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March 26, 2013 03:10 PM

Wish we could be there...

March 22, 2013 09:28 AM

More amazing music from the guy who came here from some other planet.

March 22, 2013 10:18 AM

Solidarity! Supporters of marriage equality will rally 5 to 7 pm Tuesday, March 26, at the federal building at 211 E. 7th Ave. They're gathering to express solidarity during U.S. Supreme Court deliberations on the right of gays and lesbians to marry. Oregon United for Marriage organized the event, and speakers include Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and City Councilor Claire Syrett.

More info here

March 21, 2013 05:48 PM

March 20, 2013 02:46 PM

An audit of the Eugene Police Department’s Property Control Unit (PCU) has revealed 1,116 items missing from its storage rooms, including guns, drugs and jewelry. Internal affairs and Oregon State Police are investigating three EPD employees, who have not yet been named.

Evidence Control Systems’ EPD audit criticizes the PCU for not have clear policies for dealing with property and for underutilizing technology in tracking the items. Among other problems, it says that there is no written policy on how to proceed when evidence is determined to be missing, no statistical review of the inventory and no formalized policy that mandates an annual review of the entire inventory for purging. The number of items in the PCU grew by about 29,000 items to a total of 91,000 items between 2007 and 2012.

In addition, the report says that evidence lockers aren't entirely secure: "a slender person could easily stand inside the tall locker and basically reach behind the locker and remove evidence from at least a dozen lockers ..."

Since the audit was completed in August, EPD has doubled the staffing in the PCU from five to 10. “Both during the audit process and after receiving the ECS report, Eugene Police staff began to implement corrective measures, write new policies, and create new standard operating procedures,” an EPD press release reads.

“The present supervisor has a complete understanding of what needs to be done,” the audit reads, but his role as supervisor of the forensic unit takes away from his supervision of the PCU. The PCU supervisor requested the audit. In January, the EPD added a tenured full-time supervising sergeant to the unit.

A memo from the PCU supervisor to Chief Pete Kerns states, “Mr. Latta also commented that this audit was the most difficult audit he has performed in his 60 plus audits due to the lack of procedures and consistency in tasks performed. He said to make sure that I mention that ours is not the worst, just the most difficult.”

March 19, 2013 02:02 PM

Jim Gerritsen was a keynote speaker at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene March 1, 2013. He is president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association.

March 15, 2013 10:25 AM

Students Against Imperialism were performing a "direct action in solidarity with Mexico and Palestine" when UO adjunct instructor James Olmsted confronted them at the EMU amphitheater on March 14.  Students videoed the confronation in which Olmstead says, "I am the dominant paradigm. If you want the country back. Start a fucking war and take it back. Get a gun. Shoot me. I'm right here." The direct action was "a mock border checkpoint for the people of Palestine and all who are crossing the Mex/US borders," according to the YouTube page the video was posted on.

Omlsted is filmed snatching and pocketing the phone of a female student filming the confrontation and pushing another male student who had briefly touched him while stepping in front of him — apparently to try to defuse the situation. Later in the video Olmsted talks with the male student, who offers to sit down and mediate. The audio can be heard in the recording below.

Here is the full video

According to his LinkedIn profile, in addition to being an adjunct at the UO law school, Olmsted "nationally recognized conservation easement attorney representing land trusts, landowners and developers in large-scale fee title and conservation easement acquisitions" and teaches a "course on Land Trust & Conservation Easement Law to second and third year law students, L.L.M. and MBA students."

The police were called, according to the video, and one of the YouTube posts says charges were filed against Olmstead. EW has asked the UO campus police  if any charges have been filed and and will update this post.

Update:

A letterhas been sent out by the law school: 

Dear Oregon Law School Community, The University of Oregon School of Law has reassigned the teaching responsibilities of adjunct instructor James Olmsted to Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Adell Amos. This is a personnel decision, and as such we are unable to discuss details of the situation at this time.

We are aware that Mr. Olmsted was involved in an incident with students on the afternoon of Thursday, March 14. As dean, I expect all members of the University of Oregon School of Law community to conduct themselves with the highest degree of professionalism and respect for public discourse, especially with those with whom they may disagree.

Michael Moffitt

Philip H. Knight Dean

Update 2:

Kelly McIver, communications director & public information officer UO police, says they are working on the charges to be filed.

Update 3:

 

From Phil Weiler, assistant vice president, Office of Strategic Communications

ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR ARRESTED BY UNIVERSITY OF OREGON POLICE DEPARTMENT

James L. Olmsted, 58, of Eugene, was arrested by University of Oregon Police on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 2:41 p.m. at the Erb Memorial Union, near 13th Avenue and University Street on the UO campus. 

Mr. Olmsted was cited in lieu of custody for second-degree theft and two counts of physical harassment. Olmsted was escorted off campus and issued a letter forbidding his return. An investigation is ongoing and other charges may be pending.

Olmsted has worked as an adjunct instructor for the University of Oregon Law School, which Friday reassigned his teaching duties to another faculty member.

March 15, 2013 09:56 AM

In the Family plays at the Bijou this weekend as part of the Good Works Film Festival.

March 13, 2013 04:44 PM

Tired of those Harlem Shake memes (and the misunderstanding of what the Harlem Shake is)?

So are the cops in Portland. They've made a public service announcement asking you to stop. It's kind of realistic right until the part where the white-guy shaker puts his hands behind his back almost before the cops has his cuffs out, but maybe it's doubling as a "how to get arrested" PSA. 

Eugene Police Department: You have been out-memed. Time to step it up. 

H/T Willamette Week.

March 13, 2013 05:05 PM

Are Occupy flyers banned at the library? Is there just a simple misunderstanding about bulletin board policy at the Eugene Public Library?  According to a emailed letter from activist Alley Valkyrie to Lavena Nohrenberg customer experience manager at the library, there might be an  issue with free speech and the library's bulletin board.

The letter is below:

 

Last Sunday, a local activist named Jana Thrift who is involved with the Nuclear Justice events taking place this week tried to hang a flyer on the notice board inside the library towards the front near the elevators. A security guard approached her, a woman with long curly black hair, and told Jana that she could not hang the flyer and it is the library's policy not to allow anything "Occupy-related" to be posted anywhere on library property. When Jana asked why Occupy flyers weren't allowed, the security guard stated that they considered all Occupy flyers "graffiti" and then started to talk about the "sidewalk chalk graffiti" on city sidewalks, and that if anyone had a problem with the policy, to "take it up with the library staff". 

As everyone who in a position of authority on this matter is well aware, the Library is publicly funded. Once a publicly funded library opens a space for public messaging such as the notice board in question, that space becomes a constitutionally-protected public forum under federal law. The library is obviously aware of this to some extent, as the sign that is currently hanging on the board states the following: "Eugene Public Library is not responsible for the contents of this board, but will remove items that are duplicates or that do not constitute legally protected speech." 

The flyer in question undoubtedly constitutes legally protected speech, and the Library has no right to prohibit such a flyer. While certain regulations are allowed in public forums, those regulations need to be content-neutral, and a policy that prohibits flyers on the basis of content is impermissible and unconstitutional save for a "compelling interest" on the part of the City. If the library has such a policy, whether written or verbal, it is undoubtedly in violation of the First Amendment, and I speak for many in the local activist community when I say that this situation concerns us greatly. 

It also needs to be pointed out for the record that the security guard's reasoning for prohibiting Jana from posting the flyer is based on factual inconsistencies. First off, the event that Jana attempted to post a flyer about isn't even an Occupy event, strictly speaking. It is an event that is co-coordinated by several non-profits in town, including CALC, Our Islands Conservation Center, the University of Oregon's Survival Center, as well as Occupy Eugene. 

Second, the vast majority of the "sidewalk chalk graffiti" throughout downtown Eugene is not done by nor has anything to do with Occupy Eugene. I take personal responsibility for most of the chalking downtown, and I don't do it on behalf of Occupy Eugene or any other group. I have initiated multiple discussions with the Eugene Police Department around chalking on public sidewalks over the past two years, and overall the police agree with my view that expressive messages written with sidewalk chalk does not constitute "graffiti" and is a constitutionally-protected exercise. If the Library believes that my chalking is graffiti, by all means notify the police and I will discuss it with them once more. But there is no connection whatsoever between the flyers that Jana tried to post and the chalk that occasionally appears on the sidewalks outside the library, and for the security guard to use my chalking as a justification for Jana not being able to hang a flyer is simply absurd.

I am hoping that what happened last Sunday was a result of either poor communication and/or a misunderstanding between library staff and security, or an instance where the security guard simply abused her authority for questionable reasons. If there is a Eugene Public Library policy that does prohibit any flyers from Occupy, I would appreciate a copy of the policy in writing as well as an explanation from the City Attorney as to why the City believes that such a policy is legally justifiable.

I await your reply, and I am hoping that this situation can be easily resolved.

Thank you,

Alley Valkyrie

March 13, 2013 02:16 PM

March 12, 2013 05:39 PM

 Progressive folk singer David Rovicswill be performing at a concert to benefit The People's World, a free workers' newspaper, at 6 pm Friday, March 15, at the LCC Performance Hall, 1475 E. 15th Ave. Cosponsored by the Community Party, USA and the Alliance of Happy Atheists, an ASUO student group, with financial support from the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, the graduate employee union on campus.

March 11, 2013 01:25 PM

It's sort of "We are the World" for anti-fracking. With lyrics like "We can't afford for the world to get hotter/and we can't afford poly-nuclear-aromatic-hydrocarbons in our water" and "Now hold up kid, listen if you will/You can't tell a man where to stuck his drill" (the latter lyric sung by the bad fracker, of course) Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono enlist everyone from Fred Armisen of Portlandia to Susan Sarandon to playfully jump in and sing "Don't frack my Mother."

The video also features Carrie Fisher, Liv Tyler, members of Wilco and the Strokes. More info at Artists Against Fracking.

H/T to the Earth First! Newswire.