• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

EW! A Blog.

May 1, 2014 03:06 PM

It's endorsement time — ballots for the primary election here in Oregon get mailed tomorrow — and newspapers are putting out their endorsements, as well as printing page after page of stories, interviews and viewpoints on who's running and what we think of them. Sometimes the backstory is more fun than the endorsements.

Like when a karaoke-singing climate change denying Senate candidate calls out a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for writing "blah blah blah in his notebook." (And yes, good reporters still take notes). 

EW's recs on who you should cast your ballot for will come out in next week's paper, but Portland's Willamette Week published its endorsements yesterday. Today, media blogger Jim Romenesko calls attention to what some might call a gaffe by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nigel Jaquiss during a lengthy endorsement interview.

I don't call it a gaffe, I call it what we all want to write when a politician drones on and on and on. 

Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Republican Senate candidate Jo Rae Perkins was on the phone rambling on (you can watch the whole thing here, or just start at around 1 hour and 6 minutes in, aka the fun part). Perennial candidate Mark Callahan was sitting across the table from Jaquiss and angrily pointed out that he could see what Jaquiss was doing: 

"I see what you’re writing down there. You just wrote down 'blah blah blah blah' for everything that Jo Rae said. Jo Rae is a respectful woman. Why are you not respecting her by writing 'blah blah blah blah' in your notepad?"

Callahan, still grumbling about Jaquiss' notes settles down enough to move on to the next question, which was  about climate change. “It’s a myth,” he says.

Jaquiss, who was already winning with the blah blah thing, then mildly asks, "Where are you on the Easter Bunny?"

Callahan, who had previously been called out for his behavior earlier in the interview, then begins to angrily object to the question and to what he calls a lack of respect. The moderator then tells him he has had two strikes and will be asked to leave. "Who do you think you are?" he asks Willamette Week.

"This is neither a fair nor balanced meeting," he's told, as it's pointed out to him this is an endorsement interview. Callahan calls WW disrepectful thin-skinned liberals before announcing he has better things to do with his time and leaving. 

Willamette Week did not endorse Callahan in the Republican primary, instead the Portland alt weekly endorsed Oregon Right-to-Life candidate Jason Conger, which as they say, is a whole 'nother issue. Conger tells Willy Week that he doesn't really have a firm conviction either way on the "climate change debate." He calls both sides "incredible."

EW hasn't covered Callahan's many campaigns very much (and I'm pretty sure we won't be endorsing any climate change deniers) but we did cover his karaoke singing in some detail back in 2010 in a story by Rick Levin when Callahan was running for Lane County Commissioner. 

At the more uplifting end of the karaoke spectrum is the story of Eugene native Mark Callahan, who sang Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” the same night I butchered Tom Petty. Callahan, a graduate of Sheldon High School and OSU, is in his early 30s, married, with two young daughters. What makes him remarkable, and perhaps unique, as a karaoke singer is that he flies completely solo — meaning that, instead of making karaoke a social outing, Callahan chooses to go to the bar alone, stay sober as a jaybird and sing as many songs as he can get in.

Callahan says he was introverted as a kid, and though he outgrew his shyness in college, he doesn’t consider himself an exhibitionist. In fact, his Saturday night outings provide him with a means of overcoming, via karaoke, any lingering social anxieties. “This has actually really helped me to build up my confidence. I actually used to have a kind of nervousness talking in front of people,” he says.

“I think I just want to be more open,” says Callahan, noting that he usually feels pretty good upon finishing a song. “It’s almost like coming down off some kind of high. It’s almost like pure joy.”

And here’s the corker: Callahan recently tossed his hat in the ring for Lane County Commissioner, vying in the District 2 slot being vacated in November by Bill Dwyer. Callahan considers entering politics to be a natural evolution of his upbringing in the Boy Scouts, an organization that acted “like a surrogate father” after his parents divorced. The Scouts, he says, proved that making a difference in people’s lives is both desirable and possible.

Is it too much of a stretch to conclude that, for Callahan, the challenge of singing karaoke gave rise to a desire for political office? Why not? Just as Kennedy’s cathode-charismatic crushing of a perplexed, pasty-faced Nixon during the 1960 presidential debate ushered in the era of televised politics, could Callahan be a harbinger — our first karaoke commissioner?

“The main reason I do [karaoke] is to be up in front of people,” Callahan says. “If I can combine that confidence with my desire to help people, I think that’s going to work out good for me.”

May 1, 2014 10:48 AM

Eugene physician Pam Wible gets interviewed for story on Daily Beast saying our health care system is so broken it's time for doctors to go on strike: http://wkly.ws/1qo

May 1, 2014 11:01 AM

Reading legal documents is a key part of covering certain news stories. Sometimes it's fascinating. Sometimes I wish lawyers would stop capitalizing every other word (I know, it's a legal thing, but seriously people it's city, not City). 

Reading legal transcripts is more of the same. Sometimes fascinating, sometimes a morass of legal confusion. But The New York Time's new Verbatim series that is "dramatizing" legal transcripts takes things to a whole new level. This deposition is frustratingly brilliant.

Without giving to much away, here's the NYT's description of the case:

The Case: Ohio Supreme Court Case 2010-2029

In 2010, the Cuyahoga County Recorder’s Office in Ohio changed their policy about copying records. Digital files would no longer be available, and the public would have to make hard copies of documents for $2 per page. This would prove to be prohibitively expensive for Data Trace Information Services and Property Insight, companies that collect hundreds of pages of this public information each week. They sued the Recorder’s Office for access to digital versions of the documents on a CD. In the middle of the case, a lawyer representing them questioned the IT administrator of the Recorder’s Office, which led to a 10-page argument over the semantics of photocopiers.

April 30, 2014 12:40 PM

Washington Department of Fish & Wildife

 

 

Those who lived in Oregon in the ’90s will remember Keiko the orca and his rehabilitation at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. Keiko’s story is a sad one, illustrating why orcas should not be kept in captivity.  Keiko is now gone, but Oregon whale-watchers still have plenty of opportunities to see the trademark black and white pattern of these charismatic cetaceans.  

On May 10, The Orca Tour comes to Newport, where author and activist Erich Hoyt will talk about Oregon’s local orcas and opportunities to see them in the wild. Orcas are most commonly seen in Newport and off Depoe Bay, south of Lincoln City, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. In June 2010, a pod of orcas swam into Yaquina Bay and a little ways up the river, thrilling lucky onlookers.

In the 1960s and ’70s, Pacific Northwest orca pods were hunted and captured for use in marine parks, and the southern resident orca population is endangered, in part due to those harvests. Earlier this month in Sacramento, Calif., lawmakers tabled a bill inspired by the documentary Blackfish that would make it illegal for animal parks like SeaWorld San Diego to use orcas in shows, according to TIME Magazine.

The talk begins at 6:30 pm Saturday, May 10, at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased here.

April 29, 2014 12:43 PM

Elizabeth Warren will be coming to Oregon in late May to campaign for Sen. Jeff Merkley. Looks like Portland events are brewing, maybe not Eugene. See the Huffington Post story at http://wkly.ws/1ql

April 29, 2014 11:53 AM

Hot Mama's Wings hosted its Kamikaze Smackdown last night, and it was a spicy competition, complete with basket upon basket of hot wings. Chris Besio (below) won, eating 23 wings in 11.5 minutes. Congrats, Chris!

April 28, 2014 03:57 PM

This press release just came in from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding a Eugene event next Sunday:

Families interested in spending an enjoyable day outdoors with a fishing pole in their hands may want to put the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Family Fishing Event at Alton Baker Canoe Canal on their calendar for 9:30 am to 1:30 pm Sunday, May 4.

 A feature of the ODFW Outdoors Program, this free event is designed to introduce kids and their families to fishing. To ensure that everybody has a good chance of catching a fish — or several of them — ODFW will release more than 2,000 hearty rainbow trout produced especially for this event by ODFW’s Leaburg hatchery. Most fish will be between 8-10 inches, with some fish reaching 14 inches or greater.

 People are welcome to bring their own fishing equipment if they prefer. For those who do not have their own gear, ODFW will provide rods, reels, tackle and bait free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We want to make this as easy and enjoyable for folks as possible,” said Shannon Richardson, ODFW biologist coordinating the event. “If you have any interest in fishing and want to give it a try, this event is for you.  We’ll get you geared up with the right stuff and show you what to do.”

 Alton Baker Canoe Canal is located within Alton Baker Park, one of the most popular and multi-functional parks in Eugene. The park is located on the north bank of the Willamette River just east of the Ferry Street Bridge and Coburg Road. It is accessible by foot or bike from either side of the river via the River Bank Trails. Access by car is via the Club Road underpass off Coburg Road or from Autzen Stadium off MLK/Centennial.

 ODFW’s free fishing event will take place about 250 yards upstream of the bridge over the canal at the park entrance.

 The event is open to the public, and no pre-registration is required. Anglers 13 years old and younger do not need a fishing license. Anglers 14-17 years of age will need a juvenile fishing license, which can be purchased for $9 at any ODFW license agent, ODFW office or on-line at ODFW’s website. Everybody else must have an adult fishing license. Licenses will not be sold at the event so individuals planning to participate should obtain their licenses ahead of time.

Alton Baker Canoe Canal is one of more than 350 water bodies in Oregon that ODFW regularly stocks with trout. Persons interested in fishing can explore many other opportunities by perusing ODFW’s stocking schedules, maps, guides and other resources at ODFW’s website, located at www.dfw.state.or.us under the “Fishing” tab.

To talk to a biologist about the free fishing event or other fishing opportunities, seasons or regulations in the Eugene area, feel free to call ODFW’s Springfield office at 726-3515.

April 28, 2014 12:06 PM

Gasland Part II will play at 6 pm Thursday, May 1, at the Bijou on 13th and will include guest speakers Francis Etherington and Tom Gleichman. Here's the trailer.

April 25, 2014 04:03 PM

Last week, Jo Hamilton and Irene Hardwicke Olivieri gave an artist talk at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art for their joint exhibit, Contemporary Oregon Visions (see  "A Tale of Two Artists"). It was great to see the huge turnout on a weeknight — all the seats were taken and people were standing in the aisles.

Hamilton spoke first, discussing her background as an artist in Scotland and working as an artist in Portland. Hamilton went into detail about her ongoing “mugshot” portrait series. The audience asked several questions about the identities of the people behind the mug shots. Hamilton explained that the portraits were supposed to capture a fleeting moment in time — an emotion, an expression — but not to capture an exact likeness, so as that it would be difficult to identity the real people behind the portraits; a sort of humanizing-through-art execise.(See mugshot series in photo below.)

After the talk, she mentioned that, at first, Portland audiences were a bit standoffish to her work, which is surprising considering her “crochet paintings” have a distinctly Portland feel; think the craft movement meets classical portraiture. Hamilton also mentioned that she wished there was a museum like the Shnitz in Portland. (Score one for Eugene! Maybe Eugene isn’t “little Portland” but Portland is “big Eugene.”)

Olivieri (seen in photo above next to her painting "I drop everything when I see you") spoke passionately about how many of her paintings are about ridding skeletons from the family closet. If a photo is worth a thousand words then an Olivieri painting is worth a thousand stories. And of course, we got to hear about her great love and admiration for packrats. “Most animals go around looking for food or for a mate,” she said. “Packrats are totally driven by the desire to collect things.” The little critters, she explained, secrete a “honey-gold” substance called amberat to protect all the little treasures in their collections. She told the crowd how archaeologists and biologists have found pack rat nests dating back millennia.

Overall, it was a great talk that demystified the artistic process.
 

April 25, 2014 04:38 PM

Eugene pundit George Beres, former sports information director for UO, got quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times today on the topic of unionizing college athletes. http://wkly.ws/1qg

April 25, 2014 03:41 PM

The voter registration deadline for the May 20 Primary Election is Tuesday, April 29. People who are not registered to vote in any Oregon county may register online at oregonvotes.gov no later than 11:59 pm April 29. The online option is available only to those with a valid Oregon driver’s license, DMV-issued identification card, or learner’s permit.

Other registration options are to submit a voter registration form to the Elections Office by 4 pm April 29, or mail a voter registration card to the Elections Office with a postmark no later than April 29.

New voters who will turn 18 on or before the May 20 Election Day may register by the April 29 deadline and receive a ballot, even if they are still 17 on the deadline date.

For any questions on voter registration and elections in Oregon, go to lanecounty.org/elections or call 682-4234.

Lane County Elections is located at 275 W.10th Ave. in downtown Eugene. Public office hours are 9 am to noon, and 1 to 4 pm Monday through Friday. On Election Day the office will be open from 7 am to 8 pm.

April 25, 2014 03:59 PM

The world of social media has noticed that not only does Lane County inspect local restaurants, it posts them online in a searchable database. For those of you who haven't had the scores posted and reposted on Facebook, Twitter and the like, you can find them here. 

To make it easier, the restaurants that received failing scores — below 70 — and need to be inspected again in 30 days are highlighted in red. You can search by city, score and/or restaurant name. 

As of today, of  Eugene's 563 restaurants listed only five earned the red highlights.

Springfield showed 196 restaurants and none with a score of 69 or less — that includes strip clubs that serve food, like Sweet Illusions, for those of you who wonder about such things.

April 24, 2014 01:20 PM

Is Portland powered by Canadian corpses? The Associated Press is reporting that "The Marion County Board of Commissioners in Salem has ordered an incinerator to stop accepting boxed medical waste to generate electricity after learning the waste it’s been burning may include tissue from aborted fetuses from British Columbia."

It sounds like the issue for the commission is that there might be some tissue from fetuses in the sealed boxes that are being sent to Salem from British Columbia.

Right, squeamish commissioners, never mind the other leftover body parts that have apparently been generating power in Oregon: "Kristy Anderson, a British Columbia Health Ministry spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that regional health authorities there have a contract with a company that sends biomedical waste, such as fetal tissue, cancerous tissue and amputated limbs, to Oregon, where it’s incinerated in the waste-energy plant."

The AP story continues:

 "The facility is owned and operated by Covanta in a partnership with Marion County. According to its website, it processes 550 tons per day of municipal solid waste, generating up to 13 megawatts of energy sold to Portland General Electric.

Marion County estimates that the facility processes about 700 tons of in-county medical waste each year and about 1,200 tons from elsewhere, making it a small percentage of the total waste burned. Out-of-town medical waste is charged a higher fee."

Yes, Portlandia, you are running your iPhones on renewable energy powered by amputated limbs and cancerous tissue. 

I feel like this could be taken to a whole new level. Why get cremated or have a green burial when you could send your body to Marion County and become electricity instead? I see a whole new renewable energy industry in Oregon out of this, if we can just make sure all those burning bodies and body parts don't affect our clean air. I can see the slogans now: "When your lights go out, ours go on!"

As the Schoolhouse Rock song goes, "Where do you think it all comes from? Electricity, electricity."

April 23, 2014 04:07 PM

Got a favorite soup recipe? Share it with others Sunday, April 27, at the Soup Invitational, an amateur soup cook-off in which all of the proceeds benefit Oregon United For Marriage. More details at wkly.ws/1qe.