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February 1, 2012 11:57 AM

Conservation groups have been criticizing Congressman Peter DeFazio for his forest trust plan (see press release below) and DeFazio has responded. See the full story in tomorrow's EW.

Oregon Wild and their allies continue to defend the status quo at the expense of our forests and rural communities. While they believe they are “winning” the battle by through endless litigation and appeals, they’re wrong. What is Oregon Wild actually advocating for? If the Northwest Forest Plan was fully implemented most of the remaining old growth in Western Oregon would be on the chopping block. Or should the timber industry prevail in pending litigation to fully implement the O&C Act, we could see harvest levels twice as high as WOPR again liquidating the remaining old growth.

I opposed the Northwest Forest Plan in 1994 because it wouldn’t deliver promised levels of timber to local mills and it lacked protections for old growth. The bipartisan, sustainable timber management plan I envision includes historic conservation victories. For the first time old growth timber would be protected legislatively. The plan would protect the iconic Rogue River wilderness and Devil’s Staircase. Yes, the plan would involve harvesting timber; but it is focused on younger stands and harvests in a sustainable way to maintain forest health and protect the most sensitive areas.

As I have explained to Oregon Wild previously, the Republicans are in the majority in the House and negotiations are not concluded. Once we have reached some agreement to move forward, we will be able to provide more detailed text. At that point, I would like to have public hearings, markup, and observe regular legislative procedure through the subcommittee, full committee and full House.

And today's press release from Oregon Wild:

New Plan Would Solve County Payments Impasse
Local, state, and national groups unveil plan to replace federal subsidies without resorting to clear-cutting public lands

Eugene, Ore—As Oregon county governments receive their last checks from federal taxpayers under the expired county payments program, a coalition of six local, state, and national conservation organizations today unveiled a balanced, three-pronged strategy to solve the looming county funding crunch. With uncertainty around Congress extending this important program, the groups are promoting a shared responsibility approach, where county governments, the State of Oregon, and the federal government would each take responsibility for resolving a portion of the problem.

This common-sense proposal stands in stark contrast to a vague plan being developed by Reps. Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, and the House Republican leadership. They propose re-linking county funding to clear-cutting on public lands, and weakened endangered species and clean water protections. The Shared Responsibility plan would restore county funding through:

• Administrative savings secured through the transfer of Bureau of Land Management forestlands to the U.S. Forest Service.
• A modest increase in the Oregon State Forest Products Harvest Tax given the windfall from increases in log prices and booming exports shipped to China.
• A small increase in local government property tax rates from existing but presently unused taxing authority.
• Increased ecological restoration that will create jobs while restoring forests and watersheds.

“The DeFazio bill is the wrong approach. We can’t clear-cut our way to prosperity,” observed Steve Pedery, Conservation Director of Oregon Wild. “There is a world of difference between the sustainable, restoration-based forest management that Oregonians support and this proposal re-linking county funding to clear-cutting and weakened environmental safeguards on our public lands.”

“This proposal will split the baby. It is based on failed policies of the past, that counties can log their way out of the problem,” said Randi Spivak, VP Government Affairs, Geos Institute. “Instead of effectively giving away public forests, there are better solutions that share the responsibility and are fair to national taxpayers, benefit the counties, clean water, salmon and wildlife.”

For decades, counties with O&C lands received funding based on the amount of timber harvested from these federal public lands. The epidemic of logging in the 1970s and 1980s inflated county budgets but also polluted thousands of miles of Oregon’s rivers and severely damaged fish and wildlife habitat. Strong public opposition finally brought an end to rampant clear-cutting in the 1990s – and the money going to counties from timber sales shrank. Congress cushioned the fall by instituting Secure Rural Schools legislation, first passed in 2000, to help transition the counties away from dependence on federal timber receipts. These county payments expired this January.

County governments have known that the expiration of payments from federal taxpayers was coming. Still, due to political opposition to tax increases and poor planning on the part of some county governments, many counties face insolvency in the coming year. Curry County in southwest Oregon faces the grimmest scenario in part because its residents pay the lowest property tax in the state. As the Shared Responsibility plan points out, if Curry and the other O&C counties were to pay their fair share (1/3) to replace county payments, proportionally the taxes on a median home in Curry County would have to rise $1.33/week—less than a cup of coffee.

The Shared Responsibility plan outlines three funding sources for the $110 million that the 18 O&C Counties have asked for. The proposal recognizes the need for county, state, and federal governments to provide stable county funding and a diversified economy without sacrificing the important financial and quality-of-life benefits that western Oregon forests provide. Current and former county commissioners have also expressed concern over re-linking county budgets to clear-cut logging on public lands. While not endorsers of the Shared Responsibility plan, here is what some of them had to say.

Pete Sorenson, long-time Lane County Commissioner: “Clean drinking water, fish and wildlife, and the natural amenities of our forests bring jobs and investment to Oregon. Grand plans for linking our funding to unsustainable logging only provide false hope to Lane and other counties.”

Peg Reagan, former Curry County commissioner and director of the Conservation Leaders Network: “With a slow housing market and limited demand for domestic timber, there is just no way that increased logging can match what counties were receiving from Secure Rural Schools payments. We need a balanced solution to help counties avoid bankruptcy – we can’t ask our forests to make the only sacrifice.”

Additional resources:

• Read the full Shared Responsibility plan for more details.
• Find a brief fact sheet on the proposed DeFazio logging trust plan here.

Facts and Figures:

• Curry County could make up its fair share (1/3) of lost Secure Rural Schools payments with a minor increase in property taxes comparable to an increase of $1.33 a week for a median priced home. Even at this increased rate, Curry County taxpayers would still pay approximately half of the Multnomah County property tax rate.
• Josephine County’s property tax rate is 54% below the state wide average.
If western Oregon BLM lands were held in private ownership, they would generate only $8 million in estimated annual tax revenue compared to the $110 million the counties are asking for.
• Transferring 2.6 million acres of BLM forestlands to the Forest Service will generate a savings of $113.3 million. In western Oregon, BLM spends 4.3 times more to manage an acre of land than the FS.

January 31, 2012 06:31 PM

Beats Antique live 1.25.12 | Photo by Rob Sydor | digitallatte.com

Click any image to view the complete Beats Antique gallery. All photos by Rob Sydor.

Beats Antique live 1.25.12 | Photo by Rob Sydor | digitallatte.com Beats Antique live 1.25.12 | Photo by Rob Sydor | digitallatte.com Beats Antique live 1.25.12 | Photo by Rob Sydor | digitallatte.com Beats Antique live 1.25.12 | Photo by Rob Sydor | digitallatte.com Beats Antique live 1.25.12 | Photo by Rob Sydor | digitallatte.com

January 31, 2012 04:50 PM

State Rep. Terry Beyer of Springfield announced today (Jan. 31) her decision not to seek re-election to House District 12. She says she supports former Springfield Mayor John Lively to fill the seat.

January 31, 2012 06:10 PM

January 27, 2012 02:09 PM

Did you miss the Ninja March against banks last week? Never fear, Ustream is here.

The kazoos start around minute 34, there's also a game of Red Rover and some chanting of ommmm. Eugene Daily News tried to cover the march, but apparently got distracted by pizza and missed most of it.

The Vagilutionaries have been marching against Citizen's United. And FYI it is legal in Eugene to be topless.

January 19, 2012 05:55 PM

We the People-Eugene announced today (Thursday) that weather has caused the relocation of Friday's Occupy the Courts rally from the U.S. Courthouse to the First Christian Church, 1166 Oak St.

The event marks the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision which has generated a flood of corporate political spending. Speakers include Paul Cienguegos (at about 3 pm), and many other speakers working on local grassroots citizen initiatives, musicians, performers and wrapping up with an open mic.

A mock trial of “Mr. Big & the Supremes” will begin with the arraignment of the defendants at noon. Gordon Lafer will speak on “Unions & Citizens United at 2:10 pm, followed by Karly Loveling’s music at 12:30, Roy Keene on “Who Owns Lane County” at 12:40 and a speaker from Occupy Eugene at 12:40.

Day Own of the Pitchfork Rebellion will speak at 1:10, Pam Driscoll of Friends of Parvin Butte will speak at 1:20. John Davidson will speak on “Corporations and the Constitution” at 1:30 and Occupy Eugene will do street theater at 1:45.

Defendants will be indicted at 2 pm and Julian Harrison will speak on Occupy Wall Street at 2:05, followed by Sabrina Siegel, Paul Cienfuegos, Stan Taylor, David Rogers (music), Frost (Park Street Theater), the sentencing of the defendants, and an open mic.

The schedule is subject to change. Call 937-3034 for updates.

January 17, 2012 03:35 PM

Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy’s re-election campaign kick-off is from 5 to 7 pm tonight, Jan. 17 at the historic Willakenzie Grange Hall, 3055 Willakenzie Road, two blocks east off Coburg Road. He will be running against Pat Farr and Mike Clark, so far, in the May 8 primary. Under county rules in nonpartisan races, if one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary, he or she will go on the November ballot unopposed. If no candidate gets 50-plus percent of the votes, the top two will run against each other in November.

Handy’s campaign website is www.robhandy.com and he can be reached at rob@robhandy.com

January 4, 2012 01:26 PM

Sports reporters have long been blasted for pursuing homerism that roots for the home team rather than journalism. So it's interesting to look at the alternative realities of a Register-Guard v. Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel Rose Bowl match up.

Here's the game-ending spike that the "reporters" largely covered by watching on TV like everyone else:

Here's the R-G coverage by Rob Moseley:

"the Badgers were unable to spike the ball in time to stop the clock, after using their timeouts much earlier in the half than they would have liked....The Badgers tried in vain to stop the clock but couldn't, as the replay review confirmed."

Here's coverage in the Pulitzer Prize winning Journal Sentinel by Jeff Potrykus:

"UW hurried to the line of scrimmage and Wilson spiked the ball with a second left but the referee ruled time expired. A video review upheld the call and the game was over....

'I knew there was two seconds left on the clock,' Wilson said. 'As soon as the referee blew the whistle, I snapped it and spiked it. I didn't think there was any way that two full seconds ran off the clock there.'

"Bielema vexed by a few of officials' calls," Potrykus reports in a second story quoting the Wisconsin coach.

 

The Wisconsin paper reports that in the first half:

"UW lost 13 seconds on its final possession of the first half and thus lost an opportunity to try for a go-ahead score."

In the second half, the paper quotes the Wisconsin coach:

"Basically what happened was, I know his foot touched the line," Bielema said. "It gets down to an issue of where the ball is. I was trying to get a read from my sideline official if we could review forward momentum. He didn't understand the question where I was at, and that's why they charged me a timeout."

But the Wisconsin paper's columnist Michael Hunt blames the coach for the loss:

"But for Wisconsin to blow a second consecutive Rose Bowl in basically the same freakish way it dropped two games in a 2011 season that now seems completely wasted in the aftermath of the 45-38 loss to Oregon, that is hard to forgive or forget.

Bad things don't happen to talented teams like UW on sheer randomness. They happen because of a lack of preparation and poor coaching decisions."

Meanwhile, RG columnist George Schroeder ignores all this and revels in victory with the man who paid for it all:

"It's very, very special," said the biggest fan and benefactor, Nike founder Phil Knight.

June 8, 2011 01:52 PM

Never mind that the lavish UO jock-in-the box for student athletes is sucking away academic money, boosting tuition for regular students who are excluded from the facility, it's a death trap for baby ducks:

GO DUCKS!

May 2, 2011 09:54 AM

The U.S. finally got Osama bin Laden. Whoop de doo, George Bush taught us years ago to just forget about him:

Good thing we finally got a Democrat in office to get the job done:

April 7, 2011 10:59 AM

If you read our Spring 2011 Chow and want to share recipes or tips for finding ingredients for local baking, add them in the comments.

Here are a few recipes we tried out, adapted for local ingredients:

Biscuits

English-ish Muffins
makes 10 big muffins

¼ cup butter
1 tbsp honey
1 cup sourdough starter
8 ounces milk
3 cups flour
1 egg
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder dissolved in 1 tbsp water (if you want an English muffin-type texture)
cornmeal for dusting griddle (optional, not pictured)

Mix butter, honey, milk, starter and egg. Set aside. Mix flour & salt, add milk/sourdough mixture, mix until combined. Let rise for 1.5 hours, covered with a wet dishrag.

Stir in dissolved baking powder. Heat griddle to medium. Put about ¼ cup onto griddle at a time. Flip halfway through. They’re done about a minute after the sides look like English muffins.

Bread

Whatever Bread
makes a little loaf

1 cup sourdough starter
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp baking powder
½ tbsp salt
1 egg
1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour (have extra on hand)
¾ cup bread flour
6 tbsp butter, plus extra to grease pan and brush top
¼ cup milk (or buttermilk)

Mix starter, milk, egg, butter, honey, baking powder, salt and bread flour. Slowly add one cup whole wheat flour, blending in more until just tough enough to start kneading. The total amount of flour depends on the consistency of your starter. Grease bread pan, put dough in pan and allow to rise in warm place at least an hour, covered with a wet dishrag. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush crust with butter.

Shortbread

Rosemary Sea Salt Shortbread
makes one 8x8 pan

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup honey
1 cup flour (we used whole wheat)
1 tsp coarse sea salt, plus a pinch to sprinkle on top
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus a pinch to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend butter, honey and salt, then stir in rosemary. Slowly add flour, blending until smooth. Press into a 8x8 pan and sprinkle top with extra sea salt and rosemary. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden. Remove, cut immediately, wait five minutes (less and it crumbles severely, more and it sticks to the pan) and remove from the pan.

March 25, 2011 08:06 AM

Nerds (said with love, people; I am one, OK?) sometimes come back from nerd conventions talking about having caught "con crud," an unavoidable illness caught while in the company of so frakking many other people. I woke up on Friday with what I'll call "festival funk." I blame everyone, no one and my own late hours. Take your vitamins, SXSW campers. Or at least drink your vodka with orange juice. Festival funk will screw with your days.

I couldn't string a coherent sentence together for much of Friday, so here are a few disconnected thoughts from Day 16,239 — I mean, Day Eight — in Austin:

1. Apps someone should create and hope to make a killing on for next SXSW:
• An updater that tells you how packed each movie screening is.
• A map the entire function of which is to get you from place to place quickly while spending the least time ducking and bobbing around drunks on Sixth Street.
• A schedule that combines the official festival events with the countless day parties and nearby free shows. There was a website that got close to the latter, but it was still a little on the more-research-needed side. And I'm not just saying that because I forgot about it until Saturday.

2. Were there few people at the Writing About Music in the Twenty Tens panel because everyone was still hung over at 12:30 in the afternoon? Because everyone who wants to write about music is just doing it rather than wondering about it? Because people have figured out that panels aren’t going to give you a magical one-sentence key to how to become Chuck Klosterman? Regardless, once the panel got through its way-too-long personal introductions, it was a good reminder to embrace new technologies, be open to new ways of “thinking hard about music” (a phrase Ann Powers attributed to her husband, Eric Weisbard) and maintain your voice.

3. There’s a fashion/clothing show/sale during the music part of SXSW. There is nothing like this during the interactive part. Draw your own conclusions.

4. Was I underwhelmed by White Denim, the overcrowded venue in which they were playing, or both? If you're into that sort of '70s rock influenced, jammy-noodly, neither-here-nor-there rockish sound that feels like it's been making the rounds for a while now, you probably want to check them out.

5. It’s more than a little disheartening how few men attend any panel about women in the music business. Liz Phair tells stories about being treated like she’s selling sex, not music; Jenny Eliscu talks about the lack of female reviewers at Rolling Stone; Sarah Baer has tales from the Warped Tour and great advice about how to make yourself useful in the business; Maggie Vail talks about Kill Rock Stars' Slim Moon telling her that in her job, she can always tell anyone to fuck off; and Wanda Jackson is goddamn Wanda Jackson. These successful, smart women are sitting on stage saying that things are still changing slowly. Too slowly. And very few men are listening.

Read more after the jump.

6. Shorts have really made a comeback in the hearts of twentysomethings who likely wouldn’t have been caught dead in them a year or two ago.

7. When you’re a little wary of seeing a band for reasons you can’t put a finger on, just skip it. There are a million other things to do and see. The thing about SXSW is, you have to be mercenary, whether you want to or not. Panel sucks? Go to another one. Band is running late/soundchecking for half their allotted set/not floating your boat? Ditch. It’s easy to get frustrated seeing a lot of things you don’t love, but the thing you do love might be less than a block away. It is also very easy to spend a lot of time wondering what you're missing. Stop wondering. Go find out. SXSW is exhausting. It is also amazing. It's a big, loud, drunken Choose Your Own Adventure book.

8. You must make it a rule not to eat anything in the convention center while you are at SXSW. Eat pancake-batter-dipped, deep-fried jalapeno sausages from the cart outside. Follow #SXSWFreeNoms on Twitter and find your way to free grilled cheeses and empanadas. Go to Progress Coffee (near the Fader Fort, for those inclined that way) and eat jalapeno-cheddar breakfast biscuits. One friend is addicted to Kebabalicious. Everyone will tell you to go to Jo's Coffee. Caffé Medici on Congress was reliably mellow. And did I mention East Side King? They make brussels sprouts delectable. I wouldn't joke about this. Honest.

9. Good earplugs are your friends. Ear-shaped earplugs. Not those useless yellow foam things. You can pick up decent ones in Gear Alley in the convention center.

10. People will wear boots with anything. Anything.

11. Seeing a bunch of actual kids at a Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls show is delightful in any city.

12. The mere sight of a person nibbling on a treat from the Hey Cupcake truck is enough to inspire intense cravings for cream cheese icing and rich, decadent cake.

13. You can keep your pounders of Lone Star (not that there's anything wrong with them). Why not give the local microbrews a shot? Live Oak’s hefeweizen tastes pretty damn good when you’re sweating.

14. Strangest sight downtown: One dude is in full I’m-gonna-vomit posture, kneeling on the street with his hands on the pavement. A second dude is enthusiastically punching the sky with both fists right behind the unwell dude. Next to them, a third dude has a giant wooden cross slung over one shoulder. Barely anyone bats an eyelash at any of this.

15. Bored security guys getting their groove on to the bass-heavy tunes coming from across the street can really brighten up your night.

16. A good heckle goes a long way.

17. The Ghost Room is still my favorite SXSW venue, and not just because it has the nicest bathrooms. But it does. It's also wood-paneled and comfortable and has nice corners for hiding in with your laptop.

18. I didn’t hear any journalists or other panelists taking digs at bloggers this year; instead, I heard a dude in a band bitching about them. What these cranky pissants fail to realize is that bloggers writing about the records they love (and hate) is the 21st century equivalent of music fans anywhere, anytime telling someone else about the things they've recently discovered. Blogging is a kid telling his friend at school about this new band he heard, or a record store clerk taking notice of a customer’s buying habits and recommending something new, or a big sister passing on cool records to her little brother. Bloggers are writing and thinking about music because they care. Anyone who writes about music — or visual art, or theater, or film, or dance — is doing it because he or she cares.

19. Said cranky pissant was Ben Foster (or Ben Weasel, if you prefer), of Screeching Weasel, who went on one hell of a tirade about SXSW, the venue his band was playing, what he was getting paid and how critics are "fucking parasites" and bloggers don't matter. Among other things. I missed the part where he got in an actual physical fight because I grew bored with his ranting during the fake encore break: the rest of the band left the stage, but Foster stayed front and center, mocking tattoos and generally being a cranky sonofabitch.

By then, it was pretty clear it wasn't worth taking anything he said seriously. Which was vaguely a shame, because there were probably some interesting questions in the middle of all the unfiltered bile. It is worth $250 (what Foster said they were paid) for a band like Screeching Weasel to play SXSW? How much do they spend on travel and lodging? Are they going to draw potential new fans or a crowd of distantly curious bystanders and the people who've liked them for ages and are willing to pay $20 for a ticket or fork out for a SXSW badge or wristband? (A small crowd stood on the sidewalk outside the Scoot Inn, watching over the fence.) What is the actual value of a SXSW showcase for a band that's been around too long to realistically expect a sudden turn in the spotlight?

It's all moot now, though. Foster may have apologized for the altercation with a female fan, but the rest of the band quit Wednesday. I guess it was a career-ending performance, as Spin's Charles Aaron described, after all.

20. Post-midnight show-hopping: The Bellrays, We Are Hex (I don't know what the hell was going on as I was watching from the street, but I need to know more), The Head and the Heart. I needed to end the night on a joyous, upbeat note, and TH&TH delivered, for as long as I could stay on my feet. They were smiling, dancing, brightening up the outdoor stage at Red 7, and working the necessary magic for both the late hour and the kind of band they are: You've got to find a way to stand out when you're a harmonizing, foot-stomping, hand-clapping, sorta old-timey kind of band, and they do, through bright songwriting and cheery stage presence (among other things). My companion said it would be good music for a Sunday morning. It would also be good music for late night at Sam Bond's. If they play in town? Go.