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May 20, 2015 01:13 PM

Interesting anonymous commentary on the Zero Hedge website:

As the student loan bubble steams along towards the $1.5 trillion mark, pundits, researchers, and even (gasp) ratings agencies are starting to sound the alarm. While everyone is (as usual), around three years behind when it comes to admitting what’s been outlined extensively in these pages, we’re at least glad to see that the world is waking up to the fact that i) $1.3 trillion is a lot of money, ii) delinquency rates are far higher than the headline figures suggest, iii) students are never, repeat never, going to repay all of this, and iv) it is taxpayers who will eventually foot the bill.

To the latter point there, the calls for across-the-board debt “forgiveness” have already started and even if they hadn’t, and even if The White House weren’t looking at ways to make the discharge of student debt “more efficient” in bankruptcy, there are a number of reasons to believe that when it’s all said and done, taxpayers will be on the hook at least for hundreds of millions and more probably for hundreds of billions. Consider for instance that the cost of closing just one for-profit college could well run more than $200 million in federal loan forgiveness. Then there’s IBR (that’s “Income Based Repayment") in which borrowers whose disposable income isn’t deemed sufficient when it comes to making monthly payments have the remainder of their loan forgiven after 25 years. There’s literally no way to know what the cost to taxpayers will ultimately be from IBR plans, but what we do know is that an increase in the number of borrowers opting for some kind of IBR plan is one reason why Moody’s thinks some $3 billion in student loan-backed paper may be at risk for default.

So against this backdrop, America needs a plan, because as we’re fond of reminding people, one person’s liability is another person’s asset, meaning debt is never really “cancelled”, it’s just written off at some else’s expense. Ideally, opportunities in the job market and a robust economy would allow new graduates to obtain high-paying, full-time jobs which would in turn allow them to pay down their loans, but since that isn’t going to happen any time soon, we’re open to suggestions.

Fortunately, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has a plan that will ensure future generations of taxpayers aren’t stuck paying for their parents' college degrees: simply tax investors so the entire country can go to school for free.

Via Bloomberg:

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wants to take from the rich in order to make public college tuition-free for everyone else.

On Tuesday, the Vermont senator will hold a press conference in the nation's capital at which he will introduce a plan to use a so-called Robin Hood tax on stock transactions to fund tuition at four-year public colleges and universities.

Sanders' bill sets a 50-cent tax on every "$100 of stock trades on stock sales, and lesser amounts on transactions involving bonds, derivatives, and other financial instruments," the group Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street said Monday in a press release.

"The Robin Hood tax would also slow the growth of automated high frequency trading, which makes the stock market more dangerous," the press release stated. "A small tax would make risky HFT unprofitable, and help reduce the excess speculation on commodities like food and gas that drives up prices, which will protect the economy from computer-generated collapses and market manipulation."

Sanders, who is the only candidate so far to mount a formal primary challenge to Hillary Clinton, argues that making college tuition-free will help America compete in the global marketplace.

"We live in a highly competitive global economy and, if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated work force in the world," he said in a press release on Sunday. "That will not happen if, every year, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and if millions more leave school deeply in debt."
There you go. Problem solved. We’ll leave it to readers to judge what kind of reception that plan is likely to get from GOP lawmakers, but we will venture to propose an alternative: make market rigging algos fund the education of the nation’s best and brightest by taxing all canceled orders. Then again, that plan would only generate revenue for one day because it would put the HFT crowd out of business overnight.

May 19, 2015 03:53 PM

Below is a statement from Eugene Water& Electric Board General Manager Roger Gray today:
 
The University of Oregon Foundation announced on Tuesday, May 19, that it was ending negotiations with Eugene Water & Electric Board for purchase of EWEB’s vacant riverfront property.
 
We are disappointed with the Foundation’s decision, although we recognize this decision was made with great care.  However, we believe the property still holds enormous potential for the community to create a world-class, vibrant, mixed-use development.
 
In the past six months, we’ve made significant progress with a community-supported vision for redeveloping of the riverfront property, working through a number of challenges that will put us in a better position as we move forward from here.
 
We remain optimistic about the future of this property and how it can transform our downtown riverfront and create value for our customers and the greater community. We at EWEB appreciate the partnership with the City of Eugene and will continue to work with the city to honor the community’s vision for a river district.
 
We will need to consult with our elected commissioners on our next steps; there are numerous options to consider and we are committed to making sure momentum carries forward for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
 

May 13, 2015 02:33 PM

Rep. Peter DeFazio wrote a letter to the editor published May 9 that talked about problems with the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. In that letter he referenced a letter sent Congress last week from legal experts. Here is the text of that letter:

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, and Minority Leader Pelosi:

We write out of grave concern about a document we have not been able to see. Although it has not been made available publicly, we understand that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement currently being negotiated includes Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions. ISDS allows foreign investors—and only foreign investors—to avoid the courts and instead to argue to a special, private tribunal that they believe certain government actions diminish the value of their investments.

Courts are central institutions in the rule of law. Americans have much to be proud of in the evolution of our court system, which has evolved over the centuries and now provides equal access for all persons. Courts enable the public to observe the processes of development of law and to watch impartial and accountable decision-makers render judgments.

We write because of our concern that what we know about ISDS does not match what courts can provide. Those advocating using this alternative in lieu of our court system bear the burden of demonstrating why such an exit is necessary, and how the alternate system will safeguard the ideals enshrined in our courts. Thus far, the proponents of ISDS have failed to meet that burden. Therefore, before any ISDS provisions are included in the TPP or any future agreements, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), their content should be disclosed and their purposes vetted in public so that debate can be had about whether and if such provisions should be part of proposed treaties. Below, we detail the ways in which ISDS departs from the justice opportunities that U.S. courts provide.

Our legal system rests on the conviction that every individual, regardless of wealth or power, has an equal right to bring a case to court. To protect and uphold the rule of law, our ideals of fairness and justice must apply in all situations and equally to everyone. ISDS, in contrast, is a system built on differential access. ISDS provides a separate legal system available only to certain investors who are authorized to exit the American legal system. Only foreign investors may bring claims under ISDS provisions. This option is not offered to nations, domestic investors, or civil society groups alleging violations of treaty obligations. Under ISDS regimes, foreign investors alone are granted legal rights unavailable to others – freed from the rulings and procedures of domestic courts.

ISDS also risks undermining democratic norms because laws and regulations enacted by democratically-elected officials are put at risk in a process insulated from democratic input. Equal application of the law is another critically important hallmark of our legal system—one that is secured through the orderly development of law. Court decisions are subject to appeal, ensuring that conflicting lower court decisions are resolved by a higher authority. Judges also must follow legal precedent. The goal is uniform application of the law regardless of which judge or court hears a case. This law development allows people, entities, and nations alike to order their behavior according to well-established legal principles.

In contrast, ISDS does not build in the development of the law. An ISDS arbitral panel’s decision cannot be appealed to a court. The ISDS provisions of which we are aware provide only limited— private—review through a process called annulment that does not permit decisions to be set aside based even on a ―manifest error of law.‖1 Moreover, ISDS arbitrators, like other arbitrators, do not make law because their decisions have no precedential value, and ISDS arbitrators in turn are not obliged to follow precedent in reaching their own decisions.

None of the hallmarks of our court system would be possible without a fair and independent judiciary. Federal judges take an oath to uphold the Constitution and are nominated and confirmed by our democratically elected representatives. State judges likewise commit themselves to upholding the constitutional order. In contrast, ISDS arbitrators are not public servants but private arbitrators. In many cases, there is a revolving door between serving on ISDS arbitration panels and representing corporations bringing ISDS claims. Yet, although such a situation would seem to call for more—not less—oversight and accountability, ISDS arbitrators’ decisions are functionally unreviewable.

As noted at the outset, we have not been able to read the terms of the proposed ISDS chapters for the upcoming TPP and TTIP treaties. But what we know from the past gives us many grounds for concern. During the past few years, foreign investors have used ISDS to challenge a broad range of policies aimed at protecting the environment, improving public health and safety, and regulating industry. These challenges have been around the world, including under trade agreements to which the United States is a party. The publicly available information about these challenges raises serious questions as to whether the United States should be entering into more ISDS agreements with a broad array of nations.

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly’s pending ISDS proceedings against Canada provide an example of how corporations have used ISDS to challenge a nation’s laws outside the courtroom. After a Canadian court invalidated one of Lilly’s patents, the company initiated ISDS proceedings against Canada under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).2 In seeking $500 million (Canadian), Lilly has challenged as violative of NAFTA the standard the nation uses for granting patents.

Although ISDS tribunals are not empowered to order injunctive relief, the threat and expense of ISDS proceedings have forced nations to abandon important public policies. In the third ISDS proceeding brought under NAFTA, Ethyl Corporation brought an ISDS proceeding against Canada for $251 million for implementing a ban on a toxic gasoline additive. The proceeding took place not in a court, but before an arbitration panel of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). After the arbitration panel rejected Canada’s argument that Ethyl lacked standing to bring the challenge, Canada settled the suit for $13 million. Moreover, Canada lifted the ban on the toxic additive as part of the settlement.3

1 Impregilo S.P.A. v Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/17 (Annulment Proceeding), Jan. 24, 2014, at ¶ 132. http://www.italaw.com/sites/default/files/case-documents/italaw3044.pdf (―[T]here is a difference between a failure to apply the proper law and the misapplication of the applicable law, and that the latter does not constitute grounds for annulment, even if it is a ‘manifest error of law’ ...‖) (emphasis added).

2 Eli Lilly and Company v. The Government of Canada, Notice of Intent to Submit a Claim to Arbitration under NAFTA (Nov. 7, 2012). Available at:http://italaw.com/sites/default/files/case-documents/italaw1172.pdf.
3 Michelle Sforza & Mark Vallianatos, ―Ethyl Corporation v.s. Government of Canada: Now Investors Can Use NAFTA to Challenge Environmental Safeguards,‖available at http://www.citizen.org/trade/article_redirect.cfm?ID=6221.

It is particularly noteworthy that the three NAFTA countries are each in the top 11 most- challenged countries under the ISDS system. This high rate of challenge in our view has little to do with a rule of law deficit in the U.S. and Canada. Instead, it represents investors taking advantage of easy access to a special legal right available only to them in an alternate legal system.

ISDS weakens the rule of law by removing the procedural protections of the legal system and using a system of adjudication with limited accountability and review. It is antithetical to the fair, public, and effective legal system that all Americans expect and deserve.

Proponents of ISDS have failed to explain why our legal system is inadequate to the task. For the reasons cited above, we urge you to uphold the best ideals of our legal system and ensure ISDS is excluded from upcoming trade agreements.

Sincerely,

Judith Resnik
, Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Cruz Reynoso
, Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Davis School of Law Former Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court

Honorable H. Lee Sarokin, 
Former United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Joseph E. Stiglitz
, University Professor, Columbia University

Laurence H. Tribe
, Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard Law School

cc: Ambassador Froman and Chairs & Ranking Members of Finance & Ways & Means Committees

Please note: Organizational affiliation for all signatories is included for identification purposes only; individuals represent only themselves, not the institutions where they are teaching or other organizations in which they are active.

May 8, 2015 01:44 PM

Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

Words by Rick Levin • Photos by Todd Cooper

Tapping a set list that pulled heavily from their soon-to-be-released album Multi-Love, Unknown Mortal Orchestra infused WOW Hall on Thursday, May 7, with a bright, buzzy sound that threaded their trademark psychedelia through sonic realms of bass-heavy neo-Motown and ‘80s funk, all of it held together by the superb songwriting and furious guitar chops of frontman Ruban Nielson. Held deep in the groove by bassist Jake Portrait, drummer Riley Geare and newest member Quincy McCrary on keys, Nielson feathered his smooth croon into songs that, by turns, channeled the pop revivalism of Prince (“Multi-Love”), the plunky Hammond groove of Stevie Wonder (“Like Acid Rain”) and even the angular upbeats and tidal choruses of mid-career Talking Heads (“Necessary Evil”). The whole effect was a beaty, big and bouncy stew of smart, sophisticated music you can dance to, or dance music that is sophisticated and smart. Either way, UMO proved versatile and adaptive, unafraid of pinning a disco undercarriage to the raw, ethereal fuzz of their live sound. This is a talented band on the upswing, and they compel movement.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com
Unknown Mortal Orchestra • Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

May 7, 2015 10:03 AM

Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

After their set, we came down to the Weekly's studio and took a few polaroids.

Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com Prince Rama | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

May 7, 2015 09:47 AM

Big Gipp | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

Words by Bryan Kalbrosky • Photos by Todd Cooper

Big Gipp, most known for his work with Atlanta hip-hop collective Goodie Mob, is a godfather of the “Dirty South” rap tradition.

Folks in Eugene who knew he was coming to town were able to watch a living legend on stage at May 3 at WOW Hall. As a young rapper in Atlanta, OutKast featured Gipp on “Git Up, Git Out” on the duo’s debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik in 1994. Alongside Gipp as a frontman in Goodie Mob were Cee-Lo (also known as Gnarls Barkley with Danger Mouse) as well as Khujo and T-Mo.

Yet the crowd was small on Sunday night. The intermission DJ after the opening act made the show feel more like an empty frat party with an excessive light show than a gig headlined by a contemporary of Andre 3000 and Big Boi.

But two people entered the dance floor and each performed front flips, and so the night began. Gipp out rocking a black and red suit, white headband and arguably the whitest shoes I’ve ever seen. He was also wearing grillz, and quickly performed “Grillz” (his radio hit with Nelly about the shiny cosmetic dental apparatuses) to give the crowd some necessary energy early in the night.

Every time the chorus rang “Smile for me daddy” over the speakers, Gipp blessed the crowd with a sparkling smile. He also rapped about the various color grillz he owns, in a verse that included the stanza: “I got four different sets, it’s a fabulous thang … one white, one yellow, like Fabolous chain.”

All night, Gipp’s DJ Prophet scratched vinyls and kept the vibe danceable and fun. “I don’t care if it’s just two people,” said Gipp, a nod at the smaller crowd. “How many people love hip hop?”

At times, however, it was difficult to understand Gipp when he spoke through his grillz — which he kept in his mouth the entire show. But he was easy to hear when he was talking about how all of the “shit happening now, we talked about 20 years ago” before he played the Goodie Mob hit “Cell Therapy” from 1995. He also threw in “Listen up, Eugene, ’cause I’m talking to you” after the second chorus.

Of course, the politically minded Gipp also had his fair share to say about martial law and the current state of Baltimore. His theme focused on police brutality, curfew and marijuana legalization.

When he played “B.O.B.” by OutKast later, I counted a total of 30 people (including performers) in the entire venue. The low attendance was a shame, but Gipp handled the tiny crowd with grace.

During the show, Gipp also discussed giving away music for free, collaborations with Bruno Mars and how he can play venues in front of tens of thousands of people but enjoys “checking in” with the smaller crowds. After complaining about how Cee-Lo didn’t believe in the power of Goodie Mob anymore, Gipp urged the crowd to support emerging hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole.

It’s tough to perform a small show when you’re a rapper, because you can’t do a stripped down acoustic set like a rock ‘n’ roll band might. But when he was hanging around after the show, one fan told Gipp how important his show was to her and her boyfriend. She used to only listen to rock, but when her boyfriend showed her Goodie Mob, she said she became a bigger fan than he was.

The venue played him out to OutKast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious,” and the night ended without an encore. It was cool to see Gipp perform, though he might need a bigger crowd next time to convince him to come back.

Big Gipp | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

Big Gipp | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

Big Gipp | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

Big Gipp | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

Big Gipp | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

Big Gipp | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

Big Gipp | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

Big Gipp | Photo by Todd Cooper jasontoddcooper.com

May 6, 2015 11:51 AM

The Oregon Center for Public Policy this week takes a look at the state and federal mortage interest deduction, a tax break that benefits higher-income home owners. Should that money be better spent on education and social services in Oregon?

May 5, 2015 03:30 PM

A new resale clothing store is headed to Eugene: Plato's Closet. The store will share the former Blockbuster space at 1711 Willamette with Oregon Medical.

"We split it into two," Plato's Closet owner Ken Livingston says of the space. "I think it’s going to be a great location, near the college and South Eugene High. The local demographic there should be pretty good for it."

Plato's Closet, a resale franchise for "tweens" and twentysomethings, is headquartered in Minneapolis. Its parent company is the Winmark Corporation, who also owns Play It Again Sports and Music Go Round.

Livingston says the store is set to open "to buy" — i.e. for Plato's Closet to purchase clothes people bring in and build up inventory — June 8. 

"After we buy up enough inventory, we project to have our grand opening — buy and sell — in late July," Livingston says. He says that the store is hiring and will be conducting interviews this weekend.

The Plato's Closet Eugene Facebook page states:

"Folks in Eugene are known for their environmental awareness. In fact, Eugene is recognized as one of the greenest cities in America -- where recycling is a way of life. And very soon, Eugenians will not only be recycling bottles and cans.

Plato's Closet® is all about being fashion savvy and shopping smart. The unique retail recycling store specializes in gently used clothes for teens and twenty somethings — buying and selling the latest looks in clothing and accessories from the hottest brand name designers. Plato's Closet® Eugene will be opening soon at 18th and Willamette -- and here will be the place to recycle your style. Your store, your style, your Plato's Closet®!"

For more info, visit platoscloseteugene.com.

May 4, 2015 05:06 PM

Just heard a vigil will be held tomorrow (Tuesday) for Nepal earthquake victims. Here are the details as we know them:
• Location is the EMU Amphitheater on the UO campus from 7 to 8:30 pm (set up will be at 6 pm, take down from 8:30 to 9 pm).
• Speakers will include students and community members from Nepal, a Nepalese physician from Springfield who is leaving soon to assist with the medical relief effort, city of Eugene Sister City Committee members (Kathmandu and Eugene are sister cities), and possibly a UO student who was on Mount Everest when the earthquake hit (if she returns to Eugene in time).
• After the speakers are done, attendees will be invited to: a) light a candle, b) speak a word or two in condolence or share briefly, c) write a note or sign the event banner, d) donate to a Kathmandurelief.org and details on benefiting relief organization will be provided.
• Find more information at:
http://calendar.uoregon.edu/event/nepal#.VUfPk_CmFJ0

May 1, 2015 08:51 AM

st paul and the broken bones web

I've been down in Mississippi the past couple weeks and couldn't help myself from doing a little "work" while I was there.

stpaulbb-6745 stpaulbb-6785 stpaulbb-6981 stpaulbb-6847 stpaulbb-6775 stpaulbb-6957 stpaulbb-6953 stpaulbb-6983 stpaulbb-6896 stpaulbb-7000 stpaulbb-7019 stpaulbb-7026  stpaulbb-7046 stpaulbb-6979 stpaulbb-6815 stpaulbb-6940 jjgreymofro-7096 jjgreymofro-7174 jjgreymofro-7108 jjgreymofro-7127 jjgreymofro-7168 jjgreymofro-7115 jjgreymofro-7183 jjgreymofro-7068 jjgreymofro-7139 jjgreymofro-7242

May 1, 2015 03:19 PM

More horses affected, one with the "'neurotropic' form of the virus that is far more likely to cause serious, sometimes permanent neurological damage," according to OSU. See the update at the end of this post.

•••••

According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University's Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital, a horse in Marion County has been diagnosed with the neurologic form of EHV-1, equine herpes virus, "a naturally occurring virus that can cause serious illness in horses when activated."

Thus far there is no indication the virus has spread. Horses from the same property as the sick horse traveled to an event at the Oregon Horse Center in Eugene and OSU recommends horses that attended the event have their temperatures monitored. According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture press release:

One Marion county horse has been hospitalized after testing positive for the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1). The horse, which has been treated at Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s Large Animal Hospital, began showing acute neurologic signs on April 28 and was immediately referred to OSU. The positive EHV-1 diagnosis was made April 29. All horses at the Marion County property have been quarantined.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture reports there is no indication at this time that the virus has spread to other horses beyond those being quarantined. Preliminary epidemiological investigations are underway. In all, there are 20 horses at the Marion County stable. The stable owner and all horse owners have been very cooperative and supportive of the disease control actions taken.

The investigation shows that horses from the affected property have attended recent events held at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany on April 16-19, and the Oregon Horse Center in Eugene on April 25-26. While the risk to these horses appears to be low at this time, concerned horse owners are advised to contact their veterinarian.

The OSU vet hospital also issued a press release on the issue with facts on EHV-1. OSU says that this is not the mutated form of the virus but it can still have "serious consequences." OSU suggests checking out the American Association of Equine Practitioners for more information. 

No other horses that attended these events have shown clinical signs of EHV-1. Owners of horses that attended these events are encouraged to monitor their horses for any signs of respiratory or neurologic disease. EHV-1 is not transmissible to people.

“This is not the neurotropic or mutated form of the virus, which can really cause problems,” said John Schlipf, a large animal internal medicine specialist with the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “This form of EHV-1 can still have serious consequences.”

Schlipf said that clinical signs of the neurologic form of EHV-1 often begin with the hind limbs and include:

Uncoordinated, stumbling movements;

An unusual gait;

A weak tail tone;

Difficulty urinating, and dribbling of urine;

Nasal discharge, frequently accompanied by a fever.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture recommends horses that attended the Albany or Eugene events avoid contact with other horses and have their temperatures monitored twice daily. Temperatures over 101.5 degrees may indicate illness.

Horses with signs listed above should be isolated from other animals, and owners should contact their veterinarians immediately. EHV-1 can also affect alpacas and llamas, Schlipf said.

EHV-1 can cause abortions in animals, thus pregnant mares should not co-mingle with horses returning from those shows.

“Horse owners should be aware that although EHV-1 is not transmissible to humans, people can spread the virus on their hands and clothing if in contact with an infected horse,” Schlipf said.

Update from the Oregon Department of Agriculture:

Equine Herpes Virus now detected in four Oregon horses

Four Oregon horses have now tested positive for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) with two of the horses showing neurological symptoms, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. It was confirmed last week that a Marion County horse had tested positive for EHV-1 and had developed neurological symptoms. The second horse that developed neurological symptoms resided at a stable in Polk County with about 40 other horses and was taken to the Large Animal Hospital at Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine over the weekend. The Polk County stable has been placed under quarantine and the remaining horses are being monitored by the stable manager and a veterinarian.

In addition to the Polk County stable, two Marion County farms remain under quarantine due to exposure to EHV-1. The infected horses and other horses exposed at the quarantined facilities attended an Oregon High School Equestrian Team (OHSET) meet at the Linn County Fairgrounds on April 16-19. ODA is currently investigating the potential of any additional exposures at this time. In addition, ODA is working to notify owners of horses that have been potentially exposed and has notified Oregon equine veterinarians.

EHV-1 is not transmissible to people. The virus is naturally occurring and widespread in the equine population. It is a common virus and may lie dormant for long periods of time and then re-activate during a period of stress, which can result in clinical disease. EHV-1 can cause respiratory disease, abortions in pregnant mares, neurologic disease, and in severe cases, death. The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact. The virus can also spread through contaminated equipment, clothing, and hands. Symptoms include fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise. While there is no cure, the symptoms of the disease may be treatable.

As a reminder, State Veterinarian Dr. Brad LeaMaster advises horse owners to practice strict biosecurity measures and hygiene if they travel to shows and competitions with their animals. Concerned owners should contact their veterinarian if they have questions.

OSU has also weighed in on the latest cases:

More horses found with Equine Herpes Virus, including most serious form

05/05/2015 CORVALLIS, Ore. – Three more cases have been found in Oregon of horses infected with Equine Herpes Virus 1, or EHV-1, and one animal has the most serious “neurotropic” form of the virus that is far more likely to cause serious, sometimes permanent neurological damage.

An initial case of EHV-1 reported last week, and also being treated in isolation at OSU, only had the more common wild strain of the virus. That horse did show neurologic symptoms, although animals with that strain of EHV-1 more often have a disease that causes respiratory infection or abortion in pregnant mares.

Two more cases have been identified of horses with the wild strain, that are not showing signs of neurologic disease, and they are being treated at their home stables in Polk County. Both forms of EHV-1 are highly contagious to horses, but not transmissible to people.

However, a fourth case has been confirmed with the neurotropic form of EHV-1, veterinary experts say, which increases the seriousness of the current outbreak, and makes it increasingly important that horse owners in Oregon practice strong biosecurity management of their animals.

“About 80 percent of the horses who develop neurologic problems from EHV-1 have the neurotropic form of the virus,” said John Schlipf, a large animal internal medicine specialist with the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “It’s a significantly more serious concern. The disease can be fatal, or it can cause lasting neurologic damage that leaves the animal with a permanently reduced level of function.”

The most recent case was brought to OSU’s Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital from the Salem area. Both cases are being treated in isolation, and all OSU veterinary teaching hospital facilities are open for business as usual.

The initial case last week was in a horse housed in Marion County that had recently attended events at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany on April 16-19. Prior to the development of clinical signs in the initial case and institution of the quarantine, horses housed with the initial case had attended an event at the Oregon Horse Center in Eugene on April 25-26. The newest case was not at the Linn County event, Schlipf said, but had been in contact with other horses that attended.

Since there’s a 10-14 day incubation period for this virus, Schlipf said, it is possible that more horses will be found to be infected. Owners of horses that may be at risk are encouraged to monitor their animals closely for a fever and any signs of respiratory or neurologic disease.

More information about the virus and biosecurity recommendations is available online at http://bit.ly/1GNttiS

Early clinical signs of the neurologic form of EHV-1 often begin with the hind limbs and include: Uncoordinated, stumbling movements; An unusual gait; A weak tail tone; Difficulty urinating, and dribbling of urine; Nasal discharge, frequently accompanied by a fever.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture recommends that horses that attended the Albany or Eugene events avoid contact with other horses and have their temperatures monitored twice daily. Temperatures over 101.5 degrees may indicate illness.

Horses with these signs should be isolated from other animals, and owners should contact their veterinarians immediately. EHV-1 can also affect alpacas and llamas, Schlipf said. “We must reiterate the need for horse owners to practice biosecurity,”

Schlipf said. “People handling horses should wash their hands and clothing to reduce spread of a virus. Animals should not share tack, and horses that have traveled or mingled with other animals should be segregated. “All of these steps can help, and are especially important right now. It may be a while yet before we are out of the woods with this outbreak.”