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June 23, 2014 10:43 AM

According to John Clune, the attorney for the young woman in the UO basketball player rape investigation, the UO has found the men involved, Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin, responsible and has suspended them from the school. They cannot be on campus for four years or as long as his client is a student there — but not to exceed ten years.

Clune calls the decision a relief for his client.

EW has contacted the UO for the results of the investigation. More in this week’s issue.

Here is the UO's statement from spokeswoman Julie Brown:

“As in all cases of sexual misconduct, we provide information to the complainant and the accused about the results of our administrative proceedings. It appears that the information released by Mr. Clune is accurate. As has been said before, each young man had previously been given their full release and permission to contact any school. Any inquiries related to transfers should be directed to the individual.

In all reports of any misconduct including sexual harassment, intimidation or violence, the university works to protect and support the students involved. Student safety is our top priority. The UO is working with the campus community and an expert panel to review our prevention and response practices.”

June 19, 2014 10:38 AM

Lane County says the official results are in. Commissioner Faye Stewart avoided a runoff by 9 votes and Bozievich avoided it by 18. Still think your vote doesn't make a difference? Clearly races are determined by small margins. EW is wondering if any of the challengers are planning write-in campaigns for the fall — Dawn Lesley and Kevin Matthews were pretty darn close.

 

For Immediate Release 6/19/2014

Results Released for the East and West Lane County Commissioner Seat Recounts

Contact: Lane County Public Information Officer Anne Marie Levis: 541-915-4659 

Neither Faye Stewart nor Jay Bozievich will face runoff elections this fall, according to the certified recount results released by Lane County Elections today. Stewart and Bozievich had 9 and 18 votes respectively above the 50 percent plus one margin required to prevent a runoff. Stewart gained two additional votes from write ins in the recount and Dawn Leslie gained one vote from a vote previously counted as an undervote.

 

West Lane County Commissioner

 

Votes

 Percent

Jay Bozievich

7708

50.12%

Dawn Lesley

7634

49.64%

Write-in votes

37

0.24%

 

East Lane County Commissioner

 

Votes

Percent

Faye Stewart

7000

50.07%

Kevin Matthews

4931   

35.27%

Joann Ernst

1036   

7.41%

Jose Ortal

672     

4.81%

Jack Schoolcraft

303     

2.17%

Write-in votes

39       

0.28%

 

According to Oregon statute, an automatic recount is required if the number of votes cast for a candidate differs from a majority of votes cast for the office by one-fifth of one percent or less. Both the East and West Lane County Commissioner elections fell within this margin, triggering the automatic recount. The recount took approximately two days—one day for each district—and, in accordance with Oregon statute, was conducted by hand. Complete election results are available on the Lane County Elections website at: http://wkly.ws/1s2 

 

 

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June 18, 2014 10:03 AM

"On Monday, cancer took the life of medical cannabis activist Jim Greig. Jim had suffered from ankylosing spondylitis, a severe form of arthritis, since the '80s. He was confined to a wheelchair and was bedridden 80 percent of the time. He began using medical cannabis in 1995 and became a tireless advocate shortly after."

Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, has written a lengthy eulogy to Greig in her Huffington Post column today. Greig lived in Eugene and is credited with helping elect Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum in 2012. According to The Oregonian, Rosenblum issued a statement on Greig's passing, calling him  "a passionate and kind person who truly benefited from the ability to have safe and legal access to medical marijuana to treat his condition. I will miss him."

Greig appeared frequently in EW, both as a source and as an opinion writer. We will update this blog with any information on a memorial.

 

June 16, 2014 06:29 PM

This just in from Kesey Enterprises: the Eugene Celebration Parade will go on! 

Eugene Celebration Parade and Evening Concert set for August 23, 2014*

After overwhelming public input and encouragement, Kesey Enterprises is pleased to announce that the 2014 Eugene Celebration Parade will take place on August 23 at 11:00 am.  This event is made possible through generous support from Lane Community College, the City of Eugene, and an all volunteer steering committee.

In addition, that evening, the Eugene Celebration, Lane Community College, the City of Eugene and Kesey Enterprises will be presenting a $5.00 concert at the Cuthbert Amphitheater which will feature the Eugene Celebration parade awards as well as performances by Hell’s Belles, Zepparella and Foreverland.

The Eugene Celebration Parade details including entry and volunteer applications as well as the Cuthbert show and artist information will be made available on June 23 at www.eugenecelebration.com and www.thecuthbert.com

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Now the questions are: Where will the Slug Queen coronation take place (we vote there's an appearance by the "raining" queen and her retinue at the Cuthbert) and will there be an "alternative" Eugene Celebration?

June 11, 2014 01:08 PM

There will be an automatic recount of the votes in both the East Lane (incumbent Faye Stewart was seven votes over the 50 percent +1 needed to avoid a runoff in the race versus Kevin Matthews, Joanne Ernst, Jose Ortal and Jack Schoolcraft) and West Lane (incumbent Jay Bozievich was 17 votes over the 50 percent +1 needed to avoid a runoff with Dawn Lesley this fall), says the Oregon Secretary of State's Office.

Here are the press releases from the county:

East Lane

For Immediate Release 6/10/2014

 

Automatic Recount for East Lane County Commissioner Race to Take Place

Contact: Lane County Public Information Officer Anne Marie Levis: 541-915-4659

Lane County Elections will be conducting an automatic recount in the race for East Lane County Commissioner. This decision comes after new guidance from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Elections Division on the statutes covering automatic recounts. The clarification impacts all counties in Oregon.

In the final certified election results, Faye Stewart came within one-fifth of one percent from crossing the 50 percent plus one vote threshold required to avoid a runoff election in November. The recount is estimated to cost Lane County between $2,000 and $3,000. The recount will begin on Monday.

According to Oregon Statute, an automatic recount is required if number of votes cast for a candidate differs from a majority of votes cast for the office by more than one-fifth of one percent. For the East Lane County Commissioner race, one-fifth of one percent meant that Stewart would have needed 27 or more votes beyond the 50 percent plus one vote threshold. Stewart had seven votes above the 50 percent plus one mark.

West Lane

For Immediate Release 6/11/2014

Automatic Recount for West Lane County Commissioner Race

Contact: Lane County Public Information Officer Anne Marie Levis: 541-915-4659

Lane County Elections will be conducting an automatic recount in the race for West Lane County Commissioner. Yesterday, based on new guidance from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Elections Division, Lane County Elections announced an automatic recount for the East Lane County Commissioner race as well.

In the final certified election results, Jay Bozievich came within one-fifth of one percent from crossing the 50 percent plus one vote threshold required to avoid a runoff election in November. The recount is estimated to cost Lane County between $2,000 and $3,000. The recount will begin early next week.

According to Oregon Statute, an automatic recount is required if the number of votes cast for a candidate differs from a majority of votes cast for the office by more than one-fifth of one percent. For the West Lane County Commissioner race, one-fifth of one percent meant that Bozievich would have needed 29 or more votes beyond the 50 percent plus one vote threshold. Bozievich had 17 votes above the 50 percent plus one mark.

June 3, 2014 10:45 AM

My first question when I saw this scam alert was: Who the heck would have "extra asphalt" that they would just go romping around rural Lane County trying to smear on your driveway? 

WATCH OUT FOR PAVING SCAMS IN LANE COUNTY

News Release from Construction Contractors Board

Posted on FlashAlert: June 3rd, 2014 11:14 AM

Salem - Paving scammers may be at work in the rural Lane County. Property owners should be wary of people who show up on their doorstep with "extra asphalt" they offer up in a deal. 

The state Construction Contractors Board (CCB) recently learned of a property owner in Marcola who was approached earlier this year with an offer to pave his driveway. An investigation is under way. 

Call the CCB at 503-378-4621 if anyone contacts you for paving you didn't solicit. Legitimate contractors typically do not solicit work door-to-door. 

Meanwhile, here are some ways to spot scammers: 

* You don't call them - they show up at your doorstep. 

* Their vehicles often show out-of-state license plates. 

* They say they have leftover materials so they can give you a great price. 

* They quote an initial low price, then demand more to finish the project. 

* Generally, they are not licensed with the CCB. 

 

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About the CCB 

The CCB is the state agency licensing 33,000 contractors. Anyone who is paid to repair, improve or build a home must be licensed. Learn more about how to have a successful project at www.oregon.gov/ccb.

Contact Info:

Cheryl Martinis, 503-934-2195

May 29, 2014 04:43 PM

I would have taken more science in college if my profs had sung to me. Dr. Richard Alley brings together my love for folklore with the dangers of climate change in this glacier-oriented version of  "The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night."

Alley created this video and others like "Peaceful, Easy Obduction" for his Geology of the National Parks course, according to his YouTube page

"The Great Penguin Waltz" was apparently not for his class, but is educational nonethless — points for rhyming the words "Aptenodytes patagonicus look good in their nighties."

May 19, 2014 11:51 AM

Federal Judge Michael McShane ruled at noon today at the U.S. federal courthouse here in Eugene that Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage was unconsitutional. That's not the only good news. By 12:20 Lane County had send a press release announcing the Lane County Clerk's office will begain issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 1 pm and "The Clerk’s Office will also officiate for same-sex couples wishing to marry, according to the press release below, which also asks people to remember that the clerk's office also has to handle tomorrow's elections.

Lane County to Begin Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Contact: Public Information Officer Anne Marie Levis, 541-915-4659

Under direction from the Oregon Vital Records Department, the Lane County Clerk’s Office will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning at 1:00 p.m. The Clerk’s Office will also officiate for same-sex couples wishing to marry.

“Our staff strive to provide the highest level of customer service as we go through the expected influx of marriage licenses. In addition to issuing marriage licenses, our staff is also responsible for Tuesday’s election,” said Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart. “We appreciate the understanding of couples awaiting this important moment.”

Marriage Information

Where:

Deeds and Records Office, inside the Lane County Courthouse, 125 E 8th Ave., Eugene

 

When:

Licenses are sold from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

Weddings are performed most mornings, and slots are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Purchase of a license is required before time for a wedding ceremony may be reserved.

 

Cost:

License: $60

Waiver of three day waiting period: $10

Marriage Ceremony: $100

Certified copy of completed license (proof of the wedding, needed for name changes): $4

 

According to the Oregon Health Authority Center for Health Statistics, same-sex couples have the option of choosing between marriage and a domestic partnership, which has been available in Oregon since 2008. Couples who are in a domestic partnership may marry their current partner. Someone in a domestic partnership who wishes to marry another person must dissolve that partnership prior to any marriage. Same-sex couples who were married in another state do not need to take any action: their marriage is already recognized under Oregon law.

May 16, 2014 12:25 PM

This just in from Oregon United for Marriage:

May 16, 2014 10:51 AM

UO radio station KWVA and Portland television station KATU have aired interviews with an alleged witness to the events in the the UO rape investigation. The UO's SWAT (Sexual Wellness Awareness Team) questions the paper's coverage of the alleged witness's story writing that it just serves to discredit and get people to question the victim's story in a viewpoint in the Oregon Daily Emerald.

The Daily Emerald followed the KWVA airing of the witness interview with a report headlined "Self-proclaimed witness talks to KWVA about alleged forcible rape involving Dotson, Artis and Austin."

The Emerald writes: 

UO student Kelsy Alston explained during the interview what she witnessed in connection with the March 8 incident.

“Throughout the party, she was migrating, leaning towards these men,” Alston said during the Quack Smack segment on KWVA. “I had spoken to her friends about that interaction. They gave their opinions on how she interacts with men typically and it mirrored what she was doing at this time.”

Alston — who made it clear that she did not know the alleged survivor prior to the party — suggests the night were different than that described in the police report.

The UO's SWAT responded to this and other concerns about the Emerald's coverage with a viewpoint that reads, in part:

Additionally, we would like to express our anger over the publication of your and KWVA’s article interviewing the “self-proclaimed witness” at the party. Whether or not this person was at the party, this article seems to exist for no reason other than to discredit and cause people to question the survivor’s story. You quote this “witness” as saying, “I had spoken to her friends about that interaction. They gave their opinions on how she interacts with men typically and it mirrored what she was doing at the time.” The survivor’s behavior around men previous to the assault or even the next day does not “disrupt the evidence” given in the police report; it is completely irrelevant. In fact, using a person’s previous sexual attitudes or desires to determine the validity of their experience is the definition of slut-shaming.

The criticisms of the interview are also relevant to the KATU story. KATU's story might call for harsher criticism as it makes claims such as that that the interview "calls into question" the victim's story.

 

Duly noted: Writing about rape and rape allegations is not easy and the Emerald has sought to use its terminology very carefully, refering to the woman in the case as a "survivor." Also, Oregonian reporter Andrew Greif,who was the sports reporter is I believe who broke the story by noticing something was amiss with basketball practices, is an Emerald alum.

May 8, 2014 06:42 PM

In this week's EW election coverage I write about who donated how much money to which campaign. One of the first rules of journalism (and keep in mind there are a lot of "number one rules of journalism") is follow the money.

Want to do a little Oregon campaign stalking yourself? Here's how. 

Go to the Oregon Secretary of State's web site. Then click "elections." From there choose (conveniently enough) the link that says "follow the money in Orestar." ("Campaign finance violations" is another fun one to surf.) 

I usually search the "Committee/filer search by name" tab and type the name of the person running into the box labeled "committee/filer name."

Here, typing in "Bozievich" gets you West Lane Commissioner candidate Jay Bozievich's "Friends of Jay Bozievich" committee.

The committe page tells you who filed the committee, who the treasurer is and contact information. It also gives you links to the data. 

Clicking "account summary" gets you this year's totals of what was spent and what came in. Hitting previous at the bottom of that page gets you the numbers from previous years. As of today, Bozievich is reporting more than $109,000 in donations in 2014 and more than $115,000 in expenditures. There are a couple reasons a candidate may have spent more than he or she has brought in, and one is there is sometimes a (legal) lag time in when candidates report money after they get it.

To see who gave money and how much, click the "campaign finance activity" link on the committee page.

Here we can see that Bozievich's most recent donations include $25o from Reed's Trucking and $14,500 from the Community Action Network. He's spent $15,000 with New Media Northwest — probably on television commericials. 

 

Want to know who's behind the Community Action Network and has all that money? Type Community Action Network into the box where you typed Bozievich's name on your original search. That gets you the committe page telling you it was created by Dennis Morgan. Clicking the "campaign finance activity" link shows you who gave money (cash contribution) and where CAN spent money (expenditure). Looks like a lot of the money came from the timber industry: Giustina, Murphy Company and Delta Construction, to name a few. Now go have fun web-stalking campaign donations.

May 1, 2014 02:06 PM

It's endorsement time — ballots for the primary election here in Oregon get mailed tomorrow — and newspapers are putting out their endorsements, as well as printing page after page of stories, interviews and viewpoints on who's running and what we think of them. Sometimes the backstory is more fun than the endorsements.

Like when a karaoke-singing climate change denying Senate candidate calls out a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for writing "blah blah blah in his notebook." (And yes, good reporters still take notes). 

EW's recs on who you should cast your ballot for will come out in next week's paper, but Portland's Willamette Week published its endorsements yesterday. Today, media blogger Jim Romenesko calls attention to what some might call a gaffe by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nigel Jaquiss during a lengthy endorsement interview.

I don't call it a gaffe, I call it what we all want to write when a politician drones on and on and on. 

Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Republican Senate candidate Jo Rae Perkins was on the phone rambling on (you can watch the whole thing here, or just start at around 1 hour and 6 minutes in, aka the fun part). Perennial candidate Mark Callahan was sitting across the table from Jaquiss and angrily pointed out that he could see what Jaquiss was doing: 

"I see what you’re writing down there. You just wrote down 'blah blah blah blah' for everything that Jo Rae said. Jo Rae is a respectful woman. Why are you not respecting her by writing 'blah blah blah blah' in your notepad?"

Callahan, still grumbling about Jaquiss' notes settles down enough to move on to the next question, which was  about climate change. “It’s a myth,” he says.

Jaquiss, who was already winning with the blah blah thing, then mildly asks, "Where are you on the Easter Bunny?"

Callahan, who had previously been called out for his behavior earlier in the interview, then begins to angrily object to the question and to what he calls a lack of respect. The moderator then tells him he has had two strikes and will be asked to leave. "Who do you think you are?" he asks Willamette Week.

"This is neither a fair nor balanced meeting," he's told, as it's pointed out to him this is an endorsement interview. Callahan calls WW disrepectful thin-skinned liberals before announcing he has better things to do with his time and leaving. 

Willamette Week did not endorse Callahan in the Republican primary, instead the Portland alt weekly endorsed Oregon Right-to-Life candidate Jason Conger, which as they say, is a whole 'nother issue. Conger tells Willy Week that he doesn't really have a firm conviction either way on the "climate change debate." He calls both sides "incredible."

EW hasn't covered Callahan's many campaigns very much (and I'm pretty sure we won't be endorsing any climate change deniers) but we did cover his karaoke singing in some detail back in 2010 in a story by Rick Levin when Callahan was running for Lane County Commissioner. 

At the more uplifting end of the karaoke spectrum is the story of Eugene native Mark Callahan, who sang Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” the same night I butchered Tom Petty. Callahan, a graduate of Sheldon High School and OSU, is in his early 30s, married, with two young daughters. What makes him remarkable, and perhaps unique, as a karaoke singer is that he flies completely solo — meaning that, instead of making karaoke a social outing, Callahan chooses to go to the bar alone, stay sober as a jaybird and sing as many songs as he can get in.

Callahan says he was introverted as a kid, and though he outgrew his shyness in college, he doesn’t consider himself an exhibitionist. In fact, his Saturday night outings provide him with a means of overcoming, via karaoke, any lingering social anxieties. “This has actually really helped me to build up my confidence. I actually used to have a kind of nervousness talking in front of people,” he says.

“I think I just want to be more open,” says Callahan, noting that he usually feels pretty good upon finishing a song. “It’s almost like coming down off some kind of high. It’s almost like pure joy.”

And here’s the corker: Callahan recently tossed his hat in the ring for Lane County Commissioner, vying in the District 2 slot being vacated in November by Bill Dwyer. Callahan considers entering politics to be a natural evolution of his upbringing in the Boy Scouts, an organization that acted “like a surrogate father” after his parents divorced. The Scouts, he says, proved that making a difference in people’s lives is both desirable and possible.

Is it too much of a stretch to conclude that, for Callahan, the challenge of singing karaoke gave rise to a desire for political office? Why not? Just as Kennedy’s cathode-charismatic crushing of a perplexed, pasty-faced Nixon during the 1960 presidential debate ushered in the era of televised politics, could Callahan be a harbinger — our first karaoke commissioner?

“The main reason I do [karaoke] is to be up in front of people,” Callahan says. “If I can combine that confidence with my desire to help people, I think that’s going to work out good for me.”

May 1, 2014 10:01 AM

Reading legal documents is a key part of covering certain news stories. Sometimes it's fascinating. Sometimes I wish lawyers would stop capitalizing every other word (I know, it's a legal thing, but seriously people it's city, not City). 

Reading legal transcripts is more of the same. Sometimes fascinating, sometimes a morass of legal confusion. But The New York Time's new Verbatim series that is "dramatizing" legal transcripts takes things to a whole new level. This deposition is frustratingly brilliant.

Without giving to much away, here's the NYT's description of the case:

The Case: Ohio Supreme Court Case 2010-2029

In 2010, the Cuyahoga County Recorder’s Office in Ohio changed their policy about copying records. Digital files would no longer be available, and the public would have to make hard copies of documents for $2 per page. This would prove to be prohibitively expensive for Data Trace Information Services and Property Insight, companies that collect hundreds of pages of this public information each week. They sued the Recorder’s Office for access to digital versions of the documents on a CD. In the middle of the case, a lawyer representing them questioned the IT administrator of the Recorder’s Office, which led to a 10-page argument over the semantics of photocopiers.

April 25, 2014 02:59 PM

The world of social media has noticed that not only does Lane County inspect local restaurants, it posts them online in a searchable database. For those of you who haven't had the scores posted and reposted on Facebook, Twitter and the like, you can find them here. 

To make it easier, the restaurants that received failing scores — below 70 — and need to be inspected again in 30 days are highlighted in red. You can search by city, score and/or restaurant name. 

As of today, of  Eugene's 563 restaurants listed only five earned the red highlights.

Springfield showed 196 restaurants and none with a score of 69 or less — that includes strip clubs that serve food, like Sweet Illusions, for those of you who wonder about such things.