• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

EW! A Blog.

November 30, 2016 03:24 PM

Four area state legislators will be holding a town hall next Wednesday evening at University of Oregon. Come meet the politicians you elected!

What: State Legislators Town Hall with Rep. Phil Barnhart, Rep. Paul Holvey, Sen. Lee Beyer and Sen. Floyd Prozanski 

When: 6:30 pm Dec. 7

Where: Crater Lake South Rm at UO’s Erb Memorial Union, 1228 University Street

November 23, 2016 04:03 PM

Janie Coverdell traveled from Eugene to Standing Rock in September to participate in the Sioux tribe's protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. She recently returned to Cannon Ball, North Dakota, and is sending Eugene Weekly updates from the frontlines.

Coverdell, who is posting video on YouTube of events as Tlingit Girl, was present Nov. 20 when police began to shoot water at protesters in the below-freezing temperatures, as well as rubber bullets and tear gas. One protester, 21-year-old Sophia Wilansky, was severly injured and might lose her arm.

The Associated Press reports that Wilansky's father, Wayne Wilansky says his daughter was inured by the police: "There's multiple witnesses and my daughter, who was completely conscious, said they threw a grenade right at her."

Coverdell was in the thick of the Sunday night protests. She tells EW, "Unarmed women fell to their knees telling police they loved them and were praying for their generations, too. A police officer walked up and used high-pressure pepper spray right in their faces while their hands were in the air."

Coverdell says, "I followed police and called them out every time they approached peaceful protectors and as I drew attention to them for harming unarmed people the police would actually back off."

Coverdell says she was tear-gassed and sprayed with something else as well, adding that her stomach and throat are still not better. You can find her GoFundMe raising money for the trip to the protest here. She will continue to send updates.

Illustration by Trask Bedortha

November 17, 2016 12:08 PM

Press release is below.

City Council Renews Commitment to Safe, Inclusive Community

Council Resolution Opposes Acts of Hate, Intolerance and Encourages Reporting  

Council Resolution

Following one of the most divisive general elections in our country's recent history, with news reports of incidents of hate and bias occurring in other cities, Eugene officials have heard from members of vulnerable communities who are frightened and concerned for their safety.

To make clear its continuing commitment to a safe, welcoming community, at its meeting tonight the Eugene City Council unanimously approved a resolution stating, in part:

·       The City Council is committed to making Eugene a welcoming, inclusive, and safe community for everyone.

·       The City Council is committed to standing together with the people of Eugene in opposing hate and bias activities and acts of intolerance committed against our neighbors.  

·       The City Council is committed to report incidents of hate and bias and will build upon partnerships with community organizations to track and respond to these incidents.

The full resolution is attached and also copied below:  

Hate and Bias Incident Reporting and Response

The City of Eugene actively implements its Hate and Bias Response Plan, including responding to and tracking incidents, providing support to victims of incidents and producing an annual Hate and Bias report.

Although staff have seen no noticeable increase in recent days in reports directly to the City’s Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement office or the Eugene Police Department, they have heard of local incidents from partner agencies.

The City of Eugene’s Office of Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement (HRNI) encourages community members experiencing discrimination, hate or bias to report these incidents. According to the Department of Justice only 25-42% of all hate and bias crimes are reported.

To report such crimes or incidents, people may call either the Office of Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement or the Eugene Police Department. HRNI provides community members an opportunity to report incidents and offers opportunities for support.

To file a report, community members may:

·       Stop by the HRNI office at 99 W. 10th Ave., Suite 116,

·       Call 541-682-5177, or

·       Online at http://www.eugene-or.gov/2476/Equity-and-Human-Rights-Contact-Form

If a person is experiencing immediate danger, they should call 911. People may also report incidents or crimes to the Police non-emergency line: 541-682-5111

 

 RESOLUTION NO. 5174

A RESOLUTION DECLARING THE CITY OF EUGENE’S COMMITMENT TO BEING A WELCOMING, INCLUSIVE, AND SAFE COMMUNITY FOR EVERYONE

        The City Council of the City of Eugene finds that:

A.      As the Mayor and City Council of the City of Eugene, we are united in our commitment to serve the people that we represent after the culmination of one of the most divisive general elections in our Country's history.

B.      In alignment with City Council’s goal of creating a safe and welcoming community, we are firm in our resolve to ensure that all people residing in, visiting and passing through the City of Eugene are safe.  We choose to be a leader in promoting human rights and social justice and equity, public safety and social well-being.

C.      The City of Eugene has a long standing history and commitment of supporting many communities who are experiencing hate, bias and discrimination and the City Council has adopted Ordinances and Resolutions that demonstrate this commitment, including:

1.      Human Rights Municipal Code provisions, EC 4.613 - 4.655 (adopted in 1971, with the most recent amendment adopted in 2014 which made it unlawful to discriminate based on gender (Ord. 20523))

2.      Resolution 5073 (adopted 2012) Support of a Statement of Principles for Immigrant Integration

3.      Resolution 5142 (adopted in 2015) A Resolution Declaring the Urgency of the Housing and Homelessness Crisis

4.      Resolution 5148 (adopted in 2016) A Resolution Declaring the Second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day

5.      Resolution 5150 (adopted in 2016) A Resolution Supporting the Oregon Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

6.      Resolution 5154 (adopted in 2016) A Resolution Declaring the City of Eugene’s Commitment in Protecting Refugees

D.      We believe in and are committed to continue our work to build a community that is welcoming, inclusive, just and safe for everyone.

E.      We welcome all people and recognize the rights of individuals to live their lives with dignity, free of discrimination and targeting because of their age, faith, race, national origin, immigration status, gender identity, ability, ethnicity, housing status, sexual orientation, economic status or other social status.

F.      We are committed to treating all people fairly, and to fully embracing the unique contributions of all Eugene residents regardless of age, faith, race, national origin, immigration status, gender identity, ability, ethnicity, housing status, sexual orientation, economic status or other social status.

G.      We strongly condemn bias, intimidation, harassment and other acts that are based on age, faith, race, national origin, immigration status, gender identity, ability, ethnicity, housing status, sexual orientation, economic status or other social status.

H.      We are committed to ensuring that all members of our community are free from acts that are rooted in fear, ignorance, prejudice, and hate.

NOW, THEREFORE,

        BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF EUGENE, a Municipal Corporation of the State of Oregon, as follows:

 Section 1.  The City Council is committed to making Eugene a welcoming, inclusive, and safe community for everyone.

Section 2.  The City Council is committed to standing together with the people of Eugene in opposing hate and bias activities and acts of intolerance committed against our neighbors.  

Section 3.  The City Council is committed to its mechanisms the community can use to report incidents of hate and bias and will build upon partnerships with community organizations and local agencies to track and respond to these incidents in the City of Eugene's annual Hate and Bias report and at the direction of the City of Eugene's Hate and Bias Response Plan.

Section 4.  This Resolution is effective immediately upon its passage by the City Council. 

        The foregoing Resolution adopted the 14th day of November, 2016.

 

November 11, 2016 09:55 AM

Following the Nov. 8 election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, universities, schools and other institutions are responding to the fears of hate and bigotry. Today, Oregon State University President Ed Ray sent out this missive:

Faculty, staff and students,

Many members of our university community are experiencing a range of significant, heartfelt emotions following Tuesday’s election.

Several faculty, staff and students have shared with me that they fear for their future and the futures of family members and friends, especially people from diverse backgrounds and identities. Other members of our community are expressing joy about political change. Each of these emotions is personal and powerful.

As members of our university community, we must care for each other and support one another despite the turmoil of the moment. If you are in need of assistance or would like to talk to someone about what you are experiencing, and are a Corvallis student, please visit the Student Affairs Student Resources website at http://experience.oregonstate.edu/resources. OSU-Cascades students should visit http://osucascades.edu/student-wellness. Employees needing assistance may utilize the OSU Employee Assistance Program by confidentially calling 1-800-433-2320 at any time or by calling the Human Resources Department at 541-737-3103.

I ask you to join me in looking ahead.

At this moment of national transition, we reaffirm that Oregon State’s mission of inclusive excellence in teaching, research, and outreach and engagement has not changed. OSU’s mission to promote economic, social, cultural and environmental progress for the people of Oregon, the nation and the world remains essential, and we will not realize our vision for the future unless we find common ground with those around us and unless we persist in this effort.

Since its founding, this country has overcome division and uncertainty by people coming together to address challenges, by respecting differences, and by demonstrating compassion and leadership.

This is the 56th presidential election in our nation’s history and every transition of leadership has occurred peacefully. The need for us to support each other, celebrate our diversity and promote the success of every member of our community and America remains unaltered. This is at the core of who we are and how we need to go forward.

On Wednesday, I saw impressive, moving and peaceful evidence of this America among us as dozens upon dozens of OSU students gathered in the Memorial Union quad throughout the day, and where approximately 400 students and community members marched through the evening on campus to call for an end to hate and to focus on our common humanity.

Let each of us help and serve one another. Let each of us help bring America together, while we count on and challenge all of our country’s leaders to do the same.

Going forward, I encourage you to stay engaged in our nation’s political process and lead your own lives in ways that reflect our common values as a community.

I am here to help, care and, with you, lead forward.

Edward J. Ray

November 10, 2016 12:03 AM

Zoie Gilpin was just leaving a meeting of the Black Student Union Nov. 9 on the University of Oregon campus when she came across three people painting themselves in blackface.

She says, "One person laughed and directed a comment at me saying, 'Sorry that my friends are racist,' followed by more laughing. I said, 'Do you think this is funny?'"

Gilpin who The Oregonian says is biracial tells EW that he replied, "Yes, I do [think it's funny]. I don't actually think that my friends are racist; we are doing this for fun." And she says he continued to laugh about it, so she began to record the video that she subsequently posted on Twitter and was shared by Malia Thomas in a public Facebook post. 

Gilpin says, "I'm infuriated. We were just discussing how we need to stick together as a black community" at the BSU meeting and "as soon as I leave, I run into this situation."

She adds, " It's not fair that we as a minority have to face this or any discrimination at all, let alone multiple times in a row. Blackface is just a thing now? And that's okay?"

She says the incident has been reportd to the campus police.

Update:

Below is the statement from the UO on the incident.

Dear Campus Community,
 
The University of Oregon has been made aware of an incident involving young people wearing blackface on campus this evening. The use of blackface is patently offensive and reinforces historically racist stereotypes. While there is no evidence that the individuals who wore blackface are part of the UO community, it has no place in our society or at the UO. 
 
We commend the members of the UO community who have expressed themselves through a series of peaceful demonstrations today that were respectful of other members of our community. In addition, the students who witnessed this incident, showed great maturity and judgment in their reaction to it.
 
The incident has been reported to Student Life and the UOPD, which has doubled their patrols on campus this evening. The UO is committed to fostering a campus culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. We continue to be focused on supporting our students and providing a welcoming, safe, and respectful environment.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. R. Kevin Marbury
Interim Vice President for Student Life
 

 

 
November 10, 2016 04:26 PM

What gives us hope and how do we resist the results we fear from a Trump presidency?

Send us your events, your ideas your activism. Resistance is not futile. As we wrote in slant this week:

We are in shock at the dawning of a Trump presidency and all that we stand to lose: Roe v. Wade, civil rights, immigration reform, media freedom, minority representation, climate change, the list goes on. The path to resistance becomes clear. Don’t circle the wagons; don’t snipe at the Bernie voters. It’s time to listen to the anger of those who elected Trump as well as to the thoughts and fears of those who are most hurt by the policies Trump has said he will put into place. We won’t give in to hate and despair. We will reassess and move forward to create the nation we want to be.

Jezebel has been compiling  "A List of Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support." And we'd love to hear from you of organizations locally who are in that fight.

Locally, here are some ideas for hope and activism.

Hope

• South Eugene High School students marching Nov. 9 to say hate and fear do not represent them. 

Youth activists winning in the battle to stop climate change Nov. 10.

Activism

• Protest Trump in Eugene! 5 pm Nov. 10, starts at Erb Memorial Union on the University of Oregon campus and goes to Kesey Square (aka Broadway Plaza, 10 E. Broadway) downtown. 

• Vigil for Hope and Respect starts at 5 pm Nov. 10 at Kesey Square 

• Protest Trump March Monday, Nov. 14, 5 pm, Island Park in Springfield. 

Do you have ideas? Events? Hope? Activism? Send them to editor@eugeneweekly.com. Or write a letter and send to letters@eugeneweekly.com.

November 10, 2016 04:40 PM

Our Children's Trust gives us a ray of hope after Donald Trump won the presidential election — and promptly appointed a climate denier to his Environmental Protection Agency transition team.

The federal government and fossil industry argued that the lawsuit put forth by 21 youth plaintiffs shouldn't go forward. But the youth won in court and the case will go forward.

The full press release is below.

Victory for America’s Youth – Constitutional Climate Lawsuit against U.S. to Proceed

Federal Judge Ann Aiken rejects U.S. government and fossil fuel industries motions to dismiss

Eugene, OR – Today, the federal court in Eugene, Oregon decided in favor of 21 youth plaintiffs in their “groundbreaking” constitutional climate lawsuit against President Obama, numerous federal agencies, and the fossil fuel industry. U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken completely rejected all arguments to dismiss raised by the federal government and fossil fuel industry, determining that the young plaintiffs’ constitutional and public trust claims could proceed. Now, the 21 plaintiffs, who range in age from 9-20, are preparing for trial in what is believed to be a turning point in United States constitutional history.

In determining the complaint to be valid, Judge Aiken’s ruling contained these passages:

“Federal courts too often have been cautious and overly deferential in the arena of environmental law, and the world has suffered for it.”

...

“Although the United States has made international commitments regarding climate change, granting the relief requested here would be fully consistent with those commitments. There is no contradiction between promising other nations the United States will reduce C02 emissions and a judicial order directing the United States to go beyond its international commitments to more aggressively reduce C02 emissions.”

...

“[The defendants and intervenors] are correct that plaintiffs likely could not obtain the relief they seek through citizen suits brought under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, or other environmental laws. But that argument misses the point. This action is of a different order than the typical environmental case. It alleges that defendants’ actions and inactions - whether or not they violate any specific statutory duty - have so profoundly damaged our home planet that they threaten plaintiffs’ fundamental constitutional rights to life and liberty.”

“My generation is rewriting history,” said Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a 16-year-old plaintiff and youth director of Earth Guardians. “We’re doing what so many people told us we were incapable of doing: holding our leaders accountable for their disastrous and dangerous actions. I and my co-plaintiffs are demanding justice for our generation and justice for all future generations. This is going to be the trial of our lifetimes.”

“This decision is one of the most significant in our Nation’s history,” said Julia Olson, counsel for the plaintiffs and executive director of Our Children’s Trust. “This court just gave the youth of this country the critical opportunity to protect their futures. In what will be the trial of the millennium, these young plaintiffs will prove that their federal government, in cooperation with the fossil fuel industry, has knowingly put them in grave danger, trading their futures for present convenience and gross profits for a few.”

“It’s clear Judge Aiken gets what’s at stake for us,” said 17-year-old plaintiff Victoria Barrett, from White Plains, New York. “Our planet and our generation don’t have time to waste. If we continue on our current path, my school in Manhattan will be underwater in 50 years. We are moving to trial and I’m looking forward to having the world see the incredible power my generation holds. We are going to put our nation on a science-based path toward climate stabilization.”

“Based on our Constitution, Judge Aiken correctly determined we have properly claimed the federal defendants are responsible for harm caused by climate change and these young plaintiffs may challenge the government’s wholly inadequate climate change policies in court,” said Plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel Philip Gregory, with Cotchett, Pitre, & McCarthy, LLP of Burlingame, CA. 

“This is a critical step toward solution of the climate problem, and none to soon as climate change is accelerating,” said Dr. James Hansen, guardian in the case for all future generations, and world-renowned climate scientist. “Now we must ask the Court to require the government to reduce fossil fuel emissions at a rate consistent with the science.”

The young plaintiffs sued the federal government for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, and their rights to vital public trust resources, by locking in a fossil-fuel based national energy system for more than five decades with full knowledge of the extreme dangers it posed.

This federal case is one of many related legal actions brought by youth in several states and countries, all supported by Our Children’s Trust, seeking science-based action by governments to stabilize the climate system.

Our Children's Trust is a nonprofit organization, elevating the voice of youth, those with most to lose, to secure the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate on behalf of present and future generations. We lead a coordinated global human rights and environmental justice campaign to implement enforceable science-based Climate Recovery Plans that will return atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to below 350 ppm by the year 2100. www.ourchildrenstrust.org/

Earth Guardians is a Colorado-based nonprofit organization with youth chapters on five continents, and multiple groups in the United States with thousands of members working together to protect the Earth, the water, the air, and the atmosphere, creating healthy sustainable communities globally. We inspire and empower young leaders, families, schools, organizations, cities, and government officials to make positive change locally, nationally, and globally to address the critical state of the Earth. www.earthguardians.org

Counsel for Plaintiffs include Philip L. Gregory, Esq. of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy of Burlingame, CA, Daniel M. Galpern, Esq. of Eugene, OR, and Julia Olson, Esq., also of Eugene, OR.

 

 

November 8, 2016 01:35 PM

In which the Germans remind us of our "greatness."

Lyrics are below the Horror Clown.

Lyrics by NEO MAGAZIN ROYALE mit Jan Böhmermann.

 I was born in post-Nazi Germany.
In 1981.
Ronald Reagan just got into office, man, there’s been a cold war going on.

Deutschland, my homeland, so divided! 
But you tore down wall and helped us reunite it, America, America!

You taught us democracy, freedom of speech, equality and liberty.
You gave us David Hasselhoff, one of the greatest actors and singers there’ll ever be.
You brought us the McRib, Windows ME, Type II-Diabetes and the great Bill Cosby, 
America, so inspiring, 
your soon-to-be foresightful foreign policy!

America, God shed His grace on thee.
And thy new triumphant maxim so full of modesty.

Chorus
Grab ‘em by the pussy!
You can do anything!
You are a star, go on and do it! 
Move on ‘em like a bitch!

Grab the whole world by the pussy! 
You can do anything!
Don’t even ask, go on and do it!
You don’t need to use some Tic Tacs!

Some many great American idols,
Dennis Rodman, Rudy Giuliani, and the great actor from Happy Days.
Almost as awesome as Fonzy.
America, we thank you for your recent contributions to political culture.
You definitely killed it bigly this time.
And that means something coming from a German!

Thank you for lowering the bar.
You taught us lately, everyone can make it, if one is just great enough – and a TV-Star.

Chorus
Grab ‘em by the pussy!
You can do anything!
You are a star, go on and do it! 
Move on ‘em like a bitch!

Grab the whole world by the pussy! 
You can do anything!
Don’t even ask, go on and do it!
You don’t need to use some Tic Tacs!

We love the new spirit of your nation! Let’s hand in hand walk into isolation!

Chorus
Grab ‘em by the pussy!
You can do anything!
You are a star, go on and do it! 
Move on ‘em like a bitch!

Grab the whole world by the pussy! 
You can do anything!
Don’t even ask, go on and do it!
You don’t need to use some Tic Tacs!

November 8, 2016 05:00 PM

As we anxiously watch election results come in (current go-tos are The New York Times and 538) what happens if no candidate were to get "a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed” per the 12th Amendment to the Constitution?

According to the Congressional Research Service, "With a total of 538 electors representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 270 electoral votes is the 'magic number,' the arithmetic majority necessary to win the presidency."

On Nov. 3, the CRS published "Contingent Election of the President and Vice President by Congress: Perspectives and Contemporary Analysis" by Thomas H. Neale, specialist in American National Government.

Neale writes that if no candidate won a majority of electoral votes:

The 12 th Amendment also provides that the House of Representatives would elect the President, and the Senate would elect the Vice President, in a procedure known as “contingent election.” Contingent election has been implemented twice in the nation’s history under the 12th Amendment: first, to elect the President in 1825, and second, the Vice President in 1837.

In a contingent election, the House would choose among the three candidates who received the most electoral votes. Each state, regardless of population, casts a single vote for President in a contingent election. Representatives of states with two or more Representatives would therefore need to conduct an internal poll within their state delegation to decide which candidate would receive the state’s single vote. A majority of state votes, 26 or more, is required to elect, and the House must vote “immediately” and “by ballot.” Additional precedents exist from 1825, but they would not be binding on the House in a contemporary election. In a contingent election, the Senate elects the Vice President, choosing one of the two candidates who received the most electoral votes. Each Senator casts a single vote, and the votes of a majority of the whole Senate, 51 or more, are necessary to elect. The District of Columbia, which is not a state, would not participate in a contingent election, despite the fact that it casts three electoral votes. 

Read the whole report here.

November 3, 2016 03:21 PM

A University of Oregon law professor, who has been identified by The Register-Guard as Nancy Shurtz, sent a note to her students apologizing for her Halloween costume in which she wore blackface in depicting the book Black Man in a White Coat.

I chose my costume based on a book that I read and liked—Black Man in a White Coat. I thought I would be able to teach with this costume as well (or at least tell an interesting story). When I asked my daughter who is at Brown Medical School the demographics of her medical school class, she said “they do not give those statistics out mom”, but later when she asked the administration, they said there was _not one black male _student in the class. She and others were outraged. She was able to get the administration to assign a portion of this book (the one where the black medical student was thought to be the janitor) out to students.

I am sorry if it did not come off well. I, of all people, would not want to offend.

Prof. Shurtz

October 31, 2016 02:46 PM

Former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury weighs in on Brad Avakian and Dennis Richardson in this year's race for his former position.

This year, 14 states around the country will have voting restrictions that make it more difficult for Americans to exercise their right to vote. Some sharply limit early voting, some make registration more difficult, and some have enacted strict photo ID requirements that disempower voters and erode participation in our democratic process.

At the same time, our state has moved in a better direction, rejecting voter suppression efforts and instead working to break down barriers to our democracy. Expanding voter participation has been a central goal of Oregon's system of elections for a generation.

It’s why I support Brad Avakian for secretary of state.

As the state’s chief elections officer, Brad will work for fair elections that give everyone a voice. He’ll build on our landmark motor voter law and work for greater transparency in campaigns. Significantly, he’ll fight to pass meaningful campaign finance limits that reduce the influence of corporate money in Oregon elections.

Dennis Richardson offers a different approach. And it seems in this campaign, he’s desperate to talk about anything but his record.

The truth is that time and again, Richardson has voted for more barriers to voting, more roadblocks to participation, and less transparency in our elections:  For three legislative sessions in a row — in 2005, 2007 and 2009 — Richardson led the charge for voter identification laws like the ones that have been ruled unconstitutional in recent court decisions. Don’t be fooled. These measures aren’t about “voter integrity”; they’re about disenfranchising poor and minority voters for partisan political advantage.

In striking down a similar North Carolina voter ID law, the court noted that this Republican-led effort suppressed African-American voter turnout “with almost surgical precision.”

Richardson has also stood against common-sense voter registration efforts that make it easier for Oregonians to have a say in our elections.

In 2013, Richardson opposed a measure to strengthen voter registration programs at universities and community colleges, HB 3175. Richardson voted against Oregon’s electronic voter registration system, a measure that passed 45-9. Richardson even voted against greater transparency for out-of-state political contributions, putting him in the extreme minority on a measure that passed 49-8.

Certainly, there’s plenty to be wary about when it comes to Dennis Richardson’s hardline views on marriage equality and reproductive rights. Richardson’s views on man-made climate change – which have more in common with Donald Trump than 97 percent of the world’s scientists — make him ill-suited for the State Land Board.

But voters who care about fair and open elections deserve to know the truth about Richardson’s record of right-wing extremism.

I trust Brad Avakian to protect and strengthen the integrity of our elections. I know that he’ll fight to get big money out of politics and work for a system that gives everyday Oregonians a voice in our democracy.

The next secretary of state can either build on Oregon’s approach or turn back the clock on the progress we've made.

Vote for Brad Avakian for secretary of state.

Bill Bradbury served as Secretary of State from 1999 to 2009.

October 31, 2016 01:47 PM

Below is a viewpoint written by Josh Proudfoot of the Good Company

The truth about Joshua Skov and Seneca

By Josh Proudfoot

I worked with my friend, Joshua Skov, for twelve years as co-founders and co-owners of Good Company, a sustainability research and consulting firm. In 2009, we evaluated the Seneca project on behalf of EWEB, one of the hundreds of projects our firm has done for public infrastructure agencies and food systems. 

Recently, Brian Weaver, in a guest viewpoint in Eugene Weekly (“Rezoning and the Ward 1 Election”) and others supporting Emily Semple have made false claims about our work and about Joshua Skov in the Eugene Council Ward 1 race. Let me set the record straight.

First, Good Company did not “recommend,” “greenwash” or “approve” the Seneca combined heat and power plant on behalf of EWEB. Instead, we were hired by EWEB staff to benchmark and characterize wind, solar, nuclear, gas, coal, and the Seneca project without recommendations so that the EWEB board could make their own choice. Further, we’re proud of our Triple Bottom Line analysis. I challenge anyone to find another utility in the entire United States that has compared the multiple economic, social and environmental aspects that carefully and benchmarked them before engaging a power purchase agreement. Kudos to EWEB for looking well beyond what is required of them. Read our report yourself: www.eweb.org/public/documents/seneca/goodCo.pdf.

Second, Good Company took a close look at the sources of local air pollution sources and scaled them in juxtaposition to the Seneca project and scaled potential pollution reduction projects. We also highlighted the importance of forest stewardship and that biomass combined heat and power from sawmill waste and forest slash is an extremely efficient energy source, with lower net carbon emissions than fossil fuels. Note that forest slash, by law, must be burned in the field, which contributes substantially more air pollution than a biomass facility. Read here for a more recent meta analysis of life cycle studies of all of power sources to see for yourself: nrel.gov/analysis/sustain_lca_results.html and dx.doi.org/10.5849/jof.14-009

So how does Skov’s work with Good Company and sustainability actually relate to the Ward 1 race?

First, Skov has dedicated his life to the pursuit of sustainability and social equity—in his personal life and in his professional life. It is not something he does in his spare time. It is what he does full time, and it is what he has done for his entire adult life. 

Second, Skov has systematically contributed to the public, while learning more about how the city works to prepare himself for leadership. He has contributed to many citizen committees on sustainability, land use, transportation, energy and wastewater. Isn’t it a good thing to have experience? I know if I was needing a surgeon, lawyer, plumber, electrician, sustainability consultant, or a city councilor, I would pick the one that has relevant experience.

I am proud to support Joshua Skov for Eugene City Council Ward 1.

Josh Proudfoot is the principal of Eugene-based consulting firm Good Company, which he co-founded with Joshua Skov in 2000.

October 27, 2016 04:29 PM

Press release on the Malheur Occupation is below.

WTF.

JURY DELIVERS VERDICTS IN OREGON STANDOFF TRIAL

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A federal jury today delivered its verdicts against seven defendants charged with conspiracy, possession of firearms on federal property, and theft during the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Jurors found Ammon Bundy, Shawna Cox, David Lee Fry, Jeff Wayne Banta, Kenneth Medenbach, and Neil Wampler not guilty on all counts. Jurors found Ryan Bundy not guilty on charges of conspiracy and possession of firearms, but were unable to reach a verdict on the charge of theft. 



Co-defendants Jason Blomgren, Brian Cavalier, Blaine Cooper, Eric Flores, Wesley Kjar, Corey Lequieu, Joseph O'Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne, Jon Ritzheimer, Geoffrey Stanek, and Travis Cox previously pled guilty. Co-defendants Dylan Anderson, Sandra Anderson, Sean Anderson, Duane Ehmer, Jason Patrick, Darryl Thorn, and Jake Ryan will stand trial beginning February 14, 2017. Charges against co-defendant Peter Santilli were previously dismissed. 



"While we had hoped for a different outcome, we respect the verdict of the jury and thank them for their dedicated service during this long and difficult trial," said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. "We strongly believe that this case needed to be brought before a Court, publicly tried, and decided by a jury. Despite the verdict reached, I want to personally thank all of the law enforcement personnel who worked tirelessly to bring about a peaceful resolution to the Malheur occupation. I also want to thank the residents of Burns, Hines, and Harney County and members of the Burns Paiute Tribe for their patience and resolve throughout this process." 



"For many weeks, hundreds of law enforcement officers -- federal, state, and local -- worked around-the-clock to resolve the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge peacefully. We believe now -- as we did then -- that protecting and defending this nation through rigorous obedience to the U.S. Constitution is our most important responsibility," said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. "Although we are extremely disappointed in the verdict, we respect the court and the role of the jury in the American judicial system." 



The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Geoffrey Barrow, Ethan Knight, and Craig Gabriel, Assistant United States Attorneys for the District of Oregon.