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 'Eugene' 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.
Almost 40 (a generous estimation) people not affiliated with the newly named University of Oregon Piggy Department gathered in Great Global Scholars Hall last night and a public forum started around 6PM. The subject? The arming of UO Police Officers.
Jamie Moffitt explained that amidst budget cuts with EPD and lessened support, the growing campus community has heightened needs.
Public information officer and communications director at UOPD Kelly McIver maintained that armament is part of the mission to keep the campus safe. He also reiterated a few times that UOPD will generally refer students to the Office of Student Conduct, rather inject legal troubles into their lives.
“Police are not here to police students,” McIver urged. Fun fact according to officials: 88% percent of the suspicious persons investigated by UO Public Safety last year were people unaffiliated with the UO.
Interim Police Chief Carolyn McDermed said it’s really all about relationships. Building a relationship with the community in order to best serve their needs.
Yes, as of January 1st, 2012 the men and women public-safetying our campus are suffering an inferiority complex. Currently, the UOPD has eleven sworn police officers with thirteen public safety officers aiding them. Only a “couple of” (which I can only assume to mean at maximum but also minimum two) officers are on duty during its 24/7 operation.
In the spirit of the Great Global Scholars Hall, I must ask, “Qué tipo de mierda es eso? Súper inefectivo!”
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.
An excellent piece about how Chip Kelly’s balls piss off boosters. Merry Christmas everyone! Also Kwanzaa. And don’t forget Winter Solst– fuck it, pass the ham.
After getting off of work in the dungeon that is the Knight Library basement, I stepped into the afternoon rain. I pulled a pre-rolled cigarette from my pocket (Bugler brand – mangy, disgusting Bugler) and lit it. Standing off to the side so as not to spread smoke, an elderly woman shot me the evil eye before stopping in front of me: “There’s no smoking on campus. Go smoke across the street.”
I stared at her until she left.
This kind of situation has become all-too-common since the Healthy Campus Initiative, in partnership with the UO Health Center and the administration (with a special guest funding appearance from the ASUO), implemented a campus-wide smoking ban at the beginning of the Fall. The idea of a smoking ban isn’t anything new; the Smoke Free Campus Task Force (SFTF) issued a report in 2008 that sought to
The rest of the report either references student support from polls drawn from other universities, or flat-out neglects student responses in order to reference various studies, policies, and polls from other universities. Under “Synthesis of Survey Findings of UO Faculty, Staff, and Students,” the report states that
Oh, hey, there’s a reasonable point. But no! The STFT simply cannot concede, because “enforcement becomes very difficult and compliance suffers as a result.” You don’t say.
No matter what the administration does, what programs it implements, what funding it pulls or pushes, students will push against it. Lord knows the Commentator will. The Healthy Campus Initiative tried to remedy this student disconnect with the “STFU” posters, a internet-conscious campaign that seemed to confuse people more than encourage quitting (check out this post about the issue from our very own Editor Emeritus Sophia Lawhead).
Another argument is that it unfairly targets lower-income UO workers. Even those filthy hipsters at the OV agree with us on this point. Making workers go off campus for a 15 minute smoke break is not only inconsiderate, but damaging to already-strained labor relationships.
So why bring up this almost-5-year-old report, you may ask? Because Frances Dyke and company never really cared about what students thought. The UO has become a brand, and it needs to sell itself in order to keep flagging state funding and private donor contributions steady. The publicity surrounding the ban has relentlessly focused on the “progressive” aspects of the program without attending to the opinions of students or faculty – and if so, only through narrow data samples used to prop up their point.
But the effects of secondhand smoke are serious. I completely understand the goal behind the smoking ban. Cigarette butt litter continues to be a problem, and has only been exacerbated by the ban — take a look at the 13th and Kincaid entrance to campus if you don’t believe me. Families with young children and people with respiratory problems are also rightfully concerned.
The only way to fight this ban, then, is to implement a personal smoker code of ethics to demonstrate smoker commitment to a healthy campus and personal freedoms. Here’s mine:
It’s not perfect, but it works for me. The Commentator will continue to fight this arbitrary ban with articles, letters, appeals, and upcoming events like Tobacco Appreciation Day. But the ball is in smokers’ courts. We at the Commentator will do our best to point out the massive cavalcades of bullshit directed at students who make the choice to smoke. This smoking ban is just another attempt at nannying the student populace; the administration never does anything without direct benefit to them, and they’ve fucked smokers to bolster their public image under the pretense of “knowing what’s best.”
The whole campaign feels like yet another pat on the head, another assumption about our intelligence, actions, and responsibilities. But we’re not kids anymore. We’re adults, students, workers, and yes, smokers. So smoke ’em if ya got ’em. It’s going to be a long, long battle.
Two (or three) things students should be aware of these coming weeks:
As anyone with a working University email address already knows, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) recently sent out an email detailing two separates rapes that occurred near Autzen Stadium and Chase Village. The tentatively-worded email states that
Besides being a horrifying and disturbing event, the incidents described in the email also point out the relative ineffectiveness of DPS and the overbearing presence of a “rape culture” around the UO. These are big claims to make, but stick with me here.
Based on the amount of “Campus Crime Alerts” I receive in my inbox on a weekly basis, it’s fairly clear that DPS is unable to “provid[e] a safe, secure, and welcoming environment.” While the emergency call boxes that litter campus are a great idea, it’s DPS’ inability to do anything other than dole out prevention tips and “Campus Crime Alerts” that really calls their authority into question. Not to mention the subtle fostering of a rape culture, where women are seen as “victims” rather than “survivors” and are perceived as “asking for it” because of their clothing or body language.
Just look at the passive voice in the first description: “A woman was walking alone around 10 p.m. on the bike path near Autzen Stadium when she was raped by a man with a knife.” Not “a man raped her” or “a man assaulted her”: she was raped. While this may seem like a minor syntactical kvetch, this kind of passive voice fails to accurately highlight the criminal nature of the act. You wouldn’t say “A store was robbed by an escaped convict.” You would say “An escaped convict robbed a store.” Instead, the attacker is placed in the background, and thus escapes scrutiny.
But it’s not all bad. The groups listed at the bottom of the email — Womenspace, SASS, the White Bird Clinic, the Counseling Center, SafeRide, and SWAT — are all excellent resources for survivors. Yet this doesn’t seem to be enough to change the prevalence of the University’s rape culture. There are many places that foster this kind of misogyny, undercutting the excellent work done by the aforementioned groups. Greek Life is an especially obvious target for such criticism, but you can find signs of rape culture anywhere. From the shouted “bitches” and “whores” within Taylor’s to the intense consumption of pornography, this mindset is everywhere around Eugene.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love porn. But all these factors have combined together to create a strangely patriarchal cocktail, one that views women as objects to be seized or sold. Women don’t deserve to be treated that way. And before the snarky comments come pouring in, remember that this isn’t about some bullshit in Washington D.C. or a genocide in some faraway country. This happens to people you know and love every day: your friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and even your family.
Rape is wrong no matter what your political beliefs. The failures of the University and DPS only stand as a testament to the kind of incompetence our school is slowly (and sadly) becoming known for.
UO economics professor William T. Harbaugh, the immortal being behind the beloved, anonymous, whistleblower blog UO MATTERS, was awarded the First Freedom Award by the Society of Professional Journalists of Oregon and Southwest Washington this past Saturday.
The Ol’ Dirty covered this on Monday, but its Commentator policy to be a day late, a dollar short, okay?
The SPJ’s First Freedom award is given annually to an individual who has upheld the principles of the First Amendment. Harbaugh has long been a beacon of the First Amendment, most notably when he illegally published the Oregon Public Records Manual on his official uoregon website. The upheaval this precipitated compelled the attorney general’s office to make the manual available on the internet for the first time ever.
Harbaugh’s recognition is long overdue and largely understated. Y’all should know that the UO Matters blog is updated several times a day, and his posts are usually these quick, fuck-you-exposés about UO athletics and administration that require a kind of efficiency and genuine concern that we will never (maybe a few years ago we came close) have. Knowing he’s out teaching economics and doing this in his spare time both worries and impresses us. UO Matters is invaluable to the entire, “engaged” university community, but is especially invaluable to drunk, disoriented student journalists like ourselves. We’re the ones constantly referring to UO Matters for direction and content, so finding the Commentator website listed under UO Matters’ “Resources” is an honor and probably some sort of mistake.
Bill, you are the resource. As renowned sultans of hate speech, there aren’t too many people we love to love. And let’s just say that you might be one of those people.
So here’s to you, Harbaugh. And for the record, UO Matters will forever be bookmarked on my Firefox browser.
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….
…But not before wasting $300,000 of the city’s money. The Occupy Eugene camp underneath the Washington-Jefferson bridge has now become essentially a transient village, abandoning all the lofty demands of the several months ago to focus on the single issue of homelessness.
Last Wednesday the city council voted 5-3 to extend Occupy’s camping exemption to January 11 and spend up to $300,000 to pay for Occupy-related police expenses and fund several homeless initiatives, such as $100,000 earmarked for “wet-bed” facilities and warming centers similar to the Egan Warming Center. They were locked 4-4 until ol’ polecat Mayor Kitty Piercy cast the deciding vote. Councilors Farr, Clark, and Poling opposed the extension and funding on the grounds that “most of the funding would come from funds meant for parks maintenance, pothole repairs, and gang prevention efforts.” Also, the fact the city council continues to cater to the whims of a single group of questionable “activists” is embarrassing for everyone. (If it’s this easy to get exemptions and cash for whatever policies one desires, what is the OC waiting for? Occupy Rennie’s until all beer is free forever!)
Councilor Poling expressed his (and our) frustration at the voting outcome, telling the Register-Guard, “It’s time that we actually stepped up and did what we have to do to reclaim that park, reclaim the city and reclaim what we, as a council, should be doing, and not be guided by somebody else.”
The council did hold firm on the city mandate that outlaws fires in public parks, which the Occupiers requested in order to warm themselves during these bitter Eugene nights. Occupy organizer John Monroe accused the councilors of being “uncaring,” but a rational human could also accuse them of having “reasonable forethought” and being “park-fire-averse.”
The Occupiers themselves seem split on the ruling. KEZI reported that Occupy Eugene feels the city is “wasting money” on them, saying that the problem is the city council’s view that the camp is comprised mostly of homeless who need funding for a smooth transition out of the park and back to rustling around in your dumpster at 5 AM.
“This is not a homeless camp,” Occupier Alley Valkyrie told KEZI, “until they get themselves out of the mentality that this is a homeless camp, we’re just stuck in this lost-in-translation place,” backing this up with, “I am not homeless. I am at this camp.”
This stands in contrast to, well, all evidence, and the words of their own spokespeople. In a press conference this past Monday the speakers from Occupy emphasized that “the camp is home to hundreds of homeless people who are finding ways to sober up, catch up on sleep and contribute to the intentional community.” Sounds like UO students the morning after a post-finals celebratory binge.
The “official” Occupy Eugene website called the city council’s ruling a “milestone” to be celebrated, but were “disheartened” by the council’s decision to use some of the $300,000 to pay the police for their services. Right. It’s not like there have been 296 police calls to the park this year (as of December 11th) compared to 139 in 2010. That guy who almost got his fucking leg chopped off with an axe? Well, “everything that happens here, happens everywhere in society,” according to Occupy Eugene spokesperson Mike Elliot.
Yeah, we at the OC have totally been there, man.
As Jim West advised Dr. Arliss Loveless in the cinema classic Wild Wild West, “it’s time for you to stop all this foolishness.”
Occupy Eugene: you’ve made some waves, had some marches, and nearly chopped some legs. You have $100,000 for some nice, wet beds and new warming centers. Homelessness is not a problem that is ever going to be “solved,” at least not until our mental health and addiction treatment system is “fixed” (but no one gives a fuck about that, right?) Quit while you’re ahead.
And City Council, yeah, you: it’s a nice gesture to throw money at the problem, but the police costs are really just going straight down the toilet. Woman up, Piercy, and let the police clear out what used to be OUR CITY’S park. Once the police start making arrests and writing tickets the Occupiers will scatter faster than freshmen at a busted party.
As the Register-Guard observed:
Making the connections, yet?
Only time will tell if, come January 11, the council holds firm in their decision to evict the camp. Until then, its up to Santa to take care of business:
Berdahl for $200 Alex.
Love letter from said interim:
Email from President Lariviere:
Here at the Commentator we will be using all of our available resources (which include a Sudsy suit and $3.28 in the couch cushions) to convince Lariviere to sing “So Long, Farewell.” Dear President Lariviere if you are reading this and would like to upload a video of you singing, please email the link to editor(at)oregoncommentator.com. And if you could get Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Dr. Paul Shang to sing with you that would be all the better.
Ethical note: I’m bs-ing about the $3.28, who the hell is brave enough to search the Commentator couch? Lyzi, Lyzi, LaMichael, anyone?
Or maybe that’s meatloaf…
An emergency University Senate meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday November 30, 2011 at Mac Court, 3:00 pm – 3:10 pm. Pissed at Pernsteiner? He will be there, and Gov. Kitzhaber might show his face. This reporter will be severely disappointed if she does not see at least one glitterbombing (or should it be hat-bombing?) take place.
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: