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February 12, 2015 11:30 AM

The ongoing battle between car sharing service Uber and the city of Eugene has taken to social media. Let the Twitter wars begin!

Uber has launched an online petition asking Eugene to back down on its stance that the ride service must obtain the same $400 permits local taxi companies have. It is using the hashtag #EugeneNeedsUber.

Eugene is responding with #EugeneDeservesSafety and tweeted back at the petition that Uber could "Or you could just agree to City driver checks, insurance reqs, & car safety checks. Not hard."

Snark from a city Twitter feed? #winning.

 

In the R-G's story today, which also gives some background on the Uber-dispute over the regulations, it says the city did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the petition, but the city is commenting now. 

The city responded to the criticism that Eugene's "old regs" are a "big problem" with " Actually, updated code for apps & offered to do more once Uber agrees to safety reqs - driver checks, insurance, & car checks."

 

We're hoping the city keeps tagging us on its responses throughout the day. You can follow the tweets at the city's feed here.

February 12, 2015 06:06 PM

Update: Kitzhaber has resigned and Oregon has the nation's first openly bisexual governor.

Portland media has been having a field day (or rather field month or two) with Gov. John Kitzhaber's troubles and the back and forth question of whether he plans to step down or not. Now, as the story gets weirder, it's gone national with the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and the Washington Post, among others, tracking Oregon's non-lethal version of OJ Simpson's slowspeed chase down the freeway. 

Here's the WaPo's summary of what it calls "The Long, Bizarre — and Dumbfounding — Saga of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber."

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) had decided to resign his office Tuesday over continuing questions about his fiancee's actions as a consultant, according to the Oregonian. Then, on Wednesday, he reportedly changed his mind.

The governor is pretty clearly holding onto his career by a thread. As summarized over on GovBeat, first lady Cylvia Hayes was guiding state employees on the implementation of a new policy even as she was doing private consulting work for a group pushing the same policy. The story has taken several turns, most recently with the Oregonian, the state's largest newspaper, calling on Kitzhaber to resign. A recall effort has also been launched, as has a criminal investigation by the state attorney general. And tangentially, there's that whole matter from last year about Hayes havingmarried an 18-year-old Ethiopian to secure a green card for him in exchange for $5,000. She neglected to inform the governor of this before the media unearthed it.

In its article, "Love and Politics Collide as Scandals Plague Oregon’s Fourth-Term Governor," the NYT kicks off with more on the enviro aspect of the Hayes saga and the fact Kitzhaber is a long-term governor:

The inquiries stem from contracting work that Ms. Hayes, 47, a clean-energy consultant, performed and was paid for while living with the governor and advising him on clean-energy issues. Those issues have long been a priority of Mr. Kitzhaber’s administration, but now they are bound up in, and perhaps undermined by, questions of whether love and politics got too cozy in the governor’s mansion.

But the deeper trouble is that after 12 years in office, the governor’s enemies and critics — and erstwhile supporters, who think he has simply stayed in office too long — have grown like compound interest over everything from his laid-back management style to the disastrous rollout of the state health insurance website, which never fully worked and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

Today's latest was the news that Secretary of State Kate Brown — who would take the governor's seat should Kitz step down — was rushing back from Washington DC, leading politcos to speculate he was ready to leave. Before her plane landed, Kitzhaber announced he was in fact not stepping down.

Here is Brown's press release in response and you can hear more about it via KLCC.

As the Christian Science Monitor reports, fellow Dems such as state Treasurer Ted Wheeler are calling for Kitz to step down. 

Willamette Week, which broke the Hayes saga originally, is now saying Kitzhaber's office sought to destroy thousands of documents.

The Oregonian, which has been birddogging the issue as well is now providing live updates. 

Anyone taking bets on which late night and news-satire or commentary shows Oregon will be on tonight? This almost beats the attack owls.

February 10, 2015 03:28 PM

John Oliver is back on the air and takes a hard (and funny) look at the pharmaceutical industry and its impact on all of us.

February 9, 2015 03:59 PM

Rachel Maddow loves talking about the peculiarities of Oregon and now she has more fodder with the Kitzhaber controversy and attacking owls in a Salem park.

February 9, 2015 02:08 PM

Sam Smith and Beck (ah-hem, white dudes in general — we're looking at you Eminem for winning Best Rap Album) may have swept the Grammy Awards last night  (Smith nabbed Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album while Beck won Best Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Engineered Album-Non-Classical) but Australian singer-songwriter Sia, comedian Kristen Wiig and dancer Maddie Ziegler stole the show performing Sia's "Chandelier." The performance was crazy, silly, emotional — a refreshing change of pace from the staged and canned performances that usually grace the stage at the Grammys. Wiig proves herself here again as a top physical comedian and Ziegler has proven herself as someone to watch.

Check out the Grammy performance here.

Can we please bring Sia to Eugene please?

Sia and Ziegler, age 12, paired up for the 2014 music video for "Chandelier," which has been viewed more than 520 million times. That's right 520 MILLION TIMES. Check it out below.

February 9, 2015 10:54 AM

We're big fans of Stepahnie McMillan and wish we had more space for her cartoons and essays. You can find her website here:

February 9, 2015 03:34 PM

The Los Angeles Times has a story today about California's experience with a open primary with top-two candidates advancing to the general election, regardless of party. A similar law was turned down by Oregon voters in November. So far, the promises made by top-two advocates in California, such as improved primary turnout, have not materialized in the first couple of election cycles.

See http://wkly.ws/1xs

February 4, 2015 02:03 PM

You might want to get advance tickets for the Greta Matassa shows as they could sell out. See thejazzstation.org

February 4, 2015 02:52 PM

Leave it to Ninkasi to bring the last word on just how awesome craft beer is. After a Budweiser superbowl commercial (not the one with the cute puppies and horses) knocked microbrew, accusing craft beer of dissecting and fussing over our favorite sudsy stuff, Ninkasi had something to say. Just watch the video.

February 4, 2015 01:39 PM

Robert Reich shows why we should object to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest trade agreement in history, that has gotten little public attention.

February 4, 2015 02:44 PM

In this age of autocorrect, what would happen if the word "tornado" got dropped from your computer's spell-check function and was replaced. If you were writing a news story about the weather, it might read something like this ...

Authorities in Arkansas were picking through the debris left by a massive tomato that plowed through the Little Rock area Sunday. Fifteen people were killed in Arkansas, while separate tomatoes killed one person in Oklahoma and another in Kansas. The tomato that slammed into Vilonia, Ark., on Sunday grew to about half a mile wide and was among a rash of tomatoes that rumbled across the center and south of the country overnight. The National Weather Service warned that more deadly tomatoes would strike in parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee on Tuesday.