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January 30, 2014 05:52 PM

This is the update from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality today. Irony duly noted.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a penalty totaling $12,089 to Northwest Hazmat Inc. for storing hazardous waste without a permit and failing to transport hazardous waste to the intended disposal facility. A portion of the penalty reflects the fact that Northwest Hazmat is a professional hazardous waste transporter and provides hazardous waste cleanup services, and consulting and training in hazardous waste management, and therefore is expected to know the regulations.

January 30, 2014 02:30 PM

This just out this week from OSPIRG:

In light of recent privacy breaches at retailers like Target, Neiman Marcus and a potential breach this past week at Michaels, OSPIRG today released a resource, "Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft", offering straightforward steps consumers can take to help keep control of their information.

The resource includes advice on how to avoid identity theft, how to detect it and what to do if your information has been compromised. OSPIRG's advice covers how to make secure payments as well as how to minimize the damage identity theft can do to your credit. Consumers can also find information on how to take advantage of assistance offered by government agencies in restoring security to their information.

The top tips include:

 • Check your credit card and bank account statements regularlyfor fraudulent transactions and report them immediately to the company with which you have an account.

• If someone has stolen your information, get an Identity Theft Affidavit byreporting the breach to the Federal Trade Commission using the online complaint form or by calling 1-877-ID-THEFT and requesting the Affidavit when given the option.

Contact the three major credit reporting companiesto get a free credit report and place a fraud alert and security freeze on your accounts. If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an additional free credit report even if you have already received a free credit report from the credit bureaus within the last 12 months. 
Here is contact information for the three major credit reporting companies:

TransUnion: (800) 680-7289; www.transunion.com Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

• Equifax: (800) 525-6285; www.equifax.com  P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

• Experian: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com  P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013

 

"Consumers can use our guide to help avoid, detect and recover from identity theft," said OSPIRG's Evan Preston. 


January 29, 2014 06:22 PM

The Eugene City Council voted 6-2 today to allow the Whoville camp for the unhoused at the corner of Broadway and Hilyard to remain for another 30 days. 

Homeless advocate Alley Valkyrie of the Nightingale Public Advocacy Collective attended the meeting and took a rather puzzling photo of Councilor George Poling.

Valkyrie posted the picture to her Facebook page and writes:

This was no coincidence, no slip of the finger, so to speak. Councilor Poling, the only councilor who openly and regularly expresses bigoted and prejudiced views towards the homeless, held his finger up in this position at an audience full of homeless advocates for a significant portion of the discussion about Whoville. I saw his finger up for at least 15 minutes, and at one point he moved his hand to scratch his face and then deliberately put his finger up again.

City Council meetings can be watched live or via Metro TV here.

Update: 

According to Jan Bohman, community relations director for the city of Eugene, Councilor Poling "often rests his head on his hand" in this particular position, and he can be seen earlier in the webcast of the meeting during the discussion of the Amazon Headwaters with his hand and finger in the same position, she says. She calls EW "irresponsible" for posting Valkyrie's photo.

January 28, 2014 04:28 PM

January 28, 2014 06:27 PM

Lane County Commission candidate Sandi Mann announced this afternoon (Jan. 28) that she is dropping out of the primary race for the Springfield District 2 position. She says she had put her campaign on the shelf for a few weeks in December and January, and “Now that I am able to get back to it, I’ve lost a lot of momentum.”

Mann says it was difficult to recruit enough volunteers and raise enough money to mount a serious campaign, but she appreciates the support she did receive. Mann is a substitute teacher with area school districts and has been involved in numerous social justice organizations over the years. She served on the Unitarian Church’s Social Justice Comittte and has also been involved  in the work of Occupy Interfaith Social Justice.

This commission race is now down to incumbent Sid Leiken and Springfield City Councilor Sheri Moore. Leiken waited until Jan. 20 to announce that he will be running again.

In 2012, Mann ran for the Oregon Legislature against John Lively and Joe Pishioneri.

January 28, 2014 04:44 PM

Post-snowball fights, etc., here's some UO news we can be proud of:

 

EUGENE, Ore. — (Jan. 28, 2014) — Geraldine Richmond, the Presidential Chair and professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon, has been chosen to serve as president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Richmond will begin her three-year term as an officer and member of the Executive Committee of the AAS Board of Directors on Feb. 19 at the close of the 180th Annual Meeting in Chicago.
 
“The impact of Dr. Richmond’s work can be seen on this campus and around the world,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the UO Graduate School. “For her, research is a means of discovery and of training and of cultivating the scientists of tomorrow. Her passion for scientific research, teaching, and international engagement makes her an ideal choice to serve as the president-elect of the world’s largest general scientific society. We congratulate her on this tremendous honor.”
 
Richmond received her Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1980. She is a distinguished researcher in the field of surface chemistry of complex surfaces and interfaces, a discipline with relevance to environmental remediation, energy production and atmospheric chemistry. She has served on several national scientific advisory boards, including the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Advisory Committee and her current appointment to the National Science Board.
 
In her candidate statement, submitted after being nominated for president-elect, Richmond said she planned to work with the AAAS’s members, officers and directors toward a common goal of assuring the health and vitality of the scientific enterprise around the world. She spoke of the importance of scientific diplomacy and international collaborations and the unique global role played by the AAAS, as well as the need to continue to advocate for science funding and to assure a strong, diverse, motivated and inclusive scientific workforce.
 
Richmond holds the UO’s Presidential Chair in Science. She delivered the UO's Presidential Research Lecture last May, in which she discussed the essential properties of water – everything from the way water and oil interact to the ways in which water sustains life.
In addition to her service to the National Science Board and the University of Oregon, Richmond served on the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of the Oregon University System and its seven universities, from 1999-2006. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Physical Society (APS) Davisson-Germer Prize for Atomic or Surface Physics, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Charles L. Parsons Award, and was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences.
Richmond also is the founder and chair of COACh, an organization created to increase the number and career success of women scientists and engineers both in the U.S. and in developing countries. COACh provides training workshops, mentoring and networking activities and support to recruit and retain women for careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
 
Richmond received an AAAS fellowship in 2003 and is one of 36 current or retired UO faculty members who have been recognized as AAAS fellows by their peers for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. Most recently, in November 2013, the UO’s J. Josh Snodgrass, a biological anthropologist, and Tom H. Stevens, a biochemist, were named fellows. They will beformally presented with official certificates and gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pins during the AAAS annual meeting in February.
At the close of the 2014 Annual Meeting, Richmond will begin her term as president-elect and Gerald Fink will begin his term as AAAS president. Fink is a professor of genetics and founding member of the Whitehead Institute at MIT. The current president, Phillip A. Sharp, will become chairman of the AAAS Board of Directors. Sharp is a 1983 Nobel Prize winner and professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.
 
Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journals Science, Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling.
The full election results can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1evhmJ5.
January 24, 2014 05:21 PM

The West Wing fans rejoice (and Obama haters, go ahead, crack a smile this is fun): With a hat tip to both President Andrew Jackson's 1837 1,400 pound block of cheese and to The West Wing episode in which interest groups who didn't normally get White House access got heard, on Jan. 29, "White House officials will take to social media for a day long 'open house' to answer questions from everyday Americans."

According to the White House Blog, "dozens of White House officials will take to social media for a day long 'open house' to answers questions from everyday Americans in real-time on Twitter,FacebookTumblrInstagram and via Google+ Hangout."

The White House announced this plan with a video starring Bradley Whiford  (Josh Lyman) and Joshua Malina (Will Bailey). I was always a Sam Seaborn fan, but Josh had his boyish charm, back then.

 

January 23, 2014 06:39 PM

The Eugene Human Rights Commission has weighed in on the city's plan to shut down and fence off the Whoville homeless camp, according to an email circulating on Facebook pages that call for aiding the unhoused of Eugene.

January 22, 2014

Dear Mayor, CIty Councilors, and City Manager,

The Eugene Human Rights Commission (HRC) is very concerned with the health and safety of the 40 to 50 residents of Whoville at Broadway and Hilyard. We understand at EPD plans to close the protest camp down and disperse its residents. Among Whoville's residents are people who are disabled, some in wheel chairs, as well as people who suffer from severe mental health issues and substance abuse problems. Such people are often not readily accommodated by shelter services even when beds are available. It is not clear where the residents will go if the camp is shut down.

The HRC unanimously recommends that the following immediate action be taken: Rescind current plans to close Whoville and allow those who presently reside there to remain. This could be done in a number of ways, including a mayoral declaration of a housing emergency that would allow people to stay at Whoville legally. We believe the Whoville residents should be permitted to remain until adequate and accessible alternatives are available.

We also recommend that the City expand the number of operating Rest Stops to at least four. On sis already open. However, specific reasons cited at our HRC meeting by the unhoused and their advocates regarding the City-approved Northwest Expressway site make it unviable as a second site. We believe three additional Rest Stop sites should be established including the site at 8th and Mill favored by advocates for the homeless before closure of the Whoville location is considered. Inclusion of such advocates in the selection of additional sites may expedite the selection process.

From a human rights perspective, a perspective mandated by Eugene's revised Human Rights Ordinance and to which the HRC is highly committed, the recommended actions fall short of fulfilling the human right to housing. However these actions are important steps toward recognizing the basic human right of every person to life, health, and personal security.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Thomson, Chair

Chris Nunes, Vice Chair

Eugene Human Rights Commission

The HRC is recuiting for four new members to serve on the commission, the application period ends March 28.

January 22, 2014 01:01 PM

A little musical primer on coal trains in the Pacific Northwest and grassroots effort to stop them performed by Counterfeit Cash.

January 20, 2014 07:17 PM

Celebrations of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in Springfield and Eugene had big turnouts today, but it looks like you can't celebrate MLK without a racist-type or two showing up. A bagpipe-playing kilt-wearing couple serenaded Springfield while wielding a sign saying "'Diversity' is a code word for white genocide." 

EW has heard allegations that this is the same man who hung the banner over I-5 in Springfield in September 2013 that read "Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white" and that the man in question intends to run for mayor. Anyone know if those allegations are true?

Photo credit: Dana Jo Cook

January 17, 2014 03:13 PM

And you thought "Double D Blond" was eyeroll-worthy. Hop Valley got some bad press when Rebecca Rose of Jezebel wrote about a post from Beervana's  Jeff Alworth that claimed the real name of Hop Valley's "Mr. IPA" is "Mouth Raper." Alworth cited an alias page from ratebeer.com as proof, and a commenter added that she'd looked up the brew on Untapped after seeing it on Twitter as "Mouth Raper," and all the reviews there listed that as its name.

Hop Valley says it's just "Mr. IPA." The brewery posted a response on Facebook: 

We have a series of draft beers named Mr. Orange, Mr. Black and Mr. IPA. It has come to our attention that an urban myth and street name has emerged surrounding Mr. IPA. We take this very seriously and are sensitive to these issues. Accordingly, we have pulled the product and are instructing our distributors to replace any remaining kegs with other offerings. We apologize for any harm or misunderstandings this has created.

Commenter Dana Garves replied to Hop Valley's post, accusing the brewery of lying rather than admitting its mistake. The comments were later taken down, and Garves says she did not delete them herself. A couple of other comments skeptical of the apology are still up as of 1:30 pm Friday, Jan. 17. Here's what Garves originally posted:

Maybe Hop Valley can brew some special batches named for feminist superheroes or something? I'd buy that, even if it was an IPA.

PS: Anyone making the argument that the name was "just a joke" should read Lindy West on how to make a rape joke and Patton Oswalt's excellent essay about rape culture and rape jokes.

January 16, 2014 05:13 PM

If you're curious about "School Days," the Linda Cunningham  artwork that was banned from an Emerald Art Center show for its commentary on gun violence, head to New Zone Gallery, where's its now on display. Our Slant column from the 1-9 issue made an open plea calling for another gallery to display the work. Kudos to New Zone Gallery, home of the Salon de Refusés, for embracing thought-provoking art.

The local case of censorship is also getting national attention.

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) — "an alliance of over 50 national non-profit organizations united in defense of free expression" — blogged about the censorship incident here. Today, Jan. 16, the NCAC Arts Advocacy Project sent a letter to the Emerald Art Center board. The NCAC writes:

"We urge you to revise your exhibition policies toassure that the Emerald Art Center does not become a repressive censor, trampling the artistic freedom of its own members. Such a revision would assure the continuing viability and prosperity of the EAC as a place of artistic excellence thatwould attract new members, rather than lose current ones.

'School Days' brings awareness to the continuing threat of gun violence in schools, a message that the Center’s coordinator agreed was 'important' and that most people considered 'powerful.' According to press reports, however, the Board found the piece 'too controversial' and 'inappropriate' for the members’ show.

Art that engages in issues that we all care about inevitably elicits emotional response: sometimes it elates, at other times it disturbs, but it always provokes though: this is what art is supposed to do. By labeling such art as inappropriate andcensoring it, the Emerald Art Center is doing a disservice to all Association members and is also jeopardizing its position as a relevant cultural institution."

The letter was signed by over 10 local artists including Rogene Manas and Jud Turner, who cancled an upcoming show at the EAC because of the censorship.

You can read the entire NCAC letter here

January 16, 2014 03:27 PM

"New Jersey … only the strong survive." I read that on a T-shirt once. (I think it was the same batch of state shirts that also included "Idaho? No, You da ho.") Bruce Springsteen and the Sopranos have made Jersey famous. Bridge-blocking Gov. Chris Christie makes it infamous.