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CORVALLIS, OREGON                                           
 Local News 101
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Aug 28
Alix Humphrey, Corvallis "Crime Fighter" Returns From Uganda

Corvallis resident Alex Humphrey has returned after 6 month in Uganda working with the Refugee Law Project (RLP) before returning to school. The RLP, he say, has tried to place refugees from the violence which has plagued the country as well as neighboring regions in the Sudan, Congo and Rwanda.
  The RLP, he says, focuses upon Truth and Reconciliation hearings rather than upon international criminal courts. The hearings are found to be much more personal, meaningful and approachable than courts in the EU. The Ugandan government, for example, has extended amnesty to former soldiers of the Christian extremist Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) of Joseph Kony, which became a cause célèbre after the release of a youtube video which went viral, provided the former LRA declare the truth.
   The relationship between sexual and political violence is one of several focuses of the group. That work has become harder since the RLP discovered that 80% of the male refugees have been victims of sexual violence. In Uganda, US evangelical Christians have whipped up an intense homophobia with the public concluding that male sexual victims "become" gay.

   As a consequence, the RLP offices were raided and shuttered for a time because it was assumed they were "sheltering" gays. The offices have now re-opened.

Aug 27

Oregon Health Care Ratings Issued for Area Physicians, Hospitals

If you're looking for a hospital within a 50 mile range, Corvallis's Good Sam is as safe a bet as any, with a 96% rating newly by the Oregon health care agencies. Salem has a 97% rating, McMinnville's Willamette Valley comes in at 99% and McKenzie-Willamette in the Eugene-Springfield area has a 100% rating.
   But if you're looking for physicians, you're better off in the Salem-Kaiser area for women and children (health care specifically for men or all patients is not rated). Corvallis physician groups ranked are at or below average.

Aug 26

The Great Corvallis Wage Increase in Store for Us  All

The Great Rise in Salaries
Great news! The gazette has printed a list of average salaries in Corvallis and there has been a huge wage increase since the end of the last full year reporting period. For example, the gazette says the average salary in "Food preparation and serving-related" is $21,811. The Labor Department's online source says the average salary for "Accommodations and Food Services" is $14,679.  That's a 50% increase. The gazette says the average salary for "Sales and Related" is $31,048 annually. The online stats are, for "Retail", $23,000. That's a 35% increase. Huge!
    In the Labor Department's statistics for Corvallis, there is some discrepancy in titles, in geographic areas, etc., which provides for some elasticity but not that much. There are small differences in dates. But other data provides some validation of the lower numbers. For example, the total payroll in Region 4 (Linn,  Lincoln Counties and the Corvallis Metropolitan area) shows a payroll for Leisure and Hospitality of $169,456,927.  The labor force is 10,773. That's an average annual salary of $15,729, slightly higher.
   For Benton County, the payroll was $52,088,291 and the employee number was 3565, for an average of $14,611. That of course, doesn't take into account that workers in the field is working an average 26 hours, and scrambling for hours or second jobs - and not by choice. The gazette figures don't add up.
    It is probably not coincidental that the rosy-glass-eyed views appeared the same day that the downgrading of Corvallis's "livability" ranking in Oregon slid below that of Lebanon, in Linn County. LEBANON?! Lebanon was regarded as the armpit of Linn County, together with Sweet Home. And Linn County remains an armpit of the valley. To salvage our own pride, we may need to make numbers up.
    But let's not settle for such poverty in our myths. Our ancestors were better at improvising. Corvallis would have been a land of milk and honey. Let's pretend that. And servers make gazillions of dollars and presidents yearn to meet our most lowly of instructors, to press gifts of cash wads into their hands. Baristas bathe in golden tubs and mechanics have free supplies of figs and chocolates delivered from the hands of the gods and we never get fat. All that occurs between free massive buffets featuring the most famous rock stars of the day, all begging for a chance to perform on one of our stages. Now THAT'S a lie worthy of us. THAT'S one we could settle for. Let's pass those stories around, say, in Sunset Magazine. Or High Times.

Aug 24

OSU Ballooning in Bend At Issue

'As OSU-Cascades battles a legal challenge to break ground on the first phase of its planned four-year campus, funding for later development may be in danger of being delayed. For every legislative session, the state’s public universities and the Higher Education Coordinating Committee work to put together a university capital request prioritization list. Because state money for capital projects is limited, the list offers the Legislature and governor an idea of what projects are most important. University leaders meet to present their “tier one” projects — those they hope to see funded with the greatest urgency — which the Higher Education Coordinating Committee then orders into a prioritized list. When Oregon State University — which oversees OSU-Cascades — submitted its list of projects, funds for the Bend branch ranked below three other projects. As a result, the $30 million OSU-Cascades request for state support didn’t even break the top 14, falling into an unordered second tier with eight other projects. In the second tier, funding is far from guaranteed.'

Aug 24

As the current city Manager transitions into a job more suited to his tastes and talents, there is one step he took while in office which we think would never have been taken without him.
   The previous city Manager had a policy of choosing department heads only from without the city's ranks. That made it seem certain, former city Councilman George Grosch said at the time, that Lt.. Jon Sassaman would leave as Lt. Ron Noble had done, to seek a chief job elsewhere. We would not have been sorry to see that occur, because a number of people had told us that he was instrumental in the coalescing of a group of thugs in the Police Department.
   Either that was never true or he matured into the job after his appointment. He has at times seemed like the reasoned voice of sanity in the city on issues. The "homeless problem" is such an issue.  Sassaman told the Advocate that "many of the people who use community services or might use the shelter aren’t causing problems, while acknowledging that community members may be eager to blame the shelter. For instance, Sassaman points to the issues of drunk college students engaging in inappropriate behavior downtown: 'We don’t say that’s a college student problem'."
Well said. And enough said.

"River comes Full Circle"

Above: The gazette rightly pointed out that the riverfront had always been the heart of the city, economically. They headlined it as "Riverfront renaissance brings Corvallis full circle."
    Unfortunately, they equated the current row of small service businesses, paying minimum wage for part time work and compared that to a time, shown in the 1879 photo above, when the planing, lumber and flour mills on the river provided good livelihoods to those who worked there. The riverfront could again, provided the city Council had the foresight of many cities and raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The day when hundreds in the city have to cobble together several jobs and crowd into small quarters together would come to an end in short order. It's time the city Council served them as loyally as they do developers. And it's time that the "Economic Development Director", Tom Nelson, hired by the current city manager, needs to come up to speed. The jobs being added to the city under his tenure are largely dead end, mind numbing, poorly paid work, to be regarded as failures, not a success.  It's been "time", for many years.

Archives here

Aug 29
Corvallis: "Most Affluent City in the State" says Journal Study

A new study by the parent of the Portland Business Journal has listed Corvallis as "the most affluent" city in the state. Corvallis 'ranked 49th overall and 12th on the company's small cities list.' Portland was '68th overall and 16th in the large cities category'. Bend was '21st in the "medium-small" cities category and 107th overall.' Eugene-Springfield 'ranked 39th in terms of medium cities and No. 287 overall'. Medford 'was 70th on the medium-small cities list and 290th overall.' There are thousands who would disagree but those are the Business Journal rankings.
   In related news, the Boston Globe analyzed income disparity as "choking" economic growth in the US. "There is a growing recognition in virtually every sector of our society, even among key Wall Street analysts, that this country is being badly hurt by galloping income disparity. When both the International Monetary Fund and Wall Street rating agency Standard & Poor’s release reports detailing how the widening gap between the top and the bottom is stifling growth, it is clear we have a serious problem."

Northwest farmers are giving a cross between wheat and rye called triticale, developed a hundred years ago in Scotland and Sweden, a try. "It’s an easier crop to grow than wheat" said one farmer, although no crop insurance is offered for the crop so it takes a certain amount of nerve to grow.

US bank incomes soared last quarter as losses from the speculation during the George Bush era leveled off.

Aug 28
'For the past three weeks and more than 1,800 miles, Arthur Tseona had a 69-ton turbine in the back of his semitrailer, only to see it tip over one block from its destination Wednesday, shutting down a Springfield street for hours.'

The poor Washington areas burned over by fire this summer may have finally breathed their last. The residents fled to the hinterlands as the fire approached. Now, their homes burned out, they see no alternative but to move in many cases. Beth Stipe, executive director of the Community Foundation of North Central Washington says “They are in many ways scattered to the wind. There’s no place to go in a place that already struggled with affordable rental housing.”

In a scenario which could be out of Corvallis Economic Director Tom Nelson's portfolio, an NJ woman was killed as she pulled into a convenience store to get a few minutes sleep between her 4 part-time jobs "after inhaling carbon monoxide and fumes from a spilled gas can. She kept the gasoline container in the car because she sometimes ran out of fuel while commuting between jobs. "

'With dry bean harvest under way in the southwestern part of the state, farmers and industry leaders say the 2014 crop looks great but there are some concerns about mold in southcentral Idaho.'

The US economy grew at an unexpectedly rapid rate last quarter of 4.2%. 'Exports growth was revised upward to 10.1 percent. Private domestic investment was revised upward to 17.5 percent.'

A small community for the rich in Chile set up to emulate Ayn Rand's utopian model in Atlas Shrugged has turned out to be as full of con artists and thieves - "the sort of plan you would expect from a a bunch of fans of a crotchety old millionairess who wrote a book called The Virtue of Selfishness".

Aug 27
Oregon is edging close to having a "kicker" tax refund at the end of the year. "Oregon’s employment growth has accelerated sharply over the past year. The state is now adding jobs about 1 percentage point faster than the nation, a differential growth advantage Oregon typically enjoys during economic expansions."

Oregon is likely losing the sole remaining Japanese grocery in the state, as the 109 year old Anzen's in Portland is closing. The owner's health is shaky and "business is no good".

Aug 26
Bend residents are growing weary of a flood of "loud raucous parties" and a "conveyor belt of strangers next door" associated with rental vacation homes. The city Council will soon take up regulation.

 In a sign of the "job creation" which marks Republican policies, House Speaker Boehner's lawyer is charging the public $500 an hour to sue the President over affordable health care.

Republican plans to put public pensions into hedge funds have ended up as everyone predicted - the hedge funds got richer and the public lost over $3 billion.

China's Great Wall Motors has committed to build a giant plant in Tula, Russia.

Aug 25
The number of Farmers' Markets in the Oregon association of the markets has now grown to 160, selling $50 million worth of produce. The number of people shopping the Portland Famers' Market alone is estimated as 1 million annually, a huge carbon footprint which can only be addressed by decentralizing the market.

Oregon dairy farmers are not responding to higher dairy prices and lower feed costs by increasing production, but others across the nation are.

Nearly half of all the homes in the Newport-Lincoln City ("Central Coast area)" were paid for in cash, rather than mortgages during the latest reporting quarter. Gangsters, refugees from Arizonan politics and retiring Californians with no idea of what the weather at the Oregon Coast is like in winter, would account for those, suggests a Corvallis realty expert.

France's government resigned today, with the criticism that German austerity measures are crippling the EU region's economies.

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             CRIME BEAT
                    Breaking Crime News
Aug 29
Police Warn: OSU, UO and PSU Fans ALL Are Driving Freeway Today

All 3 Oregon major universities are playing their initial games Saturday and all will be on the road unless they live in Corvallis or Eugene. OSU officials are warning fans to allow extra time due to construction detours on campus. Says OSU:    
     "The biggest traffic obstruction is the closure of 15th Street from Jefferson Avenue on the north end to Western Boulevard on the south end. This limits access to several parking lots on the east side of campus. Access to the parking lots south of Callahan and McNary Halls is now only available off 11th Street. Within that parking area, construction of the new residence building, William Tebeau Hall, is in the final stages, blocking access to parts of 13th and 14th Streets around the building itself. For the Aug. 30 game, there will be a temporary crosswalk established at Washington Avenue to allow pedestrians to cross 15th through the Facilities Shops area toward Reser Stadium. Please note that this temporary crosswalk will only be in-place for this game."


Robert James Brown

Mr. Brown has been arrested for failing to register as a sex offender, meth, escape, etc. This is his 4th encounter with law enforcement locally in 4 years.

Amanda Lynn Gatewood

Above: I-5 at Hwy 34 was closed for several hours after "an officer-involved shooting"  of a suspect followed a high speed chase out of the Springfield area, witnesses say.     The suspect's car was registered to an elderly Springfield couple. There is no word on them yet. The driver, 44-year-old Amanda Lynn Gatewood, was shot after she pointed what appeared to be a handgun at officers. A replica of a 1911 semi-automatic handgun was recovered at the scene. Ms Gatewood is in critical condition. She had, reports said, warrants for her concerning meth and theft.

In other Corvallis crime news, Christian Michael Colaci was cited for interfering with a police report, which can be anything. But it's his for the 13th encounter with law enforcement in 2 years on a wide variety of charges including meth. Cody Deane Madison-Foley has been picked up on a probation/parole violation on charges of DUII, Driving While Suspended, etc. A 44 year old woman has been arrested for criminal mistreatment, and she has no recent prior arrests.

Above: Corvallis Police released a photo of the new police hires. The immediate reaction of most viewers is that, once again, they're all males but at least there's an African American among them. 'From left are Joshua Zessin, Dale Raybould, Stephen Foster, Sassaman, Derrick Samuels and Justin Hageman'. Foster and Zessin are homegrown boys, Hageman is from Salem and Raybould is from Sheridan. Samuels is from Florida - we all know how much we are seeing headlines that start with "Florida Man... [fill in the blank with something completely bizarre here]. It doesn't help to see an Orlando church prayer request for "Derrick" in "Corvallis, Oregon", and the prayer that "He will be turning in his background paperwork this week! Prayers for a swift and clear return and that all prior employees praise him on his workmanship!" That might raise some eyebrows, wondering why someone thought he needed help from god to get a clear background check, or get a positive review from his co-workers. But you never know. Grandmother might have worried about some time he maybe got caught looking over the shoulder of a classmate in the 2nd grade to verify the spelling of Gator (be honest: 'Gater' suggests itself, right?).
   It's good he left Florida if has or plans to have a daughter, or even a woman as mate. A new Girl Scout study released today has that advice for females: leave the South. Pack everything immediately. Leave. GET OUT NOW!
    In law enforcement news elsewhere, Apple's security guards staged a sit-in at the company's San Francisco store and eventually blocked the store's doors and all were arrested.
   In Spokane, police are investigating whether a district attorney helped a fugitive wanted

Marriya Wright, D.A., Body Builder

on drug and assault charges to escape, as Marriya Wright and Matthew Baumrocker exchanged nearly 1300 texts.

In Oregon, Jesse Helts, the "homeless youth" who accepted Miley Cyrus's VMA award for her, has turned himself in to Polk County with his bail money in hand, said to be from the singer. He was wanted there for skipping his urinalysis test and mischief.
   Sergio Quezeda-Lopez, of Mexico, who was at the 6th level of a chain of managers in a heroin operation that resulted in the sale of heroin to a 21 year old Keizer woman who died as a result of an overdose, pleaded guilty to trafficking in heroin.

A 61 year old woman hit yesterday  in a heavily used Lincoln City, Oregon crosswalk by a motorist has died at OHSU. “I’ve been watching accidents and near misses here for the last 14 years,” said Charlie Womack, who owns Treasures of the Sea, a gift shop located 50 feet south of the accident site near the Lincoln City Cultural Center. “I’ve actually seen people jump up on the hoods of cars to avoid getting run over. But this accident with a tourist who came here to visit, it was a real sad scene.”

Portland police arrested a suspected gang member, George Anthony Waters, for attempted murder as police also executed a series of search warrants this morning.

Corvallis Dreamers will want to know that 145 "Fight for Families" were arrested in D.C. this AM in a sit down at the White House.

In California, with repercussions for UO, legislators have passed a "Yes means Yes" bill which would be the country's first law defining in university rape investigations when sex is consensual rather than just non-resisted.

Above: Those Corvallisians thinking of setting out for the coast this Labor Day weekend should be aware of the terrorist birds. In this video of a woman eating ice cream, 'for the first few seconds, this is a perfectly pleasant vacation video. A woman in sunglasses waves to the camera—hi dad!— and describes the absolutely beautiful San Francisco beach on which she stands. Then, something white and gooey shoots down the frame. It's poop! Bird poop! And it lands on her ice cream! And the asshole behind the camera sees it, and starts laughing, and lets the woman eat the bird poop anyway! You're a real asshole, guy. As if that weren't enough, seconds later, another poop comes tumbling down. If there were any justice in this world, it would douse the cameraman in warm, sticky instant karma, but no, it hits the woman's face instead. You're a real asshole, too, bird.

In Florida, 3 men were surrounded by home invaders and defended themselves admirably. Stand your ground. "The three armed themselves with a 12-guage shotgun and a .22 rifle. Approximately 40 rounds of 12-guage and an unknown number of .22 rounds were fired from inside the residence. Numerous windows were shot out and holes were shot in the walls. They completely removed a large rear window from the house on the second floor and threw the bathroom sink at the imaginary attackers. Chunks of sheetrock, wood, firearm parts and anything they could tear out of the residence was thrown outside, including the toilet, which was ripped from the floor." The three bnged on the window when they say the mail carrier on the street and shouted their predicament. The carrier called police who arrived to discover that there were no invaders but that there was a meth lab in the house and the three had indulged themselves freely, police said. The invaders were imaginary.
   Addiction set a new, high bar in the southland bible belt, where an inmate, Corey McQueary, died after eating the methadone soaked underwear of his cell mate, Michael Jones, in Kentucky.

Above: in bigotry crime news, a young man recorded his family's violent anti-gay "intervention" in Georgia. His step mother defended herself with "I’m going by the word of God".
   In other bigot news, 'when Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent National Guard soldiers to the Mexico border to much fanfare earlier this summer, he couldn't say how long they'd be there. It turns out he also couldn't pay them: At least 50 soldiers haven't seen a paycheck and are getting sustenance and vehicle fuel from a local food bank.'

Aug 28

Eric Dean Kimball

Mr. Kimball is our poster boy for the failure of marijuana prohibition, being arrested again on a drug traffic court violation for a marijuana bust. He has no court appearances other wise but there have been 8 of those in the last year. This kid's life has been ruined and there are no plans in place to restore their good names to people in his situation, after the expected legalization of pot in November. Things like student loans are out of reach for them now unless corrective measures eventually ensue.
   Anthony Robert Margeson showed up for a 10 day sentence on selling or handing off pot (" Unlawful delivery of marijuana"). They are going to run out of room in the jail and they'll start asking us for more money for a bigger one - wait, aren't they already doing that? Mr. Margeson was cited for MIP 4 years ago after he pulled out, cops said, on a bike in front of a car and crashed.
    Michael Ryan Owen showed up for his 2 day sentence on a drug court violation. Mr. Owen is in a different category from Mr. Kimball. Owen's long history also involves not just meth, but car prowl and theft arrests. The public draws a clear distinction between self medication or recreational drugs on one hand, and preying on others.
   Michael Allan Reigstad was cited again for meth. Mr. Reigstad has been arrested 4 times in 4 years. He was famous for being picked up at an investigation of a police report that "an off-site manager at the [Albany] Valu Inn motel was allegedly bringing drugs from her home in Corvallis to the motel, where they were being sold."
   While the War on Drugs was being given priority in jail space, accused thieves were being released on their own recognizance.
   Jonathon Roy Beddington was arrested on a theft charge. Mr. Beddington reported he'd been mugged for 80 dollars 4 years ago after "tried to break up a fight" in the Impulse's parking lot, and police found a Marion County warrant was outstanding for him.
   Sylvestor Cortez Harrison was arrested for not showing up on charges of burglary tools, theft, meth, etc.

Above: Zackery Mersch and Jimmy Fears pleaded guilty today, to kidnapping and murdering a Polk County drug informer whose body was found at a cemetery there. 'A sergeant found the body of a man in a wooded area behind the cemetery wearing only boxers. The man had a purple contusion above the left eye and on the bridge of his nose. There were also red marks around both wrists and ankles, according to a probable cause statement. Officials recognized a tattoo on the deceased man and quickly identified him as Hawkes, who recently worked as a confidential informant in a controlled drug buy from Fears.'
   In related drug news, Santa Fe has passed an ordinance decriminalizing marijuana.

In Chiloquin, north of Klamath Falls, a statewide search for a suspect accused of shooting a police officer during a traffic stop came to an end with the arrest of William Jack Parkerson. His vehicle is still being sought, a 1989 Jeep Cherokee Oregon Vehicle Plate Number ZFQ 270. "The deputy was shot in the face and side during a traffic stop."

'Portland gang officers have been outside of a home on the 2600 block of Northeast 13th Avenue since about 5 a.m., attempting to get a suspect to come out. Traffic on Northeast 13th Avenue is blocked in both directions.'
   In related news, 'every day, on average, seven children were shot dead' in the US.
   'A Texas open-carry activist who has previously engaged in stunt promotions for his gun shop plans to organize his own border militia'. There's money for Texans in those kids coming over the border. If they own gun shops.
   A South Carolina Teabagger tried to strangle an immigrant activist at a rally for Marco Rubio.

A CEO for a firm which operates concessions for the Portland Timbers has been featured on Canadian television after he was filmed abusing a Doberman. He was, the tv station said, in an elevator "kicking the dog before lifting it off the ground by the leash".
   In seemingly related news, a suspected serial killer in Los Angeles who was identified by animal cruelty investigators after he also randomly shot 3 dogs, made his first court appearance on murder charges.

Elsewhere, the gun used in a robbery in NY which was used to kill 2 men and wound another has proven to be owned by the Republican candidate for Congress. He says he left it on the floor of his truck and it was stolen.
   In other "open carry" news, the "winner" of a game of Russian roulette in Connecticut, John Dybowski, was charged in the death of the loser.
   In other political crime, a Ron Paul supporter admitted in court that he had switched from Michelle Bachman after getting paid $8,000 a month for doing so before the Iowa caucuses.
   Republican Scott Walker, the scandal plagued governor of Wisconsin, is in trouble again, this time for money laundering during his recall campaign.
   In other political news, President Putin is denying he knows anything so those hundreds of Russian tanks which went careening over the Ukrainian border today can only be juvenile runaways. Tank-y delinquents ahead of hundreds of guys carrying guns, which must just be a coincidence.

Above: A Florida cop whose threat to "put a round cap in your ass" with a motorist in a video, which went viral, won't be charged.
   In other law enforcement news, Andrew Wood, a sheriff's deputy in California who killed a bicyclist, an executive at Napster, while he was texting and driving, won't be charged.

In bigot news, the National Organization for Marriage lost an appeal to intervene against Oregon's permissions for gay marriage.

Aug 27

Yesterday was such a busy day
. The city's fingerprinting officers were running a risk of an ergo injury. Several were arrested for endangering a minor, which in Corvallis means doing drugs while the kids are in the house, in their first arrests. The war on drugs continues to ruin lives. It's easy to pass off the charge as minor. It is sometimes but not in other instances as children born with drug addictions are marked their entire lives. Case after case in Corvallis can be called up where infants born addicted, according to state documents, spend their lives immersed in hells which are visited regularly upon the public in thievery.
   Yesterday, a 43 year old woman was caught up in the charge, on her first arrest. A 29 year old male was charged with it, along with cocaine and meth, as well as strangulation in his first and hopefully last arrest. A 19 year old was arrested for violating a release agreement.
   Eric Mathew Mansell showed to serve a 30 day sentence for parole violation. Mr. Mansell has been arrested 8 times in 2 years, usually for merely being a nuisance. He was arrested in February for example "after dispatchers received a series of calls beginning at 4:10 a.m. regarding a man’s strange behavior. Mansell allegedly ripped out solar-powered light fixtures from a yard on Southwest Fifth Street and kicked a fence when a resident confronted him. He then reportedly knocked on several doors and wandered around cars and bike racks on Western Boulevard. Mansell reportedly told police he had taken methamphetamine and believed that armed people were chasing him and bullets were hitting buildings around him". 
   Stephen Christopher Griffin was arrested for absconding. Mr. Griffin is another gift from Albany and has been arrested seven times here, on various charges of drugs, theft, parole violation, etc. 
   Sean James Mogg showed up for his 30 day sentence on a parole violation. He was one of two in April when a police officer spoke of "two people climbing over a concrete barrier onto the Highway 34 bypass while carrying a chainsaw and two red gas cans. The items matched the description of property reported stolen from a parked car 15 minutes earlier."

"Some OSU Student"

Above: A Corvallis desperado whom we'll call "some OSU student", confessed, from her summer hideout, which we'll call "somewhere on the Oregon coast", that she has managed to get a debt free education by selling eggs from chickens ILLEGALLY kept in the Oregon coastal town.

A road rage incident in Central Point ensued when William James Ashby decided he was being tailgated and slammed on the brakes. The car behind him passed and the occupants began a shouting match until the car reached home, police say, after which "got out of his vehicle with a Glock pistol pointed at them while yelling at Miller to get on the ground... Ashby came toward Miller and tried to strike him in the face while holding the handgun, which fired, the sheriff's department reported." The road rage incident had turned into an attempted pistol whipping incident. "The bullet missed Miller. Miller pushed Ashby away and got a rifle out of his car." The attempted pistol whipping incident turned into a gun incident. If police had not arrived, the gun incident might have escalated to a thermonuclear incident.

Elsewhere in Oregon, UO is drawing criticism for awarding $10,000 to the "blue ribbon" panel who reviewed, over "for 5 or so day-and-a-half meetings", UO policies following the rape charges laid against 3 basketball players.
   Also at UO, a major free speech fight is developing after a woman shouted as a couple walked by, taunting the woman in the couple with a cry of "I hit it first", implying, the couple said, that she was gloating over having been earlier involved with the male student. They reported the shouter and UO charged her with a violation of student conduct rules. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is challenging the charge as a violation of free speech rights.

15-20 pigeons, doves and a chicken died in a Lebanon fire that spread from a coop to a neighboring shop. Firefighters believe the fire was most likely started by electrical wiring, rather than an arsonist or juvenile pigeons playing with matches.

A new Yale study shows a drop in domestic violence with pot smoking. The drop was most notable when both partners hit the pot, but was noticeable even when only one did so.
   In related news, those drug "experts arriving in town to urge opposition to pot legalization - they're many of them on the payroll of Big Pharma. For example, Herbert Kleber of Columbia has written "anti-pot opinion pieces for CBS News, or being quoted by NPR and CNBC, what's left unsaid is that Kleber has served as a paid consultant to leading prescription drug companies, including Purdue Pharma (the maker of OxyContin)". They've been called academic whores", and given OSU's catering to Monsanto and the timber companies over the years, we should expect the Pharmacy School to chime in with Kleber soon.

In "open carry" news, gun fetishist and reality tv star Will Haydn has been arrested, police say, after his daughter said he "forced her to participate in oral and vaginal sex 'almost daily' for the past three years."
   In Arizona, a "Burger and Bullets" tourist stop which allows travelers to stop and fire weapons had a surprise when the recoil on an Uzi handed to a 9 year old girl sent the weapon firing at an instructor, killing him.
   In Seattle's nightlife district, a "couple told cops that they were walking on a downtown street after 2 AM when they happened upon Paul Hunter, 64, receiving oral sex from a woman. After being spotted by the duo, the woman “immediately left.. Hunter, police report, “got angry and started walking away northbound.” But after about half-a-block, he “turned around, pointed his gun at them” and fired a shot at the couple. “I’m going to kill you,” Hunter said, according to the victims." He was easy for police to find, sporting a tuxedo with a gun in the waistband.

In the ongoing Christian crime wave, the leading Christian network, Trinity, was founded with 'numerous international criminal organizations", including the mafia, using laundered money, the FBI files say, according to Raw Story.

In law enforcement news, the courts have refused to dismiss lawsuits which arose after a SWAT team in Connecticut "knocked down [Ronald] Terebesi’s door, threw stun flash grenades into his Easton home and fatally shot 33-year-old Gonzalo Guizan of Norwalk as the two men watched television." The SWAT team thought they were looking for cocaine.
   In a reality tv show gone askew, 'A suspect is dead and a crew member from the reality TV show 'Cops' is in extremely critical condition after police in Omaha, Nebraska responded to a robbery in progress at a Wendy’s restaurant.'
    A South Dakota officer has been indicted for "repeatedly tasering a helpless man".
   Police tasered a Georgia to death a foot weary man, using the tasers "as a cattle prod" following a chase.
   After a St. Louis (Ferguson) police officer became a right wing star showered with praise and money following the killing of an unarmed African American teen, others are taking a cue. 'Unpopular Indianapolis Police Department officer Kyle Norris told reporters Wednesday he was considering committing a racially motivated offense to generate a little support. “To be honest, I’m not the most well-known or looked-up-to guy around here, but I’m thinking that if I get caught up in a controversy after shooting a minority resident under questionable circumstances, things would really change for me,” said Norris, who added that having his coworkers immediately rally around him after the incident, watching consecutive nights of public demonstrations defending his actions, and finally receiving praise directly from the chief of police would be a nice change of pace from his day-to-day life as an ignored and unappreciated member of the force', the Onion mocked.

In conman - actually conmom - news, live tv coverage of the birth of a Panda cub has suffered a setback. The mom isn't pregnant. She was faking it "after noticing the perks pregnant pandas receive.. In addition to getting their own air-conditioned rooms, the expectant mothers 'receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life" says one expert at the refuge.

Elsewhere, the head of the International Monetary Fund is being investigated for "complicity in forgery and embezzlement of public funds". She claims innocence. OJ Simpson said the same in his case. But sometimes people ARE. This seems not to be "Sometimes".
   Of course, her alleged scam pales beside that of US firms who legally use "inversion" to declare themselves "foreign" to avoid taxes. A Corvallis concrete contractor is considering buying a hut in Ireland and transferring his "headquarters" there for the same ends.

Note: 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.

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 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 convicted 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
Aug 29

Above: A dangerous prank prompted a SWAT raid on a Colorado gamer .. An anonymous caller told police he had shot multiple people at an office building. Heavily armed police burst through the door of an office in Littleton, where gamer Jordan Mathewson was playing Counter-StrikeMathewson — who calls himself “Koostra” online — is part of a gamers group called The Creatures, who livestream video of themselves playing against one another online, and he recorded the entire incident.

Aug 29
A bitter lesson in Republican politics is being learned across red states, where telecom corporations are using control of Republican controlled legislatures to cripple municipal utilities providing faster internet access for citizens.

'There was a moment in recent history when Angry Birds, a smartphone game people play on the toilet, was poised to sweep all of pop culture. There would be Angry Bird theme parks, museums, stuffed animals, and tampons. Now, that dream is dead. Business Insider reports the departure of CEO Mikael Hed. Alas, 'Rovio's profits fell 52%'.

Amazon's drone-delivery is likely child's play compared to Google's secret Project Wing.

"Schroedinger's Cat"

Above: Physics just keeps getting weirder. Now, they 'have devised a way to take pictures using light that has not interacted with the object being photographed. This form of imaging uses pairs of photons, twins that are ‘entangled’ in such a way that the quantum state of one is inextricably linked to the other. While one photon has the potential to travel through the subject of a photo and then be lost, the other goes to a detector but nonetheless 'knows' about its twin’s life and can be used to build up an image.'

Aug 28

Aug 29 Dragon Con, Atlanta: Operation Secret Identity

Above: Galla and Kirk from Star Trek at Dragon Con. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), sci-fi blog io9, and a coalition of fan communities are launching "Project Secret Identity," a cosplay photo campaign to raise awareness of the importance of anonymity and privacy during the annual pop culture convention Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 29 - Sept. 1. Southeastern Browncoats, a Firefly-inspired non-profit; the Harry Potter Alliance, an activism organization; the Baker Street Babes, a Sherlock Holmes fan group and podcast; Wattpad, a community of readers and writers; and the Organization for Transformative Works, a fan-culture advocacy organization.are all supporting the project which will include posters advocating privacy with every photo.  
   '"In J.K. Rowling's novels, Voldemort came to power not only through coercion, but by monitoring, controlling, and censoring the Wizarding World's lines of communication," Harry Potter Alliance Executive Director Paul DeGeorge said. "In the real world, there is no charm-protected room where we can meet and organize in secret. What we have is the Internet and we need to fight to keep it free and secure."

Anita Sarkeesian

Anita Sarkeesian earlier this week wrote a blog entry on "devoted to aggregating and analyzing games that portray women as damsels in distress, ornamental eye candy, incidental victims, and other archetypes that tend to be written in service of and subordinate to male players and characters." The result has been a torrent of emails from male gamers, some very threatening. "I want to rape your c*nt with a pole", reads one while another lists her home address and says he's coming to her apartment to "rape you to death. After I'm done, I'll ram a tire iron up your c*nt".

The original home of the Spruce Goose of WWII, a huge hanger is now being renovated by Google for office space. "It hasn't been easy, in part because of its design. It is rather atypical—to say the least—for office space. The hangar has two bays that are 750-feet long—more than twice the length of a football field—and its ceiling is more than seven stories high."

Corvallis residents attending the Burning Man Festival say that today's death of a woman who fell under a bus hauling attendees was just another capstone in what has been a mess. The dead woman, Alicia Louise Cipicchio, worked at an art boutique in Jackson, Wyoming where she was a manager. It's not been a great year for those attending the event. The New York Times bashed the billionaires who have turned things into a contest of trying to outspend one another. After Monday's rainstorms had turned the dry lake bed into mud, enthusiasts had spent the night in the parking lot of Walmart. In Reno.

Tolerance of opinions has never been a Christian strongpoint. A Christian preschool in Florida expelled a 4-year-old student after his mom complained about school administration in a Facebook post. The school sent her a letter: "Your relationship with Sonshine did not get off to a very good start the first day of school. … You utilized social media to call into question not only the integrity but the intelligence of our staff. ... These actions are also consistent with sowing discord, which is spoken of in the handbook you signed."

The California Senate has moved to radically curb use of drones by local police agencies. "The potential for abuse of drones is high,” Sen. Ted Lieu (D–Redondo Beach),said. ‟We need to be vigilant to ensure our Constitutional rights are protected.

Microsoft is dumping 1500 apps from the Store after complaints of bogus and malware apps became widely aired.

Google is now pressing a famous patent troll who lost a case to the search giant after a judge awarded Google over a million dollars in attorney fees in the case.

It captures the essence of the Facebook "selfie": 'After their friend apparently died of a drug overdose, two Missouri residents posed for a “selfie” with the corpse, an image that one of them later uploaded to Facebook after dumping the body on a rural road, according to police.' The friend had injected dilaudid. The pair were doing Xanax and meth.

Aug 27

Korea's "Divine Souls" Game

Above: 'Three quarters of South Korea's population have been compromised in a massive data breach affecting 27 million people.'

A Forest Grove mother has her panties in a wad because the controlling-parent routine didn't exactly work with her daughter's computer access, especially the ipad used for school. She had a policy for her 12 year old daughter of  "no phone, no social media, no personal computer. The family computer is connected to the TV in the middle of the living room and - no surprise - is locked down with parental controls". The mother "was quick to confiscate the iPad the moment her daughter was done with her homework at the end of the day. The only time she had her iPad was at school or on the bus".
   First result: the teen was using the ipad to access Wattpad, the online writers' community, and specifically the adults-only section. The mom complained to the school, who promised to block the site. Great. That worked - the daughter then opened "an email account and was sending pictures of herself and having relations online"....her daughter used the iPad to set up a personal Gmail account and send the racy pictures to another student." With a mother like that, "online relations" might mean a boyfriend or even less, and racy pictures could be anything. The mother complained to the school about that too. It doesn't work, madame. Conversations do.
   In related news, the retailer Zara has yanked children's pajamas that looked like WWII concentration camp uniforms.

Netcore and Netis routers made in China have been discovered to have a backdoor which allows anyone with the password to access the machine's data, run malware and change settings.

"Sailing Stones of Death Valley"

Above: For the first time scientists have seen in action the "Sailing Stones" of Death Valley. 'hundreds of rocks – some weighing as much as 320 kilograms (700 pounds) – that seem to have been dragged across the ground, leaving synchronized trails that can stretch for hundreds of meters.' It turns out that thin sheets of ice form and the stones "move across them" when conditions are just right.

Researchers have unexpectedly stumbled upon a simple, incredibly effective HIV vaccine. 'A novel and relatively simple vaccine that can be administered orally has managed to completely block rectal infection with SIV, the monkey equivalent of HIV, in rhesus macaques and produced rapid re-suppression of viral load in monkeys who were previously infected with SIV.' Wait. Let's sort this out. They're doing WHAT to monkeys?

Sheepdogs are soon to be out of work after scientists discovered that a simple 2 step algorithm is involved: close up the sheep then drive them forward once gaps are sufficiently closed. Robots can do that. The researchers think it would work on people too. There is a simple counter-mechanism. Always disperse.

Seagate is shipping the world's first 8TB hard drive.

'One of the hairier unintended consequences of cheap 3-D printing is that any troublemaker can duplicate a key without setting foot in a hardware store. But clever lockpickers like Jos Weyers and Christian Holler already are taking that DIY key-making trick a step further: They can 3-D print a slice of plastic or metal that opens even high-security locks in seconds, without even seeing the original key.'

Ohio thinks this science stuff has gone too far, overturning ancient myths about dragons eating the sun to cause eclipses and so forth, and wants to start prohibiting the teaching of scientific processes.

Space shuttle astronauts are facing permanent eye issues after days in space.

The incredibly useful, even vital, field of statistics is being supplanted by CS studies, with CS specialists doing incredibly shoddy statistical work, says one of the nation's leading scientists on both fields.

The Department of Transportation is considering requiring vehicle-to-vehicle communications on all new cars and trucks, expecting to prevent nearly 600,000 crashes.

Aug 26
ebay has doubled down in Portland, where 200 employees focusing on the mobile apps, which drive a third of the flea market's business, are expected to become 400.

A new poll shows Oregonians believe that GPS directions are less distracting to drivers than taking directions from a spouse or friend in the back seat. The pollis also "amusingly" supportive of gender stereotypes. Men simply don't ask for directions, generally. and rate themselves as "exceptionally good" at finding directions.

That favorite of every Corvallis resident, Comcast, says their data caps aren't really data caps. Like in the Pirates of the Caribbean, where the Pirate Code is not really a "code" if lucre is involved. It's more of a "guideline".

Uber is being outed again as a ruthless unethical wannabee-monopolist trying to suppress competitors.

The notorious Koch brothers are funding ads telling people that the idea that they should be allowed to use the airwaves as freely as any other, and have download speeds as good, is a "Marxist" evil thought. Where can we get some more of this Marxism? Does it cover faster connections too? It does? Cool!

Both Apple and HP announced recalls of batteries. HP's recall is for fire safety reasons and Apple's for performance issues.

California has passed a law requiring a kill switch on all stolen phones.

Aug 25
A gazette summary on OSU's idea of assisting "start ups" featured a pair marketing wooden sunglasses made in Asia. Critics are asking "Public money went to this?" but the article also featured a firm making irrigation management software and another making the building blocks for pharmaceuticals.

A group of inane, boring hackers calling themselves the Lizard Squad has once again taken Sony's Playstation network down with DDoS attacks.

Aug 24
Sorters at Allied Waste in Corvallis may soon have a new tool for differentiating recyclable plastics. German researchers say "Plastics emit fluorescent light when exposed to a brief flash of light, and the emission decays with time in a distinctive pattern. Thus, their fluorescence lifetimes are highly characteristic for the different types of polymers, and can serve as an identifying fingerprint".

China will release a new operating system designed to compete with Microsoft, Apple and and Android by October.

The latest report of the Entertainment Software Association states that 36% of all gamers are now adult women and young women are another 12%. Teen boys now represent a mere 17% of gamers.

See older Posts here

Aug 29
The Sierra Club has listed the top 5 ecologically sound breweries in the country. Deschutes Brewery is at the #2 spot and Ninkasi in Eugene is #5.

The people happiest with the decision to begin blocking the export of coal through Oregon are the tribes and the Northwest Steelheaders  who depend on the Columbia for their livelihood as well as recreation. Recreational fishing feeds $2.7 billion into the Oregon economy and coal dust, deadly to salmon fry, is beginning to show up along the river.

The Oregon Spotted Frog is about to be listed as an endangered species. "This unique and highly aquatic frog was once common in the Pacific Northwest and its decline signals degradation in the health of natural areas that provide for people as well as fish and wildlife," Tom McDowell, acting supervisor for the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office said'. Changes in water temperature as trees along riverbanks are cut (Hint! Hint!), development of wetlands (Hint! HInt!), and the introduction of invasive frog species, especially the bullfrog, in a state with lax controls on exotic pets are all being held accountable.
   In related news, officials with the USDA seized 1,000 giant African snails across the country, all traced to a man in Georgia selling the snails, which grow to the size of a fist and devour buildings for calcium, to build their shells, and raze gardens.

Ebola has jumped to Senegal, opening up a new front in the deadly epidemic, WHO says.
Tuesday, September 9, 7:00 - 8:30 pm,
Admission is free
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, 2945 NW Circle Blvd.,

Above: Martin Donohoe will describe how genetically-modified crops are produced, their role in agriculture in the United States and worldwide, the health and environmental consequences of their use, and the benefits of labeling GM foods. It will also address food justice and security, and briefly touch on biopharming, the genetic modification of animals,and relevant ethical issues. There will be time for comments and questions. Dr. Donohoe is a senior physician at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Portland specializing in internal medicine. He is also an adjunct associate professor in the School of Community Health at Portland State University. He is a member of the Social Justice Committee of
Physicians for Social Responsibility and is on the Board of Advisors for its Oregon chapter.
   In addition to the so-called "academic whores" of OSU and Big Pharma pushing GMO, the other heavyweights in the GMO industry have started funding campaigns to deny the public knowledge when GMO foods are included in their groceries. Monsanto, the grocery chains ("Grocery Manufacturers Association") and DuPont have all kicked in a total of $300,000 against labeling. The 2 chemical companies have self evident interests and the Grocery Manufacturers Association last year applied to the FDA to allow them to label the artificially created GMO as "natural" on labels. On the other side of the ballot, Oregon's Right to Know has raised cash from 2,500 Oregon citizens. "I'm pretty excited to see at this relatively early stage that we've already got more than 2,500 people that have written a check," said a Right to Know spokesperson.

Aug 28

A fire near Oakridge has jumped its containment lines and some residents are now being warned to prepare to evacuate.

'Bill Gow stands on a wooden platform perched high above a lush valley south of Roseburg, his Stetson tipped back as he surveys the 1,400-acre ranch where his family runs cows for a living. "This is why I worked 24-7 my whole life, so I could wake up and have this" he says. "This is all I ever wanted." It's not hard, then, to understand Gow's sense of violation, his creeping feeling of helplessness, with a Canadian energy company's plan to carve a swath the width of freeway through his land and bury a 36-inch-diameter, high-pressure gas pipeline.' A Canadian firm is using "eminent domain" to seize the land of Oregon ranchers and farmers for their LNG pipeline.

Portland Harbor's Superfund site is launching the first habitat restoration site, with Portlanders wanting to "restore habitat that was once abundant but is now rare in this stretch of the highly industrialized Willamette River."

WHO said today that the number of Ebola victims, now at 1569, could easily reach 20,000 shortly as the epidemic accelerates.

Aug 27

Portland's business forum, the City Club, has endorsed both GMO labeling and pot legalization measures on the ballot, as well as the ERA, drivers licenses for undocumented workers, and education bonds.

Oregon "law requires railroads to annually submit detailed reports saying what dangerous substances they've moved, where and in what volume. They're due to emergency responders across the state by March 1 of each year. But that hasn't been happening, leaving firefighters across the state in the dark." At a meeting today meant to address the issue - legally, an "open meeting", Burlington officials asked "Wouldn't it be easier if the press wasn't here?" The reporters refused to budge.

A University of Arizona study predicts a "megadrought" due to global warming. Arizona is as responsible as anyone for the refusal of the US to address global warming and we need a fence there - but not a fence to keep people out of Arizona. We need to isolate Arizonans IN Arizona, so they don't migrate elsewhere with their antiscience infection.

Aug 26

Bitner Vineyards this year became the first Idaho vineyard to be Low Input Viticulture & Enology certified, and industry leaders expect more of the state’s vineyards and wineries to follow suit.

'A new day has dawned, and with it, a new draft of a new United Nations report on climate change has leaked unto the world. Like the turning pages of a calendar as one draws closer to death, the report brings tidings that grow worse, and worse, and worse. If you had to characterize for a mass audience what technical stage of global warming we find ourselves in now, it would be "The final stage where we decide if we will even attempt to try to do anything to make the looming disaster marginally less disastrous for our grandchildren, or whether we will simply f*ck around and allow doom to sweep over them, because we will be dead by then."'

Aug 25
The denial of a coal exporting permit in Oregon
may be a sign of "things to come", coal industry corporations fear.

Hundreds of mysterious methane vents have been discovered along the floor of the eastern US coast.

Flooding in Bangladesh has created half a million newly homeless citizens.

Aug 24
A 6.0 earthquake struck Napa Valley in California, with the worst damage in a mobile home park there. 3 are dead and 90 victims sought aid at one hospital. No tsunami warning was issued.

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