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June 18, 2014 03:47 PM

Out with the old, in with the new: The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) announced to the press today that field tests are complete for Smarter Balanced, the standardized test that will replace the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills next year. In spring of this year, students from 90 Oregon school districts took preliminary tests of Smarter Balanced, a test run before all Oregon public schools switch over to the new tests in spring of 2015.

Schools from the Lowell, Oakridge, Bethel, Crow-Applegate-Lorane and Fern Ridge school districts participated in the field test. Schools from Eugene and Springfield districts did not participate.

According to ODE’s website, “the new test focuses on critical thinking and direct student response instead of multiple choice items. Students are asked to explain their reasoning, type short answers to questions and engage with the assessment in a manner much more akin to a classroom assignment.”

Rob Saxton, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction for ODE, says on ODE’s website that “We do expect the percent of students passing these new tests to go down substantially, but that does not mean that our students know less.” ODE estimates that only 30 to 40 percent of Oregon students will pass the Smarter Balanced test next year.

ODE offers cheerful comments from four students who participated in the test, including sixth grader Ella, who described the test as a “cool, new experience.” EW is in the process of tracking down a full list of student comments from focus groups after the test. According to ODE’s website, no scores will be reported from the field testing.

June 18, 2014 10:03 AM

"On Monday, cancer took the life of medical cannabis activist Jim Greig. Jim had suffered from ankylosing spondylitis, a severe form of arthritis, since the '80s. He was confined to a wheelchair and was bedridden 80 percent of the time. He began using medical cannabis in 1995 and became a tireless advocate shortly after."

Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, has written a lengthy eulogy to Greig in her Huffington Post column today. Greig lived in Eugene and is credited with helping elect Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum in 2012. According to The Oregonian, Rosenblum issued a statement on Greig's passing, calling him  "a passionate and kind person who truly benefited from the ability to have safe and legal access to medical marijuana to treat his condition. I will miss him."

Greig appeared frequently in EW, both as a source and as an opinion writer. We will update this blog with any information on a memorial.

 

June 18, 2014 11:09 AM

Planning a PDX road trip soon? OSU's Food Innovation Center will host its inaugural Time to Market Trade Show Tuesday, June 24. Vendors are graduates of the Getting to Recipe to Market class. More from the press release:

 

The inaugural Time To Market Trade Show, which will take place from 4-7 p.m., offers a delicious array of free samples, including crème brûlée, gelato, pickles, peppers, cocktails and health foods. Gluten-free, diabetic-friendly and vegan options will be available. Consumers can buy the products, too.
 
"This is the public's first chance to get a taste of what we've cooked up with our students," said Sarah Masoni, the center's product development manager. "This event is a perfect way for us to reach out to businesses we've helped over the years and treat the taste buds of Oregon."
 
The Food Innovation Center is a collaborative effort between Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Agriculture. It is located at 1207 N.W. Naito Parkway in Portland. For more information, call 503-872-6680.
June 16, 2014 06:29 PM

This just in from Kesey Enterprises: the Eugene Celebration Parade will go on! 

Eugene Celebration Parade and Evening Concert set for August 23, 2014*

After overwhelming public input and encouragement, Kesey Enterprises is pleased to announce that the 2014 Eugene Celebration Parade will take place on August 23 at 11:00 am.  This event is made possible through generous support from Lane Community College, the City of Eugene, and an all volunteer steering committee.

In addition, that evening, the Eugene Celebration, Lane Community College, the City of Eugene and Kesey Enterprises will be presenting a $5.00 concert at the Cuthbert Amphitheater which will feature the Eugene Celebration parade awards as well as performances by Hell’s Belles, Zepparella and Foreverland.

The Eugene Celebration Parade details including entry and volunteer applications as well as the Cuthbert show and artist information will be made available on June 23 at www.eugenecelebration.com and www.thecuthbert.com

###

Now the questions are: Where will the Slug Queen coronation take place (we vote there's an appearance by the "raining" queen and her retinue at the Cuthbert) and will there be an "alternative" Eugene Celebration?

June 12, 2014 04:25 PM

We just noticed an opinon poll on www.uomatters.com asking readers to give UO President Michael Gottfreson a "final grade" on his performance. Looks like 387 readers responded, giving the prez 248 F's. Also on the blog is the observation that Gottfredson's name has been removed from the web page about commencement. An earlier page talked about Gottfredson leading the traditional "Duck Walk." Fear of protests?

See https://commencement.uoregon.edu/Home.aspx

June 12, 2014 11:37 AM

The Economic Policy Insitute's Family Budget Calculator "measures the income a family needs in order to attain a secure yet modest living standard by estimating community-specific costs of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, other necessities, and taxes. The budgets, updated for 2013, are calculated for 615 U.S. communities and six family types (either one or two parents with one, two, or three children).

"As compared with official poverty thresholds such as the federal poverty line and Supplemental Poverty Measure, EPI’s family budgets offer a higher degree of geographic customization and provide a more accurate measure of economic security. In all cases, they show families need more than twice the amount of the federal poverty line to get by."

The calculator shows numbers for specific areas, including Eugene-Springfield.

See: http://www.epi.org/resources/budget/

June 12, 2014 09:11 AM

The World Cup starts today, June 12, and if you’re looking for places to watch the international tournament in Eugene, look no further — Oakshire Public House sent EW its full futbol schedule for the next few weeks.

According to a press release sent out last week, “the pub is planning to show about three quarters of the tournament’s 64 matches on two 70-inch HD televisions that have been installed in the venue for the express purpose of broadcasting soccer.”

Oakshire, at 207 Madison St., is open 11am-10pm every day and will show all games that air during those hours. See below for the schedule of games, and if you know of any other places nearby that are broadcasting the World Cup, give a shout out in the comments below! See our World Cup column next week for more info.

Thursday, June 12

    -1pm Brazil v Croatia

Friday, June 13

     -12pm Spain v Netherlands

     -3pm Chile v Australia

Saturday, June 14

     -12pm Uruguay v Costa Rica

     -3pm England v Italy

     -6pm Cote d'Ivoire v Japan

Sunday, June 15

     -12pm France v Honduras

     -3pm Argentina v Bosnia & Herzegovina

Monday, June 16

     -noon Iran v Nigeria

     - 3pm  Ghana v United States

Tuesday, June 17

     -noon Brazil v Mexico

      -3pm Russia v Korea Republic

Wednesday, June 18

     -noon Spain v Chile

     -3pm Cameroon v Croatia

Thursday, June 19

     -noon Uruguay v England

     -3pm Japan v Greece

Friday, June 20

     -noon Switzerland v France

     -3pm Honduras v Ecuador

Saturday, June 21

     -noon Germany v Ghana

     -3pm Nigeria v Bosnia & Herzegovina

Sunday, June 22

     -noon Korea Republic v Algeria

     -3pm United States v Portugal

Monday, June 23

     -1pm Cameroon v Brazil

     -1pm Croatia v Mexico

Tuesday, June 24

     -1pm Japan v Colombia

     -1pm Greece v Cote d'Ivoire

Wednesday, June 25

     -1pm Honduras v Switzerland

     -1pm Ecuador v France

Thursday, June 26

     -1pm Korea Republic v Belgium

     -1pm Algeria v Russia

June 11, 2014 08:29 AM

A few food and drink morsels:

16 Tons Café will hold a Pinot Noir Rosé Festival Saturday, June 14.

 Rosé is one of the oldest known types of wine and one of the most
misunderstood. According to 16 Tons owner, Mike Coplin, "These wines can be
incredibly complex with sophisticated flavors and a wide range of sweetness
levels. Most of them have a dry finish which makes them quite refreshing."
Rosés usually gets their gorgeous pink-red hue wine from contact with grape
skins, but sometimes through blending white and red wines. A third method,
popular in France, is called saignée: the Rosé is simply drawn from
production of red wine that is young and has not fully developed its color.

Some of the featured Oregon producers include: Colene Clemens, Boedecker,
Witness Tree, Terrapin, Haden Fig, Winter's Hill, Phelps Creek, Raptor
Ridge, Misty Oaks, Carabella, Anne Amie, Quady North, Mouton Noir, William
Rose, Brooks, Teutonic, Division, Sarver, Eyrie, and Hamacher. There are
also selections from France, Austria, Italy, Spain, South Africa, New
Mexico, and California.

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door and include a commemorative
glass and a complimentary first taste.  Hours for the event are 12-8pm and
the festival will be held on the beautiful outdoor patio allowing people to
enjoy summer wines in the summer sunshine. 

 

Making its way around the web is a really neat collection of maps and charts about food in the U.S. that Vox.com compiled. Check out this map, which includes data on Oregon's shrinking number of farms:

More craft beer is being canned rather than bottled. It's lighter to ship, but worries those concerned about BPA. More at The Salt.

June 11, 2014 01:08 PM

There will be an automatic recount of the votes in both the East Lane (incumbent Faye Stewart was seven votes over the 50 percent +1 needed to avoid a runoff in the race versus Kevin Matthews, Joanne Ernst, Jose Ortal and Jack Schoolcraft) and West Lane (incumbent Jay Bozievich was 17 votes over the 50 percent +1 needed to avoid a runoff with Dawn Lesley this fall), says the Oregon Secretary of State's Office.

Here are the press releases from the county:

East Lane

For Immediate Release 6/10/2014

 

Automatic Recount for East Lane County Commissioner Race to Take Place

Contact: Lane County Public Information Officer Anne Marie Levis: 541-915-4659

Lane County Elections will be conducting an automatic recount in the race for East Lane County Commissioner. This decision comes after new guidance from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Elections Division on the statutes covering automatic recounts. The clarification impacts all counties in Oregon.

In the final certified election results, Faye Stewart came within one-fifth of one percent from crossing the 50 percent plus one vote threshold required to avoid a runoff election in November. The recount is estimated to cost Lane County between $2,000 and $3,000. The recount will begin on Monday.

According to Oregon Statute, an automatic recount is required if number of votes cast for a candidate differs from a majority of votes cast for the office by more than one-fifth of one percent. For the East Lane County Commissioner race, one-fifth of one percent meant that Stewart would have needed 27 or more votes beyond the 50 percent plus one vote threshold. Stewart had seven votes above the 50 percent plus one mark.

West Lane

For Immediate Release 6/11/2014

Automatic Recount for West Lane County Commissioner Race

Contact: Lane County Public Information Officer Anne Marie Levis: 541-915-4659

Lane County Elections will be conducting an automatic recount in the race for West Lane County Commissioner. Yesterday, based on new guidance from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Elections Division, Lane County Elections announced an automatic recount for the East Lane County Commissioner race as well.

In the final certified election results, Jay Bozievich came within one-fifth of one percent from crossing the 50 percent plus one vote threshold required to avoid a runoff election in November. The recount is estimated to cost Lane County between $2,000 and $3,000. The recount will begin early next week.

According to Oregon Statute, an automatic recount is required if the number of votes cast for a candidate differs from a majority of votes cast for the office by more than one-fifth of one percent. For the West Lane County Commissioner race, one-fifth of one percent meant that Bozievich would have needed 29 or more votes beyond the 50 percent plus one vote threshold. Bozievich had 17 votes above the 50 percent plus one mark.

June 11, 2014 12:33 PM

The event we've all been waiting for... The World Naked Bike Ride is happening at 4:30 pm Saturday, June 14, and this year the ride was gather at 4 pm at the east end of Skinner Butte Park, just north of the Campbell Community Center. If you need a GPS, the rough address is 200 E. Cheshire.

The flyer says, "We will join thousands of other cyclists around the world to protest oil dependence and celebrate the power and individuality of our bodies ... We will ride nude (or nearly nude) to symbolize the fact that bicyclists are vulnerable sharing the road with 2-ton metal monsters spewing toxic fumes and all of us are vulnerable because of our addiction to fossil fuels. "

For more information, call Jain at 484-1680 or Ralph at 954-9465. See also http://wiki.worldnakedbikeride.org/index.php?title=Eugene

June 10, 2014 02:49 PM

A note from the arts editor: As the summer festival circuit revs up, EW arts intern Bryan Kalbrosky reflects on a very special weekend at Washington's Gorge Amphitheater for Sasquatch! music festival — a weekend filled with a smorgasbord of contemporary music giants. With Pickathon, What the Festival, Oregon Country Fair, MusicfestNW, Willamette Country Music Festival, High Sierra Music Fest, Outside Lands and Burning Man on the horizon, here's a friendly reminder to drink lots of water and watch out for the nosebleeds (read below).

Musings by Bryan Kalbrosky

Images by Brinkley Capriola

When I think about Sasquatch 2014, I’ll always remember the text written on Andre 3000’s jumpsuit during OutKast’s opening night gig: “Everything is Temporary.”

It’s important for festival-goers to remember that the Sasquatch! music festival at The Gorge in Washington exists in its own alternate universe. It’s not every day, of course, that one is able to wake up in the morning at sunrise to a bizarre blend of blaring electronic dance music mixed with the mooing of cows. The unique location situated along the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest blesses those that make the pilgrimage to Sasquatch with a sensory overload of breathtaking rolling hills, where vibrant green trees meet the sharp crispness of the nearby river.

Sasquatch, it seems, truly brings people closer together; we become more appreciative and accepting in this sacred environment. When one rocks the infamous Sasquatch wristband, nothing feels quite like reality; it always feels better.

That’s why my trusted moleskin — originally packed with the intent of taking reminder notes about the weekend — is inscribed only with the same wise words shared with us by Andre 3000. When you’re at Sasquatch, the celestial beauty of the universe is temporary.

But pictures floating around the Internet capture memories inspired by everything from the morning pre-breakfast 24 oz. of Rolling Rock at the campsite to highlights from each stage, colorful face paint, daisy chains, oversized floppy hats and (most significantly) the blissful smiles of friends and strangers gathered together as one.


After a group of UO students began a noticeably loud “Go Ducks!” chant in line on Friday afternoon before the festival began, the first show that I saw was De La Soul. While the veteran group was unable to hide the fact that they had been performing together for 25 years, it was awesome to relive their long history in hip hop. Later, they shouted out Chance The Rapper — who fans would be seeing just a few hours later.

While Chance may be on the opposite end of the hip-hop spectrum, the 21-year-old Chicago native instantly became a festival favorite. Chance had been sick for the previous month, even missing weekend two of Coachella. The emerging star, however, stole the show with soulful renditions of originals like “Everybody’s Something” from Acid Rap as well as “Prom Night” from the 10 Day mixtape.

Like many others, I lost my mind when he covered the theme from the cartoon Arthur. During this song, he pleaded with the crowd at one of the biggest shows of his budding career to chant the hook (“Everyday it could be wonderful!”) along with him over and over, and over again. Chance appeared humbled to be spreading positive vibes, comfortable and eager to be back playing on stage.

Two of the most underrated shows at the festival occurred back-to-back on Friday evening, including a Phantogram show underneath dancing pink clouds during sunset at the Bigfoot Stage as well as a jaw-dropping performance by Classixx at the EDM tent (“El Chupacabra”) once night had fallen. “Fall In Love” by Phantogram and the psychedelic Classixx remix of “Psychic City” by YACHT — featuring an interactive projection of YACHT singer-songwriter Claire L. Evans blowing kisses at the crowd — stick out as highlights.

OutKast, however, was the absolute showstopper for Sasquatch this year. Andre 3000, Big Boi and their live band had the crowd singing along to hit after hit, including killer performances of “Roses,” “The Whole World,” “Ms. Jackson” and “Hey Ya!” The recently reunited Atlanta funk legends threw a party for the festival, already considered to be a much more genuine celebration of their impressive catalog than their Coachella gig had been.

Those reeling from an incredible performance by OutKast that looked to keep dancing could pick between Rudimental (London-based electronic collective known for boasting a live band, including a horns section) and South African rap-rave duo Die Antwoord to end the night. Depending on where you were in your head on Friday night, one band could have been a significantly wiser choice than the other.


The vibes on Saturday were more rock ‘n’ roll than the hip hop of the previous day, which meant that the Dodos were a perfect band to start off the afternoon.

Their performance under the beating sun at the Bigfoot stage was more danceable than I would have first predicted, and they got me feeling ready for performances by the Growlers, Violent Femmes and Washed Out later in the day. Comedian Eric Andre from Adult Swim also offered his humorous observations about the festival (and the drugs that come with it) for those that wished to chill out a bit between sets.

Perhaps the most exciting stretch of the weekend, though, came around sunset on Saturday night when M.I.A. helped spark one of the biggest dance parties of the weekend on the fest’s main lawn.

Her spirited energy helped spill into the crowd at the neighboring EDM tent for Chet Faker, whose sweet melodies and relaxing beats had the crowd feeling good and ready for another long night. The next set was my favorite surprise show of the weekend, in which female disc jockey TOKiMONSTA — from Flying Lotus’s record label Brainfeeder — threw down remixes of pop music’s most fun tracks.

The National, which headlined on Saturday, proved to be the perfect band to listen to and absorb their emotions while relaxing under the night stars after another long day.
While it felt like every part of my soul was clinging on to the idea of staying at Sasquatch forever by the time Sunday had hit, a heartwarming performance by tUnE-yArDs to open the afternoon on the main stage kept my spirits high. Merrill Garbus, frontwoman, shared her set list of polarizing loops and a mind-boggling global influence that had the entire festival feeling delighted.

After receiving a tip from a trusted friend, I hurried over to Brooklyn-based Lucius at the Yeti Stage. I found myself immediately obsessed with their charming stage presence, where the two lead female vocalists wore all black and matching bleached bob haircuts. They showcased remarkable and charming band chemistry, as well as gorgeous 5-part harmonies and three different drumbeats to keep rhythm. “Don’t Just Sit There” and “Go Home” were two of the most startlingly phenomenal songs I had seen since arriving at the festival.

I was also glad to thank them for their show when I ran into them on the main lawn at the Cold War Kids before the (brilliant) comedy performance by Demetri Martin.

Following the lineage of impressive female vocalists on Sunday, SoCal sisters HAIM dominated the main stage with powerful rock music and a West Coast sound that the crowd completely ate up. Their refreshing set the tone for quality shows on the main stage on Sunday, followed by Kid Cudi and Queens of the Stone Age.


Parquet Courts and Portugal. The Man were met with two awesome mosh pits for their shows, and both had me dancing through the night until I suffered a random nosebleed. The nosebleed, however, helped me remember that the folks at Sasquatch are quite literally some of the nicest in the world and one woman even offered to help me wash my hands as I patched myself up before heading back out to the dance floor.

Before returning to the campsite for the final night, I was able to catch electronic sets by Tycho and Major Lazer. While the gigs literally could not have been any more different if they tried, they both offered fantastic nightcaps to an incredible weekend — with one even featuring fireworks and twerking.

Sasquatch 2014 was one of the most unforgettable journeys that I will ever experience. While I know the entire experience may have been a temporary “portal” into euphoric bliss, I also learned that everyday it could be wonderful if we allow ourselves to find the joy around us. Of course it helps to be surrouned by some the best contemporary musicians in the world.
 

June 10, 2014 04:35 PM

An online survey regarding the city of Springfield’s historic places is now open for comments. See http://wkly.ws/1rz

The survey is being conducted by the Springfield Historic Commission which invites residents, business owners, property owners and anyone who has an interest in the importance and future of Springfield’s historic places. The survey will close June 30.

Contact Molly Markarian, senior planner, at 726-4611 or email  mmarkarian@springfield-or.gov for more information.

June 6, 2014 08:53 AM

"A Spirited Bourrée" Concert and Exhibition Tour will be at 2 pm Saturday, June 7, at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on campus. Free. UO voice instructor Laura Wayte and her students will perform a recital of Catalan and Spanish songs. We had a wrong date for this concert in Brett Campbell's column this week.

June 5, 2014 09:53 AM

Whistleblowers get encouragement from a new organization supporting the release of information exposing constitutional violations, corporate corruption and secrets that are not in the public interest. The group is called Exposed Facts. Video features Norman Solomon, Jessalyn Radack, Daniel Ellsberg and Kirk Wiebe.