Never mind that the lavish UO jock-in-the box for student athletes is sucking away academic money, boosting tuition for regular students who are excluded from the facility, it's a death trap for baby ducks:


This just in from the UO. The university has asked developer Trammell Crow to look at the 1700 Millrace Drive location that has long been touted by Connecting Eugene as a better, less controversial, site.

Office of Communications 1239 University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403-1239 - T 541-346-3134 - comm.uoregon.edu

(This news is available online at http://bit.ly/l1tcgd)
UO president recommends examination of 1700 Millrace Drive site for new Riverfront Research Park building
Recent decision makes site south of railroad tracks an option for development

EUGENE, Ore. -- (May 2, 2011) -- University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere announced today that he has asked developer Trammell Crow Company to examine a second parcel in the Riverfront Research Park as a possible location for the proposed Oregon Research Institute (ORI) and Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) building.

Under Lariviere's recommendation, the parties involved in the development would continue planning for the existing site at 855 Riverfront Parkway while simultaneously examining the feasibility of moving the ORI/EPIC project to the 1700 Millrace Drive location.

The 1700 Millrace Drive site is available because of a recent decision made by University of Oregon leadership to temporarily forego construction of an additional building within the park until after a new comprehensive master plan for the Riverfront Research Park has been completed. Initial UO plans had called for developing a new building for ORI and EPIC on the site at 855 Riverfront Parkway, a former EWEB pole yard north of the railroad tracks, in addition to another multi-tenant research building on the vacant parcel at 1700 Millrace Drive south of the railroad tracks.

"The decision to postpone development of another new building within the research park allows us to re-examine the best location for the ORI/EPIC building," Lariviere said. "By exploring the feasibility of the 1700 Millrace Drive site, I am confident that we will arrive at the best possible outcome for everyone involved," he said.

"The UO remains committed to assuring that Trammell Crow, ORI and EPIC can develop an outstanding research facility," said Rich Linton, vice president for research and graduate studies at the UO. "If the 1700 Millrace site proves feasible, it will provide a desirable location for housing major research programs at ORI and EPIC that support hundreds of jobs in this community," he said.

"Beyond this project, the university will launch a master planning process to help address future facilities needs for UO's expanding role in catalyzing innovation and its ties to economic development," Linton added.

For the past two years, Trammell Crow Company has been working to redevelop a former brownfield site near the Eugene Water and Electric Board facility, adjacent to the Willamette River and north of the railroad tracks. The 80,000-square-foot LEED Gold building planned for the parcel would house the Oregon Research Institute and the Educational Policy Improvement Center. The site and building have been designed and the City of Eugene has issued a Phase I building permit for the project.

"The primary concern for the Trammell Crow Company is to construct a high-quality, energy-efficient facility that meets the needs of ORI and EPIC and enhances Eugene's built environment. While we remain fully committed to moving forward at the former EWEB pole yard, we are willing to simultaneously explore the feasibility of the Millrace Drive site," said Trammell Crow representative Steve Wells.

"We look forward to working with Trammell Crow and the university as they determine the feasibility of the new site," said Cynthia Guinn, executive director at Oregon Research Institute.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Phil Weiler, UO Office of Communications, 541-346-3873, pweiler@uoregon.edu

Sounds like a good way to spend a Wednesday on campus. There's a coffee place not far from the bathroom, and there's going to be art and information.

Associated Students of the University of Oregon Press Release
(with emphasis added by EW)

Gender Flush: “Be Free to Pee!”

Why: Trans Week of Celebration and Disability Awareness Week and to promote gender inclusive restrooms

When: Wednesday April 20th, 9 am to 5 pm, University of Oregon EMU student union building

WHAT: Gender Flush is the first event of its kind at the University of Oregon. It promotes gender-inclusive multi-stall restrooms for the future EMU and Recreation center. The EMU women’s restroom on the ground floor will be open to people of all genders for the whole day. Featured student artist Austin Wilson will be displaying pop art that promotes transgender awareness in the restroom. Student volunteers with the Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance, the LGBTQA, and the ASUO will be there to welcome students and provide information on gender issues.

“Gendered restrooms are inherently discriminatory. Gender inclusive restrooms allow people to access the restroom without forcing students to make a statement about what gender they identify as,” said ASUO Gender and Sexual Diversity Kelsey Jarone.

The EMU has single-occupancy stalls, but multi-stalled restrooms are more inclusive and are more efficient to build and maintain. The UO Law school has the only multi-stall gender-inclusive restroom on campus, and it serves students well.

“Gender inclusive spaces are an important way to make everyone feel welcome on campus,” said Alex Esparza, OSERA board member and Multicultural Center Co-director.

“There are many UO students who identify as trans, or who don’t identify with the male or female gender,” said ASUO Accessibility Advocate Kai Kubitz. “Many people don’t fit in the gender binary. We want to educate students that there are many genders.”

“We want to celebrate that the UO is a leader among universities in gender inclusive spaces and promote how we can make our campus even more inclusive,” said ASUO President Amelie Rousseau.

Contact for comment:

· OSERA board member Alex Esparza at 541-228-2021
· ASUO Accessibility Advocate Kai Kubitz at 503-803-9142

According to The Rural Blog:

The U.S. Postal Service tried to keep secret its list of 407 post offices it has recently closed, but the Postal Regulatory Commission asked for the list and then made it public. The list, of "post office/station/branch suspensions" through Feb. 28, apparently had already been shared with members of Congress.

The University of Oregon campus' EMU post office does not appear to be listed.

The pdf list is here.

The Postal Service seemed to be reconsidering its decision when it asked for public comments on an audit page. According to Inside Oregon, Sen. Ron Wyden and other members of Oregon's congressional delegation asked that the decision to close be reconsidered.

Students who used the EMU post office are now using The Duck Store (and dealing with its, horrible, horrible name, I feel like I should be purchasing small fuzzy mallard ducklings) and post office boxes have been moved to the Downtown Post Office on Willamette Street.

So what does the UO's complicated restructuring plan really mean?

Nike billionaire Phil Knight, the UO mega donor who some critics have said has too much power over the public university, told the Oregonian Dec. 5 that it's about going private and raising tuition.

Knight told the paper that he supports and was consulted on the restructuring plan the UO is lobbying for in the state legislature. "It's to take a step - I hate to use the word because it's an oversimplification - but to take a step toward becoming more of a private university."

As more of a private university the UO president "can set his own tuition. He's hamstrung in the sense he can't charge more tuition than the Legislature will let him do for in-state kids."

The UO had a plan for privatizing the university and raising tuition in response to dramatic budget cuts in the early 1990s, but the plan failed in the state legislature. The Register-Guard reported in 1993 on a study of UO privatization in a story headlined: "Making UO private would save little money; A legislative report says that higher tuition would drive away students and force cuts in faculty."

The legislative report found that the plan would about quadruple in-state tuition. Such a dramatic increase would out-price about 60 percent of students causing a big reduction in enrollment, according to the study. The loss of students would force the UO to lay off large numbers of faculty and staff who would take their federal grants with them, the RG reported.

Privatization "would not only sharply reduce access to Oregonians but also have wrenching consequences for the economy of Lane County," the RG quoted the report.

The UO has not said how much tuition would increase under its new restructuring plan. The UO has also changed significantly since 1993 with higher out of state tuition increasingly making up for reductions in state funding. Knight told the Oregonian: "It's become the University of California at Eugene. That's the result of the current Legislature's policies."

The state university of New York (SUNY) chancellor has proposed an autonomy/restructuring plan similar to the UO's proposal. A hedge fund billionaire raised "hackles" this year when he made a big donation conditional to approval of the plan, the New York Times reported. But recent press reports have the SUNY plan failing in the legislature due to concerns from unions and fears that tuition increases will reduce access to higher education.

This week, the Oregonian reported that the Oregon State Board of Higher Education opposes the UO autonomy plan, instead favoring an autonomy plan of their own.

I've always wanted to have an "end of an era" headline, but usually it means the UO just graduated some sports star, an athletic coach left or they've built yet another new sports building.

Dear Phil Knight: That's a very nice jock box that you built for athletes, to the dismay of many students and professors, can you please donate some money towards keeping the students' neighborhood post office alive?

But I'm talking about the post office, that tiny one off in a corner of the Erb Memorial Union (where, full disclosure, I have had a PO Box since 1997). The office is small, the employees are little off beat and the PO boxes are practically vintage. I don't know what qualifies something as vintage, but let's just say mine is cool and old looking.

The Oregon Daily Emerald did a nice story on the University Station's closing and looked into some allegations that the whole process was maybe not on up-and-up.

As of Oct. 21, the day a letter to post office box holders went out alerting that they will not have to collect their mail 20 blocks away at Southside Station, the EMU still had not been alerted to to the closing, the Emerald says.

And the student paper quotes post office employee Ken Rosemarin on how much the office is used: "We have the highest percentage of express mailings than any other Eugene post office," Rosemarin said. "We sell a tremendous amount of money orders, and we have the highest percentage of priority mail."

The UO touts its large population of international students, many of whom are dependent on University Station for packages they send home and receive.

Me, I just want to know where the employees are going. I'm going to miss walking in to a small office, and having a mailman know my name and ask me how my dogs and horses are.

Questions on the post office closing can go to Paul Bastinelli, postmaster, Eugene, according to the closure letter.

Miles O'Malley (Colin Lawrence) and two cult members (Aloura DiGiallonardo and Stephanie Morgan) look at some sea life. Photo by Ariel Ogden

Sea Life, Earthy and Full of Fire
UO cast rides The Highest Tide
by Suzi Steffen

At almost every turn, The Highest Tide surprises and delights its audience. A coming of age tale that resembles The Catcher in the Rye not in the slightest, Tide works the mind and heart with honesty and acknowledgement of life’s salty mix of joy and bitterness.

That’s thanks to book author Jim Lynch, book-to-play adapter Jane Jones of Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle and the actors and director of University Theatre’s fine production. Director Bobby Vrtis pulls excellent performances from several of his cast members and keeps the action, even in this told-in-the-past-tense play, moving along.

Like strands of kelp intertwined on the beach, threads and themes braid through the story. Science, religion and belief, desire, loss and love form a potent brew, and the play demands a large, flexible cast — something much more manageable in a university than a professional theater.

(Read the rest after the jump!)

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