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.
Archive for the 'City' Category
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.
We just received this news update from EPD:
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.
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.
Thanks to Swamp Fox Green for the donation information (the full post can be read here).
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.
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….
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:
Full text of the letter here.
The UO Deans calling it as they see it, urging for reconsideration:
Full text at the RG
State Board Prez blames it on the trust too. Story here.
& A letter from the senate executive committee:
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.
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:
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.
2. Find a Bank of America and impersonate their door.
And here’s a little history lesson, enjoy!
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.
Look look, this random website says we’re the #20 most awesome (Twitter) person in Eugene.
To Rennies to celebrate this momentous moment!
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.
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.
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.
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:
To be fair, Fox’s coverage leaves much to be desired.
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:
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.
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:
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.)
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):
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.
The UO Department of Public Safety sent this email to students earlier today:
The Commentator will be following up.