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December 14, 2012 06:01 PM

The Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza was ordered closed Dec. 11 by Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson after  Occupy Eugene offshoot, Eugene SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep), which has been campaigning for safe places for the homeless to sleep, staged a protest there. Eugene SLEEPS is asking people to write letters in response to statements from Richardson  that indicate her belief the homeless protesters created a need for the plaza to be  "disinfected." In a recent press release, SLEEPS said: "Ms. Richardson grossly misled the public with her untrue allegations that SLEEPS campers had destroyed the lobby desk and bathrooms so that she could justify shutting down the plaza to protests."

SLEEPS is asking that Richardson apologize and the Free Speech Plaza reopened:

Ms. Richardson has stooped to a new low in perpetuating stereotypes and hate mongering toward the unhoused. Her allegations that SLEEPS damaged the lobby and bathrooms of the County Building and pooped in the planters are ridiculous and insulting and have been contradicted by county employees and SLEEPS date and time stamped photos.

These comments represent a phobic response to those who are unhoused, and the closure of the plaza has violated their (and everyone else in Lane County) constitutional right to gather and address their grievances at this landmark protest site.

Richardson made the statement about feces in planters to a gathering of protesters and news media on Dec. 13. The R-G reports "The plaza’s surface did not appear to have been fouled or littered during the demonstration earlier this week."

Eugene activist Alley Valkyrie was among those who returned to the plaza after the closure and elected to be arrested to assert her First Amendment rights. According to SLEEPS, Valkyrie has twice sucessfully challenged the city in free speech and rights issues related to the unhoused.  The group thanked Eugene police for their professionalism.

The emails from Richardson are below. For more information on Eugene SLEEPS go to http://eugenesleeps.org

 

Tuesday Dec. 11

Commissioners, I wanted to let you know what we are doing with the Free Speech Plaza and the campers who are present.EPD officers are sharing with the campers our Administrative rules, which prohibit camping or camping-like activities in the plaza, as well as the expectation that speech activities will not occur between 11pm and 6am.  They are informing the campers and others present that they are in violation of our rules regarding the use of that area.  The area has rules for usage so that all people are free to use the plaza, and to ensure the health and safety of all of our residents and guests.   We are hoping that by informing the campers of these rules, they will voluntarily comply with our requests to cease and desist from prohibited behavior.   We are in close contact with Eugene staff as well as our own staff, who have reported damage to the Volunteer booth downstairs, theft from and damage to our restrooms, and complaints from visitors to the courthouse and PSB that they do not feel safe.  The sanitary conditions of the restrooms are of great concern, as we do not have the staff to keep up with the mess that is being created.   I have begun the process of temporarily closing the plaza if health and safety concerns remain after these contacts and requests for voluntary compliance.  I will keep you updated.

 

Wednesday, Dec. 12

 

At this time, all campers are gone from the Plaza.  We have one individual sitting there with a sign saying he won’t eat until there is housing for the homeless, but otherwise the Plaza is empty.  We will be barricading off the lower area until we can get a cleanup crew in to clean and disinfect the area; most likely through the end of this week and possibly into the weekend.

Liane

December 11, 2012 03:03 PM

The Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza has long been home to, well, free speech. But the R-G is reporting that Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson has signed an order putting the kibosh on free speech at the plaza for now in response to a protest.

Eugene SLEEPS, an offshoot of Occupy Eugene, set up tents in the plaza Dec. 10 after the Eugene City Council did not move on modifying the city's camping ban. SLEEPS, which stands for Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep, has been advocating to have the camping ban lifted before winter weather sets in. In 2008 a homeless veteran, Major Thomas Egan, froze to death on the street in Eugene during a cold spell.

The Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza is on indefinite closure, the R-G reports and it says:

There are rules about using the plaza in regard to health and safety,” county spokeswoman Jennifer Inman said. “This is really about the issue of camping, rather than the free-speech aspect” of the protest.

Back in September the R-G reported that Richardson was advocating to ban smoking in the plaza, which in addition to being a frequent protest site, is also a popular weekend hangout during Saturday Market.

If Lane County starts calling for a ban on drum circles, then we'll know it really has it in for the Free Speech Plaza.

 

December 5, 2012 02:32 PM

Look at this coffee foam;

Look at this pretentious tome;

Now look at this garden gnome,

I'm fricken Michaelangleo.

December 4, 2012 07:38 PM

Looking for things to do this weekend?  After you ArtWalk come hear fellow EW staffer Alex Notman, a plethora of funny people and I tell naughty Christmas stories on Friday at Cozmic. Not only will we crack ourselves up, there will be wine, beer and food and it's a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.

Also on the roster are : Laurie Notaro, author of An Idiot Girl’s Christmas: True Tales from the Top of the Naughty List (check out her piece on Yelp that she wrote for some OTHER weekly); Mark Russell, author of God Is Disappointed in You; L. J. Sellers, author of provocative mysteries and thrillers (she has a couple that feature a Eugene cop with a urinary problem); Leigh Anne Jasheway, author and standup comic; Curt Hopkins, journalist and poet; and Trisha Marcy, standup comic.

On Saturday it's time for the Cascadia Wildlands’ 10th annual Wonderland Auction is from 6 to 10 pm Saturday, Dec. 8, at the EMU Ballroom at UO. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door and include dinner and drinks. More information at cascwild.org or call 434-1463. It's more than a bunch of treehuggers standing around and more like treehuggers in nice clothes drinking and making merry and buying cool local stuff. Music, beer from Ninkasi, food from Coconut Bliss and Ring of Fire and this event packs the EMU Ballroom at the UO each year.

It's not the weekend, but on Wednsday Dec. 12 head over to Beyond Toxics, which is hosting an open house in honor of the 50th anniversary of the publishing of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Two new video documentaries will be premiered: Malignant Mileageabout the pesticide poisoning in La Pine, Oregon; and Environmental Justice in Eugene: A Toxic Tour. The open house is from 5 to 8 pm  at 1192 Lawrence in Eugene. Refreshments will be provided. See beyondtoxics.org or call 465-8860 for more information. 

November 28, 2012 05:45 PM

Local car dealer Ridley's Rides is getting some attention from Ad Week and elsewhere  for its eBay listings that supposedly use the owner's daughter to sell cars, sexy-style. I notice that they don't use sexy pics for the station wagons. 

Local TV station KVAL jumped on the story and revealed that nope, it's not a daughter, merely a "longtime friend." This sort of begs the questions as to why he said it was his daughter in the first place, but I will just leave that to your speculation.

November 20, 2012 11:27 PM

Just because EW had early Tofurky Day deadlines does not mean you don't need to hear more about the Lane County Board of County Commissioners meeting today. They didn't just talk turkey and pilgrims, they talked animals and air.

Animals

Animal advocates having been coming to commission meetings and speaking up. As a result, the commission voted to retain the animal advisory committee, look into changes in its contract with Greenhill and to fill open positions on the committee. Looks like from this web update that the R-G will have a full story Nov. 21, so I will move on to air.

Air

Commish Jay Bozievich helpfully fowarded an email about a 1:30 pm Nov. 27 work session at Harris Hall on the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA).

Two of the topics which will be discussed at this work session are:

What would the community lose without LRAPA?

What costs would local governments incur without LRAPA?

Merlyn Hough, LRAPA executive director, wrote up a briefing report on the agency (see below). Some praise LRAPA for its air quality monitoring and programs for improving air quality, like the one that replaces wood stoves with cleaner-burning stoves. Other say LRAPA rubber-stamps industry permits, like the Seneca biomass-burning plant. Either way, if you care about LRAPA you should show up for the work session. Worked for the animal folks.

November 20, 2012 06:43 PM

God (and capitalism) is good; God (and capitalism) is great. Thank God (and capitalism )for the food we eat. 

It's the new conservative Thanksgiving grace. 

Ok I made that up.

Some people celebrate Thanksgiving as a family event, others as a day to mourn what's happened to America's indignous peoples, still more go for the Chinese food and movie option. And of course a whole sh*t ton of people see Thanksgving as the day before they go on a crazy shopping spree. But according to some sources, that shopping spree is probably the idea way to celebrate Turkey Day because that's what it's really about. Capitalism. 

Capitalism was the lesson of the day from Commissioner Jay Boziviech (West Lane) at the Lane County Board of Commissioners meeting On Nov. 20. During the Commissioners Remonstrance Boziviech took the opportunity to tell the "real" story of Thanksgiving, which in this version (which seems to be taken directly from Rush Limbaugh's book and the story he repeats each year on his show), basically: Thanksgiving is the celebration of a pilgrimic triumph over communism and a celebration of capitalism. 

Here's what he said:

I kind of want to remind people about the real story of Thanksgiving. There’s been a lot of myths around it: You know the Pilgrims and the Indians and the Indians taught the Pilgrims how to grow food and that’s what they were celebrating. That’s not the real story.

The Pilgrims, on the way across the ocean, developed a societal system that was basically a commune, long before Lenin was ever alive, they came to America, started this communal system of common property where everybody’s food that they grew was thrown in a common storehouse and taken out at will. And you know what? Over the first couple winters they starved because people had no incentive to produce and there was a lot of corruption and theft from the warehouse. So they finally decided to let people have ownership over a plot of land and keep the goods that they grew.

And you know what? That the following year they had a tremendous bounty they and held a celebration and that was the first Thanksgiving. Basically what you are celebrating in Thanksgiving is private property rights and being able to hang on to the fruits of your own labor. … Please remember why we celebrate it and that’s because it was about private property rights and capitalism. 

America: We kicked communism's ass before communism was even born.

You can watch it on video here. The turkey talk starts about 42 minutes in.

Google Pilgrim communists and you will get a lot of conservative and Tea Party website hits.The Christian Science Monitor did a nice historical look at Thanksiving that talks about how the Pilgrims' journals discussed the whole Pilgrims and Native Americans thing.

In a letter to a friend, dated December 1621, Edward Winslow wrote: "Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a more special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time, among other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some 90 men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others."

I figured the whole communism gets smashed thing had to come from somewhere. In fact, the Pilgrims came to the New (to white folks) World as a joint-stock venture, funded by London businessmen looking to make a profit. Joint-stock ventures were precursors to modern corporations. The Pilgrims did at first govern themselves under the Mayflower Compact, which called for a communal system. They did indeed switch to small individually owned plots of land. And the "communist" Mayflower Compact … was a founding document of the Constitution. The mind boggles. 

I'm not entirely sure what the take-away lesson is here, but I'm going to suggest you not honor capitalism by becoming a human sacrifice when some Walmart opens its doors at o'dark thirty on Black Friday. 

November 16, 2012 08:04 PM

The recent debate on EW's Facebook page  and blog about the Diablos poster led to a lot of conversations about race, fetishization and how we conceive of and portray Native Americans, African-Americans, race and whiteness. Diablos apologized for the poster, pulled it and went to dialogue with local indigenous people at the UO's Many Nations Longhouse, a pretty classy response to concerns from the community.

Here's what Diablos said in response to the FB comments:

There's been an unfortunate controversy over our "Spanksgiving Fetish Night" poster. In this case, we have to agree with our critics and take our lumps so to speak. The poster was in poor taste. 

While fetish events frequently offend someone, this is a case where the offense was not intentional and poorly considered. The posters and facebook event logo have been pulled and changed. We sincerely apologize for the offense.

By nature fetishes frequently involve objectification, within the fetish community it is mandatory that it be consensual objectification. In this case we made a big mistake and didn't consider consent of the community we were depicting. We try to be a completely inclusive bar. We host drag shows, fundraisers, bingo, fetish events, and we have a very diverse clientele. 

We failed this time. We are very sorry!

This video by the 1491s came up in some of the comments. Favorite part? "Clueless" shirtless hipster in headdress. 

November 15, 2012 05:49 PM

Word has gotten out that The Eugene Register-Guard is planning to move  music and entertainment (Ticket) reporter Serena Markstrom to a news beat. Admitedly the R-G and  EW have a friendly rivalry going on, and we cheerfully snark the daily whenever we can, but I don't know that we've ever snarked Serena* because, let's face it, she's good. 

Newspapers are facing draining resources and shrinking newsrooms. Local voices like Serena's are what keep papers like the R-G relevant. Not only does she win praise from her readers and local musicians for her coverage of the Eugene scene, she can work PajamaJeans into a New Year's Eve entertainment story. 

So, EW thinks there needs to be a letter writing campaign: Keep Serena Writing Entertainment (why yes, we DID make a Facebook page, doesn't every good cause need one? And we stole the photo from her Pinterest page.) Email works too. But remember, WRITE, it's not enough to grumble or to just "like" a page.

Is it weird the alt weekly would start a letter-writing campaign in support of the compeition? (After all, the idea is the R-G is better with Serena on entertainment would mean EW is, gasp, trying to help the daily.) Maybe, but our alternative voice is better if the mainstream voice is good. 

Like Serena's writing? Like the coverage she's given local musicians?  Write the R-G and tell the editors that they need to keep her on the entertainment beat and tell them why.

Write a letter to the editor and make your opinion known: rgletters@registerguard.com.

Oh hell, write EWa letter to the editor, too: Letters@eugeneweekly.com

Editor and publisher Tony Baker: tony.baker@registerguard.com

Team Editor for Oregon Life, Food, Arts, Entertainment and Health/Fitness Mark Baker: mark.baker@registerguard.com

And if all else fails, drop Bob Welch a note. He's a columnist that always seems to like a good cause: bob.welch@registerguard.com

 

* Yes, in journalism you do call people by their last names, but we know Serena and sometimes you have to break the AP style rules.

November 14, 2012 05:54 PM

The Elliott State Forest has been the focus of local campaigns to stop the logging of the last of Oregon's coastal rain forest. It would seem that when you mix good old fashioned lawsuits with some good old fashioned protests, you get somewhere. 

Citing Marbled Murrelet Lawsuit, Oregon Suspends Clearcutting on 914 Acres of Old-growth Forests on the Elliott State Forest

Conservation Organizations Applaud the State but Push for Lasting Protections

SALEM, Ore.- After a lawsuit by conservation groups, the State of Oregon has suspended logging of 914 acres of old-growth forest on the Elliott State Forest that is habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet. Previously, ten timber sales were suspended in response to the lawsuit filed in July by Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Audubon Society of Portland. The suit asserts that the state is harming the rare seabird by logging its nesting habitat in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

"The state of Oregon has been playing fast and loose with the law for years in the way it claims to 'protect' the imperiled marbled murrelet," said Francis Eatherington, conservation director of Cascadia Wildlands. "The decision to further defer hundreds of acres of clearcuts is one that we welcome and provides interim relief for the murrelet."

Plaintiffs discovered the logging deferral announcement in an Oregon Department of Forestry memo, dated Sept. 19, 2012, that was just recently posted to the Department's website. The memo suggests that the State will defer 15 additional timber sales until the lawsuit currently pending in U.S. District Court is resolved, and that the State will work to identify other logging projects that are free of the contested issues in the case. Plaintiffs have long advocated the state focus its timber operations on young plantation forests in need of restoration rather than older forests that are critical to the survival of a host of endangered species, including marbled murrelets.

"Logging on state forests cannot be done at the expense of the survival of the marbled murrelet or any other animals that depend on old forests for their survival," said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. "The last remaining old forests in Oregon are precious and need to be protected not just for the marbled murrelet, but for future generations."

The most recent status review of the murrelet by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found the birds have been declining by about four percent per year and that this decline relates to continued loss of habitat, primarily on state and private lands.

The State of Oregon recently abandoned its decade-long attempt to develop habitat conservation plans (HCPs) for the Elliott, as well as the Clatsop and Tillamook State Forests, that would have given it a federal permit for limited impacts to marbled murrelets in exchange for habitat protection measures designed to enhance the bird's conservation. Rather than improving habitat protections, the state walked away from the HCP process altogether and instead ramped up logging on all three forests. The lawsuit seeks to force the State to halt logging practices that are harmful to murrelets until it develops a plan that will protect murrelets and the mature forests on which the birds and other species depend.

"It is time for the State to return to the table and negotiate a balanced plan for each of the state forests that will provide adequate protection for the murrelet, allow for responsible and sustainable logging, and ensure that the State meets the requirements of the Endangered Species Act," said Bob Sallinger, conservation director for the Audubon Society of Portland.

The conservation organizations are represented by outside counsel Daniel Kruse of Eugene, Tanya Sanerib and Chris Winter of the Crag Law Center, Nick Cady of Cascadia Wildlands, Scott Jerger of Field Jerger LLP, and Susan Jane Brown of the Western Environmental Law Center.

November 14, 2012 06:24 PM

Update:

Diablos responded very quickly to the comments on its Facebook page and to EW's request for comment:

    Shame on us.... yes, agreed. It was in VERY poor taste. here's our general response on the issue ... While fetish events frequently offend someone, this is a case where the offence was not intentional and poorly considered. The posters and facebook event logo have been pulled and changed. We sincerely apologize for the offence.

   By nature fetishes frequently involve objectification, within the fetish community it is mandatory that it be consensual objectification. In this case we made a big mistake and didn't consider consent of the community we were depicting. We try to be a completely inclusive bar. We host drag shows, fundraisers, bingo, fetish events, and we have a very diverse clientele. We failed this time. We are very sorry!

Diablos is having a Fetish Ball Thanksgiving weekend, and its poster uses a woman in an "Indian headdress" to advertise the event.

For many Native peoples and others, Thanksgiving marks the genocide of Native tribes and colonization of Native lands and wearing or depicting someone in an "Indian headdress" feeds into racist stereotypes. 

According to Will Doolittle who has begun calling attention to the poster on Facebook, "Diablos Bar, in Eugene Oregon, perpetuates racist stereotypes in advertising their 'Spanksgiving Fetish Night.' Their phone number is 541-343-2346. Their facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/diablosdtl I told the person answering the phone that they'd probably be receiving more calls about this insulting poster. She said she is sorry if people are offended but they can't do anything about it."

The response to the poster had only just begun as this blog went up, so Diablos has not yet had chance to respond to the Facebook comments. 

Word is that tomorrow, after culture night at the UO Many Nations longhouse (17th and Columbia), people will go as a group to approach Diablos about the issue.

November 13, 2012 08:00 PM

Washington made pot legal thanks to the passing of I-502 in the recent election, and now the cops have to deal with it, and Washingtonians have to deal with the cops. Luckily Seattle PD has made a handy FAQ called  Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattlle to help.

The advice includes: 

Can I smoke pot outside my home? Like at a park, magic show, or the Bite of Seattle?

Much like having an open container of alcohol in public, doing so could result in a civil infraction—like a ticket—but not arrest. You can certainly use marijuana in the privacy of your own home. Additionally, if smoking a cigarette isn’t allowed where you are (say, inside an apartment building or flammable chemical factory), smoking marijuana isn’t allowed there either.

Will police officers be able to smoke marijuana?

As of right now, no. This is still a very complicated issue

What happens if I get pulled over and I’m sober, but an officer or his K9 buddy smells the ounce of Super Skunk I’ve got in my trunk?

Under state law, officers have to develop probable cause to search a closed or locked container. Each case stands on its own, but the smell of pot alone will not be reason to search a vehicle. If officers have information that you’re trafficking, producing or delivering marijuana in violation of state law, they can get a warrant to search your vehicle.

SPD seized a bunch of my marijuana before I-502 passed. Can I have it back?

No.

For the full page including a video clip from Lord of the Rings of Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins smoking "the finest weed" go to the Seattle Police Department web page

November 8, 2012 04:43 PM

I'm not saying it's good. I'm just saying someone made a rap about GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

November 2, 2012 06:22 PM

This just in from the Congressman Peter DeFazio  election campaign:

REPUBLICAN SUPER PAC SPENDS $170,000 TO ATTACK DEFAZIO IN FINAL WEEK

Voters will not know who is funding the final attacks until after the election

(EUGENE, OR)- Republican Super PAC Inc. (RSPI) has spent nearly $170,000 in the final week in an attempt to attack Peter DeFazio and buy Art Robinson a seat in congress. In FEC reports dated 10/31 and 11/1, RSPI purchased an additional $93,000 of television time and spent nearly $75,000 on two mail pieces attacking DeFazio. 

“My so-called ‘fiscally conservative’ opponent Art Robinson has blown nearly $1 million on his book, thousands of message signs full of empty promises he cannot and has no intention of keeping, and radio and television ads that try to hide his ultra right-wing extreme ideals. But Art could drain his bank account because Republican Super PAC Inc (RSPI) bailed out his campaign on TV, radio, and in the mail. RSPI and its Wall Street funder don’t care that Art Robinson has no plan to get people back to work, or that his budget plan would drive us deeper into debt. They just want to buy votes for the guy who will bend to their will. People might not always agree with me, but they know where I stand and that I have the backbone to stand up to these special interests,” said DeFazio. 

RSPI’s current television ad and a recent mailer sent to thousands of households falsely claims that DeFazio voted against a balanced budget amendment in 2011. DeFazio led the Democratic support for the only balanced budget amendment voted on in the House of Representatives in the current Congress. Politico highlighted DeFazio’s support of the BBA in November 2011 writing, “Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio is urging his colleagues to buck Democratic leadership and vote in favor of the balanced budget amendment that’s headed for a vote in the House at the end of this week.” (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68413.html#ixzz2B6j4NSvB)

RSPI claims that DeFazio voted against a balanced budget amendment in 2011 and cited HR 2560, legislation that was not a balanced budget amendment. In a non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, CRS found that “the bill itself was not a balanced budget amendment” (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41907.pdf page 23). 

RSPI will not file a FEC report disclosing its recent donors until after the election, keeping voters in the dark about who is funding the attacks against DeFazio in the closing days of the election. 

DeFazio’s campaign has also recently received calls from voters contacted in a push poll paid for by Republican Super PAC Inc., claiming DeFazio intends to raise taxes and increase spending.  The push poll phone number (541-823-5019) doesn’t connect to a business or individual.

The DeFazio campaign's billboards aren't the only way that non-Robinsonians are looking to explain Robinson. For some weekend viewing fun, we're reposting a video one of our readers created: