Cold and flu season is upon us and many may wonder how to treat those seasonal troubles naturally. This Saturday from 1 to 4:30 pm at Unity Church, three natural care providers — Rodney Schaffer, MD and homeopath, Virginia Oram, naturopath, and Dina Harmon, acupuncturist — will discuss alternative cold and flu treatments as a benefit for the Oregon Midwifery Council.
The OMC is raising funds to pay its lobbyist. Currently, midwifery is under siege by the Oregon Medical Association lobby. The intention of the OMA lobby, says homebirth midwife Colleen Forbes, "is according to some, to outlaw midwifery altogether or according to others, to make licensure mandatory."
Oregon is the only state that does not require homebirth midwives to be licensed, though many choose to become licensed so they can bill insurance companies and carry medication. Forbes, who is licensed as a certified professional midwife, says those who choose not to become licensed do so because they want to be free to practice outside the protocols that are written by doctors, not other midwives.
"Many individual and traditional midwives feel the sets of protocols are too binding, and they don't have the freedom to look at the big picture" when caring for their clients, she says.
"Some of the best midwives are not licensed, and some of the worst ones are," and even though some midwives do not wish to be licensed, they still submit themselves to a peer review, going over their cases with other midwives, adds Forbes.
Ultimately, the OMC seeks to continue to provide freedom of birthing choice to women. The cost of the lecture/benefit is $10 per family. — Aria Seligmann
The Northwest's largest Sustainable Business Conference runs Nov. 7-10 at the UO. This year's symposium features panels, workshops and speakers addressing "how to incorporate sustainable practices into our daily business lives and simultaneously increase profits, decrease ecological impacts and increase investment in the social capital of our communities," according to organizers.
Keynote speakers and interactive panels in this sixth annual conference will share perspectives on the connection between economy, the ecological world and the human community. This year's speakers include Hazel Henderson, Donna Kraisinger, Marjorie Kelly, Judy Wicks and Greg Merten.
Admission to the conference is free, except for a Thursday workshop. For more information and to register visit http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~sbs
"The peace-loving, compassionate Balinese people need our help." In the aftermath of Bali's Oct. 12 bombings, this is the message sent by a group identified simply as "People in Eugene who love Bali." They invite the public to participate in local relief efforts from 4 to 6 pm Sunday, Nov. 10, at St. Mary's Episcopal Parish Hall, corner of 13th and Pearl.
This benefit coincides with the Festival of Peace and Unity in Bali, a special celebration of healing ceremonies and a renewed commitment to peace. The Eugene benefit will include a peace vigil, live Indonesian music and dancing, slides and videos, cultural displays and handicrafts, and solicitation of donations. A benefit dinner at the Ring of Fire (11th and Chambers) will follow. Please call 344-6475 to make reservations.
If you are unable to attend these events, but would still like to help, tax-deductible contributions can be made to: Bali Hati c/o Max Lloyd, 401 El Caminitos, Carmel Valley, CA 93924.
For more information on the local program, contact LiLi Weldon at 342-8231, or by e-mail at email@example.com
Forest Guardians, Western Watersheds Project and the Committee for the High Desert filed a lawsuit in late October against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, alleging the agency has violated the Clean Water Act by allowing livestock to pollute streams and wetlands.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Nevada just days after the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, claims the BLM has permitted cattle to foul the waters of several tributaries of the Humboldt River, despite monitoring that shows gross violation of state water quality standards.
The lawsuit alleges that the BLM has violated Section 313 of the Clean Water Act, which prohibits federal agencies from actions that contribute to or cause violations of water quality standards.
"With this lawsuit, we aim to hold all public land ranchers accountable for violations of the Clean Water Act and to assert that any grazing that causes or contributes to water pollution is illegal," said Jon Marvel, executive director of Western Watersheds Project (www.westernwatersheds.org),underscoring the scope of the lawsuit.
Members of the Oregon Public Employees Union Local 503 voted unanimously Nov. 4 to ratify their first contract with the Senior and Disabled Services Division of the Lane Council of Governments (LCOG).
The three-year contract calls for a 3 percent cost of living increase this year, wage increases for the next two years tied to an inflation index, maintenance of current health benefits, strong seniority and layoff language and improved grievance procedure.
"It's a good first contract," says Jack Hart, chair of the union bargaining team, "because it gives us three years of stability and continuity, something we haven't had here at LCOG."
EW reported in a news story Oct. 24 that Nick Urhausen opposes domestic partner benefits for gays and lesbians. Urhausen says he opposes the insurance benefits for unmarried heterosexuals, not gays and lesbians.
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Christian right, mayor, R-G fight transsexual right to pee.
BY ALAN PITTMAN
A proposed ordinance that would allow transgender people access to the restroom of their choice has the Christian right up in arms.
"God does not make mistakes and it clearly states in the Bible this type of behavior is from Satan," Debra Nelson wrote the City Council, in one of scores of comments opposing the proposed human rights ordinance.
Kimberley Hammons e-mailed that she was "disgusted" that such a "really sick" ordinance was under consideration. "The bottom line should be this ... men have a penis ... women have a vagina. They all belong in their own bathrooms!!!!"
Mayor Jim Torrey threatened last month to veto the proposed ordinance if it allows transgendered people to choose bathrooms that "conflict with their congenital reproductive anatomy." Torrey said he would allow only postoperative transvestites to use the bathrooms of their choice. Documentation of the alteration/removal of sexual organs would be "required prior to using such gender-specific facilities."
A Register-Guard editorial joined Torrey in opposing transgendered restroom access. Passing the proposed transgendered bathroom rights "would court a public backlash," the paper said.
Abe Silos warned that if the council passes the ordinance, the city will face "the Judgement of God as described in Genesis."
"We do not need this abomination to God anywhere. It gets pretty hot in hell, I understand," wrote Marie McCall.
"Please make Eugene a safe, clean and inviting place. Not a dirty, sick and nasty one," wrote Betsy Schultz.
Many of the opponents comments focused on a fear the ordinance would somehow allow transgendered men to enter restrooms to sexually assault children.
"This opens the door for any pedophile or rapist to enter seemingly under the guise of being 'a woman inside a man's body,'" wrote Angela Miller. "I will not feel as if I can use a public restroom again."
"If passed, all public bathrooms and dressing rooms will become unsafe places for me and my children," Michal McBride wrote.
"You are opening the door to exposing our children to all sorts of sexual perversion," wrote Kathy Niemeyer.
But city staff said they could find no evidence that sexual assaults increased in the 50 other cities and counties with similar transgender rights ordinances. "We were unable to find any reports of increased problems," city human rights staffer Greg Rikhoff told councilors.
Any sexual assault and harassment would continue to be illegal under the proposed ordinance, Rikhoff said. Federal statistics show that 93 percent of juvenile sexual predators are family members or friends and only 7 percent are strangers, he said.
"This has absolutely no basis in fact," Roey Thorpe, director of Basic Rights Oregon, wrote of the pedophile fear. "Transgendered people are far more likely to be harassed or physically assaulted in restrooms than they are to be a threat themselves."
Transgender advocacy groups have documented two dozen anti-transgender murders in the last year.
The idea of transgendered people using the ordinance to assault others is a "completely unfounded irrational fear," wrote Laura Phillips. That fear is "precisely on par with the fear of sharing a swimming pool with people of other races," she said. "In a constitutional democracy, it is not acceptable for government to indulge some people's irrational prejudices (or personal preferences) at the expense of others' legitimate, basic civil rights."
"I could very well get hurt, killed, etc., just using the men's room because of my appearance," wrote Karla, who was born a hermaphrodite with "intersexed" genitalia. She said she shouldn't also fear being arrested because people mix politics with what "their god" believes.
Jesse, a 32 year old who has scheduled a double mastectomy to transition to a man, says doctors often require that transgendered people live as the opposite sex for a time before they will operate. Davis described using the restroom with bound breasts as "unbelievably stressful."
Jesse said he found public testimony against transgendered rights frightening. "Some of the speakers the other night seemed to stop just short of suggesting a strip-search of anyone who doesn't quite fit the gender norm and wants to use the bathroom. This is a pre-op transperson's nightmare."
"I'm deathly afraid," said Billy/Barbara of using the bathroom. He said transgendered people don't want to bother anyone when they go to the bathroom. "What we're trying to do is go in and not be noticed."
Billy/Barbara said about half of transgendered people never have all the painful and expensive surgery that would be needed to meet Torrey's test of who's allowed to go to the bathroom.
The transgendered rights ordinance does have support from many in the local religious community. Rev. Dan Bryant of the First Christian Church, Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin of Temple Beth Israel and eight other local religious leaders wrote in support. "We wish to stress that they (opponents) only speak for some, and we speak for many others."
"It is times like this that the dark side of Oregon shows," wrote John Bonney. "Please don't bow to the bigots — stand tall!
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Week-long UO conference includes rally, national speakers.
A Veteran's Day peace rally will kick off the week-long Peace, Justice and Civil Liberties Conference next week. The rally will begin at 3:30 pm Monday, Nov. 11 at the Federal Building Plaza downtown. A vigil will follow beginning at 4:30.
Speakers at the peace rally will include Bahati Ansari, UO student Levi Strom, teacher Misa Joo and students from South Eugene High School.
More than 30 organizations are sponsoring the second annual conference at the UO this year. The Justice Not War Coalition is expanding the conference to include more than a dozen national speakers such as Medea Benjamin and Amy Goodman, as well as workshops, art, music and a film festival. Major themes to be explored at the educational event include the assault on civil liberties since 9/11, militarism as foreign policy, grassroots movement building and media bias in wartime.
From Monday through Saturday, Nov. 16, national speakers will speak each evening at 7 pm in Columbia 150, located at 13th and University on campus. Here are highlights:
* The opening talk Monday will be given by Leah Wells, a teacher and peace education coordinator of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, followed by Burt Sachs, a Seattle engineer and member of Voices in the Wilderness, a national organization opposed to economic sanctions on Iraq. Both have recently visited Iraq and favor dialogue.
* Tuesday evening, Ryan Amundson, one of the relatives of the 9/11 victims, will explain why his group Peaceful Tomorrows is working for justice not vengeance. He will be followed by Global Exchange organizer Kevin Danaher who will provide a keynote address on unifying the anti-war movement.
* Wednesday, Barbara Lubin, director of the Middle East Children's Alliance will talk about her recent visit to Iraq, followed by Rania Masri, a human rights advocate and environmental scientist who is the Arab Women's Solidarity Associations representative to the United Nations.
* Thursday, Kevin Gray, civil libertarian and a former military officer who is editor of Black News and author Rahul Mahajan will discuss America's war on terrorism and the assault on human rights since 9-11.
* Friday, Amy Goodman, the internationally known journalist and producer of Democracy Now will provide a keynote address on war, propaganda and media bias along with activist and draft counselor Mario Africa.
* The Saturday program beginning at 10 am includes more than a dozen free workshops in the EMU and the Banned Film Festival in PLC 180 (14th and Kincaid). The evening panel at 7 pm in 150 Columbia includes all of the conference themes. Addressing the civil liberties theme will be investigative journalist Dave Lindorff who exposes Attorney General John Ashcroft's Operation TIPS, a plan designed to produce tens of thousands of domestic spies. Simona Sharoni, author and Evergreen College professor, will talk about how to strengthen the movement in America for peace in the Middle East. Ira Shorr, national organizer with Physicians for Social Responsibility, will speak about the movement opposing the nuclear arms race and do some comic improv. Dave Lippman, aka George Shrub, the world's only singing CIA agent, will close the evening program.
* Sunday, free programs unifying the conference themes under the topic of "Where Do We Go From Here" begin in the EMU South Dining Room at 12:30 pm with speakers Sharoni, Shorr and Lindorff who will be joined at 1:30 pm by the Rev. Robert Jeffrey, pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Seattle. Beginning at 2 pm, they will join the general public and community leaders in the World Café discussion program. Like the entire conference, this closing event is open to everyone regardless of political opinions and is designed to promote dialogue between those whose opinions on some or all issues may be sharply divided. At 4:30 pm, Rev. Jeffrey will provide a closing address.
The conference is free, except for the national speakers each evening when general admission is $4 and $2 for students or low income. Advance tickets for the entire conference are on sale for $10 at Foolscap Books, 780 Blair Blvd.; Star Gate Books, 1374 Willamette; Mother Kali's Books, 720 E. 13th; and Bookmine Books, 702 E. Main in Cottage Grove. For more info or a detailed schedule, call 484-9167, visit Eugene PeaceWorks at 454 Willamette or www.efn.org/~eugpeace/iraq.Schedules will also be available at the UO EMU Cultural Forum, public libraries, natural food stores and the bookstores above.
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To be a warrior for peace you need information and tactics.
BY ALAN SIPORIN
EDITOR'S NOTE: Last week we ran the comments of U.S. Senate candidate Bill Bradbury at a Eugene peace rally on Saturday, Oct. 25. Below are the comments of Alan Siporin at the same event. Siporin is a novelist, former NPR reporter, and a civil rights and Vietnam War-era peace activist.
Let's be honest about our cynicism. Half of us walk away from these rallies thinking we will not really make a difference. And most of the rest of us have our doubts, too.
We hear the poll numbers. And even if we don't believe them, we hear the drumbeat of the corporate-owned media. Meanwhile, if you turn on commercial radio you get right wing hosts carrying on about the liberal media conspiracy hour after hour after hour. If those who favor war own the national magazines, the newspaper chains and the networks — what can we possibly do?
We've all admired peasant struggles against powerful dictatorships: people with machetes and rifles going against tanks and helicopters. In the battle against misinformation, it's not a machete against a tank. It's word of mouth against mass media. That's our battle.
Word of mouth. Sounds simplistic? That's how real change takes place. One by one. Person to person. By word of mouth.
You want not to feel cynical when you leave here? Then make a pledge to yourself that you will talk to at least three people about Bush's war. One person who agrees with you. One person who is ambivalent or undecided about the war. And one person who favors the war.
But don't head out unarmed. To be a warrior for peace you need some information and some tactics.
When talking to people who favor the war, the first thing to do is listen, so you know where they are coming from. There are so many possible reasons; we can't cover them all here today. But let me give one example of a contradiction in Bush's rationale for this war.
He says we need to attack Saddam Hussein because of 9/11. Bush links Iraq to that terrible tragedy by claiming that Saddam is an ally of Osama bin Laden.
But Osama and Saddam are mortal enemies. Osama bin Laden is the most extreme Muslim fundamentalist on Earth. Saddam doesn't care about Islam. His religion is himself. Saddam Hussein is just a plain old-fashioned dictator. For eight years he waged a terrible, bloody war against Iran, the most extreme Islamic nation on Earth — Osama's dream state. These two guys are not buddies. They hate each other. The only thing they have in common is that both were financed by us.
So why does Bush make this non-existent link? Because Americans feel a common bond over the 9/11 tragedy. Link Iraq to that, and Americans are ready to go to war. We need to break that fallacious link. Going after Iraq for something a radical group of independent extremists did is like executing one person for a crime another person committed – something the former governor of Texas might know something about.
But what about that vast majority of ambivalent Americans who would just as well ignore this issue? What gets them to take a position for the war? Fear. Bush plays to their fear by telling them Iraq will have nuclear weapons soon.
You might tell them that our European allies, who are within striking range of any crude delivery system that Saddam might develop, don't share our fear. They oppose U.S. military involvement, preferring to let the United Nations deal with this peacefully.
But if fear motivates this otherwise ambivalent majority, then they should be told that the new doctrine Bush wants to establish of American pre-emptive invasion is the most destabilizing precedent ever touted by a U.S. president. To serve his own agenda, Bush would provide the rationale for every other nation on Earth to invade a troublesome neighbor.
What do we say to our friends who already oppose the war, but aren't here with us today? They look at the numbers of people opposed to the war and shrug their shoulders.
I have a story.
Following Kent State, in May of 1970, at the University of Nebraska, perhaps the most conservative campus in the country, ten thousand students met at the basketball coliseum to debate the Vietnam War. A person spoke on one side; then the other side was given a turn. Back and forth they went. I was there and observed a fascinating development. Each time someone presented their position, nearly 80 percent of the crowd cheered. Then the other side spoke and 80 percent cheered. The 20 percent of hardcore conservatives were silent when the anti-war person spoke. And the 20 percent of hardcore anti-war activists were silent when the pro-war person spoke. But the 60 percent in the middle swayed back and forth.
If you were to take a poll immediately after the pro-war person spoke, you would have found that 80 percent favored the war.
When President Bush addresses the nation about his plans for Iraq, the polls are taken immediately following his speech. What results should we expect?
Finally, there are people who say Vietnam was different. Or young people — who see the footage of hundred-thousand-people marches — wonder why it's different today. But do you think Vietnam started with hundreds of thousands of people in the streets protesting the war? The first rally I went to we didn't dare call a rally. We called it a vigil. There were 12 of us and 50 Korean War vets who wanted to tear us limb from limb. How did we reach critical mass? The masses you see in the footage of the protest years? Unfortunately, one key was that the war eventually grew to where it effected everyone.
Everyone knew someone who was over there, or had come back in a body bag, or had come back changed.
All the attention and all the actions helped. And the Vietnam vets coming home, becoming disillusioned helped. But it always comes back to word of mouth.
The challenge before us isn't whether we can mount a peace movement that will bring another war to an end. We know we can do that. But history tells us that a lot of lives might have to be lost, first. No, the challenge before us is whether we can mount a movement that will prevent another war from getting started.
It's up to you to spread the word. It's up to you.
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Nine years ago, when his daughter Frances was in kindergarten, Laurance Headley got his start in the American Youth Soccer Organization as a volunteer referee for her team. "Two years later, I joined the board," he recalls. "My first official title was volunteer coordinator."
Headley was elected commissioner of the AYSO Eugene Region in 1999. This year he stepped up to area commissioner, overseeing 15 local regions in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. This fall, the Eugene Region registered 650 kids, ages 5-19, who played soccer on 54 co-ed teams.
AYSO is an all-volunteer program, except for a few paid staff at the national level. "I put in three or four hours a day," says Headley. "We need close to half of our parents to get involved." Parents can be trained to work in administration, as coaches, or as referees.
The AYSO philosophy has five tenets: everyone plays, balanced teams, open registration, positive coaching, and good sportsmanship. "We don't keep track of scores," says Headley. "Our kids learn how to play soccer on a recreational level, and our parents learn to be better parents, better volunteers, and better role models." – Paul Neevel
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