Empire of the Sun
Empire of the Sun
The SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Place to to Sleep) protest is spreading both in physical space and on social media. The protest is centered at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza — or as Lane County is now calling it, the Wayne Morse Terrace. The county has called an emergency session on Sept. 4 to discuss an emergency closure of the plaza and developing an ordinance for an "actual free speech area."
Though the rules for the area have changed over time, county and court documents and press releases have long refered to the entire area as the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza or sometimes the Terrace/Plaza. Congressman Peter DeFazio, who was one of the county commissioners who orginally proposed the Wayne Morse Terrace and the free speech area, tells EW he's not sure changing the name changes the intent of the area.
The recent brouhaha over camping in the plaza, after a Eugene municipal judge ruled the county's closing down the plaza during a previous SLEEPS protest was unconstitutional, centered on the issues of feces as evidence of a health and safety issue. Valkyrie says the good thing about the focus on feces is that it has brought attention to the need for bathrooms downtown. The issue was futher inflamed when a photo of a person allegedly pooping near the SLEEPS protest began circulating after someone from Lane County sent it to right-wing am talk show the Wake Up Call.
Hedin Manus Brugh of SLEEPS says after he saw the pictures he searched every "nook and cranny" of the Free Speech Plaza for where the pooping might have occured, but couldn't find the site. He says SLEEPS keeps a list of its members and the photo being circulated is not someone from SLEEPS. Brugh, who was recently homeless himself, says it's not easy for many SLEEPS members who have often led hard and independent lives on the street, to sign a contract with the group but "at the end of the day we know [being organized] is going to work" and help the homeless have a place to sleep and to use the bathroom.
Homeless and free speech advocate Alley Valkyrie says she did find where the photo was taken — on the other side of the county building from the SLEEPS protest and showed the spot to an EW reporter. She questions why rather than just taking a photo someone didn't stop the person from dropping his or her pants. She also questions the lack of date and time stamp and source of the photo.
Valkyrie agrees with Brugh that the rump in the photo is not a bottom belonging to a SLEEPS protester. Moreover she says, on the night before the city found feces in the Park Blocks that led to the grassy areas being fenced off, she went and talked to the people sleeping there. Those campers were not affiliated with SLEEPS or even local she says. They told Valkyrie that they were in town for the Kaleidoscope Music Festival. "That's who pooped in your park," she says. . Photos have been circulating from the county that allegedly show human feces and a person pooping. You can see them here.
Valkyrie also points out that driving homeless campers out of the West Eugene Wetlands on the edge of town has driven more homeless to the city center.
She was taken aback over recent statements on Facebook by Commissioner Jay Bozievich that not only accused Valkyrie of being "liar" but also accused her of saying SLEEPS was purposely pooping in planters. Bozievich has recently increased his posts and visibility on his "West Eugene Commissioner Jay Bozievich" Facebook page. A recent survey by Lindholm Company says "Commissioner Bozievich, based on these data, is in the weakest shape of the three county commissioners up for re-election next year. He has a three-to-one favorability ratio which is good, but he has less than 30 percent favorables. This analysis implies that people who know about Commissioner Bozievich like him, but not enough know who he is."
Bozievich writes on his page that previously was used during his election: " Alley, If you are not lying then Jon Ruis and Eugene staff lied to us in a meeting last Friday when they told us you admitted to them in a meeting that SLEEPS was using landscape areas as bathrooms in an attempt to have the City pressure the County to open the Public Service Building bathrooms 24-7 and then you went on TV and denied SLEEPS participants were involved and that it was all probably from dogs."
Valkyrie says she did not attend any such meeting, and that the city staff "would not say that something came from my mouth when it did not." Nor did she speak to the media about dog poop. Valkyrie provided EW an email statement from city attorney Glen Klein that says: "Jon was not at the meeting last Friday. Captain Durr, Kathryn Brotherton and I met with Alicia, the county's lawyer and staff. Jay was not at the meeting either. During the meeting, the issue of feces in the Park Blocks and surrounding area came up. Captain Durr mentioned that he had had a conversation with Alley. Alley said that as far as she knew, no SLEEPS folks were using the park blocks as a restroom. She did add that if the City added public restrooms, then maybe no one would use the park blocks as a restroom. This was all that was said during the meeting on the topic. "
Valkyrie is contemplating a legal recourse on Bozievich's allegations.
Update: The thread in question has been removed from Bozievich's Facebook page. More of the conversation is below.
Update 2: EW asked Lane County's public information office for a response from Commissioner Bozievich on Friday afternoon before the holiday weekend. Bozievich responded on Sunday:
I recently posted some information in a comment on my Facebook page about Alley Valkyrie and S.L.E.E.P.S. I have since discovered the information was incorrect. I have contacted Ms. Valkyrie and personally apologized. I would like to extend that apology to the S.L.E.E.P.S. organization. I am sincerely sorry for placing inaccurate information about both parties on my page.
Bill Moyers asks if change within the system is still possible.
Eugene could use something like this downtown.
Update: The county has posted its materials related to Wednesday's special session. On first glance, it appears Lane County plans to distinguish between the "Wayne Morse Terrace" and a smaller "actual free speech area."
According to the agenda sent out for a 9 am Sept. 4 "special" meeting of the Lane County Board of Commissioners, the board will be discussing the ""Matter of an Emergency Closure of the Wayne Morse Terrace" with County Counsel Stephen Dingle and discussing "Matter of Amending Chapter 60 of the Lane Manual to Add Provisions for use of the Designated Free Speech Area" with Alex Cuyler, intergovernmental relations manager (the seemingly random capitalization of agenda items comes from the agenda itself).
The links to "view materials" on the agenda say ""Material for this item is currently being worked on by staff. This link will be updated with material as soon as possible. Please check back at a later time," so the direction that the County Commission staff intends to go with the the provisions for using the free speech area is currently unclear. Civil Liberties Defense Center attorney Lauren Regan had previously offered to help county staff with the language after she won a motion to dismiss charges against protesters in the plaza the last time the county closed it.
SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) moved its camp back to the Free Speech Plaza after a judge determined the plaza's closure had violated the protesters' constitutional rights. The core of the county's argument had centered on alleged feces found in planters.
Now someone from the county is circulating photos of poop and a person pooping. It is not clear when the photos were taken or by whom. Lane County Spokesperson Anne Marie Levis, when contacted about the photos, which were being discussed on the KPNW Wake Up Call radio show, said she didn't know how the show had gotten the photos from the county. KPNW cited "administrators" but Levis says that the acting administrator, Alicia Hayes, did not release the photos. In addition to the local Wake Up Call morning show, KPNW airs Lars Larson, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.
Levis says, "We want to talk about this issue in a respectful manner. We respect the rights of individuals for free speech."
The commissioners will be taking public comment at the special meeting at about 9 am, according to the agenda.
The photos are below and since they feature poop and and a naked butt pooping viewer discretion is advised. Scroll down if you wish to view them.
From time to time we get complaints about spelling errors in our personal ads. We know that some of you out there can't wait for EW to come out in print on Thursdays just so you can break out your red pens and correct typos (FYI, our style guide is a mixture of AP, Chicago and our own in-house style guide, so you AP Stylebook purists are out of luck).
We do our best to put EW out each week error free, however we make an exception when it comes to personal ads. Why? Well, we've said it before and we will say it again: If you are going to date someone you meet in a personal ad or have fetishy sex-type activities with said person, then far be it from us to hide the fact that "Mechanic for Fantasies" or "Hot Bi Slut" can't spell in our Wink and Kink ads, or even our I Saw Yous. For some of us bad spelling in a personal ad is a dealbreaker.
But sure, go ahead, keep cutting out the typos and mailing them to us.
"Crank It Like a Chainsaw" is probably not that out-of-context an anthem for Oregon State given the amount of tree-chopping, chainsaw-using forestry that comes out of the Corvallis institution. Twerking meets chainsaws — what could go wrong? I guess we will see if the Beavs will crank their chainsaws on their next trip to Autzen, or if they will be too stunned by the waterfalls, full-grown trees and glimpses of the new "Sweat Shop's" opulence nearby.
How did I miss the chainsaw song when it first came out anyway? (Probably because I'm not that up on crunk Christian rock). The lyrics are practically a Pacific Northwest anthem. Below is the full Family Force 5 video.
Lay in the cut with them elbows back
Engine smokin' just like this track
Shirt be soakin'
from all this sweat
Catch my breath, chainsaw
Now hear me roar
I'm an apex predator
From the sycamores,
let's get skeletor
Watch and learn, watch and learn
Get that thang crankin',
yeah, slash slash burn
Bows to the knees,
yeah, crank it like a chainsaw
Bows to the knees,
yeah, crank it like a chainsaw
Crank it, crank it, crank it back
Crank it, crank it, back back
Rick Dancer is pretty darn sure that having a safe place to sleep is not a human right. He doesn't want to be "insensitive" he says in the video, but as he writes in the comments of his Facebook page where he posted his "driving while videoing" musings, "I agree it would be nice if we all had a safe place to sleep but that's not a right, that is what we call a privilege."
He then continues in the sort of "I'm not a racist; I have black friends" vein with how he showers with homeless people in Springfield all the time: "I met them in the showers at Willamalane Pool. In Springfield Willamalane lets these guys shower for 50 cents and we all know them and talk with them."
You can also watch the video here on Dancer's Facebook page to get the full benefit of the comments and responses.
Hey, Rick Dancer, we have a challenge for you: Why don't you spend three days outside with nowhere to sleep? Downtown Eugene, downtown Springfield (you know, so you can shower), either one is good. Then let's check in and decide whether a safe place to sleep is a right or a priviledge.
Eileen Fonseca and Mark Hubble at the opening of Opportunity Village, talking about how this project can serve as a model for other communities.
Is it just me, or is the Eugene Celebration website not working right now? Don't worry gentle reader, EW's Celebration issue and guide comes out tomorrow. (Technically the web version comes out tonight, late, or very very early tomorrow morning for the EW web junkies who sit and hit refresh until it comes up and they can start reading the articles, or, alternatively, trolling the comments section).
Until we hit your screens and the streets, in our little red boxes, here's a Eugene Celebration video to tide you over.
Feral pig, "wild" turkey, bullfrog, dandelions and more will be served up this weekend, 7 pm Aug. 25, at the annual Invasive Species Cook-off in Philomath, Ore., just outside Corvallis, at Chintimini Farm. The event is put on by the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) and features top chefs and music by EW's Next Big Thing sem-finalists Edewaard.
Food catered by Matt Bennett of Sybaris Restaurant
Music by classical guitarist Gina Machovina and the band Edewaard to move to!
Willamette Valley wine and beer
A cook-off between local chefs using invasive ingredients
Live auction with great items, such as kayak trips, wild mushroom hunt and dinner, wine cellar, yoga and pilates, etc!
Games and more!
Kids play area
Mmmm: dandelion greens
According to Eradication by Mastication the Invasive Species Cook-off started in 2012 and "Top 'Cook-off' honors went to pulled nutria, popcorn sparrow and Cajun bullfrog legs."
The fundraising dinner not only benefits the Intitute for Applied Ecology, it's also outreach on the invasives issue: "Invasive species threaten our native species and habitats, costing the U.S. more than $138 billion every year. IAE is ready to take them on. We are bringing people to the table to spark conversation and advance action, one edible invader at a time."
For price, tickets and other details go to eradicationbymastication.org.
Oregon University System (OUS) workers represented by SEIU Local 503 will be voting on whether or not to strike Sept. 9, 10 and 11. The union, which represents classified employees at the University of Oregon and other schools, posted on its website on Aug. 19 that "management’s proposals still do not fit with our vision for the kind of university system Oregon needs." Classified employess include nurses, office specialists, analysts and more. As the UO's human resources page says, "Classified employees carry out work that supports the academic work of the university faculty and researchers, enriches the student learning experience, and enhances the beautiful campus environment."
SEIU writes of why it has declared an impasse and is calling for a strike authorization vote:
1. OUS shouldn’t be a poverty-wage employer. Management’s wage proposal leaves more than 1,200 classified workers eligible for food stamps.
2. OUS should honor the sacrifices of classified workers over the last four years, rather than insisting on cutting down the step system and offering miniscule raises. Instead of taking financial pressures out on classified employees and students.
3. OUS should recover lost income from the banks who helped crash our economy with misleading and fraudulent financial practices.
4. OUS should focus resources on classrooms and student and faculty services instead of high-salaried administration.
Declaring an impasse doesn't stop bargaining and mediation, it's a required step before a strike. The next bargaining session is Aug. 22 and 23 at Oregon Tech. SEIU says that more than 200 members, students, and faculty came out for a Solidarity Rally at UO.
To raise money for the Strike Hardship fund, a classified worker from Southern Oregon University Anne Wadley is raffling off an Oregon-themed quilt. Go here for more info and where to buy tickets.
It's not getting much press outside of Madison, Wisc., but the unions there are still protesting Governor Scott Walker. The daily Sing-Along at the Wisconsin Capitol has been generating arrests since July 24 — 300 have been arrested and given $200 tickets, and the Wisconsin State Journal says the number of protesters, who chant "We're still here," at 1 pm each day is growing.
Protests in Madison made headlines in 2011 when Walker announced plans to eliminate collective bargaining for most public workers. Unions haven't given up on changing how labor is being treated in that Midwestern state. Recent arrests include firefighters, Matt Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine, an elected city official, a 14-year-old girl and three members of the Raging Grannies.