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June 27, 2012 02:57 PM

This just in from Congressman Peter DeFazio's office as Lane County Jail reports it's releasing inmates due to budget cuts:

 

 

NEWS

FROM U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

PETER DeFAZIO

Fourth Congressional District, Oregon                                                                    June 27, 2012

Contact: Jen Gilbreath—(202) 225-6416                                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

*VIDEO AVAILABLE*

DEFAZIO ANNOUNCES ONE-YEAR EXTENSION OF COUNTY PAYMENTS

Provides rural Oregon counties with needed breathing room

 WASHINGTON, DC –Today, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced that a temporary one-year extension of vital Secure Rural Schools Payments will be included in a final surface transportation conference bill. DeFazio has been involved in the joint House-Senate negotiations over a two-year surface transportation bill and successfully fought to include the temporary extension of county payments for Oregon counties.

“Recent county budget cuts have forced painful layoffs, eliminated jail beds releasing inmates early, and limited county sheriff’s ability to respond to rural emergencies. This temporary extension will provide much needed breathing room for forested communities in Oregon that are quickly approaching financial disaster.

“Ultimately our counties and rural communities need a long term solution – and this extension gives us the time we need to pass comprehensive federal legislation.  I have proposed a bipartisan agreement with Rep. Walden and Rep. Schrader that can break us out of the decades-long logjam on federal forest policy, put Oregonians back to work, improve forest health, and disentangle the health of rural counties from unpredictable federal support payments. We will continue to work with the House Resources Committee to move this long-term solution for Oregon forested communities,” DeFazio said.

The one-year extension designates just under $100 million for schools, roads, and law enforcement in failing rural counties in Oregon for the next fiscal year. 

BACKGROUND

In March, the Senate attached a one-year extension of Secure Rural Schools funding for forested counties nationwide to its two-year transportation bill (S 1813), Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).  On April 18th, the House passed the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II (H.R. 4348).  This 90-day extension of the surface transportation programs through September 30, 2012, is the legislative vehicle the House used to conference with the Senate.  

Last fall, DeFazio, Walden, and Schrader worked with stakeholders to reach a bipartisan agreement on a long-term plan for the O&C counties. Since then, they’ve been working with the House Resources Committee to integrate the provisions of their proposal into larger committee legislation. Currently, House Resources is working out the details of the larger bill. A discussion draft was posted to the member’s websites in February where constituents can send feedback and suggest changes to the draft.

See DeFazio video statement pt 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZP30cysmCY

DeFazio video statement pt 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hrc6lEjFBk

June 25, 2012 02:50 PM

Storm Large sings with Pink Martini July 1 at the Cuthbert as part of the Bach fest. Even though "(My Vagina is) Eight Miles Wide) is a Storm Large, not a Pink Martini tune, we at EW are hoping they play it anyway. You may want to use headphones to play this in your office. 

And below is a song more typical of Pink Martini. 

June 24, 2012 12:01 PM

We heard unconfirmed rumors that The Register-Guard's highly paid chief operating officer David Pero got himself fired Friday after more than five years. Maybe leaving was his idea, but that's not what we heard. Nothing in the paper or online, unless we missed it. We checked his LinkedIn profile and sure enough, it lists the R-G as his employer from February 2007 to June 2012. Pero was overseeing editorial, advertising, circulation, marketing, production and technology, including the website.  

June 22, 2012 12:04 PM

 

David Jacobs-Strain slides into Cozmic

The roots of slide guitar roll deep. Dating back to the blues of the '20s with Blind Willie Johnson and the like, it's a technique that's still being used today, by the psuedo-guitar-gods of this generation: Jack White, Dan Auerbach have used the technique to great effect, though it might be worth adding one young Eugenie by the name of David Jacobs-Strain to the list.

“I remember hearing Taj Mahal and Walker-T Ryan play at WOW Hall when I was 12,” says Jacobs-Strain, a local guitarist that's been fascinated by guitar playing from a young age, “They knocked me out, man, I don't think I even knew what kind of music it was back then, but it knocked me out.”

 

Jacobs-Strain's music is uncommon—a blend of haunting blues riffs, indie-psychedelia, and at times even unmistakable eastern influence winds its way into the unclassifiable mish-mash of eclecticism. It's clear that he's been doing this for a long time, but you'd be hard pressed to find somebody that's as open and laid back about everything in life besides his art.

“I know that everyone wants to say 'my music defies categorization,'” says Jacobs-Strain of being labeled a blues musician, “but I'm really not super interested in making genred music.” So what should we label Jacobs-Strain's discography of six albums? What the fuck section do we file it under?

“I don't know if it's delta blues or gangsta-grass,” he says with a tone of infinite jest striking his voice, “the album I'm working on right now sound like an indie-rock record, for lack of a better term.”

David Jacobs-Strain's new record sounds like it's bound to be a winner — recorded in an old 1820s cathedral which was filled with a crap load of weird instruments. “My producer this record is in the same generation as me; it's nice to not have someone telling me what I can and can't do,” says Strain, “we've been combining my slide guitar with an orchestra of fucked up keyboards and banjos and instruments that aren't supposed to go together, really.”

Some of his tracks are lively, some are so endlessly mellow that you could drown in them like sinking through honey, but at the end of the day it's all badass music. David Jacobs-Strain is also Kickstarting his newest project, and supporting local music is always highly recommended, so hop on over to THIS SPOT and pledge away, Eugenies.

David Jacobs-Strain plays with Brooks Robertson 8:30 pm tonight, Friday, June 22, at Cozmic; $14

June 20, 2012 10:24 AM

This press release just in from the Eugene Police Department. Don't freak out when that Black Hawk helicopter flies overhead and lands on 22nd Avenue. It's all for the kids. You know, nothing says "promoting positive youth development" like a large military aircraft.

 

News Release

June 20, 2012

For further information, contact:

Paula Hunt, AIC Public Information Coordinator, at 541.682.5124, or

Jenna McCulley AIC, Public Information Director, at 541.682.5197

VISUAL/STORY OP: EPAL Campers have a special visitor today!

WHERE:  Eugene Police Activities League Camp (EPAL)

Arts and Technology Academy, 1650 W 22nd Avenue, Eugene

WHEN:   TODAY, June 20, 2012, at 12:00 p.m.

 

It's a bird...It's a plane...

NO, it's a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter!

Don't miss this very special and awesome 'drop in' visitor from the Oregon Army National Guard!  In addition to today's regularly scheduled activities, todays EPAL campers will have the exciting honor to have a closer look at this amazing Helicopter and those who operate it.

The special visitor is scheduled to touch down today at 12:00 noon in the field behind the Arts and Technology Academy, 1650 West 22nd Ave.

The Oregon Army National Guard crewmembers are some of the best pilots around. They assist with ongoing search and rescue efforts as well as firefighting. These highly skilled crewmembers respond to hundreds of emergencies flying from Mount Hood, to Mount Jefferson and the Sisters.  They can hoist a climber from Mount Rainier at 13,500 feet, pull a drowning kayaker form the Sandy River or snag a lost child dangling above the rocky Oregon Coast.  It has been said that when flying a Blackhawk mission to service the community can be very similar to police work, "...you never know what you are walking (flying) into."

You don't have to be a kid to love this visit.  Come have a closer look yourselves!

As a reminder, EPAL is an annual day camp for youths between the ages of 8 and 13, offering a variety of activities, from competitive sports to arts.  EPAL provides educational and social skill development programs that will help students develop and build leadership skills.  EPAL is part of the National Police Activities League program, a non-profit organizations dedicated to promoting positive youth development.  This year's Eugene Police Activities League Camp (EPAL) runs from June 18 - 22.

June 20, 2012 10:19 AM

Missed the 5th Annual Great Whiteaker Clean-Up? No problem, it's on video via EW's enterprising cub reporter Ted Shorack and the Oregon News Lab.

 

June 19, 2012 04:52 PM

The Goddess of Canadian Blues visits Eugene

This week, Bijou Art Cinema will begin screening Music from the Big House, a film that follows Canadian blues chanteuse Rita Chiarelli through her experience with putting on a show inside Louisiana’s Angola prison.

However, it turns out there’s far more to her presence in Eugene than just black and white flickerings across the Bijou’s silver screens; she’s stopping by the Bijou on Wednesday, June 20—in this instance, in the flesh—in order to perform live at a special screening of Big House.

 

Chiarelli has been playing music all of her life, and with especial focus on blues and roots music, it’s not hard to tell that she’s taken time to learn the meaning of wailing. Her voice is like rich, chalky honey with the scratchy grace of Woodstock Janis Joplin, add to this the raw soul of Etta James and some wicked songwriting chops and you’ve got yourself one killer Canadian blueswoman.

The screening will include the 1hr, 27min film, Rita’s live performance, and a Q&A session with the “Goddess of Canadian Blues” herself, and at $12 a pop that means you’re basically getting a concert for $5 (General Admission Bijou tickets are only $7).

For further details and to purchase tickets, visit bijou-cinemas.com

June 19, 2012 02:29 PM

The Corvallis City Council took a stand against ocean pollution this week, becoming the second city in Oregon to approve a comprehensive ban on plastic bags. A second reading and final vote are still required to secure the ordinance, but all city councilors are on record in support of the bill, which they voted 8-1 to enact at Monday’s meeting.

 

“City Councilors should be applauded for their leadership,” says Sarah Higginbotham, Environment Oregon’s state director in a press release. “Last night took us one step closer to a big victory for our oceans and for the Corvallis community, who came together to reduce the wasteful disposable plastic that pollutes our environment.”

 

Environment Oregon, along with the Mary’s Peak Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Surfrider Foundation testified in support of the ordinance. The coalition of organizations worked to bring together businesses, citizens, and organizations around the issue.

 

More than 2,400 citizens signed petitions in favor of the ban, along with 60 supportive businesses including the Northwest Grocery Association.

 

The city also made history by becoming the first in Oregon to include a required pass-through cost on paper bags of five cents, a policy that has been shown to encourage consumers to switch to reusable bags.

 

The lone dissention represented one councilor’s desire to strengthen the stated intent of the ordinance on the record, though he is in full support of the ban. Because the vote was not unanimous, the councilor will have the opportunity to make additional statements for the record when it comes up for a second reading at the council’s July 2 meeting.

June 18, 2012 03:17 PM

With all the pushing of the Olympic trials as an economic booster, it was funny to find a press release from the EPD reminding us that every silver lining has a cloud:

During the 2008 Olympic Trials held in Eugene, crime went up around the entire city. Between 06/24/2008 and 07/09/2008 EPD recorded 83 burglaries, 119 thefts and 59 stolen vehicles.

That said, it's not funny if your stuff gets damaged or stolen in this "target-rich environment," so keep an eye out for yourself and your neighbor.

June 17, 2012 11:42 AM

A disturbing video of horses at a rodeo in Oregon being roped by the legs in a practice called horse tripping and one bucking horse breaking its leg has been posted on YouTube. The Big Loop Rodeo in Jordon Valley, Ore. took place in May. The events were posted by SHowing Animals Respect & Kindness (SHARK).

The rodeo was apparently sponsored by Les Schwab Tire Centers and Idaho Power Company.  Les Schwab's Facebook page is already full of criticism.

SHARK writes: "In this video we focus on the horses roped, slammed to the ground, and sometimes dragged by the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo's signature event, Big Loop horse roping."

The animal cruelty group says on its YouTube page that it has not received a response to its video and criticism by the Big Loop Rodeo.

Warning the video is graphic, especially in the first few minutes where the horse's broken leg is shown in slow motion, and again later when galloping horses are roped by the neck and legs and fall to the ground.

 

The rules for the Big Loop Event are posted here and say that

Stock must not be handled roughly at any time,
and ropers may be disqualified if in the opinion of the field judge
they have intentionally done so.
Any stock injury will result in immediate disqualification.

The Humane Society of the United States tried to ban the practice of horse tripping in the 2011 Oregon Legislature but the bill, Senate Bill 613, was killed in committee. At the time, bill opponent Dave Duquette of United Horsemen said:

"No rodeo event in Oregon condones, or conducts, horse tripping. Oregon has comprehensive laws in place to protect animals. This bill was totally unnecessary. It was nothing more than a first step by HSUS to ban all roping of all animals in our state," Dave Duquette, United Horsemen CEO and President, said.

"Horses are livestock, and if this bill had become law, it would have set the precedent for making it illegal to rope a cow. After all, they're both livestock - what's the difference between horses' legs and cows' legs?" he added.

However, the Big Loop Rodeo's signature event has long been the horse roping. Duquette is also known for his attempts to bring a horse slaughter plant back to Oregon.

June 16, 2012 11:28 AM

 Rolling Stone praises Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley in a blog post by writer Matt Taibbi. Taibbi writes about  J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s Senate testimony before the Senate banking committee and says he had an "inkling" it would be hard to watch but …

But I wasn’t prepared for just how bad it was. If not for Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, who was the only senator who understood the importance of taking the right tone with Dimon, the hearing would have been a total fiasco. Most of the rest of the senators not only supplicated before the blowdried banker like love-struck schoolgirls or hotel bellhops, they also almost all revealed themselves to be total ignoramuses with no grasp of the material they were supposed to be investigating.

Taibbi writes a scathing indictment of the meeting and the sentators "slavish" questioning of Dimon on derivative trading.

This was an opportunity to show Americans how a too-big-to-fail commercial bank like Chase – supported by vast amounts of public treasure, from Fed loans to bailouts to less obvious subsidies like GSE purchases of mortgages and implicit guarantees of bank debt – uses the crutch of government support to gamble recklessly in search of huge profits, with the public on the hook for any potential downside.

But he writes, instead, "Instead, they mostly cowered and cringed and sat mute with thumbs in their mouths, while Dimon evaded, patted himself on the back, and blew the whole derivative losses episode off as an irrelevant accident caused by moron subordinates."

 Jon Tester of Montana gets some credit for standing up for the farmers he represents, but mostly Taibbi's praise is reserved for Merkley who at one point when interrupted in his questioning by Dimon says, "Sir, this is not your hearing. You’re here to answer questions. And I only have five minutes."

For the full commentary, go to the Taibblog.

June 13, 2012 01:19 PM

From the San Francisco Bay Guardian editorial page:

Could lowering the speed limit help us reach our biking goal by 2020?

It's going to be hard to reach San Francisco's official bike transportation goal, which calls for 20 percent of all vehicle trips to be taken by bicycle by 2020. Everyone in town knows that; everyone at City Hall and in the biking community agrees that some profound and radical steps would need to be taken to increase bike trips by more than 500 percent in just eight years.

It starts with safety — you're not getting anywhere near that number of people on light, two-wheeled vehicles unless, as international bicycling advocate Gil Peñalosa recently told San Franciscans, people between the ages of eight and 80 feel safe riding on the city streets.

At the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's 20th Annual Golden Wheel Awards, Peñalosa — executive director of 8-80 Cities, a nonprofit that promotes creation of cycling infrastructure that is safe and inviting — laid out a prescription for designing cities around pedestrians and bicyclists (he sees riding a bike as " just a more efficient way of walking.") Peñalosa laid out an agenda for achieving that goal — one that includes a step San Francisco can start taking immediately: Cut vehicle speeds on all city streets to no more than 20 miles an hour.

Even if that were only done in residential areas, it would have a huge impact, and not just on bicyclists. Peñalosa cited statistics showing that only about 5 percent of pedestrians hit by cars driving 20 mph will die — but the fatality rate shoots up to 80 percent when the vehicles are traveling 40 mph.

If there are some streets where it's impractical to have such a low speed limit, it's imperative to have bike lanes that are separated from cars by physical barriers.

San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency director, Ed Reiskin, told us after Penalosa's speech that the notion of reducing speed limits made sense: "The logic is unquestioned that slowing speeds reduces the risk of fatality."

But the city, it turns out, doesn't have the power to unilaterally lower speed limits: State law requires speed limits to be set based on formulas determined by median vehicle speeds. That seems awfully old-fashioned and out of touch with modern urban transportation policy, which increasingly emphasizes bikes, pedestrians, and transit, and city officials ought to be asking the state Legislature to review those rules and give more latitude to cities that want to control traffic speed.

In the meantime, Reskin argues that a lot can be done by redesigning streets, using bulb-outs and barriers to discourage speeding. That's fine, and part of the city's future bike-lane policy should start with traffic-calming measures (Berkeley, to the chagrin of many nonlocal drivers, has done a great job making residential streets into bike-friendly places where cars can't travel very fast).

Peñalosa had some other great ideas; he noted that cities such as Guadalajara, Mexico require developers to give free bikes away with each home, a program that has put 102,000 more bikes on the streets. That's a cheap and easy concept — except that so much of the new housing in the city is so expensive, and comes with so much parking, that it's hard to believe the millionaires who are moving into these units will be motivated by a free bicycle.

But the notion of working with Sacramento to slow down car traffic makes tremendous sense — and that ought to be one of the transportation priorities of Mayor Ed Lee's administration.

June 11, 2012 12:58 PM

No coal demonstration is being planned in Portland Aug. 18. Contact richard@goodgrowthnw.org for updates and to get on the mailing list.