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April 11, 2017 05:27 PM

On April 11, Rep. Peter DeFazion, ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rep. Rick Larsen of Washington, ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Aviation Rick Larsen sent a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Elaine Chao, requesting any findings from DOT’s review of the April 9 incident that occurred on United Airlines Flight 3411. A copy of the letter was sent to United CEO Oscar Munoz.

 

The Honorable Elaine L. Chao

Secretary

U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590

Dear Secretary Chao:

We write to express our serious concerns regarding an April 9, 2017, incident aboard United Airlines Flight 3411 from Chicago, Illinois, to Louisville, Kentucky. Countless news reports depict a passenger being forcibly removed from the United Airlines aircraft before departure allegedly due to the airline’s overbooking of the flight and need to accommodate its own airline staff. If news reports are accurate, the treatment of this passenger by United Airlines is not only outrageous, but is unacceptable.

Overbooking is too common of a practice among many commercial airlines like United Airlines. While overbooking is not illegal, we are deeply disturbed by the actions taken aboard Flight 3411 to deal with the situation. As you know, Federal regulations require airlines to take certain steps if they bump passengers involuntarily. Beyond these baseline requirements, however, we believe United Airlines had a number of options to rectify its own scheduling error, while treating its customers with the respect they deserve. For example, United Airlines could have offered increased monetary incentives to encourage other passengers to give up their seats voluntarily or even chartered a plane for United Airlines staff if it was that critical for them to reach Louisville.

We understand the Department of Transportation (DOT) is looking into the incident, and would like to know what DOT finds, including whether Federal law or regulations were violated during the April 9 incident aboard Flight 3411, as well as whether United Airlines’ contract of carriage or overbooking policy meets all applicable Federal standards.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

  Sincerely,

PETER DeFAZIO                                                                  RICK LARSEN

Ranking Member                                                                    Ranking Member

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure                   Subcommittee on Aviation

 

 

 

 

April 6, 2017 02:47 PM

Nothing says "public lands" like coal, right?

The Bureau of Land Management featured a lovely photo of hikers from sometime in November through at least April 2, according to a seach on the Wayback Machine. 

But nothing says American values the outdoors and public lands like a shot of a coal seam at the Peabody North Antelope Rochelle Mine in Wyoming. With the photo itself supplied by Peabody. The mine is the "world's largest coal mine in the world by reserve," according to MiningTechnology.com

Is the BLM under Ryan Zinke celebrating Peabody Energy emerging from bankruptcy?  Or did the public lands agency suddenly get super-down with the "joys of climate change? See more over at the Huffington Post

For some reason this gives me flashbacks to the "Clean Coal Carolers" campaign.

 

March 21, 2017 09:55 AM

Longtime County Commissioner Faye Stewart announced he is stepping down from the Lane County Board of Commissioners. He will be taking a position in the Cottage Grove, according to a press release sent out March 21.

The release says:

Commissioner Faye Stewart announced today that he is stepping down from his elected office in order to take a position with the City of Cottage Grove as the director of Public Works and Development.

“This is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Stewart. “Cottage Grove has been home to my family for generations and the success of its community is incredibly important to me. I am grateful to be able to continue serving this community in a new role.”

Stewart  has been a conservative vote on the conservative learning board since 2004. He will leave in April and the release says that Stewart’s current term ends in 2019. The Board of Commissioners will discuss the application process and timeline for appointing someone to complete Stewart’s term during the April 4 meeting.

Stewart's challenger in the last election, Kevin Matthews, had already announced plans to run for Stewart's seat in the 2019 election.

Matthews tells EW via email:

I wish Faye well in his new position. Given the nine-votes-out-of-15,000 ballots scare we gave them the last time around, I imagine the old-school majority of the Lane County Board will be looking to appoint someone they think will run well against me in the upcoming May, 2018 election.

Whoever they choose to stand for the Republican side, I'll keep fighting with the people for our local communities, including jobs and education, to restore integrity to Lane County government, including transparency, accountability, and public safety, and to build real prosperity from the ground upward, including protection of our clean water & old growth forest.

 
March 15, 2017 05:27 PM

The city of Eugene announced in a press release today (see below) that City Councilor George Poling has resigned from his Ward 4 seat and suggested former Ward 6 City Councilor Jennifer Solomon be appointed in his place.

City Councilor George Poling Announces His Resignation After More Than 14 Years of Service

At today’s City Council meeting, Councilor George Poling, Ward 4, announced his resignation effective April 10, 2017. Councilor Poling was elected four times to four-year terms. He took office in 2003 was in his fifteenth year of service. Prior to being a City Councilor, Poling was a law enforcement officer for approximately 30 years.

Councilor Poling made the announcement at the beginning of today’s meeting, stating that “after 45 years of public service, it’s time to fully enjoy my retirement. At my age now, I want to take advantage of that while I still have reasonably good health.”

Poling said it has been a pleasure working with his “fellow councilors, past and present, and Eugene’s dedicated and professional staff. I’m very proud of the staff we have.” He continued, “To my constituents of Ward 4, I want to express my thanks and sincere appreciation for the privilege you have afforded me to represent you for these many years. You are the best.” He also thanked his wife, Glenda, and family for their support.

Other City Councilors at the meeting as well as Mayor Vinis each offered their appreciation and admiration for Poling’s contributions to the council and his example. Several noted that when they began, they looked to Councilor Poling as a model of how to behave as a member of the City Council. Councilor Mike Clark said, “I hope that the people of our community truly understand the amount that you’ve given over many more than 15 years to serve our community and to serve the public. What an honor it’s been to serve with you and we’re going to miss you at this table, but you’ve earned the opportunity to rest a bit.”

Poling’s term runs until January of 2019. The City Charter states that within 90 days of the resignation, Council will appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term. The process for filling a vacancy on the City Council may include publicizing the opportunity, taking applications, conducting interviews and then making an appointment.

As has been done when there were previous vacancies, Councilor Poling made a recommendation regarding someone he thinks would be good to fill the position. Poling recommended former City Councilor Jennifer Solomon, who served two terms as councilor for Ward 6 from 2003 – 2011.

March 13, 2017 03:38 PM

Irony noted please: Downtown Eugene, Inc., of the DWN TWN EUG promotion fame, has a list of downtown businesses it's promoting on its website, including Voodoo Doughnut. Voodoo features a "Happy National Dog Day" doughnut against its customary hot pink background.

But thanks to the city's new downtown dog ban, you can't walk your dog downtown to Voodoo Doughnut, at least until November. 

The ban takes effect 30 days from the March 8 Eugene City Council meeting it was voted on.

March 7, 2017 07:29 PM

Eugene Weekly — an award-winning alternative newspaper in the beautiful Pacific Northwest — seeks a calendar editor with a writer’s sensibility to edit EW’s “What’s Happening” calendar. Our calendar fills in Lane County on the area’s vibrant arts, music, political, entertainment and everything-in-between scene. 

EW is looking for a person who can handle the doldrums of data entry and information management (the bulk of the job) but is hoping to move up to a career in feature writing and news or news reporting.

The calendar editor should be excited to highlight both highbrow and grassroots events in the community in short, fun blurbs each week in addition to the data entry.

The ideal candidate will be highly interested in news or arts reporting and current events, as well as be organized, detail-oriented, determined and versatile. Infinite amounts of patience, good office communication skills and the ability to deal with the public are key.

Copyediting abilities are a plus. Must not be married to the Oxford comma. The position starts as soon as it’s filled.

We’re a small feisty office with a fierce dedication to covering community issues with an alternative flare. 

This opportunity comes with a $15 an hour salary, excellent non-financial perks (mainly free food, kombucha and endless coffee).

The job is a full-time position with benefits, including health insurance. Send résumé, cover letter and three writing clips by March 13 to editor@eugeneweekly.com.EW is an equal opportunity employer. 

March 6, 2017 04:49 PM

The newly formed group: Intersectional People’s Network of Eugene/Springfield, Disrupt! Eugene and So Just Collective present "A Rally for International Women and Women Aligned Day" 6 pm, Wednesday, March 8, at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza to celebrate “International Women’s Day."

Full press release is below. More info at http://disrupteugene.com/

 

 

Eugene, Ore., March 4, 2017 - Intersectional People’s Network of Eugene/Springfield (a newly forming community organizing group), Disrupt! Eugene, and So Just Collective present A Rally for International Women and Women Aligned Day at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza this coming Wednesday, March 8th at 6:00 p.m., to celebrate “International Women’s Day,” as the groups take time to honor women and transfeminine people across all intersectionalities, as a community.

They will gather to celebrate and center the lives and experiences of women of color, transgender, queer, disabled, indigenous, and immigrant women, and nonbinary people who are woman aligned. The three groups support and recognize the intersectionality of "womanhood" and that many identify more with an adjective that precedes the word “woman.” This event will have an anti-racist framework to give voice to those who have been underrepresented or misrepresented.

Ashanti Gilbert, one of the event’s organizers, says, “As an African American woman living in Eugene, I felt there was a need for marginalized groups of women’s voices to be heard and celebrated from our own perspectives, whether immigrant, women of color, Muslim, disabled, or woman-aligned. Much of the organizing that happens here in Eugene usually is centered on the voices of white women. While I appreciate their efforts, many of us are not afforded the freedom to identify as just ‘woman.’ We are mostly identified by the adjective before woman, that is, Black woman, Muslim woman, disabled woman, et cetera. In conjunction with International Women's Day, we celebrate those intersections."

February 23, 2017 06:06 PM

Actual press release from the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association posted without comment.

OREGON DAIRY FARMERS CONVENTION FOCUSES ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF DAIRY WIVES

Oregon Dairy Farmers Association Convention Focus on Issues Including Dairy Wives who bring so much to their Dairy Farm Operations 

The Oregon Dairy Farmers Association hosted a two day convention at the Salem Convention Center on February 20-21

A panel of well-informed women spoke candidly about the joys and struggles of dairy farming during a convention workshop Monday afternoon.

Attendees heard four farm wives share their experiences of working in the dairy industry. It can be trying when frictions in the barns hit home, they said.

"It's super hard to see my son get yelled at by his dad," said Susan Pierson, a fourth-generation farmer. As both mother and wife, she is often a sounding board when things get overheated. "I have to do a lot of listening and not a lot of talking. But later I might say something to my husband like, 'You know, you were a little hard on him..."

"I feel like I'm in the middle a lot," said Julie Lourenzo, who shares the workload with her husband and other family members. When conflict arises, "I talk to both sides and try to work it out."

"I brought a husband into the job," said panel moderator Bobbi Frost, who is familiar with that uncomfortable space between the spouse you love and the parents who raised you. The audience responded to a frank discussion about whether the panelists encouraged their children to pursue farming.

Sarah Rocha, mother of four boys, said she chose to allow her children to find their path. "The more you push, the more they push back," she said.

Rocha runs the calf operation on a farm with 600-650 cows and 150 goats.

"I pushed my sons away from the dairy," said Pierson, an organic farmer for 12 years. But as it was with other panelists, some children decide to join the family business after a time. Of one son she said, "All of a sudden he came to us and said he wanted to come back."

In response to a question about when how to draw the line between work and family time, Lourenzo said she knows she has reached her limit when she begins to voice complaints. "If you are going to complain, it's a sign you are doing too much," she said.

A highlight of the breakout session was when moderator Frost, who brought along her 11-month-old daughter, Max, to the convention, said she "felt like Superman" on a day when she completed her work while toting an infant around the farm.

Then she provided the quote of the afternoon with an observation about childbirth.

"One day my husband said to me that getting hit in the nuts is worse than having a baby. " How so, she wondered?

"You want another baby, right?" he said. "But you don't hear me saying I want someone to hit me in the nuts again."

The Oregon Dairy Farmers Association is located in Salem. The Association has been proudly serving Oregon's Dairy farmers since 1892.

 

February 22, 2017 04:29 PM

In an update sent to Lane Community College faculty and staff today, LCC president Mary Spilde reminds that that a sanctuary policy was passed by the LCC board in February and says, "In the unlikely event that anyone from any federal agency shows up in a classroom or office they should be directed to the President's Office."

The portions of the president's message that relate to immigration are below.

Resolution on the Protection, Safety and Sanctuary of All Students

You may be aware that the board of education passed a resolution on the Protection, Safety and Sanctuary of All Students at the February meeting. The resolution is attached. We are now working on developing board policy that embeds some of the elements of the resolution. We plan to have first readings in March.

In the meantime, I'd like to provide some guidance. In the unlikely event that anyone from any federal agency shows up in a classroom or office they should be directed to the President's Office. Our staff is developing a protocol to review credentials and warrants or subpoenas.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently updated its FAQs on the "Sensitive Locations Policy." In the past colleges and universities were listed as places to avoid for enforcement activities. The update does not appear to change this practice. Please remember also that FERPA protects student information and representatives of the college are not to provide any information about our students’ schedules, attendance, grades, etc. to anyone not authorized to receive it. If something happens after hours, please send the individual(s) to Public Safety.

At this time this scenario is highly unlikely. DHS guidance released on Tuesday does not appear to target “Dreamers” or DACA students but, of course, their families will likely be impacted as these enforcement actions ramp up. In addition, we expect a new Executive Order regarding banning individuals from certain countries. As the situation evolves we will be monitoring things and re-grouping as events change.

February 22, 2017 03:39 PM

This Facebook Live video was posted by Angie Spencer from the Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. State officials ordered the protest camps to be cleared out today, Feb. 22, by 2 pm.

Spencer lists herself as a "PTSD Specialist. PhD Candidate. Human & Civil Rights Advocate. Oceti Oyate, All Nations."

News site Buzzfeed has been there covering the removal, as has The Atlantic.

Local DAPL water protector Janie Coverdell is still at Standing Rock. She posted to her Facebook page this morning that she was on her way back  to the Sacred Stone Camp,  and "There will be a blockade of sorts. Armed forces will not be allowing entry in a few days or so..not even food/firewood."

Coverdell is fundraising to cover the cost of her trip to Standing Rock. She gave up her job to join the protest, she writes on her GoFundMe page. To donate, go here

February 16, 2017 01:17 PM

"PyschoSuperMom" Lauren Mayer writes and performs an anti-Trump folk song — the Ballad of Donald vs. Nordstrom takes on the Donald's battle with department store Nordstrom over dropping his daughter Ivanka's line of clothing.

So heed the tale I'm telling while these chords strum

About when Donald Picked A Fight With Nordstrom

His insults and his lies just made their stock price rise

It's the ballad of Donald vs. Nordstrom.



 

 

February 10, 2017 07:29 PM

Environmental groups that have long fought to preserver the coastal old growth of the Elliott State Forest are celebrating today.

The public forest was recently threatened with privatization, but today Gov. Kate Brown released a plan to keep the forest public and in her statement addresses its value as habitat and as a carbon sink. 

Cascadia Wildlands, one of the earliest conservation groups to agitate to save the Elliott, released a statement in response, saying the group is:

… encouraged by the governor's leadership toward finding a lasting solution for the Elliott State Forest that maintains the forest in public ownership. There are still a number of details that need to be worked out and elaborated on, and we look forward to continuing to working toward a solution that safeguards all the public values of the forest, including protecting old growth and mature stands, wildlife habitat, clean air and water and recreation.

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters celebrated as well, sending out an email blast that says, "With almost nothing but bad news on the environment coming from Washington D.C., it’s phenomenal to see real leadership here in Oregon."

Brown's statement in full is below.

The Elliott State Forest was created in 1930, through consolidating tracts of Common School Fund forest land scattered across Oregon. Since the mid-1950s the Elliott has produced in excess of $400 million for Oregon schools. About 90 percent (82,500 acres) of the Elliott State Forest is owned by Oregon's Common School Fund – a trust fund for K-12 public education that is overseen by the State Land Board as trustees.

Since 2013, because of harvest limitations prompted by a lawsuit over federally protected species, owning the Elliott has cost the Common School Fund more than $4 million. We must change the way we own and manage the forest, ways that benefit Oregon's schools and children for the long term.

Oregon's public lands — our forests, parks, and beaches — are irreplaceable assets. Even in the face of complicated challenges, we must strive to protect the values Oregonians hold dear.

Today I propose my way forward for the Elliott, a plan I believe is in the best interest of future generations of Oregonians.

• The Elliott is Oregon's first State Forest, and has been a State Forest since 1930. Under my plan, the Elliott State Forest would remain in public ownership, with either the state or tribes owning the land.

• A bond proposal would be developed to include up to $100 million in state bonding capacity to protect high value habitat, including riparian areas, steep slopes, and old growth stands. The investment will go into the Common School Fund and decouple a portion of the forest from the Common School Fund trust lands.

• On the remainder of the forest, we will re-enter into negotiations with the Federal Services for a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) that will allow for sustainable timber harvest while protecting endangered and threatened species. We expect that harvest to average about 20 million board feet per year over the long term – the next 100 years of this state forest's history.

• We hope to work with the tribes to regain ownership of their ancestral lands while protecting the Common School Fund.

When the state adopted the protocol to sell the Elliott, there was no established value for the forest. Because we followed the protocol, we have an appraised value of $221 million.

We know the Elliott is worth far more to Oregon's children than $221 million. By investing in and protecting the highest quality habitat, areas where forest management is the most vulnerable to expensive and lengthy lawsuits, we are protecting marbled murrelets, owls, and coho salmon. At the same time, sustainable forestry management on the remainder of the land can generate continued financial returns for Oregon schools.

We also know Oregon forests are a carbon sink, holding an estimated 3 billion tons of carbon. Growing trees is something the Elliott does well, and in public ownership the forest will help the state meet our climate goals. That, too, benefits Oregon's school children, and all Oregonians for generations to come.

 

February 6, 2017 03:51 PM

We woke up today and it was cold, pouring rain and Donald Trump is still president and he and his cronies are still making shit up.

Luckily we have Randy Rainbow to help us sing our blues away.

For like 5 minutes.

And in case you are one of EW's many readers who doesn't have TV and stays off Facebook and somehow missed Saturday Night Live and Melissa McCarthy's take on Sean Spicer, let this be our gift to you. 

In some strange new, probably temporary, strategy, Trump did not take to Twitter Sunday morning to call SNL "Not Funny" and predict it's demise and Spicer told Fox News that McCarthy's spoof of him was "cute."

February 4, 2017 04:59 PM

Eugene Weekly is getting reports of local businesses, including Old Nick's Pub, being tagged with Nazi graffiti the night of Feb. 3.

Photo of graffiti at Old Nick's Pub by Emily Nyman.

A post on the Pacific Northwest Anti-Fascist Workers Collective Facebook page reads:

Please share:

The first picture is the boreal. The second two are old nicks. They were tagged last night by the local neo-nazi contingency. Nazis are coming after our show spaces. Not in the abstract, but they are making material threats against the two most visible punk/metal venues in Eugene Oregon. I'm asking all of you to push back on this disgusting nonsense. Please come out to every show. Even if you don't like the music. Just come out and support the venues. Hang out outside, have a drink (at old nicks) go back and forth between the two, but COME OUT AND SUPPORT THEM. The nazi contingency wants to intimidate them out of business, please stand by your community and make that impossible. Thanks.

The post also features photos of another swastika as well as the number 88, which is said to be numerical code for "Heil Hitler" as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. 

Update:

Eugene police spokesperson Melinda McLaughlin confirmed that cases of "criminal mischief (bias)" were investigated at 107 Van Buren Avenue (Jerry and Walt's Auto Care) and 211 Washington Street (Old Nick's). The police report says that officers investigated two cases of swastikas painted in the Whiteaker neighborhood. "There were no leads or suspect information."