Camilla's Blog

Camilla Mortensen is the environmental reporter for the Eugene Weekly.

Willie Nelson's web page has the Civil Liberties Defense Center's fundraising album front and center. Ok well, it's actually slightly off to the right, which is unusual for the CLDC, a locally based group of attorneys and activists which has done tremendous work on civil rights issues.


Do what Willie says, buy the album!

A great album for a great cause! Willie Nelson shares his voice to "Take No Part" with Bluetech & Marty Dread. Take a few minutes to show your support and download it today.

Jeff 'Free' Luers - Live at the Wow Hall 13:34
Bluetech, Willie Nelson, & Marty Dread - Take No Part (rmx) 05:47
Dr Israel & Seven - Get the F__K Up 04:28
Blackbird Raum - Lucasville 03:21
Heavyweight Dub Champion (feat Killah Priest) - Babylon Beast 04:56
Ramona Africa - Live at the Wow Hall 14:16
STS9 - Equinox (live/acoustic) 08:03
Etheric Double & Emancipator - Jet Stream (rmx) 05:48
Resident Anti-Hero - Systems of Control 06:46
Citizens Band - The FBI Stole My Fiddle 03:23
Remember Me Feral & Ninth Moon Black - Aesthesis (rmx) 06:22
Jorah LaFleur - Harder to Breath (live in the studio) 04:32
Pitch Black - Protect the Grain 03:43

Go the CLDC's webpage for more on its work, and read up on knowing your rights. CLDC offers training sessions, in Spanish and English on this topic.

CLDC founder and Executive Director Lauren Regan gave EWsome tips in our January feature story "Are you a Cop?" Give them your support so they can keep up the good work.

FOX news is right on for once … with a spoof of how journalists get a little caught up in social media.

A year ago, on October 21, 2009, Kevin Dougherty, Eugene Weekly's art director, and so much more, passed away suddenly. We think about him every day. We wonder sometimes "what would Kevin do?" The Weekly, the Country Fair, his family both by blood and by love, and so many other friends in Eugene will always feel the effects of having had him in our lives.

Kevin's daughter Sarah put together this video in memory of her father on the anniversary of his passing.

For more memories of Kevin go here. And please share your memories as well.

To die completely, a person must not only forget but be forgotten, and he who is not forgotten is not dead. — Samuel Butler

I just spent the past week at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Montana. I learned a lot. Some of it to do with journalism.

• Fire is good. People living in the Wildland-Urban Interface is bad. Cool kids call the Wildland-Urban Interface the WUI woooeee.

• There is nowhere private to pee in the middle of a burned forest. One way for a journalist to earn the respect of wildland firefighters is to loudly and shamelessly announce your intention to pee in the woods before they load you up for the bumpy schoolbus ride down the mountain.


The Fire Lab outside Missoula has some great scientists, and folks unafraid to say what they think about fire and its (mis)management by the Forest Service. Or to tell journalists we need to use better words for fire.

• Journalists get excited about fire.

• Also Check out the story by Investigate West's Robert McClure. He was writing while at the conference, like a good journo should.

Fire whirl

Tar sands
• Oil industry folks say tar sands are good and we’ll just plant some trees over the open strip mines when we’re done. Independent scientists say that the whole toxic pollution thing is a problem.

• The Heavy Haul is bad for salmon, native peoples and the environment. I did that story.

• Dams aren't so hot for salmon either.

Save Our wild Salmon's salmon was yummy and their stuffed animal salmon were cool. The cool kids all got one.

David James Duncan Interview from Epicocity Project on Vimeo.

• David James Duncan totally got a stuffed salmon.

There are 80,000 chemicals on the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) list. We know pthalates are bad. Guess how many other chemicals are? Yeah, well, we don’t know either.

Big Oil and Energy

• Best quote of the day from US Chamber of Commerce rep Karen Harbert during a heated lunch time plenary (food fight) on energy frontiers with Center for Biological Diversity's Keiran Suckling and Randy Udall: "We're not going to go down the science route."

• Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association on the Gulf Oil Disaster, "I think the lessons here are how we are going to respond next time."

Umm, next time?

• Montana bartenders are cool to journalists who drink their bourbon straight.

• Some Montanans dance to country swing. Others listen to Erykah Badu.

• The Heavy Haul route along HWY 12 really is a batshit crazy idea. I drove it.


Journalists and Nature Writers
• Environmental journalists get nervous when people say very environmental things because they want to be "unbiased."

• Unless that person is a nature writer, in which case it’s ok. EW is an exception to this, we love tree and river huggers, so we got praise from nature writers.

• Nature writers get to get all passionate about the environment.

• I think most environmental journalists secretly wish they were nature writers.

Title: My Ultimate Sister Disaster
Author: Jane Mendle
ISBN: 9780312369040
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

If there were a way to pick your family, fourteen-year-old Franny might not pick her own. Her father is a hipster boutique owner who's constantly 'friending' her on Facebook; her mother is off in Kenya jump-starting her stalled anthropology career; and her sister, Zooey, eleven months older and eight inches taller, is a precocious prima ballerina. Lately, Zooey's so absorbed with her burgeoning ballet career that she barely seems to notice Franny. And since Zooey attends a top ballet conservatory, Franny's on her own navigating the brutal halls of her Manhattan prep school, a first-year trying to get noticed at the school paper (and by its soulful, long-lashed editor in chief).

But everything changes when Zooey breaks her leg and her dancing comes to a grinding halt. Her ballet dreams shattered, she begins to hone in on Franny's 'normal' life and friends. Franny feels terrible for Zooey, but when her encroachment starts to extend to Franny's longtime crush, Franny begins to wonder if her sister might just be her worst competition.

So, if you don’t know this already about me, know it now: I’m a connoisseur of good, light reading. There is an art to good, light reading. Trust me. Trust me because I have a doctorate in literature which means I have read a lot of good, heavy reading. Trust me because I’m the sort of person who goes to the library and cheerfully judges books by their covers and comes home with piles of tomes, from the kinds with pink perky covers to the dark Scandinavian crime novels the Eugene Public Library seems to have a endless supply of. This means I have read, or started to read, a lot of BAD light reading.

In my world, a good young adult (hmmm maybe we can call My Ultimate Sister Disaster a “tween”) book is like a candy bar. Sweet, enjoyable, the over 30-set might felt embarrassed if seen consuming it, but it makes for a good evening sprawled on the couch.

Jane Mendle, (full disclosure, I met her at a party once) who lives Eugene and is a psych prof at the UO (e.g. she has a Ph.D. too, but actually does something with it, like write articles entitled, “Detrimental psychological outcomes associated with early pubertal timing in adolescent girls,” on top of her YA novels), neatly captures the way a teenager can be stupid and thoughtless enough to buy expensive clothes on Dad’s credit card because she’s pissed at him, but simultaneously bright and snarky enough to check the price tag and reflect “Peasants have rioted for less” (77). She can be self reflective one minute and the next scream "I hate you!" at her dad.

My Ultimate Sister Disaster is the latest from Mendle who is known most for her book, aimed at the same age group, Better Off Famous?, which was an American Library Association pick for “Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.” The book gets at the rivalry between sisters, the struggle to fit in at school and throws a little sweet young love in for good measure. And of course the fact that main character Franny is a budding journalist was nice for me.

I’m guessing some (adult) readers could nitpick on Franny’s family being a bit unusual — Dad has a hip boutique in New York, Mom’s off in Africa doing anthropological research and sister Zooey is a ballerina — but that’s part of what makes the book fun; teen readers like a little bit of escapism as much as the next person, and absent parents, unfair fellow students and bad hair can happen to anyone.

If you're all about a couple hours worth of sassy teenage fun (actual live teenager not included), I say pick up My Ultimate Sister Disaster

Northern Rockies Rising Tide is coming to the UO tonight to talk about the Heavy Haul — the proposed project to bring massive earth-raping oil machines up the Columbia River and through Idaho and Montana to the Alberta tar sands.

We'd love to tell you exactly where … but we don't know! Let us know if you find out. It's at 6pm, according to the Rising Tide blog.

Time for OSU's turn in the video spotlight:

It was intended as a "flash mob" for diversity according to the YouTube comments, but the cameras and other organizational details tipped off the waiting audience.

As long as we're posting college-related videos …

It's kind of stuck in my head now.

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