The speech upset Roseburg Sen. Bill Fisher, the chairman of the Senate Human Resources Committee, and the same guy who killed a bill last session for the insurance companies that would have required mental health parity in health insurance plans. Fisher apparently has been to England recently because he's showing symptoms of that highly contagious disorder, foot-in-mouth disease. He proclaimed in front of the whole Senate that Gov. Kitzhaber was to blame for the lack of funding for these worthwhile programs.
That irritated me, so I got up and reminded Fisher that, unless the Oregon Constitution had been changed recently, it was the Legislature's responsibility to create a budget (Article 3, Section 2). Corvallis Sen. Cliff Trow, probably the nicest guy in the building, then got up and urged everyone to just get along.
More budget woes
Nike lobbies revenue committee
I turned down the invitation. I didn't feel right going as their guest since I had just remonstrated on the Senate floor against the higher ed board for nixing Oregon universities' oversight of clothing companies in third world sweatshops. I didn't mention Nike by name because most of their competitors are just as guilty. In some ways I had always thought it was unfair that students and labor folks fighting sweatshops had singled out Nike; why not rotate the pressure on Adidas, Reebok and the rest of the offenders.
So I called the Nike lobbyist and suggested that we sit down to see if there was a way to get Nike to open a unionized shoe manufacturing plant in the U.S. Just one! It might not be as profitable as the third world, but it would be a gesture. Now I feel like Michael Moore in search of Roger Smith, I haven't heard back yet.
Republican goes berserk -- tries to fix tax
Democrats have had proposals to make the tax system fairer for the past four sessions, in fact Rep. Bill Morrisette has a bunch of them in the hopper this time, but they never get a hearing. Let's hope Shetterly's Republican cohorts at least listen to his proposal. After Shetterly presented his proposal to a labor group last Wednesday, I called him a "progressive Republican," even though I knew it was an oxymoron.
Quote of the Week
-- Sen. Ted Ferrioli (speaking to his Senate Revenue Committee).
Tony Corcoran of Cottage Grove is minority whip in the Senate and represents portions of Lane and Douglas counties in Senate District 22. He can be reached in Salem at (503) 986-1722 or e-mail email@example.com
And now we want to weigh in, both as fans and because of larger issues at stake, on the conflicts inside and outside the women's basketball program. While UO leaders face such huge problems as the state budget shortfall, they cannot ignore the issues of fairness, human relations, gender equity, and procedural integrity which are central to this conflict.
First, the players
As to their complaints, we don't know enough to evaluate them and neither do others who read only the R-G sports section. But we take them seriously.
Second, the coach
This is a woman whose mother told her to stand up straight and she did, all the way up to 6 feet, 3 inches. She often wears heels to add an inch or two. The Oregonian called her "a presence" and that's part of the problem. Big, strong, assertive women continue to confound traditional power structures.
Since she came here eight years ago, Runge has had to hire lawyers twice to fight for salary equity under Title IX of federal law. She fought for equitable practice times for her players. She worked with donors to bring the women's facilities in Mac Court closer to the comfort level of the men's facilities. The difference was disgraceful before that was completed. She fought for equal promotion, radio and TV time for her program. These fights all leave scars, some of which have been on display the last two weeks.
All that aside, Runge and her coaching staff should do serious work on interpersonal relationships with players who are graduating, staying, and coming in next fall. The athletic department and the university should support them in this important effort.
The athletic director
It will take skilled mediation between Runge and Moos to establish a decent working relationship. This community includes many professionals who could do that.
We wish Moos would direct his considerable skills and energy, as demonstrated by building UO football, to building UO women's sports into national prominence, not because of Title IX but because it's the smart step to take in this community at this time.
The UO administration
"Users" were out in force on this February day to urge restoration of Rogue bait fishing and Sandy River hatchery steelhead. Upon staff biologist recommendation, the commission had earlier cut back on both in order to help restore wild fish runs. Bait hooks often kill wild fish being returned to the river; and hatchery steelhead on the Sandy will compete with wild salmon after Marmot Dam is breached, as currently scheduled. But it takes patience to fish with flies and lures rather than bait, and even more patience to wait for restoration of wild runs.
Fishermen, bait fishing shop owners, fishing guides, and a young boy testified against the commissioners' earlier decisions. They variously denied a difference between wild and hatchery fish; said their businesses depend on bait or hatchery fishing; and claimed that unless people can "contact" fish they won't care for them, and that fishing keeps young people away from drugs. One man pointed to the mission statement, reminding commissioners, "You're supposed to ensure use. "
Elk farms were the next decision item. In the 1970s, the Commission grandfathered 11 elk farms that had begun to operate in Oregon, and issued five more permits in 1997. Since the beginning, however, the commission has been extremely wary of the threat these farms pose to wild elk and deer: Escapes inevitably happen; genetic alteration of wild elk can occur; diseases can be transmitted; and the high fences block wild elk and mule deer migrations to winter habitat. Now, chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion-based mad cow-like disease, is arriving in the West's elk ranches, and in adjacent wild elk and mule deer. It's impossible to tell if a deer or elk has CWD until after it's dead; and it's not known whether CWD can jump to humans, as mad cow disease does, causing always-fatal Creutzfeld-Jacob brain melt.
Now Oregon elk farmers want 10 new ranches a year. They want to sell elk to new ranches, and they want to be able to sell elk meat (which would lead to poaching of wild elk for money), They're also promoting Senate Bill 41, which would transfer elk farming authority to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. As one elk farmer testified, "The ODFW doesn't do anything for us."
On this issue, however, both users and non-users were present to urge commission protection of the wild: hunters, hunting and anti-hunting associations, wildlife biologists, and a member of a four-generation Oregon agricultural and ranching family. The commissioners held firm against new elk farm permits.
But what would their decision have been if there were a test for CWD? What if elk farms only threatened wild elk winter habitat, leading to more trough-feeding of wild elk during winter? What if elk farms only threatened wild deer mice, or frogs?
By the end of the day, I had three main thoughts: First, more people who enjoy, but do not "use," wildlife need to be present at wildlife hearings. Second, Oregon needs to follow Montana's lead: Citizens there passed an initiative requiring the phase-out of Montana's elk farms. And third, we have to move, as a people, toward regarding "Our mission is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats" as a complete sentence.
Mary O'Brien has worked as a public interest scientist for the past 18 years. Her new book, Making Better Environmental Decisions: An Alternative to Risk Assessment, has been published by The MIT Press. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Cauldrons of hot water simmer over small fires in preparation for a tie-dye workshop. Scattered blankets under a big palo verde tree await a session on guided meditation. Desert creosote sweetens the warm air. The drums beat an inviting rhythm but I linger at my little dome tent, unsure of the energy I'll attract if I bare my breasts.
When I was 7 my parents sent me to stay with my grandmother for the summer. My grandparents, who we always called Mama and Papa, just like my mother did, lived in Los Angeles until Papa died. Max was my grandmother's second husband and now lived in her apartment at the beach. I liked to play with Mama's wooden nesting dolls and the collection of miniature glass shoes she called "chotchkes." She'd gather me up onto her soft lap and tell me magnificent and frightening stories of the old country and life under the czar.
Mama left Max in charge when she made her monthly trek to the beauty shop to get her hair dyed. (As far as she was concerned, blue was always in 4 Mama was way ahead of her time.) Unlike Papa's familiar bald head, Max had thick white hair that he carefully styled, one hand smoothing the white waves behind the comb. His fingers were thick, not slender and delicate like Papas. He never cupped my face in his hands and pulled a quarter out of my ear like Papa used to do.
Sometimes Max would take out the heavy ceramic mixing bowls and I would help him make poppyseed cookies with sweet prune filling. When the cookies were in the oven, he'd sit in his overstuffed chair and read magazines. Once I climbed onto the fuzzy arm of Max's chair and looked over his shoulder. Max didn't smell friendly and clean like Papa had. Max smelled strange, like cologne and stale cigarettes and moth balls. Max stared at one picture of a lady for a long time. In the picture the lady was outdoors, under a big tree. Her arms reached over her head and her hands held a low branch. Max rubbed his wrinkly thumb over the picture, his yellowed thumbnail sliding back and forth across the lady's bare chest. "See how nice they stand up?" His voice was low and gruff, different from the cheery playful voice he had when Mama was around. I walked into the kitchen and didn't say anything.
I wished Mama would come home. It would be OK if she didn't stop for ice cream this time. Poppyseed cookies are fine with plain milk. I pressed my face to the cool glass of the kitchen window to see if she was coming up the walk. I could hear Max in the living room. He sounded like he wasn't feeling well. I waited for Mama at the kitchen door and crossed my arms over my chest. My breasts hadn't started to develop. I hoped they never would. I didn't want anyone to look at me like Max looked at those magazines.
The conga drums boom louder. Women dance through the camp area right by my tent. I see every kind of breast imaginable with nipples of every color from the palest pink to the darkest brown. The variety is amazing. Inverted nipples, protruding nipples, hairy aureolas, scars, stretch marks, different-sized pairs of breasts, huge breasts, tiny breasts, full, flat and in between. Some even look like mine. None look like the pictures in men's magazines. The women clap along with the drum rhythm, singing, laughing, dancing in a circle. I take off my shirt.
Sally Sheklow has been a part of the Eugene community since 1972 and is a member of the WYMPROV! comedy troupe. Her column, which began at EW, also runs in several other newspapers around the country.
Among the hundreds of outstanding forums was a presentation on commercialism in schools. Educational autonomy is disappearing quicker than 4J schools, and needs to be reinstated. Corporations attacking our health and environment are providing easily applied materials to unsuspecting teachers directly and in educational conferences. The propaganda included in these materials promotes industry, attacks environmentalists, and dismantles critical thinking skills.
Graphic videos of where our meat originates were on display at one of the many dozens of information tables. The torture and slaughter of cows was a glimpse into an increasingly consolidated industry that also threatens hogs, chickens, fish, human health, and the environment. The implications to our communities, our health, and how we view animals cannot be overstated, and wasn't at the panels that explored it.
The theme of the conference was "Keeping the Issues Alive," a fitting assessment of what's happening to environmental and humanistic issues. Corporate media censorship is erasing social issues from our consciousness, replacing health care, drug policy, animal welfare, imprisonment, legalized public officials' bribery, education, and water, land and air quality concerns with image-oriented, greedy garbage. The good news is we will eventually acknowledge this degradation of the mind and soul. The easy way would be to follow the lead of the thousands of concerned citizens who attended the conference. The hard way is already well underway and reflected in our new (and old) leaders.
I work as a copy editor at the Statesman Journal, Salem's newspaper, and commute from Eugene. I get home around 2-3 am; therefore, the calls I receive at 9 am are on par with calling folks who work from 9 am to 5 p.m. at 5-6 am. Were I to call representatives at the telephone company 2-3 hours before they normally woke up, and then hang up on them, I guarantee they would rightfully do everything in their power to trace my calls and take action against me. Could I do the same with these solicitors, I would.
I recently got someone on the line (at 9 am) to find out he was a Qwest representative. I asked what he was selling, and he said cordless phones. Obviously, I already have a phone and am quite capable of making an independent purchase of a phone should I be in need of one. My instincts tell me the purpose of these phone calls is not to sell products to me, but rather information to parties interested in the best hours to reach me at home (of which I receive plenty from numerous credit card companies, carpet cleaning services, etc.) I'm seriously considering canceling my home phone service and relying solely on my cellular phone service. But that provider is a whole other problem.
Molly M. Egan
The freeway will do little to alleviate traffic congestion and only add to the growing number of pork projects in Eugene. Remember the three bikeways within a few feet of each other crossing the Ferry Street Bridge? I bet readers can come up with a long list of pork in Eugene. Some might even call the new courthouse a pork project.
This route was never voted on by the citizens. The city staff decided 20 years ago to build a freeway with three routes in mind. They asked the voters if they approved of a route going through what we now know are valuable wetlands. Years later we discovered that these wetlands are important for their habitat, water cleansing capability and flood prevention. The route was changed to reduce the wetland damage but it still divides the habitat and damages the wetlands with noise pollution as well as reducing the size of the wetlands.
Let's think of what is best for future generations and think of education, health care, hunger and shelter.
The solution to this for the public is to require any such closed school to be declared "condemned" and that it must be torn down, that no new structure can be built upon the site until five years passes. Finally, that any school closed means that the administrators have failed in their jobs, are retired, and are restricted from developing any form of charter school in the area of their former employment for five years. School administrators who can't successfully keep state and federally mandated educational systems working with the money appropriated for that job need to face the justified wrath and loss of job at the hands of every parent they intend to harm through their children. Enough is enough when the actions of a few harm children -- even I know that.
Daniel J. Moore
It is always done with good intentions. The sad fact is that the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. In Central America our military involvement caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. In Kosovo, the bombing caused hundreds of thousands of refugees and unnecessary deaths of thousands of innocents on both sides. Also our allies, the KLA, have become ethnic cleansers themselves and the biggest threat to peace in the Balkans today. In Colombia, militarization of the conflict through "Plan Colombia" is fanning the flames of war and hatred.
What are our strategic interests in all of these places? Behind the noble cause cover the answer is always the same: greed, oil, and domination. In Colombia the real reasons are oil, the need for American military presence close to the Panama Canal and the need to neutralize the threat of Hugo Sanchez, president of neighboring Venezuela, who has openly challenged American hegemony in Latin America.
Don't let history repeat itself. Speak up against this misguided policy!
Wake up, people! There can be few who still believe the purpose of government is to protect citizens from the activities of those who would destroy. The opposite is true: Political economist Adam Smith was correct in noting that the primary purpose of government is to protect those who run the economy from the outrage of injured citizens. To expect institutions created by our culture to do other than poison waters, denude hillsides, eliminate alternative ways of living and commit genocide is unforgivably naive.
The late environmentalist and poet Gary Snyder once said, "To combat cultural genocide, one needs a critique of civilization itself." As the last non-hierarchical, sustainable communities are extinguished worldwide (indigenous peoples in Brazil, West Papua, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere), and more wildlife is sacrificed to the industrial beast, one is convinced that Gary was right, and those anarchists might not be so crazy after all.
This unfriendly attitude toward motorists seems to be related to the city's need to generate revenue from traffic fines. I have learned through surveying local motorists that the degree of unfriendliness is directly proportional to the length of a man's hair and the age of one's vehicle.
So what can be done to stop the J.C. police from preying on motorists? Besides taking the by-pass around town (who knows when another bulb may burn out?), I am boycotting Junction City. I won't be buying fuel, hardware or groceries there until the law enforcement folks change their unhelpful attitudes. I hope others will join me.
In May, 1959, Mike Wallace (today's broadcaster on 60 Minutes) interviewed Lorraine Hansberry on American racism and on A Raisin in the Sun (Note: Readers may catch this interview on the recording Lorraine Hansberry Speaks Out, in the Douglass Listening Room collection, UO Knight Library). In her replies to Wallace's questions, Hansberry said, "& one always has to remember that everything the Negro (sic) does in America is done in a hostile context, a hostile circumstance -- a hostile white society &"
Now the Nation of Islam simply cannot be dismissed or labeled (the bigot's chief weapon in prejudice is labeling his/her victim(s), as "reverse racist," or "faggoty freak of nature," or some such, ad nauseum) as "racist," nor can the Nation of Islam be compared to the KKK or any Nazis. The so-called "Black Muslims," as well as all Blacks, "racist," or not, should be compared to Winston Churchill and the British in World War II.
Churchill was by all reckonings a great man. He and much of the British nation were, however, "racist" against the Nazis and the Germans -- for Churchill and the RAF firebombed German cities.
Malcolm X, like Churchill, struggled against successful racists conspiring to murder, torture, and enslave the innocent; a Jewish or British person, tortured by the Gestapo, may be forgiven for viewing them, or even all, Christian Germans, as "snakes," some poisonous, some not.
The U.S. society psychologically "tortured" people of color, to the point where they willingly fought in the second Vietnam War (1965-1975), a white racist war.
Don't try to "take on" Ice Cube -- or Malcolm X -- unless you're ready to "take on" Sir Winston Spencer Churchill!
James Atlee ("Jim") Asher