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May 20, 2008 08:49 PM

The Eugene mayor's race is looking razor close, and Rob Handy has a small lead over incumbent County Commissioner Bobby Green.

With a rough estimate of 60 percent of Eugene votes counted at 9 pm, Kitty Piercy trails Jim Torrey by 36 votes. County elections reports Piercy with 47.74 percent of the vote and Torrey with 47.85 percent.

Both candidates need at least 50 percent to avoid a runoff in November. Conservative Nick Urhausen has 2.26 percent. Jim Ray has 1.4 percent.

Handy leads Commissioner Green by about 1.5 percentage points. Handy has 47.38 percent with Green at 45.87 percent. Both need to cross the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.

Eugene City Councilor Andrea Ortiz is handily beating challenger John Crane. Ortiz has 59 percent to Crane's 40 percent. Crane has reported a record breaking $25,500 in donations to his campaign, mostly from development interests.

The EWEB board appears about to take a greener, more progressive turn. Three candidates endorsed by Eugene Weekly—Joann Ernst, Bob Cassidy and Rich Cunningham—enjoy comfortable leads.

May 20, 2008 11:41 PM

The Eugene mayor's race and north county commissioner race appear headed for runoffs in November.

Candidates in the races failed to cross the 50 percent threshold required to win outright in the primary.

With apparently most votes counted by midnight, county elections reported that Jim Torrey had about 49 percent of the vote compared to Piercy's 48 percent. Candidates Nick Urhausen and Jim Ray split the remaining 3 percent.

In the race for North Eugene county commissioner, Rob Handy had 48 percent compared to incumbent Bobby Green's 46 percent. Steve Sherbina had 2 percent of the vote while Nadia Sindi had 4 percent.

A November runoff could favor conservatives Torrey and Green. Without a contested Presidential primary, Republican turnout was comparatively lower in May but could be higher in November. Torrey and Green also may be able to tap deeper developer pockets for an extended campaign. On the other hand, Democrats may also turn out in great numbers in November with the hot Presidential race.

The tight local races for the pivotal mayor and county commission swing vote could serve to galvanize supporters on both sides to fight harder for their candidates.

May 16, 2008 03:22 PM

Kitty Piercy, Jim Torrey, Jim Ray and Nick Urhausen faced off in a taped mayor's debate hosted by Fox TV on May 14.

Questions came from the candidates and a media panel from Eugene Weekly, The Register Guard, KLCC and FOX TV.

Fox plans to broadcast the one-hour debate on Saturday, May 17 from 6-7 pm. KEVU-TV will also air the debate on Saturday from 7-8 pm.

To listen to the debate audio, check our podcast.

May 16, 2008 09:50 PM

I guess big contributions from developers don't buy proof readers.

Torrey mailer

Crane ad
Then again, given the recent sex scandals, maybe we do need to "improve the moral[s] of our police force."

May 15, 2008 10:42 AM

Patrick Hayden

This week, dive-loving music writer Jeremy Ohmes previewed Doubles, the new solo album from Patrick Hayden, whom Eugene music fans may also know, as Jeremy noted, from a handful of other projects. I wasn't quite sure where Hayden's possibly-best-known ensemble, Deke Falcon, stood on the matter of breakups and reunions and members leaving town, so in the midst of reading Jeremy's story, I emailed to ask. Hayden's response was worth of its very own post. So here you go.

Deke Falcon reunites as much as possible, but Dave [Clark] and Jordan [Glenn] are both away at their various versions of "art school," and Will "mango" Lindsey has been busy being (until recently) a Metal Blade Recording Artist. Doubles is not so much a band name or even a unified concept as it is a vague reference to Deke Falcon's great, "lost" second album ... which will one day see the light, I swear, if for no other reason than to function as a kind of corrective or revision of the semi-annoying perception of our band as a bunch of boilermaker-swilling, doo rag-donning mill workers. The reality is far less flattering: As any Mex Pistol could tell you, Deke Falcon was really just a bunch of scarf-wearing art waifs.

But the Doubles songs were written at the same time as the latter-day Falcon activity, and sort of function as more challenging, sometimes lugubrious "cousins" to their more bar rock-y Falcon foils. Among other things, recording the album was an opportunity for Jordan Glenn and Patrick Hayden to indulge certain idiosyncracies and explore the margins of the rock song structures that Deke Falcon approach with more of a reverent, historical re-enactment vibe. That said, we actually have played one or two Falcon songs without it seeming too "greatest hits"-y, I think.

While my Snider, Smith, Walker (feat. Dan Jones) lineup is not really a "new band" as such, it does bring to fruition a bunch of my key musical associations from recent years. Drummer Rob Smith — who also did the amazing pen and ink cover drawing — was my college roommate and a co-conspirator with me on the Nasvhille indie scene of the early 2000s. Guitar player and geologist Barry Walker is another frat brother from the TN days. It's nice to have this occasion to sorta "introduce" these two beloved Dixie badasses to Eugene rock audiences, and adding Dan Jones and [Dave] Snider to the mix really raises my own expectations of a full-blown, "Varsity Team"-level performance that is actually giving me a nervous tic, at the moment. I better go do some pushups.

There you have it. Patrick Hayden's varsity team CD release is this Saturday night at Sam Bond's. Go forth and listen!

May 15, 2008 01:36 PM

Apart from one misguided font selection (dude, is that Papyrus?), the trailer for Joss Whedon's Dollhouse looks downright stunning.

Can't wait. Can't wait. Trying not to get hopes up. But they didn't cancel The Sarah Connor Chronicles! So sometimes they can get things right! Right?

Can't wait.

May 12, 2008 08:52 AM

For those of you who missed the City Club mayor's debate, the audio can be found at the KLCC website . Mayor Kitty Piercy had to read her opening and closing statements fast, but she emailed out the words, if you didn't catch them:

Piercy's Opening Two-Minute Statement

I love Eugene and enjoy being your Mayor, moving our community forward with optimism and determination.

I’ve looked at the deluge of Jim Torrey ads and I frankly don’t recognize his Eugene. Neither should you, it’s fictional.

The truth is that while the world is not a perfect place, Eugene has moved forward.

In just three years, we’ve put in place an economic development plan based on sustainable green jobs and practices. And, our work’s been recognized. National Geographic’s Green Guide named Eugene America’s #1 green city (" a power house of green industry") and Popular Science chose Eugene as #5 green city. At the same time Forbes chose us #36 out of the top 200 American cities to do business in and Fortune chose us as one of the nation’s top 100 cities to start a small business in.

We’re working together in all new and inclusive ways. Together we settled an LTD strike, passed a parks bond and library levy, brought two Olympic Track and Field Trials to Eugene and leaders from environment, business, and government are working together on traffic solutions for West Eugene for the first time in over 20 years. I have reached across all wards of this community in over 6,000 meetings and opened city hall to all.

There are old problems left from the Torrey years that I’ve worked steadily to resolve. In just 3 years, we’ve completed over $17 million dollars in road repairs and pothole fills. We’ve worked to reestablish trust in our police with the civilian review board. We’ve begun reinvigorating our downtown, refurbishing the old Symantec building and filling it with 200 new employees and built the new Westtown on 8th affordable housing.

We’re challenged by the county’s financial woes and will work with them to serve our people and keep our community safe. Eugene will continue to move forward, responding to the challenges and the opportunities before us. This is the Eugene I know and love.

Piercy's Closing Two-Minute Statement

You have real stark choices between us. This is a pitched battle for Eugene’s future. Do we want unbridled growth or to continue down a path of smart growth that ensures good jobs and livability?

The money tells the story clearly. Jim Torrey has piles of money from construction and development interests who would just like to construct and build without constraint.

I am backed by over 800 individuals, (with average contributions of about $130) who are committed to growing thoughtfully in ways that benefit us all, not simply the few.

I’ve been threatened over my efforts to protect our wetlands and headwaters for future generations. Did I let threats keep me from doing what I think is right. No.

And let’s speak truth. The last four years have been full of optimism and rebuilding pride in our community. We are nationally known for our green practices and good business environment. We’re facing the future – not the past.

Let’s not forget the mean spiritedness of the "gang of nine;" public battles in the streets; losing our hospital and Glenwood; the closing of stores downtown; the Lara/Magaña case; and the failure to fully address street repairs.

Is this the world you want back?

We are deeply affected by national policies on federal timber payments, tax cuts and the war in Iraq. My opponent supported this president and this war.

I have worked with the entire city council. When I became Mayor, the council had but one shared goal. Now there are 11, each with a work plan.

The most ridiculous thing being said is that in this community we have stopped talking to each other. That is simply not true. Folks of all stripes are working on downtown revitalization; doable traffic solutions in West Eugene; headwaters protection; and homelessness.

I am proud of this community. We are reopening storefronts and revitalizing our downtown. We are filling potholes and building affordable housing. We are building parks and supporting our library. We are creating new jobs and keeping our economy healthy in challenging times. We are working with partners at all levels in ever more productive ways. We are protecting all the things that make this such a great community.

May 10, 2008 01:54 AM

Barack Obama spoke to a cheering crowd of roughly 5,000 at the UO on Friday night.

Here's a link to audio of his speech with video clips of the rally.

May 9, 2008 11:37 AM

TV news watchers may soon see less car wrecks, fires, cop chases and other "if it bleeds it leads" coverage on local broadcasts.

The Eugene police department sent out a memo May 5 to local media on the upcoming switch of police radio to digital. That means the old analog scanners that TV reporters use won't work.

Even with digital scanners, EPD Capt. Chuck Tilby writes that "some frequencies will be encrypted in compliance with the new Oregon Consumer Theft Protection Act passed by the legislature in 2007. Eventually all channels may be encrypted."

This may not be a great loss. Local TV news has long been derided for lazy, fear-mongering scanner chasing that fills local news with titillating gore without real reporting or news value.

Then again, scanners brought us the OJ car chase, but they sometimes also offer an important public eye for police accountability. Here's a recent example from Philadelphia:

Tilby writes that "another program that we've been working on, while not equaling the usefulness of a newsroom scanner, may provide some supplemental assistance to you in newsgathering. Soon to be released will be a Eugene Police internet activity log that will be refreshed as calls clear, instead of every 24 hours."

In Portland, scanner audio is on the internet.

May 9, 2008 07:22 PM

It took us a minute to realize why it was so empty everywhere. The Safeway parking lot, the streets, Brails ... oh, wait! Everyone must be on campus. Right? We thought about biking down there, but that would have meant forgoing our delicious containers of leftovers (bi bim bob for him, pork bulgogi for me), and that simply wasn't an option. We'd wolfed down all the side dishes — how I love small pickled/fermented things — but each Brails entrée was definitely enough for two meals. And they serve beer and wine with dinner! As if you needed more reasons to eat there. (Though the mellow evening hours are quite a change from the long lines on weekends — not that lines will ever keep me away from a plate of hash browns and bacon.)

It's quiet in Eugene tonight. At least so far. At least around Willamette Street. I hear the Lakers game is good. How was Obama? Report in, folks!

May 9, 2008 05:37 PM

obama clinton

Eugene is Obama country, judging by federal campaign contribution data.

Barack Obama has raised about four times more money here from about four times more contributions. Through the end of March, Obama reported raising $114,622 from 955 donations from Eugene. Hillary Clinton raised $29,111 in donations from 224 contributions from Eugene.

Obama’s contributions averaged $120. Clinton’s averaged $224.

Nearly a third of Clinton’s contributions came from donors identifying themselves as retired. Obama reported 17 percent of his donors were retired.

Some retirees may list themselves as not employed. About a quarter of Obama’s contributors listed themselves as retired or not employed, while half of Clinton’s contributors listed themselves as retired or not employed.

Only 2 percent of Clinton’s donors identified their employer as the University of Oregon. About 11 percent of Obama’s money came from professors and other UO employees.

About 5 percent of Clinton’s Eugene donations listed employment as mom or homemaker. Only one Obama donor listed themselves that way.

May 9, 2008 03:52 PM

Not everything in the world, obviously, makes it into the paper. There are two more shows this weekend that caught my eye despite the fullness of the music section. Tonight, you might go see the charmingly monikered The Little Penguins and The Tea Cozies, whose bio, in part, reads as follows:

The three female member of Tea Cozies had been playing together for years before they found someone who was man enough to handle their brand of brit-inspired garage pop. Jeff joined Jessi, Brady and Kelly in December of 2005 and, like Doug Flutie's Hail Mary pass in Boston College's 1984 game against Miami, it was a miracle. Well, not a real miracle like curing lepers, but a minor miracle just the same. These Seattle-ites sound like the bastard child of Elastica and Talking Heads, but with their own twist. 75% of the band has seen Dave Matthews Band live, and 25% of the band liked it.

I'd be won over even if both bands hadn't sent totally charming records. (Can you tell I'm posting in a hurry? Hence the sad lack of elaboration.)

The Little Penguins, The Tea Cozies and The Arithmetic Danger Club (who dropped off their press stuff some time ago in a giant bubble envelope decorated with a drawing of an octopus which, yes, I still have around here somewhere) play tonight at Diablo's Downtown Lounge. Sorry, kids, that means it's 21+.

Then, tomorrow night, head out of the house (I know, I know — it's scary out there!) to see Conrad Ford, a band which gets extra super bonus points for being named after director John Ford and cinematographer Conrad Hall. Also, they have charming record art and stickers. But you should go because the sometimes spare, story-wrapped, big-sky-small-town songwriting is just right for the time of year when you're delighted that it's getting warm, but still finding it hard to leave behind the holed-up, hidden-away charms of crisp weather. Or maybe that's just me. (Also, they do sound a bit like Eels, as a KEXP DJ notes on their bio.)

Conrad Ford plays at ... OK, wait. I wrote all this up only to find they're not listed where they said they were playing. So maybe you should just keep this band in mind for the future...

May 9, 2008 12:34 PM

With Jim Torrey running for mayor again, local videographer Tim Lewis has posted a reminder on YouTube of what it was like under Torrey. The video features dramatic footage of the June 1st incident in 1997 in which Eugene police emptied every can of pepper spray they had on non-violent tree sitters standing in the way of the Broadway Place project downtown.

For more information on the event, here's a link to EW's coverage of its 5th-year anniversary:

The city settled a lawsuit by some of the protesters for $30,000 and reduced somewhat the use of pepper spray on non-violent demonstrators. But the city and EPD never apologized or admitted that they did anything wrong. Now EPD is armed with tasers with no ban on using them against demonstrators.

Lewis has also published other videos on YouTube and plans to do more. Search the site for "picture Eugene."

May 8, 2008 11:47 AM

This week's EW has a story about the mayor's race that includes information about a recent political attack ad by Jim Torrey. Here's the ad with fact checking by EW: