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Eugene Weekly : News : 11.12.09





News Briefs:
Homeland Security Follows People in Furry Costumes | Tales of Your Union | Chief OKs Tasering Protester | Land Use Now Easier to Appeal | Grant to Gun Coyotes From Airplanes | Powershift on Campus | Mad as Hell Docs Return, Still Mad | Free Parking Idea Flops Downtown | Activist Alert | Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule | Corrections/Clarifications

Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes

Happening People: Erik de Buhr and Fay Carter

 

 



HOMELAND SECURITY FOLLOWS PEOPLE IN FURRY COSTUMES

Is the Pitchfork Rebellion still under Department of Homeland Security surveillance? Day Owen, of the rural Coast Range-based Pitchfork Rebellion, which recently won EW’s award for “Best Green Cause,” says DHS followed the group to the Bureau of Land Management offices the day after their Halloween Mock Trials in which they found the BLM “guilty of land mismanagement” for its proposed use of pesticides.

DHS monitoring of the Pitchfork Rebellion first became an issue after the May 2008 Tasering of Ian Van Ornum during an anti-pesticide rally the group was involved in. Federal Protective Services, a division of DHS, monitored the 2008 rally, according to police reports at the time, because it believed participants would march to the U.S. Federal Building. Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center called the monitoring “obviously unconstitutional.”

This time, the Pitchfork Rebellion, which calls itself an “uprising of forest-dwellers,” held a mock trial on Halloween at the old federal building with about 100 people present, according to Owen, and featuring people in forest animal costumes. The trial was part of a rally to call attention to the BLM’s proposal to increase the use of pesticides, including, according to the Pitchfork Rebels, on campgrounds, picnic areas and at schools on leased BLM lands. Owen calls the increase part of a “Monsanto strategy to increase pesticide use in Oregon.”

On Nov. 2 the Pitchfork Rebellion and other supporters, some again in furry forest creature costumes, met at the old federal building then drove together to the BLM offices to deliver their verdict from the “The Case of Mother Earth Versus the BLM.” Owen says they were followed by a vehicle with DHS plates. BLM District Manager Ginnie Grilley BLM office in Springfield, agreed to meet and talk with the group, which presented her with the trial’s results. 

The group is encouraging the public to comment on the BLM’s pesticide proposal before the Dec. 1 end of the comment period. The herbicide plan can be found at www.blm.gov/or/districts/eugene No word on what Homeland Security thought of the costumes.  — Camilla Mortensen

 

TALES OF YOUR UNION

Just after the Weekly went to press last Wednesday, Basic Rights Oregon came to town with one of the marriage equality’s foremost champions.

Evan Wolfson. Photo by Jeff Sheng 

Jeana Frazzini, BRO’s executive director, and Evan Wolfson, founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of the book Why Marriage Matters, talked with EW in between a spate of media events — an interview with KLCC’s Jes Burns, a chat with The Register-Guard’s editorial board and more — leading up to Wolfson’s talk at the Eugene Public Library. The purpose of their visit: to get Eugene behind BRO’s new campaign for marriage equality — overturning Measure 36 and putting same-sex partnerships on an equal (state) footing to those of opposite-sex couples.

Though the Oregon Legislature passed anti-discrimination and domestic partnership bills in 2006, Frazzini and Wolfson say domestic partnership could never have the weight and force of marriage. BRO “wants people to start having the conversations,” Frazzini said, so that if a ballot measure comes up, same-sex couples will know that their families, neighbors and other communities support equality as they vote.

Frazzini talked about the various conversations she’s recently had with her brother-in-law, whom she described as “a conservative Portland police officer who takes pride in canceling every one of my votes.” Through three discussions, she said, he began to see why Frazzini and her partner (his sister) would want the same protections and rights he and his wife enjoy. Wolfson stressed the more than 1,100 federal rights and responsibilities that only pertain to married couples — rights that even married same-sex couples in Massachusettes, Iowa or one of the other states where marriage equality is the law don’t have, thanks to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

In his speech at the library (live-blogged at http://blogs.eugeneweekly.com/node/1280), Wolfson talked about how and why Bill Clinton, the president who signed DOMA into law, has now changed his stance and supports marriage equality. “He talked to his gay staffers, his gay friends, and he saw how they parented,” Wolfson said. “He decided that a 60-year-old man who had values about social justice could change his mind.”

In the talk with the Weekly, Wolfson said that Oregonians have to “seal the deal” with friends, family and other community members. At the library, he added, “We can’t assume that just because somebody is good, or pro-gay, that they understand how the denial of marriage hurts us in our day-to-day lives.”

The new campaign’s website is at www.marriagemattersoregon.org where same-sex couples from across Oregon have uploaded videos and where BRO gives suggestions on how to get the conversation going. — Suzi Steffen

 

CHIEF OK’S TASERING PROTESTER 

Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns announced Nov. 9 that he was officially absolving fellow officers of any wrongdoing in Tasering protester Ian Van Ornum last May.

The EPD’s decision to not hold itself accountable was widely expected. At his press conference, Kerns largely repeated police justifications for the Tasering made in a press release and email to the City Council immediately after the incident.

Police officer Judd Warden Tasered Van Ornum in the back twice while Van Ornum lay face down with one or both arms behind his back, according to police video. 

After the Tasering Warden was given the “Officer of the Year” award by the Eugene Police Department. 

Kerns is now reviewing another controversial Taser use by Warden against a Chinese student wrongly thought to be trespassing in his own home last month. 

Kerns said Warden deserved the Officer of the Year award and stood by his public praise of Warden in The Register-Guard as “noble and hard-working” after the Tasering of the student last month. Kerns denied that his praise indicated that he had already also prejudged whether that use of the 50,000-volt weapon was justified.

“This case is closed,” Kerns pronounced at the press conference before his press secretary cut off further questions. 

But the public controversy over police Taser use and the protester incident will likely continue for years. 

Eugene City Councilor George Brown said he’d like the elected body to take up the issue of the police Taser policy at a meeting. He said he went to a Police Commission meeting on reviewing the policy. “I was a little disturbed,” he said. “Most of the changes I saw appeared to be cosmetic and not substantive.”

City Councilor Alan Zelenka supported Brown’s call for a meeting but wanted it delayed until January. It’s unclear if the current council will actually do anything to rein in the police. Recently the council majority appointed a new pro-police auditor and Citizens Review Board majority after the former auditor and board had criticized police use of force and Tasers. 

The current vague Taser policy appears to offer few if any actual restrictions on Taser use. The policy largely allows officers to deliver 50,000 volts to anybody whenever they themselves think it’s “reasonable.”

Local civil liberties advocates have cited hundreds of deaths linked to Tasers and huge lawsuits in calling for restricting Taser use to replace firearms in cases of the immediate threat of injury or death. But Kerns has repeatedly opposed any clear restrictions. —Alan Pittman

LAND USE NOW EASIER TO APPEAL 

Using a stakeholders’ process set up by Lane County commissioners, historically adversarial land stewardship advocates and pro-development consultants were able to come to an agreement and change the $3,700 fee charged to appeal a land use decision to $250. Robert Emmons of LandWatch Lane County says this change, as well as changes to the way lot lines are decided, is “really going to make a difference to what possibilities we have to protect some of this landscape.” 

LandWatch works to steward farm and forest lands and create sustainable land use policies, according to its website, and Emmons says of rural development and sprawl: “Most people are blithely unaware of this kind of thing going on until too late.” 

The commissioners voted unanimously on Nov. 4 to approve amendments to the county code that streamline the process applicants go through for permits and zone changes. For $3,700, the amount the county has been charging, someone can still request that the commissioners hold a public hearing and make the final county decision on an application. Or, under the new changes to the code, for $250 the commissioners can simply ratify the hearing official’s decision as the final county decision. Either way, the decision whether to hear the appeal lies with the commissioners.

Emmons gave the example of a rural citizen who is worried about a change of zoning on a nearby property that would allow a dwelling to be built on what was previously undeveloped. Under the previous system, that citizen would have had to pay $3,700 to have a public hearing to appeal the decision to allow development. Now that person can pay $250 to have the commissioners ratify the decision and the appeal then moves to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).

The money goes to pay for county staff work and documents surrounding the hearings. County staff was concerned, Emmons says, that the $250 fee would not be enough to cover county expenses, so Commissioner Bill Fleenor proposed the new fee be reexamined at a later date if the change started to cost the county “an exorbitant amount of money.”

Commissioner Rob Handy says he is excited by the lower fee and the simplification of the appeals process, which he says “serves our community on a lot of levels.” He says the stakeholder process “asked people to come together from different ideologies and with competing goals and work toward common outcomes.”

For example, according to Emmons, the idea for the change to the $250 fee came from former commissioner and current land use attorney Steve Cornacchia, who represents development interests, but both development consultants and land use advocates were in favor of the fee change. Emmons called the former almost $4,000 amount a “citizen disinvolvement fee.” 

Handy says the changes simplified the process, which he called “an absolute maze,” and he adds, “Lane County once again is leading the way with some of these reforms that are needed around the state in other counties.” He calls it “another example of what our current board has been doing” and says the stakeholders’ process in the end was “basically Kumbaya.”— Camilla Mortensen

GRANT TO GUN COYOTES FROM AIRPLANES

Is increasing mule deer numbers for hunters to shoot worth gunning coyotes from airplanes? Predator and wildlife advocates don’t think so, but the Oregon Hunters Association has given federal Wildlife Services a $12,000 grant to aerially shoot the predators in areas across Oregon. Wildlife advocates say the issue isn’t coyotes, it’s the lack of grazing for the mule deer.

Coyote shot by aerial gunning. Photo by James Babj.

Wildlife Services is a division of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a subset of the USDA. The agency conducts gunning in Eastern Oregon and other rural areas to protect livestock and it also benefits big game. 

Duane Dungannon of OHA said via email, “OHA grants funding to APHIS to do flight time for its coyote removal in areas where there are livestock grazing allotments, because OHA recognizes that these efforts — when timed with spring fawning — can be beneficial for wildlife populations, as well. This year we asked that our funds be used in the five wildlife management units that are currently a focus of ODFW’s Mule Deer Initiative.”

According to Dungannon, the initiative is “aimed at reviving depressed mule deer populations in Eastern Oregon.” Mule deer populations have dwindled, he said, “due to a number of factors, not the least of which is predation.” Dungannon adds, “Hunting is not a significant factor in overall deer numbers because only mature bucks are harvested.”

Mule deer are native to Oregon but are not threatened or endangered. 

Michelle Dennehy of ODFW said “ODFW has not yet proposed any coyote control as part of the Mule Deer Initiative,” and “ODFW is not involved in the grant from OHA to Wildlife Services.”

According to ODFW Director Roy Elicker’s message from 2009 Oregon Big Game Regulations, writing about the Mule Deer Initiative, “the Oregon Hunters Association, and other groups, are excited about taking an active role in partnering with us to move this project forward.”

Dennehy said planning committees have “proposed coyote control in their plans but ODFW has not made final decision on whether plans will include coyote control.” The decision, she said, will be made at the December Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Salem.

Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense objects to this plan to shoot coyotes from the air. He said that the method isn’t precise, and coyotes are often maimed but not killed, and drag themselves away to die slowly, with missing paws or part of their face shot off. 

 According to Jim Yoakum, a retired BLM wildlife biologist, studies have documented “mule deer populations are primarily governed by an abundance of quality vegetation,” and he cites a recent study in Colorado that found “nutritious forage was more related to mule deer population densities.” He also said that while reducing coyote numbers has been shown to increase the number of fawns, it is unclear whether this creates an actual increase in mature prey herd numbers. — Camilla Mortensen

 

POWERSHIFT ON CAMPUS

Swarms of dynamic environmental activists flocked to the UO campus this past weekend for the only Powershift conference west of the Rocky Mountains. Thirteen states were represented in Powershift West, one of the 12 Powershift regional summits occurring across the nation.

Powershift rally at UO. Photo by photo by Sachie Yorck.

Local UO student organizer Charles Denson, a political science major, said, “The West is also very politically strategic because we have some good senators who need to be better.”

Keynote speakers included Bernadette Del Chiaro of Environment California, Rep. Jefferson Smith who founded the Bus Project and Dan Carol, content and issues director for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. Carol encouraged long-term economic planning as the pillar for the environmental movement, insisting that it come from serious citizen engagement.

“As we think about the IT prospects for scaling all this stuff and telling a happy story in 2049, we’re going to need bottom-up implementation,” said Carol.

More than 500 like-minded individuals gathered for the three-day Powershift West, shuffling between scattered campus classrooms concurrently running different lectures. In all, participants were able to attend four sessions of panels and workshops. 

In 85-minute panels, an assortment of environmental figures — college professors, graduate students, youth organizers, climate advocates and a couple of politicians — converged on issues such as a high-speed rail corridor up to Vancouver, B.C., renewable energy options, empowering voters, and localized sustainability.

During one segment focused on greening school systems, administrators reflected on successful curriculum. Sonya Christian of the office of academic and student affairs at LCC discussed two of the school’s eco-initiatives: culinary students working with a campus garden and biodiesel produced from kitchen waste. Karyn Kaplan, UO operations sustainability/recycling manager, spoke about the university’s uniquely student-run recycling program.

Both presenters were against carbon offsets agendas. “Instead of us doing carbon offsets where we buy carbon credits to support a factory in Pennsylvania, how about we create some carbon funds here locally in our campuses and our communities,” said Kaplan.

Law analysts met for a climate justice forum, where UO professor John Bellamy Foster declared capitalism “an unsustainable system” that is “geared towards exponential growth.”

On the final day of Powershift West, participants congregated at the EMU Amphitheater where they showed off their newly honed activism skills, including large rally visuals like portable wind turbines, a giant U.S. Constitution and a roaming two-person polar bear costume (which had a peculiar similarity to the Neverending Story’s Falkor). The climate protesters took to the Eugene streets, stressing Powershift goals of a Senate climate bill and a strong international climate treaty developed at the U.N. conference next month in Copenhagen. — Sachie Yorck

 

MAD AS HELL DOCS RETURN, STILL MAD

Dr. Paul Hochfeld and his traveling crew of Mad as Hell Doctors are still mad after traveling across the country, visiting 29 communities urging support for a single-payer health insurance, a government run health care system.  

Every community cheered them along their way to Washington D.C., where Dr. Hochfeld talked his way into the gathering in the Rose Garden with President Obama, says local health reform organizer Ruth Duemler. “There was no chance to speak to the president but Hochfeld did get a chance to converse with several dozen doctors, and they all agreed that single payer was the best way to deliver health care to Americans,” she says.

Duemler says Hochfeld and his Oregon doctor travelers are still mad. “They were upset that single payer was left out of the discussion because of the legislators’ compliance with the health insurance industry. It takes 20-30 percent of every health care dollar before paying for those healthy individuals they insure. 

Hochfeld has been quoted saying the health care passed by the House is “wounded.” It has what he describes as “adverse selection,” and Hochfeld predicts it will fail — and then the insurance industry will say,“See, the government can’t do health care.” Hochfeld is urging Congress to move single payer forward as a civil and human rights issue.

A potluck and discussion on health care reform is planned for 7 pm Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St. Two members of the Mad as Hell Doctors are expected to attend. 

 

FREE PARKING IDEA FLOPS DOWNTOWN

Will free parking save downtown? 

Not according to a free parking pilot program by the city of Eugene that found that free parking attracted few new people to the struggling area.

A well publicized, two-month free parking experiment on West Broadway downtown increased usage by only 7 percent, and many of those appeared to be employees, not customers, according to a memo to the City Council. 

The city covered meters along the street with two-hour free parking signs from July 29 to Sept. 27. But an average of 40 percent of the free spaces remained empty.

About three more cars a day did park on the street, but the majority of those appeared to be downtown employees taking advantage of the program to park closer to work, according to the city. The cars displayed city garage parking permits, displayed a downtown business name and/or the vehicle moved during a work shift. 

Many of the comments from a business survey on the free parking focused on how employees or residents, rather than customers, enjoyed the adjacent parking. The city asked, “did you use the on-street free parking?” One business replied “Yes!” Another replied, “Absolutely. It really helped me out having my car next to where I work.”

An employee parking out front rather than walking a block or two to the city’s many underutilized garages downtown would decrease street life, contrary to the city’s goals in the area.

The slight, if any, increase in parking use was expensive. The city spent $1,000 on signs, $6,800 on lost meter revenue and $4,700 on lost fine revenue for a total of $12,500.

Conservatives have long argued that making it easier to drive and park downtown will rejuvenate the area. But that has proved false. The area only deteriorated further after the city spent more than $5 million tearing out the downtown pedestrian mall for car lanes and parking spaces. The city spent tens of millions of dollars on ugly downtown parking garages that have stood largely empty while downtown only got worse. — Alan Pittman

 

ACTIVIST ALERT

• A “Countdown to Change” rally in support of health insurance reform is planned for 4 pm Thursday, Nov. 12, at the new U.S. Courthouse, 405 E. 8th Ave., sponsored by MoveOn and local health care coalitions. 

• CALC is sponsoring a free talk by Anita Weiss, head of the International Studies Department at the UO, at 7 pm Thursday, Nov. 12, at Room 184, Knight  Law School, 1515 Agate. Her topic is “Pakistan and Afghanistan: Connecting the Problems and the Solutions.” President Obama is weighing a decision on General McChrystal’s request to escalate militarily in Afghanistan by sending 40,000 more troops. “War will not bring peace to the region,” says event organizer Michael Carrigan of CALC. “Weiss will be laying out alternative solutions for bringing peace to Afghanistan and Pakistan.” More information at www.calclane.org

• Nov. 9 was the 20 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the UO is holding a conference Nov. 12-13 called “Up Against the Wall” examining walls around cities and between countries, including not only the Berlin Wall, but also on the Great Wall of China, U.S.-Mexico border fence, and the Israel-Palestinian separation barrier. The conference starts at 10:30 am Nov. 12 at the UO Knight Library Browsing Room and is free and open to the public. For more information go to www.uoregon.edu/~gerscan/news/events.htm

• “Each One of Us Matters” is the theme of a gathering of a grassroots group of citizens who want to celebrate and nurture Eugene as a city of peace. Residents of all ages are invited to participate in this free, interactive event, from 1 to 5 pm on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St. Doors open for registration at 12:30 and donations are appreciated. The event will feature music and dances, envisioning peace, yoga, collaborative art, Nonviolent Communication, dialogue with major Kitty Piercy and healthy snacks.  An open mic will be available for peace-related songs, poems and other inspirational messages. Contact phyllish@efn.org 

• A documentary film about Estonia’s nonviolent struggle for independence will be shown in Eugene in conjunction with an Estonian music concert conducted by visiting music professor Hirvo Surva. A free public screening will be held at 7 pm Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Eugene Hotel, 222 E. Broadway. Surva’s Revalia Men’s Chorus West Coast tour starts at 8 pm Nov. 16 at UO’s Beall Concert Hall. 

• Springfield has embarked on a comprehensive update of the Glenwood Refinement Plan that includes visioning, feasibility analysis, infrastructure planning and design. The Glenwood Citizen Advisory Committee will meet from 2 to 4 pm Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Springfield City Hall, Library Meeting Room, 225 Fifth St. Public comment time begins the meeting, and at 2:15 pm a Crandall Arambula presentation is on the agenda.

• Two Lane County Green Drinks groups are combining from 6 to 8 pm Thursday, Nov. 19, for a special meeting at Davis’ Restaurant on Broadway. Erik Stafl, CEO of the new electric vehicle company Arcimoto, is scheduled to give a very brief presentation. To get on the Green Drinks mailing list, send a note to helios@heliosnetwork.org or call 284-7020.

 

LANE AREA HERBICIDE SPRAY SCHEDULE

• 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 Preferred Alternative No. 4 in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides on BLM lands in Oregon. Send comments endorsing Alternative 1, the no-herbicide option, to the BLM by Dec. 1.

View documents at: www.blm.gov/or/plans/vegtreatmentseis/

Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers: 342-8332, www.forestlanddwellers.org

CORRECTIONS/CLARIFICATIONS

• The photographer’s name was misspelled in the caption on a photo in our Calendar last week. Marli Miller’s photo of Death Valley is featured at the UO’s “Down to Earth” exhibit at the UO Museum of Natural & Cultural History.

 

 

 

 

SLANT

• The police chief this week fully exonerated fellow officers for the Tasering of Ian Van Ornum a year and a half ago. This is no surprise; EPD issued a press release hours after the Tasering with the same bogus justifications for the 50,000-volt attack on the non-violent environmental protester. If the police can’t hold themselves accountable with clear video evidence and testimony from a dozen eyewitnesses in this case, it’s hard to imagine that they ever will. 

• Last week in this column we broke the news that a new local citizen group was forming to attempt something positive about public safety in Lane County. Since then the Citizen Advocates for Public Safety group, co-chaired by Jean Tate and Dave Frohnmayer, has gone public. County officials have failed more than a dozen times to pass tax increases for more jails, prosecutors and cops, and have even lost when prevention and treatment funds were included. This time around, forget bucks for jail beds and squad cars. What might fly is a modest progressive income tax for those making more than $100,000 to fund grants for nonprofits to work on drug, alcohol and mental health treatment, child abuse prevention, early childhood education, prison transition programs, domestic violence and drunk/distracted driving prevention. Such a cost-effective tax would do far more in the long run to actually increase public safety.

• Who’s behind Eugene Advocates for a Clean City? Harold (“Hal”) Reed sent the first set of photos to city officials Sept. 24, with a follow-up note sent by Mary Dax using the same mailing list. The photos, likely taken early in the morning, show homeless people sleeping in downtown doorways and piles of dog crap on sidewalks. After the first emails, all correspondence came from “Eugene Advocates.” We emailed the “group” Oct. 28 to ask if Reed and Dax are involved and got no response. Reed is a retired Eugene dentist and longtime financial supporter of the Oregon Republican Party, donating many checks, ranging from $250 to $1,100, to the GOP and conservative candidates over the years. 

We think it's interesting te group is using the same tactics as the Earth Liberation Front: remaining anonymous and using a spokesperson. Did the ELF have it right all along?

The Eugene Advocates wrote in an email to EW that “Who we are and why we are doing this is immaterial.” Not so. An organization demanding a crackdown on “vagrants” is a political campaign, for better or worse, and campaigns in a democracy call for face-to-face dialogue. So far, all we’re seeing are complaints and unsophisticated “solutions” that ignore the causes and complexities of being homeless in Eugene. With an open discussion, maybe we can all learn something and even craft some reasonable remedies. 

• Good to hear Richard LaRiviere, new president of the UO, emphasize “no separation between the UO and the city.” Speaking to the Eugene City Club Nov. 6, he said the largest employer in Lane County, on its “space-bound campus,” should find ways to “enhance and grow its presence downtown.” Vitality in downtown can’t be sustained by commercial enterprises alone, LaRiviere said; it needs housing and attractions at night. His promising forecast: “I’m pretty confident we’ll be able to find those solutions.”

• The new mayor of Seattle is Mike McGinn, a Democrat who worked for Oregon Congressman Jim Weaver in Washington, D.C., after graduating from college in 1982, and then moved to Eugene to work for the state insurance commissioner. He headed north from Eugene to the UW Law School, practiced law in Seattle, volunteered with the Sierra Club and his neighborhood organization, finally formed and headed a nonprofit called Great City. McGinn ran for mayor against a moderate businessman who raised three times more money than he did; McGinn was opposed by the Democratic governor, the Democratic Party and most of the business and labor communities, and he was blasted by The Seattle Times, the city’s remaining daily. More than 300 volunteers working for months out of McGinn’s house won the race for him. The Stranger, Seattle’s best alternative weekly, endorsed him.

• As Congress and the Obama administration debate surge vs. exit in Afghanistan, a gaggle of Lane County peace workers is marching into Congressman Peter DeFazio’s office this week. Pete’s not in town, but his aide Karmen Fore has agreed to meet with them. (Hopefully she'll leave her Reno-911 Halloween costume at home.) A group led by Betsy Steffensen will be handing in a packet of letters about Afghanistan. A second group led by CALC will be turning in petitions with at least 325 names and thanking DeFazio for opposing a troop surge in Afghanistan and supporting an exit plan. The group will also be urging DeFazio to take a stronger position by supporting Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill (HR 3699) that would cut off funding for any increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Numerous websites have email and snail mail addresses for members of Congress, including http://capwiz.com/fconl/dbq/officials

• Just when we athletic agnostics at EW start slanting about the Duck footballers, they grind to a halt in Palo Alto. Did Stanford just publish the blueprint for how to beat the UO or can Chip Kelly and company figure out how to stop a power running game? Too bad LeGarrette Blount doesn’t play defense! Arizona State may not have the power to test the Ducks in Autzen Saturday night, but next week’s trip to Tucson looks more challenging. Arizona outscored Stanford.



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

 

 

ERIK DE BUHR & FAY CARTER

A graphic designer for Northwest Media while he was still at North Eugene High, Erik de Buhr left college early to travel. “I fished in Alaska and lived in Las Vegas for a year,” says de Buhr, who was appalled by Las Vegas’ level of consumption and waste. “I made dumpster runs for what I needed.” Returning to Eugene after three years away in 2005, he found work in construction and in flash animation at Northwest Media, and also discovered a venue for his ideas on sustainability at Maitreya Ecovillage. That’s where he met Fay Carter, an LA County native who came north by way of Santa Cruz and Wolf Creek in southern Oregon, then in 2002 moved to Eugene, where she opened the Park Street Cafe. “We found a common passion for simplifying and recycling,” says Carter. Since they met two years ago, she and de Buhr have founded the Resurrected Refuse Action Team and produced a son, Abram. Behind them in the photo is their backyard bedroom, an Icosa Hut (half an icosahedron), built from 98 percent post-industrial waste. To learn about Icosa Huts and other RRAT projects, visit rractionteam.com. Check out the RRAT free box (Eugene’s biggest!) on the corner of Broadway and Almaden.