Corvalls,Oregon Community Pages
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CORVALLIS, OREGON                                           
 Local News 101
 A Report for The Busy
Sept 16
Truth In Site, a group of Bend residents has appealed OSU's decision to locate a massive campus there. "In its appeal, Truth In Site characterizes the university’s estimates of how many students will walk and bike to campus as ludicrous, saying in the appeal, “Baloney does not cut it.” A land-use board had allowed the siting, saying that Bend's parking requirements are not explicit enough to determine whether OSU met the city's criteria on parking space for students.

Sept 15

 As Deschutes County joins Washington County and becomes the latest Oregon county to take alarm at teen suicide rates in Oregon, Benton County can breathe a sigh of relief. Male teen suicide rates here are only 10% higher than the rest of the US, compared to 20%-40% (depending upon whose figures are used) in Oregon as a whole. Female teen suicides are rising steadily (see here) whether attempted or accomplished, almost invariably young girls. Corvallis's Sara Gelser introduced legislation to allow early intervention
   However, it is not in the area of teens that Benton County's suicide rate overshadows the state average. It is with the population of, 26-44 years old (you can view the statistics here) that Benton County is failing. Roughly a quarter of the city's population falls into this age group. These are usually the most productive working years and reproductive years, and women in Corvallis have roughly 70% the median income of men, at $29,390. The latest estimate for a family of a parent and child in Corvallis are estimated to require $52,216 to live comfortably.

   Thousands of women work in the food industry, where incomes average $14,400, and retail workers are not much better off. Both groups, along with landscape workers (more often male) and even academic instructors (usually female) are perpetually scrambling to patch together 40 hours a week, dealing with perpetual wage theft by employers. Couple all that with an Economic Development Director, a Chamber of Commerce and Council devoted to cloning such a hopeless situation, ad nauseum, and the mix is a desperate one. It makes absolutely no sense for one wing of government to be creating a problem endlessly while devoting resources to another wing to try to solve it. With a handful of exceptions, downtown Corvallis can, for the most part, be renamed as "Poverty Row".
   One college-educated woman in that age bracket, who attempted suicide last year, said that she had expected by this time in her life to have a family of her own, with a stable, well-paying job. Now her parents were old enough to be developing health and economic problems (parents who signed for student loans are now having their social security checks garnisheed), problems she had expected to be in a position to help with. Her disappointment was such that she made a half-hearted try at taking her own life, and the only reason she had not succeeded was that, at the last moment she realized her mother would be the one who discovered her and she did not want that to be the case. The suicide rate was a little lower than it might have been because of that family connection.
   However, it is not just the suicide rate which is impacted by the emphasis on perpetually cultivating poorly paid work, as the city has done. The crime rate, the cramped housing, even the homeless issue are all impacted by the creation of a despair which has marked the recent era.

Portland police are "thinking" of installing cameras on all police vehicles to document arrests, a year after $800,000 was received for it. Few know that Corvallis already has done so, with a grant from the Obama administration's "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act". The installations were completed in 2010. The mayor of Portland wants to take the process further, installing cameras on every officer's lapel. That might be overkill.

Sept 14

Paul Valenti

Paul Valenti, the OSU basketball coach who began redressing the viciously racist policy of his predecessor Slats Gill - who whore he'd never have an African American on the team -- has passed away at age 94. He arrived in Corvallis to play ball at OSU in 1938 and never left except for 3 years in WWII. He recruited the legendary Charlie White, the first African American to play basketball at OSU. Gill, whose teams were being humiliated by Bill Russell, had finally relented and tried to recruit White himself, but White refused to play for him. When Gill left, White came to OSU to play for Valenti.  White and Valenti remained fast friends throughout their lives (you can listen to Charlie Whites memories of the era here or read it here).
   A memorial will be held for Valenti next Saturday, Oct. 18 in Gill Coliseum at 1 PM.

An Open Letter from Nidya Ramirez
My name is Nidya and I work as a psychotherapist with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Escondido, CA. I wanted to take a few minutes to explain why action on immigration is so important for my life.. .
    My parents came here looking for work in the 1980’s when I was two years old. Since then, both of my younger brothers were born in the United States and have citizenship, and my parents have gained permanent residency. I’m now 28 and, unlike my family, remain undocumented.Our immigration system hurts families -- share my story to show your support for reform.
    Luckily, I received DACA -- a temporary status that allows me to work and live without fear of deportation for two years. But House Republicans have made it clear that they want to stop DACA, and the uncertainty of a temporary status like DACA is almost unbearable.
    I received my masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I used to think that I was exactly the kind of person the U.S. would want to have in this country -- I worked hard in school, volunteered in my community, and always wanted to contribute as much as I could -- but as inaction on immigration continues, I know that politicians won’t act on this issue until they feel like they have to.
    That’s why I’m calling on you to share my story and show that the American people support action on immigration that protects our families, strengthens our economy, and gives people like me who want to contribute to this country a pathway to legal status. - Nidya

Sept 12

Payscale has released a summary of the top paying jobs for college graduates in Oregon. They may be a little unexpected, since it shows that demand and salaries for graduates from the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls now dwarfs those for graduates from the state's long-running technical university, OSU.
1. Oregon Health & Sciences University - OHSU - (Bachelor's Degree) $66,800
2. Oregon Institute of Technology (Bachelor's Degree) $58,500
3. Reed College (Bachelor's Degree) $47,500
4. OSU (Bachelor's Degree) $46,500
5. Linfield (Bachelor's Degree) $45,400
6. Pacific University (Bachelor's Degree): $44,000
7. George Fox (Bachelor's Degree) $43,700
8.University of Oregon  (Bachelor's Degree)  $42,900
9. Willamette University (Bachelor's Degree) $41,300
10. Southern Oregon College (Bachelor's Degree): $40,500
11. Lewis & Clark (Bachelor's Degree):
12. Western Oregon (Bachelor's Degree): $38,400

Sept 11

The relative salaries of assistant football coaches for UO and OSU were released today and you might be surprised. Head coaches Mike Helfrich of UO and Mike Riley of OSU are paid $1.8 and $1,7 million respectively.
Ron Aiken Defensive line $500,000
Don Pellum Defensive coordinator/ inside linebackers $400,000
Scott Frost Offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks $400,000
Steve Greatwood Running game coordinator/Offensive line $385,000
Tom Osborne Tight ends/special teams $367,584
John Neal Defensive passing game coordinator/secondary $325,000
Matt Lubick Offensive passing game coordinator/receivers $325,000
Gary Campbell Running backs $300,000
Erik Chinander Outside linebackers $275,000
Total: $4.75 million for 10 coaches.

Mark Banker
Defensive coordinator $505,008
John Garrett Offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks/tight ends $320,004
Bruce Read Special teams $315,000
Mike Cavanaugh Offensive line $275,004
Rod Perry Secondary $231,756
Joe Seumalo Defensive line $185,400
Chris Brasfield Running backs $180,264
Brent Brennan Receivers $180,264
Trent Bray Linebackers $154,500
Total $3.275 million for 9 coaches.


Judge Lucy Koh

   Above: Tech companies have long had an unwillingness to pay prevailing wages to graduating US seniors in the tech and science fields. They have fixed hiring practices illegally, with a settlement for the crimes of Intel, Google and Apple's in limbo as the judge, Lucy Koh, considers the proposed settlement too low. Far more frequently, the companies demand H1B visas for employees  from abroad who are willing to work at far lower wages.
   Now, corporate farmers are doing the same. Sakuma Bros. Berry Farms, which has fought every step of the way as Familias Unidas por la Justicia has sought to institute reforms on wages and working conditions and - rather than pay higher wages  has allowed the berry crops to rot on the vine. Of the required 300 workers, only 250 were willing to work for the wages offered, and the company began demanding H1-A visas to import laborers from abroad to work at the lower wages.
    When the need for the workers has expired, they will be expected to return to their native countries to take up again an even lower standard of living. Good luck with that. And when the return doesn't happen, the farm corporations will bankroll Republicans who rail about the "illegal immigrant problem".
   Meantime, OSU graduates in the tech or science fields have a distinct interest in ensuring that Sakuma and the agro-corporations are not permitted to pursue their path of using immigrant laborers paying lower wages. The tech companies are right behind them, often with the same owners.

Archives here

Sept 16
The hobby of US corporations shifting taxes from one nation to another may be at an end. Public opposition didn't budge the Republican Party to move nut it forced the hand of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), which forges tax policies for G-20 and most industrial nations. "Draft proposals announced have been agreed by all" members which would prohibit the moving of profits from the country where they are generated. Three quarters of the largest US corporations, including Google, Apple, eBay and Amazon would be affected.

Sept 15
Lincoln City decided to keep in place the $100 annual tax on landlords.

For the 2nd year, Oregon businesses will pay lower workers' compensation fees. The rate will drop by an average of 5.3% next year.

An Open Letter from Tax Fairness Oregon on the Intel Tax Gifts:
"Intel has managed once again to frighten our political leaders into believing that Oregon must pacify its illustrious giant by relieving it of the civic responsibilities that the rest of us bear. Taxes pay for schools, roads, public safety, health and social services. When Intel is given a “whopper” of a tax break—the largest in our history—the result is an equally “whopper” loss in funding for these essential public goods without which Intel would not prosper.
   Under the current SIP agreements, Intel already enjoys tax breaks on their vast Washington County properties, reducing their taxes by roughly 75%. In the most recent year, the tax breaks have saved Intel $123 million, enough to pay for 6 days of school for every kid in Oregon, or to increase the value of our college need-based grants by 100%.
    This appears to be another end run, the second in two years, around paying taxes in Oregon. When Nike got no changes in the method of taxing their income, Intel was the only other Oregon business that asked for the same benefit. They got it. Now they want a 30-year guarantee that they can continue paying the same de minimis property taxes they paid in 1993. That’s fifty years without a cost of living increase. It would be a sweet benefit to every Oregon taxpayer if their taxes also stayed the same for 50 years. But it would horrible for the schools, fire departments, sheriff and police departments, community colleges, libraries, zoo, etc.
   The Strategic Investment Program (SIP) was not designed for this kind of corporate malingering. It was designed in 1993 to compensate Intel and other high tech companies for a flawed property tax system which penalized them with high taxes on equipment which became rapidly obsolete.
   But they still paid income taxes then. In fact, in 1997 when Intel had 11,200 employees and had invested only $3 billion in Oregon, they bragged about paying $54 million in income taxes. Today, with more than 17,500 employees and $25 billion invested, they basically pay no Oregon income tax.
   Meanwhile, Intel and its shareholders have prospered, along with Oregon’s high tech business community. Washington County has experienced a building boom to house the many Ph.D.s imported from India and elsewhere. Its roads are clogged with traffic and its schools are overflowing with children whose native languages span the globe. We have just built a $43 million highway interchange to help move the cars. Both the state and county are struggling to meet the challenges Intel’s growth has generated.
   Our tax code is full of loopholes and tax breaks benefitting big corporations. When they don’t pay their fair share of taxes, someone else pays the price. In Oregon, it’s our K-12 kids and colleges. We have some of the shortest school years and largest class sizes in America. So when we consider the Intel property tax agreement currently proposed, we need to ask if the deal is too ripe for Intel and too raw for our kids.
   Yes, Intel is important, but so is our investment in education. Yes, the tax code is unfair to some manufacturers. But the solution is not a 30 year commitment to the same property tax structure they had in 1993.
   The parties should go back to the drawing board and come back with an agreement that reflects Intel’s significant obligations to this State as well as our desire to see it thrive.  Jody Hiser"

VW-FAW, a joint German-Chinese venture has been given a $40 million fine for price fixing in China.

Sept 11
Frank Quiroga, Tlingit Cuisine in Portland Planned

2 semi-homeless Alaskan Tlingit tribe members live on what they make from selling the Street Roots paper in Portland. “It keeps me busy so I don’t get tempted and fall back into old ways. It actually feels good to make an honest dollar.” They plan to open Portland's only restaurant featuring Native American cuisine.

'A blistering real estate market posted its strongest sales total of the year last month, in turn sending the average price for a residence above $350,000 on the central Oregon coast.'

See older posts here.

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Sept. 16
Brian James Chocktoot

Mr. Chocktoot has lived in Nevada, Idaho and Oregon and has left his mugshot across the region. As is often the case, the simple headline fails to tell the whole story. Mr. Chocktoot seems to embody the problems that arose from the termination of the Klamath tribe in 1954. The Klamaths were dispossessed of their 2 million acres by the Republicans in Congress, under the tutelage of governor Doug McKay of Oregon. McKay had resigned to take up the post of U.S. Secretary of the Interior. He led the rush to terminate the tribes against the will of the majority of Klamaths.
   Mr. Chocktoot's family were members of the tribe. His mother, Babe Valeta Chocktoot, was 3 years old at the time of termination, and his 76 year old great grandmother, Biss Delia Chocktoot was a tribe member as well. His great grandfather, Biss's father, Dr. Sam Watah, had been a witness to much of Klamath history since the coming of Euro Americans. He was born in 1835 and died in 1940 at 106 years old.

   Biss's son Jerry was Mr. Brian Chocktoot's grandfather. Jerry, like Dr. Sam, is buried in the Paiute cemetery in Beatty, Oregon. From the Herald and News of 1945:
    "Jerry Chocktoot, rodeo rider and a direct descendant of Chief Chocktoot of the Klamath Indians, rode his last bronc at the Klamath Buckaroo Days celebration last Monday. Chocktoot died Friday afternoon at Klamath Valley Hospital of injuries received when he was thrown from a bucking bronco Monday at the rodeo grounds. Chocktoot has lived all his life on the Klamath Indian Reservation at Beatty and has been a performer at rodeos all over the state. He was 40 years old at the time of his death."
   Jerry's children - including Brian Chocktoot's mother Valetta Babe Chocktoot, were cared for by their grandmother.
   In the case of the Klamaths - actually 3 tribes who were traditional enemies, the Snake Paiute, the Klamath and the Modoc - the tribe's elected representatives had opposed the termination, but Congress unilaterally dissolved the tribe, The tribe lost the estimated $150 million in health and educational services promised by the US in exchange for an earlier seizure of 18 million acres. Additionally, the remaining 2 million acres - largely in pine - were taken in 1954, and each member on the rolls was given $43,000 in cash. Initially, it was thought that individual tribal members would purchase plots from the dissolved reservation, but as a boon to the timber corporations, Republicans passed a law making the minimum purchase 5,000 acres, which no Klamath could afford. Crown Zellerbach (now largely part of James River) swooped in and picked up 90,000 acres.
   Klamaths had no experience with a cash economy and were easily lulled by local merchants into the purchase of consumer goods. The tribal history of the termination speaks of tribal members becoming "the fodder of the stories told in the press about huge days-long parties, multiple purchases of cars, and Indian individuals walking around with thousands of dollars in paper bags". Many of the stories, says the history, were true. " The social profile of the Klamath people reflected increasing evidence of all of the indices that have come to characterize one face of Indian America - poverty, alcoholism, high suicide rates, low educational achievement, disintegration of the family, poor housing, high dropout rates from school, disproportionate numbers in penal institutions, increased infant mortality, decreased life expectancy and more."
    The infants who died included siblings of Brian Chocktoot.

Valeta Chock-toot's "Baby Boy"
Valeta Chock-toot's "Baby Girl"

Says the tribal history: "Much of the wealth derived from the sale of the Klamath's heritage was lost to sharp dealings by merchants; unscrupulous attorneys that mishandled, embezzled or engaged in self-dealing from trust accounts of those determined to be incompetent; to poorly considered investments - sometimes by attorneys lending themselves money from the accounts; or to exorbitant fees charged by local attorneys or banks for the handling of the beneficiaries affairs - which hardly ever got more sophisticated than handing out checks to the beneficiaries - a process usually handled in the most paternalistic of ways." First National Bank was involved heavily in the termination funds.
   Mr. Chocktoot's grandmother was a case in point. In a case involving her estate after her death, there was spent, the court said, "more than $23,000 with 'no material benefit to herself resulting from such expenditures". His mother was sued, along with another mother of 3 Klamath Falls children, by Brian Chocktoot's "legal guardian" using tort law to secure funds in the wake of the abandonment of the children, also alleging "physical or emotional injuries resulting from physical acts inflicted upon children such as beatings and rapes and from automobile accidents.". The suit was dismissed.
   As for Brian Chocktoot, his run-ins with the law have been for DUII, assault, and - this time - possession of a weapon. We should maybe send the bill for housing Mr. Chocktoot during his dissolutions to James River, First National Bank or the Republican Party. Except almost the entire population has benefited somehow from the dispossession of Native Americans. There is enough complicity to go around. We all of us can shoulder part of it, some more than others.
Beyond Mr. Chocktoot, the night was quiet. Justin Samuel Crews was arrested on a parole/probation charge of criminal mistreatment. Mr Crews was on the list of absconders from parole/probation in Benton County.

The rest of the state was as quiet as Corvallis. A PCC worker spotted a notorious heroin addict and thief wearing the ring he'd stolen from her and she ran into him wearing it. Richard Dittrich, 50, was arrested after an unsuccessful chase.

Above: Portland's Independent Police Review Board is examining the case of a struggling 16 year old teen being tasered.

A homeless man in Portland has been stabbed while sleeping by an "unknown person".

Across the River, in Gig Harbor, on a first date, "Leon Shaw and an as-yet unidentified woman had only known each other a few hours and were drinking together when they visited one of Shaw's friends, a tattoo artist After drinking some more, the woman asked the friend to tattoo her chest. As she was getting her tattoo, she and Shaw were getting along well, but they later argued, Troyer said. Each of them struck the other, then the woman fled the house wearing only a T-shirt and started up the man's truck. Shaw ran outside after her, and that is the last time he was seen alive. Shaw's friend came outside soon a few minutes later and found Shaw dead in the driveway, apparently run over by his own truck. The woman crashed the truck down an embankment a few blocks away from the friend's home."

In Metollius, an argument among a gun-carrying family ended when one was shot "was shot during a family altercation".

Pop Warner has suspended 2 executives over charges they tried to cover up the criminal record of a man suspended after groping a young girl.

Sept 15

Jamie Doherty

Mr. Doherty was arrested for not showing up in court on charges of trespassing and burglary. He was arrested in August for squatting in a vacant house that a landlord had cleaned up to rent. He had stayed there 2-3 days before being discovered and the police report says "He was tired of living under a bridge." The landlord was not unsympathetic, despite his cleaning having gone to waste. "It's heartbreaking", the landlord said. "I felt bad because this guy looked innocent – he has to do something – and that’s what he did. Because he needed a place." The report said "Community Outreach says it is at capacity for families and single men". And let's be open bout this - there really is no work available to an old man which will not ALSO leave him under the bridge, given our current EDO manager's idea of "economic development".
   Besides Mr. Doherty, police last night arrested only Rocky Conser. Mr. Conser is a nice fellow but has some mental health issues, as he will openly acknowledge. He is a frequent visitor to the county jail (15 times in 3 years. He sometimes self-medicates and can become aggressive when he does. His own family has felt it necessary to get a restraining order against him, and he has violated that. This time, he is charged with firing a weapon.
   There was a time, before Ronald Reagan, when Benton County would have assigned a social worker to track and work with Mr. Conser so he could function without an arrest. That network was dismantled by Ronald Reagan to pay for subsidies to the rich (the "trickle down" theory). Instead, WE pay for the expensive alternative of housing Mr. Conser in jail. But it's WE who pay for it alone, without participation from the gazillionaires. That seems just fine to THEM.
   The 2 fine fellows who show up at city Council meetings in "Oathkeeper" t-shirts, to lecture the Council on a Constitution they seem not to have carefully read, may be absent this week. Their Fearless Leader has called the Oathkeepers to the border with Mexico in an attempt to shut down border crossings, as a protest of the arrest of Andrew Tahmooressi. Tahmooressi drove across the border into Mexico with 3 loaded guns. In Mexico, plagued by cartel wars, that is considered a serious offense but the right wing has declared him a cause célèbre (we can expect them to take up the case of Mr. Conser, above soon).  There followed escape attempts, a suicide attempt, etc. by Tahmooressi.
   The blockade has been organized by Stasyi Barth, who says she is concerned about - well, about everything, just about. 'Although illegal immigrants are not entitled to public assistance, Barth said she is willing to be jailed to prevent that from happening. “I’m not against anyone coming here,” Barth said. “I just want to know who you are and I want you to work. I don’t want your first stop to be the welfare office.' Barth has herself been on public assistance (disability) for the past 10 years.

Police Disrupt Ultimate Frisbee Match to Make Arrest

Ultimate frisbee fans in Eugene were disappointed that police "just couldn't wait until the end of the match" to arrest Jahson Marryshow (a.k.a Jahson Solomon), the Most Wanted fugitive from Ulster County, New York. 
"They could have waited, the game was nearly over, we might have gone off for a beer, then they could have taken him away. But NOOoo, they had to rush in..." said the player, tongue in cheek.
    Mr. Marryshow, police said, had stolen a car and then set a fire in a barn. While emergency officials responded to the fire, he robbed a local bank in Woodstock (yes THAT Woodstock), then dropped the car off, they say. Police had information he was in the area and might show for Ultimate.
    Also in Eugene, a 17 year old teen awoke next to his 2 year old sister in the back of an auto to realize it wasn't his mother driving the car, now stolen. He confronted her, she ditched the car and while she tried to wipe her fingerprints off the steering wheel, the teen took her picture. Police recognized her, they say. She was arrested.

In other semi- "kidnapping" news, a craigslist ad by a local man has gone viral:
"Help ! She won't leave and can't accept that Burning Man is over !
Please take this girl off my hands. Her name is 'Leaf', seemed ok out there in the desert, and she helped us with our art vehicle, "The Giant Six Pack". She's on the couch, still sandy and stinky. She still has goggles on her head, which I'm pretty sure she never put over her eyes. I don't know what to do. She smoked all my weed. She has no I.D. , but is kind of cute. . . in a 'Burning Man' kind of way. BUT IT'S OVER, PLEASE HELP, IF YOU KNOW 'LEAF', EMAIL ME AND DRIVE HER TO PORTLAND OR ANYWHERE."

Danièle Watts

In racial profiling news, Django Unchained actress Danièle Watts was arrested and told an officer - an officer who was actually quite polite throughout the conversation - that she believed she'd been arrested because she was a black woman with a white boyfriend. Her boyfriend said he thought the officer believed she was a prostitute with a client after people in a nearby office called in to report the couple having sex in the car. She was briefly arrested "on suspicion of prostitution for “showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place" after refusing to produce ID. Ms Watts was on the phone with her terminally ill step mother at the time and it may just have been her last nerve that the police officer stepped on.

Ralph Temple

   In other profiling news, the writings of Ralph Temple, an Ashland, Oregon ACLU hero who was consultant to Martin Luther King, are being published. The collection includes his "The Sorrow and the Pity of Racial Profiling", in which he speculated that had there not been so much resistance from cities like Corvallis, every Moslem male in the US would have been required to wear a yellow crescent.

Above: In other crime news of import, the Carolina Panthers bowed to public pressure and benched Greg Hardy following his conviction for assaulting a woman July 15. Coach Rivera said his decision not to suspend the player was in abeyance since "the climate had changed."
   The NFL is also investigating Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who was arrested earlier this month for assaulting a woman.
   In Portland, a former Wilson High school football star has been expelled after punching a language arts teacher, Bob Anderson in the head "multiple times. 'The student was reportedly angry that he flunked Anderson's class during the 2013-14 school year, losing his fall athletic eligibility.' Anderson wrote that "He had found out that he could not play football this year because he had failed too many classes last year and had, apparently, decided I was to blame."

In the ongoing religious crime wave, the Alabama preacher at the Palisades Family Church of Christ was discovered by a policeman in a car with a young girl he had spent months "where he had sex and sodomized a minor female under the age of 16", police said.
   'Wagons are being circled, tizzies are being thrown and children are being thought of in Oklahoma City, as the state's religious leaders are urging the faithful to pray like they've never prayed before in preparation for the most eagerly-anticipated religious event in the history of the city—one which the Catholic Diocese of Oklahoma claims could engulf the city with satanic evil via dry ice and a bucket of fake piss.The Oklahoman reports that the black mass set for September 21 at the Oklahoma City Civic Center's City Space Theater has officially been sold-out, with all 88 seats snapped up by Satanists or the satanic-curious.'
   US Attorney General Eric Holder says he is setting up a program to teach those who work in the education sector to recognize "violent extremists who might join ISIS", as 100 Americans are said to have done. Presumably, that will sort out those wearing black t-shirts and ski masks. It will not, apparently, try to identify youths who might join the right wing extremist groups identified by US law enforcement experts as the Number One extremist threat in the US.
   ISIS joined Texas, Kansas and other Republican controlled states in banning the teaching of biological science.
   In possibly related news, a 92 year old Colorado man who lived in a ghost town was reported as not having checked in with friends for over a week. Sheriffs' deputies checked on him and discovered his body in a crawlspace filled with explosives. He accidentally blew himself up, they thought. Edwin Bartheld holds 13 claims on public lands for metal rights, all of which he purchased for a pittance in 1988, as is allowed under existing law.

Sept 14

Jonathon Dakota Appelt

Mr. Appelt has been arrested again, for the 9th time in 4 years. This time around, it's for assault again, as well as being a felon in possession of a weapon, using a weapon illegally, menacing, trespass, etc. Mr. Appelt was previously accused, with another teen, in 2010 of "of choking one man, because of his sexual orientation, until he was unconscious [that charge was later retracted by the victim, who said he had made it up]; beating and robbing another homeless man; and attacking another homeless man as he slept beneath a bridge." The two claimed to be Juggalos, police said, although other Juggalos have denounced the pair as simply "posers". "Police said Appelt had a hatchet in his possession at the time of his arrest like the one carried by the Hatchetman of the Insane Clown Posse, some of whose fans gave rise to the Juggalo gang." Membership in "the Juggalos" is informal and some of the Juggalos overlap with white supremacist groups.
    Last year, Mr. Appelt and another teen were arrested, police said, for stealing from the OSU crew team "$4,000 worth of equipment and a truck, which is for official use by the team".
   Mr. Appelt was also a participant in the case of Mari-Teresa Price, who pleaded "no contest" in charges she had solicited the kidnapping of the husband suing her for divorce after she had been convicted of DUII twice, with their children in the car both times.' Shortly after the second arrest, she got in an argument with her then-husband and brandished a knife. He was able to get the knife away from her, but cut himself in the process'.
   The gazette said at the time that "a teen" told police 'Price approached him and offered to give him diamond rings or sleep with him if he would “do something” to her husband'. KATU identified "the teen" as Mr. Appelt.
      In the latest incident (incident No. 2014C04309) where Mr. Appelt was arrested, Justin Michael Clifton was also arrested for assault, menacing, unlawful use of a weapon, etc. It is his first arrest locally in recent times. Police say Mr. Appelt and Mr. Clifton attacked another man with a crowbar and a knife. Mr. Appelt used the knife. they say.
   Mr. Appelt seems to be the case of a weak man who very much wants to appear powerful by flocking to others of a similar frame of mind. That is a philosophical question that has been pervasive in history: how is a powerless being, not inherently  member of the powerful class, and endowed with a minimum of intellectual capability, to overcome his or her inherent weakness? Trust us, Mr. Appelt, it's not by attacking the weak or stealing trucks.
    Megan Katherine Courtney, another Linn County gift, finished her sentence on mail theft, meth, robbery, etc. and was released.

Otherwise, the town was unusually quiet, as was the state.

A 45 year old man left his son in the car at Silver Falls for a quick dash into the woods and never returned, and police are regarding the disappearance as a possible crime.

Two Portlanders may have been shot in the same gang-related incident, police say.

In law enforcement news, the Portland Mercury obtained an IPR (Independent Police Review) report on the Portland police captain who idolizes Nazis and the police officers' union which went to bat for a policewoman who had filed a complaint on other issues. The union official said police managers had cleansed the affair. He added "I am shocked and surprised that he is still allowed to supervise people at this point while there's an investigation going on. If that was a rank-and-file officer, they would have been sent to true or put on administrative leave, yet he is allowed to—even with past allegations, he's allowed to still supervise officers and work in his daily functions."

The biggest crime news in the state affecting Corvallis was the KATU rebuttal of claims UO made about the station's earlier reporting on UO delaying action concerning rape accusations and 3 UO basketball players. UO had sent their donors a message which KATU received and posted their own rebuttal of UO claims. Here is the KATU rebuttal in its entirety:
"The University of Oregon is making a private attempt to assure its donor base that the handling of last spring’s sex assault investigation involving three basketball players was not timed to avoid NCAA sanctions related to the program’s Academic Progress Rate.
    However, the email sent to alumni last night from the university’s Public Affairs Communications office distorted or overlooked federal interpretation of Title IX responsibilities, years of NCAA data, on-the-record comments by Ducks athletic staff, and the school’s own news releases.
    The KATU On Your Side Investigators compared UO’s Friends and Alumni email with 10 years’ worth of the school’s own compliance documents, supported by more than 800 digital records, emails, online articles and social media posts. Among the discrepancies we found:
UO Statement:
The university took appropriate action when allegations were reported, and we are confident that our steps were necessary to ensure campus safety and integrity of criminal processes.
The school’s decision to wait 52 days to obtain and act on the information contained in the Eugene Police report (including a two-week delay to actually pick it up after it first became available as shown by the EPD timeline obtained by KATU ) conflicts with guidance from the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, released that same month. Coincidentally, that guidance relied on the expertise of UO Professor Jennifer Freyd:
"A criminal investigation does not relieve a school of its independent obligation to conduct its own investigation -- nor may a school wait for a criminal case to conclude to proceed." – ‘Not Alone’ report, April 2014
UO Statement:
    The story misrepresented the communication between the university and Eugene Police Department. EPD’s communications director Melinda McLaughlin told the reporter that EPD asked the university not to do anything that would compromise the investigation. The UO honored that request, and the police department was grateful.
On March 17th and 18th the school said the Eugene Police Department advised it to send the players to the tournament in the interest of keeping the criminal investigation pure. Eugene police have repeatedly denied that, to KATU, and also to the Oregonian, and KEZI.
UO Statement:
    The story hypothesizes that the university’s actions were driven by the NCAA-required Academic Progress Rate, or APR. This is inaccurate and that fact was conveyed to KATU. APR is calculated on a rolling four-year average with the latest data from a previous year, which makes transfers or scholarship non-renewals have significantly less impact than characterized by the story.
    As first reported by the KATU On Your Side Investigators Monday on KATU News at 6, the APR data released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport March 17th (the day UO says EPD asked the school to suspend all investigative and administrative action) was, indeed, based on the school’s rolling four-year APR numbers and showed a score of 918, which fell below the new NCAA requirement for post-season play . The report was widely publicized by national media, including the Associated Press and ESPN.
    NCAA Compliance expert John Infante posted three stories this spring, singling out the Ducks’ poor APR performance, and warned the school was in immediate danger of missing out on championship play if its APR score didn’t improve before the end of the spring term.
    “Of all the teams here, Oregon might be the most at risk… [UO] needs the best score of the three, not for this year but next year as the Ducks appear set to lose five players from the 2013–14 team.” – Which Power Conference Basketball Teams Need to Worry About the APR? May 2014
    “… given the situation at Oregon, the worst case scenario could get still get worse. That would be a wake-up call to teams, if one disastrous year resulted in postseason ineligibility for a power conference team.” - How At-Risk Teams Fared in the APR, May 2014
    “… it would take a disaster for Oregon to face a postseason ban in 2015–16. The trouble for Oregon is that 2013–14 may produce just that type of disaster. Five departures is a lot, plus the circumstances of some of those players leaving the university makes additional lost points more likely. Brandon Austin was also a midyear transfer into Oregon, meaning the Ducks had an open scholarship in the fall, reducing the number of points possible.” – Which Power Conference Basketball Teams Need to Worry About the APR? July 2014
    But after KATU shared its timeline analysis of the school’s rape case response, Infante changed his estimation of UO’s possible APR penalties, saying:
    "The dates where this occurred line up with significant APR dates and with avoiding those worst case scenario. If they were dismissed from the team but not kicked out of school until after they presumably finished their coursework - that would be kind of a best case scenario, APR-wise." – John Infante to KATU, Protecting the Program
    Additionally, UO issued three press releases and official statements while the rape case was being investigated, specifically to address its APR score and the team academics.
    Ducks Balance Finals Week and NCAA Appearance – March 18th
Oregon Men Hitting the Books as Well As the Hardwood – March 21st
Men's basketball bump highlights newly released APR data – May 14th
    Prior to the three statements, KATU found few if any mentions of the team’s APR performance in seasons past, on the school’s official ‘Go Ducks’ website (examples: 2012 release, 2011 release).
    KATU has uncovered records showing Ducks coaches and school athletic directors engaging in an academic ‘arms race’ over APR scores with other Division I schools going back for more than a decade.
   “Athletics will continue to be center stage this year with continuing discussions about national athletics reform. The ‘arms race,’ and how to maintain competitiveness in athletics without compromising academics are issues of concern at the UO and nationally.” Senate Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, Oct. 2003
    “The low APR’s in some UO programs have definitely caught the attention of the department’s
coaching and administrative staff.” – IAC, March 2005
    “A number of factors need to be addressed to ensure that our teams’ rates do not fall below the NCAA minimum rates. These factors include athletics staff taking a closer look at prospective student-athlete test scores and grades, the effectiveness of academic support systems, as well as the character and commitment to academics of potential recruits...” – IAC, Feb. 2006
    “Academic Progress Rate: A rate of .925 or below is subjected to penalties. Discussions were held on improving the APR. Also the different athletic programs have ongoing discussions to improve the APR.” – IAC, May 2007
    “Oregon’s men’s basketball team had the highest Academic Progress Rate in the Pac-10 for the third time in the last four years, graduating all five seniors prior to the end of the season.” – IAC, June 2008
    “The NCAA is now proposing legislation dealing with non-traditional forms of instruction – mainly on-line courses – in which they would impose significant restrictions from the NCAA regarding what could count and what courses could be taken; that is, even though an institution approves courses, the NCAA could determine whether the course may count towards academic progress of a student athlete.” – University Senate report – Dec. 2008
    “The Athletic Department will be able to enhance student life by coordinating the academic support component and the student services component under one roof when the new Academic Learning Center [Jaqua Center] is completed. One area in particular which will benefit the student-athletes in the new Academic Learning Center is career planning.” – University Senate report, April 2009
“PAC 10/12 will be deploying a media consultant; academic considerations are inportant [sic]. Rob [Mullens] distributed copies of Dept of Athletics media release concerning the improvement in UO student-athlete graduation rates and accompanying statistical information.” – IAC , Nov. 2010 (NOTE: media coverage in September of 2010 focused on the Ducks APR “likely to take another hit.”)
    “[Athletic Dept.’s] Services for Student Athletes (SSA) has 7 learning specialists, 4 full time, 3 part time… SSA is largest student employer on campus, with 75 tutors each working 20-25 hours a week. Ratio of tutors to athletes is highest in Pac-12… Gary Gray, Senior AAD: There is a focus on at-risk students and NCAA intends to increase penalties on APR that drops below 930… our men’s basketball will be low for the next couple of years.” – IAC, Nov. 2011
UO Statement:
The story also tries to connect departures by former President Gottfredson, a chief human resources officer and general counsel as part of its timeline. The changes in leadership used in the news story are unrelated to one another and should not be connected in this manner.
The letter concludes with a link UO's news website “for facts regarding the university’s actions.” But the page includes no information about the departures.
   The Protecting the Program report includes references to the staffing changes – as well as the line “All cited reasons for leaving that don’t pertain to the investigation.”
    KATU and other media outlets have made public records requests for emails regarding the school’s decisions about staff and public statements regarding the rape investigation.
    However, most of the emails that have been sent back to us so far have been almost entirely blacked out, or held back entirely, like today, when KATU asked to know specifically when the school began its Title IX investigation, as required by federal law.
    The school refused to share the start date, claiming it would violate student confidentiality rules required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). UO has already come under fire for applying the FERPA rules too broadly in the rape case controversy.
   For other requests, the school is demanding a hefty payment before turning over records that should be freely available. The school wants to charge KATU nearly $800 for communications relating to APR sent during the rape case timeline."

Note: Everyone should be assumed innocent until convicted. There are several sleazy websites across the country posting mugshots, utilizing photos owned by the public, in the public domain, all run by Portlander Kyle Ritter, which will remove your mugshot for $39 or such from their sites. This is not one of them. Do not send in cash trying to have a mugshot removed. It would just be a waste of your time and your money. Instead, put your time into turning your life around. And your money into your kids.

  OF 2014
Sept 15
City Council's, Mayor's Parking Permit Voter Statement Disputed

Paul Cauthorn, a central person in the parking permit referendum, has disputed the statement of the city Council and the Mayor in support of the parking permit system proposed for areas adjacent to the university:
    "Eight members of the city council and the Mayor have endorsed a voter's pamphlet statement of support for measure 02-88 (expanded parking districts). The endorsed statement contains untrue and/or misleading claims, which likely violates state law.

The most glaring of the inaccurate statements is, "This program: only affects those of you who live or park within five blocks of OSU." That statement is not true.

People outside the districts will also be affected. Property owners in these districts will be affected. Business owners in these districts will be affected. Contractors doing business in these districts will be affected.

Citizens city wide would be affected by this program using city reserve funds, and the program will likely run at a loss requiring more city funds.

The outer boundary of the districts is beyond five blocks of any OSU buildings making the council's claim very questionable.

It is the belief of Citizens for Neighborhood Livability that these city councilors and the mayor, by endorsing this statement, have attempted "knowingly or with reckless disregard" to mislead the voters with false statements for the purpose of influencing the election. Their statement was paid for by the committee comprised of Gary Angelo, Trish Daniels, and Courtney Cloyd. The State of Oregon has specific laws about publishing false statements regarding measures.

It would be in the city council's and this pro-ordinance committee's best interest for this statement of support to be removed from the voter's pamphlet before printed publication.

Paul Cauthorn
Citizen for Neighborhood Livability
Corvallis, Oregon

Sept 14

Sweden's "Feminist Initiative"

As the latest polls show Oregonians still find Republicans to be repugnant, the elections elsewhere are heading into their final weeks. In Sweden, the Feminist Initiative, abbreviated as F!, is threatening to turn the process on its head. In Sweden, smaller parties can negotiate strongly with larger parties unable to form a majority government without them. The FI used the motto "Feminists In, Racists Out" to win a EU Parliament seat in Sweden for the first time, with their platform opposing discrimination of all varieties. F!'s platform includes the elimination of gender differences in pay, de-militarizing, a 6 hour work day and more. Update: Initial results show the FI movement won at least 3.1%, which puts them close to the 4% threshold for the Parliament. The Xenophobe Democrats took 12.9% in initial vote counts and the left-leaning Swedish Democrats took 43.7%.

Sept 12

James Clyburn

'Rep. James Clyburn, a sweet old Democrat from South Carolina who may or may not own a cellular device, has some ideas about how to organize voters in Ferguson and elsewhere. He told a C-SPAN caller, "We've got great tools to communicate... We can text - what do we call it? Sexting. Let's do some … organizing over the Internet." You can see Clyburn's aide chuckle [in videos] when he makes the gaffe.'

Republicans today killed an amendment which would have overturned the Citizens United decision and instead voted to allow a corporation to be defined as people and money to be "speech". Bribery now becomes synonymous with having a conversation. Birbery and crime in general are as much a part of the Republican platform as hatred of everyone who's not a rich white male. Even John McCain, who called the Citizens United decision "the worst decision ever" was whipped into line on the vote.

A new ad by the "candidate from hell", Republican Monica Wehby, has exposed the underside of a segment of gay male Portland. Ben West, one of 7 figures who filed to make gay marriage legal in Portland has endorsed Wehby and the Party who represent only straight rich white men, regardless of their own circumstances. The issue was openly exposed when a Portland gay bar, the Eagle, booked a white "blatently racist" Texan "comic" who pretends - in blackface - to be  "an inarticulate black welfare mother with 19 children" in his "comic" act. However, in its own perverse way, the endorsement may yet be a step toward a day when sexual preference is no longer a consideration in political life. Ben West would just be another one of a number of privileged Euro-American males voting for their own interests at the expense of all others.
    Meantime, he is apt to be viewed as one of those "self-loathing" Jewish males who sign up for white supremacist groups in the absurd hope they will come to be accepted.

Sept 10
An Oregon Republican legislator is likely violating two election laws by arranging discounts in a sleazy deal with a fashion shop to women who give cash to his campaign. "Olsen said he had not considered whether the fundraiser violated either law". After all, he's a Republican legislator and who ever heard of one following the law?

A secondary result of the anti-science Tea Party influence and Republican House dominance has been the drying up of research funds for science and many scientists, like those at OSU, are simply giving up.

The Republican speaker of South Carolina's House has been arrested on corruption charges.

The Scottish independence vote may depend on how immigrants vote. The author of a new study on that trend says 'Scottishness appeared 'more inclusive' than the English identity for many ethnic groups. Minorities, he said, 'increasingly view Englishness as a white-only identity,' while immigrants living in Scotland feel the country’s identity is more inclusive. 'Almost all minority groups are more likely to claim a Scottish identity in Scotland than an English identity in England'.

Sept 9
If you ever doubted that Republicans are dedicated to make sure ethnic minorities, women and youth can't vote,  'Georgia Sen. Fran Millar, Republican of Dunwoody, has vowed to fight a plan to allow voting on Sunday because precincts will be "dominated by African American shoppers and... several large African American mega churches," and he "would prefer more educated voters."

Sept 8
 According to a recent report, we have been creating more and more jobs in clean energy and clean transportation nationwide. That’s great news for both our economy and our environment.
   Oregon has led the way in investing in clean energy sources. You can see how these investments are paying off with hundreds of new jobs across the state, most recently near Klamath Falls, where a new expansion of innovative geothermal energy is underway.
   In fact, Oregon ranks third amongst states for electricity generation from renewable energy.
   Whether it’s biofuels, wind, solar, or energy-efficiency renovations, we can create great jobs and growth while also building a more sustainable, low-carbon, oil-independent economy.
   Please know I’ll keep encouraging investment in clean energy technologies to build a healthier future for the next generation and create more good-paying jobs for Oregonians.
All my best,

See older posts here

Site Dedicated to the Memory of Eric McKinley, d. Iraq, 2002
Eric McKinley was our local connoisseur of ska music and cafe denizen whose unit was activated and sent to Iraq by George Bush to patrol with inadequately armored vehicles. When Congressional funds for armoring the vehicles were diverted by the notorious Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska (later tried on corruption charges), Eric's unit was reduced to using plywood to give their vehicles some additional protection. When an insurgent's IED hit Eric's vehicle, his horrified teammates were forced to watch as the heat of the burning plywood began exploding the grenades strapped to Eric's body. Eric, you are not forgotten and will live forever in our hearts.
 Photo Credit: Lucy Fisher, US Navy, Rob Speed Paul Bausch "Cougar" "Felix Nine" Michael Huang Pat Barber Ed Uthman Go Ikeda Kate Willson  Annette Bernhardt Guy Wicke Richard Bauer Pedro fp Chris Rebecca Boyd Alex Cruz Bob Mikal

Sept 16

Above: A young black male was not asked by police why he was dressed as he was and carrying a samarai sword in his cosplay. When he got scared, he ran. They shot him in the back. He died.

The damage done by a malware program first discovered this week was first activated 12 years ago and the damage done to banks, corporations and German speaking governments is "incalculable".

Games are now "far more powerful than movies at story telling" a CEO told the GamesBeat conference.

Sept 15
Alert! The most hated company in the US, Comcast, has started contacting customers who use Tor to threaten them with termination.

'If you use Twitch don't click on any suspicious links in the video streaming platform's chat feature. Twitch Support's official Twitter account issued a security warning telling users not to click the "csgoprize" link in chat. According to f-secure, the link leads to a Java program that asks for your name and email. If you provide the info it will install a file on your computer that's able to take out any money you have in your Steam wallet, as well as sell or trade items in your inventory. '

Microsoft has affirmed what every young gamer feared - they will buy Mojang, maker of Minecraft, for $2.5 billion.

The investor who backed Snapchat and Uber says his own startups are good, but that every one else's is headed for a dive.

'The new Super Smash Bros. for 3DS launched in Japan over the weekend, and with it, an unfortunate bug that causes a temporary ban for scoundrels who would dare to play as Peach.'

Air France has sent out 65,000 text messages telling passengers that their flight may be delayed as a result of a pilot's strike over cost-slashing outsourcing of pilots' jobs to compete with Middle East carriers offering lower rates.

Sept 14
Uber has proven as popular with cabbies in Eugene as elsewhere, with its ignorance of legal requirements there drawing a protest from the city's largest taxi service. “Selective enforcement of local ordinances is not acceptable and will ultimately result in a rogue public transportation system if Uber is allowed to continue to operate without regulation,” wrote the firm's lawyer to the city.

Bungie says that after 20 hours of playing Destiny, you will find it a very different game.

In Chongqing, China, people have become so exasperated with bumbling smart phone users barely aware of others or autos that the city has created special sidewalks dedicated to smart phone users so others needn't naviagte around them.

Sept 13

Above: A vampire bat was not impressed with the music from a wannabee rock star in Gresham and attacked, going for the neck. The bat tested positive for rabies.

Oregon realtors are warning that the "private conversation" between prospective buyers about offers, etc. are now largely impossible inside the home or on the premises due to snooping devices in many homes. "They hear a buyer talk about how much they love they house, they'd be willing to pay full price if they have to, etc., etc.," [realty lawyer] Fitzsimmons says in the video. "It gives a serious edge to the seller in that negotiation." It remains illegal to record conversations with out all parties knowing, but it's widely being done.

Utility companies are issuing a special alert for customers in the Valley and Corvallis. A scam playing out across the country is seeing an upsurge here. 'Scammers call residential or small business customers claiming to be from their local electric company and demand payment for overdue bills. Sometimes, the callers tell the intended victim that they need to pay a special deposit for a new meter installation. The scammer advises the customer to make a payment either immediately on the phone via credit card, by calling a special number, or by going to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card and calling back with the code.'

Observers in Corvallis - a dozen of them or so-  for the most part reported that Friday night was too lit by the moon or, alternatively, too hazy from fire smoke to see the Aurora Borealis last evening.

'Publisher Activision says its cross-gen shooter Destiny has accrued more than $500 million in revenue since the game launched on Tuesday. That money comes from retailers ordering the game, coupled with business from first parties, Activision says, which suggests it's not an indicator of sell-through or popularity. Activision has not revealed sales units.'

The GAO today is saying that the Republican fantasy of out-sourced government contractors is turning into a cyber-nightmare, with the contractors are running amok with sensitive information without adequate supervision.

See older Posts here

Sept 16
The Estacada fire has grown to 3,500 acres but authorities are hoping cooler temperatures will assist in fighting the fire.

California passed 100,000 electric vehicles on the road since 2010. In Seattle and Portland, the Leaf outsells the Nissan gas models frequently.

'Wildlife officials are reporting that a new wolf pack has been discovered in northeast Washington's Ferry County near Profanity Peak.'

Sept 15
War Dance of Winnemem Wintu at Shasta

Above: Members of the Winnemem Wintu tribe staged a war dance to let the authorities know of their opposition to raising the level of the Shasta dam, which they say would inundate them again. “We’re hoping the people of California will wake up to some of the water issues..California should be a salmon state ..Before we started farming in the desert, we had every run of salmon," said chief Caleen Cisk.

The Estacada fire  started by target shooters - has jumped the lines of the Clackamas River and Hwy 224, and now has consumed more than 2,500 acres. The smoke has triggered a health alert in Corvallis, and some schools are cancelling outdoor events, even recess.

Australia has completed an inventory of the trash found floating off the coast and three fourths of it is plastic, with young turtles most at risk for getting entangled in it since the bags resemble the jelly fish they feed on.

Sept 14
Neighbors of the Chip Ross Park fire-ravaged area say an unusual number of unfamiliar stags have moved into the neighborhoods to forage. Biologists across the Pacific Northwest are concerned about the survival of deer this winter, with so much forage removed. They say that the deer will begin nibbling the vegetation newly emerging, which will set back recovery. Washington has introduced a special hunting season for "antlerless deer", which would be a problematic solution on northwest Corvallis neighborhoods.
   Other neighbors say the honeybees have disappeared bt that may be because a commercial hive keeper moved the bees due to lack of forage.

For the first time since the Glines Canyon dam was built in 1911, Chinook salmon have been spotted in the Elwha River now that the dam has been removed.

A fire near Grants Pass on Onion Mountain, which was initially contained is now free ranging after fire crews were withdrawn in "whipping winds" for safety. A large fire east of Estacada on public lands appears to have been started by target shooters. It has now grown to 1000 acres.

A 9 foot boa constrictor is on the loose in Idaho since Friday. It has not eaten, the owner says, in 3 weeks. That probably is no longer true.

I-90 is closed at the border of Washington and Idaho due to a chemical truck leaking vapor, anhydrous trimethylamine.

Sept 13

Above: The Corvallis group who paid petition gatherers to go around and solicit signatures for a "bag tax" have submitted their petition. The group misrepresented themselves to us as opposing a "bag tax". There is no bag tax. There is a ban on single-use plastic bags, as in many locales and there is a 5 cent charge for getting a shop to sell a large paper bag. Advocates say that the "ban the bag" group is like all such groups, "uncaring about the mess they create for others to clean up after them", and for wildlife to deal with, and/or want something - a bag - for nothing. There is, they say, no such thing as a free lunch, and those "free" bags previously were simply calculated into store prices. Now, they are in the open.

Salem is looking at introducing banning smoking on the public sidewalk next to businesses and institutions who have declared themselves "smoke free". Willamette University and Salem Hospital have requested the ordinance. ""I think it's important to support those businesses who have declared their property smoke free," said Salem Mayor Anna Peterson.

350,000 are expected in Mt. Angel for Oktoberfest this weekend. 11 AM - 9 PM

After 140 million years, Chinese sturgeons are for the first time in human records unable to reproduce. No eggs were laid this year, likely due to water pollution and development.

Sept 12

Death of the Pole Dancer, from Portland's Time-Based Art Festival ("TBA") Sept. 11 -21 Portland

Above: If you spend 'your days immersed in contemporary art, the names on this year's Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) lineup are probably unfamiliar, the event descriptions highfalutin gibberish. Performers come from as far away as France and Australia, and from as close as down the street—it's an 11-day invasion of art-aliens, flaunting their MFAs and talking about "process" a lot. But they're benevolent aliens, working at the stratospheric fringes of performance and visual art, and TBA provides a once-a-year chance to explore our world as they see it.' The show is held in various locations and you can see the schedule here.

The first results from Oregon's health insurance plan are in and the results are, according to OSPIRG, a $24 million savings for Oregon residents. You can see them here.

This is making the rounds so, in case you missed it, we should include the headline here: "Woman of 24 is missing part of her brain". We're in Oregon and not easily impressed. A LOT of the country seem to us as though they lost part of their mind.

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