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Dispatch from warmer climes. Media digest, Dec. 10, 2010

I’m currently sitting in a cafe where sales taxes and the cost of shipping things halfway across the Pacific Ocean have conspired in the making of a 16-ounce cup of coffee that tastes like an ashtray and costs $2.20, but whose purchase is essential to my accessing the internet. This is not, as you may have guessed, Eugene. I’m spending the next 20-ish days in Hawai’i, where I grew up and my parents still live. Given the alternative of warm beaches and hiking trails, I wouldn’t be here, but since it is raining and thundering, I’m in here instead to avail myself of the internet. However, expect these to be irregular until I return.

Public affairs:

  • Opaqueness: The new UO public records officer is taking a while to produce public records, it seems. She says she’s backlogged with requests from before she started; the UO Senate’s Transparency Committee seems to suggest she’s pulling the old UO trick of dragging its feet (the Emerald’s Stefan Verbano, finally convincing people who request records to talk to him on the subject). UO Matters’ analysis is typically acid.
  • Hires: The Department of Public Safety will be hiring someone to keep track of its money (Thanks to UO Matters for the link). Also, UO Matters says the central administration is decentralizing some of its functions. I’ll put a pin in that one.
  • Buses: Lane Transit District will not cut bus routes again in 2012 — at least that’s what LTD’s suits say at the moment — by cutting expenses (Register-Guard). LTD and its employees have signed a contract, meaning that will presumably not be a factor in the ASUO’s next budget season, if LTD will at all (Register-Guard).
  • Killjoys: State police have arrested a UO student who, in the wake of Oregon Football’s trouncing of the Hated Beavs, held aloft an anti-OF t-shirt while it burned, evidently causing some pretty minor damage to the Reser Stadium turf. Evidently they got their information from a bunch of online snitches (Emerald, Register-Guard, Corvallis Gazette-Times, Badjocks, KATU, MyCentralOregon.com). Some, in both the Emerald’s comments section and on examiner.com, wonder whether the dude who actually lights the shirt in this YouTube vid of the incident is more to blame, although he may end up incarcerated too.
  • Homelessness: Three days of immersion in Bend homelessness will begin for a group of UO students today (KBND). Other UO students are going to do something homeless-related on their “alternative winter breaks” (KEZI).
  • Ants: A new UO study says they’re very efficient at dividing leaf-cutting labor (Science Blog, Eureka!).
  • The Tube: They’ve had another episode of “The Sing-Off” and the UO’s On The Rocks is evidently still standing, having performed a sufficient rendition of Rihanna’s “Live Your Life” (Register-Guard, Oregonian, KMTR, KGW). You can subject yourself to the whole episode or just OTR’s performance via the NBC website. You are encouraged to tell me if these links aren’t working, because I’m not about to check myself.

Opinion:

  • UO cheese Richard Lariviere is in New York at the moment. He’s going to be “a panelist at a conference” there. He’ll just happen to be at the Heisman gong celebration to support gong-tempting scamperer LaMike James, though, not that that’s the reason he’s there. He also wants you to know that some nerd and some physicists got gongs (Lariviere’s blog).

Sports:

  • Oregon Football: in its trip to Glendale, Ariz., will give UO students 1,000 opportunities to miss class to see it play against the Hated Tigers (Portland Tribune, KVAL, KEZI); the Glendale, Ariz., game will be attended by a ticket-winning family (KEZI); gong-tempting scamperer LaMike James has tempted at least one gong his way, one with the name “Doak” in its title (Register-Guard, KVAL, KMTR); James will be on Sports Illustrated’s cover at some point … in some places (KPTV); mourning-enthusiast Chip Kelly would be pretty hard for, say, the Hated Gators to prise away if they wanted to (Oregonian); is “essentially identical” to the Hated Tigers, Bleacher Report thinks, while the Register-Guard wonders whether the HTs are faster, or whether it is OF that is faster; has scoops-ed some giant from an Iowa high school to play for it next year (College Football News Now); another hometown article about clay pigeon Jeff Maehl (Chico, Calif., News-Review).
  • Oregon Track & Field: has two out of three finalists for men’s track and field’s top gong (Register-Guard); evidently has the nation’s most promising crop of young whippets coming out the pipe (Track & Field News).