News Briefs: Courthouse Garden Showing Progress | Chief Rejects CRB, Charter | Organic Salon Opens Doors | Cougars on the Butte? | Chico Gets Ripped Off | Activist Alert | Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule | Corrections/Clarifications
Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
Happening People: Chester
COURTHOUSE GARDEN SHOWING PROGRESS
|Students in Ann Bettman's landscape architecture class prepare soil for planting blueberries March 30th. photos Ted Taylor.|
It’s a little early for bees on the site, but a distinct buzz is building around the new Courthouse Garden behind the new federal building in Eugene (see story 3/18). Here’s the latest:
The first planting of blueberries donated by Fall Creek Nursery began this rainy week involving students from Ann Bettman’s UO landscape architecture class; Bettman and Federal Judge Ann Aiken will speak at City Club about the Courthouse Garden at 11:50 am Friday, April 2, at the Hilton; and a work party inviting the public to get involved is planned for 10 am to 1 pm Saturday, April 3, rain or shine. Wheelbarrows and some tools are available.
The last two Saturdays have seen supervised work crews from Judge Aiken’s re-entry court program moving dirt and preparing mounded rows for planting. UO student volunteers have also been spending time at the site.
“There’s a buzz building at the UO around this project, for sure,” says Dan Dingfield of the garden’s steering committee. “We are confident this work will continue because it has inspired a lot of people already. Every volunteer session has witnessed the power of teamwork. Every session has ended with participants testifying to their own pleasure, their own surprise, at how much a commonly focused group can achieve.”
Dingfield says Sheriff Russ Burger “has worked to make a crew available as well as arranging with Papé Machinery a most timely use of a John Deere backhoe on the site.” District Attorney Alex Gardner and his wife, Karin, have been hauling gravel and moving it around with a tractor.
A major donation came from EWEB, says Dingfield, “providing us with volunteer labor who have designed our irrigation system, done the water installation including equipment, and then arranged for Rain Bird and United Pipe donations of all other irrigation materials.”
Looking ahead, “We still need money, more tools, labor, and heavy equipment time,” says Dingfield. And he thinks the project might get some national attention from outgoing UO athletic director Mike Bellotti when he gets a chance to plug his hometown and the UO at his new job on ESPN. — Ted Taylor
Chief Rejects CRB, Charter
A Eugene City Charter amendment passed overwhelmingly by voters requires the city to have a police Civilian Review Board (CRB) with the power to require police to re-open internal investigations, but the Eugene city attorney and police chief argue that’s not the law and they won’t comply with it.
The issue arose last month after the police chief and city attorney refused a CRB order to reopen an investigation of the Tasering of a Chinese student in his bed.
The City Charter states that “the City Council shall authorize the Civilian Review Board to ... require that the city re-open an investigation.” After Police Chief Pete Kerns announced that the Tasering of the unarmed, non-violent student was “reasonable,” the CRB voted to require that the city reopen the investigation.
But Kerns refused, declaring in a memo to the CRB last month, “I will not re-open the investigation.”
City attorney Glenn Klein backed Kerns with a legal argument that the Eugene City Charter provision applies "only to the City Council.”
Klein did not explain in his memo why he believes a charter obligation to the City Council does not also obligate the city government as a whole. The charter states that its words “shall be liberally construed” and that “all power of the city is vested in the City Council.”
Klein argues that an ordinance passed by the council and a contract signed by the city manager do not authorize the CRB to order the reopening investigations against police that the police have deemed closed. But he does not argue that the council can pass ordinances or the city manager write contracts that overrule the City Charter. In fact he states that “the purpose of this new [charter] amendment was to prevent a future City Council from eliminating the auditor or the CRB.”
The CRB discussed the city’s rejection of its order to reopen the investigation at its March 9 meeting. Members quoted from the charter provision and wondered why the city wasn’t following it.
“I’m not confident with the city attorney’s memo that that’s cut in stone,” said CRB member Steve McIntire. “I see the word ‘shall.’”
“The charter says the City Council shall give that power to the CRB,” said Kate Wilkinson, a CRB member and local attorney. “I’m not even clear the city attorney is our attorney; we’re supposed to be an independent body.”
Under the Eugene City Charter the city attorney, like the police chief, is the employee of the city manager who is given exclusive power to “appoint and remove all employees.”
Wilkinson suggested independent Police Auditor Mark Gissiner get an independent legal opinion from his deputy auditor, who is an attorney.
But, Gissiner, who is not an attorney and argued falsely that city ordinances can overrule the City Charter, refused. “I’m not going to do that.” Gissiner said he may include a suggestion in an overdue annual report that the City Council consider the issue.
In the past the council has relied on independent outside legal advice in overruling a city attorney legal interpretation that the city manager should control the supposedly independent city auditor’s staff. — Alan Pittman
ORGANIC SALON OPENS DOORS
Eugene’s first organic hair salon, Bria Downtown Hair Lounge, opens its doors Friday, April 2, as an alternative to more conventional, chemical-laden hair salons.
The link between processed, synthetic ingredients and a variety of diseases, has been shown in studies, and led Bria founder Maria Martin to envision a high-end salon free of the toxic beauty products often used for greater economic efficiency.
“I can look my client — who is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer — in the eyes and recommend our hair care and skin care products and services with a clear conscience, knowing they do not contain any of the ingredients that have been shown to link to diseases from cancer to violent allergic reactions,” Martin said in a recent press release. “I would not want to be in this business if I couldn’t do that.”
Bria Downtown Hair Lounge is an expansion of Bria Bodycare, founded by Martin in 2007 as boutique-style organic spa. Martin and business partners Wynter Corcoran and Denise Shipp chose to expand Bria Bodycare to include salon services once space opened inside the historic Kennell Ellis building.
“We took all the best things about a salon and spa and put them in one place,” Martin said. “We wanted to create a place that was enjoyable to experience, not just a place to get your hair done.”
In an effort to support local businesses, the hair lounge will display local artwork and retail locally made products, such as handmade soaps and gel nail enhancements.
Bria Downtown Hair Lounge, open Tuesday through Sunday at 1280 Willamette St., will feature a complimentary beverage list, wireless Internet access, and an art venue. Incorporated into Eugene’s First Friday Art Walk, the grand opening of Bria Downtown Hair Lounge will take place from 3-7 pm April 2. — Deborah Bloom
COUGARS ON THE BUTTE?
The reported sighting of three cougars on Spencer Butte by two UO students March 17 wasn’t an early April Fool’s joke, but local predator advocate Brooks Fahy says local media from KVAL to The Register-Guard exaggerated the incident.
Though the students reported seeing the cats’ eyes and tannish-brown coat and hearing growls, there was no physical evidence of cougars at the scene. “I was unable to locate a cougar track,” says Brian Wolfer, the district wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, who came to the butte after the students called the Eugene police.
“The best tracking conditions were along the trail edge,” says Wolfer, “but the animals were sighted off the trails where tracking conditions were not ideal.”
Fahy says it’s a problem that “people now feel that they have to call the police when they see an animal that’s supposed to be there.” Cougars have been on the butte for thousands of years, Fahy says. The issue is teaching people how to coexist with wildlife, particularly in areas where urban dwellings are in close proximity to natural areas.
“I personally think they saw three deer,” says Fahy, but regardless of what they saw, he says he’s concerned that the media turn predators into objects of fear. “It’s not that I don’t believe cougars are there; they’ve been there,” he says.
“When it comes to predators, sharks, grizzly bears, cougars wolves, we all want to feel like there’s a sense of danger,” Fahy says.
ODFW contributed to the sense of fear by putting signs up on Spencer Butte, Fahy says. “If they want to do that, they ought to put signs up all over.”
A recent advertisement in the OSU Extension magazine for an April 1 informational meeting on cougars and coyotes in Lebanon, says, misleadingly, according to Fahy, “Cougar and coyote populations are increasing, and therefore damage to livestock has also been going up.” Fahy says those population numbers for cougars are based on a heavily criticized computer model.
Last year, according to ODFW numbers, 45,375 hunting tags for cougars were sold. ODFW estimates there are around 5,700 cougars in the state. Once the quota for cougar hunting has been met in a given area, no more cougars can be legally killed that year, but Fahy says allowing so many tags to be sold leads to an attitude where “people when they see cougars, just shoot at them.”
Rather than promote fear of cougars, Fahy says ODFW and the media should promote ways humans and predators can coexist.
The ODFW cougar and coyote informational meeting is April 1 at 7 pm at the Lebanon Library in the Community Meeting Room.
The UO Outdoor Program, Oregon Wild, and Cascadia Wildlands will be showing a film and discussing predators in the west at 7 pm April 8 at 180 PLC on campus. The film, Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators, will be followed by a discussion panel with Russ Morgan, wolf biologist, ODFW; Bill Ripple, OSU professor in Forest Ecosystems and Society; and Rob Klavins, wildlands and wildlife advocate for Oregon Wild. For more info call 541-344-0675. — Camilla Mortensen
CHICO GETS RIPPED OFF
Eugene musician and music teacher William “Chico” Schwall had a break-in at his work space recently and a lot of equipment was stolen. Some of the instruments are unique and would be easy to spot. Call Chico at 541-684-8216, email Brian Cutean at firstname.lastname@example.org or see our blog post for a complete list of missing items. Below is a partial list.
• 2006 iMac Intel computer serial # W8605C6PU2N, 1971 Martin D-28 guitar serial # 208476, black guitar case with stickers, including one that says, “Squirrel — the other white meat.”
• Old Kalamazoo arch-top guitar and rare New York Epiphone mandolin, both from the 1930s.
• Guild acoustic flat-top guitar serial # GAD- 20848, with tweed case, Carvin C980T12 acoustic 12-string guitar, and Roscoe Wright handmade custom Tele-style guitar with black bag.
• Red Danelectro 12-string electric guitar, Avante Baritone Acoustic guitar, and Parker P 38 electric guitar with black bag.
• Rogue resophonic electric-acoustic guitar, Dean solidbody electric guitar, Fender TeleCoustic guitar, gray DeArmond solidbody electric 7-string guitar, and an Apple Creek Dulcimer in rectangular black case.
Other equipment includes a Seymour Duncan SFX - 03 Twin Tube Classic pre-amp and assorted smaller items.
• A community dialogue with Lane County Commissioners Rob Handy and Bill Fleenor is from 10 to 11:30 am Thursday, April 1, at the Eugene Eagles Lodge, 1375 Irving Road, off of River Road. They will talk about current affairs and ongoing budget planning for Lane County. For more information, call 682-4203.
• Candidates associated with the Tea Party are gathering from 10 am to 3 pm Saturday, April 3, at the Woahink Lake picnic grounds south of Florence off Highway 101. Candidates include Duke Wells, running for Florence City Council; Becky Lemler, running for House District 10; Jay Bozievich, running for West Lane county commissioner; Scott Roberts, running for House District 9; Jaynee Germond, running for U.S. House 4th Congressional District; and Allen Alley, candidate for governor. Call Germond at 541-591-4883 for more information.
• Cambodian author Kilong Ung will speak about his experiences as a survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide at 7 pm Saturday, April 3, at the Unitarian Universality Church, 477 E. 40th Ave. Event is free, but donations and book sale proceeds will go to New Hope School for orphaned girls in Cambodia.
• Noted author and activist Frances Moore Lappé will speak at 7:30 pm Monday, April 5, at the EMU Ballroom on campus. Her topic is “Getting a Grip: Gaining Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Really Want.” Free event with no tickets or reservations. For more information, call 541-346-3934. Live streaming video beginning at 7 pm will be at http://ohc.uoregon.edu
• A free public forum on “Climate Change: What are Our Representatives Doing?” is planned for 7 pm Wednesday, April 7, at Harris Hall, 125 8th Ave. Speakers include Mayor Kitty Piercy, Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson, Rep. Phil Barnhart and UO law student Tim Ream. Moderator will be UO law professor Mary Wood. Speakers will talk about current and proposed legislation, and take questions from the audience.
• “Surviving Tough Times” is a free 10-week class at LCC sponsored by Lane Independent Living Alliance (LILA) and supported by LaneCare Prevention, Education and Outreach. Topics include managing emotions, decision-making skills, building a support system and communicating effectively. Email email@example.com or call LILA at 607-7020.
• Sarah Palin plans to speak at a Republican-only dinner at the Eugene Hilton on Friday, April 23, and MindFreedom International is organizing a nonviolent “guerilla theater” protest and skit across the street from the Hilton. A planning gathering will be at 5:30 pm Wednesday, April 7, at Growers Market, 454 Willamette St. YouTube artist and youth leader Martin Rafferty will coordinate videotaping and posting clips from the Palin event.
• Coffee Party USA holds First Eugene meeting from 3 to 5 pm Saturday, April 10, at Cozmic Pizza, 8th and Charnelton. The Coffee Party, a response to the extremism and anger of the Tea Party, began with a Facebook page, “Join the Coffee Party Movement,” that grew to more than 180,000 members. A website, www.coffeepartyusa.com, encourages people across the country to organize local Coffee Party events and chapters. Local contact is Lynn Petersen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule
• Near Gillespie Corners: Oregon Forest Management (896-3757) will ground spray 214 acres for Giustina (345-2301) with herbicides near starting March 31th (No. 781-00360).
• Near Crow High School: Seneca Jones (461-6245) will ground spray roads with herbicides starting May 15th (No. 781-00363).
• Districtwide: Seneca will ground spray hundreds of acres as above starting April 9 (781-00367).
• Near Fish Creek: Seneca will ground spray with Garlon starting May 15 (781-00362).
• Bonneville Power Administration: will spray herbicides under power lines (see News/BPA).
• ODOT will start spraying all state highways with herbicides in District 5 (Lane County) starting April 5 (see News/ODOT).
• Lane County Vegetation Management Advisory Committee: at-large position applications due April 15. (See News/LaneCounty).
• Union Pacific Railroad will begin its 2010 vegetation control spray program when the weather clears. Spray will be 24 feet wide using Payload (EPA # 59639-120), SFM Xtra (EPA# 72167-11-74477) and if necessary, Glyphosate to address emerged weeds.
Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers: 342-8332, www.forestlanddwellers.org
• Patrick Hurley’s name was misspelled in our News Briefs story last week on OLCV endorsements. Hurley is running for the Springfield seat on the Lane County Commission currently held by the retiring Bill Dwyer. See www.electpatrickhurley.com
• We erred last week in saying Kiss of the Spider Woman was Trial by Fire Theatreworks’ inaugural play. Trial by Fire has been around for several years, with several productions to its credit including 2008’s Beirut, and is now back from a hiatus.
• Welcome to our April 1 issue. You should always believe everything you read in your newspaper because we journalists have long ago nailed down the truth. We always tell the full story; we never leave out relevant facts or contradictory information. We carefully fact-check concepts we don’t understand, never cherry-pick our data, never sneak in our own biases, and always quote our sources accurately and fairly. We never ridicule idiotic ideas and hypocritical people, and we are never cynical. Trust us to provide you with the balanced information you need to be good citizens. April Fool!
• In the lawsuit against three Lane County commissioners, Coos County Circuit Court Judge Michael Gillespie has asked the plaintiffs to come up with actual evidence of violations of Oregon public meeting laws. We predict Ellie Dumdi and Edward Anderson won’t come up with anything in the next two weeks and this case will be dismissed as frivolous. In this column Feb. 18 we suggested that this lawsuit is just a calculated political ploy to discredit three progressive commissioners. Don’t be surprised if the same accusations pop up in campaigns to unseat the three commissioners, even if the case is tossed out for lack of evidence.
• Congressman Peter DeFazio said in his press conference in the U.S. Courthouse March 29 that health insurance reform is “very much a work in progress,” and all of us who support single payer and/or a public option listened up. The health insurance industry has been listening, too. That’s why they continue to fight so fiercely against this important bill which doesn’t go far enough for progressives like our congressman, but is a substantial improvement for millions of Americans. Health insurance executives and their public relations machine will spend jillions to head off more health care progress in this democracy. All the more reason for DeFazio to continue to fight to end the ridiculous anti-trust exemption the insurance industry now holds. In his press conference, he said 406 members of the House voted to put an end to this exemption in the health care bill, but the measure disappeared in the Senate sausage machine. He has promises from Sen. Patrick Leahy that the issue will come up again, and if it does, Pete is confident that the votes will be there.
• The seventh anniversary of the Iraq War and occupation was March 20 and passed without much notice. Bush’s senior advisor Karl Rove is still trying to defend this catastrophe. He claimed on national TV recently that the sacrifices were worth deposing Saddam Hussein. Really? The war so far has cost the lives of 4,390 U.S. military personnel and more than 1,100 U.S. contractors, and drained more than $714 billion of our national treasure. Nearly 32,000 American soldiers have been seriously injured and many will be on medical disability for the rest of their lives. In Iraq, the loss of lives, property and infrastructure is beyond comprehension. An estimated 1.2 million Iraqis have died as a result of our invasion and the civil war that followed. And we’ve made countless new enemies around the world.
We agree with Ramparts Editor David Horowitz that the invasion of Iraq was the “worst decision by a U.S. president in history.” And we are still there with boots on the ground, blood in the dust and bucks in the wind.
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
For many dog-years before he became a star on YouTube, Chester has been hanging out and making music with his surfing buddy Mike. “Me and Violet take care of the place when Mike goes away during the day,” says Chester, introducing his older sis. “Except when the surf’s up. That’s when Mike and me hit the beach.” A native of Harrisburg, where he worked in the orchard business, Chester relocated to Eugene at the age of eight weeks, when he signed a long-term contract with Mike and family. Even though his own favorite sport is fetch, he looks forward to frequent forays to the coast with Mike in their eternal quest for the Perfect Wave. Sometimes he paddles out into the surf, but mostly he keeps watch from the van, one paw on the 911 autodial button, while Mike ventures out on his board. “I used to watch from a towel on the beach,” he explains. “Then one day a beach-patrol lady came along. She thought I would get a better view from the van.” Chester admits that his musical inspiration comes from his namesake, Chester C. Burnett, better known as Howlin’ Wolf. Check out the resemblance in “Tonight You Belong to Me” (cover) by Mike n Chester at http://wkly.ws/gb