In an interesting letter from the Marion County District Attorney's office, the DA writes that no criminal charges will be filed in the issue of fired county administrator Liane Richardson's paycheck changes. One of the conclusions appears to be that because the Lane County Commission signed an agreement with Richardson not to file charges, then charges will not be filed. The investigation also found that it would be difficult to prove beyond a reseasonable doubt that this was a "knowing" performance of an act of violation of a statue or unauthorized exercise of official duties. You can see the full ruling here.
The letter to Lane County DA Alex Gardner concludes:
Update: See comment below from Commissioner Bozievich.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Someone in the crowd hucked a koala bear backpack up on stage for Jade
Singer Alex Ebert, before the show
Thievery Corporation (Photos: color - Rob Sydor, b&w - Todd Cooper)
The Head & The Heart
"On Sept. 1, Margaret Mary Vojtko, an adjunct professor who had taught French at Duquesne University for 25 years, passed away at the age of 83." That is how attorney Daniel Kovalik begins his story of the death of an adjunct professor in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The editorial has been making the rounds with academics as Vojtko's life, teaching career and death highlight the way higher education treats — or mistreats — its staff.
As amazing as it sounds, Margaret Mary, a 25-year professor, was not making ends meet. Even during the best of times, when she was teaching three classes a semester and two during the summer, she was not even clearing $25,000 a year, and she received absolutely no health care benefits. Compare this to the salary of Duquesne's president, who makes more than $700,000 with full benefits.
Meanwhile, in the past year, her teaching load had been reduced by the university to one class a semester, which meant she was making well below $10,000 a year. With huge out-of-pocket bills from UPMC Mercy for her cancer treatment, Margaret Mary was left in abject penury. She could no longer keep her electricity on in her home, which became uninhabitable during the winter. She therefore took to working at an Eat 'n Park at night and then trying to catch some sleep during the day at her office at Duquesne. When this was discovered by the university, the police were called in to eject her from her office. Still, despite her cancer and her poverty, she never missed a day of class.
Here in Oregon United Academics of the University of Oregon — a union that represents adjuncts and full-time professors — excitedly announced yesterday that "Following months of negotiations, United Academics and the University of Oregon have reached tentative agreement on a historic first collective bargaining agreement!" For more information, go to the UAUO website.
Meanwhile, the classified staff (who don't teach but whose work on everything from landscaping to computer programming to course scheduling are key to the university's ability to run) is contemplating a Sept. 23 strike.
The Cascadia Forest Defenders are normally spotted in old-growth trees, but today they decicided to scale the Capitol building in Salem.
Here is CFD's press release:
Cascadia Forest Defenders Scale Golden Pioneer Proclaiming “KITZHABER'S LEGACY: PRIVATIZING THE ELLIOTT – CLEARCUTTING FOR PROFIT”
Salem, Oregon- This morning, two members of Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) climbed off the side of the “Oregon Pioneer” statue atop the state capitol with a banner proclaiming “KITZHABER'S LEGACY: PRIVATIZING THE ELLIOTT FOREST – CLEARCUTTING FOR PROFIT.” The State Land Board—Governor John Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler— will decide on a proposal to sell 2,714 acres of the Elliott State Forest at their December 10th meeting.
The proposal comes after years of public protest and litigation over mismanagement of State Forest Lands as well as a sweeping lawsuit by conservation groups that has effectively halted most logging of sensitive habitat in the Elliott. With no guarantee that private owners would retain public values of conservation, CFD opposes the sale of public forest land.
“We are protesting because we think Oregonians deserve to know that their public land is being sold to private industry. If it is privatized, we will never be able to have a say on what happens to it again. This is our public comment,” says Erin Grady of Cascadia Forest Defenders.
The plans for privatization include three parcels in the Western side of the Elliott State Forest. All three parcels contain sections of mature, never-before-logged forest — suitable habitat for the marbled murrelet, an endangered sea bird that nests in old growth. This summer, a group of volunteer marbled murrelet surveyors with the Coos County-based conservation group Coast Range Forest Watch, documented murrelet nesting behavior in one of these parcels, making it a candidate for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Department of State Lands (DSL) says that the land sale is necessary in light of a pending lawsuit--filed last year by several conservation groups on behalf of the marbled murrelet — that has made the Elliott "unproductive." Cascadia Forest Defenders are concerned that the parcels will be sold to the highest bidder — most likely to private timber companies. Much of the private land that surrounds the Elliott State Forest is already managed by the Washington-based Weyerhaeuser Corporation, one of the largest landowners in North America. Under private ownership, raw logs from the 2,700 acres could be exported overseas, rather than processed in local mills, furthering hurting the economies of Douglas and Coos County.
Even under public management, sensitive habitat in the Elliott is threatened by destructive logging practices. The Oregon Department of Forestry will resume clearcutting of ancient forest within the Elliott this fall. Salander Between, a 32-acre timber sale of mature, never before logged forest in the Loon Lake watershed— a popular recreation spot for Coos and Douglas County residents— is up for auction in October.
“Considering what a small percentage of the Common School Fund is actually made up by logging the Elliott, it is a travesty to permanently destroy this ecosystem and further destroy the watershed of Coos and Douglas County Citizens,” says Ben Jones of Cascadia Forest Defenders.
DSL's proposal comes at a time when public officials at the state and federal level are also pushing for more aggressive management, and potentially privatization, of our O&C forest lands--millions of acres of low elevation forest currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
“Whether it's Defazio and Wyden on federal forests or Kitzhaber on state lands, Oregon democrats seems to be leading the charge on turning our remaining forests into dollars for private timber, at the expense of Oregon's people, watersheds and ecosystems,” says Jones.
No to privatization of the Elliott!
-Cascadia Forest Defenders
Carl Sciortino Jr. is running for Congress and his dad is proud. Mostly.
The openly gay Democratic House candidate Sciortino comes out to his tea party father in this awesome political ad.
Election season is on us. Let the ads begin. Step it up Oregon!
The FBI released its "Crime in the United States" data for 2012. Eugene recorded 72 forcible rapes in 2012, down from 78 in 2011, and it's interesting to compare Eugene's reported crimes to other cities in Oregon. There were 40 rapes reported in Salem in 2012, up from 32 the previous year. Portland is cut off of the chart below for space, but 231 rapes were reported there in 2012, down from 258 in 2011. (Portland data is included in the chart.)
When comparing statistics on sexual assault, the numbers don't really reflect reality — the Department of Justice's "National Crime Victimization Survey: 2006-2010" stated that nationally, the majority of rapes (56 percent) go unreported to police. Eugene's stats could mean that the city has an unusually high reporting rate thanks to the work of groups like Sexual Assault Support Services. It could also mean that the rate of rape is higher here. It could also mean that there is a low reporting rate and things are really, really bad. As a SASS staffer told EW over the phone: "It's not like comparing apples to oranges. It's like comparing apples to rocks."
The Lane County Commissioners will be getting an update on the now-canceled contract with Kaleidoscope Music Festival at Emerald Meadows. The will also be discusing another controversial outdoor venue, Prindel Creek Farm.
Want to weigh in? Public comments are at 9 am on Tuesday, Sept. 17 or Kaleidoscope has a page for its supporters to give comments here.
Uproar Festival - Ridgefield, WA 9.8.13
Alice in Chains
Coheed and Cambria
Beware of Darkness
Hiss Golden Messenger at Aladdin Theater (9pm, Sept. 4)
Photos by Trask Bedortha
Justin Townes Earle at Aladdin Theater (10pm, Sept. 4)
Photos by Trask Bedortha and Todd Cooper
Bonnie Prince Billy at Aladdin Theater (10pm, Sept. 5th)
Photos by Trask Bedortha and Todd Cooper
Bob Mould at Doug Fir Lounge (11:30pm, Sept. 5)
Photos by Trask Bedortha
Fred Armisen came out for the encore
Diplo at Wonder Ballroom (Midnight, Sept. 6)
Photos by Todd Cooper
Update: Comments are now working!
If you spend much time on either EW or the R-G's website, sooner or later you will run into some comments by MikeWrites. The R-G reported today that MikeWrites, aka Michael Patrick McFadden was one of the people arrested for protesting the closure of the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza. (Ironically for some reason I can't get the comments to work on this blog post).
McFadden has clarified his position and that he is not affiliated with SLEEPS in his comments on articles in the R-G. The image he is currently using for his MikeWrites discussion account is of Sen. Wayne Morse. For more on Morse, known for having said, "as long as I serve on this job I am going to serve my own master under obligation to no one" go here.
McFaddden explains why he was arrested and not cited and released as the three SLEEPS protester were
I exercised my fifth amendment right to not answer questions.
They sent me to jail to punish me for noncompliance.
At the jail I was threatened to be stripped naked and thrown in isolation if I remained silent to intake questioning.
So I assured them that I was not suicidal and was on no drugs and that I had no medical conditions.
mikewrites • a day ago
Well here it is folks. I am Michael Patrick McFadden, age 26.
I stood up for Wayne Morse yesterday and got arrested. I stood up for the Bill of Rights for every citizen and was treated like an animal. I was taken to jail because I exercised my fifth amendment right and that angered the police. I don't have to answer their questions.
I expected this to happen to me. But let me say that I am not and never have been involved with SLEEPS. I am not a SLEEPS protester. I work two jobs and live in a house with my wonderful wife who supports my stance. I have never been arrested before yesterday. I am a civil libertarian.
I don't agree with all of SLEEPS tactics, but I also don't agree with the corrupt Commission limiting me from lawful behavior because of SLEEPS. Their closure is unfair and unneccesary, the plaza is empty and not a health hazard. The police should address illegal behavior and not infringe on law abiding people. I walked unobtrusively off to the side of the empty plaza and sat underneath the Wayne Morse statue. I did not speak or make a scene or bother anyone.
It was a sad day for Oregon yesterday. There are better ways to solve the problem than this... I may return to go sit under Wayne Morse again today, after my arraignment at 1:00.