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May 29, 2013 04:00 PM

A genetically engineered (GE) variety of glyphosate-resistant wheat linked to Monsanto was found growing in an Oregon wheat field. The U.S. Department of Agrigculture announced today that it launched a "formal investigation after being notified by an Oregon State University scientist that initial tests of wheat samples from an Oregon farm indicated the possible presence of GE glyphosate-resistant wheat plants."

The USDA says that "there are no GE wheat varieties approved for sale or in commercial production in the United States or elsewhere at this time."

According to Agripulse.com:

Michael Firko, Acting Deputy Administrator of APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services, said USDA scientists verified results that the discovered plants were resistant to the commonly used weed killer glyphosate. Firko says USDA is “very serious” about the this investigation, which seeks to uncover “the extent of this and how it happened.” It is also confirmed that the glyphosate-resistant plants are the same variety as a wheat strain, or “event,” field tested by Monsanto. Firko said the company had requested to field test GE wheat from 1998-2005, but no other field tests have occurred since 2005. USDA confirmed that field tests did occur in Oregon, but did not say whether the field in question is the same as or near a former field test site.

According to a factsheet on the issue supplied by the USDA:

An Oregon farmer noticed some volunteers, or plants that had germinated and developed in a place where they were not intentionally planted, in his wheat field, were resistant to glyphosate and sent the samples to the OSU scientist. She received the samples on April 30, 2013, and conducted tests on the samples. Based on her preliminary tests, the samples she received tested positive for the glyphosate trait and the farmer was informed of the testing results.

The USDA dispatched investigators onsite to investigate how this situation occurred and collect additional samples from the farm. The agency says that APHIS made the public announcement about this detection as soon as USDA laboratories had absolute confi rmation regarding the GE wheat. 

The USDAY said it does not want "speculate on the the market reaction" to the possible worldwide impact of finding the Monsanto GE wheat in the field. 

* Update

Japan has announced it has suspended imports of Oregon wheat. 

May 21, 2013 05:34 PM

The horse tripping controversy continues as more information arises about the arrest of an activist at the Big Loop Rodeo. And according to an email blast from PETA, Tuesday May 22, is the Oregon House Judiciary Committee's work session on Senate Bill 835. 

Over the weekend the group SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) reported a volunteer, Adam Fahnestock was arrested for videoing at the event. Steve Hindi of SHARK also tangled with the law over videoing the controversial horse tripping event (see the video at bottom).

This is the footage filmed by Fahnestock at the 2013 rodeo, before he was arrested.

And this letter by a woman who attended the rodeo was sent to several legislators:

Hello, I wanted to let you know that I went to the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo this last weekend, and I would like to tell you what I saw there. As I testified previously I grew up in Eastern Oregon and have gone to rodeos since I was a small child. I am embarrassed to admit I’m from Eastern Oregon after going to Jordan Valley.

1. There were signs prohibiting taking videos, however the announcer said that just applied to “people from Western Oregon, animal rights activists, and the media.” The announcer stated that didn’t apply to the “good folks who want to film their relatives or friends.” There were lots of cameras visible. He also stated that if the people from Western Oregon, animal rights activists, or the media were observed taking video they would be arrested and escorted off the property. They violently arrested a man about 10’ from where I was sitting, took him down in the seats, and took him to the Malheur County Jail where he was booked for Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest. They ejected three other people that I saw, one man who stated he was just taking pictures, not video. I understand that it is private property, and that they have the right to make the rules, but I feel the rules should apply to everyone.

2. They mentioned the bill and that they had made trips to testify. The announcer stated that the bill “looks like it’s going to pass, but that it would not affect their rodeo” at all.

3. The announcer stated that people from Western Oregon should just stay in their cities and leave them alone.

4. The horses used in the” Big Loop” event are thin enough that you can count their ribs, and seem young.

5. Because I was so uncomfortable being there, I did not stay for the entire rodeo. During the first round of the “Big Loop” event, they managed to rope two horses by the neck, one fairly close to the throatlatch, did not rope any horses by the feet, so in the first section all the competitors got “no time”. However, one horse crashed violently into the wall, and they continued trying to rope it after it got up. I did not see them check the horse out by a veterinarian.

6. The horses that were in the “Big Loop” event were completely terrified.

I wanted to share my experience with you. I have never left a rodeo before it was over before. I was uncomfortable there and felt threatened by their general attitude. The crowd cheered when people were arrested and ejected.

Thank you for considering this statement. I urge you to pass this bill and protect those that have no voice in this event, the horses.

Thank you,

Kaye Killgore

Steve Hindi of SHARK, which videoed the events last year, leading to the current legislative actions says of the video below that is was "a bogus police stop on Sunday, the last day of the rodeo, after I was ejected for having a camera at the rodeo." He adds, "Of course, lots of people had cameras, and virtually everyone had phones capable of video. The traffics stop appears to be illegitimate, as we can find no law allowing a traffic stop for not providing ID on private property  — the stated reason for the stop."

.

SHARK alleges in a press release that the Malheur County Sheriff has "deep ties" to the Big Loop Rodeo:

Fearing that this new footage would cause similar outrage, on Saturday, May 18, Malheur County Sheriff’s officers swept in, arrested Fahnestock and ordered another activist to leave.

On Sunday, May 19, they repeated their misconduct by ordering SHARK President Steve Hindi to leave the rodeo as well.

SHARK has initiated an investigation into the existing connections between the rodeo and the Malheur County Sheriff's Department who the group accuses of violations of free speech, and using intimidation tactics. The following is part of the report. The full report is available upon request.

• The Malheur County Sheriff’s Department also has direct ties to the Big Loop Rodeo through their deputies. In his testimony before the above-mentioned Senate committee, Jordan Valley Mayor Jake Roe stated, “The Sheriff’s posse sells food at the park to raise money…” Jerry Raburn, an official with the Jordan Valley Rodeo Association, told the Senate Committee that “Not only is the rodeo a boost for the businesses here, but also for volunteer groups, service organizations, schools and churches,” including the “Malheur County Sheriff’s Deputies.”

• According to Malheur County Sheriff Sergeant Richard Harriman, who, along with Bob Wroten forced one of SHARK's activists to leave the rodeo, that Wroten himself was not only a Malheur County Deputy, but also held a dual position on the "rodeo board."

• Malheur County Sheriff Brian E. Wolfe defended the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo and horse tripping in a letter sent to the Oregon State Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, which recently held a hearing on a bill to ban “horse tripping.” Wolfe misused his official county stationary and position as Sheriff to made a political statement when he said “I personally oppose any and all legislation, laws, or rules prohibiting Rodeo events including Horse Roping.”

"We now know that the Malheur County Sheriff Officers, the same men who violated the rights of our activists, have deep ties to the rodeo," states SHARK President Steve Hindi. "When they saw the cruelty that was documented on the first day, they abused their power on the second and third day to make sure that no more video would make it to public view. That's outrageous, and the Sheriff's office needs to be held accountable for acting like thugs protecting a good old boys network of animal abuse and cruelty."

May 19, 2013 01:55 PM

According to SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) an activist was "violently arrested" while filming events at the Big Loop Rodeo in Jordan Valley, Ore., on Saturday May 18. Big Loop has come under fire for its horse tripping event in which horses are roped by the neck and legs while galloping, causing them to fall. 

Last year's horse tripping video motiviated animal lovers to once again try to ban horse tripping for entertainment in Oregon — a ban had been brought up before but did't succeed after opponents argued horse tripping didn't happen in Oregon. The SHARK video from 2012 showed otherwise, and SHARK speculates that the arrest of volunteer Adam Fahnestock was in response to the outcry the video caused. SHARK says video is allowed at the rodeo.

The bill has passed out of Senate and testimony was heard in the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month. 

The full press release is below, with links to video of last year's horse tripping and a video of a horse breaking its leg in another event.

 

SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness)

PO Box 28 • Geneva, IL 60134 • 630-557-0176

www.sharkonline.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Sunday May 19, 2013

ACTIVIST VIOLENTLY ARRESTED FOR FILMING AT OREGON RODEO

Jordan Valley, OR – On Saturday May 18th, 2013, SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) volunteer Adam Fahnestock was peacefully sitting monitoring the Big Loop Rodeo when rodeo personnel and a Malheur County Sheriff’s Deputy approached him. After a very brief conversation, the deputy suddenly grabbed Fahnestock and threw him violently to the ground where rodeo personnel then also set upon him. Fahnestock was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He is currently being held in Malheur County Jail, Vale, OR on a $1000 bail.

Big Loop Rodeo has been under fire from SHARK recently after documentation of a bucking horse breaking its leg in the arena and numerous horses were filmed crashing to the ground was released after the 2012 rodeo. Filming is permitted at the rodeo and many spectators film the events. It is believed Fahnestock was singled out for attack because Big Loop Rodeo officials are upset over the video of a horse breaking its leg being released, and disturbing footage of the horse-tripping event went viral creating massive public outcry to ban the event.

SHARK president, Steve Hindi said, “This is clearly an abuse of the law and an example of the “good old-boy network" that exists in the rodeo world. We will fight these false and retaliatory charges vigorously and continue to expose animal abuse at rodeos.”

SHARK’S video of horse tripping at the 2012 Big Loop Rodeo inspired Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton to introduce a horse-tripping ban. Senate Bill 835 is currently being considered after a public hearing was held on Monday May 13th, 2013.

Graphic footage of the incident of the horse breaking its leg can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chX9Ig8qxRI

Video of horse tripping at the 2012 Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo, which inspired SB 835, can be seen here:

www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv=zmp8pkbU03I

May 17, 2013 06:20 PM

Decolonize This! is the 2013 Annual Environmental Justice Conference on Saturday May 18 at the UO. Topics will highlight food justice, decolonization, and free trade vs free, prior and informed consent of indigenous nations concerning fossil fuels. The conference is free and donations are welcomed, organizers say.

Speaker Jewell Praying Wolf James is a master carver of totems or healing poles displayed around the world, more of his work can be seen here.

The event will also feature a performance by Kayla Godowa-Tufti, activist, performer and columnist for EW. Here she is, performing as Tribal Thought:

 

May 16, 2013 01:26 PM

No it's not a Portlandia episode, but since Portlandia posted this link on Facebook, we had to check it out.

The Portland Police Bureau has had some fun lately with anti-Harlem Shake videoes and such. This latest installment features a "high-speed car chase."

And ducks.

May 13, 2013 12:51 PM

Efforts to save Waldo Lake may be paying off for clean water enthusiasts and lovers of Oregon's lakes and forests. A bill has passed in both the Senate and House in the Oregon Leglislature that would ban float planes from landing on the lake. Removing polluting motors from the pristine lake has been a conentious issue with efforts by the Forest Service, conservationists and others fought at every step. The bill now gets sent to Gov. John Kitzhaber to sign into law.

Here is the info from the Sierra Club:

Oregon Legislature Protects Waldo Lake

Passes Law Banning Motorboats and Sea Planes on one of the purest lakes in the World

(SALEM, OR) —Voting 37 to 20 during a late morning session on Monday, the Oregon House of Representatives passed SB 602-A, banning the use of motorboats and seaplanes on Waldo Lake in central Oregon. This action follows last month's 18-11 passage of the bill by the Oregon Senate. The legislation was introduced by Senator Floyd Prozanski and Representative Paul Holvey, and will now be sent to Governor Kitzhaber, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

Located near Oakridge, Waldo Lake is Oregon's second deepest lake and rivals Crater Lake and Russia's Lake Baikal as one of the three purest lakes in the world. The lake is so clear that boaters on its surface can look down nearly 150 feet and discern the lake's bottom (giving one the impression of floating in outer space).

"Waldo Lake is a unique Oregon treasure," said Brian Pasko, Director of the Sierra Club's Oregon Chapter. "Today's action by the Oregon legislature will protect Waldo Lake's unique ecology and ensure that it is a place for quiet recreation and solitude to be enjoyed by Oregonians for generations to come."

Passage of SB 602-A reaffirms a 2012 decision of the Oregon Marine Board prohibiting the use of motorized watercraft on Waldo Lake except for boats using electric motors and traveling under 10mph. The decision was made following a lengthy public comment period that engaged over 4000 Oregon citizens in the decision making process, the vast majority of which supported the motorized ban.

Following the Marine Board's decision, the Oregon Aviation Board issued a temporary rule last year allowing sea plane landings on Waldo Lake. The Aviation Board's decision was made contrary to the Marine Board's determination, even though there are many large lakes near Waldo Lake that allow for safe sea plane landings and sea plane recreational opportunities. Passage of SB 602-A resolves the conflicting decisions of these two state agencies.

"Sea planes and motorized boats present a number of environmental risks to Waldo Lake, including an increased potential for the spread of invasive species and pollution of the lake through potential fuel spills, " said Pasko. "However, Waldo Lake is also highly valued by the public as a place for quiet recreation. SB 602-A will protect the public's expectations and support for the current management approach at Waldo Lake."

According to Forest Service surveys, over 75% of visitors agreed that motorized boating negatively impacts their recreational experience at Waldo Lake. Almost 70% of respondents favored only allowing non-motorized boats or electric motors on Waldo Lake, and 86% favored controlling the level of noise from motorized recreation.

The full text of SB 602-A can be found at: http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/sb0600.dir/sb0602.a.pdf

May 12, 2013 10:36 PM

The best way to say goodbye to the International Space Station?

Sing "Space Oddity."

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield rocks out in outer space and is possibly the most tech savy space walker ever. You can see his educational videos via the Canadian Space Agency or his own YouTube channel where he talks about how to poop in space. He has a Twitter feed where he famously tweeted with William Shatner.

He also recorded Is Somebody Singing (ISS) from space with Barenaked Ladies.

May 10, 2013 05:38 PM

Now that the Dalai Lama has come and gone, it's time to change the world. You can start doing it one book at a time, so says Gertie the Bookbus.

On Saturday, May 11th from 1-6 pm, Books To The People will hold a Pie and Ice Cream Social and Mother's Day Cookbook Sale at the Westside Christian Church, 1866 Chambers Street (opposite the Bi-Mart parking lot).

Incorporated in 2009, Books To The People is an Oregon nonprofit which sponsors GERTIE THE BOOKBUS, our blue and white repurposed bookmobile which drives around and gives away great books for absolutel free. In addition to the pie and ice cream, our fundraiser will feature music, poetry, tables piled high with cookbooks and wonderful doorprizes. Suggested donation is $10 for individuals and $20 max for families. All proceeds go towards operating expenses (like books and fuel!)

See pics of Gertie at bookstothepeople.org or else look up Books To The People on Facebook. For more information, or to donate books, time, money or pies, call 541-520-9821.

April 29, 2013 01:41 PM

Want to weigh in on the city fee, the Lane County tax levy or the 4J funding issue? Then be sure you are registered to vote here in Lane County, and if you are not registered, get er' done by 4 pm Tuesday, April 30.

To check if you are registered with your current address go to this link at the Oregon secretary of state's website.

Not registered? If you have a valid DMV number from an Oregon driver's license, learners permit or ID card, then you can register here

Otherwise go fill out this online registration card, print it out and either mail it (postmarked by 4 pm April 30) or drop it off at the Lane County Elections office, or go to the office and fill out a card there. The Lane County Elections office is located at 275 W.10th Avenue, on the corner of 10th and Lincoln in downtown Eugene. Public office hours are 9 am to noon, and 1 pm to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. On Election Day, May 21, 2013 the Lane County Elections Office will be open from 7 am to 8 pm. It's conveniently located about two blocks from the Weekly, so feel free to stop by and pick up a paper or wave at the baby birds (starlings?) nesting and pooping over the employee entrance.

In other news, it's bag ban time. April 3o is also notable in that it's the last day that stores in Eugene can give you a single-use plastic grocery bag with your purchase. That's why everywhere you've shopped in Eugene this past week from the liquor store to the Kiva has been cheerfully offering you (or forcing upon you) the last of their plastic bags. As of May 1 plastic bags (not including produce or bulk food bags) are verboten and it's 5 cents to get a paper bag. 

First time I ever wrote an article for Eugene Weekly about banning plastic bags, the ban was barely a gleam in the Eugene City Council's eye. And I got my first grumpy letter. Awww. 

April 29, 2013 02:30 PM

Online and in the May 6, 2013 Sports Illustrated NBA center Jason Collins writes:

I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay. I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.

For the full first-person story, go to Sports Illustrated's website.

For the backlash, go to ESPN where, according to Think Progress "An ESPN sportscaster went on the air on Monday to publicly gay-bash Jason Collins, the NBA player who came out Monday morning in an emotional op-ed, the first active male player of a major American sport to come out. Speaking on ESPN’s Outside The Lines, Chris Broussard said that he would 'not characterize [Collins] as a Christian.'”

April 26, 2013 01:28 PM

Some authors revel in rejection, others hide from fame, but when you get a chance to go see authors, established or up and coming, read their stuff, you get a chance to see the man or woman behind the curtain. Why judge a book by it's cover when you can come check out the writer?

In the next week we have a cornucopia of authorial riches. On Sunday, April 28, Donna Henderson, author of The Eddy Fence (Airlie Press, 2009) and Oregon Book Award finalist Sara Burant, author of Verge (Finishing Line Press, 2012)will be introduced by poet Carter McKenzie. The event benefits Beyond Toxics, which says:

These featured Oregon poets offer works of deep attention to the natural world and to our place in it. Whether in praise of the forces of nature or in elegy from environmental devastation, their poems rise out of protest against indifference to and appropriation of our resources and communities.Through precise and luminous language driven by the willingness to witness both the beauty of the natural world and the damage that threatens it, each poet offers in distinctive ways a new capacity for inhabitance. These are poems rooted in fierce gratitude for what sustains us all.

Then on Tuesday April 30 it's Oregon Writers Night at Sam Bond's when authors Daniel Kine and Eliot Treichel will be reading from Kine's Up Nights and Treichel’s recently released collection of short stories, Close is Fine. The event is all ages from 6-8 p.m. Kine and Treichel  follow the reading with a short question-and-answer session.

April 22, 2013 05:10 PM

Occupy TV's second episode of the second season features Alternative Radio's David Barsamian and more.

April 18, 2013 05:39 PM

This information was just sent out to University of Oregon students and faculty:

Dear Members of the UO Community:

Today, we learned to our disappointment that doors leading to the Native American Student Union (NASU), the Vietnamese Student Association and Black Women of Achievement (VSA and BWA) had, respectively, been vandalized. We are shocked and saddened that events like that can happen on our campus.

As a community of scholars, we are committed to civility and welcoming all of our students. We are also committed to values of understanding, inclusion and mutual respect. That is why such uncivil acts have no place of abode in our midst.

The University of Oregon Police Department is investigating the incident and perpetrators will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. While our law enforcement authorities are carefully investigating the two incidents, preliminary investigations indicate that no member of our campus community appears to have been hurt in the process, and that our students continue to feel safe. At the same time, our students are shaken by the unfortunate as well as uncivil incidents, and we share their frustration.

Meanwhile, staff members at the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence (CMAE), which is an affiliate unit of the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI), and offices of Dean of Students and Undergraduate Studies, are reaching out to the student leaders of the Native American Student Union, Vietnamese Student Association and Black Women of Achievement. As things stand now, we neither know the motivation of the perpetrators of those acts, nor do we know whether they are members of the university community. Yet, we want to reiterate that anyone found to be involved will be dealt with appropriately and according to law.

We also want to add that such sad incidents go a long way to remind us of the importance of honoring and treasuring one another. We urge everyone to cooperate and act responsibly.

Therefore, anyone with information related to these unfortunate incidents is urged to contact the UO Police Department at 541-346-2919.

Sincerely, Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, Vice President, Equity and Inclusion Robin Holmes, Vice President, Student Affairs

The Vietnamese Students Association posted a response on Facebook earlier today in response to the vandalism.

It was truly upsetting to find our VSA's sign slashed, vandalized and shredded on the ground outside our office. We at UO VSA wish to promote tolerance, peace, understanding and friendship to all students, irregardless of their race or nationality. Although it is shocking and saddening to have this happen to us, we will NOT be intimidated by this cowardly and disgusting act. To the individual who did this to us, I want to make this personally clear: You do NOT scare us, you will NOT break us, and you will NOT crush our resolve to promote and celebrate our culture here at our University. We will continue, as always, to provide a family to our members, serve as a resource to our campus, and stand in solidarity against racism, prejudice, ignorance and cowardice.

April 16, 2013 11:33 AM

Has former Lane County Commissioner Jack Roberts been improperly forced out of his position as the executive director of the Lane Metro Partnership? An email from Roberts to public officials details what led to him write a letter of resignation on April 8. The email alleges he resigned  in order to maintain funding from the cities of Springfield and Eugene and from Lane County. He writes, "these things are often as much about personality and other people's ambitions as about merit."

Lane Metro is a nonprofit organization that according to its website is "the official source of economic development and business information for Eugene, Springfield and Lane County Oregon." Roberts is also a regular columnist for The Oregonian newspaper.

Roberts also quotes County Administrator Liane Richardson as saying, she would be willing to restore the full $100,000 of funding to Lane Metro but emphasized, "The commissioners won't approve funding for Lane Metro unless there is a change in leadership."  Recent Lane County Commission agendas don't reflect any public discussion of a change in Lane Metro leadership.

Roberts, a Republican who is a former Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries, goes on to express concern that other Lane Metro employees will be terminated and writes "However I do strongly urge you to resist pressure to terminate Phillip or Christina much less to allow outside parties to dictate personnel decisions to you as a board. As a 501(c)(3) organization, this may not even be lawful."

EW has obtained the email written by Roberts that was sent to the board of the Lane Metro Partnership, as well as to the mayor and City Council and other public officials.

Dear Lane Metro Partnership Board Members: In the Register-Guard tomorrow or Wednesday, there will be a story about the Lane Metro Partnership. I¹m not entirely sure what the article will report but as members of the board you are entitled to know the underlying facts before you read about them in the paper.

On March 27 I met with Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson, Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz and Springfield City Manager Gino Grimaldi. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss whether all three jurisdictions would be willing to continue funding the Lane Metro Partnership at the current level if I resigned as executive director.

Previously, Grimaldi and Richardson had informed me that funding for the Metro Partnership would not be included in their proposed budgets for Springfield and Lane County, respectively. Ruiz indicated that funding would be included in his proposed budget for Eugene and would be utilized for economic development in some other form if the Metro Partnership died due to lack of funding from Springfield and Lane County.

As board members, you understand how tight out budget is and know that without funding from Lane County and Springfield we could not operate through the next year. Consequently, even though neither Grimaldi nor Richardson had initially suggested that I was the reason for their decision not to continue funding the Metro Partnership, I suspected this might be the case and therefore offered to resign if that would make it possible for them to would agree to continue our funding.

At the meeting on March 27, Grimaldi indicated that budgetary conditions did not allow him to restore the full funding of $50,000 a year but said that he could come up with $25,000. Richardson said she would be willing to restore the full $100,000 but emphasized, "The commissioners won't approve funding for Lane Metro unless there is a change in leadership."

No one told me why they wanted me gone or why they were unhappy with my performance. Nonetheless, I've spent enough time in politics and in government to know that these things are often as much about personality and other people's ambitions as about merit. My feeling, both then and now, was that it was better for me to leave than for a 27-year economic development partnership to die. Therefore, I agreed to leave.

I did express concern that my leaving before the budget process was complete could provide ammunition for those who have long opposed the Metro Partnership on principle or otherwise had eyes on our money. What I offered was to write a letter confirming my agreement to leave contingent on the three jurisdictions maintaining their funding for the Metro Partnership for the next fiscal year.

Two days later I received a phone message from Jon Ruiz confirming that Eugene and Lane County would continue their full funding and that Springfield would commit to at least $25,000. Believing that this was the best that could be obtained, I signed three letters dated April 8 that each read as follows:

"Dear Ms. Richardson, Mr. Ruiz and Mr. Grimaldi:

"Pursuant to our previous discussion, I hereby agree to resign my position as the executive director of the Lane Metro Partnership no later than June 30, 2013, contingent upon Lane County and the City of Eugene maintaining their funding for the Lane Metro Partnership for the 2013-14 fiscal year in the amount of $100,000 and $50,000, respectively, and the City of Springfield making a good faith effort to secure at least $25,000 of funding for the same fiscal year."

I then called Jon Ruiz and asked what he wanted me to do with the letters and he asked that I send all of them to him because "Liane said we don't want these floating around in public." I hand delivered all three letters to Jon personally that week.

That is where I believed matters stood until April 11 when I met with Steve Korth, our board president, and John Brown, our immediate past president. At that point I learned that the agreement I thought we had was changed and that apparently someone claiming to represent the three government jurisdictions had approached some board members with a plan for me to leave by May 1 and that Phillip Hudspeth also be terminated. They apparently also informed them that Glenda Poling would be stepping in as the interim director for the Metro Partnership.

I told Steve and John that these terms were never discussed with me and that I could not support either of them. In particular, while I was and am willing to fall on my own sword, I am not prepared to drag Phillip or Christina on the funeral pyre with me. I personally want to apologize to each and every board member for not informing you of my earlier discussions and in particular for not consulting you before signing my letter agreeing to resign. While I honestly believed that I was making a personal sacrifice for the good of the organization I realize now that I was usurping the prerogative of the board and failing to meet my responsibilities to keep you informed regarding matters that are critical to the continued operation of the Metro Partnership.

If you as a board decide to terminate me for this action, I will not object. However I do strongly urge you to resist pressure to terminate Phillip or Christina much less to allow outside parties to dictate personnel decisions to you as a board. As a 501(c)(3) organization, this may not even be lawful. I know it is not something that any board member should be asked to do by any funder of such an organization.