Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
Happening Person: Bev Copland
An event simultaneously occurring in 16 communities across the nation, the annual Bioneers Conference unites innovators and activists in a solution-focused arena to discuss health, environmental and social justice issues. Workshops, panel discussions, youth activities and a film festival will mark the third Oregon Bioneers Conference from Oct. 20-22 at LCC's Building 19.
The theme of this year's gathering is "The Future of Energy in Oregon," and local participants will have the opportunity to explore the cutting edge of energy technology work being done at LCC. "[LCC] is one of the only community colleges certifying energy management technicians," explained co-coordinator Jeremy Olsen. "They focus a lot on solar energy."
While global climate change has focused attention on energy sources, the conference's goal is broader. "Bioneers crosses all disciplines and highlights the facts they are all related," Olsen said. "People are allowed to cross-pollinate, to network and to gain inspiration. Whether you are working on indigenous land rights or food and farming issues, all these things are equally relevant and important."
Bioneers is committed to making the conference accessible to everyone, even those who cannot afford the $175 three-day fee, Olsen said. "There are lots of options; people can do work exchange. The last thing we want to do is limit attendance." Saturday afternoon in Building 5 is a free public gathering of speakers, green businesses and various non-profits.
For more information, visit www.bridgingworldsnw.orgor call 463-5224. — Adrienne van der Valk
SEX AND THE CENSOR
This year's Bioneers Conference will feature one new and potentially unexpected guest, intent on educating the green public about sustainable love-making. Wendy Strgar and her three-year-old Eugene-based company, Good Clean Love, manufacture what she calls natural love and intimacy products, which she sells across the country and in local natural food stores.
In the process, Strgar has become an educator of sorts in the realm of healthy sexuality, relationships and love. Married for 23 years with four children aged 8 to 18, Strgar is distressed over increasing number of families and marriages that aren't able to withstand the test of time. She believes that healthy sexuality is a key factor is building lasting relationships, but more than sex itself, Strgar is interested in love. The corporate mission of Good Clean Love is, in part, to normalize our relationships with our sexuality by providing products that enhance intimacy.
But the basis for establishing Good Clean Love was, in fact, medical. "Most intimacy products, even the ones recommended by gynecologists, contain parabens and petrochemicals, which are found in brake fluid, antifreeze and oven cleaners," Strgar said. "Those chemicals were never really designed for the inside of a woman's body." Parabens — which are found in cancerous tissue — were recently identified by the Breast Cancer Foundation as unsafe and are ubiquitous in cosmetics and lubricants. Strgar's products contain no parabens or petrochemicals.
"What this means is that you can't talk about sex at all in a healthy way," Strgar said. "And that means that pornography wins. The pornography industry has usurped all of our language to talk about this part of our life, and now there is no room culturally to talk about something as true and clean as this."
Kathy Sheehan of Prweb.com disagrees. "We simply don't put out press releases about adult products, much in the same way that you wouldn't go to a hardware store and demand that they serve you bread. You wouldn't scream discrimination when they didn't give you bread." — Martha Calhoon
If you didn't read the fat state voters pamphlet sent out last week, you missed a laugh.
A satirical argument for Measure 43 requiring parental notification for abortions proclaims that "every cell is sacred" and calls for "parental notification prior to masturbation."
"Every act of masturbation kills up to 500 million unborn lives. Every sperm is sacred! Just like abortion, masturbation murders soulless cells."
The argument, purchased for $500, also opposes finger nail clipping. "STOP THE SLAUGHTER OF THE HOLY HANGNAILS!"
The 2004 Voters Pamphlet also contained satirical arguments on a measure banning gay marriage. One from the Defense of Heterosexual Breeding Coalition cited the Bible in calling for bans on infertile heterosexual couples marrying. — Alan Pittman
CELEBRATE LOS JOVENES
It's 5:30 pm on Friday, and a large room in the former Whiteaker Elementary School is buzzing. Young men and women gather for a meeting of Juventud FACETA, a youth group for the children of Latino immigrants. They need planners and daily lists for all of the work they do in their communities. Some work with the Trauma/Healing Project; one is an intern at CAUSA, the statewide immigrant rights' group; two split up their time as LEAD Teen Center co-coordinators, Youth Action Board members and leaders in this youth group, which is attached to Amigos Multicultural Services Center. Some come from families who have been in the U.S. for a long time; some are more recent arrivals from Mexico or Guatemala. They text their friends, hold up T-shirt samples and chat about which color goes best on which person. They're in high school and college, acting the way youth always act — but in the service of pursuing justice and human rights. And they're about to be celebrated for it.
On Oct. 20, Amigos will honor the youth and celebrate the new space at Whiteaker with an open house. Amigos Youth Program Coordinator Patricia Cortez says the celebration is important for young people who "have a social identity from their own country and get caught in the middle of the way of life in this country."
Sometimes, they feel they have to lose their identity to succeed. But they find a mentor in Cortez, who immigrated years ago from El Salvador and who serves as a surrogate grandmother to the kids of two of the original members of FACETA. And, in a time when "the reality for immigrants is worse than last year," Cortez says, FACETA fights what she calls "an atmosphere of disrespect and hate" by rescuing traditions and helping the kids (and their parents, often) become bicultural.
The open house runs from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and FACETA will be honored — with dancing, with speeches and with joy — from 7 to 8 pm. More information, and an organizational wish list including everything from a fax machine to 2-3 person tents, is available at 746-6022. — Suzi Steffen
MORSE DAY IS SATURDAY
Saturday, Oct. 21, marks the end of the "free speech season" at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza at the Lane County Courthouse downtown. The day also marks Morse's birthday, and his memory will be honored by Mayor Kitty Piercy reading a proclamation declaring Oct. 21 "Wayne Morse Day" in Eugene. Public speaking will begin at 10 am at the plaza, and the proclamation is scheduled to be read at about 12:30 pm.
The Wayne Morse Youth Program is organizing this event, and speakers will likely talk about the upcoming dedication of the new Wayne Morse Federal Building from 10:30 am to noon Dec. 1. Youth program members have not been invited to speak at the event, nor have they been invited to attend. Bill Lesh, public affairs manager for the General Services Administration, was asked by EW about the omission and said "everyone is invited to attend" the dedication, but the ceremony program has not been finalized. "We are not at a loss for those who would like to participate," he said. "We are still considering the request by the Wayne Morse Youth Program and will give it our full and fair consideration."
Morse died in 1974 after calling Eugene his home for more than 40 years. A statement from the youth program says Morse was "an outspoken advocate of freedom, fairness, and civil liberties. He is honored today, as he was throughout his life, as an icon of dissent. A scholar of the Constitution, a statesman, family man, and a farmer, we honor him for his unyielding dedication to open, clean government of the people, by the people, and for the people. He was a tireless advocate for democracy, and we honor his teaching by sponsoring 'free speech' at his statue on the plaza Saturdays from April 1st to his birthday." — TJT
SNEAK PEEK AT BRING SITE
Lane County's BRING Recycling is offering a sneak peek at its future home from 3 to 5 pm Sunday, Oct. 22 at 4446 Franklin Blvd. in Glenwood. Construction is well under way at the new Planet Improvement Center, and the Sunday rain-or-shine event is a fundraiser featuring the marimba music of Kudana. Suggested donation is $10 to $10,000 per person, with proceeds to benefit the BRING Recycling Capital Campaign.
More than 700 people have donated money, time or materials to this project, which will not only provide recycling of building materials, but also serve as an education center.
The center "promotes a healthy and sustainable environment through education, innovative conservation programs and community involvement in conserving natural resources," says BRING Executive Director Julie Daniel. "BRING helps people understand the connection between the resources they use and the clean air, pure water and wild places they value."
TRIBAL WATER CONFERENCE
We drink it. Plants absorb it. Fish breathe it. But who owns it? And should the indigenous people of the American West have greater rights to water resources than ranchers, hydrodam operators and mining companies?
These questions are the focus of the third annual Northwest Tribal Water Rights Conference, to be held at the UO Oct. 26-27. Policy makers, tribal leaders and legal scholars will come together in wet Eugene to hash out the controversial ins and outs of using negotiated settlements to resolve tribal water rights disputes.
Michael Bogert, counsel to Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, will deliver the keynote address on "Kempthorne's Vision for Tribal Water Rights Settlements in the West" at noon Friday. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to hear from one of the secretary's leading advisors and connect Washington, D.C., decision makers with local leaders in the Northwest," said Adell Amos, director of the UO law school's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, one of the event's sponsors. Other sponsors include the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center and the Center for Water Advocacy.
Conference topics will include the increasing pressure on dwindling water resources, the commodification of water and the effects of resource extraction on water availability. Panelists will discuss legal strategies to resolve water issues and the inevitable cultural and ethical conflicts that arise.
View the schedule online at www.law.uoregon.edu/orgor call 346-3845 for info.
Lane County Herbicide Spray Schedule
Girl Scouts of Western Rivers Council (485-5911) will aerially spray 114 acres near Wallace Creek before Oct. 31 (#771-55853).
Near Mohawk Elementary School: Giustina Land & Timber Co. (345-2301) will ground spray 25 acres near Mohawk River trib. (#771-55917).
Near Blue Mountain School: Kuznetsov Thinning Company (503-981-1537) will ground spray 194 acres for Fruitgrowers Supply Company (767-0633) near Mosby and Smith Creeks (#771-55893).
Near Blue River School: Oregon Forest Management Services (896-3757) will ground spray Garlon 4 for Seneca-Jones Timber Company (689-1231) on 10 acres, 4 acres near Rawhide Creek, and 10 acres near Diamond B Ranch (#771-55850).
Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers: 342-8332, www.forestlanddwellers.org
A story about local band The Ovulators in our Oct. 5 issue mistakenly described the band's new album as including "Thirteen tracks (nine original, four written by fellow Eugene rockers Deke Falcon)." The album is actually just nine songs, entirely written by The Ovulators.
Four times a year, for 10 days at a time, retired mortgage broker Bev Coplin turns her living room into a showcase for the Doncaster Collection of designer clothing. An Eastern Washington native, Coplin started in banking as a teller, worked her way up to VP, then built her own mortgage company. "I was the first female appointed to the Washington Mortgage Brokers Commission," she notes. She moved her business to Oregon when her husband took a job here in 1999. Recently looking to scale back to part-time and try something new, she took over a friend's Doncaster agency, then closed her mortgage company last May. "I wanted to do something worthwhile," says Coplin, who has partnered with St. Vincent de Paul's to launch Ruby Tuesday's Closet, a program to provide quality used clothing and job-finding mentorship free of charge to women who have been on public assistance. "We'll start with 10 women in the first quarter of '07, and quarterly thereafter," she says. "We'll accept applications from any non-profit that has a jobs program."