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EW! A Blog.

March 15, 2013 09:56 AM

In the Family plays at the Bijou this weekend as part of the Good Works Film Festival.

March 13, 2013 04:44 PM

Tired of those Harlem Shake memes (and the misunderstanding of what the Harlem Shake is)?

So are the cops in Portland. They've made a public service announcement asking you to stop. It's kind of realistic right until the part where the white-guy shaker puts his hands behind his back almost before the cops has his cuffs out, but maybe it's doubling as a "how to get arrested" PSA. 

Eugene Police Department: You have been out-memed. Time to step it up. 

H/T Willamette Week.

March 13, 2013 05:05 PM

Are Occupy flyers banned at the library? Is there just a simple misunderstanding about bulletin board policy at the Eugene Public Library?  According to a emailed letter from activist Alley Valkyrie to Lavena Nohrenberg customer experience manager at the library, there might be an  issue with free speech and the library's bulletin board.

The letter is below:

 

Last Sunday, a local activist named Jana Thrift who is involved with the Nuclear Justice events taking place this week tried to hang a flyer on the notice board inside the library towards the front near the elevators. A security guard approached her, a woman with long curly black hair, and told Jana that she could not hang the flyer and it is the library's policy not to allow anything "Occupy-related" to be posted anywhere on library property. When Jana asked why Occupy flyers weren't allowed, the security guard stated that they considered all Occupy flyers "graffiti" and then started to talk about the "sidewalk chalk graffiti" on city sidewalks, and that if anyone had a problem with the policy, to "take it up with the library staff". 

As everyone who in a position of authority on this matter is well aware, the Library is publicly funded. Once a publicly funded library opens a space for public messaging such as the notice board in question, that space becomes a constitutionally-protected public forum under federal law. The library is obviously aware of this to some extent, as the sign that is currently hanging on the board states the following: "Eugene Public Library is not responsible for the contents of this board, but will remove items that are duplicates or that do not constitute legally protected speech." 

The flyer in question undoubtedly constitutes legally protected speech, and the Library has no right to prohibit such a flyer. While certain regulations are allowed in public forums, those regulations need to be content-neutral, and a policy that prohibits flyers on the basis of content is impermissible and unconstitutional save for a "compelling interest" on the part of the City. If the library has such a policy, whether written or verbal, it is undoubtedly in violation of the First Amendment, and I speak for many in the local activist community when I say that this situation concerns us greatly. 

It also needs to be pointed out for the record that the security guard's reasoning for prohibiting Jana from posting the flyer is based on factual inconsistencies. First off, the event that Jana attempted to post a flyer about isn't even an Occupy event, strictly speaking. It is an event that is co-coordinated by several non-profits in town, including CALC, Our Islands Conservation Center, the University of Oregon's Survival Center, as well as Occupy Eugene. 

Second, the vast majority of the "sidewalk chalk graffiti" throughout downtown Eugene is not done by nor has anything to do with Occupy Eugene. I take personal responsibility for most of the chalking downtown, and I don't do it on behalf of Occupy Eugene or any other group. I have initiated multiple discussions with the Eugene Police Department around chalking on public sidewalks over the past two years, and overall the police agree with my view that expressive messages written with sidewalk chalk does not constitute "graffiti" and is a constitutionally-protected exercise. If the Library believes that my chalking is graffiti, by all means notify the police and I will discuss it with them once more. But there is no connection whatsoever between the flyers that Jana tried to post and the chalk that occasionally appears on the sidewalks outside the library, and for the security guard to use my chalking as a justification for Jana not being able to hang a flyer is simply absurd.

I am hoping that what happened last Sunday was a result of either poor communication and/or a misunderstanding between library staff and security, or an instance where the security guard simply abused her authority for questionable reasons. If there is a Eugene Public Library policy that does prohibit any flyers from Occupy, I would appreciate a copy of the policy in writing as well as an explanation from the City Attorney as to why the City believes that such a policy is legally justifiable.

I await your reply, and I am hoping that this situation can be easily resolved.

Thank you,

Alley Valkyrie

March 13, 2013 02:16 PM

March 12, 2013 05:39 PM

 Progressive folk singer David Rovicswill be performing at a concert to benefit The People's World, a free workers' newspaper, at 6 pm Friday, March 15, at the LCC Performance Hall, 1475 E. 15th Ave. Cosponsored by the Community Party, USA and the Alliance of Happy Atheists, an ASUO student group, with financial support from the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, the graduate employee union on campus.

March 11, 2013 01:25 PM

It's sort of "We are the World" for anti-fracking. With lyrics like "We can't afford for the world to get hotter/and we can't afford poly-nuclear-aromatic-hydrocarbons in our water" and "Now hold up kid, listen if you will/You can't tell a man where to stuck his drill" (the latter lyric sung by the bad fracker, of course) Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono enlist everyone from Fred Armisen of Portlandia to Susan Sarandon to playfully jump in and sing "Don't frack my Mother."

The video also features Carrie Fisher, Liv Tyler, members of Wilco and the Strokes. More info at Artists Against Fracking.

H/T to the Earth First! Newswire.

March 11, 2013 05:03 PM

A Vancouver, B.C., neighborhood has filled in with hundreds of SDUs, Secondary Dwelling Units, giving a boost to density without diminishing liveability.

See http://wkly.ws/1ft

March 8, 2013 03:37 PM

It's  official. According to local designer, business owner and coproducer of Fashion Week, Mitra Chester, the two biggest fashion shows of Eugene Fashion Week will be hosted at The Shedd, May 3 & 4. Beautiful clothes in a beautiful venue? We're in. Belly and Oak Street Speakeasy will be hosting  the smaller runway shows. 

Interested in modeling some local threads? Channel your inner Naomi Campbell or Mark Vanderloo and strut your stuff to the model call at 7 pm Monday, March 11, at Oak Street Speakeasy. Participants must be 18 years old to model (21 for the lingerie show). For more information (what to bring, what to wear) visit Eugene Fashion Week's Facebook page.

March 7, 2013 12:47 PM

Peter DeFazio is cosponsoring legislation to expand who pays into Social Security. See http://wkly.ws/1fs

March 7, 2013 06:15 PM

As we reported in this week's EW.

When it comes to saving the environment, lawyers and protesters often go hand in hand, so it may come as no surprise that alongside (though not an official part of) the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the UO Feb. 28 to March 3, there were acts of protest.

The annual Outlaw Bash party and fundraiser tradition, as described by longtime environmentalist Michael Donnelly in an article inCounterPunch, is “music, libations and ever-popular bonfires of mock-ups of eco-destruction.” This year’s effigy burned in the fire featured Secretary of State Kate Brown and Gov. John Kitzhaber on their knees praying before a massive chainsaw emblazoned with “salvation” on one side and “Christihl” on the other (Stihl is a popular brand of chainsaw). 

The effigy was a comment on Kitzhaber and Brown’s presence on the State Land Board that governs Oregon’s state forests and their vote to dramatically increase clearcut logging on the forests. The Elliott State Forest is home to some of Oregon’s last coastal rainforests, and it houses threatened and endangered species, such as the marbled murrelett.

But they do say a picture is worth a thousand words …

"Kitzhaber" and "Brown," paying homage to the mighty chainsaw (the gov's boots and 'stache are a nice touch)

Close up of "Kate Brown" and a random beer

Burning like a forest fire …

March 7, 2013 05:35 PM

March 6, 2013 11:36 AM

Here’s a notice sent out this morning (March 6) from District 4J’s communications coordinator, Kerry Delf:

Next year, the Eugene School District will change how it provides school nursing services, moving away from a model that concentrates resources in four school-based health clinics located on high school campuses, in order to funnel more support to elementary and middle school students.

The district currently operates school-based health centers at Churchill, North Eugene, Sheldon and South Eugene High Schools. 4J provides approximately $789,000 per year in operating support.  Additional funds come from state funding, grants, donations and billings for service. 

The district is considering whether a community medical provider could operate at least one school-based health center next year. “We recognize that our school-based health centers have allowed many students to have easy access to medical and mental health services right on their school campus,” said Cheryl Linder, director of 4J’s Education Support Services. “At the same time, we have a growing number of elementary and middle school students with chronic health conditions requiring nursing support.”

The district now has just over four full-time nursing positions assigned to cover 26 elementary and middle schools. That equates to 2,471 students for every school nurse.

Seven more nursing positions will be added next year, bringing the total to 11.65 full time equivalent nurses to serve the district’s nearly 16,000 students. Each high school will retain a school nurse. A nurse will also be assigned to serve each middle school and its two feeder elementary schools. The student-to-nurse ratio will be about 1,355 students per nurse. The National Association of School Nurses and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a ratio of 750 students per school nurse.

Many school districts have health clinics staffed by nurse practitioners and sometimes physicians and mental health therapists that can diagnose and treat some conditions, but the Eugene School District’s model has been unique. Eugene has one clinic at each of its high schools. The four clinics are staffed and operated by the school district, and heavily supported by the district’s operating budget. It is more typical for a school district to have fewer school-based health clinics, operated by an outside medical provider rather than the school district. For example, the Salem-Keizer and Hillsboro school districts each have only one school-based health clinic to serve students and families.

“The vision that prompted the district to provide a health clinic in each high school is certainly desirable, but it’s no longer financially sustainable nor does it meet the needs of our younger students today,” Linder said.

District staff began to consider other models for providing student health services this fall, prompted in part by new state requirements that would require the district to invest in new billing and electronic health records systems to meet state requirements. Grant funding to help support the clinics has declined and fewer students are now served at the clinics than in past years. That’s likely because the Oregon Health Plan now covers more students who were previously uninsured and underinsured, allowing better access to physicians and medical care.

“By reallocating resources, we can significantly increase the number of school nurses, improve the health services we provide to our younger students, and focus on helping our students and families access physicians and healthcare services in our community,” Linder said. “At the same time, we’re saddened to tell many valuable staff members that we won’t have clinic jobs for them in the future.”

March 5, 2013 08:22 PM

Protesters take over Franklin Boulevard.

The Cascadia Forest Defenders, Deep Green Resistance and other groups held an "action against extraction" on Sunday, March 3, following the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, to call attention to global-warming inducing tar sands pipelines, fracking, coal exports and other damaging fossil-fuel projects. More in this week's EW.

 

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March 5, 2013 03:00 PM

According to Deadline.com, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart will be taking an extended summer vacation to make his directorial debut:

Stewart has written the script, and will direct Rosewater, an adaptation of the book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival. Published in 2011 by Random House, the book is Maziar Bahari’s harrowing ordeal of leaving London in June 2009 to cover Iran’s presidential elections. With a pregnant fiance left behind, the BBC journalist expected to be away for a week. Instead, he spent the next 118 days in Iran’s most notorious prison being brutally interrogated by a man he knew only by one thing: he smelled of Rosewater. Bahari wrote the book with Aimee Molloy. Scott Rudin will produce with Stewart and Gigi Pritzker. 

The silver lining? British correspondant John Oliver will be filling his seat.