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June 29, 2016 11:48 AM

The Lane County Board of Commissioners’ June 28 discussion of giving themselves the authority to block some local ballot measures has EW floored. Did it get forgotten by four of the five commissioners that Oregon citizens have a right to the initiative process that is protected in the state Constitution?

The RG broke the story this morning, and according to the daily, "Under the unusual proposal, the commissioners would gain the authority to preemptively block any countywide ballot measure that they deem not to be 'of county concern,' before it goes to voters or the courts," and the "board voted 4-1 to have county staff start drafting an ordinance on the issue."

The RG quotes Commish Jay Bozievich as saying, "he would like the county’s proposed ordinance to apply to measures that haven’t yet qualified for the ballot — which would include the Community Rights measures. That could be considered a retroactive change to local election law."

It's not clear in the language what is "county concern" and if county concerns might ally more strongly with corportate interests, such as the timber industry, over community groups concerned with pesticide sprays or GMOS.

Commish Faye Stewart Stewart "said he doesn’t understand the purpose of championing local measures that won’t survive a legal challenge."

The county must have a crystal ball, as it seeks to prevent ballot measures the commission thinks won't stand a legal challenge … before they actually go through the legal system. 

The RG reports that Pete Sorenson was the lone dissenting voice on having staff draft language for an ordinance. 

Sorenson tells EW while no actual vote was taken, the "dominant flavor" was to move ahead with an ordinance. He says were the commission to move ahead he has two questions he would like answered. First, "Is there a problem?" He says he doesn't think Lane County has had a lot of problematic local measures. 

Second, Sorenson says there is already a system in place for dealing with ballot measures that are passed by citizen votes but might have portions of them that are unlawful or beyond the scope, and that process throws out nonlegal portions of measures. He calls the proposed ordinance a "solution in search of a problem."

The ordinance could "suppress rights people currently enjoy," he says, and to change rules on a process that is already under way, such as the Community Rights initiative is "frowned upon."

Sorenson says if the proposed ordinance goes forward there would be a public meeting.

You can watch a video of the meeting here.

Here is the proposed languge, which you can find on the commission agenda under:


A. Announcements

B. DISCUSSION/ Potential Changes to Lane County Initiative and Referendum Process. (Stephen Dingle, County Counsel) 

The language reads:

Whereas, initiative and referendum powers are reserved to the people of the State of Oregon, and are further reserved to the legal voters of home rule counties regarding matters of county concern, by the Oregon Constitution;

Whereas, ORS 250.155 recognizes the reserved right of home rule counties to establish the procedures for exercising county initiative and referendum powers;

Whereas, a charter amendment or ordinance that is not a matter of county concern will be declared invalid after passage upon challenge;

Whereas, Lane County believes that conducting elections for and funding expensive litigation to defend initiative measures that will be declared invalid after passage wastes valuable and limited resources of Lane County taxpayers.

June 24, 2016 04:33 PM

Bach's masterful B-minor Mass was much beloved and often programmed by Bach Festival co-founder and longtime Artistic Director Helmuth Rilling. So, when Artistic Director Matthew Halls opened the Festival with the piece last night, he was both brave and wise to give an extraordinarily different, non-Rilling performance in 'historically informed' style. Halls led the Berwick Chorus, OBF Baroque Orchestra, and soloists, in offering us a B-minor Mass that was bound to challenge the OBF audience, but rewarded listeners with exquisite musicianship and a deep meditation on Bach's musical genius.

For a listener used to hearing modern orchestras playing modern instruments, it takes a good long time--maybe the better part of an hour--for the ear to adjust to period instruments and style. During this acclimatization, the effect can be frustrating, even aggravating, like someone kissing you gently when you want them to kiss you...less gently, or like eating a lovely meal that, you think, would be really delicious if only you could put some more salt on it. Once your attention adapts, though, the experience dramatically shifts. That gentle kiss is full of tender nuance and sensation. The food reveals marvellous flavors you just didn't notice at first.

To heighten the challenge, while last night's quiet instruments may have been of period 18th-century style, the Silva Hall is decidedly not. Bach's music would have been performed in lively, even echoing spaces, where one note could hang in the air and blend into the next one. The Silva, on the other hand, is famously sound-absorbent. What to do? Halls responded to the acoustic challenge with a tour de force of precision and clarity, giving the evening the virtuosic intimacy of a chamber music concert. For those willing to make the aural adjustment, Halls' direction offered breathtaking feats of texture and color, and gave artful structure to each chorus, aria and duet with the most subtle dynamic shaping.

Through a kind of creative alchemy, Halls pours the sounds of the OBF Baroque Orchestra and the Berwick Chorus into one another in a way that modern instrumentation cannot allow.

For singers, 'historically informed' performance means trading broad vibrato for a purer tone, which allows Bach's harmonies to ring with celestial perfection seemingly right inside your brain. Baritone Morgan Smith was particularly fine in the Quoniam tu solus sanctus, accompanied adroitly by Andrew Clark on corno da caccia (an ancestor of the modern French Horn.) Also noteworthy were the otherworldly trio between tenor, cello and flute in the Benedictus and the delightful, confection-like violin/soprano duet in the Laudamus te. The Berwick Chorus displayed astonishing dynamic control throughout the Mass. At the burial of Christ, for example, the singers sustained a pianissimo so delicate and pure you weren't sure whether you were hearing it or just feeling it like a gentle breath of air.

The B-minor Mass is a perfect fit for this year's Festival theme, "Take the Journey." It creates a musical universe encompassing intricate fugues and dreamlike melodies, heavens-bursting trumpet blasts and delicate duets and trios. The journey has a meditative end, not a showy one: The final aria, a haunting Agnus Dei (sung beautifully last night by countertenor Christopher Ainslie) fades into the gentle swelling and transcendent peace of the closing Dona Nobis. We are left to contemplate the message Bach has left us at end of a very long, visionary life of searching deeply into beauty, and into God.

Music nerds would have appreciated being able to follow a listing of all twenty-seven choruses and arias in the program rather than just the eight sections of the mass. Also, the program lists the obbligati and continuo instrumentalists by name, while the rest of the orchestra is credited as "OBF Baroque Orchestra." The members of the Berwick Chorus are listed by name later in the program, but this reviewer could not locate a similar list of the Baroque Orchestra musicians. Having dedicated their lives to the perfection of their art, and having played like a veritable band of angels in the Silva Hall last night, they deserve to be clearly credited.

June 22, 2016 05:38 PM

A former Lane County resident was treated to drug dealing Eugene-style this week. We're not going to give her name — in case her wannabe drug hook up reads this blog — but "C" moved the Lubbock, Texas a couple years ago and retained her 541 area code number. 

We're going to guess the man who wants to be her "homie" was off by a digit late the other night when he texted C. 

The exchange started with a 2 am text: "Malcolm?" and C, sleepy and on Ambien thought it was in response to her quest to buy a horse trailer that has led to texts from unknown numbers wrote back.

"Interested buyer in Lubbock," she typed into her phone.

The response? "This is Aaron. I have much loot to throw at you."

Still, addled with insomnia, C said she would text back in the morning.

She woke up, realized what had happened and posted the exchange on Facebook, noting, "Pretty sure I accidentally told a Eugene drug dealer I was an interested buyer last night."

Rather than follow up on the exchange, she left it there. But Aaron was not to be deterred — after all he does have "unlimited everything" and wifi. 

"How you doin big homie?"

C is still horse trailer shopping and probably a little more careful about telling folks she's an "interested buyer." 


June 22, 2016 11:01 AM

Someobody lost a piglet and Oregon State Police, responding to a report that it was a dog running along I-5, say, "There were no identifying collars, tags, or information on the pig to assist in notifying the owner" of the piglet.  That's right, a pig with no ID. 

Here's to hoping the little piggie goes, "Wah wah wah all the way home."

On June 21, 2016 at approximately 10:15 pm, OSP received the report of a dog running southbound in the northbound median of Interstate near MP 191 south of Eugene (between Franklin and Glenwood).

Troopers arrived in the area and discovered the animal reported was not a dog but a piglet. The female piglet is approximately 30 to 40 pounds in size and white with black spots. It is estimated she is approximately 3 to 5 weeks old. There were no identifying collars, tags, or information on the pig to assist in notifying the owner. The pig was taken into custody and transported to the 1st Avenue Animal Shelter in Eugene.

The owner is asked to call the OSP Springfield Area Command at 541-726-2536 or the 1st Ave Shelter (Greenhill Humane Society) at 541-844-1606.

June 18, 2016 07:54 AM

GARNERDANCES premiered Strings! An Evening of Dance, at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, June 17.

            The evening’s length work featured dancers Shannon Mockli, Laura Katzmann, Mariah Melson, Suzanne Haag, Antonio Anacan, and Cory Betts, with choreography, costumes and lighting design by Brad Garner.

            The first standout to mention is the space itself: This was our first time seeing OCT adapted for dance, and it works, and works beautifully.

            The simple black Marley dance floor visually stretches the stage, hurling dancers practically into the front row of the audience. The exquisite, thoughtful lighting plot allows for moments of genuine intimacy, and total exuberance.

            Eugene has needed a venue to see dance that is this shape and size. It’s perfect for contemporary pieces, dance and performance art, that could be drowned out, or lost in a cavernous concert hall.

            And there’s something exciting about seeing work that’s nestled into an audience on three sides, instead of the dreary proscenium. For some reason, it feels more awake and alive, like the audience is almost a participant.

            To OCT, a challenge: More, more, more dance, please. And to Garner: Bravo for choosing this space. Great spot to premier your work.

            The evening’s work played with strings, starting with a strong ensemble set to Vivaldi, entitled “Flora”. Bold, florid, the piece interweaves traveling patterns and relational patterns, a delightful confection. (The post-performance Q&A confirmed this dance history buff’s running thoughts while watching the lush work, which borrows heavily from titans of 20th century dance.)

            But who cares? It works. Playing with signature riffs and static shapes, the piece is a vibrant, fresh hook: Inviting the viewer into the experience.

            Mariah Melson dances a keening solo in “Shrine”, and Mockli and Garner share a duet in “Sanctum” that is simultaneously powerful and vulnerable.

            Garner uses the space smartly, allowing for entrances and exits not only from the upstage wings, but also from the theater’s two voms. Costume changes accompany every piece, and at times, he has the dancers themselves provide the light source.

            Suzanne Haag, Antonio Anacan, and Cory Betts explore weight and rhythm in “Pendulum”.

            Garner incorporates animation by Eric Toucheleaume in “Anatomy of a Tropical Home”, playing with the resonance between and among the architectural shaping that dancers create, and the riveting process of building structures.

            Dynamically, Garner’s work is approachable and easy to watch. He has a confident hand, but clearly allows for dancers to exude their own swag, their own mastery and to make their own contributions. As a viewer, that’s exciting. That is what makes dance live.

            “Torch (for Orlando)” was a crowd favorite, an ensemble piece about the simple connections made in moments of flirtation.

            As an ensemble, the GARNERDANCE Company melds well. Though they may have differing professional backgrounds, the “ballet” dancers and “modern” dancers in Garner’s company mesh and balance each other.



June 16, 2016 02:18 PM

Last week, former Oregon governor John Kitzhaber made a lengthy post on his Facebook page, criticizing Gov. Kate Brown's neutral stance on Initiative Petition 28, which proposes taxing corporations with annual Oregon sales of more than $25 million to fund schools and senior and health services. 

"With all due respect," writes Kitzhaber, who resigned last year as governor in the midst of an ethics scandal involving his fiancee, "I find it hard to understand how any public official or candidate for statewide office could be neutral on a measure that would bring about the most sweeping change in Oregon's tax system since Ballot Measure 5 passed in 1990."

Measure 5 capped property taxes in Oregon and shifted school funding from the local level to the state level, helping to bring about Oregon's current school funding crisis.

IP 28 has qualified as a ballot measure, and voters will decide its outcome in the November election. Businesses are rallying to oppose the measure, while teachers' unions and other backers of IP 28 argue that the tax is the only way to ensure that corporations in Oregon and paying their "fair share." According to Oregon's Quality Education Commission, Oregon is underfunding its schools by about $1 billion a year. 

In his social media post, Kitzhaber acknowledges Oregon's "disinvestment in education," but he alleges that "the measure was written by pollsters rather than economists, and is the product of ballot title shopping."

He continues:

It is not my purpose today to analyze the measure but simply to point out that there is still time, although not much, for our elected leadership to convene labor and business and work out a compromise measure that has a broader tax base, is less regressive and will avoid the kind of divisive campaign for which we are now setting the stage. I urge the governor to do so. Ballot Measures 66 and 67 tore our state apart in the depths of the Great Recession and did not solve the problem of chronic underfunding in our system of public education. We are heading for something much worse in terms of the bitterness and polarization that a multi-million dollar IP 28 campaign will generate.

The collateral damage from the campaign itself will mean that — whether the measure passes or fails — Oregon will lose in terms of its ability to come together and effectively address the challenges that will confront our state in 2017 and beyond. Many of the provisions in the governor's plan to spend the IP 28 revenue seem to be focused on mitigating the many unintended consequences of the measure itself. Pulling that off in a deeply divided and polarized legislature is problematic at best. 

Kitzhaber concludes his post by saying that just because the measure has made the ballot does not mean Oregonians need to "resign ourselves," ending with another push toward compromise and asking for strong leadership and courage.

So far, no such compromise has emerged.

June 14, 2016 12:22 PM

Mark Baker, longtime reporter, "Living Here" columnist and member of the Baker family, appears to have parted ways with The Register-Guard.

The daily paper is owned and primarily run by the Baker family, and Mark Baker is is the youngest grandchild of Alton F. Baker Sr., The Register-Guard's publisher from 1927 to 1961, according to an RG newstory about Baker's hiring as East Region reporter in 2002.

Several sources notified EW of Baker's departure but not the details of the split. As of June 14, Baker's name no longer appears listed on the RG's online masthead and his "Living Here" column is no longer on the online dropdown news menu where it previously appeared. 

EW has reached out to Mark Baker for comment, as well as to Wendy Baker, the RG's director of Human Resources, but has not received a reply from Mark Baker. When asked if she could confirm whether Mark is employed or affiliated with the paper, Wendy Baker responded, "No, thank you."

Mark Baker has made no statements on the issue an his Facebook or Twitter accounts as of the posting of this blog. Baker's "Living Here" columns appeared frequently on the paper's front page. His Facebook profile still lists him as a senior writer at the RG.

June 12, 2016 02:27 PM


[Above: John O'Malley of The Wayward Lamb (front row, second from left) with staff and supporters.]

Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American man, shot and killed 49 people at a nightclub  in Orlando in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12; many more were injured. The shooter was also killed, bringing the toll to 50. It is the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The nightclub was PULSE Orlando, a dedicated queer space and venue in Orlando.

June is national PRIDE month in the U.S.

John O'Malley, marketing manager for The Wayward Lamb — a queer space and bar in downtown Eugene, spoke about the Orlando tragedy outside the Lamb early Sunday afternoon. O'Malley attended college in Orlando and had been a patron of the club, even hosting his graduation celebration there. See video below.

There will also be a candlelight vigil for the victims of the mass murder at 8 pm tonight in Kesey Square, at the crossroads of Willamette and Broadway.

"Our freedoms began in dedicated queer spaces," O'Malley told a small crowd gathered at the Lamb, pointing out that the LGBTQIA community is no stranger to violent attacks, recalling Stonewall, The Upstairs Lounge fire in New Orleans, the Backstreet Cafe shooting and many more.

"Our deepest condolences to all the individuals affected by this unspeakable tragedy," O'Malley continued. "To the owners and staff of Pulse Orlando, and especialy the LGBTQIA community of Orange County, Florida, and the impact this will have on all of them moving forward."

He added: "Stay strong and stay proud. The Wayward Lamb family and the LGBTQIA community of Lane County stand in solidarity."

When KEZI asked O'Malley about the security of the LGBTQIA community locally he responded:

"It affects all of us. It happened in Orlando; it could happen anywhere."  He explained that Eugene has a welcoming community, but so does Orlando.

"The unfortunate part about it is it can happen anywhere at anytime."

Watch  video below:

[Editor's note: This blog post has been changed to reflect the updated count of victims.]

June 9, 2016 05:31 PM

If you're a fan of tea — scratch that — if you like tasty liquids, get yourself over to J-Tea's new Oolong Bar on 19th Avenue just south of the University of Oregon campus. It opened on May 20, and owner Josh Chamberlain says it's been thriving ever since. 

"Our first shop was meant to lead the industry and be a place where tea education and workshops take place," Chamberlain says, referring to J-Tea's Friendly Street location. "Here, we just want to make you an awesome cup of tea. It's more user-friendly and more of what I've experienced customers want."

J-Tea's first location on Friendly Street offers an educational tea-making experience, while this new location makes room for innovation and new tastes.

Even an entrenched coffee lover couldn't resist the choices on the Oolong Bar's menu. For hot days, the long list of iced teas promise thirst-quenching goodness. 

"Lemon Honey Green" ($5) is a favorite for cooling down, Chamberlain says, with Green Spring tea, lemon and honey. The "Starry Night" ($3) includes hibiscus, clove, lemongrass, orange peel, stevia, licorice and lavender in a caffeine-free herbal blend.

For caffeine addicts, Oolong Bar has you covered. Try "Iced Earl Grey Latte," with Earl Grey tea and organic milk over ice. 

Then there're the bubble drinks. I sampled a concoction of house-made peach compote and tapioca pearls with black tea, served in a mason jar. The first drink tasted like biting into a juicy peach — one sip provides a mouthful of sweet compote, punchy tea and chewy tapioca pearls.

The food menu is small, with only one item. But it's a pretty good item. Called Æbleskiver, the little round balls of dough are pancakes in disguise. Dutch in origin, they are especially tasty with housemade fruit compote drizzled over the top. Chamberlain says Oolong Bar's food menu will soon expand as they experiment with different offerings.

For cool days, hot drinks are available, including a Matcha latte and the eclectic-sounding "Fruity Pebbles" latte, with mango honeybush tea and steamed organic milk.

Chamberlain and manager Benjamin Wilkinson say they're excited about this new tea venture and hope people will drop by to check out the newest member of Eugene's growing tea culture. Chamberlain says with tea, it's all about blending flavors.

"I learned from the beer world that there's no point in blending two things unless the first thing and the second thing together create an even better thing," Chamberlain says.

And from this food writer's view, Chamberlain has created a pretty delicious thing.

Visit the Oolong Bar at 1607 E. 19th Avenue in Eugene. Learn more at jteainternational.com.

June 9, 2016 04:22 PM

[Above: The former home of Cascade Presbyterian Church on Willamette in South Eugene.]

There’s no question that the crisis of the unhoused, the homeless, people on the street, "travelers" — however we want to designate those in need — has reached a critical mass moment in Eugene and Lane County.

Of this group, kids and teens are the most vulnerable.

St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) wants to begin tackling this pervasive issue. The nonprofit human services org has a four-month option to buy the property at 3350 Willamette Street, the former home to the Cascade Presbyterian Church, which has moved its congregation to meet on Sunday mornings at Hi-Fi Music Hall. SVdP would use the property as residential facility for homeless youth.

“We just learned about the availability last week,” Paul Neville tells EW. “We’re going to take that four months and we’re going to try to secure funding.”

The four-month option means that St. Vinnies, exclusively, has four months to raise the money to buy the property.

“It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a long time,” Neville says. “This would be a facility that would serve homeless youth that are still in high school.”

Nevile says the target demographic is homeless youth ages 16 to 18, a population he says is very vulnerable.

The idea stems from St. Vincent’s Job program for youth, the brainchild of SVdP’s executive director Terry McDonald. Nevile says there are 40 kids currently in the program. The program employs teens in SVdP and works together with the kids’ schools.

“We provide them with some income,” Neville says. “We provide a steady presence in their lives.”

He adds: “We have a foundational base in this that helped inspire the idea for an actual residential facility.”

The facility would house anywhere from 12 to 20 teens at a time. Neville says they will continue to work closely with local schools, as well as the city of Eugene, Springfield and the county.

Neville says human trafficking, and the sex trade up and down I-5, of Lane County youth is a very real problem.

“If you can take these kids at an extremely vulnerable age and provide them with intense case management you can save them from something like that,” he says.

Neville brings up the street kids who hang out up and down Broadway downtown, especially at the corner of Broadway and Olive.

“There’s been a lot of concern for years about kids hanging down at the mall,” he says, referring to the downtown strip’s old nickname.Not much has been done to address the underlying cause.”

SVdP hopes this facility will be a beginning in addressing the root causes of local youth homelessness.

Neville says the next four months will be a “mad scramble” to raise the money, but they’re optimistic. Securing funds is only piece of the puzzle, however. Neville says during the next four months SVdP is looking to develop partnerships, design a program, design a residential facility in a former church and work with neighbors.

“We’ve got the experience and the contacts to pull this off,” he says. “I think there’s going to be strong community support for something like this.”

June 3, 2016 02:16 PM

Hood River News is reporting a multi-car oil train derailment at the town of Mosier near the Columbia River. Flames and smoke are visbile. Mosier School and 60-70 homes are under evacuation. I-84 has been shut down both directions. The Oregonian is also posting updates.

Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue tweeted out this photo.

Reports say it is a Union Pacific train involving 11 cars filled with oil, with several burning. The train was carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota. It's unclear if any oil has spilled into the river.

Environmentalists have long predicted the possible disastrous effects of an oil train derailment near the Columbia River.

Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign Director Lena Moffitt released the following statement:

“The Sierra Club’s thoughts and prayers are with the train’s crew, their families, and the families of the communities affected by this disaster. “History has repeatedly shown just how deadly and dangerous oil train crashes can be. Simply put, transporting oil by rail -- or by any method -- is a disaster waiting to happen. The safety and wellbeing of our communities must be put ahead of profits for Big Oil.”

Sen. Ron Wyden has also issued a statement:

“It’s clear with this crash – as it has been for years – that more must be done to protect our communities from trains carrying explosive hazardous fuels. That’s why I’ve repeatedly called for more resources and notification for first responders, and why I’m continuing to push for my bill to move unsafe cars off the tracks and away from communities.”

Update: According to the latest press release from the Oregon Department of Transportation, 14 cars were involved, booms have been placed in the Columbia to contain the sheen of oil that can be seen in the river, no people or structures were harmed. 

The press release links to a Union Pacific website giving updates. It says the DOT-111 railcars had been upgraded to the higher CPC 1232 standard. 

Think-tank Sightline Institute says that higher standard is no safer than the older railcars.

May 27, 2016 04:38 PM

Eugene Weekly — an award-winning alternative newspaper in the beautiful Pacific Northwest — seeks a 30 hour-per-week calendar editor with a news reporter’s sensibility to edit EW’s “What’s Happening” calendar. Our calendar fills Lane County in on the area’s vibrant arts, music, political, entertainment and everything-in-between scene. 

EW is looking for a person who can handle the doldrums of data entry (the bulk of the job) but is hoping to move up to a career in news reporting and feature writing.

The calendar editor should be excited to highlight both highbrow and grassroots events in the community in short, fun blurbs each week in addition to the data entry.

The ideal candidate will be highly interested in news reporting, organized, detail-oriented, determined and versatile as well as have infinite amounts of patience.

Copyediting skills a plus. Must not be married to the Oxford comma. The position starts as soon as it is filled.

We’re a feisty office with a fierce dedication to covering community issues with an alternative flare. 

This opportunity comes with a $15 an hour salary, excellent non-financial perks (mainly free food and endless coffee).

The job starts at 30 hours a week but will become a full-time position with benefits. Send resume, cover letter and clips by June 10 to editor@eugeneweekly.com as an MS word or a .pdf attachment by June 10. Web links are also accepted. EW is an equal opportunity employer. 

May 18, 2016 10:42 AM

In the May 17 Oregon primary election, local county commissioner Faye Stewart was trounced by perennial candidate Mark Callahan in the Republican race to challenge incumbent Democrat Ron Wyden in the fall. Callahan has run for president, switched parties, running as a Pacific Greena and a Dem, and generally been more of a sideshow than a strong candidate.


We have to wonder if Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah-Gate back in 2014 gave Callahan enough of name recognition push to get that 37 percent of the vote in the four-way race. Stewart got 19 percent.

During a 2014 endorsement interview, Callahan spotted Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Nigel Jaquiss writing "blah, blah, blah" in his notebook as fellow candidate Jo Rae Perkins talked abut climate change . (Perkins just lost to nuke-loving wingnut Art Robinson in the Repub primary to face Peter DeFazio. We are losing count of how many times Robinson has run against DeFaz.)

Highlights: Callahan losing it over blah, blah, blah, then saying climate change is myth. "Where are you on the Easter Bunny?" Jaquiss asks. 

What's not funny is realizing that, even if we think Callahan doesn't have a chance in the fall, Oregon Republicans voted for a climate change denier.

May 17, 2016 07:21 PM

Required reporting: If a student is sexually assaulted and tells her or his professor, then under University of Oregon rules the professor must report what happened, whether or not the student wants it reported.

For some, required reporting is the best way to handle discrimination and harassment. Others, such as UO psychology professor Jennifer Freyd, say mandatory reporting can cause more harm than good.

The University of Oregon Faulty Senate votes May 18 on a required reporting policy that is causing contention on campus among those who work on the issue of sexual violence. According to the proposed motion, “sexual harassment and other forms of prohibited discrimination are prohibited by law and the University has a duty to do its utmost to protect its students and employees from discriminatory harassment, and most particularly from sexual assault.”

Freyd, who is nationally known for her research on institutional betrayal, has this to say:

“This is a human rights issue and I have faith that in time we will all understand it that way. For me I fight this locally and nationally. It may take awhile but I think with effort this movement will succeed — as human rights movements tend to do eventually — and in the meantime I will not make bargains that sell my integrity for political expediency.

I ask myself:

Is my duty to the institution? or to my students?
Is my duty to appease those in power? or to the core mission of knowledge production and dissemination?

Do I succumb to illegitimate threats of power-over that attempt to coerce a vote? or do I model integrity or process?

Am I an agent of the system? or an individual with an educated mind and a commitment to truth and justice?

I don't find these very hard questions to answer. I will do what I believe is right on this matter even if I'm the only one in the room doing so (but I would sure love support) and even though I know I may very likely trade being popular, politic or comfortable.”

In its rationale for the policy, University Committee on Sexual and Gender Based Violence says that while not all the supporters agree “its terms are mandated by federal law,” the committee majority “accepts that it is clearly permitted and, indeed, contemplated by federal law.”

UO professor and University Committee on Sexual and Gender Based Violence co-chair Carole Stabile spoke before the Faculty Senate on May 11. She said the mandatory reporting policy that came out under former UO president Gottfredson was unclear. And that under the revised policy, survivors have options, such as disclosing to confidential reporters such as counselors.

Gottfredson was UO president at the time of the UO basketball rape allegations and the school was heavily criticized for how it handled that case.

The committee writes that it “rejects the view that this policy is designed institutional risk management reasons and believes that it is a reasonable response both to OCR [U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights] guidance as well as the needs of the university community.”

With regard to the concerns raised by Freyd and others, the committee states that it “recognizes that there are serious arguments raised in opposition to this policy, especially with regard to its potential for discouraging some survivors of sexual violence from seeking confidential assistance.”

It continues, “However, the committee believes, given the substantial resources recently deployed in support of survivors of sexual violence, and the reasonable protections instituted by the university so that survivors continue to control the process of healing and resolution, that it is imperative that such survivors avail themselves of these resources.”

Required reporters go to the Title IX Coordinator or to the Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services with their information. Former UO student and rape survivor Laura Hanson says when she went to Penny Daugherty, the Title IX coordinator, she was told not to report her assualt to the police because it was a "he-said she-said" situation.

Sexual assault survivor and activist Brenda Tracy who has worked with OSU to improve its sexual assault policies says she is coming to Eugene to testify against required reporting before the Senate at the May 18 meeting, which is from 3:30 - 5:30 pm in 156 Straub Hall.