Camilla Mortensen is the environmental reporter for the Eugene Weekly.
Sen. Ron Wyden is the last of Oregon's superdelegates to declare for a candidate. Many election-watchers expected Sen. Wyden to come out for Sen. Hillary Clinton because Wyden's chief of staff, Josh Kardon, chaired Sen. Clinton's Oregon campaign.
Today Sen. Wyden joined what is being called an "avalanche" of superdelegates declaring for Obama.
Wyden announced in his statement:
"When voters in Oregon and around the country hear the word â€œsuperdelegate,â€ people start hissing. I never asked to be a superdelegate, and always thought it preposterous that my vote would be accorded greater weight than the vote of the very people who make my public service possible.
I would gladly have worked hard to elect either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton, but fortunately, the nationâ€™s choice has been made, as it should have been, not by the superdelegates, but by the grassroots voters. The voters of Oregon certainly spoke clearly on the subject, and my vote will enthusiastically reflect their decision to nominate Senator Obama."
In Oregon, Sen. Obama has 10 superdelegates to Sen. Clinton's two.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Sec. of State Bill Bradbury
Rep. Peter DeFazio
Frank Dixon (DNC)
Jenny Geenleaf (DNC)
Gail Rasmussen (DNC)
Meredith Woods-Smith (DNC)
Rep. David Wu
Sen. Ron Wyden
Rep. Darlene Hooley
Gov. Ted Kulongoski
The last of the Operation Backfire sentences in Oregon was handed down on June 3 to Jacob Ferguson in Judge Ann Aiken's courtroom in Eugene.
Ferguson received no prison time and five yearâ€™s probation. He was given no fine, does not have to pay restitution and will pay $200 in court fees.
The sentence, Aiken said, was a result of extensive cooperation between Ferguson and federal prosecutors.
See the full story in Thursday's EW.
The Lane County Sheriff is urging everyone to wear PDFs in the Willamette River as a safety measure. Despite lower water flows "recreationists" (is that a noun?) still need to be careful.
I assume the Sheriff's office actually meant PFD â€” Personal Flotation Device, or "lifejacket" for those of us who don't use government-speak.
At least I hope he meant PFD because I don't know how helpful a PDF would be.
"Help help I'm drowning! No! Don't throw me a Word Doc! I need Adobe! Throw me a PDF! Help!"
Russel E. Burger, Sheriff
Lane County Sheriffâ€™s Office
125 East 8th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401
(541) 682-4150 / FAX (541) 682-4522
DATE/TIME OF INCIDENT: May 28, 2008 at 11:00AM
DATE/TIME OF RELEASE: May 28, 2008 at 11:00AM
NATURE OF STORY: Voluntary â€œStay off the Waterâ€ ban lifted
LOCATION: All Waterways in Lane County
DETAILS: As of this date the Lane County Sheriffâ€™s Office has rescinded the request for recreationists to avoid using the Willamette River.
The flow rate is approximately 50% of what it was the week of the 19th of May. Water temperatures continue to be in the mid 40â€™s. While none of our rivers can be considered free of risk, the assessment is that the Willamette can be reopened to recreationists. It is still highly recommended that persons take all precautions when in or near our rivers by wearing PDFâ€™s and practicing proper water safety and boating practices.
Charismatic megafauna (aka large animals that we humans find particularly appealing) have been taking a hard hit this month.
Six sea lions, including two endangered stellar sea lions and one California sea lion pup, died last week in trap put out by officials from Oregon and Washington. The sea lions are being trapped as part of a plan to trap, re-home and shot the sea lions accused of eating endangered salmon in the Columbia River.
Official at first thought the animals, known not only for their salmon eating, but for their performances at venues like Sea World, had died of gunshot wounds. Now they are speculating it was heat stroke that killed them. Sixty-degree temps are just fine for humans, but that's too hot for the blubbery mammals who prefer to live in cold water. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the animals in the trap could have panicked and become dehydrated.
The traps were not supposed to have been closed at the time. Permanent removal of the sea lions has been blocked until what happened to the six dead animals has been determined.
The news on the polar bear front is mixed. The good news is that after months and months of delay, the Bush administration made a decision at long last about whether to put polar bears on the endangered species list (as a threatened species). It has been two years since the Bush administration has added any species to the list. It is he first times a mammal has been added to the list because of global warming.
The bad news is, according to Greenpeace, the listing doesn't give the big fuzzy bears any more protection than they had before under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (the same act that has been "protecting" the sea lions).
The environmental group says the ruling has a "4d exemption" for the greenhouse gases which are melting the arctic ice the bears need to survive.
In case you missed him the last time, Eugeneans have another chance to see presidential candidate Barack Obama speak at the UO. This time he will be at the Memorial Quad on the UO campus (otherwise known as that large grassy area in front of the library).
Rally with Barack Obama
University of Oregon -- Memorial Quad
East 13th Avenue
Between Adler St. and Kincaid St.
Friday, May 9th
Doors Open: 5:45 p.m.
When they say "doors open" I'm guessing they are being figurative, unless the organizers have found a way to enclose the Quad. Nonetheless, experience tells us that you need to get there early if you want to get in (press included).
There are many things that Florida has that Oregon doesn't. Gators that attack people on golf courses, really screwed up elections and poisonous toads that people think will make you hallucinate if you lick them, to name a few.
One thing Florida has that I have yet to see in Oregon is a phenomenon called "bulls balls," "trucknutz" or as the recent headlines put it more delicately "ornamental testicles."
Apparently the metallic form of the "trucknutz" have become such a problem in Florida that Florida state Sen. Carey Baker has introduced a bill to ban the dangling genitalia.
The issue here, says the senator, is obscenity. After all, once people start dangling testicles from their rigs, who knows what they will dangle next?
"Trucknutz" must really be bothering legislators, because the bill passed in the state Senate and has moved on to the House this week.
If youâ€™ve followed the stories in the Weekly lately about Lane County Animal Services (LCAS) then you know two things: 1. LCAS is about to close its doors leaving Lane County and Eugene without an official resource for our communityâ€™s stray, neglected or abused pets, and 2. the stories in the Weekly have been accompanied by a cute photo of a puppy:
That pup was picked up lost and starving on the street and later dubbed â€œMason.â€ Too young to remain in the LCAS kennels at only six weeks old, he was transferred to Luv-a-Bull Pit Bull Rescue. From there, after a couple television appearances and a lot cooing over his cuteness, Mason made his way to a new family in Portland.
His new family recently reported that Mason is doing well (a little harmless chewing on stuff aside) and with some dedicated work and training the rambunctious former street-kid is now a puppy school graduate.
Yay Mason! Good dog!
Unless something changes in the near future, thereâ€™s going to be a lot of cute dogs like Mason in search of homes. Save-the-Pets is looking for permanent and foster homes for dogs and cats from LCAS and they need them soon.
To donate to foster homes or find out more go to http://www.savethepets.net/
To find out more about LCAS call 682-3645. Greenhill Humane Society is also concerned about the issue. http://green-hill.org/