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February 23, 2015 12:05 PM

As of  noon Monday, Feb. 23, a petition to UO trustees entitled "Stop suing rape survivors University of Oregon" has garnered more than 500 signatures. The Change.org petition is in response to the UO and basketball coach Dana Altman's counter-suit against an alleged rape victim.* According to The Oregonian, "Oregon and Altman's suit seeks to have the original 'frivolous, unreasonable' complaint' dismissed and recover legal fees from either the alleged victim or her attorneys."

The petition, which was started two days ago, reads:

The University of Oregon has become the first institution in higher education to sue a rape survivor pursuing her rights under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act -- all after violating medical privacy laws by seizing her counseling records from the campus health center, and asking campus counselors to give her substandard care.

Send the UO a message: suing rape survivors will not make campus safer for the 1 in 5 women who will be sexually assaulted, harassed, or raped each year on campus.

The petition provides links to both The Oregonian's story and to an R-G story detailing an email from a UO therapist who alleges she was told to alter counseling care for the student and that the "student’s clinical records were accessed without her knowledge, without the student’s permission and without any court authorization."

Names of those listed as having signed include those of UO faculty, graduate students, alumni and undergrads.


* EW uses the word alleged not to indicate doubt in a rape victim's story but for legal reasons to indicate that the accusations have not been proven in a court of law.

Update: the UO has dropped the suit.

February 23, 2015 02:11 PM

We all make mistakes, but The Register-Guard wins typo of the week with this one in the article "Final Frontier" from the Feb. 21 issue:

“'Microgreens will be the first cash flow boost,' Jason Waligoske said. 'That will be followed by mescaline, baby spinach, other greens."

In the print version, it appears after the jump under "Unusual varieties planned."

Indeed I would find it "unusual," and in fact a little trippy, if I were to find mescaline in my salad rather than mesclun mix.

The story continues, "'My wife is from Germany,' Jason Waligoske said. 'Some of that outlook is her desire for produce that is over there that is hardly ever seen here.'”

Recreational pot has been legalized in Oregon, so why deny fans of fresh hallucinogens and hard-to-find produce a little peyote-type snack to munch with their microgreens?

February 19, 2015 10:47 AM

Check out this report from the Oregon Center for Public Policy on the broad impact of raising the minimum wage.

February 13, 2015 01:10 PM

The New York Times has an editorial talking about how many people have been killed by legal carriers of concealed weapons. Some surprising numbers that conflict with the gun lobby claims that carrying handguns make us safer.

February 13, 2015 04:44 PM

The band Con Brio, from San Francisco, spent the last night of their tour here in Eugene. With Ziek McCarter as the vocals, Benjamin Andrews on guitar, Micah Dubreuil on keyboards, Jonathan Kirchner on the bass, Andrew Laubacher on drums, Marcus Stephens on tenor saxophone, and Brendan Liu on the Trumpet they had quiet the set up on stage. They filled the room with soulful funk music that was reminiscent of an era long gone but not forgotten.

The words Con Brio in Italian mean “With spirit” and that is exactly how they played last night. Between the Saxophone, Keyboard, Guitar, and Drum solos you could see the lead singer dancing about the stage pulling moves that, admittedly, not many of us could do. Even though it was a Monday night they had a decent sized crowd dancing around the room and clapping along to some of the groovy music. - Chloe Shaughnessy


February 12, 2015 10:30 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 05:06 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 02:28 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 02:59 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 01:08 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 09:54 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 02:34 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