News Briefs: Amazon Headwaters Vote (Again) | California Eco-Trials Wrap Up | Bush Still Slow on Climate | Watada Goes Back on Trial | Commute Challenge Coming Up Next Week | WAND Focuses on Hillary | Trips for Kids to Begin | War Dead | Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule | Corrections/Clarifications |
Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
Happening People: Margret and Chuck John
AMAZON HEADWATERS VOTE (AGAIN)
The decision on whether to exercise eminent domain to protect the Amazon Headwaters will come back to the Eugene City Council on Oct. 22, according to Mayor Kitty Piercy. However there is no vote scheduled during this work session.
The vote was deferred during a July council session. At the time there was a slight majority, on the council, including Piercy, in favor of condemning the properties.
If Eugene chooses to use eminent domain, the city would first attempt to buy the properties. If both sides were not able to agree on prices, juries would decide the amounts in the courts.
After the July council meeting, then City Manager Dennis Taylor “did absolutely nothing that council directed him to do regarding the Headwaters in his last month,” says Lisa Warnes. Warnes, founder of Vision for Intact Ecosystems & Watersheds. VIEW has been working for the past several years with community members to stop development in the fragile Headwaters area.
Interim City Manager Angel Jones, who stepped in after Taylor’s departure, has begun the appraisal process on the Beverly and Green properties that make up the area in dispute, says Warnes.
Warnes says the numbers of $14 million and above that have appeared in the R-G are “scare tactics” and asks, “How does Green’s property go from an appraised value just three years ago of $430,000 to that many millions of dollars, particularly after being denied the right to develop?”
The owners of the Green and Beverly parcels have repeatedly sought to develop the properties but have never been given approval. The council instructed the city manager to get appraisals based on low, medium and high levels of development density in their July meeting.
Save the Amazon Headwaters hired Sky Research out of Ashland to perform a LIDAR ((Light Detection and Ranging) earth scan of the properties. The LIDAR survey was used to “prove both sites have huge landslides running through them” says Warnes. This could affect the prices of the properties due to the “astronomical” cost of mitigating the earthflows in order to safely build on the properties, she says. — Camilla Mortensen
CALIFORNIA ECO-TRIALS WRAP UP
Two eco-tage trials have recently come to an end in California. These cases are part of a larger crackdown on eco-activism, which includes the local Operation Backfire cases, that has been dubbed the “Green Scare.”
|The infamous ‘Anna’|
Activist Rod Coronado was charged in Feburary 2006 with distributing information on explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction with the intent that others commit crimes with the information.
The charge stemmed from an incident in August 2003, when in response to a question from the audience at a talk in San Diego, he allegedly demonstrated how to make a Molotov cocktail-like device using a nearby apple juice jug. The talk occurred shortly after a $50 million condo project burned in apparent eco-arson, though no link was every shown between Coronado and that fire. Coronado’s defense argued that his speech was protected under the First Amendment.
Coronado’s trial ended with a hung jury that resulted in a mistrial. There will be a hearing in San Diego this week to determine whether the case will be dismissed.
In northern California, 29 year old Eric McDavid was found guilty after several weeks of trial of conspiring to blow up the Nimbus Dam, burn down the U.S. Forest Service’s Institute of Forest Genetics in Placerville, Calif., and destroy cell phone towers and other targets. Like Coronado, McDavid was referred to in the press as a member of Earth Liberation Front (ELF).
Much of the case against McDavid was built by “Anna,” a government informant, who the defense said entrapped McDavid and two other activists, who have pled guilty to the crimes. Anna was recruited by the FBI out of a community college class at age 17. She is said to have bought plane tickets and supplied a cabin in which to meet as well as funded the alleged conspiracy. She was paid $31,000 for her work and $35,000 in expenses, according to court reports. Photos of “Anna” have been distributed via email and Indymedia sites to warn other activists.
Both Coronado and McDavid could face up to 20 years in prison. McDavid, who has been denied vegan meals in jail, will be sentenced Dec. 6.
Briana Waters, the only Operation Backfire defendant to go trial instead of take a plea, is scheduled to go to court Feb. 4, 2008, in Washington. — Camilla Mortensen
BUSH STILL SLOW ON CLIMATE
September was quite the month for eco-summits. Last week, representatives of countries that are parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to accelerate the phase-out of ozone layer damaging and climate warming chemicals called hydrochlorofluorcarbons (HCFCs).
HCFCs are used in home appliances, refrigeration equipment and air conditioners.
The Montreal Protocol opened for signatures on Sept, 16, 1987, and is considered one of the most successful international agreements, with 191 countries taking part and an expectation of five times more climate change benefits than under the Kyoto Protocol.
Despite Pope Benedict’s recent praise for the Montreal Protocol on its 20 year anniversary, Vatican City is one of only five countries that have not taken part in the treaty.
The recent update to the Montreal agreement focuses on ozone recovery and seeks to reverse climate change. The U.S. is one of the parties to the Montreal Protocol though it has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, a linked U.N. treaty. The Kyoto Protocol aims to end climate change through mandatory emission limitations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, and the U.N. scheduled a meeting of 80 government leaders on Sept. 24 in New York to discuss how to fight global warming in advance of the treaty’s expiration. President George W. Bush skipped the talks, but not the dinner.
Bush held his own climate change meeting later in the week calling for voluntary reductions in greenhouse emissions; only 15 “major economies” were invited. Bush critics expect no major changes in policy as a result of this meeting.
The federal government is moving so slowly on the climate change issue a group of major corporations has gotten together with environmental groups to reduce their own emissions. The group is calling on the federal government to “enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.” The United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) includes B.P. America, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, PepsiCo, Shell and Xerox. — Camilla Mortensen
WATADA GOES BACK ON TRIAL
U.S. Army Lt. Ehren Watada will be facing a second court martial trial for refusing to deploy to Iraq, a war he considers illegal under U.S. and international law. He faces up to six years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. The trial will begin Oct. 9 at Ft. Lewis, Wash. His first trial was declared a mistrial in February by Judge Lt. Col. John Head.
At the pretrial in September, it was determined by the same judge who forced a mistrial last spring that military courts are not to be held to the same “double jeopardy” standard as civilian courts, and that Lt. Watada must face the second court martial despite legal precedents to the contrary.
Watada’s lawyers will argue that the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy, or being tried twice for the same crimes, prevents him from being court-martialed again. The lawyers are appealing his case to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.
At noon Monday, Oct. 8, a support rally for Watada will be held at CALC, 485 Blair Blvd. The event will also be a sendoff for a contingent of veterans headed to Ft. Lewis to attend Watada’s court martial.
“The court martial of Lt. Ehren Watada is another incidence of erosion of the precious Bill of Rights,” says Misa Joo of the Ehren Watada Support Committee. “He stands for us, and we must continue to stand with him.”
For more information contact Michael Carrigan of CALC at 485-1755.
COMMUTE CHALLENGE COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Need a little motivation to get out of your car and find a greener way to get to work? Local businesses are invited to take part in the eighth annual Business Commute Challenge Oct. 8-12. Employees and managers are encouraged to compete with other businesses to see how many people can bike, walk, carpool, bus, skate or kayak to work that week.
The idea is to relieve traffic congestion, leave more parking for customers, promote physical fitness and assist Eugene businesses in becoming more sustainable, according to Cindy Clarke, transportation options coordinator for the city.
To register, call the city of Eugene at 682-5285 or go to www.eugene-or.gov/transportation
Awards are given to companies based on participation, and all employee participants earn a chance to win prizes and gift certificates donated by local businesses.
Route planning assistance and free day passes aboard LTD are offered to all participating businesses. Additionally, businesses that enter by noon on Thursday, Oct. 11, are eligible for a drawing for a delivered company continental breakfast.
WAND FOCUSES ON HILLARY
N.Y. Sen. Hillary Clinton is currently leading the Democratic presidential pack in polls and fundraising, and women throughout the world are taking note of her potential as the first woman U.S. president. But not all women’s groups are content to support her just because of her gender.
Oregon WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions) is putting Clinton’s campaign in the spotlight this month at the group’s meeting from 7 to 9 pm Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the First United Methodist Church at 13th and Olive in Eugene.
The free gathering promises “a lively discussion on what women are thinking about Hillary as a viable presidential candidate, how we support women in politics and whether or not we hold women politicians to a different standard than men,” according to Aria Seligmann of WAND.
Seligmann notes that many local peace activists are supporting Dennis Kucinich or Barack Obama for the White House, due in part to Clinton’s votes for the Iraq War. And so far Clinton has not taken a stand against war with Iran.
TRIPS FOR KIDS TO BEGIN
The natural beauty of Lane County is enjoyed by many active adults, but such recreation is not always within reach for youth. To help kids experience the mountains, forests and rivers in our area, a partnership has formed between the nonprofits Center for Appropriate (CAT) Transport and Trips for Kids (TFK).
Established in 1992, CAT advocates and educates for appropriate transportation through its publicly funded education program. Students learn bicycle design, manufacturing, repair, maintenance, and more.
TFK has been helping city youth discover the joys of mountain biking for more than 19 years throughout the U.S. and Canada.
TFK-CAT is the first Trips for Kids chapter in the state of Oregon and hopes to create a passion for mountain biking and an appreciation for the natural world, according to TFK organizer John Herberg.
“There’re just so many negative influences out there,” says Herberg, “It’s important to provide kids with fun, healthy alternatives.”
TFK-CAT’s first ride will be held Oct. 6. For more information, contact Herberg at 343-3990 or Jan Vandertuin at 343-5568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq began on March 20, 2003(last week’s numbers in parentheses):
• 3,804 U.S. troops killed (3,798)
• 28,009 U.S. troops injured (27,767)
• 122 U.S. military suicides* (122)
• 1,297 Coalition troops killed* (1,297)
• 917 contractors killed (updates NA)
• 81,119 Iraqi civilians killed*** (80,116)
• $456.2 billion cost of war ($454.3 billion)
• $129.7 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($198.1 million)
* through Oct. 1, 2007; source: icasualties.org; some figures only updated monthly
** estimate; source: icasualties.org
*** highest estimate; source: iraqbodycount.org; based on confirmed media reports; other groups calculate civilian deaths as high as 655,000 to one million
Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule
Near Horton: Ed Stout Enterprises, Inc. (758-5475) will ground spray Oust Extra and Glyphosate herbicides on 36 acres for David Lin (752-5456) around Oct. 5- 15 (ODF No. 51042). To raise concerns regarding the potential negative impact on the neighboring organic farms and on nearby residents in the area of the spray, please call Ed Stout at 758-5475 and Paul Clements at the Oregon Department of Forestry Western Lane District Office at 935-2283.
Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers: 342-342-8332, www.forestlanddwellers.org
Incorrect information was provided in the “Town Hall Continues” brief last week. The town hall meeting on forests and the local economy had already happened. The next town hall meeting will be Oct. 9 on the Eugene fuel tax. The series of forums run from 6 to 8 pm and are broadcast on KOPT 1600 AM.
• This week we are celebrating 25 years of publishing a newspaper in Eugene, and it’s not so much about the EW staff and how great we are (which is painfully debatable); rather, it’s about our voices coming together. A successful alternative newspaper connects with its readers and advertisers in a real and meaningful way, and we all change and evolve together. So congratulations to all of us for not only surviving, but thriving over the years. And thanks to the literally thousands of people who have been involved in this quirky enterprise in ways both large and small.
• Twenty-five years from now? The technology of our media will be different, our name might even be different, but we predict that the demand for thought-provoking local news and views will continue. Springeneans will still be squabbling over transportation, architecture, open space, the arts, politics and police brutality. Hormone-crazed teenagers driving hot-rod hydrogen hovercraft will be mowing down cane-wielding geezers (that’s us) on the streets. Underground homes will be all the rage in the crowded south hills. Rugby will replace football at the UO to satisfy drunken, bloodthirsty fans. Our two mega-hospitals will be converted to condos following major breakthroughs in outpatient care. Eugene cops will be eager to try the controversial new Glazer weapon that immobilizes perps with sticky (and sometimes deadly) doughnut goo. Kayak races will be held downtown on the Emerald Canal. And bulldozers will still be idling threateningly at the headwaters of Amazon Creek. We have so many fun reasons to keep this paper going.
• When is a bookstore not a bookstore? Apparently when it’s a Duck Store. After much deliberation and even hiring a “brand development” firm, Cappelli Miles [spring], the UO Bookstore decided that “bookstore” no longer “adequately described” who they were. Rather than the book business, they are in the “knowledge business.” Alas, “Knowledge Store” was already taken. Luckily, Cappelli Miles discovered that there is “great emotional identification with being a Duck,” and this, says Jim Williams, Duck Store general manager in a memo announcing the change, is “regardless if a person was mostly academic oriented, mostly sports oriented or both.” And if that doesn’t inspire you, Williams also wants you to know that it’s more than just a name change. The “Duck Store” label is “symbolic of an organization poised to do its part to helping make the University of Oregon world class.” Right. Forget that whole “knowledge” thing. We’re talking about world class, uh, Duck stuff.
• So, you weren’t one of those generous people who elected to donate your kicker tax refund to the State School Fund? Reports that this will be the biggest kicker in Oregon’s history got you all excited? Well if you want to know how much to expect back in the mail Dec. 15, grab your tax form to find out your tax before credits and then go to: www.oregon.gov/DOR/PERTAX/kicker.shtml Don’t even know what the kicker is? The same page will take you to a list of common questions about the kicker. Then you can join the debate over whether the kicker is a really great idea or really bad planning by conservatives who loathe any wiggle room in government spending.
• Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the big cohousing project at 11th and Lincoln last week, but will it actually be built? We hear from developer Martin Henner that the MUPTE tax exemption for the project (see Slant last week) has been pulled from the Oct. 22 council agenda and the council is considering changing or even eliminating the program. The project is now on the council agenda for Nov. 13. Henner says if the MUPTE application is not approved, the cohousing project will not be built. “This is because the bank’s appraiser determined that the market prices would be less than our building costs because of the high land value and the extra costs of building downtown,” says Henner. Meanwhile, the land has been cleared and the developer has already spent about $100,000 on architectural, engineering, appraisal and design fees.
• We cheered wildly last week when U. S. District Judge Ann Aiken of Eugene ruled that the PATRIOT Act violates the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable search and seizure. This was in the case of Brandon Mayfield, Portland lawyer wrongly tied to the Madrid bombings. One of his lawyers, Elden Rosenthal of Portland, offered this historic passage in both oral and written arguments to Judge Aiken (from the British Parliament in 1763): “The poorest man may, in his cottage, bid defiance to all the force of the Crown. It may be frail. Its roof may shake. The wind may blow through it. The storm may enter. The rain may enter. But the King of England cannot enter. All his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.” Rosenthal called this the “impulse” behind the idea of unreasonable search and seizure embodied in the Fourth Amendment. The case probably will go up to the 9th Circuit and the U. S. Supreme Court. Judge Aiken’s ruling should be upheld all the way.
SLANT includes short opinion pieces, observations and rumor-chasing notes compiled by the EW staff. Heard any good rumors lately? Contact Ted Taylor at 484-0519, email@example.com
MARGARET AND CHUCK JOHN
Though both were born in South Dakota, Chuck and Margaret John met when they started first grade together in a two-room schoolhouse near Estacada, Ore. They were married in 1950 after Chuck returned from two years with the U.S. Army in Japan. A 32-year employee and foreman at HR Jones Veneer, Chuck also bulldogged on the NW rodeo circuit from 1955 to 1984. “I rodeoed hard till ’74,” he says. “I won three championship saddles.” Chuck was president of the Lane County Humane Society and humane director for the Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1975, when he first met Velma Johnston, aka Wild Horse Annie, the driving force behind the Wild Horse Protection Act of 1971. From 1978 through 1984, the Johns ran the Eugene Adoption Center for wild horses under contract with the BLM. Chuck trucked more than 3,000 horses from Eastern Oregon to their seven acres west of Eugene. “People would be waiting in the yard at midnight,” he recalls. Pictured with Margaret and Chuck in the photo is Buck, a 17-year-old Kiger mustang and former two-time National Grand Champion.