• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

EW! A Blog.

June 20, 2012 10:24 AM

This press release just in from the Eugene Police Department. Don't freak out when that Black Hawk helicopter flies overhead and lands on 22nd Avenue. It's all for the kids. You know, nothing says "promoting positive youth development" like a large military aircraft.

 

News Release

June 20, 2012

For further information, contact:

Paula Hunt, AIC Public Information Coordinator, at 541.682.5124, or

Jenna McCulley AIC, Public Information Director, at 541.682.5197

VISUAL/STORY OP: EPAL Campers have a special visitor today!

WHERE:  Eugene Police Activities League Camp (EPAL)

Arts and Technology Academy, 1650 W 22nd Avenue, Eugene

WHEN:   TODAY, June 20, 2012, at 12:00 p.m.

 

It's a bird...It's a plane...

NO, it's a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter!

Don't miss this very special and awesome 'drop in' visitor from the Oregon Army National Guard!  In addition to today's regularly scheduled activities, todays EPAL campers will have the exciting honor to have a closer look at this amazing Helicopter and those who operate it.

The special visitor is scheduled to touch down today at 12:00 noon in the field behind the Arts and Technology Academy, 1650 West 22nd Ave.

The Oregon Army National Guard crewmembers are some of the best pilots around. They assist with ongoing search and rescue efforts as well as firefighting. These highly skilled crewmembers respond to hundreds of emergencies flying from Mount Hood, to Mount Jefferson and the Sisters.  They can hoist a climber from Mount Rainier at 13,500 feet, pull a drowning kayaker form the Sandy River or snag a lost child dangling above the rocky Oregon Coast.  It has been said that when flying a Blackhawk mission to service the community can be very similar to police work, "...you never know what you are walking (flying) into."

You don't have to be a kid to love this visit.  Come have a closer look yourselves!

As a reminder, EPAL is an annual day camp for youths between the ages of 8 and 13, offering a variety of activities, from competitive sports to arts.  EPAL provides educational and social skill development programs that will help students develop and build leadership skills.  EPAL is part of the National Police Activities League program, a non-profit organizations dedicated to promoting positive youth development.  This year's Eugene Police Activities League Camp (EPAL) runs from June 18 - 22.

June 17, 2012 11:42 AM

A disturbing video of horses at a rodeo in Oregon being roped by the legs in a practice called horse tripping and one bucking horse breaking its leg has been posted on YouTube. The Big Loop Rodeo in Jordon Valley, Ore. took place in May. The events were posted by SHowing Animals Respect & Kindness (SHARK).

The rodeo was apparently sponsored by Les Schwab Tire Centers and Idaho Power Company.  Les Schwab's Facebook page is already full of criticism.

SHARK writes: "In this video we focus on the horses roped, slammed to the ground, and sometimes dragged by the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo's signature event, Big Loop horse roping."

The animal cruelty group says on its YouTube page that it has not received a response to its video and criticism by the Big Loop Rodeo.

Warning the video is graphic, especially in the first few minutes where the horse's broken leg is shown in slow motion, and again later when galloping horses are roped by the neck and legs and fall to the ground.

 

The rules for the Big Loop Event are posted here and say that

Stock must not be handled roughly at any time,
and ropers may be disqualified if in the opinion of the field judge
they have intentionally done so.
Any stock injury will result in immediate disqualification.

The Humane Society of the United States tried to ban the practice of horse tripping in the 2011 Oregon Legislature but the bill, Senate Bill 613, was killed in committee. At the time, bill opponent Dave Duquette of United Horsemen said:

"No rodeo event in Oregon condones, or conducts, horse tripping. Oregon has comprehensive laws in place to protect animals. This bill was totally unnecessary. It was nothing more than a first step by HSUS to ban all roping of all animals in our state," Dave Duquette, United Horsemen CEO and President, said.

"Horses are livestock, and if this bill had become law, it would have set the precedent for making it illegal to rope a cow. After all, they're both livestock - what's the difference between horses' legs and cows' legs?" he added.

However, the Big Loop Rodeo's signature event has long been the horse roping. Duquette is also known for his attempts to bring a horse slaughter plant back to Oregon.

June 16, 2012 11:28 AM

 Rolling Stone praises Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley in a blog post by writer Matt Taibbi. Taibbi writes about  J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s Senate testimony before the Senate banking committee and says he had an "inkling" it would be hard to watch but …

But I wasn’t prepared for just how bad it was. If not for Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, who was the only senator who understood the importance of taking the right tone with Dimon, the hearing would have been a total fiasco. Most of the rest of the senators not only supplicated before the blowdried banker like love-struck schoolgirls or hotel bellhops, they also almost all revealed themselves to be total ignoramuses with no grasp of the material they were supposed to be investigating.

Taibbi writes a scathing indictment of the meeting and the sentators "slavish" questioning of Dimon on derivative trading.

This was an opportunity to show Americans how a too-big-to-fail commercial bank like Chase – supported by vast amounts of public treasure, from Fed loans to bailouts to less obvious subsidies like GSE purchases of mortgages and implicit guarantees of bank debt – uses the crutch of government support to gamble recklessly in search of huge profits, with the public on the hook for any potential downside.

But he writes, instead, "Instead, they mostly cowered and cringed and sat mute with thumbs in their mouths, while Dimon evaded, patted himself on the back, and blew the whole derivative losses episode off as an irrelevant accident caused by moron subordinates."

 Jon Tester of Montana gets some credit for standing up for the farmers he represents, but mostly Taibbi's praise is reserved for Merkley who at one point when interrupted in his questioning by Dimon says, "Sir, this is not your hearing. You’re here to answer questions. And I only have five minutes."

For the full commentary, go to the Taibblog.

June 11, 2012 09:39 PM

Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind?

June 11, 2012 10:57 PM

First there were face-eating zombies. Now the plague.

Highlights from the press release below include "People should contact their health care provider if plague is suspected" and "Avoid sick or dead rodents, rabbits and squirrels, and their nests and burrows." No problem.

Probable Case of Human Plague in Crook County Resident


Crook County is reporting a probable case of human plague. The individual is being hospitalized. Contacts of this individual have been notified and are receiving preventive antibiotics. Plague cases are rare in Oregon. It is spread to humans or animals through a bite from an infected flea or by contact with an animal sick with the disease.

People can protect themselves, their family members and their pets by using flea treatments on your pets to prevent them from bringing fleas into your home.  Plague is serious but it is treatable with antibiotics if caught early. A domestic cat in Crook County tested positive for bubonic plague a year ago.

Only three human cases have been diagnosed in Oregon since 1995. According to Karen Yeargain, L.P.N., Communicable Disease Coordinator at the Crook County Health Department, the 1995 case was in a Deschutes County resident who was exposed to plague-infected fleas from household cats that hunted rodents in the fields. Two of three cats in that household also tested positive for plague exposure. In 2010, two human cases of plague were diagnosed in Lake County. Further investigation revealed that the family dog had also been exposed to plague. In 2011, an additional case with exposures in Lake County was diagnosed. There were no fatalities in humans or household animals in these cases. 

Symptoms of plague typically develop within one to four days after exposure and include fever, chills, headache, weakness and a bloody or watery cough due to infection. Three clinical syndromes have been described; bubonic (lymph node infection), septicemic (blood infection), and pneumonic (lung infection).   Bubonic plague is the most common form and is characterized by high temperatures, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes, most commonly in the neck and under the jaw. Infected lymph nodes may spontaneously abscess and drain. 

People should contact their health care provider if plague is suspected and a veterinarian if pets or other animals exhibit symptoms consistent with the plague.  Early treatment for pets and people with appropriate antibiotics is essential to curing plague infections. Untreated plague can be fatal for animals and people. Antibiotics to prevent or treat plague should be used only under the direction of a health care provider.

Plague can be passed from fleas feeding on infected wild mammals to pets such as cats and to their human owners. "To protect your pets, avoid allowing them access to areas with fleas or to other pets carrying fleas, and treat your pets for fleas to help prevent this disease," Yeargain said. "Call your local veterinarians for assistance in which products are safe for use in pets, because some treatments may be toxic to your pet."

Some additional steps to prevent flea bites are to wear insect repellant, tuck pant cuffs into socks when in areas heavily occupied by rodents, and avoid contact with wildlife including rodents. Pet owners are encouraged to keep cats indoors. Also, do not handle ill-appearing stray or wild animals.

Health authorities offer the following recommendations to prevent plague:

  • Avoid sick or dead rodents, rabbits and squirrels, and their nests and burrows.
  • Keep your pets from roaming and hunting.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about using an appropriate flea control product on your pets.
  • Clean up areas near the house where rodents could live, such as woodpiles, brush piles, junk and abandoned vehicles.
  • Sick pets should be examined promptly by a veterinarian.
  • See your doctor about any unexplained illness involving a sudden and severe fever.
  • Put hay, wood, and compost piles as far as possible from your home.
  • Don’t leave your pet’s food and water where mice can get to it.
  • Veterinarians and their staff are at higher risk and should take precautions when seeing suspect animal plague cases.

Source: Crook County, State Public Health Veterinarian

May 30, 2012 05:12 PM

If you haven't already heard about the face-eating zombie in Miami, then you're lucky. The details are gross. So I will balance out posting about that fascinating little tidbit with a little news item about UNICORNS. 

Over the weekend the Miami Herald reported that right outside its building a naked man was found eating another naked man's face. True story. They even got parts of it on security camera. 

That's right, the Miami Herald, not the Weekly World News, though rumors abound that this is the first sign of the zombie apocalypse.

I'm going to tell you right now, if you're squeamish, skip right down to the unicorns.

There's been a lot of speculation about just what caused Rudy Eugene to eat Ronald Poppo's face for 18 minutes — cocaine, LSD and bath salts are all options (the cops had a theory about these things "baking" you on the inside thus leading Eugene to get naked). Bath salts apparently don't make you smell good and relax in the tub (no, they make you eat people's faces off) rather they are some weird form of meth, or so says the National Institures of Health, which also warns:

… these products have been reported to trigger intense cravings not unlike those experienced by methamphetamine users … 

Right, intense cravings to eat someone's face. I'm going to skip ever trying bath salts as a pick-me-up and stick with caffeine.

Gory details: The Miami Herald reports (and again, I warned you):

"He had his face eaten down to his goatee. The forehead was just bone. No nose, no mouth," said Sgt. Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police. "In my opinion, he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said it was one of the bloodiest "and goriest scenes I've ever been to."

"It was not only grotesque, it was just very sad, the amount of blood. It was very sad to see what happened to this gentleman that had his face eaten," Ortiz said.

And of course one unlucky dude happened to be cycling by:

Larry Vega was riding his bicycle off the causeway, which connects downtown Miami with Miami Beach, when he saw the attack.

"The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, 'Get off!'" Vega told Miami television station WSVN (http://bit.ly/L6kwWt). "The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin."

Vega flagged down the Miami police officer, who can be seen exiting his car on the Herald video. Vega said the officer repeatedly ordered the attacker to get off. Eugene just picked his head up and growled at the officer before continuing to maul his victim, Vega said.

The officer shot Eugene, but he just kept chewing, Vega said. The officer fired again, killing Eugene.

Now for UNICORNS.

Ok, well, I lied. It's really politics. CNN is reporting that a group satirizing "birthers" (those folks who still insist Obama is a damn foreigner) has asked Arizona to prove Mitt Romney is not a unicorn. 

Without such proof, the group Left Action argues with tongue in cheek, Romney may indeed be a unicorn -- his dark mane hiding a horn -- and therefore ineligible to be on the presidential ballot in November.

The group called Left Action says it has 19,000 emails already. 

May 26, 2012 10:33 PM

Portland actor Isaac Lamb proposed to his girlfriend on Wednesday. The video's already gone viral.  It's worth a watch — cute but not in the way that makes you wince. It makes you giggle.

And as long as we're on the topic. It's about to be June and that IS wedding season after all … Head's up, some of these are corny (you know, cute, but corny). And I can't help but to wonder how the heck are these guys so organized? Number 2 is the best one.

May 21, 2012 02:43 PM

 

A news story about how organic foods might make people act like jerks is making the internet rounds this week, with gems like this:

 "I stopped at a market to get a fruit platter for a movie night with friends but I couldn't find one so I asked the produce guy," says the 40-year-old arts administrator from Seattle. "And he was like, 'If you want fruit platters, go to Safeway. We're organic.' I finally bought a small cake and some strawberries and then at the check stand, the guy was like 'You didn't bring your own bag? I need to charge you if you didn't bring your own bag.' It was like a 'Portlandia skit.' They were so snotty and arrogant."

As it turns out, new research has determined that a judgmental attitude may just go hand in hand with exposure to organic foods. In fact, a new study published this week in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, has found that organic food may just make people act a bit like jerks.

Also big in food news this week is "meat glue." Will it be the next pink slime?

Transglutaminase (TG or TGase), better known to chefs as “Meat Glue,” has the amazing ability to bond protein-containing foods together. Raw meats bound with TG are often strong enough to be handled as if they were whole uncut muscles. TG is safe, natural, and easy to use. In the kitchen, TG is primarily used to:

• Make uniform portions that cook evenly, look good, and reduce waste

• Bind meat mixtures like sausages without casings

• Make novel meat combinations like lamb and scallops

• Produce special effects like meat noodles, meat and vegetable pastas (using gelatin as a binder), etc. Additionally, TG can thicken egg yolks, strengthen dough mixtures, thicken dairy systems, and increase yield in tofu production, among other useful applications.

Umm, increase yield in TOFU production? Heads up hippies.

May 20, 2012 05:09 PM

Dogs Against Romeny is not going to let sleeping dogs lie when it comes to presidential hopeful Mitt Romeny and the time he stuck his Irish setter Seamus in a kennel and strapped it to the roof of his car.

Now they have a dog theme song. Warning the language is for mature audiences only. The dog curses in an Irish brogue.

May 13, 2012 01:39 PM

On April 2012 Copenhagen Phil (Sjællands Symfoniorkester) surprised the passengers in the Copenhagen Metro by playing Griegs Peer Gynt. The flash mob was created in collaboration with Radio Klassisk http://radioklassisk.dk/. All music was performed and recorded in the metro.

Here's to hoping the Eugene Symphony will flash mob the EmX.

May 10, 2012 03:24 PM

Lane County would like you to know that budget cuts means they will be releasing people from the Lane County Jail. (See the press release below). Budget cuts also mean that services to help kids, familes, the homeless, homeless pets and rural law enforcement to name a few things will also be cut.

DATE/TIME OF RELEASE:            May 10, 2012 3:00 PM

NATURE OF STORY:                       Capacity Based Releases

During the week of April 30 to May 7, 2012, a look at only sentenced offenders revealed that 13 offenders were released from the Lane County Adult Correctional Facility prior to serving their full sentences.  These 13 offenders were sentenced to a total of 344 days in jail and served an actual total of 56 days due to lack of jail capacity. 

 When the Lane County Jail gets full, which is more often than not, difficult decisions must be made about who to release from custody.  These decisions are made by a validated program called the Risk Assessment Tool that assigns a numerical value to each offender, both sentenced and those awaiting trial.  This score takes a plethora of data into account including the defendant/ offender’s current charges, past convictions, and rate of failure to appear in court.  The result is a Capacity Based Release, a CBR, or in plain terms, an inmate walking out the door before they appear in court or their sentence is up.

At the end of June, due to budgetary cutbacks, the Sheriff’s Office is scheduled to close 131 of their 351 jail beds, and 131 defendants and offenders will walk out the doors of the jail and into our communities.   They will have been “CBRd.”  Take away the 85 jail beds that the county has contracted out to other agencies and that leaves only 120 beds available for local offenders in a county that should have a jail with around 1200 beds.

While the jail has a history of opening and closing beds as money ebbs and flows, this will be the least amount of jail beds we have had to operate with for more than a decade, when we had approximately 29,000 fewer residents in Lane County. Back in 2008 when the jail closed 84 beds due to lack of funding, the average number of CBRs per day rocketed up to 12.5 per day. In 2009, when the beds were able to be reopened, that number fell back to an average of 8.8 CBRs per day.  In July of 2011, those 84 beds were once again closed, leaving the jail capacity where it is right now, at 351 beds.  But the jail can only fill 93% of those beds with inmates due to a Federal Consent Decree to prevent overcrowding, leaving the jail with only 326 beds for inmates. 

Capacity Based Release History:

FY 09/08         4579 CBRs     (Jail closed 84 beds)    FY 09/10         3216 CBRs     (84 beds reopened)

FY 10/11         2595 CBRs                                         FY 11/12**     3293 CBRs     (84 beds closed again)

**Numbers as of March 31, 2012 for FY 11/12.

At this rate, the projected total number of CBRs for FY 11/12 will be over 4,400.  With the closure of 131 beds in June, the number of CBRs is expected to increase drastically. 

On a side note, I can't help but to note that the county provides an acronym for "capacity based release," which is CBR. But it does not provide an acronym for Risk Assessment Tool. 

 In plain terms, "difficult decisions" about who to release early from jail. are being made by a computer program named RAT. 

May 7, 2012 06:21 PM

 

Million 1 Productions has put together an informative video on Republican challenger to Peter DeFazio Art Robinson, and son (aka the "Democratic" challenger) Matthew Robinson called "Art Robinson: Lunatic running for Congress in Oregon 2012."
 
Enjoy!
May 4, 2012 01:34 PM

Was the last-minute meeting Lane County held to vote on releasing allegations against Commissioner Rob Handy  on the morning of May 3 an open meeting? Handy has said the allegations themselves were timed not only to hurt him in the election, but also to detract from the recent revelation that his opponent Pat Farr was convicted of drunk driving. 

Though the handwritten note that stemmed the allegations was received by John Brown months ago on Feb. 21, he and attorney Alan Thayer waited until shortly before the May 15 election to release the information, Handy says. According to the R-G Thayer and Farr are good friends. The decision itself to release the information happened at rapid speed —  perhaps scheduled too quickly for anyone who didn't know to check email early that morning to attend?

The email received by the press giving notice of the "emergency meeting" was time-stamped 7:42 am May 3. The meeting was held at 9 am and consisted of the conservative majority of the board — Commissioners Sid Leikin, Jay Bozievich and Faye Stewart and County Administrator Liane Richardson. The vote was 3-0 to release the information. Neither Handy nor fellow progressive commissioner Pete Sorenson was there.

By 9:45 am, Richardson had already composed and sent out this email to county staff: 

May 3, 2012 05:07 PM

At a press conference today Commissioner Rob Handy addressed allegations that he says are timed to cause maximum damage to his re-election campaign. This is not the first time the liberal minority of the county commission has been targeted. See today's cover story on the Politics of Personal Destruction as well as last year's Shifty Politics.

The Board of Lane County Commissioners had an emergency meeting at 9 am this morning to discuss a public records request on the issue. 

The press release starts off: 

May 3, 2012

An emergency meeting of the Lane County Commission was held this morning, beginning at 9 am,  for the purpose of responding to a request for a public records release.  The request comes following the filing of a letter by Eugene Attorney Alan Thayer on behalf of Eugene resident and property [and] business owner, John H. Brown. 

Central to the request are allegations contained in the letter.  It is addressed to Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy and copied to the District Attorney, Secretary of State and the Oregon Government Ethics Commission. Commissioner Handy is alleged to have solicited contributions from certain individuals to help him pay off the money he agreed to reimburse the County for the Dumdi v. Handy case. 

The letter was received late yesterday, Wednesday, May 2.  Lane County officials will work with state officials that are now involved in the case.

It then goes on to note that, " Those attending this mornings emergency session included County Administrator Liane Richardson, Commission Chair Sid Leiken, County Commissioner Faye Stewar[t] and County Commissioner Jay Bozievich." 

The commissioners in attendance were the conservative board majority, which often votes in opposition to Handy and liberal commissioner Pete Sorenson. Richardson, who was also present, made harassment allegations against Handy that were deemed unfounded. She based her claims on that Handy and Sorenson had voted against her being hired as "permanent" county administrator and accused him of having negative body language towards her.

Notification of the meeting was sent out at 7:42 am this morning. Handy said at the press conference today that he did not get the email in time to attend the emergency meeting. The board usually meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, not Thursday.

Handy said in his remarks today: 

This complaint of Mr. Brown’s is coming forward in this manner and at this time was coldly and cynically planned to make sure that when the truth comes out, the election will be over.  The attorney representing him is known for these kinds of tactics as well.  If he was truly concerned about my behavior in this matter, he would have filed a complaint months and months ago after my request of him for a donation.

Handy then explained the donation issue:

Speaking directly to this issue of Mr. Brown’s filings: I found out earlier this year that a constituent who thought the fact that I had to repay Lane County any money related to the Dumdi lawsuit was unfair and had gone down to Lane County and paid some money against this debt. 

 I was surprised to learn that this was an option – that people who felt the lawsuit settlement was unfair could help out in this way.  I contacted the Finance Department at Lane County to confirm that this was true.

I was told by the Finance Department that this was true and that people could pay directly to this debt either publicly or anonymously.  I found out the process from Lane County on the details of how to do that so that I could share this information with my supporters.  I knew that there were many folks who felt that this debt was an unfair burden on me as an elected official and would want to help.

After finding out this information from Lane County, I did ask several supporters to assist with this debt.  I believe that some people did go down to Lane County and make a payment of this sort.  I am grateful to whoever did go and make such a payment – this is my first opportunity to express that gratitude.

Once my campaign started, I did ask a few of my supporters for assistance with donating to my campaign or to this debt or one or the other or both.  There was nothing wrong with that then or now.  In fact, I still hope that people will respond to this appeal.  There are many out there who feel that this debt was unfair and who may still want to assist with repayment.

Both the allegations and Handy's press statement are attached below.