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CORVALLIS, OREGON                                           
 Local News 101
 A Report for Busy or
 Napping Students,
 Intellectuals, Plumbers,
Sept 2
K12 Wednesday, Speed Limits Change, and Truant Watches

School starts tomorrow for K12, and here's a heads-up for all our young friends. If you're planning on cutting school like you did last year, you can probably forget it. A new study to be released today will show Oregon as having the 4th poorest attendance rate in the US. That will mean pressure from freshly-inspired truant officers, since the study also shows that missing school means poor performance. In fact, missing a month means a full grade school year behind your classmates.
   Native Americans have the worst attendance rates (1 in 3 Native American kids in Oregon is "chronically absent") and the only 3 states with worse attendance rates than Oregon are New Mexico, Montana and Oklahoma - all with large numbers of Native Americans.

OSU: Nike Jr.

OSU fans like to cite UO as being Nike South, with Phil Knight's support of the Ducks as being crucial to that football program's success. Bt the Nike donations to UO aren't that much greater then those to OSU, according to the Business Journal. The Journal lists $2,985,000 for UO but OSU also gets a big chunk  $2,147,000.

OSU's shuttle busses on game day have been a great success, something UO has trouble living with and now they've tried to "go us one better". Amtrak will be offering 25% discounts on UO game days with UO offering free shuttles to the stadium when they arrive.

A local landlord has expressed the concern that Corvallis is being set up for another collapse, as the city is overbuilt to house a ballooning OSU at a time when other universities are gravitating to MOOC ( massive open online courses).
   OSU is getting into the MOOC game late but at least, they're getting into the game. As a consequence, people will be able to save costs by living at home, even while working at jobs, as they take courses. OSU's online courses are expensive.
   They are not in the same vein as the open source edX, from Harvard and MIT designed to provide free courses online, or of Coursera, from Stanford, Yale and a host of other universities around the world (Universities of Geneva, Leiden, London,etc.) meant to do the same.  
    OSU's for-profit Canvas, developed by BYU and the University of Utah, suffers
from the expected decline in the quality of instructors with such institutions. Unizin, the group using Canvas which OSU proposes to join, was founded by the University of Florida, Indiana, Colorado State and Michigan, not exactly of the same caliber as MIT or Stanford. Nonetheless, a weak move is superior to no move at all.
   3,500 OSU students are foreign students, who pay exorbitant tuition fees (nearly five times what residents pay, at $10,000 per term, several Chinese students say), and on these students, paying well over $100 million per year - OSU has built their superstructure. It is the income from these students that seems most threatened by MOOC. Saudi Arabia, for example, who supply many of OSU's foreign students, has partnered with edX to provide online courses in Arabic and has launched a pilot for the Arab speaking world. It has the added advantage of permitting women to take courses and jump the barriers which have prevented them largely from studying abroad. With universities devoted exclusively to women, half of all Saudi college graduates are already now women. MOOC promises to nudge them into a majority.
   However, although foreign students will be able to graduate as a result of MOOC, they will not achieve the proficiency in English which comes with living in the US, and which employers of Saudi graduates, for example, cite as a necessity. 6 month tourist visas, the norm, really are not sufficient to achieve language proficiency and in that, graduate school can be a perfect match. That entails a bachelor's degree elsewhere, which is, for example, becoming the norm with Chinese students.

Aug 30

Above: Corvallis landlord Ed Epley recalls the first rental he and his wife bought, a modest duplex they financed - "we did it on a shoestring".
   After showing the first side of the duplex to a young couple, both of whom worked at a local tavern, they set out to ready the other side of the duplex for renting. 
   Meantime, the new tenants had a serious argument and the husband locked his wife out of the home. She, in turn, had figured out a way to sneak into the empty duplex half and had set up temporary quarters there, unbeknownst to Epley.
   The first knowledge he had of the state of things was when the young wife showed up in the company of another woman, who in time proved to be a police officer. "I suppose", she said to Epley, "you've heard what happened last night". He hadn't.
   The woman had passed by her husband's side of the duplex and heard moans which drew her to the bedroom window of the side occupied by her husband. There, she saw him having sex with another woman.
    Livid, she later let herself into his half of the duplex, grabbed a kitchen knife and headed for the bedroom. Her husband and his lover started up as she walked in but not before she began slashing him with the knife. The two lovers were able to overcome the distressed wife, Epley says, and called the police.
   When Epley took her and the officer to the duplex to retrieve some documents, he found the slashing had flung blood across the walls and over the floor. He and his wife commiserated that the future might ALWAYS be like this was.

Aug 29

Alix Humphrey, Corvallis "Crime Fighter" Returns From Uganda

Corvallis resident Alex Humphrey has returned after a stint in Uganda working with the Refugee Law Project (RLP) before returning to school. The RLP, he say, has tried to place refugees from the violence which has plagued the country as well as neighboring regions in the Sudan, Congo and Rwanda.
  The RLP, he says, focuses upon Truth and Reconciliation hearings rather than upon international criminal courts. The hearings are found to be much more personal, meaningful and approachable than courts in the EU. The Ugandan government, for example, has extended amnesty to former soldiers of the Christian extremist Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) of Joseph Kony (which became a cause célèbre after the release of a youtube video which went viral) provided the former LRA soldiers declare the truth.
   The relationship between sexual and political violence is one of several focuses of the group. That work has become harder since the RLP discovered that 80% of the male refugees have been victims of sexual violence. In Uganda, US evangelical Christians have whipped up an intense homophobia with the public concluding that male sexual victims "become" gay.

   As a consequence, the RLP offices were raided and shuttered for a time because it was assumed they were "sheltering gays". The offices have now re-opened.

Aug 27

Oregon Health Care Ratings Issued for Area Physicians, Hospitals

If you're looking for a hospital within a 50 mile range, Corvallis's Good Sam is as safe a bet as any, with a 96% rating newly by the Oregon health care agencies. Salem has a 97% rating, McMinnville's Willamette Valley comes in at 99% and McKenzie-Willamette in the Eugene-Springfield area has a 100% rating.
   But if you're looking for physicians, you're better off in the Salem-Kaiser area for women and children (health care specifically for men or all patients is not rated). Corvallis physician groups ranked are at or below average.

Archives here

Sept 1
Longtime Corvallis resident Lise Hubbe at her farm in Scio

Draft horses are finding a bigger role in Northwest farms. "A farmer must invest $6.50 per acre for an individual draft horse versus $23.64 per acre to use the tractor.

Aug 30
The trustee for people who were defrauded in a multimillion Oregon Ponzi scheme has filed charges against Umpqua Bank, Century Bank and Fred "Jack" Holcomb, elected to the Oregon Bankers Hall of Fame, saying that the banks' role was critical to the Berjac of Oregon Ponzi scheme.

Aug 29

Corvallis: "Most Affluent City in the State" says Journal Study

A new study by the parent of the Portland Business Journal has listed Corvallis as "the most affluent" city in the state. Corvallis 'ranked 49th overall and 12th on the company's small cities list' in the US. Portland was '68th overall and 16th in the large cities category'. Bend was '21st in the "medium-small" cities category and 107th overall.' Eugene-Springfield 'ranked 39th in terms of medium cities and No. 287 overall'. Medford 'was 70th on the medium-small cities list and 290th overall.' There are thousands who would disagree but those are the Business Journal rankings.
   In related news, the Boston Globe analyzed income disparity as "choking" economic growth in the US. "There is a growing recognition in virtually every sector of our society, even among key Wall Street analysts, that this country is being badly hurt by galloping income disparity. When both the International Monetary Fund and Wall Street rating agency Standard & Poor’s release reports detailing how the widening gap between the top and the bottom is stifling growth, it is clear we have a serious problem."

Northwest farmers are giving a cross between wheat and rye called triticale, developed a hundred years ago in Scotland and Sweden, a try. "It’s an easier crop to grow than wheat" said one farmer, although no crop insurance is offered for the crop so it takes a certain amount of nerve to grow.

US bank incomes soared last quarter as losses from the speculation during the George Bush era leveled off.

Aug 28
'For the past three weeks and more than 1,800 miles, Arthur Tseona had a 69-ton turbine in the back of his semitrailer, only to see it tip over one block from its destination Wednesday, shutting down a Springfield street for hours.'

The poor Washington areas burned over by fire this summer may have finally breathed their last. The residents fled to the hinterlands as the fire approached. Now, their homes burned out, they see no alternative but to move in many cases. Beth Stipe, executive director of the Community Foundation of North Central Washington says “They are in many ways scattered to the wind. There’s no place to go in a place that already struggled with affordable rental housing.”

In a scenario which could be out of Corvallis Economic Director Tom Nelson's portfolio, an NJ woman was killed as she pulled into a convenience store to get a few minutes sleep between her 4 part-time jobs "after inhaling carbon monoxide and fumes from a spilled gas can. She kept the gasoline container in the car because she sometimes ran out of fuel while commuting between jobs. "

'With dry bean harvest under way in the southwestern part of the state, farmers and industry leaders say the 2014 crop looks great but there are some concerns about mold in southcentral Idaho.'

The US economy grew at an unexpectedly rapid rate last quarter of 4.2%. 'Exports growth was revised upward to 10.1 percent. Private domestic investment was revised upward to 17.5 percent.'

A small community for the rich in Chile set up to emulate Ayn Rand's utopian model in Atlas Shrugged has turned out to be as full of con artists and thieves - "the sort of plan you would expect from a a bunch of fans of a crotchety old millionairess who wrote a book called The Virtue of Selfishness".

Aug 27
Oregon is edging close to having a "kicker" tax refund at the end of the year. "Oregon’s employment growth has accelerated sharply over the past year. The state is now adding jobs about 1 percentage point faster than the nation, a differential growth advantage Oregon typically enjoys during economic expansions."

Oregon is likely losing the sole remaining Japanese grocery in the state, as the 109 year old Anzen's in Portland is closing. The owner's health is shaky and "business is no good".

Aug 26
Bend residents are growing weary of a flood of "loud raucous parties" and a "conveyor belt of strangers next door" associated with rental vacation homes. The city Council will soon take up regulation.

 In a sign of the "job creation" which marks Republican policies, House Speaker Boehner's lawyer is charging the public $500 an hour to sue the President over affordable health care.

Republican plans to put public pensions into hedge funds have ended up as everyone predicted - the hedge funds got richer and the public lost over $3 billion.

China's Great Wall Motors has committed to build a giant plant in Tula, Russia.

Aug 25
The number of Farmers' Markets in the Oregon association of the markets has now grown to 160, selling $50 million worth of produce. The number of people shopping the Portland Famers' Market alone is estimated as 1 million annually, a huge carbon footprint which can only be addressed by decentralizing the market.

Oregon dairy farmers are not responding to higher dairy prices and lower feed costs by increasing production, but others across the nation are.

Nearly half of all the homes in the Newport-Lincoln City ("Central Coast area)" were paid for in cash, rather than mortgages during the latest reporting quarter. Gangsters, refugees from Arizonan politics and retiring Californians with no idea of what the weather at the Oregon Coast is like in winter, would account for those, suggests a Corvallis realty expert.

France's government resigned today, with the criticism that German austerity measures are crippling the EU region's economies.

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             CRIME BEAT
                    Breaking Crime News
Sept 2
Sherri Irene Gradberg

Ms Gradberg has been arrested 8 times in the past 3 years, on meth, child, neglect, and theft charges. This time, as often has been the case, on a probation/parole violation on a theft charge. She was, at one time, on Polk County's most wanted list.
 William Robert Johnson has been arrested has been arrested for the 6th time in 2 years. This time it's for meth and giving a police officer a false name, as well as not showing up on other charges an a parole /probation violation on heroin and meth charges. He's also been arrested in the past on a weapons charge and a theft charge.

A mental patient was waving a gun at cars and police ended shooting him when he refused to drop the gun.

Gang investigators are looking into a Salem shooting on Lancaster Dr.

In crime news of note elsewhere - specifically, the bible belt of the south, police in Texas swarmed a school after a child had a miscarriage in the bathroom. 'Parent Christine Kerry was outraged that she had not been notified as to why so many police had been deployed to the school.
“I got out of my car and specifically asked, ‘What’s going on, and is it safe for these kids to be out here?’” she said. “And I was told to go away.”
   The Georgia rapper CeeLo Green was bashed for his seeming defense of raping unconscious women on Twitter. 'If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously,” he tweeted, adding, “People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!' Green had been charged with possessing drugs illegally at a 2012 dinner, at which witnesses said "he also reportedly gave a woman ecstasy and had sex with her, which many said should have prompted rape charges."
   A Florida man "teaching" another how to shoot a gun "shot himself in the finger Sunday afternoon while trying to unjam a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun", police said. The bullet then wounded the other man in the thigh before embedding itself in a wall.'
   Also in Florida, 5 police cars from 3 different agencies were caught using their emergency lights "to get to a bakery for a breakfast snack".
   A Texas preacher has started the latest campaign to ban "dangerous" books in the library, focusing on the Twilight series, as Christians have in the past tried to get Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz banned.
   A Mississippi Baptist preacher repeatedly raped a gay kid, calling it "ex-gay therapy. "He would rape me because I was gay and because it would make me hate men and make me change".

In California, a 7 year old whose father was "teaching" him how to fire a "youth rifle" was shot in the chest as a bullet ricocheted in the home made shooting range.

In New York, the trial of a Republican Congressman on charges of tax fraud related to his business will be delayed until December.

Sept 1

Lawrence Nelson

Mr. Nelson has been arrested again, for not showing p on a DUII, and failing to show on 6 counts - of failing to show. Mr. Lawrence has been arrested 8 times in the past 4 years, on charges of DUII, Driving While Suspended, meth, etc.
    Garth Risland has been arrested for the 19th time in 4 years, this time for violating parole/probation on a burglary charge, etc.
   A 33 year old man has been arrested for the first time, on trespass, burglary and harassment charges. A 22 year old man has his first arrest, for reckless driving, DUII and trying to elude. A 52 year old woman has added her first arrest to her bucket list, for theft. 19 year old Daniel James Kelley was arrested on a contempt charge.
   A 16 year old Salem girl behind the wheel in a deadly car surfing incident has been convicted of manslaughter.

Jason Clifford Down

   The SWAT team's presence at a Silverton home Saturday has, sadly, been explained. A 50 year old nurse, Cassandra Wagner had filed a restraining order against Jason Clifford Down in July, which he violated 2 weeks later. He was placed on work release for it and left the work release center on Saturday, police say, went to her home, shot her and then went to the hospital, where he was found. There needs to be a test instituted which every man must take before he is allowed to have a girlfriend.

   A realtor who bought a $220,000 piece of land for $22,000 from an elderly couple has been suspended by her realty firm, Oregon First, for failing to provide the required paperwork for the sale,

In "open carry" news, a Northwest mother, a convicted felon, of a 9 year old who took a gun from the' house and shot a schoolmate accidentally, will serve 14 months in prison.

Elsewhere, another Florida judge is facing a hearing on "“bizarre,” “inexplicable,” “disruptive,” and “paranoid.” behavior. Linda Schoonover "punished a local real-estate agent with a harsh debt and property ruling after the woman refused her Facebook 'friend' request" and refused to listen to .the testimony of a man whom she found "annoying". She "secretly installed a camera in chambers because she believed employees at the courthouse had bugged her office, and she wanted to record video of them retrieving the recording equipment. She contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and turned over the video. The FDLE reported that there were men in the crawl space above her courtroom, but they were heating and air conditioning contractors."

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Note: Everyone should be assumed innocent ntil convicted. There are several sleazy websites across the country posting mugshots, utilizing photos owned by the public, in the public domain, all run by Portlander Kyle Ritter, which will remove your mugshot for $39 or such from their sites. This is not one of them. Do not send in cash trying to have a mugshot removed. It would just be a waste of your time and your money. Instead, put your time into turning your life around. And your money into your kids.

Site Dedicated to the Memory of Eric McKinley, d. Iraq, 2002
Eric McKinley was our local connoisseur of ska music and cafe denizen whose unit was activated and sent to Iraq to patrol with inadequately armored vehicles. When Congressional funds for armoring the vehicles were diverted by the notorious Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska (later convicted on corruption charges), Eric's unit was reduced to using plywood to give their vehicles some additional protection. When an insurgent's IED hit Eric's vehicle, his horrified teammates were forced to watch as the heat of the burning plywood began exploding the grenades strapped to Eric's body. Eric, you are not forgotten and will live forever in our hearts.
 Photo Credit: Lucy Fisher, US Navy, Rob Speed Paul Bausch "Cougar" "Felix Nine" Michael Huang Pat Barber Ed Uthman Go Ikeda
Sept 2
ALERT! All internet users are being warned today that the Russian hackers who assembled the mysterious trove of 1.2 billion passwords unearthed by yet more hackers in August, have today begun using the collection to access accounts for unknown purposes.

Oregon's lawsuit against Oracle in what most see as a swindle is being filed in state court, while Oracle is suing the state in federal court and the two could end up counter-suing each other, which could make for a very expensive mess. It's a mess that could have been avoided with competent IT managers who avoided having anything to do with Oracle software, widely regarded as archaic, in the first place.

'Seventeen mysterious cellphone towers have been found in America which look like ordinary towers, and can only be identified by a heavily customized handset built for Android security – but have a much more malicious purpose... The fake ‘towers’ – computers which wirelessly attack cellphones via the “baseband” chips built to allow them to communicate with their networks, can eavesdrop and even install spyware, ESD claims.'

The FBI is now probing the hack attack that resulted in the release of nude photos of actresses and singers stored on Apple's iCloud. Why these people stored nude photos of themselves on iCloud is a mystery, almost as great a mystery as why the FBI should be wasting taxpayer funds looking into the incident. Now the FBI is protecting private photos for actresses?

Domino's Pizza, which used drone delivery of a pizza as a publicity stunt, is damping expectations. 'Given the fact that these things have spinning blades, could be stolen, shot at or batted like piñatas, we didn’t think the idea would ‘fly’ here in the U.S.'

Destiny's next six-player raid missions are going to be so tough that you'll likely need to access a walkthrough on the Internet to help get your squad through to the end. That's according to Bungie design lead Luke Smith, who says that the game's raid missions were purposefully designed to not give players much information or direction. "For the majority of raid encounters, you're going to need to work as a group," Smith says.

Former Bitcoin executive Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of the digital currency to users of illicit online marketplace Silk Road.

A Frankfurt court has issued an injunction against Uber, across Germany.

As China ramps up auto production, the headaches associated with it are coming in too. Changan Auto has issued a recall for a defective fuel pump cover.

Nudes of Rihanna, Others, Hacked from iCloud

Sept 1
Above: A major hack of entertainment star nudes from Apple iCloud is being reported by Mashable, including Rihanna's nude photos, as well as some nudes from Jennifer Lawrence, Avril Lavigne, Amber Heard, Gabrielle Union, Hayden Panettiere and Hope Solo.
   A Georgia man accidentally revealed his identity, Bryan Hamade as the hacker responsible in a reddit post. He is now trying to backtrack.
   The stars and their representatives are threatening to sue, but no one has yet answered how such private information came to be posted in iCloud in the first place.

Portland has joined 3 counties in filing a brief opposing the expansion of Comcast. 'There is a real prospect that this increased power will be used in a way that dominant companies often use power: to deter competition, increase prices and reduce output', the governments said.

Japanese researchers unveiled ne 3D technology that allow users to touch and manipulate 3D images. 'It works by fooling the brain, blending the images the eye is seeing with different patterns of vibration created by a small device on the fingertip'.

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Sept 2

Above: 'Holger Hennig, a physicist at Harvard University, became interested in the mathematics of human rhythms while listening to the electronic drums in the song “Sexy Love” by Ne-Yo. He guessed that no human could produce a beat as precise as a computer could, and in a 2012 study he showed that even professional musicians keep imperfect time—an early beat here, a late beat there, all on the order of milliseconds. What’s more, Hennig found that these tiny deviations from a steady beat aren’t random; they follow repeated, statistical patterns.It actually shows part of the beauty and richness that is in humans, which is based on their imperfections,” Hennig says. Although listeners may not be aware of the deviations, they still tend to hear the difference between human-produced and computer-generated music.'

Norway may cut back the right of electric cars to use bus lanes, as the autos have become so popular that they are clogging the lanes.

This is not promising: in a game of strategy and memory testing chimps playing for apple cubes, and humans playing for cash prizes, chimps trumped.

China is toting a new British study as a reason for cutting back on meat consumption. It's another study showing that of current meat consumption trends continue, global warming limits will be exceeded by 2050.

Sept 1

Ken Ward and Jay O'Hara

Oregon's Ken Ward was one of two who used an old lobster boat to "block a coal shipment to New England’s largest coal-burning power plant" and "say they plan to argue at trial that their actions were necessary because of the threat posed by climate change".

Deschutes County is asking for air quality standards to be waived when it is time to burn forest slash, as a means of preventing further forest fires.

Oregon is probably being eyed world wide: 'Leading scientists published a call to the UN on Sunday, saying that rain, and the way it is managed, is what will determine whether hunger and poverty can be eradicated in the world.'

30 years after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the wild boars of Germany are still contaminated, are too radioactive to be consumed.

Fracking is usually associated with contamination of aquifers and well water but a Utah scandal is highlighting the ponds associated with the industry, 'allowing fracking chemicals like methanol and other volatile organic compounds into the air'. A company was fined $50,000.

A Swiss Big Pharma firm, Novartis, is admitting to concealing 2,500 cases where side effects, including deaths, occurred in a drug test for  cancer drugs.

Aug 31

Charlie Sheen's Boat Seized in Disruption of Dolphin Slaughter

14 people were arrested 'as the mammals [bottlenose dolphins] were driven to shore to be killed by waiting hunting parties, according to environmental group Sea Shepherd.' One of the boats seized from the Sea Shepherds was BS Sheen, Charlie Sheen's personal boat, he said he was proud it had served in such a cause.

A new eruption at Iceland's Bardarbnga volcano has resulted in a red alert and a banning of flights under 6000 feet. That's the 3rd time in a week.

A puppy who narrowly escaped being put down at a shelter but was instead adopted by an NGO is now a trained rescue dog and has been working in Hiroshima, where 50 have been killed in landsides.

With new wealth, China is adding resources to children's psychological development, with the one-child policy having created spoiled "little emperors" and "little empresses', but the concept of filial relationships remains strong and the two tendencies are often at war with one another.

Aug 30
California passed a ban on single use plastic grocery bags.

Aug 29
The Sierra Club has listed the top 5 ecologically sound breweries in the country. Deschutes Brewery is at the #2 spot and Ninkasi in Eugene is #5.

The people happiest with the decision to begin blocking the export of coal through Oregon are the tribes and the Northwest Steelheaders  who depend on the Columbia for their livelihood as well as recreation. Recreational fishing feeds $2.7 billion into the Oregon economy and coal dust, deadly to salmon fry, is beginning to show up along the river.

The Oregon Spotted Frog is about to be listed as an endangered species. "This unique and highly aquatic frog was once common in the Pacific Northwest and its decline signals degradation in the health of natural areas that provide for people as well as fish and wildlife," Tom McDowell, acting supervisor for the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office said'. Changes in water temperature as trees along riverbanks are cut (Hint! Hint!), development of wetlands (Hint! HInt!), and the introduction of invasive frog species, especially the bullfrog, in a state with lax controls on exotic pets are all being held accountable.
   In related news, officials with the USDA seized 1,000 giant African snails across the country, all traced to a man in Georgia selling the snails, which grow to the size of a fist and devour buildings for calcium, to build their shells, and raze gardens.

Ebola has jumped to Senegal, opening up a new front in the deadly epidemic, WHO says.

Tuesday, September 9, 7:00 - 8:30 pm,
Admission is free
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, 2945 NW Circle Blvd.,

Above: Dr. Martin Donohoe will describe how genetically-modified crops are produced, their role in agriculture in the United States and worldwide, the health and environmental consequences of their use, and the benefits of labeling GM foods. It will also address food justice and security, and briefly touch on biopharming, the genetic modification of animals,and relevant ethical issues. There will be time for comments and questions. Dr. Donohoe is a senior physician at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Portland specializing in internal medicine. He is also an adjunct associate professor in the School of Community Health at Portland State University. He is a member of the Social Justice Committee of
Physicians for Social Responsibility and is on the Board of Advisors for its Oregon chapter.
   In addition to the so-called "academic whores" of OSU and Big Pharma pushing GMO, the other heavyweights in the GMO industry have started funding campaigns to deny the public knowledge when GMO foods are included in their groceries. Monsanto, the grocery chains ("Grocery Manufacturers Association") and DuPont have all kicked in a total of $300,000 against labeling. The 2 chemical companies have self evident interests and the Grocery Manufacturers Association last year applied to the FDA to allow them to label the artificially created GMO as "natural" on labels. On the other side of the ballot, Oregon's Right to Know has raised cash from 2,500 Oregon citizens. "I'm pretty excited to see at this relatively early stage that we've already got more than 2,500 people that have written a check," said a Right to Know spokesperson.

Aug 28

A fire near Oakridge has jumped its containment lines and some residents are now being warned to prepare to evacuate.

'Bill Gow stands on a wooden platform perched high above a lush valley south of Roseburg, his Stetson tipped back as he surveys the 1,400-acre ranch where his family runs cows for a living. "This is why I worked 24-7 my whole life, so I could wake up and have this" he says. "This is all I ever wanted." It's not hard, then, to understand Gow's sense of violation, his creeping feeling of helplessness, with a Canadian energy company's plan to carve a swath the width of freeway through his land and bury a 36-inch-diameter, high-pressure gas pipeline.' A Canadian firm is using "eminent domain" to seize the land of Oregon ranchers and farmers for their LNG pipeline.

Portland Harbor's Superfund site is launching the first habitat restoration site, with Portlanders wanting to "restore habitat that was once abundant but is now rare in this stretch of the highly industrialized Willamette River."

WHO said today that the number of Ebola victims, now at 1569, could easily reach 20,000 shortly as the epidemic accelerates.

Aug 27

Portland's business forum, the City Club, has endorsed both GMO labeling and pot legalization measures on the ballot, as well as the ERA, drivers licenses for undocumented workers, and education bonds.

Oregon "law requires railroads to annually submit detailed reports saying what dangerous substances they've moved, where and in what volume. They're due to emergency responders across the state by March 1 of each year. But that hasn't been happening, leaving firefighters across the state in the dark." At a meeting today meant to address the issue - legally, an "open meeting", Burlington officials asked "Wouldn't it be easier if the press wasn't here?" The reporters refused to budge.

A University of Arizona study predicts a "megadrought" due to global warming. Arizona is as responsible as anyone for the refusal of the US to address global warming and we need a fence there - but not a fence to keep people out of Arizona. We need to isolate Arizonans IN Arizona, so they don't migrate elsewhere with their antiscience infection.

Aug 26

Bitner Vineyards this year became the first Idaho vineyard to be Low Input Viticulture & Enology certified, and industry leaders expect more of the state’s vineyards and wineries to follow suit.

'A new day has dawned, and with it, a new draft of a new United Nations report on climate change has leaked unto the world. Like the turning pages of a calendar as one draws closer to death, the report brings tidings that grow worse, and worse, and worse. If you had to characterize for a mass audience what technical stage of global warming we find ourselves in now, it would be "The final stage where we decide if we will even attempt to try to do anything to make the looming disaster marginally less disastrous for our grandchildren, or whether we will simply f*ck around and allow doom to sweep over them, because we will be dead by then."'

Aug 25
The denial of a coal exporting permit in Oregon
may be a sign of "things to come", coal industry corporations fear.

Hundreds of mysterious methane vents have been discovered along the floor of the eastern US coast.

Flooding in Bangladesh has created half a million newly homeless citizens.

Aug 24
A 6.0 earthquake struck Napa Valley in California, with the worst damage in a mobile home park there. 3 are dead and 90 victims sought aid at one hospital. No tsunami warning was issued.

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