diquat, Diuron, Fluridone, Hexazinone, Imazapic, Imazapyr, Metsulfuron methyl, Sulfometuron methyl, Tebuthiuron, and Triclopyr in herbicide formulas are proposed to be spread on 45,000 acres in Oregon by the BLM under the BLM Preferred Alternative — No. 4 in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides on BLM lands in Oregon.

• Appeals of BLM Final Environmental Impact Statement are due Monday, Aug. 30: See

Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers: 342-8332,


Some Dudley-for-governor supporters see the former basketball player’s NBA record for consecutive free throws missed (13) as evidence he is opposed to handouts. 

—  Rafael Aldave, Eugene







Eugene Celebration is this weekend, and the weather forecast is spectacular — no rain and highs in the lower 70s. A wristband for all three days is just $10 in advance, $15 at the gates, kids under 12 free. Can’t afford it? Downtown is still a hoppin’ place to be with abundant free music and art outside the entry gates. The joyfully irreverent and highly political Eugene Celebration Parade Saturday morning is free (and we’ve heard great things about the ACLU snagging a professional fight choreographer for its entry!) as is watching the Pet Stroll Sunday. Check out our unauthorized Eugene Celebration Guide this week, and look for EW’s “Raising the Issues” entry in the big parade Saturday. 

• Speaking of politics in the parade, it’s always good to see the peace activists showing up with their creative parade entries. One of our favorites is the Peace Train, and it promises to be longer than ever this year. It’s easy to get numb to the fact that we are in a state of perpetual war, and there’s no end in sight. The cost in lives, limbs, dollars and environmental damage is staggering, and for what? Our nation’s security does not depend on our war machine nearly as much as it depends on education, diplomacy and a healthy economy.

• Last week’s cover story on the Downtown Public Safety Zone is generating some passionate letters, and our red boxes downtown quickly emptied over the weekend. If you can’t find a copy, stop by our offices at 13th and Lincoln. We’ve only told part of the story of what’s going on downtown. Watch for more stories and more of your letters. If we look closely at these issues from as many angles as possible, we might come up with fair and legally defensible solutions that actually work. The best long-term remedy is to rebuild our downtown and bring in thousands of new residents and office workers. Meanwhile, we can try to avoid stereotypes based on appearance. Benevolent people, addicts, criminals and people suffering from mental illness can be found on the streets wearing rags — and also in fancy offices wearing expensive suits. We are all human. We all have our stories. We can all learn from each other.

• A federal appeals court decided Aug. 17 what most Eugeneans already knew: Mud is dirty. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the dirt, rock and sand that washes off logging roads is pollution and requires a permit under the Clean Water Act. The court ordered the EPA to write regulations to reduce the amount that reaches Oregon’s salmon-bearing waterways and creates turbidity and high levels of sediment. The case involved the Tillamook State Forest, and we’re waiting to see what far-reaching effects this case could have on the state’s 848,000 acres of timberland like the Elliott State Forest which borders the proposed Devil’s Staircase Wilderness that local enviros have been pushing to preserve.

• Looks like thanks to the recent naked Beaver incident, OSU’s football players are giving the Ducks a run for their money when it comes to stupid crime. A nude, drunk, 6-foot-2, 301-pound Tyler Patrick Thomas allegedly broke into a Corvallis home, and when confronted by the cops, dropped into a three-point stance. The cops Tasered him, and OSU dropped him from the team. Woohoo, here’s to the start of football season.

SLANT includes short opinion pieces, observations and rumor-chasing notes compiled by the EW staff. Heard any good rumors lately? Contact Ted Taylor at 484-0519, editor at eugeneweekly dot com







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