Alan Pittman is the News Editor for Eugene Weekly.
The UO has been sharply criticized for building lavish athletic facilities instead of relieving dorm overcrowding.
Hereâ€™s a tour of two studentsâ€™ UO shoebox dorm room:
Contrast that to the football player locker room:
What will the new locker room at the UO's new quarter-billion-dollar basketball arena look like?
Republicans are pushing to add more tax breaks for the rich into the Obama stimulus.
An idea to use taxpayer money to subsidize lower mortgages is gaining traction. The Register-Guard endorsed it today.
But most of the tax break would go to the rich, who are unlikely to spend it to stimulate the economy.
Hereâ€™s the math using calculators and interest rates from Bankrate.com and assuming a subsidized interest rate drop of 1 percent to about 4.4%, as discussed by Republicans:
Monthly payment at current interest rate: $560
Payment at new subsidized rate: $499
% Savings: 11%
Monthly payment at current interest rate: $6,646
Payment at new subsidized rate: $ 4,996
% Savings: 25%
So the millionaire saves 27 times more than the work-a-day loser. No wonder the Republicans are so excited about this idea.
A big chunk of the difference is that McMansion â€œjumboâ€ loans now pay about 1.5 percentage points more interest because they are a greater risk to lenders. So they benefit the most from the Republican tax break.
Most economists agree that big tax breaks for the rich will do little to stimulate the economy. The rich already buy whatever they want and will just pocket the money. Poor people on the other hand will spend the money quickly for basic necessities.
Most poor people don't even own a house. Half of the people living in Eugene are renters.
If you missed the Eugene State of the City event last week, here's the condensed video highlights:
The Oregonian has picked up on the story that EW first ran Thursday about Oregon National Guard soldiers' exposure to a highly toxic chemical in Iraq.
The Oregonian reported that as many as 52 soldiers were exposed to the hexavalent chromium. Two Indiana soldiers that were exposed have contracted cancer and one has died. The Oregonian cited a doctor saying that exposure to a concentration of "about the size of a grain of salt in about a cubic yard -- has shown a 50 percent increase in cancers."
In her fifth state of the city speech tonight, Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy called for tapping into the Obama federal stimulus package, an Economic Summit, discussion of an in-house city attorney, locating a solar panel factory at the abandoned Hynix plant and hinted at possible tax measures for more jail beds, crime prevention and affordable housing.
Here's some key excerpts from Piercy's speech to a standing-room crowd of more than 300 people in the Hult Center lobby:
- "Eugene has a list of over $200 million in 'ready to go' projects that fit the stimulus criteria...We expect these projects, if funded, could create 4,404 well-paying jobs by the end of next year--with an emphasis on green industry."
- Piercy called for an Economic Summit early this year. She called for "more jobs that pay well" and decreasing "our impact on climate change and finite resources." The mayor said, "Moving from Hynix to solar is our community goal."
- "We cannot have this revolving door in our jail, and a court system that cannot do its job. While our city is still rated one of the safest, this won't continue if the system is not fixed. Eugene voters will support specific, balanced and accountable solutions that are not simply a forwarding of failed policies."
- "The Mayor's Blue Ribbon Committee to finance Homelessness and Housing Programs will report its recommendations to the council on January 26. It will then be important for a larger community discussion to occur about the steps this community is willing to take to reduce the numbers and ensure that more citizens have basic needs met, including treatment programs, mental health care and shelter options. It will not be cheap."
- "The City Manager has stated that he will examine whether or not an in-house city attorney makes good governance sense for a city of our size and complexity, and will be seeking input from the city council as part of his analysis."
The Eugene police union attacked Mayor Piercy's last state of the city address as a â€œbizarre,â€ â€œthree-ringed circusâ€ for focusing on environmental issues. This year, Piercy included an award to a group of violent crimes police detectives as part of the ceremony.
A record crowd of more than 1,000 people packed the Lane County Fairgrounds pavilion to watch the elections and Barack Obama victory speech on projection TVs.
Here's a short look:
Not sure what to make of this disgruntled insider video of KEZI news from a year ago. Have things changed?
After crashing and burning, the McCain-Palin campaign, along with the Republican party, continues to implode.
Here's the Republicans at Fox news on just how clueless Palin is:
Meanwhile, Palin is catching widespread media ridicule for getting fooled by a Montreal phone prankster pretending he was the president of France:
Remember the $150,000 in campaign funds Palin blew on a designer clothing shopping spree? Newsweek reports it's even worse than it appeared:
An angry [Republican] aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.