Archive for the 'Oregon' Category
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
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.
The Register Guard has a good play-by-play.
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!”
Thursday, December 13th, 2012
Students and faculty at the UO know the power Nike has in Oregon. Even Google knows it. The sports empire has its well-fitted and flashy foot in the door of Oregon’s economy but, like the athletes it equips, faces heavy competition. Intel, a company that employs more Oregonians than any other, is disputing a bill that would give more tax breaks to Nike. Not-so-coincidentally, the bill being supported by Nike cuts out Intel.
The bill allows companies to lock in their tax structure so changes in their business won’t result in tax hikes. However, it doesn’t apply to companies that saved over five million dollars through the Strategic Investment Program. Last year Intel saved 22 million dollars thanks to the SIP.
The process behind how the guideline was added remains a mystery, but it’s clear that this is a skirmish for Oregon’s monetary favor between two titans. Both Nike and Intel promise expansion within Oregon in the near future, but this bill could directly affect their incentives and progress. In turn, Oregon jobs and industry. Governor John Kitzhaber has stated that he doesn’t support the SIP based exclusion, but what form the final legislation will take is still unclear.
What is clear is that’s one fine piece of mustache.
Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
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
tak[e] up the matter of campus smoking policy with the understanding that the issue is fueled by strong personal convictions for perceived personal rights, both the right to be free from the effects of secondhand smoke and the right to choose to smoke cigarettes (STFT Report, emphasis mine)
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
Many survey respondents are ready to support the move to a smoke free campus… [and] also were confident that this could be accomplished with designated smoking areas… (Ibid.)
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.
“All I wanted was a non-fat, cream-jizzed latte with peasant tears in it!”
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:
- Always smoke away from buildings and large groups of people, and/or areas of great traffic.
- Stop inhaling and pull the cigarette as far away from passing families with children.
- If someone asks you to smoke off campus, politely decline or simply don’t say anything at all. You’ll be finished if and when they call DPS.
- Put butts out and make sure they’re extinguished before throwing them away.
- Throw butts in the trash.
- If an officer asks you to put your cigarette out, assess the situation. Fines suck, but so do the deprivation of “perceived personal rights.”
- Overall, recognize that your activity is looked down upon. Take pride in this.
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.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Order of questioning has been decided by rock, paper, scissors. Click below for more.
Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Measure 77: Authorizes Governor to declare catastrophic disaster and reallocate funds to disaster relief(requires legislative approval), as well as amends constitution to make it easier to call a legislative session in those circumstances. Pros: Allows for quicker aid and support if disaster occurs, and attempts to counteract government stalemate due to existing laws. Cons: Potentially expensive knee-jerk spending, gives the government more power than some would want.
Measure 78: Amends Constitutional language and makes grammatical and spelling changes. Pros: More accurate state Constitution, use of gender-neutral pronouns, gives us another ballot measure to vote on. Cons: How is our state so lame that this is a ballot measure during a Presidential election year?
Measure 79: Amends Constitution to prohibit taxes or fees on real estate transfers. Pros: Potentially blocks ‘double taxation’ due to existing property taxes, helps rural farmers keep family farms, limits Constitutional power of the Legislature. Cons: Could be considered special tax exemption for the real estate sector, limits Constitutionally granted power of the Legislature, partially already the law.
Measure 80: Allows personal consumption of marijuana and expands commercial uses of hemp. Pros: Tax dollars for the state, less wasted government money on marijuana-related crimes, sensible drug policy, LEGAL WEED! Cons: Marijuana more accessible, Taco Bell will need to hire more workers.
Measure 81: Prohibits commercial, non-tribal fishing with gillnets in inland waters. Pros: Allows for the preservation of our native salmon population, helps give recreational fisherman their ‘fair share’. Cons: Fishing jobs lost, unfair regulation of commerce.
Measure 82: Amends Constitution to authorize privately owned casinos. Pros: Percentage of proceeds go directly to the state, ends the unconstitutional monopoly by native tribes on casinos. Cons: Oregon Tribes have had legal right to casinos and will lose profit, ‘gambling related problems’ will be more present in Oregon
Measure 83: Attempting to allow a specific private casino in Oregon; See Pros and Cons of Measure 82
Measure 84: Phases out inheritance tax and all taxes on intra-family property transfers. Pros: Allows for family owned businesses to stay successful and avoid overbearing tax burden, stops ‘double taxation’ on profits. Cons: High-income families getting special tax break, lost tax revenue.
Measure 85: Constitutional amendment to allocate corporate income tax “kicker” refund to K-12 public education. Pros: Supports public education, averages $100-200 million per every three years for K-12. Cons: (No oppositional statements listed in Voters’ Pamphlet) Corporations are overpaying taxes, potential job losses.
Monday, October 8th, 2012
In reading this Register-Guard article and this one by The Associated Press, I find the arguments against Measures 82 and 83 to be silly.
Tim Raphael, Governor Kitzhaber’s spokesman, told The Oregonian that authorizing a non-tribal casino would break the agreement made with Native American tribes. Casinos are illegal in Oregon, however tribes are allowed to operate casino on Native American land under federal law. The agreement: just one casino per tribe, and no competition.
“They kept their end of the bargain,” Raphael explained to The Oregonian. “It’s wrong to break our agreement.”
Former Governors Vic Atiyeh, Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski have also publicly opposed the measures.
A casino may not be the best thing to happen to the Portland area, but the last time I checked,
- competition is good for capitalism
- all demographics of people are entitled to a business
- people should be free to throw their money away
Sunday, October 7th, 2012
I hope everyone is perusing their voter guides! I’ve been waiting for my pamphlet to come in the mail, but I just realized that OregonVotes.org has this not-so-awesome, clunky PDF download page here. All the info you need on candidates and measures is available there– you just have to download each page individually. There are some fun measures up for ballot including amendments to regulations on marijuana (that’s hemp and cannabis separately), constitutional language, commercial fishing, privately-owned casinos and, everybody’s favorite: taxes!
Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
According to this post on Politico.com by Alexander Burns, political analyst, consultant and strategist Karl Rove “has his eye on an unlikely state for the GOP to target in future presidential elections…” In the post, Burns quotes Rove’s thoughts on Oregon at Politico’s Playbook Breakfast in Tampa on Monday, according to reporter Jennifer Haberkorn:
Oregon, which mystifies me. Oregon, as you may recall, was a battleground in 2000 and this time around there is a little bit of evidence that Obama has some difficulty there.
I think part of it is that you do have this sort of weird element … centered around Portland that looks at Obama as a dangerous reactionary. But you also have something going out there, sort of this libertarian, Western, iconoclastic I’m-not-going-to-be-put-in-a-box. But something’s going on in Oregon. They’ve got a 30-30 statehouse. And Republicans came within 15,000 votes of winning the governorship and yet it’s the most unchurched state in the union. So it’s a weird conglomeration. Oregon might be next.
Hopefully the mystifying elements of this weird conglomeration will persist, or Rove and Portland will have some hashing out to do– wait, what’s this? Is that Rove?
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
Here is a new development on campus by which I was pleasantly surprised. There now exist two bicycle repair posts complete with basic tools to tune up and adjust your bike. The new Swiss-army-style repair posts can be found at two locations on campus– one in front of the library, the other on the corner of 13th and Kincaid. I commend the idea of making a cycle commute easier, safer and more economical yet. How good it is to see little things like this being done that benefit community as a whole.
Thursday, July 5th, 2012
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission tries to monitor the distribution of alcohol, so they are the inherent enemy of the Oregon Commentator. But recently we’ve been given a much better reason to hate them; they appear to be a bunch of goddam racists. A lawsuit was filed this month that claims employees left a noose at a black coworker’s desk. The worker, Gene Summerfield, said he has also been victim to racial slurs, and has seen employees greet each other by “Heiling Hitler.” He filed a complaint about racist behavior before but was dismissed due to the one year statute of limitations. This is way beyond office shenanigans. This is shameful.
On the next episode of the Office, Ryan leaves a burning cross in Stanley’s cubicle.
OLCC Public Affairs Specialist Christie Scott said in an email to KOIN news, “The [internal] investigation did not substantiate claims of a derogatory comment and found no conclusive evidence that the loop of twine mentioned in the complaint was intended as harassment.” Then what the hell was it intended as? Do people just leave shit like this around for no reason? Was it a gift? A poorly made, but thoughtful, necktie? A makeshift leash for Summerfield’s dog? An extremely ineffective belt for Summerfield’s children?
Unfortunately, some attention whores have marred credibility of similar complaints in the past, but these accusations against the OLCC are not alone. In 2000 Robert Larry spoke to the Portland Mercury about his frequent run-ins with the OLCC. Larry, a black man, believed that his unfair treatment was no coincidence. Five years later Rami Makboul, Oregon club owner and out-right racist (he leaves out that second part on his business card), claimed that when he said black people didn’t belong in downtown Portland, an OLCC agent spoke the same way. In 2007, Reneé Majeski stated that the OLCC wouldn’t give a liquor license to a Mexican store owner in Bend because they feared Mexican gang involvement. Majeski also said that previous businesses in her venue, which attracted more white people, had similar problems to her business (noise, crowds, etc.) but weren’t bothered by the OLCC.
Things aren’t looking good for the OLCC. Or, should I say, for non-whites who have to deal with them. Racial discrimination should never be tolerated; however it’s especially outrageous when perpetrated by an organization that has control over Oregon businesses. But at least now we know the real reason why they were trying to ban malt liquor. Fuck…sorry.
So, OLCC, us Commentators will never like you because some of our biggest principles involve lots of alcohol, everywhere, all the time, and civil rights. And we hold a grudge. But maybe you can earn some respect back from the public if you don’t let this racist shit slide. And while you’re at it maybe loosen up Oregon’s laws regarding alcohol. No? Okay, it was worth a shot.
Thursday, July 5th, 2012
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
“Police have learned from second and third hand sources that there may have been three separate rapes within a five-day period near Chase Village and Autzen Stadium, beginning Thursday, June 28. No female victims have come forward or wish to file a report, so the information is unverified…
In one incident on June 29, 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. The suspect is described as a black male, 6′ tall, 200 pounds, with muscular build, and shaved head.
A second-hand report EPD has received is that two additional female victims have been raped on unknown dates, but within the same week, also in the same general area. One of these two incidents involved a similar suspect: black male, 6′ tall, 200 pounds, with muscular build, and shaved head.”
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.
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
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
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.
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
If you haven’t yet, skim it now. More nods and firm handshakes for Sam Stites and the ODE for its front page exposé: the cost of the Ducks Football, Inc Rose Bowl trip last January.
Well the magic number is $1,599,307 and the magic word is muthafuckinexcessive.
$220,107 was spent on transporting the 212-piece armada of players and staff for nine days. That’s $1038 per immortal football being.
Oh wait. Food and lodging for the fleet was $404,356. That’s an additional $1907 per person.
So in all we’ve got $2945 per footballer.
But more curiously is how much the Athletic Department spent on transporting an “official party” to accompany the armada: $123,851 for the transportation of 56 people. Now that’s $2211 per “official party member.”
Food and lodging was $95,483 for the civilian gaggle, an additional $1705 per person.
2211+1705=$3916 per official accompanying partygoer.
The ODE tells us that “the official party consists of athletic department officials, representatives of the University’s third-party rights holder IMG, and 6 students whose names were redacted from the list.”
It included UO Provost Lorraine Davis and “family” along with OC darlings Ben Eckstein and Katie Taylor.
I'm Lorraine. Yeah, it was all-expenses paid. Thanks bitches. xoxo
Ah, it’s all so clear now. Thank you, Sam Stites. Thank you, dearest ODE.
The numbers y’all found gives much elucidation on as to why the Athletic Department can gross $88 billion but can only afford to..
1. Pay only 3% overhead back to the UO when other departments like University Housing pays %7
2. Run the athlete-only Jacqua Center on intended-for-students general state funding until this lucky break
3. Not set up an academic scholarship that was agreed to be started in 2006
4. Try and weasel the ASUO into giving them a budget raise, then subsequently deny any chance of more student tickets at Autzen
Because now I know that the Athletic Department has more important things on their tab. Like paying for lavish, all-inclusive $3916 So-Cal getaways for our greedy, beloved Athletic Dept bureaucrats, some “third party rights-holders,” and students like Katie muthafuckin’ Taylor.
Read the tab itself here.
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
The Oregon State Board of Higher Education has drawn up a proposal for the possible establishment of those independent, institutional boards for every school under the Oregon University System that we’ve been a hurtin’ for.
We have so vainly sought after this elusive concept of an “independent governing board” after the OUS fired our much-missed President Richard Lariviere.
Well the fact that a proposal has been proposed should be a sign of progress, right? Wrong. Read the excerpt that describes the institutional board’s role in the hiring and firing of university presidents below, and read the entire proposal right hurr.
OUS recommends a system in which the institutional board hires and
reappoints the president with the advice and consent of the OSBHE.
Presidential evaluations should be a joint effort between the institutional
board, the Chancellor, and the OSBHE member serving on the institutional
board. Termination should be the responsibility of the institutional board after
consultation with or with the advice and consent of OSBHE.
Alright OUS. We wanted an institutional board so we could do these things without your advice and consent. Why are you so fucking unaccommodating? Give us autonomy, or give us death.
Anyway, blah blah blah, they will vote on it in June. Read some statement from some OUS bureaucrat named “Di,” here.