Briefs: Election Reform | Harm
to Salmon | Hult Hearing | Baker's
Gifts | Two-Week Issue
People: Joy DuYan, Joyful Confections proprietor.
Following a month of electoral irregularies in the presidential race, Congressman
Peter DeFazio has introduced bipartisan legislation in Congress to create a Federal
Elections Review Commission. DeFazio collaborated on the bill with Iowa Republican
Rep. Jim Leach.
The commission, says DeFazio, would be made up of experts in election law, the U.S.
Constitution, and U.S. history, "not elected officials or party loyalists."
DeFazio says the commission "would not be created to look into allegations of
irregularities in the most recent election. Rather, the commission would take a more
sweeping, analytical look at the process used to elect those who represent the American
people in federal offices. A review of systematic, structural and procedural issues
to ensure the integrity of, and public confidence in, federal elections is long overdue.
Restoring faith in democracy demands no less."
DeFazio says he's concerned about problems with the electoral college system, but
is not calling for its immediate abolishment. "Thanks to the 17th Amendment,
senators are now elected by popular vote," he says. "There is a strong
argument the president should be elected the same way, or at least by allocating
electors proportionally by congressional districts within a state."
Some 170 federal timber sales in Washington, Oregon, and northern California have
been stopped due to their "harmful effects" on salmon and salmon habitat.
A federal district court in Seattle Dec. 8 ruled that the U.S. government violated
the law by approving Northwest Forest Plan timber sales that could harm endangered
salmon species. As a result, the court has enjoined approximately 170 federal timber
sales in Washington, Oregon, and northern California.
"This ruling gives Northwest salmon a reprieve from federal logging practices
that are harming fish habitat," says Jan Hasselman, an attorney for the Earthjustice
Legal Defense Fund. "The federal government must make sure that logging heeds
the mandates in the Northwest Forest Plan to protect salmon habitat."
In the case, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA) v. National
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), federal Judge Barbara Rothstein ruled that in approving
the timber sales, the federal government failed to comply with Northwest Forest Plan
mandates to ensure logging will not destroy salmon habitat. Judge Rothstein concluded
that, "There is a discrete and immediate harm posed to listed species by logging
and timber activities ... that fail to properly assess the potential environmental
harm associated with such forestry action."
The court injunction halts Oregon sales in the Umpqua, Siuslaw, Mt. Hood, Siskiyou
and Rogue national forests; and the Coos Bay, Salem, Eugene, Roseburg and Medford
Bureau of Land Management forests.
Fans accustomed to hearing music in the Hult Center's Silva Hall weren't surprised
when, at the recent Eugene Symphony concert featuring a premiere by Robert Kyr, Miguel
Harth-Bedoya asked the technicians to raise the house lights and encouraged the audience
to read along with the libretto, as the words being sung would not be audible to
most of the crowd. "But that's going to be taken care of soon," said Harth-Bedoya.
Acoustics in the Silva have long been a problem, turning arias, pastorals, symphonies
and opuses performed by world-class professionals into little more than Oregon mud
for most listeners. A few spots in the hall aren't so bad -- such as the first row
in the balcony -- but those seats are sold out quickly. Now comes the good news:
The Hult has decided to go ahead with a long-anticipated acoustic refurbishment that
will delight the ears, if bruise the pocketbook.
The Silva Hall Acoustic study was identified as a work plan item in support of the
current council goal, "Accessible and Thriving Culture and Recreation."
This June, Kirkegaard and Associates of Chicago, one of the leaders in this highly
specialized field, completed an acoustic study of the Silva Hall and devised a list
City Cultural Services staff, Hult resident company executives and the executive
director of Library, Recreation and Cultural Services met to review the recommendations
and decided to pursue approximately $2 million dollars worth of replacements and
upgrades out of the $2.5 million in recommendations that were made.
The project will be financed by a combination of grants, individual and corporate
contributions and public funds, with the chief source of public funds coming from
the patron user fee collected on each ticket sold at the Hult Center. Gretchen Hult
Pierce has agreed to chair a fund-raising committee for the project. The Arts Foundation
of Western Oregon (AFWO) has agreed to serve as fiscal receiver, holding contributions
and grants in their accounts until they are required for the project. -- AS
Ted Baker got up on his "soapbox" Dec. 8 at the City Club of Eugene to
talk about what virtual "gifts" he would give to the city if he could.
Baker is a retired publisher from the second of three generations that have managed
The Register-Guard and Guard Publishing's diversified holdings.
In a rare talk broadcast on KLCC radio, Baker offered a pro-growth, pro-automobile
agenda for the city. He also called for the elimination of ward representation on
the City Council, the reopening of Broadway to traffic, and Christmas trees in public
"I'd give more open expressways to ease future traffic problems," he said.
"I'm for bicycles too ... but let's face it, automobiles are here to stay. People
use them because they are convenient, easier, and I think safer most of the time.
... Let's quit kidding ourselves and plan for the long-term needs of the automobile."
On council elections, "I would do away with the ward system," said Baker.
"I believe the whole city should vote for the best person to sit on the council."
The elder Baker also called for better signage on I-5 to attract more people to visit
Eugene, beautification through flower planting and "improved relationships between
Eugene and Springfield."
Baker was one of a number of local people chosen to speak at the City Club Dec. 8.
The holiday season brings our annual two-week issue which will be published Thursday
Dec. 21. Our offices will be closed Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Dec. 27. We will re-open
Thursday, Dec. 28, which will be our regular 5 pm deadline for Calendar items and
an early advertising deadline for our Jan. 4 issue. Our offices will be closed Monday,
Jan. 1. For more information, call 484-0519.
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Joyful Confections proprietor Joy DuYan (on the left) shows off her proudest
achievement -- a smiling and efficient workforce. DuYan's small west Eugene chocolate
factory provides mentorship opportunities for mildly disabled high school students,
including Ryan and Peter (back row), and Annie (center front), through the Eugene
School District's Work Experience and Transition Program. A single mom who worked
two jobs to see her son through college, DuYan was downsized out of work in 1990
after half a lifetime in the corporate world. "I started this business because
I was crazy for a piece of candy," she says. "I wasn't satisfied with any
I bought." DuYan relocated from Chicago to Eugene in 1997, seeking a friendlier
climate for small business. Two weeks after she opened her kitchen, she began selling
at the Holiday Market. "They took me in," she says. "They're the warmest
people I've ever met." DuYan's signature confection is Contradictions -- "sweet
and salty, smooth and crunchy, all at once" -- but there's also something new
every week at booth 177. "I'm in it for the satisfaction," she says. "And
for all the chocolate I can eat."
-- Paul Neevel
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