News Briefs: Cops Want Guns, Not Drug, Mental Testing | Wild Horses Killed in High Desert | Tax Day Activism | Salmon Coming Back | Activist Alert | Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule | Corrections/Clarifications |
Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
Comic speaks to City Club
From cancer to kids to fossil fuels
Happening Person: Doug Bales
Cops Want Guns, Not Drug, Mental Testing
At the urging of the Eugene Police Department, the city is lobbying against drug and mental health testing for officers, but for an expensive, armed UO police force.
The city of Eugene has given its top priority to lobbying against a bill that would require steroid and drug testing for police officers involved in shootings, require mental health evaluations for police officers and require that the incidents be investigated independently by the Oregon Department of Justice.
A report to the City Council from EPD police Captain Chuck Tilby said the city will give its top priority to opposing Senate Bill 895, which seeks to increase the safety and accountability of police officers heavily armed and authorized to use deadly force.
The bill requires that an officer involved in an incident in which the use of deadly force caused serious physical injury be tested for illegal drugs, including steroids.
In response to pressure from elected city commissioners, Portland recently renegotiated its police contract and plans random tests for illegal drug and steroid use for about two-thirds of its officers per year beginning in July, according to Willamette Week. The random tests, costing about $170 each, aren't only required in officer involved shootings. Steroids drew particular concern because of their potential to cause dangerous aggression in users.
Tilby wrote the council that Eugene police don't do random drug testing or require testing after shootings. "This is an option that is offered to employees, but lacking reasonable ground to believe an officer is taking such substances, the city cannot mandate the test. Expect a large negative reaction to this paragraph from unions." Tilby wrote, "mandating the tests is not advisable and increases the city's costs for paying for such tests."
Tilby also argued against a provision requiring periodic psychological evaluations to retain police certifications from the state. "Psychological testing is not an exact science," Tilby wrote. "Mandating tests would be costly and fraught with legal problems." Tilby also opposed a provision requiring six mental health sessions for officers involved in shootings. "Doesn't serve officers well, but serves mental health professionals quite well," he wrote.
Tilby called independent investigations by the Department of Justice a "major problem with this bill." Right now the EPD investigates itself with some help from the district attorney and state police. Tilby argued the bill "removes local control" and the DOJ "will significantly reduce the quality and timeliness of these critical investigations."
The police safety reform bill is sponsored by the Senate Committee on General Government, chaired by Rep. Chip Shields, D-Portland. The bill was introduced in February and moved on to other committees last month.
The city and police are also lobbying against Senate Bill 116 that would allow the UO to replace expensive EPD officers with a cheaper, unarmed, university police force. In the past the UO has paid EPD about $500,000 a year for policing.
Tilby argued that the university police should get union benefits, PERS and other benefits given to police officers. Not giving the benefits is "good for universities, not good for professional standards maintenance, recruiting, retention," he wrote.
Tilby argued that not requiring university police to carry guns would be a "nightmare," because it would require other jurisdictions to provide armed officers when needed. The bill would be "absolving the university system of the ultimate responsibility of having employees exert deadly force," he wrote. The city supported another bill that would require armed and expensive police officers on campuses. — Alan Pittman
Wild Horses Killed in High Dessert
Wild horses roam Oregon's eastside high desert as well as, more unusually, some of its forests. In March someone shot and killed six of those horses in an area about 20 miles outside Prineville. Three were discovered last month: two stallions and a pregnant mare whose yearling foal was found nuzzling her, according to the Humane Society of the United States, which has offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooters.
On April 8 three more horses that had been dead for some time were found, bringing the total to six.
The horses were part of a small herd of about 55 to 65 animals that roam in the Big Summit Herd Management Area in the Ochoco Mountains. A nonprofit group, the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, which assists the BLM and the Forest Service in conducting a yearly census of the herd as well as with adoption events and gentling clinics after the horses have been gathered, has also offered a reward of $1,000 for information on the shootings.
Pleasant Hill resident Gayle Hunt says she formed the group, which has about 80 volunteers, to do things such as "building networks of help for adopters and promotional strategies that lift the wild horses' image from varmint to valued resource." The horses that were shot "were well known to us," Hunt says.
The Crook County Sheriff's Office, which found the animals while on patrol, says the shooter could be charged with aggravated animal abuse.
Wild horses in Oregon are found on BLM, Forest Service and, in one case, Fish and Wildlife managed lands. Forest Service land horses like the Ochoco herd are managed in cooperation with the BLM.
The BLM has announced a May 4 meeting at the Burns District Office to discuss the use of helicopters in rounding up Oregon's herds. The BLM says it gathers an average of 500 to 700 horses a year from Oregon's public lands. The BLM has also announced an effort to establish "eco-sanctuaries" in the West on private and public-private lands for horses removed from public rangelands where cattle are often grazed. The sanctuaries would be potentially be used to promote ecotourism, the BLM says.
The Crook County Sheriff's Office is investigating the Ochoco horse killings. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the sheriff's office at (541) 447-6398 or go to www.cowildhorse.org for more info. — Camilla Mortensen
Tax Day Activism
Would you rather pay taxes for peace or war? Local activists have organized a parade and rally on April 16, the Saturday before this year's tax deadline of April 18. Fashion Resistance to Militarism will be modeling their outfits.Speakers will include Jim Schmidt of Veterans for Peace outlining the costs of war and two Spencer Butte students speaking about climate as a security issue.
The event runs from 11 am to 12:30 pm Saturday at the Free Speech Plaza at 8th and Oak. Sponsors are WAND, Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC), Veterans for Peace and Taxes for Peace Not War. For more information contact Michael Carrigan of CALC at 485-1755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Another tax day action is a "Taxes for Peace Not War" rally at noon Monday, April 18, at the Eugene downtown post office. The day's message is, "instead of paying for endless war and cutting taxes for the rich, Congress should fund education, job creation, universal health care, and other vital services," according to organizers.Sponsors include CALC, Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network (ESSN), WAND, Veterans for Peace, and Taxes for Peace Not War. Music will be provided by labor singer Mark Ross.
A traditional "penny poll" will be held in front of the post office. Passersby will be offered 10 pennies that they can put in jars labeled with different government funding choices. Last year Eugene penny poll participants chose to give human resources 45 percent compared to 2 percent for the military, and 1.5 percent for the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. This is in sharp contrast to the decision by the U.S. Congress last year to give more than half our discretionary tax dollars to the military.
Also Monday at the downtown post office, US Uncut Eugene will host a rally and march against corporate tax-dodgers and unnecessary public service cuts at3 pm. The rally is part of a nationwide action in solidarity with hard-working, tax-paying families. The rally will be followed by a march to Bank of America on 11th Avenue and back to the post office. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or look for "Eugene Uncut" on Facebook.
The local Tea Party's 912 Lane Group is also planning a "Tax Day Rally to Promote Patriotism, Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government, and Freedom!" from 5 to 7 pm Friday, April 15, at the old federal building at 7th and Pearl. Art Robinson, who is expected to run again against Congressman Pete DeFazio in 2012, will be among the featured speakers. Boy Scouts will sell hot dogs. Tea Partiers will sell Tea shirts. Email email@example.com for more information.
Salmon Coming Back
Some salmon travel hundreds of miles to return to their native spawning grounds. Some salmon in a hatchery on the Rakaia River in New Zealand will travel almost 7,000 miles to get back to their native home on the McCloud River near Mount Shasta if the Winnemem Wintu are able to pull off their plan.
In the early 1900s, McCloud River salmon were taken to New Zealand and have lived in Rakaia River ever since. In 1945 the Shasta Dam was completed and blocked the Chinook salmon run from its spawning grounds. The McCloud salmon are said to have either interbred with Sacramento River salmon or have died out. But they live on in New Zealand. Misa Joo, a member of the Winnemem Support Group of Oregon, says the Maori people of New Zealand have agreed to return the some of the fish to the Winnemem and restore the run that used to exist. Joo says she has been following the Winnemem ways for 30 years and became involved in the effort to bring the salmon back when a Winnemem chief spoke in Eugene about 10 years ago.
The Winnemem say their plan would be less expensive than a government effort to restore the runs and that New Zealand Fish and Game has given its support to the project.
The tribe says it has had preliminary meetings with government agencies such as the National Marine Fisheries Service, which has already looked at the McCloud for salmon habitat restoration.
The word tribe BRING's up another battle the Winnemem people are facing — theWinnememwere dropped from the list of recognized tribes in the mid-1980s without an explanation.
Joo says the Winnemem Support Group of Oregon is planning events and fundraising for the effort to bring the salmon home. On Saturday April 16, at Amigos Cultural Center from 1 to 5:30 pm Joo says there will be an event featuring music, frybread, and a Winnemem arts and crafts marketplace. The Wild Salmon Party will begin with a run by the youth of Juventud Faceta, who Joo says are adopting the Winnemem "water warriors" program, and they will be joined by Winnemem youth. The run will begin and run with a ceremony, she says. The event will also feature the film Bringing Salmon Home about the Winnemem's effort to restore the salmon.
The event is at the old Whiteaker School, 21 North Grand, and is attached to LCC's annual Peace Symposium.
On May 5, Oregon Arts Alliance will host a contemporary Native American art exhibit and silent auction benefit called "Salmon Dance: Bringing the Salmon Home." For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org— Camilla Mortensen
´ The Lane Peace Center's fourth annual Peace Symposium, "Water for Life, Not for Profit," will be Friday, April 15, at the new Longhouse at LCC's main campus. Free and open to the public. Speakers include Winnemem Wintu tribal chief Caleen Sisk-Franco and headman Marc Franco, Takelma Indian elder Agnes Baker Pilgrim, water justice activist Debbie Davis of the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Teresa Huntsinger of the Oregon Environmental Coalition, and Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy. The morning session begins at 10 am, afternoon sessions are at 1 pm and the main session is from 6 to 9:30 pm. Suggested donation is $10 for the symposium and reception. More information at http://www.lanecc.edu/peacecenter or see Stan Taylor's Viewpoint this week.
´ The Oregon League of Conservation Voters' 14th annual celebration for the environment will be Friday,
April 15, at the
Oregon Convention Center in Portland. See www.olcv.org/celebration for tickets and reservations.
´ Oregon House and Senate committees on redistricting have begun public hearings around the state. Local hearings are planned for 10 am to 1 pm Saturday, April 16, at the UO Knight Law Center, Room 175, in Eugene, and from 3:30 to 6:30 pm the same day at Forum 104, Linn Benton Community College in Corvallis. More information at http://wkly.ws/11g
´ Cascadia Wildlands is hosting a showing of Lords of Nature at 5:30 pm Tuesday, April 19, in McKenzie Room 240-C at UO. The film was made by Oregonians Karen and Rolf Meyer about nature's predators, including wolves, in the ecosystem. There will be a panel discussion at the end of the film about gray wolves in Oregon that will include Cristina Eisenburg, a prominent OSU ecologist studying wolves in Yellowstone.
´ Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson and his guest, Nick Walker, will discuss improving democracy through the development of new social internet technology, from 5:45 to 7:15 pm Wednesday, April 20, at Market of Choice, 29th and Willamette in Eugene. The discussion will include "enabling community participation and enhancing the fidelity of representation within our existing system of government to the development of a progressive, modern democratic system that enables communities of any size to deliberate, make decisions, and author legislation."
´ The Oregon Department of Forestry is inviting public comment on its draft plans to guide management of the state-owned forests. The comment period opened April 11 on plans proposed for the approximately 821,000 acres of public forestland managed by ODF. These plans describe specific activities such as timber sales and reforestation, road building, stream enhancement and recreation projects on the state forests. Deadline for written comments is 5 pm May 25. The plans are available for review at all ODF district offices, and online at http://wkly.ws/11t
´ A new local group, We the PeopleEugene, has formed to help facilitate a constitutional amendment process to reverse Supreme Court interpretations granting corporations the same constitutional rights as people. To get involved, call 255-2946 or email email@example.com for more information.
Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule
´ Aerial spray near King Estates: Western Helicopter (503-538-9469) for Sharon/Linde Kester (942-9264) on 295 acres near Hawley Creek in Lorane with herbicides starting April 6 (ODF 2011-781-00214).
´ Near Fish Creek: Oregon Forest Management Services (OFMS)(520-5941) ground spray herbicides for Seneca Jones (689-1011) soon (#00137).
´ Near Lorane Elementary School: OFMS will ground spray 33 acres with herbicides near Norris Creek for Fruit Growers (345-0996) starting April 3 (#00218).
´ In Horton, Low Pass and near Lorane: Weyerhaeuser (744-4600) will ground spray 330 acres with herbicides starting April 6 (#00220 and 00221).
´ ODOT will begin highway spraying in Lane County April 18. Call 744-8080, District 5.
´ Near Junction City, Low Pass, Gillespie Corners, Dexter: OFMS for Giustina (345-2301) starting April 11 (No. 771-00223) and April 7 (781-00245).
´ Near Parsons Creek, Springfield: Weyerhaeuser (988-7502) will ground spray 24 acres starting April 13 (#771-00227).
Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers: 342-8332, www.forestlanddwellers.org
´ We were unable by press time to identify the girl featured on our March 24 cover holding the sign, "Kids Need Schools, Schools Need Money!" We have since heard from Samantha Brainer that the girl is her daughter Raisa. The photo by Jack Liu was taken at a kick-off event for the Strong Schools, Strong Eugene campaignMarch 8 at Kelly Middle School.
´ In the Chow story April 7 on Agate Alley, the quote, "If you look at our entrees at Agate Alley, it's going to be really comparable to what we will do here but just a little more ïout there,'" was mistakenly attributed to chef Jeff Strom, due to an editing error. Owner Dug Beaird is the person who said that.
´ We were disappointed to hear conservatives on the Lane County Commission voted, on an appeal, to cut financial support for Centro LatinoAmericano, a highly regarded local agency that is doing vital work throughout Lane County in education, social services and even environmental justice. Commissioners Handy and Sorenson voted to continue the funding, while Commissioners Leiken, Stewart and Bozievich voted to cut it. Reading Mark Baker's story in the R-G April 10, one would think the decision was unanimous.
Last year the county provided $115,000 of the agency's $400,000 budget. Centro Latino provides services to low-income residents, directs people to community resources and facilitates grant money from a wide range of agencies and private foundations. This bad news comes at the same time Centro Latino is opening its new Springfield office. Show your support by joining the ribbon-cutting celebration from 4 to 6 pm Thursday, April 15, at the NEDCO building, 212 Main St. Can't write a check? Volunteer your time.
´ Our cover story this week on the need to reform our tax code is full of facts and figures that need to be drilled into the brains of everyone who's concerned about tax fairness and the future of the U.S. economy. For example, the author documents how pay increases have gone mostly to workers at the top of the pay scale under Republican administrations, and the trend is continuing as Obama and the Democrats give in to pressure to revive and continue the disastrous policies of Bush and Rove.
Will Americans remember how we got into this mess and vote the Tea Party wingnuts out of office in the next couple of elections? We remain hopeful. Meanwhile, we all need to step up and fight to protect our environment, social services and other threatened programs and policies that define a just and sane society.
´ Our own talented staff writer Rick Levin wrote great stuff about Warpaint, the "pop-drone-jam band with deep roots in Eugene" in ourMarch 31 cover story.A few days later on April 4, The New Yorker magazine gave the four musicians an illustration and blurb about their Bowery Ballroom show:"Warpaint practices a lilting, fragile sound that recalls both the dreamy shoegazer indie pop of the nineties and Stevie Nicks at her most mystical.Despite the sweetness of the group's harmonies and guitars, there's always something vaguely eerie just below the surface." Two of the four artists, Emily Kokal andTheresa Wayman, grew up in Eugene.The four were excited about playing on the new Eugene Weekly Stage at the Eugene Celebration Aug. 26 to 28, but their manager now has them booked for more lucrative gigs in big cities and at major music festivals. Off they go and we wish them well.
´ Broke and can't find a job in Lane County? Before you jump a freight train to North Dakota where the unemployment rate is 3.7 percent, you might consider self-employment. We hear a free seminar March 25 on micro enterprise was well attended, thanks in part to a short story we ran in our March 24 issue. The resources talked about in this event are still out there. Contact Oregon Microenterprise Network through http://wkly.ws/11u or see the folks at O.U.R. Credit Union in Eugene. David Hazen (firstname.lastname@example.org) helped organize the event.
We just heard about some Eugene folks who are busy with their low-budget new enterprise, creating fun art and kitchen gear from wine corks that would normally end up in the landfill. Devon Brown and Tanita Roberts tell us their new biz, Creative Corks N' More, just launched on etsy.com and they have so many custom orders they haven't had time to build up an inventory and approach local retail outlets. What other consumer or industrial waste is out there waiting for creative transformation?
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
"It's humbling to be part of a community where there's so much generosity," says Doug Bales, volunteer coordinator for the Egan Warming Center. Named for retired Major Tom Egan, a local homeless man who died outdoors on a freezing night in 2008, the center provided 4,500 warm beds and 9,000 meals at six locations to an average of 250 guests on 21 cold nights from November through March this past winter. Bales grew up on a farm in New Mexico, followed his two older brothers into the Army, achieved the rank of lieutenant and served for seven years. He graduated from NM State, got a job as a stockbroker, then relocated to Eugene in 1989. In addition to his work as a financial advisor, he has lived in and renovated several historic houses. After working as a kitchen volunteer at the First Christian Church in EWC's first year, Bales was hired by St. Vincent de Paul to coordinate the program. "I had some ideas on organizational development," he says. "I still work in the kitchen. It's a blast. Everyone loves it. We all share that feeling of wanting to contribute." A number of local agencies and businesses, as well as 325 individual volunteers, contributed to the center's second season. Learn more at eganwarmingcenter.com.