News Briefs: UO Objects to Dress A Duck | EWEB Public Input Nears | Going to the Worms | Sex and the Eug | Endangered Oregon Areas | No Swine in School | Israeli Activist Gila Svirsky to Speak Here | Activist Alert | Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule |
Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
Hungry for Eden
The final journey of Kenny Cox
UO OBJECTS TO DRESS A DUCK
EW received a letter from the UO Sept. 16 with an “official request that Eugene Weekly cease and desist the use of the images” in our “Dress A Duck” contest. The contest, kicked off on the cover of our Sept. 3 issue, invites readers to use their imaginations and come up with a football uniform even more fun than the dozens already produced by the Nike design team. The contest has been extended to Sept. 25, and entry information can be found at www.dressaduck.com
The letter from Assistant Athletic Director Bill Clever said the photos that were provided to EW by the UO Sports Media Services office “violate existing NCAA legislation” because they were used for “a commercial promotional purpose.” Clever wrote that, “Continued use of the images could result in negative eligibility issues for all current student-athletes pictured in the promotional piece.”
In an interview with EW after the letter was received, Clever said, “The NCAA is very particular about how images of student athletes are used. I think their analysis is that this directs people toward your web page and that is a commercial purpose. I’m not in a position to argue with NCAA very often. They like to issue edicts.”
“This is all kind of silly,” said EW Editor Ted Taylor, “but we don’t want to get any athletes in trouble, so we have blurred their faces on our website. It’s ironic since images of recognizable Duck athletes are ubiquitous in print and on video, and a lot of media and commercial enterprises are making millions from Duck football. We actually lose money on the contest.It’s just for fun.”
The NCAA rule (188.8.131.52) reads: “If a student-athlete’s name or picture appears on commercial items (e.g., T-shirts, sweatshirts, serving trays, playing cards, posters) or is used to promote a commercial product sold by an individual or agency without the student-athlete’s knowledge or permission, the student-athlete (or the institution acting on behalf of the student-athlete) is required to take steps to stop such an activity in order to retain his or her eligibility for intercollegiate athletics.”
EWEB PUBLIC INPUT NEARS
What should happen to the prime riverfront land EWEB will no longer need after 2010? More than 100 people have been interviewed over the summer as part of the decision-making process for EWEB’s Riverfront Master Plan. And now the public utility’s Citizen Advisory Team (CAT) is planning a series of open meetings to gather additional public comments and ideas.
The first public meeting will be at 5:30 pm Wednesday, Sept. 30, at EWEB’s North Building at 500 E. 4th Ave. Next will be a “visioning charette” in collaboration with local architects from 6 to 8:30 pm Oct. 3, followed by a series of other meetings and public events through the winter and spring, leading to the master plan being submitted to the EWEB commissioners next May or June. See www.eweb.org/riverfront/cat for updates.
Rowell Brokaw is the architecture firm hired to consult on the plan. What actually gets built on the roughly 16 acres will depend on the developers who eventually buy all or parts of the land. But the master plan will provide guidelines for a range of residential and commercial development plus open space and/or parkland.
The acreage, between the railroad tracks and the river, currently has mixed zoning and several buildings, including an old steam plant of historic value, and various easements for power and water lines. On the east, the property abuts the UO’s Riverfront Research Park. — Ted Taylor
GOING TO THE WORMS
Thousands of wriggly little European red worms are the newest tenants at 5th Street Public Market. Operations manager Casey Obie-Barrett says that these “smallest and hungriest employees” at 5th Street will soon be turning food waste and paper into soil and fertilizer for the flowers around the stores and restaurants.
Obie-Barrett says before starting the vermiculture compost program, the market was paying to have the heavy food scraps left over from the two restaurants and several cafés hauled away to the landfill. Now the scraps stay on site and are fed to the 6,000 worms living in the bins. Obie-Barrett expects the worm population to double in size every 60 days. “We have a goal of a five-bin system which can consume up to 30,660 pounds of food waste along with 7,665 pounds of paper annually,” he says. He hopes to in the future team up with nearby restaurants like Lucky Noodle and Steelhead and have his worms digest their scraps, too. He says ultimately he would like to have a whole downtown composting program.
The worms turn the food scraps, as well as waste office paper from 5th Street’s administrative offices into “worm castings.” Obie-Barrett says, “The worms just mow through this stuff and produce premium fertilizer.” Any leftover scraps above and beyond what the worms can eat are hot composted and turned into soil. Basically, Obie-Barrett says, rather than send waste to the landfill, it’s kept on site and used for the flowers and landscaping around the stores.
Part of the impetus for the program, Obie-Barrett says, was the perception that 5th Street Public Market has “stepped away from our roots.” The market, he says, “really is grassroots” and locally focused.
Rodney Bloom of the OSU Extension Service “walked us through the process” of building and setting up the vermiculture composting program, says Barrett. “It’s not as hard as it looks, he says.”
For more information on worm composting, contact the OSU Extension at 682-2377 or go to the worm bin composting workshop at the Springfield Farmers’ Market, at noon Friday, Sept. 25, at 590 Main St. in Springfield. — Camilla Mortensen
SEX AND THE EUG
Often, the clink of cocktail glasses and the murmur of bar conversation heralds a certain kind of discussion about sex — the kind that happens after the drinks, maybe back at the apartment.
But Planned Parenthood takes that trend and reverses it. In its “Sex and Cocktails” series for young professionals, the local chapter (Planned Parenthood of South-western Oregon, which oddly includes Eugene) keeps the topics fun as alcohol flows and snacks abound. Robin Runyan, a grant writer, helps run the series. “We’re trying to get the 25- to 40-year-old crowd involved in Planned Parenthood,” she says. “There’s a gap between our donors, who are usually older, and people who use our services, who are usually under 25.” In between, people get jobs, often with health insurance, or start having kids and forget about the services at Planned Parenthood.
But they still have questions about sex. At the first Sex and Cocktails event, which was held at the b2 wine bar, women and men both asked sex educators questions. “It was a big mix, a really fun evening,” Runyan says. Bringing in 30 or so people to a local restaurant or bar on a weeknight doesn’t hurt that business, and Red Agave was the host for the second night, when participants talked about health care and health care reform, with some trivia games and a focus on making sure women’s health isn’t left out of any reform package.
The event on Wednesday, Sept. 30, serves as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood — and it’s at a gallery, but that doesn’t mean stinting on the food and drink end of the evening. High Pass Winery donated wine, and Marché delivers up some tasty food. For $10, attendees get to partake in the donated food and drink, watch a glassblowing demonstration, hear new state Senator Chris Edwards speak, chat with other people about sex and reproductive health and join in a raffle for the piece of glass art produced by a Studio West artist that night. “We want to engage the people who come,” Runyan says. She and others are planning targeted events for later in the fall, possibly including a trivia night.
Sex and Cocktails runs 5:30 to 7 pm Wednesday, Sept. 30, at Studio West, 245 W. 8th Ave. For more info, check out the website at www.pphsso.org/ppsworegon so you can plan a night of sexy, smart fun. — Suzi Steffen
ENDANGERED OREGON AREAS
|Photo by Michel Hersen|
As the summer hiking season draws to an end, the conservation group Oregon Wild reminds hikers that it’s not just the changing weather that could discourage hikers from going into the woods. According to Oregon Wild, some of Oregon’s most beautiful recreation areas are also the most endangered, and it lists those place in its “Oregon's 10 Most Endangered Places 2009.”
Topping the list is Crater Lake National Park, which faces a timber sale in the nearby Umpqua National Forest. The “D-Bug Hazard Reduction Timber Sale Project,” as it's known by the U.S. Forest Service, is a logging plan in the Crater Lake area. Oregon Wild's stance is that the harvest and sale of lumber in this roadless region breaks a current Oregon law known as the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.
The name D-Bug comes from one of the major concerns fueling this forest management plan: the mountain pine beetle. The beetle is known to devour the bark of lodgepole pines, a prevalent species around Crater Lake. When there is a mountain pine beetles infestation, they can kill a lot of trees.
But Oregon Wild disagrees with the logging plan. Stevens says, “When you're talking about managing the forest to prevent pine beetles, you're getting into dangerous territory because lodgepole pines have a lifespan that has evolved over time with these critters.” He says clearcutting the area disrupts the natural forest cycle and replanted monocrop forests are worse for fire risks.
Also in Oregon Wild’s top 10 are: the Klamath National Wildlife Refuge System, which is threatened by lack of water, commercial agriculture and heavy pesticide use; the Siskiyou Wild Rivers area threatened by mining; the Clackamas River Watershed endangered by construction of a massive pipeline that would clear-cut a strip through Mount Hood National Forest; Wallowa-Whitman National Forest affected by livestock grazing and off-road vehicle (ORV) use; Steens Mountain wind energy development projects threaten vistas; Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area threatened by ORV use; the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests threatened by logging; the old-growth forests of Lookout Mountain affected by livestock grazing and logging; and the Rogue River at risk from logging and water quality degradation.
Go to www.oregonwild.com or call 344-0675 for more information on how to preserve these natural areas. — Shaun O'Dell and Camilla Mortensen
NO SWINE IN SCHOOL
Classes start next week at UO and LCC and staff, students and professors are starting to wonder how swine flu (H1N1) might affect fall term. It looks like if the UO’s swine flu prevention instructions are followed, the school will need much bigger classrooms for fewer students if professors follow suggestions to stop mandatory attendance and spread out the students who do come.
According to a memo from Russ Tomlin, senior vice provost for Academic Affairs, sent to all instructional faculty entitled “The H1N1 Flu Pandemic,” H1N1 influenza rates are expected to reach 20 percent in the Eugene/Springfield Community. Tomlin writes, “We must practice deliberate efforts at social distancing, separating ourselves from others,” in order to help prevent the spread of swine flu.
In an effort to prepare the campus for the potential onslaught of germs, the memo gives tips that students will appreciate, such as “Consider suspending or modifying mandatory attendance policies.” This would prevent sick and contagious students from feeling compelled to come to class; it may also delight those students with 8 am classes and a late night party schedule.
What might further perplex faculty and teaching staff is the admonishment to “Encourage use of distance (six feet is the standard) between students in classes, studios, labs, and other collaborative activities.” The average class size at the UO is 28 students. If each student takes up 2 feet of space and is spaced 6 feet apart from the other students, the classroom would have to be at least 1,300 square feet. Most UO classrooms with 28 students are less than 500 sq. ft., according to UO’s classroom specifications web page.
The memo also asks that instructors avoid “projects and activities that require sitting or working together in close proximity” and instructs that students who opt out of such activities not be penalized.
The UO provides information online for students and faculty on working at home, and the UO Library has also set up a web page to aid faculty in the event they are sick, or so many students are sick that “meaningful in-class activity” isn’t possible.
If you want more swine flu info, Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy is hosting “H1N1: What You Need to Know” town hall forum from 6:30 to 8 pm Wednesday, Sept. 30, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St., in Eugene. — Camilla Mortensen
ISRAELI ACTIVIST GILA SVIRSKY TO SPEAK HERE
Israeli writer and peace activist Gila Svirsky is arriving in Oregon Sept. 25 and will travel throughout the state, talking about peace efforts occurring in Palestine/Israel and telling Oregonians what they can do to effectively pressure our government to promote those efforts.
Following Portland and Salem talks, Svirsky’s first Eugene public appearance will be at 1 pm Tuesday, Sept. 29, in Stan Taylor’s class on "Peace and Conflict: Global" at Building 15, room 208 on the LCC campus. At 7 that evening she will be in Corvallis to speak at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2945 NW Circle Blvd.
At 7 pm Wednesday, Sept. 30, she will be back in Eugene to speak on "Grassroots to Government: American's Role in Palestine and Israel," at Harris Hall, 125 East 8th St. At 7:30 am Thursday, Oct. 1, she will speak at the Women’s Breakfast, First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive, RSVP to 683-1350. At 7 pm Oct. 1 she will facilitate a "Dialogue with the Local Jewish Community on Human Rights and Prospects for Peace in Israel and Palestine" at Temple Beth Israel, 1175 East 29th Ave.
Svirsky has headed Israel’s major peace and human rights organizations. In 2000, she co-founded and led the Coalition of Women for Peace, which brings together nine Israeli women’s peace organizations, raising the visibility and volume of the feminist peace movement in Israel. She has been an activist with Women in Black since its inception in 1988, helping grow the movement into a network of vigils spanning the globe. She is currently chair of B’Tselem, Israel’s foremost human rights organization in the Occupied Territories.
• Noted San Francisco green architect Eric Corey Freed will speak at 6 pm Thursday, Sept. 24 at the EWEB Community Room. Freed is executive director of Urban Re:Vision and principal of organicARCHITECT, an architecture and consulting firm in San Francisco. He is the author of Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies. Cost is $5 for non-members of Cascadia Green Building Council. RSVP by phone to 485-8186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• "A Science of Peace" is the topic of a free public talk at 6 pm Monday, Sept. 28, at the LaSells Stewart Center at OSU in Corvallis. The talk is about how the road to peace is through education, not politics. Speaker is Annette Haines Ed.D., an international lecturer, consultant and Montessori teacher trainer.
• OSU Extension’s Master Gardner class is taking applications until Sept. 30. Participants receive 66 hours of intensive gardening education in exchange for 66 hours of volunteer time. There is a $185 material/lab fee and application. For more info call 682-4247, or stop by the Extension Office at 950 W. 13th Ave., Eugene, to pick up an application, or get an application online at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/gardens/volunteer. Steve Dodrill of the Extension service says, “This could be the last time this class is offered locally if Extension is not able to secure stable local funding by June 30, 2010.”
• The Opal Network, a “Lane County coalition to support the voice, self-determination and empowerment of mental health clients,” is holding a free event from 2 to 4 pm Tuesday, Sept. 29, at the Eugene Public Library Tykeson Room. Steve Williamson will narrate a brief slide show about the life of Opal Whiteley, one of Lane County's most famous psychiatric survivors and authors. See www.mindfreedom.org for more information.
Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule
• ODOT: District 5 (Lane) will start spot spraying in the Glenwood (metro: I-5, I-105, Beltline) section Sept. 15; Highways 126 and 58 the week of Sept. 21; Highways 36, 126 West, and 101 from Sept. 28 through mid November. ODOT will target blackberries, poison oak, and Japanese knotweed with Milestone, Crossbow and Habitat herbicides . Call Don Angermayer at (541) 736-2841 and/or call ODOT Herbicide Application (888) 996-8080.
• Chemically sensitive? If ODOT herbicide will disparately harm you because of a disability, contact Forestland Dwellers.
Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers: 342-8332, forestlanddwellers.org
• EWEB’s Master Plan for its soon-to-be-surplus riverfront property is being crafted with a lot of community input (see News Briefs this week). We understand some conversations are happening with the planners for the UO’s adjacent Riverfront Research Park, and we support and encourage more than just casual dialogue. The two developments have much in common beyond geography. Both exist to provide jobs and long-term vitality while (hopefully) protecting the scenic and environmental qualities of the riverfront. But what about the rest of the Willamette riverfront? Let’s see some coordinated planning of our riverfront all the way to Glenwood.
As we look at our riverfront, let’s also revisit the Emerald Canal, a decades-old plan to create a millrace-like canal (think San Antonio) that would wind through downtown and the West University Neighborhood, connecting the Willamette River to Amazon Creek. Supporters of this marvelous plan to revitalize and beautify Eugene have been many over the years, including Jerry Rust, Jerry Diethelm, Peter DeFazio and early-on the late Charlie Porter.
Another riverfront related proposal that sticks in our minds is landscape designer Whitey Lueck’s idea of burying the railroad tracks through Eugene in a trench, as San Diego and other cities have done at great expense. As much as we love trains, Eugene’s rail lines are an eyesore, incredibly noisy, an impediment to foot, bike and car traffic, and a huge gobbler of prime real estate. The Trainsong Neighborhood would have to change its name.
• Just because the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR) is dead, doesn’t mean the fight over logging on Lane County’s public lands is over. Lane County commissioners pulled out of the Association of O&C Counties early this summer, but have currently been discussing rejoining “with conditions.” Hopefully one of those conditions will be demanding that the AOCC not lobby for more old-growth clearcutting. We remain highly suspicious of the AOCC because chair Doug Robertson recently said that they will try to ensure that all the hard work that went into the WOPR does not get lost or ignored. But the WOPR is deeply flawed and quite rightly deserves to end up in the circular file. The commissioners are discussing the creation of yet another advisory committee on the issue, (tentatively named the Resource Extraction and Energy Production Advisory Committee) but first let's slow down and review the work of the many existing advisory committees related to federal lands and county payments and make sure we are not reinventing the wheel. Our federal forests do not harbor some hidden pot of gold for the county, so let's spare ourselves the fruitless search for it.
• We hear some rumblings among some Portland Democrats that Clackamas County Commissioner Lynn Peterson should jump into the Oregon governor's race. She's 40 years old, a transportation engineer, Lake Oswego resident, highly regarded up there. Seems unlikely she could derail John Kitzhaber, but she could be the only woman on the ballot, either R or D. Maybe a run in the 2010 primary would give her more exposure and establish her statewide. Maybe not, if it's a thumping.
• We wrote about rumors of a new GLBTQ bar in this column Sept. 17, and we’ve since heard from several readers that Club SNAFU might be closing. Owner Casey Mitchell tells us no date has been set for closing the gay-friendly nightclub, but the building it calls home at 55 W. Broadway is for sale. “Once the building sells, we will then investigate what it would take to reopen a club in the Jo Federigo's space,” he says. “We are currently looking for investors to make that a reality. For now Club SNAFU will continue to be open Friday and Saturday nights. … I'm quite proud of the music scene and culture down at SNAFU.”
• Our Next Big Thing contest is no longer accepting local song entries, but there is still time to listen to the 150 original songs on our website. Voting, listening and commenting ends Friday, Sept. 25. The response from our readers has far exceeded our expectations with more than 100,000 page views, 30,000 votes and 2,500 comments. The purpose of this contest is to find a hit single or two that could give Eugene’s music scene a big boost nationally. We know the talent is here; it’s just a matter of giving our great musicians some exposure. Judges will weigh in along with online voters to pick the top 16 songs for a compilation CD to be available in local stores and distributed to radio stations. See www.nextbigthing.com