News Briefs: UO Grad Stages Original Work in Edinburgh | Toxic Water in West Eugene? | Planned Parenthood's New Digs | Panel Ponders Police Policies | Searching for Rodents On High | Will Gov OK Wildlife Kill Funds? | Interfaith Peace Walk in Eugene | Activist Alert | War Dead | Lighten Up
Cascadians protest Big Oil in Montana
Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
Happening People: Mike Langley
UO GRAD STAGES ORIGINAL WORK IN EDINBURGH
|Chip Sherman, Rebecca Morus and Barbie Wu at work on 'Tis in My Memory Locked|
At 22, Rebecca Morus is receiving a crash course in collaborative production and auteur filmmaking ã not to mention fundraising, marketing, promotion, management, stage directing and starting her own theater company. Since graduating last spring from the UOs theater program, Morus has spent the past year readying her original stagework, •Tis in My Memory Locked, for a month-long run at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, the largest arts festival in the world. Her final fundraising event is Friday, July 22, at OPUS VII Gallery, and she flies abroad July 28.
This is the quintessence of hitting the road running.
"I didnt really have a plan and didnt know what I wanted to do with my life,” Morus said during an interview July 18. "I realized I should just do it myself.”
So immediately out of school she founded the Second Earth Theatre Company and set her sights on Edinburghs "Fringe,” as its familiarly known, where she and actor Chip Sherman will perform a multi-media work adapted from Shakespeares Hamlet. Derived from a short play Morus first wrote as a senior at UO, •Tis in My Memory Locked is an imagined dialogue between Hamlet (played by Sherman) and Ophelia (Barbie Wu), who will be projected as a film loop on a movie screen.
According to Morus, the production has a Groundhog Day element to it, as Hamlet ã stuck in a kind of limbo after death ã tries again and again to reconcile his guilt in Ophelias suicide. The script is composed entirely of lines lifted from Hamlet itself, making it a sort of reconstructed deconstruction of youthful angst and confusion.
"Theres a lot of clues throughout the play that this was a really deep relationship,” Morus said of Ophelia and Hamlet, whom she has always viewed as a fucked-up college-age kid stuck in a bad situation. "I felt like what Hamlet was saying a lot of the time was exactly what was going through my head.”
Along with Sherman and Wu, Morus has collaborated closely with UO film student Brian Leonard, who shot and edited the Ophelia segment of the show. "Its a medium thats completely foreign to me,” Morus said of film. She said that the working relationship shes developed with Leonard and several other artists has provided her with reams of useful experience. "Its like its bigger than us,” Morus said of the interactive production.
Not only was Morus accepted to the Fringe, her work will be staged at C Venue, one of the festivals most popular sites. Between Aug. 3 and Aug. 29, Morus and Sherman will stage 27 performances ã more than one a day at an international festival that attracts some 500,000 attendees.
"Our focus is to establish ourselves as a new theater company that has some credibility,” she said. To that end, Morus created "The Edinburgh Hamlet Project” on Kickstarter, a web-based fundraising platform for creative endeavors. "Weve been continuously fundraising,” she added.
The final fundraiser for Morus and her Edinburgh Hamlet Project will take place 7 to 9 pm Friday, July 22, at OPUS VII, 22 W. 7th Ave.; there will be food and live music, as well as wares from sponsors Ninkasi and Sweet Life; for more information, visit http://wkly.ws/132 ã Rick Levin
TOXIC WATER IN WEST EUGENE?
Stormwater spilling into a tributary of Amazon Creek from the J.H. Baxter plant in west Eugene meets the numeric standards for toxics on the companys permit, but tests show the water being released might have toxic chemicals at levels dangerous for living organisms. Eugenes Oregon Clean Water Action Project (OCWAP) has filed an intent to sue on behalf of Willamette Riverkeeper.
Doug Quirke of OCWAP says he hopes that the enforcement action being filed on behalf of Willamette Riverkeeper "will not only result in J.H. Baxter eliminating ongoing Clean Water Act and Oregon water quality standards violations, but will also result in J.H. Baxter taking responsibility for its past violations by funding a project or projects that improve water quality.”
Baxter, a wood preserving facility, is allowed under its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit to discharge treated stormwater, treated groundwater and boiler blowdown water to a storm ditch that feeds into Amazon Creek, which itself flows into Fern Ridge Reservoir. Under the permit, Baxter is allowed to discharge limited amounts of arsenic, chromium, copper, lead, zinc and pentachlorophenol.
Pentachlorophenol, also known as penta, contains dioxin, a known human carcinogen. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned its production in 1987, except for its use in treating utility poles.
Bioassays ãtests that use living organisms to check for the toxicity of chemicals ãof J.H. Baxters water from February through June 2011 show that fathead minnows, water fleas and green algae have shown either chronic or acute toxicity. In the most recent testing, covering the period June 1 to June 8, only 7.5 percent of fathead minnows survived exposure to Baxters effluent, while 100 percent of those not exposed to Baxter effluent survived.
The letter sent to J.H. Baxter from OCWAP and Willamette Riverkeeper alleges Baxter has discharged wastes or conducted activities that cause or contribute to a violation of Oregon state law by introducing toxic substances above natural background levels in waters of the state in amounts, concentrations or combinations that may be harmful. It also alleges the company did not conduct another toxicity test within two weeks of three tests that exhibited toxicity, as required by its permit.
"Private companies should not reap profits at the expense of the waters of Oregon, which belong to all Oregonians, and polluters should be required to improve water quality over and above the extent to which theyve caused deterioration in water quality,” Quirke says.
J.H. Baxter did not respond to press inquires before deadline. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has met with Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) test specialist and the compliance specialist for Baxter about the water quality issue. ã Camilla Mortensen
Planned Parenthood's New Digs
Across the U.S., Planned Parenthood has weathered the political climate much like Harry Potter and friends defending Hogwarts from Voldemort. And despite the best efforts of those bearing the dark mark, Planned Parenthood is "The Clinic That Lived.”
"Were here. Our doors are open,” Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon (PPSO) President Cynthia Pappas says. In fact, Southwest Oregon is one Planned Parenthood region that is brimming with good news. In September, construction workers will break ground on a new Regional Health and Education Center in Glenwood.
The need for the Glenwood facility became apparent, Pappas says, because PPSOs existing facilities werent built to handle the volume of patients they now experience. "The Regional Health and Education Center is going to allow us to increase our client volume by about 50 percent,” Pappas says. It will also provide meeting space for parent education classes, Planned Parenthoods youth council and its sex ed boot camp for educators.
The decision to build between Eugene and Springfield in Glenwood was made easy by the transportation infrastructure, according to Pappas. "Theres an EmX stop right at our property, were as close to the UO at the new location as the current High Street location and it gets us a little more of a direct route from the LCC campus,” she says. In addition to a public transport-friendly location, the new building is aiming for LEED silver certification.
Despite PPSOs run of positive events, Pappas admits that the year has been a rough one. "Theres really a very focused effort to discredit Planned Parenthood and defund the services we provide, which really puts clients at an extraordinary disadvantage across the country,” she says. At PPSOs Birds and the Bees Garden Party July 15, the organization sent its guests directions only after they registered for the event, partially to gather an accurate head count, Pappas says, but also with safety in mind.
"We, like any Planned Parenthood, have our detractors,” she says. "We have picketers. People have the right to have a difference of opinion and they are for the most part very respectful and nonviolent.”
Pappas says of the national climate, "In Oregon we havent been impacted yet and we feel very fortunate for that, but it doesnt mean that we can be complacent. We work every day to ensure that birth control access is available and affordable.”
ã Shannon Finnell
PANEL PONDERS POLICE POLICIES
For the past several months the Policy Screening and Review Committee, a part of the Eugene Police Commission, has been conducting a review of the Eugene Police Departments search and seizure policy, a document that lays out what EPD officers can and cannot do when faced with certain situations that would allow a person or property to be searched.
Although the majority of the committees meetings involve dissecting sentences word by word and haggling over the meaning of certain passages, the committee has made some marked changes to the policy, chief among them being a revamp of the warrant-serving process, stronger wording regarding the suspects right to know about search procedures, and an "automobile exception,” which allows an officer to circumvent ordinary search and seizure regulations if the situation meets certain criteria.
The policy attempts to strike a balance between public safety needs and peoples right to privacy. Although both the Oregon and U.S. constitutions guarantee an individuals right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure, the majority of the document is dedicated to exceptions to the rule, such as when serving warrants, during an arrest, community caretaking and emergency aid, or when something illegal is in plain view. Similarly, the policy also lays out when an officer can enter an area where an individual would have a "reasonable expectation of privacy.”
The Police Commission is an advisory body with no actual control over what happens in the police department. The commission acts as a vetting process, reviewing policies and submitting recommendations to the police chief, who makes the final decision.
The next meeting of the Policy Screening and Review Committee will be at 5:30 pm Tuesday, July 26, in Room 109 at City Hall, 777 Pearl St. The meeting is open to the public, and there is a public forum where citizens can voice their opinions on the changes in the policy.
ã Nils Holst
SEARCHING FOR RODENTS ON HIGH
As summer gets into full swing, a group of Lane County residents is gearing up for its annual camping trip. But these arent just any campers, and this isnt a run-of-the-mill campout: Its climbing the trees to save the trees. The Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (NEST) is a nonprofit organization composed of tree-climbing volunteers who camp out every summer to survey wildlife in ancient forests threatened by logging.
The main species that the group looks for is the red tree vole, a small rodent that lives in the canopies of old growth forests and is dwindling in number due to deforestation. The vole is a major prey species for the northern spotted owl and under the Northwest Forest Plan, surveys for certain rare and sensitive species like voles must be conducted before an area is logged.
When NEST surveyors find a species like a vole they report it to the Forest Service or BLM, ensuring that the species and the surrounding trees will be protected.
"NEST is important because our work has shown that the federal agencies are unable to protect the habitat of these plants and animals found on the survey and manage list,” say NESTers Root and Fox. They add that NEST surveyors often go to sites where federal surveys have found nothing, only to find dozens of red tree vole nests.
Since its inception 10 years ago, NEST has found hundreds of red tree voles in areas slated for logging and has saved thousands of acres of forest across Oregon.
To maintain the future of its program, NEST is holding a fundraiser to support the costs of a summer of surveys and for volunteers gear. NEST has currently raised $640; the group hopes to raise $2,000 by the end of summer.
To find out more about NEST or to donate, go to www.nestcascadia.wordpress.com and use the Paypal account or contribute through Indiegogo and receive gifts ranging from forest-themed hoodies to patches.
NEST also appreciates donations of camping and climbing gear and welcomes volunteers. A wish list can be found on the organizations website. ã Kendall Fields
WILL GOV OK WILDLIFEKILL FUNDS?
A so-called Wildlife Conservation Fund is actually a wildlife-killing fund, according to Eugene-based Predator Defense and conservation group Oregon Wild. HB 3636 was passed unanimously by the Oregon House and by the Senate, and it awaits Gov. John Kitzhabers signature. The bill would create a voluntary fund for killing predators, including wolves and "fur-bearing mammals.” Oregons population of less than 20 gray wolves is state endangered species listed. Wolves in the western two-thirds of Oregon are also federally protected.
If Kitzhaber signs the bill into law, the fund would allow people applying for a license, tag or permit from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to make a voluntary contribution for predatory animal control within the counties that the license allows for the person to hunt.
This means the money will go to killing endangered gray wolves, as well as to lethally controlling bear, beaver, raccoons and foxes, among others. Sally Mackler of Predator Defense calls the bill "reckless” and says, "The state is spending a tremendous amount of money on killing wildlife.” Mackler says the amount of money the state spends on killing predators has doubled in the last biennium to about $840,000, but predators are responsible for very few livestock deaths.
Rob Klavins of Oregon Wild says that rather than kill endangered wolves, "the state is required to conserve the species.” He says HB 3636 was "designed to fly under the radar” and slipped through unnoticed in the last days of the legislative session. Klavins says that it "hijacks the hunting license system.” He points out that Oregons 17 or so wolves already face 28 active landowner kill permits.
A recent study in the journal Sciencesays that humans destruction of top or apex predators like wolves causes previously unknown reverberations including changes in the landscape, increases in wildfires, pandemics and ecosystem shifts. The study called killing predators "humankinds most pervasive influence on the natural world.”
The study gives as an example that when wolves returned to Yellowstone National Park it benefited creekside trees, and that without predators to kill deer, the populations explode with consequences such as more deer ticks to spread Lyme disease to humans.
Oregon Wild and Predator Defense are calling on Kitzhaber to veto the bill. Kitzhabers press secretary Christine Miles says, "The governor will review HB 3636 before making any decision on the bill.” ã Camilla Mortensen
INTERFAITH PEACE WALK IN EUGENE
Monks from the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple on Bainbridge Island will be leading a Interfaith Peace Walk beginning in Eugene Thursday, July 21, and ending Aug. 9 at the Trident Nuclear submarine base at Bangor, Wash.
With the theme "For a Nuclear Free Future in Respect for Mother Earth,” the walk serves as a reminder of the critical dangers presented by nuclear weapons and Japans Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and other nuclear installations.
The Eugene events will begin with an 8:30 am welcome and opening ceremony at the Japanese American Memorial Garden, Willamette and 6th, followed by a daylong walk through Eugene. The day will end with a 5:30 pm community potluck and program at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive.
The monks invite all who believe in nonviolence to join all or part of the walk as they drum, chant and offer prayers. Each step the walkers take will be a prayer towards world peace and a nuclear free future.
The local hosts are WAND, CALC, Japanese American Association and Eugene Friends Meeting.For more information contact Susan Cundiff of WAND at 683-1350 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking ahead, a Hiroshima-Nagasaki-Fukashima Commemoration will be from 7 to 9:30 pm Saturday, Aug. 6, at Alton Baker Parks small shelter, located near the duck pond. A community potluck begins at 7 pm followed by an 8 pm program featuring Japanese Koto music, Taiko drumming, Obon dancing, origami making and a call to action by Mayor Kitty Piercy. The event will close at dusk with the floating of candle lanterns on the duck pond while Koto master Mitsuki Dazai plays traditional Japanese music. The ceremony honors those who died when the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The event is free but donations can be made to benefit Japanese tsunami survivors.
Contact Michael Carrigan of CALC at 485-1755 or email@example.com for more information.
« Jabali the Reuse Rhino will be one of the main attractions at BRING's 40th birthday bash from 10 am to 4 pm Sunday, July 24, in the Garden of Earthly Delights at the BRING Planet Improvement Center, 4446 Franklin Blvd. in Glenwood.The free festivities include live music, kids activities, demonstrations, reuse crafts and plants for sale, art exhibit, community and food booths.LTD will provide free bus passes to the event. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
« The second International Copwatch Conference will be July 22-24 at the University of Winnipegin Manitoba. See the Copwatch website (http://wkly.ws/12w). For local Copwatch videos and information, search for "Picture Eugene” on YouTube or Google.
« The Eugene Veg Education Network is sponsoring a free talk on "Personal Food Choices and Climate Change” with speakers Dale Lugenbehl andSandy Aldridge at 7 pm Thursday, July 28, at the McNail-Riley House, 13th and Jefferson.
« 1,657 U.S. troops killed* (1,647)
« 12,593 U.S. troops wounded in action (12,450)
« 887 U.S. contractors killed (887)
« $434.9 billion cost of war ($432.6 billion)
« $123.7 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($123 million)
« 4,421 U.S. troops killed (4,421)
« 31,922 U.S. troops wounded in action (31,922)
« 185 U.S. military suicides (updates NA)
« 1,542 U.S. contractors killed (1,542)
« 111,331 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (111,215)
« $787.6 billion cost of war ($786.7 billion)
« $224 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($223.7 million)
Through July 18, 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)
Raising the national debt ceiling seems to have turned into a battle between the adult in the room and the adolescents from the moon ® Rafael Aldave
« Conservatives lambasted moderate county commissioners when they were forced to cut jail beds and sheriff patrols last year due to budget realities. But this year, now that conservatives are in control of the County Commission during nearly identical cuts due to the same realities, the silence is deafening. Where are all the outraged R-G editorials? Where are the angry outbursts from the district attorney, sheriffs deputies, Tea Partiers and judges? Wheres the retaliatory lawsuit funded by a timber baron?
« The Register-Guard used the new 4J superintendents higher salary to make the school district look wasteful and irresponsible during the May election for school funding. But after the income tax for schools that the R-G opposed was defeated, well, never mind. The paper reports now that the new supers total salary package is about the same as the old superintendent.
« File under "I told you so” the recent revelation that backers of the proposed Jordan Cove LNG import terminal in Coos Bay are considering converting the project into an export terminal. When the enviros at Western Environmental Law Center and other conservation groups first predicted that Oregons proposed LNG import terminals would be flipped for export, they were called conspiracy theorists. Turns out their conspiracy theories were right and Jordan Cove is angling to export. The Coos Bay terminal has already received conditional approval from federal energy regulators. The project is much more than a terminal, its also gas pipelines across public and private lands and under pristine rivers. Thanks to nasty new technology like hydraulic fracking, the U.S. is producing more and more natural gas. Does Oregon want to be the hub that ships dangerous liquid gas around the world? Check out EWs story on LNG in our archives from May 27, 2010, as well as a recent piece on the export issue in The Oregonian http://wkly.ws/12z
« The Lane County Historical Museum could use a little help with an upcoming exhibit, "Weird & Wonderful: Lane County Highlights and Footnotes.” Mary Dole from the museum says she needs three or four movie theater seats and an older tea cart. The museum is hoping to borrow the items for a year, or buy them on a limited budget. Give her a call at 682-4242 or go to www.lanecountyhistoricalsociety.org
« Sleazy journalists? Publisher gets a pie in the face? Whats the world coming to? Well, corrupt journalists have been plying their trade for as long as newspapers have been in circulation, just as there have always been sleazy bankers, priests, doctors, lawyers and maybe even bakers and candlestick makers. For better or worse, every organization over time becomes a reflection of the people at the very top. Rupert Murdoch ruthlessly built his media empire not with the intent of informing the public and making the world a better place, but rather to feed his greed for money and power. Some satisfaction can be found in watching him squirm, along with all the people in high places who went along with his corrupt tactics. Of course he feigns surprise that people on his payroll have done anything unethical. As above, so below.
« One of our favorite home-grown environmental organizations is BRING Recycling, and the nonprofits 40th anniversary party is Sunday in Glenwood. See you there? More info in Activist Alert this week and mark your calendars for the third Annual Home & Garden Tour Sunday, Sept. 18.
« Some great new local music can be found on our Next Big Thing website (www.nextbigthingeugene.com). Last time we checked there were 53 original songs. Think you can do better or just want to get your music out there? Deadline to submit songs is July 25. The top 16 artists or bands will be invited to play in the semi-finals at the Lane County Fair Aug. 18-20, and the top two will play at the Eugene Celebration. Winning band gets $500, free recording sessions, paid gigs and a lot of love.
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
"I started playing music in junior high,” says Mike Langley, who grew up in Ottawa Hills, outside of Toledo, Ohio. "Ive played in lots of garage bands.” Langley dropped out of Defiance College and in 1975 hitchhiked to Memphis, where he sold his guitar to buy food. He fell in with a group of "Christian hippies” associated with the Shiloh Youth Revival movement, based in Dexter, Oregon. "We did yard work and carpentry to support ourselves,” says Langley, who formed the band Commonwealth and moved to Eugene in 1976. When Shiloh folded, he went to work at Cafe' Glenwood. "I managed Glenwood on campus for 20 years,” he says. "Thats where I learned about street youth.” As a volunteer at the First Christian Churchs free Saturday breakfast, Langley saw that the "mall rats” he hoped to serve were not comfortable around homeless adults. With a donated space in the basement of the Eugene Evangelical Church, he founded the nonprofit Hosea Youth Services in 1997. Open 2 to 7 pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, HYS offers a solid meal plus showers, laundry and access to other services. Kids who play music can join Langley in the "Ragamuffin Church” music room after the Wednesday evening meal. Langley and his wife, Jeanie, raise Kiger Mustangs on their Wild Ones Youth Ranch west of Junction City.