News Briefs: Stove Team Founder Gets Major Grant | Did High-Price Springfield Jail Cut Crime? | Oregon Targeted by Abortion Foes | Goals: Tax Wall Street, Change the Constitution | Fun in the Rain | More Best of Eugene Winners | Activist Alert | Biz Beat | Corrections/Clarifications | Lighten Up
Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
UO course imports cycletrack success
Water Rights, Water Wrongs
A private water company seeks to control public water
Happening People: Julia Bowlin
|Nancy Sanford Hughes|
Eugene’s Nancy Sanford Hughes of StoveTeam International got word last week that she is one of five social entrepreneurs to win a $100,000 grant from the Civic Ventures annual Purpose Prize. The award is for “making an extraordinary impact in an encore career.”
“I feel humbled,” she says. “I did not choose to do this work — it chose me. The recognition is great; it will enable us to leverage StoveTeam’s expansion and reach even more children and families.”
Hughes, who is in Honduras this week with the StoveTeam crew, says the $100,000 will be split up among half a dozen Rotary districts, which will in turn generate matching funds. The money will then go to establish stove factories in Bolivia, Ghana, Kenya, Paraguay and Fiji. The team also plans to return to Mexico and add new stove factories there.
StoveTeam is a nonprofit organization that sets up stove manufacturing plants in developing countries. The factories produce affordable, fuel-efficient and safe stoves in areas where the population suffers from smoke-related deaths and illnesses. Smoke inhalation causes about twice as many deaths as malaria in developing countries, according to Nicole Hyslop, a public relations intern with the organization.
Hughes founded StoveTeam International in 2007 in conjunction with Southtowne Rotary, with a grant in memory of her late husband, Duffy Hughes, who had been a physician in Eugene for more than 25 years. Hughes had been a volunteer with more than a dozen nonprofits, including Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, Cascade Medical Team, Lane County Medical Alliance, the Eugene Symphony and Oregon Bach Festival. It was with the Cascade Medical Team in Guatamala that she first observed the burns and ailments associated with open fires in huts.
StoveTeam has been featured in numerous national and international publications, but got its first media attention in EW back in 2004. See http://wkly.ws/14r and a video can also be found at http://wkly.ws/14s — Ted Taylor
DID HIGH-PRICE SPRINGFIELD JAIL CUT CRIME?
To make Springfield safer, the city opened the largest municipal jail in Oregon last January at a cost of $10 million to build and $2.4 million a year to operate its 100 beds.
So did violent crime fall with the big new jail? Not according to the city’s numbers.
Person crime increased 10 percent last year in Springfield, according to statistics from Springfield police. Property crime stayed about level, and behavior crime was up by 89 percent. That’s despite spending $100,000 per bed to build a jail and $24,000 a year per bed to operate it.
The inverse relationship between jail beds and crime isn’t unique to Springfield. In Eugene the number of county jail beds that the city relies on has dropped by 37 percent in the past dozen years, while the violent crime rate in Eugene has dropped by 50 percent and the property crime rate has dropped by 46 percent, according to FBI data.
The FBI didn’t report any crime data for Springfield last year. According to city spokesman Niel Laudati, that’s because of a technical mix up and miscommunication between the Oregon Law Enforcement Data center and the FBI.
Springfield’s crime data may be less accurate than the FBI’s numbers for year-to-year comparison purposes. Because the city changed the way it counts crimes internally, the behavior crime numbers for last year could be higher than the previous year, but the more serious violent crime numbers are probably comparable, according to Laudati. — Alan Pittman
Personhood USA, a national anti-choice organization based in Colorado, seeks to “strategically restore human rights in 17 different states by amending each state’s constitution.” Oregon is one of these states because a constitutional amendment can be passed by initiative in a popular vote.
These amendments are aimed at gaining personhood status for genetic material beginning at fertilization. The historical significance goes all the back to oral arguments during Roe v. Wade. During oral arguments Chief Justice Warren Burger argued that a state could outlaw abortion, “by statute that a fetus is a person for all constitutional purposes.”
By asserting that fetuses, embryos and zygotes are people with the unalienable right to life, abortion foes are casting a wide net. Drew Hymer of Personhood’s national office said, “The amendment doesn’t distinguish in any way how a human being comes into existence. If you’re a living human being, the amendment recognizes your right to life. Therefore under the amendment, abortion would not be legal when the pregnancy was the result of rape.” The amendment, though, does clearly state in the third section, “The right to life guaranteed in this section of the Constitution does not apply to any person sentenced to the penalty of death for aggravated murder as set forth in Section 40 of this Article.”
Hymer acknowledged that the amendment would ban forms of birth control that acted after fertilization. Katha Pollit writing in The Nation stated that, “unplanned pregnancies have risen from 47 to 49 percent of all pregnancies.” Personhood USA gave no indication of how to deal with the high degree of unwanted pregnancies through out the country.
Jimmy Radosknasko of Planned Parenthood Southwestern Oregon said that a major part of Planned Parenthood’s mission is reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies through family planning, sex education, and access to birth control. This would reduce the demand for abortion.
Hymer also admitted that the amendment would make it harder for a woman whose health was compromised by her pregnancy to get an abortion. He said that “when the mother’s life is endangered, abortion would still be allowed as a form of self-defense.” He went on to say that “it’s important to note though that self-defense requires the defender to use the least force necessary.”
Radosnasko speculated the amendment, if passed, could even criminalize miscarriages as the grieving mother could face a criminal inquiry into the death of her fetus.
The effort in Oregon to get this amendment on the ballot in 2012 is still in its infancy. Oregon anti-choice activist Kelly Le Claire has collected 1,500 signatures so far, according to the Oregon page at personhoodusa.com. Le Claire is making her third attempt at getting this amendment on the Oregon ballot. She failed in both 2007 and 2008. — Philip Shackleton
The goals of Occupy Wall Street are getting some backing from Oregon’s elected officials. Rep. Peter DeFazio has introduced a bill that would reinstate a tax on Wall Street, and Sen. Jeff Merkley is a cosponsor of a constitutional amendment that seeks to undo the ills of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that lets corporations donate unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns.
The Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act would place a small tax of 3 cents on $100 in value on most non-consumer financial trading including stocks, bonds and other debts, except for when they are initially issued. If a company were to receive a loan from a financial institution, that transaction would not be taxed. But, if the financial institution traded the debt, then the trade would be taxed.
In an interview last week, DeFazio said his Wall Street tax is set low, so it would not affect most transactions, but it would put a curb on the high speed supercomputer trading and tamp down some of the volatility it has created. He said the computer trading is “just gambling, sophisticated high-stakes gambling.” DeFazio said he has heard that there are some days when more than 70 percent of the market trading is done by supercomputers
The Wall Street tax would raise $352 billion between January 2013 through 2021, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. DeFazio said there is precedent for this tax. He said, “We had one from 1916 until 1966” and added, “Congress had more guts in those days.” The money, DeFazio said, was used to rebuild the economy through things like the Works Progress Administration, which employed millions of Americans in building bridges, roads, airports public buildings and parks.
Merkley said that the constitutional amendment he is cosponsoring would address another concern that has preoccupied Wall Street Occupiers. The proposed amendment, announced on Nov. 1, would undo a 1976 Supreme Court ruling that said campaign spending was the same as free speech and undo the 2010 Citizens United vs. FEC ruling that removed all limits on campaign spending for special interests, corporations and labor unions. Merkley said the Citizens United case means that companies, including foreign companies, can give unlimited sums secretly in American campaigns. “That is the exact opposite of what our country is about,” he said.
While President Lincoln spoke of a government by, for and of the people, Merkley said, “The vast sums unleashed by Citizens United and the secrecy involved makes a government that’s by and for the powerful.”
He said the Citizens United case has had an enormous impact in two ways. First of all it has impact in direct terms of the money spent. Merkley said that if Exxon was to have spent 3 percent of its net profits on the 2008 presidential election, it would have outspent all other the parties engaged in the election. He said that one 15 minute boardroom discussion could have put more resources in elections than the rest of the country, “Like a stadium sound system drowning out the voice of our people, and that’s not what our county is about,” he said.
One such case was the three quarters of a million dollars that a New York financier spent in a failed attempt to enable Republican candidate Art Robinson to defeat DeFazio.
The other issue, Merkley said, is that that “legislators knowing the company can spend that kind of money in secrecy might exercise caution in taking on the special interests as vigorously as the might otherwise.”
Merkley called the issue “a dagger placed at the heart of democracy.” — Camilla Mortensen
FUN IN THE RAIN
As the rainy season gets under way, outdoor activities seem to become more limited. But, since when have Eugeneans let a little rain stand in the way of fall fun?
Get out those galoshes and raincoats and join in on the fun at Mount Pisgah Arboretum from 10 am to 3 pm Saturday, Nov. 12, for the fourth annual Play in the Rain Day. The event will be held in the White Oak Pavilion.
“It’s really a great way to spend an afternoon outdoors,“ says Heather Shellenberg of Northwest Youth Corps, an organization that has been involved with this event for the last two years.
Play in the Rain is a free event — yes, even the parking and the food — for people of all ages. This year, more than 1,000 people are expected to participate in a plethora of family-fun activities, ranging from climbing trees, cooking over a campfire and doing nature crafts. There will also be backcountry horse demonstrations and hay rides. Smoky Bear will also stop by to reinforce his philosophy of the importance of fire safety and taking care of nature through a scavenger hunt.
The event is hosted by the Youth in Nature Partnership, a collaboration of nonprofits and government organizations that aim to increase the amount of opportunities the youth has to spend in nature. The partnership was formed to combat concerns of a decline in the amount of time youth was spending in nature. — Kendall Fields
MORE BEST OF EUGENE WINNERS
Oops! In the frantic process that involved putting together our 68-page Best of Eugene issue last week, we left out the results for “Best Beers on Tap” and “Best Radio Show or DJ.” See the complete list of Best of Eugene winners on our website.
Best Beers on Tap
1. The Bier Stein, 345 E. 11th Ave. 485-2437, thebierstein.com
2. Ninkasi Brewery Tasting Room, 272 Van Buren St. 344-2739, www.ninkasibrewing.com
3. 16 Tons, 265 E. 13th Ave. 345-2003, sixteentons.biz
Best Radio Show or DJ
1. The Donkey Show on 101.5 FM KFLY
2. The Rev. Marc Time’s Sunday Morning Hangover on 88.1 FM KWVA
3. Elliot Martinez on 88.1 FM KWVA
• Visionary landscape architect Jie Hu from China will discuss “Designing the New Cities of China: Blending Ancient Traditions with 21st Century Sustainability” at a brownbag lunch Thursday, Nov. 10, in 213 Lawrence Hall, 1190 Franklin Blvd., and at a 5:30 pm lecture in Fenton Hall, 1021 E. 13th Ave. Free and open to the public. Call 346-8757 or email email@example.com
• “Why Occupy? The Movement in Perspective” is the topic of a facilitated discussion at 6 pm Thursday, Nov. 10, at Willamette Hall 100 on the UO campus. Speakers include Michael Dreiling and Val Burris of the Department of Sociology.
• A telephone town hall meeting on the State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease in Oregon (SPADO) will be from 1 to 2:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 10. RSVP required at http://bit.ly/stateplancall to get on the call list, call (503) 416-0202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• MindFreedom Lane County hosts Erick Fabris, an ethnographic author, psychiatric survivor and Mad Pride activist at 2 pm Saturday, Nov. 12, at UO Law School, room 110. Free. See www.mindfreedom.org or call 345-9106.
• The city of Eugene will host a community Climate and Energy Action Plan workshop from 6 to 9 pm Monday, Nov. 14, at EWEB, 500 E. 4th Ave. Discussion will include progress over the past year, opportunities, barriers and next steps.
• 4J Superintendent Sheldon Berman will speak and answer questions at a community conversation on “Supporting Teachers and Principals” from 7 to 8 pm Monday, Nov. 14, at Adams Elementary School, 22nd and Adams. Also available will be Whitney Grubbs, an education policy advisor to Gov. Kitzhaber, and a representative of the local teacher’s union. See www.stand.org or email email@example.com
• Cambridge professor and author Paul Gilding will speak on climate change at 7:30 pm Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 182 Lillis Hall on campus. Gilding is author of The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World. The lecture will be live-streamed at ohc.uoregon.edu
• Oregon WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions) will be holding its monthly program meeting from 6:45 to 8 pm Thursday, Nov. 17, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St., Eugene. Speaker will be Pat Hoover on the topic of Hanford radiation releases and their impact on those downwind. See www.wandoregon.org or call 683-1350.
• Economist and political scientist Barry Eichengreen of UC-Berkeley will deliver a lecture on the “Europe’s Never-Ending Crisis” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at 100 Willamette Hall, 1371 E. 13th Ave. on campus. Free.
• Lane County Democrats’ next monthly meeting is at 6:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 17, at EWEB, 500 E. 4th Ave. in Eugene. See www.dpo.org or call Matt Davis at 484-5099.
• Oregon Parks and Recreation is conducting public hearings on proposed routes for scenic bikeways in towns along routes through Bend and Tumalo, and through Cottage Grove. Find plans and hearing information at www.oregonscenicbikeways.org or email comments by Nov. 17 to firstname.lastname@example.org
We hear Dawn Baby is recovering from a bad accident and is back part-time at Dawn Baby Salon, 1355 Willamette, with daughter Amelia. Dawn says on the salon’s Facebook page that she’s had “a great first week back beautifying the masses.” Dawn is also known locally for her time on the air as a DJ at KWVA radio.
We wrote in this column Oct. 27 that Splinters Fine Woodworking Group has moved to 191 E. Broadway next to Zenon, but we’ve since heard that Tim Boyden and Seth San Felippo are running the gallery and it is called Out On a Limb. Hours are 11 am to 6 pm Wednesday through Sunday, or by appointment. Call 342-5937.
Blair Boulevard Small Business Neighborhood Renovation grants of $3,000 went this year to Angelica Salgado of MiTierra Taqueria; Shane Tracey of Nib: A Modern Eatery; and Kaila Knighten of Marco’s Salon & Wig Gallery. UO student architects and Wells Fargo employees are involved in the improvements to the small businesses.
Dates for the annual Eugene Marathon and Expo have been set for April 27-29. This growing event attracted 8,500 runners last year from 49 states and eight countries. See www.eugenemarathon.com or www.bazusports.com
LCC will get $1.7 million from a three-year Department of Labor grant for job training for unemployed and underemployed workers and those eligible for Trade Act Adjustment benefits. The grant will support the training of 350 students for jobs in aviation, computer information technology, health professions and advanced technology careers, starting next spring.
A little factoid from Travel Lane County: Visitors to the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region generated $150.9 million in food and beverage-related expenditures in 2010, making it the leading category of visitor spending. We haven’t heard how much of that was for beer.
Send suggestions for Biz Beat items to email@example.com and please put “Biz Beat” in the subject line.
• In our Best News Personality list of winners last week, Marc Mullins’ name was spelled incorrectly.
• The first paragraph of Arjen Hoekstra’s letter last week was inadvertently cut off. The complete letter can be found on our website.
by Rafael Aldave
Financial tip: If you transfer your money out of a big national bank, avoid alternatives with words like Lefty’s or Big Al’s in their names.
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 had one special dog as a kid,” says Julia Bowlin, who grew up in Twin Falls, Ida. “Spooky was my best friend. She cost $5 and lived for 16 years.” Bowlin started a dog-sitting business in high school, but afterwards left for college at USC and “took a break from dogs.” She studied advertising design but found it “too cutthroat” and went for a degree in sign language. “Visual language fascinates me,” she says, noting that dogs are visual communicators. “They key in on movement more than vocal language. People repeat, ‘sit, sit, sit,’ when all they need to do is step forward.” Bowlin got married at USC and had two kids, moved to Eugene in 1998, became a foster mom to medically fragile kids, and adopted a third child in 2005. She also adopted Caper (at left in the photo, along with Bowlin and Tanner) and studied the training methods of “dog whisperer” Cesar Milan. “I found I had a talent,” she says. “I wanted to help others.” Since 2006, she has worked with 2,500 dogs. “Usually, I can fix things in one home visit,” she says. “Really, I’m training the humans.” Her strongest advice is to keep puppies with their moms at least eight weeks. “The last two weeks are so important,” she says. “Don’t take a dog if you can’t see the mom.” Find her on Facebook at Eugene’s Dog Whisperer.