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Meth Pipes For Sale

Friday, February 15th, 2013

IMG_0007

This is Wes. He lives in the Whiteaker neighborhood. In past few months, he’s been taking action to stop the sale of what he calls meth pipes around his home.
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Kidnapping on Villard this morning

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

We just received this news update from EPD:

Case # 13-1268

At about 2:30 this morning, two men left their apartment on Villard Street to pick up a friend. When they got into their car, a frightening surprise awaited them. Jeramey Ortega, 27 of Halsey, OR was in the backseat, and told both men that he would shoot them if they did not comply with his demands.

Following Ortega’s orders, the two men drive him to various locations, wherein each man had seized opportunities to flee the car at a convenience store and a Coburg Road shopping center, respectively. The first victim to flee was giving police a description of the kidnapper right around the time the remaining victim caught this aggressor slippin’ and punched him “at least 20 times before ordering him out of the car,” as the report states. Ortega then ran South where he was reported to be sleeping in a car on Centennial Loop about four hours later. The police arrested him without incident after noticing he matched the suspect description. Ortega was wanted for warrants in two other jurisdictions and  a Parole Violation.

Watch yourselves and be safe out there people! These victims were lucky to be unharmed.

Newtown, CT Shooting

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Our hearts go out to the grieving families in Newtown, Connecticut, in the aftermath of an elementary school shooting that killed 20 children and six adults. Shooter Adam Lanza killed himself soon after police were called.

This atrocity is unignorable. The Commentator is working on an article that addresses the gun control debate from all possible angles and from all possible perspectives. For now, our love and condolences are with Newtown.

The Address for donations is: SandyHook School Support Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank 39 Main St Newtown, CT 06470

The address for the school is where cards, letters, teddy bears anything for the siblings can be sent for the families: Sandy Hook Elementary School 12 Dickinson Drive, Sandy Hook, CT 06482

Thanks to Swamp Fox Green for the donation information (the full post can be read here).

Vicotry For Aclhol, Commentaorts Celebr#ate! (OLCC Ban Fails)

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Drink up more than usual, friends! Today we rejoice as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission discontinues plans to ban cheap drinks in parts of Oregon. The OLCC was trying to make downtown Portland an “Alcohol Impact Area,” (not as fun as it sounds) giving the city of Portland the ability to prohibit businesses from selling disorderly-conduct-causing drinks like malt liquor and inexpensive wine.

So why am I drunk off of a 40 of Mickey’s in downtown Portland as I type this? Many personal reasons actually, but what I mean is, why are they still available downtown? Because it’s been determined that the OLCC doesn’t have the authority to establish AIAs to be recognized by Oregon state law. Cheap booze will live to be drank another day (or should I say, every day) but the city will try to push similar legislation next year.

This conclusion was reached just recently, but the plan has been supported by the organization and Portland officials for two years, and it’s sentiment can still be seen in the community despite the loss. Many businesses have stopped selling the controversial beverages voluntarily, even though the overall reaction of shop owners was mixed when the plan was first proposed.

Due to loss of alcohol related sales, Apu gets a side job.

One of the major arguments for enacting the ban was the supposed success in Seattle, cited by Theresa Marchetti in her original proposal. While the statistics look nice, other sources show that results varied and were ultimately disappointing as people simply found different ways to get intoxicated.

Banning sales of cheap alcohol not only infringes on responsible drinkers and store owners, but it could have some very detrimental results. History has shown that if a person wants a drink, they’re going to get a drink. I see two possible outcomes of this ban. 1) It simply moves riff-raff to another part of the city. Unlike downtown, most parts of Portland are more family-oriented and have more children residents. If we have to have it, let’s at least keep the belligerency in downtown. 2) It creates non-OLCC recognized suppliers in troubled areas. We could be looking at a full on hobo mafia here.

Movements like these have good intentions but generally become a hassle for law abiding citizens and lack worthy results. For example, Portland city commissioner Randy Leonard pushed legislation to lock up spray paint in 2008. It made sales of spray paint to the average Portlander very tedious, and outright banned sales of spray paint to people under 18. Yay graffiti is done! Actually, no significant results have been seen, but you still have to fill out that goddam clipboard in order to paint your bike.

Speaking of geographic memory devices that sexualize fictional characters, anyone in the “Harry Potter Fuck Me Hard” neighborhood can attest that parts of Eugene have staggering alcohol related crime rates as well. Downtown Portland would have been the first AIA in Oregon, but if it passes next year, will it be the last?

Little do these prohibitioners know, Thaddeus T. Rumplebottom was waiting in the sewer with his mouth open.

Past OC articles on the subject

The Worst Christmas Present Ever

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Oh, so four assholes camped out on City Councilor George Poling’s front yard all Sunday night in protest of Occupy Eugene’s recent eviction from the Washington-Jefferson Park.

The four Occupiers, whom one could be presume to be homeless since they apparently had no where better to be on Christmas than a Poling’s front yard, put a twist on the classic Ding-Dong-Ditch by repeatedly ringing his doorbell, then setting up four dingy tents in his front yard and yelling “This is what a police state looks like!” (No joke. Really, I can’t make shit like this up.)

The neighbs loved it, Al Reddig from across the street told the R-G, “This is the most excitement that’s happened here in 10 years. This is big for us.”

Poling himself was less phased, stating “I guess if I made a decision that somebody doesn’t like, I guess I’m subject to this type of protest. That’s part of the job. But it’s not going to change my mind about how I represent my people and my ward.”

The protestors were removed by police soon after they arrived, and we can only wait with baited breath to see where they occupy next! Will it be Kitty Piercy’s whimsical meditation garden? Pat Farr’s rustic aluminum fishing boat? The Oregon Commentator office? Bitches, I hope not, it smells in here already….

The Lariviere Situation Continues

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

So here’s what we’ve got:

Governor Kitzhaber calling bullshit on Lariviere, saying it’s about “trust,” and standing behind the state board. From his letter:

First, let me say that the situation involving the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and Dr. Richard Lariviere has nothing to do with an “ongoing difference of opinion over the future of the University of Oregon,” as Dr. Lariviere suggested in an email sent out to faculty and students last Tuesday.

There have been a number of well-publicized incidents involving Dr. Lariviere that have eroded trust and confidence with the Board of Higher Education.

Dr. Lariviere unilaterally granted substantial salary increases to his administrators and faculty. Unlike every other university president in the state, he disregarded my specific direction on holding tight and delaying discussion about retention and equity pay increases until the next biennium to allow for a consistent, system-wide policy on salaries.

Full text of the letter here.

The UO Deans calling it as they see it, urging for reconsideration:

We are unanimous in giving the president an A+ for his vision, his leadership and his unwavering commitment to public higher education. We are confident that an evaluation of his performance based on appropriate metrics would lead to a similar grade. We can only conclude that the state board and the governor gave him an F in “plays well with state bureaucracies.”

President Lariviere was hired by the board and supported by the UO community because he promised to lead us in finding a new model for excellence in higher education in Oregon. The UO community challenges the board, the governor and our president to forge a new path so that we can continue to build a great university for the benefit of all Oregonians.

Full text at the RG

State Board Prez blames it on the trust too. Story here.

& A letter from the senate executive committee:

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Moss Street to be paved for parking lot

Friday, November 25th, 2011

The UO, with the consent of the abutting property owners, applied for the vacation of a portion of Moss Street extending from East 15th Avenue to East 17th Avenue. Moss Street is located just east of campus, but you’re probably not familiar with East Campus, because it’s opposite West Campus—the area in which you either live or party or both. You can find Moss Street in the shadow of Matthew Knight Arena, and along it you can find the site of the new East Campus Residence Hall, an exquisite gravel parking lot, a couple of houses converted into UO offices, and the sad, displaced Moss Street Children’s Center.

The Eugene City Council held a public hearing Monday night with the Moss Street ordinance first on their agenda. Four people stood and spoke on behalf of the ordinance, three of which were a tri-part UO tag team: the VP of Finance and Administration, the assistant VP of Student Affairs, and some landscape architect. They each presented a few reasons why vacating Moss Street was in the “public interest.” They claimed that the purchase of Moss Street is part of the UO’s “strategic effort to steer parking away from its surrounding neighborhoods,” allowing the UO to transform Moss Street’s 60 parallel parking spaces into 107 head-in parking spaces. The benevolent UO also says that they really just want to “lessen the burden” on the city, repair sidewalks, add better lighting and maintain the landscaping themselves.

At the hearing, the public produced only one person in opposition, a certain Zachary Bishnoff, “former” UO student and concerned citizen. Zachary moved us all with some of that lukewarm, quintessentially Eugene, stick-it-to-the-man rhetoric we all know and love: this will turn the historic Fairmount Neighborhood into a suburban office park, how does UO know what is in the public interest, I have a ponytail and a mustache, blah blah blah. Well to mine and the UO tag team’s surprise, and I think to Zachary’s as well, the council responded to this plea and voted to delay the vacating another two weeks, giving time for further deliberation and for anyone else to submit their concerns to the council.

Adjourned, bitches. Democracy at a local level throws an eensy-weensy wrench in the inexorable gears of the University of Oregon and its malicious encroachment upon the city of Eugene. Well, you can bet that I’ll be submittin’ nothin’ to the council in my allotted two weeks. You know why? Not only does the UO already own all property adjacent to this portion of Moss Street, but the UO’s gonna fork out a cool 1.8 million to the city of Eugene for those ugly 1.35 acres (58,729 square feet). I just know that number makes Mayor Kitty Piercy purrrrrrrrrrr. Today I walked down Moss Street myself and I couldn’t even tell I was off campus. Call me indifferent, but I hereby conclude that the UO’s motion to purchase part of Moss Street is not that big of a deal. But read the ordinance and form your own opinions here.

 

Black Friday

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

This is a public service announcement:  With all this riffraff about the 1%, don’t forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving: standing in line outside a chain-store at 1 a.m. the morning after, eating left-overs and looking like Rudolph because it’s freezing.

Just please don’t have as many Red Bull and Eggnog’s as these guys:

A Guide to Thanksgiving 2011

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Stuck in town for Thanksgiving? Stuck at home for Thanksgiving? Here are some Commentator-approved ideas!

1.   In general, Macy’s and drunk should be synonymous, but this should be the case even more so on Thanksgiving. If you’re in for the hours and hours of fun called the Macy’s day parade consider making a pitcher of Mexican Thanksgiving Shots and taking a shot each time you see a marching band.

Recipe: Fill pitcher 1/2 full with Tequila. Fill remaining part of pitcher with Wild Turkey.
Alternatively, check out these holiday shot recipes. And this holiday drinking game.

2.   Find a Bank of America and impersonate their door.
3.   Capture wild turkey, take it downtown, let it go and then chase it saying “Turkey is friend not food!”
4.   Make yourself a meal of traditionally American food, just kidding! Check out these local places that are serving up Thanksgiving dinner. Or, if you’re too lazy, to venture a mile off campus McDonalds is open until 11 a.m. (Ethics and shit: I contribute to MyEugene and have class with the author of that article, so don’t get all crazy and yell at me for bein’ biased, ’cause I told you!)
5.   Change all of the Bibles for copies of the Student Insurgent before Thanksgiving service at your church. (I’d link to there blog here but it seems they must be SOOOO busy with their upcoming issue that they had to delete their blog.)
6.   And what’s as awesome as walking 2 miles at 9 a.m.? Running 4 miles of course! Sign up for the Turkey Trot 2-mile walk or 4-mile run benefiting Food for Lane County.
7.   Oh, and I almost forgot, the university calender says that the Museum of Natural and Cultural History will be showing an exhibit from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. This couldn’t possibly be wrong, I’m sure they’re open. So make sure and check it out!

And here’s a little history lesson, enjoy!

 

 

 


 

Occupy Eviction

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

The University of Oregon announced yesterday that it has asked the Occupy Eugene camp situated along the Millrace to vacate by the end of the weekend. DPS will be monitoring the move. Many are speculating as to where the next shantytown of democracy will sprout up, but possible locations include the Saturday Market drum circle, Knight library bathrooms, or their ex-girlfriend Tammy’s garage.

Famous

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Look look, this random website says we’re the #20 most awesome (Twitter) person in Eugene.

See at the bottom?

Victory alas,

To Rennies to celebrate this momentous moment!

 

 

Eugene Receives National Press Over Pledge of Allegiance Decision

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

On June 6th, Eugene City Councilor Mike Clark proposed a relatively simple idea to the Council: schoolchildren are required to say the Pledge of Allegiance every day in class, so the Eugene City Council should be required to say it at the start of its meetings, too.

What ensued was a month of debate, controversy and notoriety, the likes of which most Eugenians were not prepared for.

Clark’s initial mention of the proposal, which was brought to the council officially on June 20, was met with minor support, but mostly skepticism from his fellow Councilors. The proposal would allow for the recitation of the Pledge at the Council’s regular meetings, where the eight councilmen could recite if they chose, and the audience would have an option to join in if they were so inclined. But those in attendance accused Clark of political posturing.

Clark, who represents north-central Eugene on the council, may run for the North Eugene seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners next year, [Lane Community College Political Science Professor Steve] Candee said.

“That’s the beauty of what Mike is proposing,” Candee said. “Nobody wants to be against the American flag and apple pie.”

“My suspicion is that (Clark’s pledge idea) is more political than legislative or deliberative,” he said.

The next week, when the idea again came before the council, there were worries about the implications of a mandatory pledge — worries that were stated by Mayor Kitty Piercy. She believed that the pledge would be a divisive measure, making those who chose not to recite seem as though they were not patriotic. So she proposed a compromise.

[Piercy], along with Zelenka, suggested the council recite the pledge at the five meetings each year.

Piercy said she recalled a Lane County Board of Commissioners meeting last year where “an angry crowd” of residents upset with proposed land use regulations along the McKenzie River “took over the meeting and forced the (saying of the) Pledge of Allegiance.”

At last week’s council meeting, Piercy said, a resident “demanded that every patriotic person stand up and take the pledge. And the implication was clear that not saying it was supposed to mean one did not honor our country and our troops.

“We do not have a history of saying the pledge on our City Council,” Piercy said. “But we have all given our oath of office and, in doing so, our allegiance to this nation, state and city.”

And even at the next meeting, most Councilors seemed skeptical. Councilor George Brown even suggested to Clark that he should say the Pledge in ceremony in the privacy of his own home. Clark seemed disappointed.

“In my heart, I would like to pass my originally intended motion,” he said. “But I recognize that a majority of the council doesn’t agree with me. I also recognize that compromising will likely bring a majority of councilors to agreement.

“I think it’s a good first step toward us being willing to value those in our community who would like to celebrate more traditional things.”

The compromise that Mayor Piercy proposed at the June 13th meeting eventually made its way into law last week, passing by a vote of 6-2. The Pledge will be said at the four meetings closest to “patriotic holidays of Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Flag Day and the Fourth of July.”

But that’s not even the interesting part.

In hearing about the story, Fox News sent a crew down from Seattle to cover the story. And in their coverage, the meeting was characterized completely differently. From the Register-Guard:

By midafternoon, more than 200 e-mails and 140 phone calls had been received at City Hall. Such a response to a City Council decision in such a short period of time is unusual.

City spokeswoman Jan Bohman said 90 percent of the e-mails and 99 percent of the phone calls were from residents outside Oregon.

Bohman said many of the comments were generated by the Fox News reports, which she called misleading.

“We are hearing from people who think we are banning the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance,” Bohman said. “That’s not accurate or even close to the truth.”

To be fair, Fox’s coverage leaves much to be desired.

Jordan Sekulow, director of policy and international operations for the American Center for Law and Justice, sees the Eugene case as political correctness trumping American values.

“It vindicates all of us who say our Judeo-Christian heritage is under attack,” Sekulow says, “sometimes it’s in the courts, sometimes it’s elected officials and sometimes it’s the media.”

In Eugene, the opposition was less about religion than anti-establishment.

Resident Anita Sullivan summed up a common viewpoint: “So you say I pledge allegiance and right there I don’t care for that language,” Sullivan says. “It sort of means loyalty to your country; well, I feel loyalty to the entire world.”

What did the vote accomplish, really? And what would the harm have been in allowing those who wish to pledge allegiance to the United States of America that right at the beginning of a public, government meeting? One of the main oppositions to saying the Pledge was that Councilors already swore an oath to uphold the Constitution when they took office, as the Register Guard notes:

In the oath of office outlined in the city charter, elected officials “solemnly swear” to support the U.S. and state constitutions and to faithfully perform the duties of their office to the best of their ability. They have the option to conclude the oath with the words “so help me God” or to affirm their intentions “under the pains and penalties of perjury.”

Another is that saying the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings could be a divisive force — potentially, those who choose not to recite it could be deemed anti-American or some other such nonsense. This was Mayor Piercy’s main opposition, and a sentiment that seemed to echo throughout both the Council and the community.

By allowing Councilors and those attending City Council meetings the option to say the Pledge of Allegiance at a public meeting in which government employees are conducting official business would serve to both remind those in attendance and decision-makers why the processes in which we make community decisions are in place (hey, thanks for democracy, America) as well as — and this is arguably a more important point — allow legislators the choice to express their freedom of speech in a forum that is supposed to protect that right for the rest of the community (among doing other things, of course).

In any community with one predominant viewpoint, regardless of attempts from individuals, a pervading idea is generally more highly respected than the ideas of the minority. The best decisions come from discussion of differing viewpoints, from individuals feeling empowered and inspired to express their opinions — even if that opinion is love of flag and love of country.

For example, for the first time since 1911, Oregon actually passed a redistricting bill that was signed by Governor Kitzhaber without major revisions or the need for the task to be handed to the Secretary of State. The bipartisan bill passed overwhelmingly in both the Oregon House and Senate — comprised of 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans, and 16 Democrats and 14 Republicans, respectively.

The conversations that occurred in the creation of what had the potential to be a highly political action actually helped to create a solution that has the ability to benefit all Oregonians. Being able to express opinions and share different beliefs can be beneficial to a society. Cities are birthplaces of innovation precisely for that reason — having your viewpoints challenged is inspiring.

The City of Eugene would do well to keep this in mind when deciding how to organize their meeting proceedings. A city that claims to be so tolerant and accepting of new ideas should probably start being tolerant and accepting of the old ones, too.

SB 764: Authorizes OLCC to totally kill your fun

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

OLCC Binge Drinking

Senate Bill 764, which has made its way through the Oregon Senate and has been referred to the House Business and Labor Committee, allows the OLCC to adopt a new rule: municipalities with over 50,000 residents can, through a petition from a representative, declare alcohol impact areas. As it stands currently, the only municipalities that can petition for an alcohol impact area are those with over 300,000 residents, of which there is only one: Portland.

In September 2010, Portland filed one such petition, which was approved in December. The alcohol impact area in that case included that licensees in portions of downtown and northwest Portland and had many stipulations regarding malt beverages and wine, including that OLCC licensees cannot sell malt beverages of over 5.75% alcohol by volume (ABV) and wine or cider over 14% ABV.

From what I understand, these impact areas are designed to cut down on public intoxication and general disorderly conduct in public places. Eugene has experimented with this before, over in the Whiteaker neighborhood: Commentator contributor Ben Maras has a great post about those over on his blog. On the Whiteaker experiment:

With the Whiteaker experiment last year, three stores were asked to participate by removing high content (8% alcohol by volume) hooch from their shelves, and one agreed to participate on its own.

After 90 days, advocates looked at crime statistics and decided that yes, correlation was as good as causation. They declared it a runaway success, comparing it to similar experiments in Washington that yielded a drop in alcohol related crime – shockingly – where people couldn’t buy their booze of choice.
The response from business owners who rely on these products for much of their revenue has been less than enthusiastic. Of the 43 businesses the OLCC spent months courting to voluntarily join the “alcohol impact zone” only nine were game. This was in part because of the amount of their reported sales that malt liquor and bum wine comprise (30%, according to some), and part in fear that if they complied and other businesses didn’t, they would lose business. The OLCC’s response: Force everyone to comply.

The forward movement of the bill likely has to do with the success of the experiment, which, if passed, would definitely impact Eugene and its 156,185 residents.

The question then comes to, as it often does on the Commentator blog, at what point are we sacrificing our personal choice for a “greater goal” (perceived safety, in this case)? One of the OLCC’s stated goals is to prevent over-saturation in the state by regulating the 143 liquor stores in Oregon (yes, all of them are state-run) and owning/distributing every drop of liquor in the state. But when do post-prohibition policies run their course? When do we trust Americans to make their own decisions?

Depending on the passage of this bill, only time will tell. For now, I’m going to buy a 40 of Mickey’s and enjoy it while I still can.

(P.S. Serious hat tip to the Oregonian for Your Government, which allows Oregonians to keep track of their representatives and the pieces of legislation they sponsor.)

EWEB Diagnosed With ADHD Scheduling Power Outage to Rid Some Energy

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Power outage at 4:30 a.m.? Usually no biggie. Except this is college; where people actually do homework at 4:30 a.m. Anyways, EWEB is planning one, something about “de-energizing.” That doesn’t sounds fishy at all….*cough. From the EWEB website (also available via KVAL):

May 9, 2011

EWEB plans morning outage to repair power line

Eugene Water & Electric Board customers in the downtown area and the university district will experience a short power outage early Tuesday morning while electric line crews briefly de-energize a transmission line.

The outage will begin at about 4:30 a.m. and is expected to last 30 minutes or less.

EWEB line crews will de-energize a section of the utility’s 115-kilovolt transmission line in Alton Baker Park to make repairs that could include replacing an insulator.

This particular section of line first drew attention on April 28, when a great blue heron caused a flashover that resulted in a one-hour outage for parts of downtown and the university district. Early Saturday morning, another outage occurred. The outage lasted about 75 minutes and a troubleshooter traced the problem to the same section of transmission line.

p.s. This means your power is going to go out i.e. your alarm is going to reset itself when turned on, so do yourself a favor and use the alarm on your phone.

Recent Violence in West University Believed Gang Related, Says EPD

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

The UO Department of Public Safety sent this email to students earlier today:

April 22, 2011

To: University of Oregon students

From: Doug Tripp, Executive Director and Chief, UO Department of Public Safety

Today, the Eugene Police Department notified the community that there have been a series of potentially gang-related assaults in the West University area.  Please take necessary precautions for your safety and others.

EPD shared that during the past two weeks there have been five random assaults in the West University neighborhood that involve a group suspected to be street gang members. According to EPD, the suspects have been prowling the neighborhood, interjecting themselves into parties, some of which include underage drinking, where the suspects have assaulted unsuspecting men and women. Although no weapons have been involved, the assaults are violent and police are concerned that with the lack of victim reports, the crimes will continue and someone will sustain serious or life-threatening injuries.  More information is available at: http://safetyweb.uoregon.edu/content/eugene-police-news-release-potential-gang-related-assaults-w-university

The Commentator will be following up.