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September 14, 2012 02:14 PM

(This information provided by Chris Crabb, crabbsoup@comcast.net)

Obo Addy — master drummer, award-winning composer, brilliant musician, and skilled teacher — passed away peacefully at 4 pm Sept. 13 surrounded by family and friends. He had been battling liver cancer since 2007. Addy was 76 years old.

 

A public memorial is being planned, and will be announced at a later date. HIs family is directing his fans and friends to CaringBridge (www.caringbridge.org/visit/oboaddy) to leave messages, photos and memories, which will be shared with Addy’s family (note: a free account must be set up to access the site). The family has also set up a page on www.indiegogo.com/oboaddy to help raise funds for costs related to his illness and funeral expenses.

 

Addy played music to the very end, joining with family, friends and musicians from throughout his life for a few last jam sessions in his final days. He passed away with music filling his ears.

 

Born Jan, 15, 1936 in Accra, the capital of Ghana, Addy was one of 55 children of Jacob Kpani Addy, a medicine man who integrated rhythmic music into healing and other rituals. Addy was designated by his tribe as a master drummer by the age of 6.

 

Addy's earliest musical influence was the traditional music of the Ga people, but he was also influenced as an adolescent by popular music from Europe and the U.S. He got his professional start in Ghana by playing with the Joe Kelly Band, the Ghana Broadcasting Band, and the Farmer’s Council Band, which played popular American and European music and the dance music of Ghana known as highlife.

 

The Arts Council of Ghana as a Ga master hired Addy in 1969, and he received his first international exposure at the Munich Summer Olympics in 1972. He then move to London and spent six years touring internationally until 1978, when he relocated to Portland. There he met and married his wife, Susan, who began managing his musical career.

 

A vigorous supporter of world music, Addy was extremely active in bringing that style of music to Portland and Oregon. He maintained two different ensembles: Okropong, which shares traditional instrumentation, using hand and stick drums, bells, and shakers to create a layered rhythmic effect; and Kukrudu, an eight-piece African jazz group that relies on a mix of European and African instruments.

 

Through numerous in-school residencies, performances and workshops, Addy affected hundreds of thousands of lives in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

 

Addy’s charismatic spirit, rapid-fire hands, and powerful voice led him to receive the National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts under President Bill Clinton, the Governors Award for the Arts in Oregon, The Masters Fellowship from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the Masters Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission.

 

He was a member of the faculty at Lewis & Clark College, and the artistic director of the Obo Addy Legacy Project, formerly known as the Homowo African Arts and Cultures, a not-for-profit organization founded by the Addys in 1986 as a virtual cultural center with offerings in schools, parks, community centers and performance venues all over the country. The organization put on an annual Homowo Festival in Portland for nearly 15 years with music and dance, food, vendors and art demonstrations from various countries within the continent of Africa and the African Diaspora.

 

Addy leaves behind his wife, Susan; children, Alex Addy, Brenda Addy, Akuyea Anupa Addy, Akuyea Bibio Addy, Akuyea Regina Addy and Kordai Addy; stepdaughter Debbe Hamada (Bill Andrews) and stepson Dan Hamada (Judy); brothers Yacub Addy, Oko Thompson, Ismaila Addy and Mustapha Tettey Addy; and nine grandchildren.

 

For more information, visit www.oboaddylegacyproject.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!

September 14, 2012 11:37 AM

The Triangle Lake/Hwy 36 pesticide sprays were featured on PBS's NewsHour this week. 

The people around Triangle Lake have been fighting the timber industry over toxic sprays for years. Companies such as Roseburg, Weyerhaeuser and Seneca Jones say they have the right to spray on their private lands, and that the sprays are necessary to regrow the clearcut forests for future wood products.

Residents say the toxic sprays are getting in their water, onto their organic farms and even into their own bodies.

Triangle Lake residents, including children, have tested postive for forestry pesticides in their urine. Here's just some of the coverage we've featured in the paper, to give you a sense of the history. From schools surrounded by clearcuts to Homeland Security targeting pesticide protesters, it's a twisted tale.

March 2006: The Pitchfork Rebellion against the toxic sprays arises. Story by Kera Abraham.

February 2008: Small Town, Big Clearcut: Parents fight a pesticide spray after Weyerhaeuser clearcuts around Triangle Lake school. Story by Camilla Mortensen.

June 2008: Homeland Security keeps tabs on pestcide activtists. Activists pepper sprayed at rally.

May 2011: Testing shows pesticides in school's waterMarch 2012: Problems with the state spray study arise.

September 2012: Fall spray season begins, but the study remains in limbo.

Want more? Go to the Eugene Weekly website and Google "spray schedule" to see the years and years worth of pesticide spray alerts that Forestland Dwellers has sent EW to publish. Search for "Triangle Lake" to get all the articles on the fight against the sprays in Oregon's Coast Range. 

September 13, 2012 02:18 PM

The Eugene Peace Team will observe the International Day of Peace Fridsy, Sept. 21, across Lane County. Preview videos will be shown from 2 to 3 pm Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Eugene Publc Library, followed by discussion. At 7 am Friday, Sept. 21, at the Hilton downtown will be the Interfaith Community Breakfast with Anita Weiss, Ph.D., speaking on "Understanding Women's Rights in Islam." Later that day from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm will be a "Hands Across Lane County" event in which schools, clubs, churches, etc. are invited to form circles and submit photos or videos to the Eugene City of Peace Facebook page or email davidhazen@boxbe.com A group will also be gathering at that time at the EWEB Plaza for group singing and a walk across the DeFazio footbridge to Altom Baker Park, site of the future Nobel Peace Park.

September 11, 2012 05:51 PM

The Oregon Department of Justice sent a letter to the Lane County Counsel today informing the county of the decision not to pursue the investigation against Handy due to insufficient evidence he had violated any criminal laws. 

The county apparently sent out its press release about the issue before contacting Handy's attorney. Handy said in response to the news and the press release:

It is great to be exonerated by the Department of Justice; I believe that the state could clearly see the political motivations behind the allegations and that Lane County, and John Brown, overreacted and wasted the time, attention, and resources of the state.  I disagree with the press release from Lane County that there are still issues being considered by the Ethics Commission or the Secretary of State’s office; my information is that there is nothing further pending from any state office and that this is over.

My supporters and I have learned to celebrate justice wherever we find it and we will enjoy this moment.  I also look forward to the resolution of the pending lawsuits by the state and federal courts that I have filed against Lane County.  I believe that the current practice of “might makes right” in place in Lane County has lead to some tremendous abuse; I look forward to the truth being exposed so that these practices will end.

On May 3, Commissioners Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Faye Stewart, along with County Administrator Liane Richardson, held an emergency meeting and decided to release allegations against Handy made by attorney Alan Thayer representing Eugene businessman John Brown in regard to a donation towards Handy's $20,000 debt from the Seneca Timber-funded Dumdi case. Handy has since filed a suit alleging the meeting was a violation of Oregon open meetings laws. He called the allegations a "smear tactic."

Handy said he checked with the county’s finance department before asking supporters to assist with the debt.

Handy said at press conference in May that the allegations were timed to hurt him in the May 15 election, for which voting was already under way. He said that the timing “was coldly and cynically planned to make sure that when the truth comes out, the election will be over.” He added, “If he was truly concerned about my behavior in this matter, he would have filed a complaint months and months ago after my request of him for a donation."

Though the handwritten note that spurred the allegations was received by John Brown  on Feb. 21, he and Thayer waited until shortly before the May 15 election to release the information, Handy said.

Handy lost the election to Pat Farr. According to an R-G article, Pat Farr and Alan Thayer are friends. 

Handy was locked out of his office when the DOJ investigation began, and even after the investigation concluded, the county continued to lock him out  — he was locked out for more than 80 days.

The press release from the county said: 

Department of Justice Concludes Their Investigation of Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy

On May 2, 2012 Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner made a request that the Criminal Justice Division of the Oregon Department of Justice conduct an investigation of allegations that Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy had committed criminal acts under Oregon law. The allegations against Commissioner Handy were made in a letter dated May 2, 2012 drafted by Eugene attorney Alan Thayer on behalf of Lane County resident John Brown.  The letter also contained allegations that Commissioner Handy had violated various election and ethics laws. The Thayer letter referred the various allegations to Alex Gardner Lane County District Attorney, Kate Brown Oregon Secretary of State, Steve Trout Oregon Elections Division and the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

The Oregon Department of Justice has found insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Commissioner Handy committed any crime under Oregon law.  Andrew Campbell, Senior Assistant Attorney General concluded: “While his conduct may have violated personnel policies and ethics rules, it does not meet the criteria for criminal prosecution.” Any additional questions regarding the reasoning behind the decision should be directed to the Oregon Department of Justice. A copy of the letter from the Oregon Department of Justice is attached.

The allegation that Commissioner Handy violated election laws is still under investigation by the Oregon Secretary of State.  Questions about the current status of their investigation should be directed to the Oregon Secretary of State.

The allegation that Commissioner Handy violated Oregon ethics laws was referred to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission. Questions about the current status of their investigation should be directed to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

Commissioner Handy has filed civil litigation against Lane County and various Lane County public officials and employees.  Lane County Presiding Judge Karsten Rasmussen has assigned Coos County Circuit Court Judge Richard L. Barron to hear both cases. The public meetings law case, Lane County Circuit Court case 16-12-13685 has been tentatively scheduled for a hearing on Lane County’s anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (“anti-SLAPP”) motion on October 5, 2012. The public records lawsuit, Lane County Circuit Court case 16-12-10517, has previously been set for trial on January 8, 9 and 10th 2013.  As a result of the pending litigation, the County is unable to comment further on these matters. All of the County’s responses to the litigation filed by Commissioner Handy are public records and will constitute Lane County’s official response to the lawsuits filed by Commissioner Handy.

The DOJ document is below.

September 10, 2012 09:20 AM

September 10, 2012 05:53 PM

I have dogs. They do bad things, like sniff crotches and open the fridge and eat all the butter (Zella). And now, next time they do something bad, like eat all the seatbelts in my car (Rhoda) there's a place to shame them publicly for their wrongs. 

Dog-shaming.com 

Pages and pages of dogs doing bad things. Cutely. It's like cat videos only for dog people. And with less movement. Well, you know what I mean. 

As we say around the office, this week's news lines the kennel  next week. Or I guess is next week's chew toy. 

I have no idea why this one made me laugh so hard. Snozberries.

\

For more sad and embarrassed dogs go to http://dog-shaming.com/

September 7, 2012 01:00 PM

September 6, 2012 01:27 PM

September 5, 2012 11:00 AM

In case you missed it, here are highlights from Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention last night.

September 5, 2012 02:57 PM

So the UO sent a link to a "press conference" today.

Yes, according to the UO, the Duck is running for president, or so he says via his interpreter. He even has a website: http://duck2012.com/ 

Ah, the wonders of higher education. Sports are great. But if there's money out there, then let's put funding toward better equipment in the classrooms, better professor and grad student salaries and improving higher eductation in general. The UO really needs to PUT DOWN THE DUCKIE.

September 5, 2012 01:27 PM

August 31, 2012 12:02 PM

I'm laughing, and I'm sort of disturbed all at once, by the "legitimate rape pharmaceutical ad." 

(FYI trigger warning, the video's funny but hard to watch, too)