Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
Animal welfare advocate proposes 'no kill' policy for Lane County.
Up Against a Wall
Who's responsible for responding to campus hate crimes?
Happening Person: Erin Ely
FRANK TALK ON POLITICS
Barney Frank turned a few heads in downtown Eugene Monday, catching people by surprise on streets and in elevators. The outspoken Massachusetts congressman and one of the longtime intellectual and political leaders of the Democratic Party was in town for a business gathering at Town Club hosted by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio and an unpublicized fundraiser for the congressman. The party was held at a private home in Eugene and attended by about 150 DeFazio supporters.
|Barney Frank (standing)|
Frank is senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee and hopes to take over the chairmanship of that committee if Democrats win the House in November.
"Our country will make its most important decisions ever in November," he said, "and if the Republicans take the House and Senate, they will take this as vindication of what they've done."
When it comes to morality in politics, Frank said, the Republicans "have it exactly backwards. Bullying a 15-year-old lesbian in high school and then not doing anything about it, that's immoral. The war in Iraq is immoral. … Starvation should not be the remedy for people who do not have fully integrated personalities."
Frank said the conservatives in power do not want government to deal with the real problems facing our country, but they do want government to interfere in people's private lives.
"I can sum up the Republican agenda in nine words: Burning the flag, spurning the fag and earnings that lag," he said.
At the gathering were many people active in the struggle for GLBTQ equality, and to them Frank said, "It's frustrating to lose on an issue when it's your life, but it's getting better. The line is moving. Change has been enormous. We're making progress because we've stopped hiding. But it's still not fast enough. It's still painful." — Ted Taylor
Move over, Captain Planet. Nanotechnology has spawned a mutant mascot: the "ONAMIvore." The cartoon creature, named after the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), looks something like an irradiated Pokémon character-cum-mad scientist, with shaggy ears, apeish arms, a lab coat and an openmouthed grin.
UO spokeswoman Pauline Austin confirmed that the new mascot is part of an ONAMI public relations campaign targeting children. The institute's website defines the ONAMIvore as a "rare species of animal, found primarily in the northwest region of the united states (sic), that consumes a scientific knowledge." The site links to an ONAMIvore coloring sheet.
The "Ask a Scientist" feature on the institute's kids-oriented web page explains that the word ONAMI, besides being an acronym, means "tomorrow" in Inuit and "big wave" in Japanese — reflecting the institute's belief that itty-bitty particle science is technology's next big thing.
Why is a nanotech institute marketing to kids? "Like many organizations involved in math and science, we recognize the need to interest schoolkids at an early age, because they are our future scientists and engineers," said ONAMI Director Skip Rung. He added that some of ONAMI's federal funds are earmarked for educational outreach.
Nanotechnology allows scientists to manipulate particles at the atomic level. These nanoparticles can be taken up by cells, enter organs and accumulate up the food chain. Advocates envision the technology leading to new solutions for medicine, energy production and the environment, but skeptics see it as a Pandora's box with inherent ecological and human health risks.
ONAMI is a collaboration between the UO, OSU, PSU, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and regional technology industries. In June, the UO broke ground on its $78 million, underground ONAMI building, the Integrative Sciences Complex. Most of ONAMI's funding is from state and private sources, but about 20 percent comes from the U.S. Department of Defense. UO Vice President for Research Richard Linton has said that the university won't directly contribute to weapons research, but some campus and community peace activists find the financial relationship a bit too intimate. — Kera Abraham
REVVIN' UP CHAINSAWS
Silver Creek Timber Co., which bought the right to log the Mike's Gulch roadless area in the Siskiyou-Rogue River National Forest, plans to begin cutting Aug. 7. This marks the first time that a designated roadless area will be logged since the Forest Service adopted a Clinton-era rule protecting 58.5 million acres of roadless national forests in January 2001. The Bush administration unraveled that rule in 2005, opening the formerly protected wild areas to logging, mining and oil drilling.
Conservationists are frustrated that the logging is moving forward despite several ongoing lawsuits challenging it. The Forest Service has repeatedly promised to protect roadless areas while it reviews governors' petitions to conserve roadless areas in their states, but the agency is breaking that promise by allowing logging operations in the Siskiyou's Kalmiopsis Roadless Areas to move forward despite Gov. Ted Kulongoski's pending petition.
The Forest Service has announced plans to auction off another roadless area, the Blackberry unit in the North Kalmiopsis, on Aug. 4. More roadless logging and drilling operations are planned for the winter in at least four states.
Kulongoski, along with the governors of Washington, California and New Mexico and a half-dozen conservation groups, is suing the Bush administration to restore the 2001 roadless rule. Federal Judge Elizabeth LaPorte heard arguments on Aug. 1, but as we go to press she has not granted the plaintiffs' requested injunction to stall the Mike's Gulch and Blackberry logging operations.
Meanwhile a new conservation alliance, composed of hunters, anglers and business owners, has joined the fight to protect Oregon's roadless forests. "Roadless wildlands provide some of the best places to hunt and fish in the state," said Oregon Council Trout Unlimited Chair Tom Wolf, part of the new Oregon Wildlands Alliance. "Unspoiled roadless lands need to continue to be protected to provide key habitat for fish and wildlife and ensure these resources are available to future generations."
The Cascadia Wildlands Project and other conservation groups plan to protest the logging of Mike's Gulch at noon Aug. 7 at the Siskiyou-Rogue River National Forest Service office in Medford. For carpool info, contact CWP at 434-1463. The governor will hold an open hearing on Oregon's roadless forest protections in Medford from 6 - 8 pm on Aug. 16 at Medford City Hall, 411 W 8th St. To learn more about the Oregon Wildlands Alliance, visit www.oregonroadless.org — Kera Abraham
Eugene-area and peace and social justice groups are coming together on the 61st anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to say "never again" to nuclear war.
The week-long events begin Friday, Aug. 4 with the Shadow Project and end Aug. 10 with a showing of The Last Atomic Bomb and a public appearance by noted filmmaker and former Eugene resident Robert Richter.
The purpose of this year's observations is to "bring the community together and raise public awareness of the unfortunately growing threat of nuclear war," according to a statement from the organizers. The Bush administration is currently seeking to end the ban on nuclear testing while other nations are busy developing nuclear technologies.
The Shadow Project, recalling the shadows left on sidewalks and walls by those who were incinerated in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will begin with a gathering from 4:30 to 8 pm Friday, Aug. 4 at the Campbell Senior Center. For information call 684-4548 or 683-1350.
Beginning at 7 pm Sunday, Aug. 6 at Alton Baker Park is the "Never Again: Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration" with a community potluck and a talk by Patricia Hall on Asian American history. A 9 pm "Lantern Ceremony-Ritual Candle Float" follows.
Richter's film will be shown at 7 pm Thursday, Aug. 10 at 180 PLC on campus, 14th and Kincaid. The 90-minute documentary interweaves the story of a Nagasaki survivor who has spent the last 50 years telling people what it was like to live through an atomic bombing. Richter will be on hand for a discussion to follow.
PARK BLOCKS MASTER PLAN
A second public meeting on Eugene's Park Blocks Master Plan will be from 7 to 9 pm Thursday, Aug. 3, at the Eugene Public Library downtown.
The city has prepared a master plan for the Park Blocks located in the area of 8th and Oak, site of Saturday Market and other activities. A committee of user groups and city and county organizations has been meeting with consultants from PIVOT Architecture and Walker Macy Landscape Architects to develop the plan. An initial public meeting was held June 29 to gather public input for the master plan.
Key ideas to be presented include new fountains, curbless streets, restoration of the fourth park block, enhancements for markets, and improvements to support diverse activities. For more information, contact Project Manager Steve Loges at 682-8814, or Steve.L.Loges@ci.eugene.or.us
Lane County Herbicide Spray Schedule
Weyerhaeuser (744-4600) will spray a total of 4,435 acres with herbicides in the McKenzie, Row River, and other East Lane watersheds. (For more info, contact the East Lane Oregon Dept. of Forestry office at 726-3588 and reference aerial applications 771-55700, 771-55702, 771-55704, 771-55701 and 771-55730.)
Reforestation Services (503) 362-8322 for Seneca Jones Timber (689-1231) will spray 472 acres in the Lorane area with 2,4-D LV6, Garlon 4, Tahoe, Oust Xtra, Arsenal AC and Accord XRT around the Smith River and Salmonberry, Beaver, Haney, Pearl, Cleghorn, Dead Ox and Tip Davis creeks starting Aug. 10. (For more info, call the West Lane ODF office at 935-2283 and reference aerial application 781-50830.)
Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers 342-8332
What's going on downtown? The Tate is nearly finished, and July 28 saw the first move-in to unit #202, according to Realtor Jeanette Underwood. Nice, upscale condos, six stories high at 13th and Olive, and only eight out of the 47 units are still available. Cheapest two-bedroom condo remaining is a mere $423,500. Meanwhile, the old Sears site across from the library is still a hole in the ground, and word is several developers and architects have asked for more time to come up with proposals for the city-owned property. The city has extended the deadline to Sept. 15., and the council will look at the RFPs at its Oct. 11 meeting. Will Conner & Woolley submit plans? The developers aren't talking, and the rumors say both yes and no. The city is open to just about any development plan, but the RFP clearly favors a substantial mixed-use project with some housing included. Will Oregon Research Institute's failed plans for the site scare anybody off? Not likely. ORI got themselves into a financing pickle due in large part to their nonprofit status.
Speaking of Conner & Woolley, word on the street is that the developers are pondering a major remodel of the street level floor of the old Symantec/Bon building on Broadway. The upper floors and basement space are leased out, but the most visible ground floor remains an eyesore with blacked-out, cracked windows inviting vandalism and loitering. Creating attractive retail and restaurant space would do wonders for West Broadway's ambiance and would also generate some goodwill for C&W who are known for buying up commercial property downtown and not making improvements. Meanwhile, downtown security guards have managed to discourage loitering along Broadway and the "street people" have moved over to the library, scaring off a few patrons. One cool thing going on downtown at the moment is the Safe & Sound homeless work crew, in partnership with Looking Glass New Roads Program. Homeless youth are being paid minimum wage to pick up trash, paint over graffiti and do other tasks to beautify downtown.
The Oregon Senate District 7 race between incumbent Vicki Walker and Republican challenger Jim Torrey is intensifying as we head toward the fall. As one GOP website says, "This is a big, BIG race. We have the chance to put a business-friendly, common-sense oriented, down-to-Earth mainstream Republican in office, in place of one of the most wildly liberal democRats of our Senate." Rumors are already flying, including one that "unauthorized" Torrey for Senate fliers are showing up on doorsteps inside copies of The Register-Guard. A little early morning stuffing going on by our former mayor? No response from the Torrey camp or the R-G as we go to press.
Makes us proud: Last week, the U.S. House approved a bill to add more than 77,000 acres of wilderness to the Mount Hood National Forest. It's refreshing that there is finally some bipartisan momentum behind wilderness protection — U.S. Reps. Greg Walden and Earl Blumenauer sponsored the bill, and Sens. Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith are crafting a Senate version. Liberal Blumenauer has long been a staunch defender of wild places, but hard-right Walden has been an antagonist, regularly putting the interests of his industrial campaign donors over the natural heritage of present and future Oregonians. Walden's horrific Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act (FERRA) was heard by the Senate Agricultural Committee on Aug. 2, and if passed, the bill would open up the nation's national forests to even more logging, mining and drilling without public process or environmental analysis. We're a little stumped — pardon the pun — as to how Walden can in good conscience wax poetic on Oregon's wildlands while pushing FERRA, but we won't let that dampen our spirits about the Mount Hood wilderness win.
Some might be wondering what's up with the Musicians Emergency Medical Fund event at Secret House Sunday afternoon. This all-star blues, jazz, rock concert organized by Lili Hillis, Paul Biondi and others is an attempt to create a fund to cover some of the medical costs of ailing musicians in our community. These musicians have devoted their lives to their art, enriching our lives at the same time, often without the steady pay and benefits enjoyed by those of us who work 9 to 5. Musicians are the first to volunteer their talents to raise money for local causes and for disaster relief, but rarely for their own health challenges. Direct donations to the fund can be made at any branch of Siuslaw Bank.
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, email@example.com
"I'm an instigator," says Erin Ely, wearing a gold lamé jacket and jewelry befitting her status as organizer for the local chapter of Billionaires for Bush. "I get things started." Back in her hometown of Albuquerque, where she played soccer with men, Ely instigated a women's soccer league that prospers still, 26 years after her departure. She followed a childhood friend to Oregon, landed a forestry degree and a husband (Doug Bielefeldt) at OSU, and worked for the Forest Service until 1990, when their first child was born. Ely began playing marimba with Kutsinira while she home-schooled her kids Locke and Maggie in Fall Creek. She instigated grant-writing programs for Kutsinira and later for The Village School after the family moved to Eugene in 2002. "I've probably raised more than $150,000 in grants," she says. "If I'm part of a group, I think I should contribute to it." In 2004, Ely worked on the Kerry campaign and "billionaired" on the side. "When President Bush came to Central Point, we rented a limo and jumped out," she says. "People got mad at us." Learn how to join the fun at billionairesforbush.com