News Briefs: Sex Talk Controversy | The Edge of News, NYT to iPad App | CAUSA Seeks Legislative Reforms | Mad as Hell Docs Coming | EWEB Energy Opinions | Activist Alert | Lane County Spray Schedule | War Dead | Lighten Up |
Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
SEX TALK CONTROVERSY
Award-winning author, former columnist for The Village Voice, editor and sex educator Tristan Taormino was invited to give the keynote speech "Claiming Your Sexual Power” at OSUs upcoming Modern Sex Conference. Three weeks ago Taormino was "uninvited” by administrators. After a controversy ensued, other arrangements have been made for her to speak in Eugene and Corvallis.
|Tristan Taormino www.puckerup.com|
In response to calls and emails protesting the cancellation, OSUs Vice Provost for Student Affairs Larry D. Roper sent out an email explaining, "It became clear to those providing taxpayer funding for the conference that the speaker, in fact, is also a self-described pornographer.” Roper writes that OSUs Student Affairs leadership felt that using public funds to bring Taormino to the conference was "an inappropriate use of those funds.”
The conference, which takes place at OSU Feb.16, will feature workshops on "Fabulously Fetish” and "Finding Your Clit,” and sessions on "Native American Constructions” and "Porn as a Feminist Tool.”
In response to Taorminos cancellation, UO Honors College instructor (and EW contributor) Jennifer Burns Levin says, "I questioned the premise that Oregon taxpayers should be protected against her views because she makes adult films.” As an Oregon taxpayer, Burns Levin says that she would "love to hear a lecture on feminist pornography and how it challenges an industry known for its exploitation of women.”
She adds, "Preemptively withdrawing promised funds from a speaker on the grounds that she was too controversial in a time of legislative budget cuts sets a bad precedent, in my view, for others speaking on controversial topics.”
Burns Levin, who has a doctorate in English and is a sexuality studies scholar, then set about inviting Taormino to the UO instead. She succeeded. Taormino will speak on "My Life As a Feminist Pornographer,” at 7:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 16, in 180 PLC. She will discuss her definition of feminist porn, what she is trying to accomplish with her films, the cancellation of her keynote appearance at OSU and why it was an "anti-sex statement” as well as why a feminist is the most "dangerous” kind of pornographer.
OSU students also objected to Taorminos disinvitation and raised money for her to speak in Corvallis as well. The students raised funds from student activity dollars for Taormino to give the talk she had originally planned at the Modern Sex Conference. She will speak the night before the conference, at 7 pm Tuesday, Feb. 15, in LaSells Stewart Center at OSU.
THE EDGE OF NEWS, NYT TO IPAD APP
Gabriel Dance, art director for news for the first tablet-only newspaper, explained why he left the New York Times for The Daily, an online publication, at a talk Feb. 4 at the UO.
"My mom asked me every day why I did it,” said Dance of his decision to leave an internet multimedia job at what he describes as "the gold standard of journalism” for the startup owned by Rupert Murdoch and the parent company of Fox News.
"I knew there was going to be a different kind of ethos behind the journalism,” said Dance. But Dance, a computer programmer/ journalist/ designer, said the iPad app attracted him with an opportunity "to be right on the edge of journalism” and the internet technology that is transforming the news business.
"I wanted to get out in front of tablets,” Dance said. The Apple iPads touch, tilt, GPS and mobile technology offered him a chance to "push my work to a new level,” he said. "I wanted to personally challenge myself and try something new.”
Dance said he also wanted to challenge the dominance of the New York Times, which has 12 times the staff as The Daily. "Part of what I want to do is take a shot at them,” he said. He said the competition will push him and the Times to do a better job. "Competition is good.”
Dance said The Daily also offers him "a lot of control and say.” At the larger paper, "there are so many people that its really hard” to control a project, he said.
Students interested in Dances successful career in a job market thats laid off thousands of reporters filled the EMU Bin Linder Room to hear him talk.
"I hang my hat on programming,” said Dance explaining how degrees in computer science and journalism helped him land a job fresh out of school at the NYT, where many top journalists dont get hired until they are in their 40s.
Internet programmers, designers and video experts, "These are fundamental jobs in journalism that now exist, and I dont see going away,” he said.
Dance said theres a lot of "doom and gloom” about the future of newspapers, but the internet offers the biggest transformation since the invention of the printing press. "I find that incredibly exciting.”
Dance said staff at The Daily has been working 12-hour days, seven days a week on the "bleeding edge of the technology” to prepare for the launch of the iPad publication this month.
At the NYT, Dance said there was a lot of design compromises in making the website work on anything from desktops to laptops to mobile phones. But with the iPad-dedicated The Daily, "We know exactly how you're using our content, we know it down to the pixel.”
Dance said the iPad has a lot of potential such as the possibility that the device may offer a forward-facing camera that could allow internet users to interact face to face with protesters in Egypt.
Although The Daily partnered with Apple for the publication, Dance said the online publication has no inside information about what Apple might offer in the future. "Apple is as tight-lipped with us as with anyone else.”
The reception for The Daily has been mixed, with some pundits wondering whether with top quality publications like the NYT free online, The Daily will really be able to sell enough app subscriptions to keep people like Dance employed. Already, a hacker has provided an online index (www.bit.ly/gyTSRF) that allows people to read the publication for free with a web browser, although without the multimedia.
Dance appears to be thinking ahead. "Lets say in five years I can come back to the New York Times and say, why dont I run your application?” He said, "I hope to maybe go back one day.” ã Alan Pittman
CAUSA SEEKS LEGISLATIVE REFORMS
Leaders from CAUSA, Oregons immigrant rights coalition will be speaking to local elected officials Thursday, Feb. 10. CAUSA is asking elected officials to work with them during the current session of the state Legislature on the issues of drivers licenses and in-state tuition for the immigrant community in Oregon.
Local officials planning to attend Thursdays event include Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg, Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, City Councilor Andrea Ortiz and Lane County Commissioners Rob Handy and Pete Sorenson.
"We expect a crowd of at least 500 people,” said CAUSA representative Erik Sorenson. In addition to the community leaders appeals, there will be time for public testimonials. "People really want their elected officials to know their story,” Sorenson said.
According to Sorenson, allowing undocumented immigrants to receive a drivers license or certificate is important for the economy and public safety. "Its not just a social justice issue. Regardless of legal status, individuals receiving drivers licenses pay DMV fees, pay auto insurance and can continue to provide for their families.” Sorenson said.
Since the senate blocked the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) last December, CAUSA has been working towards new legislation allowing undocumented college youth to pay in-state tuition. Additionally, CAUSA is working on health care access for all children in Oregon, as well as on jobs and the economy.
"We are encouraging people to contact Oregon legislators to get these issues passed this year,” Sorenson said. The event takes place at 6 pm Thursday, Feb. 10, at the First Congregational Church, 1050 East 23rd Ave.
CAUSA will present its 2011 Latino Legislative Agenda Tuesday, Feb. 15, in a briefing at the Oregon State Capitol. Those attending the briefing will include members of the Legislature, coalition partners and leaders from the community. ã Heather Cyrus
MAD AS HELL DOCS COMING
A group of Oregon Doctors who are members of Physicians for a National Health Program are on the road and expected to arrive in Lane County in time for Valentines Day. The caravan of "Mad as Hell Doctors” traveled from Oregon to the nations Capitol and back, stopping at 26 cities for rallies and to deliver a message to elected officials that "We want health care for people ã not profits for the few!”
The Monday, Feb. 14, events begin with a 5 pm march from the corner of 7th Avenue and Pearl Street to Room 177 Lawrence Hall on the UO campus for a 6 to 8 pm program of music and discussion about the new Oregon single-payer bill.
Drs. Mike Huntington and Paul Hochfield and others will be there to answer questions about federal legislation and how it affects Oregon efforts to create a statewide public option to private health insurance. See cover story in EW archives Sept. 23, 2010.
EWEB ENERGY OPINIONS?
In Eugene everyone has an opinion on alternative energy. One timber companys renewable resource is another conservation groups looming environmental disaster. If hydropower intrigues you or biomass is burning you up, Eugene Water and Electric Board wants your input.
EWEB is looking for aspiring advisors from diverse perspectives for a community panel that will guide the utility as it "plans how to meet the areas future energy needs.”
The utility says its facing potential climate change legislation, instability in the prices of fuel, the economic recession and limits on the ability to finance new generation projects, and the puzzle of how to integrate the increasing and variable amount of wind energy into our regional electric grid.
EWEB wants to "take into account the environmental, social and economic impacts of the different resource choices,” while at the same time minimizing risks as it acquires new energy and delivers power.
To be considered for the panel, submit a brief letter by Feb. 18 that describes why youd want to participate and any relevant experience or perspectives. Mail to 500 E. 4th Ave., Eugene 97401, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.eweb.org/2011ierp ã Camilla Mortensen
« A community event will share preliminary findings from a Health Impact Assessment of an upcoming Farm to School and School Garden bill. The Legislature is considering providing public schools with $23 million to buy and serve Oregon sourced food in breakfasts and lunches, and establish school gardens. The event will be from 9 am to 12:15 pm Thursday, Feb. 10, at the 4J District Administration auditorium, 200 N. Monroe St. The forum is first, followed by a garden tour at Chavez School.
« An open conversation with Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson will be from 5 to 6:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 10, at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette St., 345-8986or on Facebook at http://wkly.ws/112
« New Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich will be hosting three "community conversations” Thursday, Feb. 10. The first is from 9 to 10:30 am at Robbies Window Box Café, 88267 N. Territorial Road in Veneta. Next is from 2 to 3:30 pm at the Noti Pub and Grill. The last is from 4 to 5:40 pm at the Walton Store.
« Final recommendations on the West Eugene EmX rapid transit route are on the agenda of LTD, the Eugene City Council and the Metropolitan Policy Committee. The MPC meeting is from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 10, at the Eugene Public Library. The City Council work session on EmX is Feb. 23 and a vote is expected in early March. LTD has scheduled a decision March 16. See www.ltd.org for more information.
« Catch that feral cat! Then neuter it and let it go. Greenhill Humane Society is offering a free trap-neuter-return training class to assist those who want to help reduce the feral cat population in Lane County from 11 am to 1 pm Saturday, Feb. 12. Class is free, but space is limited. Sign up at email@example.com
« Heart of Oregon Pageant and Drag Show sponsored by the Pride Foundation will be at 7 pm Saturday, Feb. 12 at Cozmic Pizza, 8th and Olive in Eugene. Doors open at 6. Suggested donation is $10.
« Journalist and author Robert Whitaker is returning to Eugene to speak at 4 pm Sunday, Feb. 13, at UO School of Law, room 175. Cost is sliding scale $1 to $10. Whitaker is the author of Anatomy of an Epidemic, an investigation into Americas mental health system. Co-sponsored by UO School of Law and Mindfreedom International. Contact David Oaks at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 345-9106.
« The League of Women Voters of Lane County is planning a special free program on domestic violence deaths at 12:15 pm Thursday, Feb. 17, at Mallard Hall, 725 West 1st Ave. in Eugene. The Stop Violence Against Women Clinic Project will be discussed and speakers will include Merle Weiner and Pat Vallerand. A buffet lunch will be available for $12. For reservations, call the League office at 343-7917, or e-mail email@example.com for reservations.
« Project Homeless Connect is preparing for its fifth annual event March 17 at the Fairgrounds. Organizers are collecting coats, hats, gloves, scarves, socks, sleeping bags and backpacks, along with personal hygiene products. Donations may be dropped off at any St. Vincent de Paul store. Checks can also be sent to United Way of Lane County, 3171 Gateway Loop, Springfield 97477.
LANE COUNTY SPRAY SCHEDULE
Near Lorane: Terry Goracke (998-2748) will roadside spray with Roundup herbicide near Bear and Farman Creeks near Lorane in Sections 23 and 26 of Township 19 South, Range 5 West starting immediately (Notice No. 2010-781-00167 C).
Near Indian Creek: Roseburg Resources (935-2307) will ground spray with 2,4-D, Triclopyr Ester and Amine, Imazapyr, Glyphosate, Sulfometuron Methyl and Metsulfuron Methyl plus oil on 3 miles of roadside starting immediately (No. 2010-781-00572 C). Call Delos Devine at ODF in Florence at 997-8713.
Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers: 342-8332, www.forestlanddwellers.org
« 1,464 U.S. troops killed* (1,458)
« 10,264 U.S. troops wounded in action (10,226)
« 709 U.S. contractors killed (709)
« $375.9 billion cost of war ($373.9 billion)
« $106.9 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($105.8 million)
« 4,421 U.S. troops killed (4,421)
« 31,938 U.S. troops wounded in action (31,938)
« 185 U.S. military suicides (updates NA)
« 1,521 U.S. contractors killed (1,521)
« 108,782 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (108,514)
« $773.0 billion cost of war ($771.8 billion)
« $219.8 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($219.3 million)
Through Feb. 7, 2011; sources: icasualties.org; defense.gov, U.S. Dept. of Labor
* highest estimate; source: iraqbodycount.org; based on confirmed media reports; other groups calculate Iraqi civilian deaths as high as 655,000 (Lancet survey, 2006) to 1.2 million (Opinion Research Business survey, 2008)
We know that House Speaker John Boehner cries in public and that he smokes.What we dont know is where he goes to get his face bronzed.
ã Rafael Aldave, Eugene
« We, too, are overwhelmed with powerful forces in thinking about the loss of two South Eugene High School boys on the rocky headlands near Yachats last weekend.First is the relentless force of nature, in this instance the Pacific, never to be controlled and only slightly comprehended or heeded by all of us.Second is the profound power of compassion and love, andneighborhood and community. A parent with two family members on this tragic trip told us"the school has been incredible in supporting the families and all of the students.”Sadly, thats ultimately all that our school and broader community can do, support thefamilies and all of the students, but it is not to be minimized.It is our great strength, our own powerful force.
« A historic stadium, a new YMCA or a Fred Meyer ã the 4J School District fortunately has a lot to choose from in proposals for the old Civic Stadium site. A place to buy underwear without driving to the edge of town makes some planning and livability sense. The run-down Y clearly needs room to grow and a new facility. But Civic Stadium is a community treasure and historic gem, the last of its kind anywhere. We hope that professional soccer could take off there as it has in Portland. It makes sense for the Y to build next to South Eugene High School and share facilities and parking. With a little creative density, there should be enough room for a new Y, apartments and the old stadium at the site. The stadium and Y groups should get together and pool their fundraising. As for underwear, the city should work hard to find Fred Meyer another central Eugene site. With much of downtown vacant or underused, it shouldnt be hard.
« The 4J School Board expressed surprise last week that so much attention was paid to school closures rather than the deep budget cuts forcing crowded classrooms and lost school days. But this was the school districts own mistake. The district should have separated the school closure issue from the budget. Closing schools is an operational decision that saves little money. Whether large schools or small schools actually best serve children and the community is debatable' but much of that debate was lost by jumbling closures with the budget. Also lost was board and public focus on rallying around a real solution for schools ã a city income tax.
« Got an opinion about the West Eugene EmX and have not yet expressed it? Last chance. The Eugene City Council, the Metropolitan Policy Committee and LTD are all gathering final public input and preparing recommendations for decisions that are expected in March (see Activist Alert).
Our "Green Dragon” cover story Nov. 24 outlines what we see as the major issues. Most of the objections laid out by the "No Build” folks deal with short-term problems: worries about construction hurting businesses along the route, concerns about building new routes when regular bus routes are being cut, etc. But we urge everyone to look ahead 10 to 50 years when mass transit will become vital to the economic and environmental health of our community. The cost and inconveniences of creating dedicated bus or light rail lanes will only increase over time. Right now we are fortunate to have federal and state transportation funds to make it possible; those funds will generate local jobs.
We also appreciate the diligent work by LTD staff to design a route and construction plan that would have the least possible negative impact on commercial properties and residences in west Eugene. A remarkable amount of public input has gone into this process. Its not a perfect plan, but it is a solid step toward reducing traffic congestion in west Eugene and connecting West 11th to the rest of the metro area. Lets not throw away this opportunity.
« Cutting constituent service assistants for Lane County commissioners might make some small sense financially, but from a practical standpoint, these are the folks who help when you have questions about county services. The commissioners are buried in the growing complexity of county business and cant possibly respond to the dozens of calls and emails they get each day. Need help accessing economic development or mental health services? Need to know how to contest your property tax assessment? Getting a runaround from a county bureaucrat? You will now need to hang out in line at a courthouse window.
« A new local blogger worth checking out is Dr. Sharol Tilgner of Eugene, who describes herself as "an herbalist, physician, farmer and lover of life” who is happiest when she is in her garden. She writes about everything from herbal medicine, gardening, farming and self sufficiency to the problems with the Federal Reserve. Find her at http://dreamingabeautifulworld.blogspot.com
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