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EW! A Blog.

December 13, 2012 03:44 PM

The Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep (SLEEPS) folks are challenging the closure of free speech plaza — a fence is now closing off the free speech plaza to prevent more protesting. (Would you like some paprika to sprinkle on that irony?) At least one protester has been cited. Here is the latest SLEEPS press release we've received; we'll be updating if we hear more:

12:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 13:

SLEEPS will return to FREE SPEECH PLAZA at 1PM today, Thursday, to challenge the unconstitutional closing of the plaza in response to the SLEEPS protest there December 10-12.  County Administrator Liann Richardson ordered the plaza closed Tuesday Dec. 11 at 11 PM citing that it was for the purpose of public safety, closing it to everyone in the public.   "This is preposterous.  The county is denying every single Eugenian access to this protest site, a blatant affront of every single individual's First Amendment Rights.  Suggesting that because unhoused people have been in the area that there is a "biohazard" is the most atrocious stereotypical hatemongering possible," said one of the protestors.  
Hippies and others hang out in this area all the time.  Across the street Saturday market has potties and food sales every weekend.   Have we ever seen those areas closed down as a public safety issue?  The unhoused at Free Speech Plaza used public toilets, cooked no food and both maintained and left the space immaculate as numerous television and print media photos and videos document.
"It is clear that the county will use any excuse to keep those who are unhoused from being able to have their voices herd.  I feel like I'm back in the sixties when people who are black were blocked from public spaces and denied their civil rights.  Hopefully EDP will not allow themselves to be used as a tool in the preposterous closing of Free Speech Plaza on public safety issue.  It is obvious this is a disengenious attempt to deny us our first amendment rights, said another protestor." 
 

4:01 pm Thursday, Dec. 13:

Here's a press release from EPD:

A group of about 50 people moved illegally into the closed Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, 125 E. 8th Avenue. The plaza had been closed by the Lane County Administrator on December 11, 2012 at 11 p.m. and was still closed for cleaning.
 
Today, the group that was trespassing was advised by the county administrator that if they did not leave the closed area, they would be subject to arrest. Time was provided for those who wished to leave. All but one person voluntarily left. Cited in lieu of custody and released at around 2:15 p.m.  was Alley Valkyrie, age 30, of Eugene. She has been charged with Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree.
 
Over the past few days, the City of Eugene has been proactively reaching out to organizers of this group, to help them safely engage in constitutionally-protected free speech while also enforcing laws, protecting the safety and freedom of others, and minimizing community disruption and the impact to public resources.
December 12, 2012 11:46 AM

Hey walkers, bikers and drivers: Tomorrow you get a chance to practice some perfection in commuting. EPD's "downtown team" is "educating the public" tomorrow by focusing on traffic violations in the Broadway and Willamette and Broadway and Olive areas between noon and 5 pm. From the press release:

 

The officers will be focusing on a variety of traffic violations that seem to contribute the most to crashes or other conflicts between road users.  These violations include traffic control device violations, failure to yield right-of-way violations, speeding, improper turns, failing to signal lane changes or turns, improper lane usage, failing to obey one-way designations, and pedestrians suddenly leaving the curb. 

If you need a refresher on Oregon's crosswalk law, know these things: Every street intersection is technically a crosswalk, marked or not; at a traffic signal, drivers can't turn until pedestrians are at least 6 feet into the next lane; at other crosswalks, drivers must wait until pedestrians are out of their lane, the lane they're turning into and the next lane. More details on the law here.

Bikers: Unlike Idaho, in Oregon you CAN'T legally treat a stop sign as a yield sign.

Edit (12:23 pm): Sounds like biking on the sidewalk (also illegal) got a lot of people in trouble last time around.

December 11, 2012 02:09 PM

 

The Eugene City Council heard public forum comments Monday, Dec. 10, on the three options for City Hall: move to EWEB’s riverfront building, stay at the same 7th and Pearl site and build a new building, or rebuild and beautify the existing city hall using parts of its skeleton. (See wkly.ws/1a9 for more information.) Most of the 17 speakers advocated keeping city hall downtown; two spoke in favor of the EWEB site.

As EW goes to press Wednesday, Dec. 12, council will sit down to a work session that Mayor Kitty Piercy said after the Dec. 10 meeting would include an attempt by council to decide on the future site. Piercy said that because of Councilor George Poling’s expected absence, there would not be a tie. But if Poling is able to phone into the Dec. 12 meeting and a tie results, Piercy says she supports remaining downtown for reasons including its connection to the county building and the city’s ownership of the 7th and Pearl property. “It just makes really good sense to me,” she said.

December 7, 2012 03:44 PM

Red Agave is closing, and the last night to grab their grub is tomorrow, Dec. 8. From their press release:

 

This Saturday night will be Red Agave’s last.  We wish it weren’t so…but alas here we are. 
There are three nights left to savor your favorites from the kitchen and the bar. 
(Unless, you’re looking for private party in the weeks to come, in which case you should call the restaurant, immediately)
We’ll have the regular menu plus some specials.
We’ll also be selling off our wine cellar (only on Saturday) at retail prices.   
We hope to see all of you who we’ve had the pleasure of serving over the years.
If you can’t make it in, you’ll be missed. 
So with a tear in my eye, a whole in my wallet & fond memories of the last 10 years,
We bid you gracias & good luck.
Yours,
Brian
December 7, 2012 04:08 PM

The U.S. News and World Report is famous for their college rankings — did anyone else proudly show their parents the "dorms like dungeons" listing for UO when living in the residence halls? Anyhow, now they're publishing a list of "underperforming schools," which means the schools' reputations are better than U.S. News thinks they should be based on academic indicators. UO is on that list.

According to U.S. News, the academic peer assessment ranking for UO is 70, but the UO really deserves a 115. Fellow alums, should we make T-shirts or something? "I love my underperforming Ducks?"

December 5, 2012 09:08 PM

Tomorrow possession of less than an ounce of marijuana becomes legal under Washington's state statutes. The Seattle PD created "Marijwhatnow?" the best press release in the history of police press releases by way of explaining the ins and outs of the new law, and now it's the Portland PD's turn to help the Oregon populace:

Much like existing fireworks laws, what is legal in Washington is not legal in Oregon, In other words, if it goes high in the air or gets you high, you should probably use it in the Evergreen State.

Not bad, PDXPD, not bad. The rest is pretty straightforward and factual, so check it out if you're considering some "agricultural tourism" up north.

Maybe Oregon should just go ahead and legalize marijuana for the sake of fun in press releases. I think the EPD's spokesfolks Melinda McLaughlin and Jenna McCulley are totally up for a good ol' press release challenge.

December 3, 2012 04:03 PM

A lot of you probably read the Savage Love a few weeks back in which Dan Savage asked LGBT folks whose straight friends worked for marriage equality during the past election to send in a picture and a small description of what they did.

The result is Straight Up Thanks, and this Tumblr will make you sob, bawl, get misty or whatever you do when faced with something particularly touching. As the Nov. 14 Savage Love stated, gay people shouldn't have to say "thank you" when their rights are recognized. But I think and hope that straight people in other states ***coughOREGON2014cough*** will see this and realize that our activism during future elections (and during non-elections) could be very  important to someone we love.

From SUT:

Good people!

These are my friends Jehan and Seth. They gave a substantial donation to Equality Maryland as a wedding favor to all the guests at their wedding. Jehan even had her toenails painted in rainbow colors as a sign of support! My wife and I (and all the other gay people present) had a great time dancing at their wedding, and four months later, their donation helped our state of Maryland achieve marriage equality!—Jenise

October 9, 2012 05:13 PM

Here's a video from New York about not riding your bike in the bike lane. This is exactly why you need to know your rights — don't miss the surprise ending!

In other bike news, the number of bikes sold in Italy has overtaken the number of cars for the first time since WWII.

And in more serious bike news, I don't know that critical mass is the most productive way to advocate for bikes, but these black-and-white dressed people's reaction in San Francisco is not super safe, to say the least:

And this Grist story about the guy trying to mandate bike licenses in Portland is kinda hilarious.

October 1, 2012 06:00 PM

I don't know why all the marijuana videos keep finding their way to my screen, y'all, but this video is ticking up in the page views and the pro-Measure 80 folks would probably like you to see it before you vote.

September 27, 2012 10:48 AM

EcoSalon released its list of 2012's top 10 most ridiculous quotes about women, and they're SO ridiculous that Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's comment about rape and pregnancy didn't even make the list (though maybe it should have). In case you've been living under a rock, here's what he said, possibly confusing human women with ducks:

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Rush Limbaugh also had a gem or two that didn't make the list:

"So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."

I wonder what EcoSalon and I missed? We probably don't want to know. Barf.

September 20, 2012 10:11 AM

The push to treat marijuana like alcohol is getting a lot of attention. And no visual aid works as well as a Big Green Pot Superhero:

 

The brief Oregon part starts at 1:44.

September 19, 2012 04:05 PM

Tonight at 5 pm, ODOT is holding a Oregon Passenger Rail project open house at the Atrium Building, 99 W 10th Ave, to talk about the possibility of high-speed rail between Portland and Eugene. For more information, check out www.oregonpassengerrail.org

September 14, 2012 02:10 PM

City Council will certainly get an earful Monday night. The 7:30 pm public hearing schedule at the downtown library Bascom-Tyson room includes these three topics:

  1. Ordinance on bikes on sidewalks in the downtown core
  2. Ordinance on the Downtown Public Safety Zone
  3. Ordinance on a plastic bag ban

This oughtta be good!