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 Local News 101
 A Report for The Busy
Jan 28
'The state has told the city of Bend, OSU-Cascades and opponents of the university’s proposed campus to stop arguing over a legal document’s table of contents. The dispute pits the city and university against Truth In Site, an organization of neighbors who argue the school’s proposed west-side location will create a parking and traffic disaster. The legal battle has focused on whether the campus adheres to land use law, and an independent hearings officer and the Bend City Council have sided with OSU-Cascades. Most recently, however, Truth In Site appealed to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals, which can overturn a local land use ruling. As part of LUBA’s procedure, the city is required to submit the entire record of documents that went into its decision-making process. A battle has erupted over whether the record, which is nearly 6,000 pages, is properly organized and whether Truth In Site’s objections to the ordering of documents is a ploy to gain more time. After a series of objections, responses and counter-responses that began in early December, LUBA issued an order Jan. 20 telling all three parties to cease filing documents on the matter. “LUBA will rule on the pending objections to the record in due course,” the order reads. Despite the order, Truth In Site got in the last word Jan. 23 with a filing titled, “Petitioner’s reply to intervenor-respondent’s response to petitioner’s reply to responses of the city of Bend and intervenor-respondent to petitioner’s objection to the supplemental record and revised table of contents.”

Jan 26
Few people know about Gain Share and yet it takes a large amount of tax money from the General Fund—nearly $100 million next biennium—money that could support education, human services and public safety, and gives it to the counties who compete to woo companies to invest in their areas.

The original purpose of the Gain Share program was to compensate counties that give up property taxes to big businesses. The 2007 Legislature agreed to give an affected county 50% of the State income tax paid by employees of the businesses involved. This biennium, 99% of the tax revenue distributed through Gain Share went to Washington County for property tax breaks given to Intel and Genentech.

If Gain Share is not ended this session, the projected cost is nearly $100 million over the next two years, almost all of which will again go to Washington County.[1]

This giveaway is not fair. For example, other cities and counties have many employees working in buildings on which NO property taxes are paid and yet they receive no rebated income taxes [Benton County, with OSU, is among the largest NOT to receive the money]:

Eugene: 60,000 State college students and professors
Salem: 21,000 State employees
Coos, Deschutes, Linn and Douglas counties each have 500 – 1200 employees of private businesses located in enterprise zones that pay no property taxes.

Meanwhile, Washington County has 18,000 Intel and Genentech employees working in various properties that DO pay property taxes. And so even though the property taxes of these giant corporations were reduced by Strategic Investment Program (known as SIP) agreements, Genentech and Intel still paid $41.3 million in local property taxes and fees last year.[2] Washington County nevertheless received a Gain Share payment of $37.8 million from the General Fund!

Gain Share is not logical. It is unfair to the rest of the State—a mistake made in 2007 that should be discontinued. A simple majority vote this session would save nearly $100 million over the next two years, almost enough for five days of school statewide!

What can you do? Here again is a link to find your state senator and representative. Go to the bottom right hand corner of the page and sign up to get their newsletters.

Go to your legislators’ town halls or coffee, phone, or email and ask, “Will you be voting to end Gain Share (also known as the Shared Services Fund)? If not, why? If they start talking about a different bill, Senate Bill 129 or Senate Bill 57, say “that sounds like sausage making, not good public policy.”

Then share their response with us!

The bill to end Gain Share is House Bill 2070. The other bills change Gain Share, but it doesn’t need to be changed, it needs to be ended—pure and simple.

- from Judy Wiser and Tax Fairness Oregon

Nevada's improvement in high school graduation rates now leaves Oregon at the very bottom of the chart, with 69%. On Thursday, Oregon 'will change its definition of who is a high school graduate to be more inclusive, beginning with rates for the class of 2014, which the state is scheduled to release Thursday. That will likely raise Oregon's graduation rate at least 3 percentage points purely due to the new definition.
   For the first time, Oregon's class of 2014 graduation rate will count as graduates all special education students who earn modified diplomas. About 800 students in Oregon's class of 2013 earned modified diplomas, so the 2013 graduate rate would have been almost 2 percentage points higher if they had been included.
   Beginning with the class of 2014, Oregon also will count as graduates all students who met all the requirements to earn a high school diploma within four years but weren't awarded one so that they could remain enrolled for a fifth year of high school to attend community college on the state's dime. The state does not know how many students fell into that category but hundreds of students in Albany, Dallas, Redmond and a few other communities are known to have been steered on that route.'

Jan 22
Mirador Place Development as Popular As Ever

Corvallis residents swarmed on a proposal for a 10-unit apartment building at the east end of Northwest Mirador Place. Dozens attended a Corvallis Planning Commission public hearing at the LaSells Stewart Center in the case of the Coronado Tract B apartments.
   'The commission was meeting away from its normal downtown fire station venue because of the high public interest in the case. No public testimony was heard in favor of the project. Key concerns of opponents were remarkably similar to those the last time the project came before commissioners in 2013.
    Residents 'cited light, noise, tree issues, compatibility with the existing neighborhood, which is largely single-family housing, and concerns that land-use decisions reached in the early 1980s that required a 135-foot setback surrounding an adjacent property that eventually became the Regent retirement home should have remained in effect. Keeping the setback rules in place in perpetuity essentially would preclude any development of the property.'

Jan 21

Wendy's, Corvallis

Above: Readers will recall Sunday's report from 2 correspondents that CPD officers rushed them from the premises of Wendy's as the officers attempted to rouse the workers within, who had apparently been preparing to open when interrupted. We included similar reports from 4 Wendy's in Eugene, reports verified a day later in the gazette.
   Today, the report includes 8 Wendy's operated by Jeff Vogel of Eugene, including the one in Corvallis and Albany, and all have been closed by the chain because Vogel, the chain says, "failed to meet certain basic obligations of his Wendy’s franchise agreement".
   "Vogel’s ouster may leave in the lurch a number of property owners who were leasing the Wendy’s restaurant buildings to him." In fact, he owns NONE of the buildings in Eugene leased to him. The franchise agreement with the company requires liquid assets of $500,000.00 and Vogel's inability to meet that requirement became evident in 2013, when the government says he had skimmed $132,840 in withheld wages not paid the the government. In November, the government said the lien had been paid. Vogel's son said his father had begun working at the franchise as a young man.


Corvallis Mormons to Feel Full Brunt of Church's Bigotry

The Mormon (LDS) Church, like the smaller evangelical churches, has held a special torch for bigotry. Until 1978, they led in the field of religious intolerance on inter-racial love, with Brigham Young advocating an ISIS position: "If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses. Actually, the ISIS reference is unfair; Islam has always been deeply committed to racial equality. Malcolm X once said the only time he felt like just another human being rather than an African American was on the Hajj to Mecca).
   Today, it is largely confined to homophobia and a deeply held commitment to a vision of a patriarchy that women are inferior to males, and occupy a role of support  or pleasure only. It is generally to these 2 core beliefs that most studies tracking the high rates of depression and suicides among Mormons point.
   Across the country, in places like Corvallis, these core beliefs have gradually been allowed to slip among many Mormons and blogs as well as webcasts have proliferated until recently. Over the past year, the Church has lashed out to put an end to the practices, usually with success. An outstanding proponent of women's equality, April Bennett of Ordain Women, was ordered to resign. She did, "so she could attend her brother’s wedding, concluding that, “while others may take my place as an author or an advocate, no one can replace me in my role as my brother’s sister.”
    Now, over the past several months, journalists who have tracked the issues for years are warning other Mormons to begin hiding their views in cupboards or face ex-communication themselves. Today's Daily Beast article by Katheryn Joyce is simply the latest.

Jan 20

Highway 20 Bicycle Path Likely Dead

An informal meeting of a number of avid local bicyclists organized unofficially this morning to discuss the bicycle path into Albany from Corvallis. The conclusion of those participating was the same reached by the farmers themselves, that "too many people would be hurt", by widening the access north of the railroad, and relying upon widening the road south of Highway 20 is likely unworkable for bicyclists as a truly safe alternative.
   Several of those present suggested instead widening access along Riverside Drive directly into Albany but there was not a lot of enthusiasm for that alternative either.

OSU's Master Plan and the City Council

The Corvallis city Council is required to sign off on OSU's Master Plan (called the District Plan this year) and in the past this has been a gesture. It is generally acknowledged, however, that this has become the only opportunity for the Council to provide meaningful input into OSU's mission thinking. From reader's letters, we can condense the thoughts of our own constituency into 3 matters, which can be viewed as a Minimum requirement for signing off:
1) The city expects OSU to meet the minimum parking requirements required elsewhere in the city. If OSU wants to build a $50 million Forestry Building, they will agree to meet the parking requirements of a similar entity elsewhere in Corvallis.
2) Since a third of Corvallis residents are students, the city Council needs to begin addressing their needs as well as those of other residents, and an affordable education needs to become a priority for OSU. That most likely can be done through a growing online presence, but at present OSU charges MORE for online courses than otherwise, despite the need for less physical plant comparatively, for online classes. That needs to change for OSU.
3) The city Council needs to press OSU to meet at least standards for the migrant academic laborers who provide the backbone of OSU's staff.
   In times past, the city Council and OSU have - in the words of former District Attorney Peter Sandrock - engaged in "backslapping" and "vows to work together", only to discover it was empty phrasing. The OSU-Corvallis "collaboration" again and again proved to be a myth resulting in autonomous action by OSU, with attempts by the Council to trail along. That collaboration needs to become meaningful or dispensed with, and the only measure the Council has to make it meaningful is by refusing to sign off on the Master Plan without the above or similar changes.

Jan 8

UO Report Today: Biggest Driver of Poverty in Corvalls is City's "Economic Development"

   A new UO report issued today underlined what has been pointed out on this site repeatedly as the past city Council and new Mayor, as well as the city's Economic Development Director have tried to portray the birth of hospitality industry downtown as a priority. The new report details the industry as the driver of Oregon poverty and even racism, with 197,000 workers relying on public support in order to simply survive.
   "Oregon is a state with one of the highest number of folks needing assistance. And also a state with one of the lowest corporate tax rates. That's a real disconnect," said Raahi Reddy, a report co-author and faculty member of the UO Labor Education and Research Center."
   One in 4 work for less than $12 an hour, located almost entirely in retail, food service, personal care, cleaning and maintenance, and health care support. "The low-paying work is performed disproportionately by women and people of color. One in three female-headed households earns less than $25,000 a year, and a similar share lives below the poverty line. Half of Oregon's black or African American workforce is employed in a low-wage industries, as are 45 percent of Latino workers."
   One in 5 workers needing food stamps just for food are "employed in the accommodation and food service industry. About 13,100 worked in fast-food restaurants, and another 11,900 in full service restaurants. The average wage for fast-food cooks was $13,960 in 2013. Yet employer profits in Oregon have rebounded from the recession and continue to climb, the report notes. It points to industry-level data on gross operating surplus, a proxy for corporate profits, that shows Oregon industries earned $99.5 million in 2012. Restaurants and motels earned a collective $1.2 million." You can read the entire report here.
   If nothing else is clear in the report, it is the need to give a pink slip to the Economic Development Director the next time he sails in with a proposal for a hotel or fast food place that is just going to further sink the city's workers into despair.

Archives here

Jan 29
'A federal court judge has granted a temporary restraining order against Pacific Seafood Group’s plans to purchase a controlling interest in Ocean Gold Seafoods and its affiliates. The action, ordered last Friday by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Owen Panner, is another wrinkle in the antitrust litigation filed more than four years ago by several West Coast fishermen, including Newport’s Jeff Boardman.'

Jan 23
'Expressing their commitment to helping average American families get a leg up, leaders of the Republican party addressed the nation’s growing income inequality Wednesday by offering the middle class a hot stock tip. “Look, you guys didn’t hear it from us, but we have it on good authority that now’s the time to hop on the IPG Photonics train,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner, who explained that investing “a few grand” right now would provide the boost that struggling middle-class households need to get ahead, before requesting that everyday Americans not share the inside advice with anyone else. “IPG’s got the fiber-optic laser market cornered, and we’ve got reason to believe that demand is going to shoot through the roof in the next few quarters. Yeah, it’s trading at a pretty steep $74, but this thing’s a sure deal. And you’ll want to grab a few hundred shares in this sucker if you can, because you’re looking at a dividend yield of at least 11 percent. Don’t worry, this tip’s for free.” Boehner then added that the GOP might also have a naked short-sell operation struggling Americans could get in on if they weren’t afraid to “get [their] hands a little dirty.”

Jan 21
Wendy's, Corvallis

Above: Readers will recall Sunday's report from 2 correspondents that CPD officers rushed them from the premises of Wendy's as the officers attempted to rouse the workers within, who had apparently been preparing to open when interrupted. We included similar reports from 4 Wendy's in Eugene, reports verified a day later in the gazette.
   Today, the report includes 8 Wendy's operated by Jeff Vogel of Eugene, including the one in Corvallis and Albany, have been closed by the chain because Vogel, the chain says, "failed to meet certain basic obligations of his Wendy’s franchise agreement".
   "Vogel’s ouster may leave in the lurch a number of property owners who were leasing the Wendy’s restaurant buildings to him." In fact, he owns NONE of the buildings in Eugene leased to him. The franchise agreement with the company requires liquid assets of $500,000.00 and Vogel's inability to meet that requirement became evident in 2013, when the government says he had skimmed $132,840 in withheld wages no paid the the government. In November, the government said the lien had been paid. Vogel's son said he had begun working at the franchise as a young man.

Jan 16
3 electricians at GP's mill in Toledo have been seriously burned.

Jan 14
Today, Target announced that they are 'shutting down all 133 of its Canadian stores, laying off more than 17,000 employees, and writing off the whole god damn project as an enormous, outlandish, multibillion-dollar failure.

Jan 7
'The Safeway supermarket chain has been ordered to pay nearly $10 million for illegally dumping batteries, electronics and pharmaceuticals in landfills.'

Jan 4
This year, the new regulations in California for chicken producers requiring room for egg laying hens to stretch their wings take effect. Across the country, poultry producers are grousing since they too must meet the requirements for more humane methods. Farmers in the Midwest are unaccustomed to having to meet standards other than their own, and are complaining.

Dec 31
'These are not the best of times to be one of China's massive, state-owned steel mills. The domestic economy is slowing, competition is increasing, and there's widespread disgust and impatience with the smog pouring out of their stacks. In short, their lucrative business model for the past three decades is slowly dying. '

Dec 27
'Commercial poultry producers say they’re concerned the outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu virus found in Washington and Oregon will hurt exports by prompting some nations to impose trade barriers. “It’s probably going to be a problem anyway because some countries aren’t going to properly distinguish between backyard and commercial” flocks, export council President James Sumner told Capital Press. “This likely will have repercussions that will likely impact the entire U.S. industry.” Sumner said China already bans poultry imports form five states because of cases'

If you need auto repair, consider AJ's Auto Repair in Salem. The auto shop has run Wheels and Wishes for 8-9 years. When the staff hears of someone whose luck has run out and who depends upon a non-existent auto for essentials. the staff presents that person with a well-repaired car. For example, Carmen Garcia 'worked as a house cleaner for several clients from Keizer to Silverton, relying on her 1987 Toyota Camry to get to work. But the car had become downright stubborn and unreliable after an accident. It needed a new transmission, and possibly an engine. Often, it simply would refuse to run, making the commute to work even more complicated.' AJ's gave her a newly-repaired 2002 Chevy Cavalier this week.

Dec 26
'Eastern Idaho safflower, mustard and flax growers should expect relatively flat contract prices in 2015, according to the region’s largest buyer of the commodities..
   All three crops should remain competitive with spring wheat and barley, and mustard prices are especially attractive. A Canadian company has already contracted for mustard at 35 cents per pound, a penny above the 2014 rate. “It’s almost a no-brainer with mustard when it’s 35 to 36 cents. I don’t see how you can’t grow it, ”Mountain States Oilseeds owner Bill Meadows said '

Dec 25
Walmart is responding to minimum wage hikes in 21 states after Jan 1, by consolidating lowest pay grades and narrowing the gap between higher grades, such as supervisors, and other workers.

Dec 23
'Rabobank expects further decline in global prices for dairy products in the first half of 2015, a gradual tightening of supply in the second half and price recovery momentum in the fourth quarter. The downturn in U.S. prices has lagged that of other exporting regions, and U.S. recovery could lag as well.'

Dec 19
'Fast-food chain McDonald's illegally retaliated against workers who participated in union organizing activities, the general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleged Friday. The labor board attorney said the fast food company engaged in practices such as "threats, surveillance, interrogation, promises of benefit, and overbroad restrictions on communicating with union representatives or with other employees about unions" in restaurants across the country.'

Dec 18
The Los Angeles Times has been running a special on the Big Agra farms south of the Mexican border which supply Walmart, Safeway and Whole Foods. 'The farm employed hundreds of poor indigenous workers at a salary of $8 per day. The rudimentary, scorpion-infested camps where the workers lived had not child care facilities or schools. The workers were not given enough food to feed their families. If they wanted more, they had to buy it at inflated prices at the company store. People too sick to work were denied food. Worse, workers were not allowed to leave.'

Dec 16

A New York high school student has now racked up $72 million trading stocks at lunch time after losing his shirt in penny stocks, according to New York Magazine. Oh wait...  Today, the magazine apologized and published a new interview with the kid:
 You seem to be quoted saying "eight figures." That's not true, is it?
No, it is not true.

Is there ANY figure? Have you invested and made returns at all?

So it's total fiction?

Dec 13
'A proposal to raise Oregon's minimum wage to $15 per hour picked up support this week from 10 Democratic lawmakers who signed on to sponsor the bill. "I think a lot of people want to see the Legislature look at making sure the work that people do allows them to stay out of dependency on public support," Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, said. "That's the purpose of the minimum wage."

Dec 12
'Elizabeth Warren did a bit of outreach to Republicans today, urging them to remove from the omnibus budget bill that rollback of part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that we covered earlier today. If you really oppose government bailouts, she said, then why on earth would you vote for this measure that would allow FDIC insurance to bail out banks that lose money on derivatives trades — those risky little gambles that crashed the world economy back in 2008?'

Dec 11
Democrats in Congress announced they had pushed through funding for the Newport Coast Guard station to remain open another year.

Portland economist Joe Cortright has authored a study showing that gentrification is not really on the upswing in the US. Instead, the number of people affected are - twice as many people now live in poorer parts of urban areas. You can read the report here.

A judge has ordered Bank of America to pay a couple $1 million for 700 robo-calls after they fell behind on a second mortgage.

'So here’s a little reminder of Why Unions Matter: they give employees at least a fighting chance against bullshit like this: Kip Hedges, a baggage handler at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport who had worked for Delta Airlines for 26 years, was fired by the airline after he spoke in favor of increasing Minnesota’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Delta said that he had been canned for “disparaging” the airline.'

'The Washington Parks and Recreation Commission iis working on a policy setting fees and terms for when farmers can use long-distance trails otherwise off-limits to motorized vehicles.'

Dec 10

Nike is claiming in a lawsuit that 'three Nike footwear designers stole "a treasure trove of Nike product designs, research information and business plans" to start a new Brooklyn Design Studio for Adidas they expect to open next year'.

Oregon Counties dependent on federal taxpayers to provide their essential services through the public forests have failed to secure funding in the latest Congressional bill.

The 5-4 male majority on the Supreme Court took another step toward the Republican ideal of a US in which the 1% is served free by everyone else. Companies no longer have to pay employees for activities which are not 'principal activity" which the workers are employed to perform'. That means, for example that wait staff can be required to do cleaning for free, etc. The case was an Amazon process which involved an extra half hour unpaid while security checks were performed after work.

Dec 8
'Oregon employers of all sizes could have to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to their employees if a law being pushed by Democrats succeeds during the 2015 session.'

Dec 5
Charity Watch has come out with the annual list of miserably performing charities and near the top of the list is Vietnam Veterans of America, active in Oregon.

Dec 4

Multnomah County agreed to a $15 an hour minimum wage to be phased in over 3 years. 9% of the County's workforce will benefit.

'Fast-food workers in roughly 190 cities nationwide are set to walk off the job Thursday morning, demanding an industry-wide base wage of $15 per hour and the right to form a union. Thursday’s strike, the latest in a series of day-long labor actions coordinated through a nationwide coalition of various fast food worker groups, may well be the largest work stoppage in the history of the industry, if early organizer estimates prove to be accurate.'

Dec 3
The Obama administration's traditional reliance on corporate managers to lead crucial federal institutions (the FCC, the Affordable Health Care Act and the bank bailout come to mind) is hitting a snag as opposition to the plan to draft Lazard banker Antonio Weiss as Secretary of the Treasury has drawn 100,000 signing on in opposition.

See older posts here.

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Jan 29
The jail roster database is down this morning and we will update this column as it becomes available.

19 Year Old OSU Student Charged in OSU Library Porn Film

'A 19-year-old former Oregon State University student has been charged with public indecency in connection with allegations that she recorded a  "commercial" (pornhub)  adult film on the sixth floor of the main campus library, university officials said.' The woman, named in news reports as Kendra Sunderland, has not registered for classes this term.

Elsewhere in Oregon, in Eugene, a man who committed suicide after a shoplifting arrest in suicide, would have been bailed out by his ailing dad except, due to a holiday, the father was unable to get all the required cash.

Cylvia Hayes, the ethically challenged gf of the governor hid another $60,000 from the public in consulting fees.

Dave Dahl, of Dave's Killer Bread, is shifting a part of his energy to teaching kids how to make guitars. His latest project is a Seahawks-themed guitar for Paul Allen. Dahl regularly performs with a band called Dave's Killer Grandaddies.

A 49 year old Aloha man, Ronald Kopf, has been the 3rd man in his family to be charged with a sex crime, with a 15 year old girl..

In Virginia, University women, including sororities have been told to avoid the weekend parties held at fraternities due to repeated reports of druggings and rapes.

In the ongoing religious crime wave, a 71 year old Louisiana preacher was convicted of molesting his grandchildren, just as he was convicted of molesting his children years before. He insists God has forgiven him for his "pedophilia demons".

'It could be the closest thing to a smoking gun ... prosecutors just played video in court showing Aaron Hernandez holding what they claim is a firearm in the hours after he allegedly killed Odin Lloyd. Prosecutors say the footage was taken inside Hernandez's Massachusetts house on June 17, 2013 ... showing the forming NFL star clutching what appears to be a glock firearm. Officials believe Lloyd was shot 6 times earlier that morning ... and are convinced Aaron pulled the trigger using the very same gun in the surveillance video.'

A volunteer firefighter in Philadelphia has been charged with several arsons, as well as 161 counts of "allegedly coercing more than a dozen children to engage in lewd acts with him. "

'Death Row Records founder Suge Knight ran over a man, possibly killing him, during an argument on a film set where The Game, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre were filming tonight, TMZ reports'.

Jan 28
The jail roster database is down this morning and we will update this column as it becomes available.

Stephanie Mcrea

Above: elsewhere in Oregon, the theater program's One Acts and spring rehearsals have been cancelled at Evergreen High School after a teacher, Stephanie McCrea, was arrested for child rape of a 15 year old student.

In Vancouver, Darrel Dwight, a Boy Scout leader and substitute teacher has been arrested on child porn charges.

Elsewhere across the US, the notorious Koch brothers say they will spend $900 million next year to buy US governments.

'Former "Love & Hip Hop Atlanta" star Benzino was arrested Tuesday night at an airport for trying to send a loaded gun through a security checkpoint.'

Jan 27

Megan Katherine Courtney

Ms Courthney has been charged for the 14th time in Corvallis in little more than a year. Not untypical: "Megan Katherine Courtney, 24, was arrested on theft charges after a car prowl victim identified her, and she was in possession of a flashlight that matched the description of a flashlight stolen from the vehicle. The vehicle’s owner reported that he witnessed Courtney and a man attempting to remove the stereo from his vehicle. He said that he chased them away after confronting them. When an officer detained Courtney at the entrance of Pioneer Park, she said she’d come from a nearby apartment and was out on a walk. She was arrested on charges of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, criminal mischief and theft."
   This time, she is charged with absconding on a meth charge and failing to show on a weapons charge. She should not be in your neighborhood without adult supervision.

   Elsewhere in Oregon, 'the FBI accuses a Springfield man of writing a suicide note and fleeing Oregon after investigators found a vast trove of suspected child pornography on one of his home computers. Russell W. Platt's laptop held 15,000 images and videos of possible child porn in a folder marked "bad," according to a criminal complaint affidavit accusing him of felony possession of the materials.'

One homeless couple in Eugene are accused of attacking and robbing another in an arrest.

Another as yet-unidentified - whiner has found his feelings to be OH-SO-BIG-AND-SCARY and has shot his wife then himself in Oregon City.
    In related news, a SWAT team has been deployed in North Portland to a home with a long history of domestic violence and a hostage report.

'Would-be robbers smashed a pickup truck through the front entrance of a Walgreens drug store in Northeast Portland early Tuesday morning in an attempt to steal an ATM inside...Police said it appears the truck was stolen and two suspects tried to use a large chain attached to the truck to remove the ATM, but were unsuccessful.'

'A Washington state woman accused of stabbing her three small children may have been overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a 2-year-old toddler and 6-month-old twins while her soldier husband was frequently deployed, police said Monday.'

Jan 24

Christopher Lee Cleveland

Mr. Cleveland is another convicted Albany killer. This time he's charged with a parole violation and in the past it's been violations of post-prison supervision.
   It's a fact that we're not always going to be blessed by a Dave's Killer Bread inspiration or Ken Kesey novel and sometimes, these people from Linn County must feel a little set up for failure when relocating in Corvallis. As one reader said, some seem to still be struggling with the concept of walking upright, despite trying really, REALLY hard.

Jan 23

Suspected Thief Who Smashed Up Employee, Tried to Steal Computers, Police Say

A suspected thief at the Corvallis Mac Store 'asked to purchase the computers, and when he received them, he tried to run out of the store without paying, Rey said. “Our employee tackled him, and he dropped the computers,” Rey said. “Then he punched one of my employees and got away on foot.” A similar incident occurred in Eugene the same day.
Det. Christy Molina at 541-766-6782 is awaiting your calls if you know this sneak thief.

Manuel Jose Pinedo

Mr. Pinedo was charged with stealing a car (UUMV), theft, etc. He was sentenced to 90 days for violating parole/probation on a burglary charge, thus removing one of the city's biggest pests from the streets for a time. He has been charged almost 20 times in the recent past.

Ernest Lee Burgos
Robert Vanheck
Seth Kofi Wenger

Mr. Burgos has been charged for the 11th time in the recent past, this time on meth-related charges.
   Mr. Vanheck has been charged with a parole violation on a burglary charge.
   Mr. Wenger has been charged with burglary and with interfering with making a police report.

In the ongoing religious crime wave in Oregon, a Medford preacher now faces sex charges after a hidden camera in his bathroom was discovered by police.

An Oregon City man is being sought after a raid by a SWAT team when he reportedly "fired a .44 all over the house" and disappeared.

Jan 22

Jennifer Lynn Moothart

Ms Moothart seems like a nice enough person. It's an illusion. This is her 7th time to be charged in Corvallis, this time for a theft sentence. In the past her charges have varied. 'Jennifer Lynn Moothart, 32, of Corvallis, was arrested on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon (brass knuckles) and four counts of mail theft. Moothart allegedly stole mail from residences on Southeast Park Avenue, Southeast Thompson Street and Southeast Atwood Avenue.' The web identifies her roots as lying in Albany.

Clifford Leo Hall, Carmen Nicole Rush, Crystal Mayo Palomo, Richard Wayne Gage

This is the 5th time in a little more than a year that Mr. Hall has been charged, for meth, for burglary, parole violation, etc. This time, it's a post prison violation on a burglary charge.
   This is Ms Rush's 6th time in a little more than 2 years to be charged, for assault, DUII, burglary, etc. This time, it's a violation of parole/probation on a meth-related charge.
   Ms, Palomo, with the appropriate name of Crystal, has been charged with meth-related failure to appear and absconding. Again. She is from Linn County. Again.
   Mr. Gage is charged with a meth drug treatment court violation.
    Additionally, a 23 year old man has been arrested on a DUII, his first in Corvallis.

Elsewhere in Oregon, in the ongoing religious crime wave, an Assembly of God youth pastor in Brooks was arrested on 15 charges of sodomy and sex abuse.
   Abroad, 'Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi is undergoing a brutal sentence of 1,000 lashes over the next 20 weeks, but is expected to have his second round of beatings suspended for the second week in a row. A medical committee found he is unfit to undergo the punishment on health grounds and recommended the flogging stop.'

UO officials remain very concerned about what details may have been contained in confidential documents which saw an unexpected release to a UO prof who has yet to turn them over. Among those concerns are the UO handling of a sex assault claim against basketball players.

Hope Solo

Soccer star Hope Solo's troubled personal life caught up with her again as she has been suspended. Said the US team coach, "We feel at this time it is best for her to step away from the team."

In Portland, a man who killed another after the victim had been accused by a stripper named Bubbles of raping her was sentenced to 23 years in prison. 'The murder might have remained unsolved. The investigation slowed as leads dried up. But then Bueler's ex-girlfriend was arrested for a parole violation charge.She told investigators she helped Bueler get rid of the knife he allegedly used in the stabbing.

Elsewhere in the US, 'the Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, was arrested by the FBI on corruption charges Thursday.' He is accused of pocketing millions in donations from a small law firm never reported.
   The man who reported on the "special relationship" between Republican officials in D.C. and the Louisiana Ku Klux Klan has been the target of a terrorist attack on his home.

Abroad, 'a small village in the Philippines will no longer allow residents to play Defense of the Ancients following a series of violent incidents that culminated in two deadly stabbings.. The village of Salawag chose to enact this Dota ban after government officials met with computer cafe owners and determined that the game was making their children more violent. In November, two teenagers were stabbed and killed after a fight involving the game'.

Jan 21

Brian Duane Quinlan

Mr. Quinlan has been charged with the most serious of rape and sodomy charges. He is identified on the web as another Albany gift.

Wendy's, Corvallis

Above: Readers will recall Sunday's report from 2 correspondents that CPD officers rushed them from the premises of Wendy's as the officers attempted to rouse the workers within, who had apparently been preparing to open when interrupted. We included similar reports from 4 Wendy's in Eugene, reports verified a day later in the gazette.
   Today, the report includes 8 Wendy's operated by Jeff Vogel of Eugene, including the one in Corvallis and Albany, have been closed by the chain because Vogel, the chain says, "failed to meet certain basic obligations of his Wendy’s franchise agreement".
   "Vogel’s ouster may leave in the lurch a number of property owners who were leasing the Wendy’s restaurant buildings to him." In fact, he owns NONE of the buildings in Eugene leased to him. The franchise agreement with the company requires liquid assets of $500,000.00 and Vogel's inability to meet that requirement became evident in 2013, when the government says he had skimmed $132,840 in withheld wages no paid the the government. In November, the government said the lien had been paid. Vogel's son said he had begun working at the franchise as a young man.


David Marciano

Across the country, "Wicked Tuna" star David Marciano claims it was flirtatious" when he grabbed the ponytail of a hotel employee to get her attention, but the police say it's just one more case of assault.

Jan 20

Lawrence  Scott McCandless

Mr. McCandless has been charged for the 2nd time in Corvallis in the past month. He previously was charged for theft, id theft, meth and this time it's for drugs again. He was famous in Lane County when a judge had to send out a deputy to round up jurors for a trial of one who appears to be the same Lawrence  Scott McCandless on sodomy and sex abuse charges.

Stephanie Ann Turvey

Ms Turvey has been charged with illegally entering another's car, burglary and theft.
    A reader reports being at Wendy's on 9th St yesterday with no response from the drive-in window, at which time several officers descended on the palce and advised him and all others to leave immediately while they tried to rounse someone inside the building, apparently to no avail. The reader left and on returning an hour later, the restaurant remained closed. Wendy's nationwide has been experiencing sudden closures. 'Three of the four Wendy’s fast-food restaurants in Eugene closed over the weekend, but could reopen within several days under new ownership, longtime franchise owner Jeff Vogel said Sunday night.. Vogel said the switch in ownership comes as the Wendy’s chain seeks to raze, rebuild or remodel some of its stores, and close others, as part of an “Image Activation” rebranding program.'
   OSU's Saferide program, originally designed to provide safe rides to those most at risk but now widely used after dusk, has now developed an app and "the have it down to a tee", say students.


Elsewhere in Oregon, police are investigating "a massive pileup of trucks along I-84, about 33 miles east of Baker City". Most were tractor trailer rigs, but sandwiched between two of them, above, was Kaleb Witbey;s Chevy Silverado pickup. Whitbey was given 2 band aids and set to work helping rescue others less fortunate. However, a trauma workerr warned: "I work in the car accident "industry" and the narrative of people just walking away from serious accidents bothers me, because it's just not true. You don't have to be a doctor to figure out that the trucker in this not a doctor. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you are in shock. It is not uncommon to have no immediate pain while having sustained fractures. Adrenaline is a helluva drug. The odds of this guy having no injuries are very low. At the very least, if he has miraculously not sustained any fractures, he will certainly have a number of soft-tissue injuries that will take him months or years to recover from, in addition to any psychological damages that could impact his recovery. People don't walk away from serious accidents unharmed, or at least that cannot be determined until several days or weeks after an accident. I wish this guy the best in his recovery."
   The Oregonian reconstructed the final moments before the crush: "Headed up a slight hill into a curve, Whitby decided to pass the semi-truck in front of him, but then thought better of it. The fog was too thick. He backed off.
When he rounded the curve and started descending, Whitby saw the semi again — but this time it was jack-knifed across the interstate. He swerved to the right, but ended up hitting the back end of the trailer. It flipped him around, and instantly his truck stalled — leaving him splayed out with his passenger side facing oncoming traffic.
'Then the headlights of an oncoming semi-truck filled the window frame.
'I just braced and hoped that everything would be all right,' Whitby said. He prayed, and wondered if it was his time. Ten seconds went by. The truck bore down on him." What happened next? The semi struck and Whitby opened his eyes to find shattered glass and large portions of his vehicle missing, according to the Oregonian. He cut his seat belt using a pocket knife and managed to "dislodge the steering column from his side," according to the paper.
    "I just kept telling myself to calm down," Whitby told the paper, without noting that not calming down would have been a perfectly reasonable response as well. Sergi Karplyuk, the driver of the semi that slammed into Whitby, was convinced that he had killed whoever was sitting in the tangle of metal wedged beneath his truck. At first, he said, because of the chaos and fog, none of the truck drivers on the scene even noticed that a vehicle had been crushed. Karplyuk approached cautiously, expecting to find a mutilated body."I see this head and he's just like, starts speaking," Karplyuk told The Washington Post. "It's just this guy and he says, 'I'm OK, I just can't get out.' He was just so calm that I couldn't believe it. I was like, 'Are you sure you're totally OK? Your legs aren't crushed and your knees are all right? He kept saying he was fine.' "Thank God that I'm still alive," Whitby told the Oregonian. "Now I've got to go figure out why."'

In the ongoing religious crime wave, Medford preacher Donald Biggs was arrested for sexting a 14 year old in his church, 'used hidden video cameras to make inappropriate video recordings of underage girls and an adult woman — and then tried to steal church hard drives. '
   Abroad, ISIS is threatening another snuff film unless the Japanese government ponies up millions.                            

The English government's Major Fraud unit has turned over the investigation of the sale of Autonomy to HP, which HP has said was rife with fraud, to the US government entirely.

Jan 18

Jeremiah Louis Jones

Mr. Jones is back in jail on heroin charges and a probation violation. This is his 5th time to be charged in Corvallis, on meth, trespassing, etc.

Elsewhere in Oregon, 26 year old Rashid Kambarov was arrested on charges of raping a 31 year old woman at the Montavilla Hotel in Portland.

Greg Anthony, Former Trailblazer

CBS has suspended former Trailblazer Greg Anthony, after his arrest in a sting on a charge of soliciting a hooker in Maryland. 'Greg Anthony will not be working again for CBS this season," A CBS spokeswoman said Saturday. Turner Sports also suspended the TV commentator and said it "will have no further comment." Anthony, 47, issued a statement Saturday apologizing to his wife, family and colleagues. "I made a mistake," he said. "With this lapse of judgment, I embarrassed many, including myself. I Anthony was arrested on a charge of soliciting a prostitute inside a room at a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in downtown Washington just before 6 p.m. Friday, according to a Metropolitan Police Department report obtained by The Associated Press. The report also said that Anthony was suspected of using a computer as part of the crime, and that his arrest was part of an undercover operation targeting prostitution. "I will work to regain the trust that I have lost, and the first step is saying that I am sorry."'

In Salem, Ron Jaecks 'was jogging near the baseball field about 5:15 a.m. Suddenly in the morning darkness his stocking cap was pulled from his head, and almost simultaneously he felt something puncture his scalp. Jaecks thought he was dying. "It was like a huge electric shock ran through my body, but also like I got hit in the head with a two-by-four all at the same time," Jaecks said. "Or maybe a strike of lightning." Jaecks, 58, immediately began to run faster, trying to escape his assailant.
Running in circles and screaming, the general surgeon for Kaiser Permanente began to think that he was having a stroke or an aneurysm.' It was instead, an expert said, an attack by a great horned own on a territorial run. With a 5 foot wing span and 4-5 inch talons.

In Portland, prosecutors say Brian Gunn 'put himself behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz, install a luxury pool at his home and give $300,000 to his girlfriend,' all illegally with other people's "investments".

Above: Elsewhere across the US, a Delaware police officer overcame decades of estrangement with his body car cam and Taylor Swift. TMZ reported it's staged but said "Who cares?!"

In the southland, a 13 year old has convinced a not-so-bright 18 year old, police say, that she is 19 and the 2 have blazed a trail of crime across southern states.

Abroad, A Swiss art project which used a bot to buy random goods on the 'net with $Bitcoins and went amok, buying illegal weapons, fake passports and drugs had raised questions about legal responsibility, which Swiss police answered today by arresting the bot and creators.

Above: 'Japanese police are currently scouring the country for a 19-year-old YouTuber. His alleged crime? Stealing snacks and fizzy drinks... And to help pay for his escape, the teen said he sold his Nintendo handheld. Desperate times call for desperate measures!'

Jan 17

Dalton James Davis-Williamson

Mr. Davis-Williamson has been charged for not showing up on meth and theft charges, etc. This is his 5th time to be charged in Corvallis, and is a good example of the poor quality of criminal to be found in Corvallis. There are no Robin Hoods or Danny De Vito here. Just poor misguided screwballs like Mr. Davis-Williamson.

Jan 16

Vanessa Chavez

Ms Chavez has been charged on not showing for 3 counts of theft, of stealing a vehicle, of  credit card forgery, etc. This is her 3rd time being charged in Corvallis. The web identifies her as being from Hermiston and Pendleton.

Avery Morgan McGrath William Robert Johnson

Mr. McGrath has been charged yet again, his 7th time in the past year. This time it's for stealing a vehicle, assault, hit and run, attempt to elude, tampering, criminal trespass, etc.
   Mr. Johnson has been charged for the 12th time in a little more than a year, this time on heroin and meth charges.
    A 22 year old woman has been charged for the first time, insofar as we can determine, with stealing a car. Same for a 67 year old man with a DUII. And a 38 year old woman on meth and child-endangerment charges.

Elsewhere, Oregon pot growers are eying Washington's glut of pot with alarm. Growers initially able to gouge retail outlets are unable to make costs suddenly.

The evidence against 28 heroin dealers has gone missing, well not missing really. It's in the arm of an FBI agent addict and as many as 100 dealers will now walk.

Jan 15

Manuel Luis Pinedo

Mr. Pinedo was recently released after being charged again in a meth case (his usual m.o. has been car prowls; he has been charged 18 times in the past several years for various offenses) as well as on a weapons charge. Readers this morning alerted us to his early morning presence in downtown and just south of the Mary's the past 2 days, where he is, they say, allegedly car prowling again with an accomplice to whom he is signaling by whistle regarding the presence of others. We caution you that - despite the concern of our readers - low short whistling at 5 AM is not necessarily a signal of criminal behavior. That's especially true if you can't see the alleged accomplice.

Trisha Rose Perry Betty Jo Davies Beau Andrew Biegel

Ms Perry has been charged with a drug treatment court violation, her 9th time to be charged in Corvallis in 2 years, usually on theft or meth charges. Ms Davies is another Albany gift, and is charged with a drug treatment court violation on a theft charge. Mr. Biegel is also from Albany, and is charged with not showing up on a theft charge. He has left his mugshot in Marion County as well as Linn County.

Andrew Michael Sivetz

This is Mr. Sivetz's 5th time to be charged in Corvallis. In the past it's usually been for DUII, although menacing and kidnapping charges were also filed. This time it's disorderly conduct. It is only to be hoped that Andrew is not a direct descendent of Michael Sivetz, of Corvallis, whose hot air roaster was considered one of the more important inventions of the coffee industry although he was reputedly a little crusty. Michael Sivetz deserves a better legacy than a kid in the drunk tank, if that's the case here,  although admittedly legacies need to be earned. A good roaster may not be the same as a good father. And the 2 may not be related at all.

Richard Wayne Gage

This is Mr. Gage's 10th time to be charged in a little more than a year, this time in a drug treatment court violation on a meth charge.

Elsewhere in Oregon, the re-trial of a Beaverton police officer, Christopher Warren, accused of raping a 5 year old is scheduled to begin anew.

A South Carolina mother reported her son's leaving to follow the Grateful Dead 20 years ago, after a note to "Jason" was found in the pocket of a man killed in a 1995 car crash driven by another South Carolina man. Her son, Jason Callahan, has previously been known only as "Grateful Doe", having had stubs of tickets from Dead shows of the era in his pocket.

Also in the southland, a Georgia man has been charged with having his son simulated the sex of Brokeback Mountain. With the family dog.
   Wendy Holland, in Alabama, was sentenced for running an incest ring with tots to 219 years .


Ashley Hamitlon

'Songwriter Ashley Hamilton was arrested at a LGBT medical center after impersonating an officer in order to get special treatment for his friend. 
Law enforcement sources tell us ... Ashley took a friend to the Los Angeles LGBT Center Tuesday afternoon, to get emergency care. The waiting room was crowded and we're told Ashley asked the person at the counter if his friend could see a doctor stat. The staffer said they would have to wait their turn. According to law enforcement ... Ashley took it up a notch by flashing a shiny badge, saying he was a cop. It worked, because the friend got immediate treatment, but the inquisitive staffer then asked George Hamilton's son where exactly he worked. Ashley confessed he wasn't really a cop. '

See archives here.

Note: Everyone should be assumed innocent until 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.

Jan 27
The "Wind Tree"

'French company NewWind has created the "Arbre a Vent" or "Wind Tree," a 3-meter-tall generator designed for urban environments which makes the most of smaller air currents. Operating in near complete silence, the wind tree consists of 72 micro turbine "aeroleaves" that rotate in the wind, generating an estimated 3.1. kW of power. While this isn't much compared to industrial-sized turbines, which typically generate in the region of 1 - 3MW, having multiple smaller turbines has its uses. '

Jan 23
350,000 diesel trucks being phased out in California for not meeting environmental standards are being dumped in Oregon, a new report shows.

Jan 22
'In a bizarre turn of events, the U.S. Senate agreed on the existence of climate change, then denied, though just barely, that humans have anything to do with it.It’s a schizophrenic viewpoint that only makes sense in the fevered brain of an elected member of Congress who doesn’t believe in basic science. But it’s there, as part of two amendments to the controversial Keystone Pipeline Act.'

The Republican, Joni Ernst, who spoke about he plastic bag shoes as a response to Barak Obama's State of the Union Speech actually lied, with her family receiving almost half a million dollars in federal aid, much of it in the form of farm subsidies to her parents' farm.

'Twenty farmworkers picking cherries in Washington became sick from a pesticide mixture in a pear orchard drifting over to their field. The mixture is new on the market.'

800 UO students have been told to see their physicians to check for signs of a deadly blood born disease called meningococcemia

Jan 14
'When recess takes place before kids sit down to eat – instead of after - fruit and vegetable consumption increases by 54%.'

Another adult wolf has joined the pack of OR-7 in southern Oregon.

Jan 12

Above: 17-year-old Gage Garmo - 'who has been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, and has been told he only has one week to live. Just three days ago, Gage's friends and family started up the hashtag #GetGageGarmo ToMeetEminem. The rapper showed up at Gage's home, insistent upon no media coverage, and spent an hour with the kid, much to the latter's delight.

Jan 9
'Paralysed patients have been given new hope of recovery after rats with severe spinal injuries walked again through a ‘groundbreaking’ new cyborg-style implant.'

Jan 8
The die off of Cassim's auklets at the Oregon Coast has now been traced to starvation ' though scientists remain unsure as to why the event is so large.'

Legacy Hospitals in Oregon will begin restricting visitors this week as a result of the state's flu outbreak.

Much of the world's fossil fuels must simply be left in the ground if catastrophic global warming is to be averted.

Jan 7
Republicans have identified Public Enemy #1 in their gunsights, and it's the lowly kale plant. 'While both Democrats and Republicans supported the school lunch bill in 2010, critics say the problems came in 2012, when the USDA wrote the regulations to implement the law, reportedly with significant input from the White House. Changes to school breakfasts and lunches included calorie caps, a ban on trans fats, increased fruit and vegetable offerings, and sodium reductions. '

'The first new antibiotic to be discovered in nearly 30 years has been hailed as a ‘paradigm shift’ in the fight against the growing resistance to drugs. Teixobactin has been found to treat many common bacterial infections such as tuberculosis, septicaemia and C. diff, and could be available within five years. But more importantly it could pave the way for a new generation of antibiotics because of the way it was discovered. Scientists have always believed that the soil was teeming with new and potent antibiotics because bacteria have developed novel ways to fight off other microbes.'

Jan 4

Above: Next time you wonder how it is that so many of Corvallis's Linn County immigrants seem to be afflicted by "felony stupid" incidents, you may want to run this video again from Albany the past few days, and note that the victim not only engaged in such behavior, going shoulder to shoulder with an enraged, trapped bull, but did not find it all strange to advertise it to the world. Until we start receiving smarter immigrants from Linn County, we should shut down the border entirely.

Mice fed on high fructose corn sugar had nearly twice the death rates of those on sugar, says a study to be published in the Journal on Nutrition..

Jan 1
A mass die-off of Cassin's auklets has been going on at the Coast and no one is sure why. "I estimate there were probably 30 to 50 per mile. I've never seen that many before," says Dave Miller, who grew up in Newport.

Dec 31
'On Sunday, shortly before her death, transgender teen Leelah Alcorn left a long and heartwrenching note on her Tumblr explaining that a combination of parental rejection, isolation, and inability to receive proper medical care had left her hopeless. Referencing Dan Savage's controversial "It Gets Better" campaign, she wrote, "People say 'it gets better' but that isn’t true in my case." As news of the 17-year-old's suicide made international headlines, many supporters of transgender rights pointed to the parts of Alcorn's note that showed a teen in desperate need of a supportive community of adults and others like her.'

Dec 29
The Oregon Department of Wildlife says that hunting licenses have tumbled from 18.9% of Oregonians to 8.3% and fishing licenses from 34.6% to 18.4%. The Department depends upon licenses for funding. A part of the decline, the Department says, is that access to hunting areas has been limited by the profusion of off-road vehicles which have driven animals onto private land, who charge extra for hunting and fishing, sometimes with fees prohibitive except for the wealthy. The state sees none of that revenue, and there are no plans at present to further tax the recreational vehicles.

A Christian theologian who was fired at a seminary after announcing he would live an experimental full year "without God" has concluded his year. He is, he says, an atheist now, at the end of that year.

Dec 28
'Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking the public to report dead or sick wild birds so they can be tested for avian influenza. Washington wildlife officials are asking the public to help them find wild birds infected with a lethal and contagious strain of avian influenza that has struck British Columbia poultry, surfaced in a backyard flock in Southern Oregon and caused concern in Asia and Europe. The virus, deadly to domestic poultry but rarely fatal in migratory waterfowl, may endanger hawks, falcons and eagles, state Fish and Wildlife veterinarian Kristen Mansfield said.'

Pope Francis has decided to issue an encyclical on global climate change instructing devout Catholics to begin pressuring their leaders for agreement on global warming controls. “Just as humanity confronted revolutionary change in the 19th century at the time of industrialisation, today we have changed the natural environment so much. If current trends continue, the century will witness unprecedented climate change and destruction of the ecosystem with tragic consequences.”

Late, heavy snow in the French Alps has stranded 15,000 cars stranded, and airports have been closed, leaving passengers with no means of exit.

'With the party set to lose control of the chamber following defeats in the midterm elections, Senate Democrats announced Wednesday that they are prepared to go out in a final blaze of glory by passing one last completely neutered bill. Reconvening for the lame-duck session, the party leadership confirmed plans to muster their forces for a valiant, climactic charge, aiming to make a last stand in the weeks ahead by enacting just one more watered-down, ultimately inconsequential piece of legislation during the 113th session of Congress.'

Dec 27
'Oregon’s state geologist urged Oregon State University not to put a marine studies building in a tsunami zone south of Newport’s Yaquina Bay Bridge — or at least build it to withstand waves as high as 43 feet...Vicki McConnell, head of the state geology agency, said the designated capacity of 500 people pushes the state limit established in 1999 for a tsunami inundation zone.'

'The microbes that live in and on humans may have evolved to preferentially take down the elderly in the population, a new computer model suggests. That, in turn, could have allowed children a greater share of food and resources, thereby enabling an extended childhood.'

Dec 26

Rare Split Sex Cardinal Proves to Have Same Difficulties in Life that Split Sex Humans Do

'This bird might look like a holiday ornament, but it is actually a rare half-female, half-male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis, pictured with female plumage on the left and male plumage on the right)''.. Researchers have long known such split-sex “gynandromorphs” exist in insects, crustaceans, and birds. But scientists rarely get to extensively study a gynandromorph in the wild; most published observations cover just a day or so. Observers got to follow this bird, however.. They documented how it interacted with other birds and even how it responded to recorded calls. The results suggest being half-and-half carries consequences: The cardinal didn’t appear to have a mate, and observers never heard it sing... On the other hand, it wasn’t “subjected to any unusual agonistic behaviors from other cardinals,” according to the paper. Intriguingly, another gynandromorph cardinal sighted briefly in 1969 had the opposite plumage, they note: the male’s bright red plumes on the right, the drabber female feathers on the left.'

Tesla is saying the Roadster can now go 400 miles on a single charge - further than many gas tanks will carry you.

Dec 24
Robert Silver, a Polk County, Oregon man who abused 200 alpacas has been sent to prison for 3 years.

Dec 23
'The ZEB house—a collaboration between Snøhetta and the Research Center on Zero Emission Buildings—could have a major impact on residential architecture going forward: Not only is it a zero emissions house, it’s a “plus house,” meaning it actually produces excess energy. It’s enough that an electric car could drive for 12,500 miles on the surplus energy from the ZEB.'

Dec  22
In a major step forward, an Argentine court has declared that an orangutan has won a filing of habeas corpus against her "illegal detention", which opens the way for other primates to claim the same status of "non-human person".

Dec 21
Bedbug infestations have appeared in Medford and Eugene.

Dec 20
Fully a third of the "Oregon Farm Bureau's" political budget comes from the GMO firms like Monsanto and Sygenta, with whom the Farm Bureau fell into lockstep with in the recent fight over labeling of "Frankenfoods".

Dec 19
ALERT! 5 people have now died of eating Listeria-contaminated caramel apples and the CDC has issued a warning:
"The information CDC has at this time indicates that commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples may be contaminated with Listeria and may be causing this outbreak. Out of an abundance of caution, CDC recommends that U.S. consumers do not eat any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including plain caramel apples as well as those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more specific guidance can be provided."

Oregon's PacificCorp has decided the Deer Creek, Utah coal plant has become too expensive to operate, since the coal being mined, with a reserve of fewer than 5 years supply, now has a higher ash and sulphur content. It will be closed.

'Getting ships to generate smaller bubbles as they sail across the oceans could counteract the impact of climate change, a study suggests. Scientists from University of Leeds, UK, say this would create a brighter wake behind a vessel and reflect more sunlight back into space. However, it could also increase rainfall in some areas. The findings were presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.'

Dec 18
Oregon's wolves have re-established themselves in a new range in the Umatilla National Forest.

Dec 17
'Backers of a measure to ban genetically engineered crops in Benton County delivered a stack of initiative petitions, tied up with red ribbon and topped with a festive bow, to Elections Supervisor Jeff Doty on Tuesday afternoon. “This is your Christmas present,” petitioner Dana Allen declared as she plopped the papers down on the counter of the county elections office. Supporters claim to have gathered 3,078 signatures. County elections officials now will begin the task of verifying the signatures to weed out duplicates and to make sure the signers are registered Benton County voters.
If at least 2,171 signatures are determined to be valid, the measure would appear on the ballot for the county’s next regular district election, scheduled for May 19.'

New York has banned fracking saying the health risks "are just too great".

Dec 14
'A federal judge has decided to block for now an attempt by the drug company Actavis to halt sales of an older form of its Alzheimer’s disease drug Namenda in favor of a newer version with a longer patent life.' New York accused the company of forcing patients to switch to the newer version of the widely used medicine to thwart competition from generic manufacturers.

Dec 13

Verve Offers Mama June, Sugar Bear $1 Million for "Epic, Redneck Sex Tape"

Above: There's some truth, apparently, in P.T. Barnum's advice to "Never over-estimate the taste of the American Public". Porn maker Vivid Entertainment will let Mama June "call the shots in a suggested porn film starring her and her ex-. Among the suggested titles: "Slap the Thigh, Ride the Wave".

A responsible Portland homeless person reported that at night barrels of soil were being dumped into a trench alongside a bridge he and his son frequented and reported it. Further follow up by DEQ confirmed his sighting, and it has been determined that the dumpings were legal. But hats-off for the whistle blower!

' Examination of DNA from 21 primate species – from squirrel monkeys to humans – exposes an evolutionary war against infectious bacteria over iron that circulates in the bloodstream. Supported by experimental evidence, these findings, published in Science on Dec. 12, demonstrate the vital importance of an underappreciated defense mechanism, nutritional immunity. '

Dec 12

'A bill authorizing the release of unallocated water in the Prineville Reservoir and opening the Bowman Dam to hydropower development passed Congress on Thursday after a last-minute deal resurrected the legislation.'

Scientists mapping genomes of existing birds have created a tree which shows, for example, that all birds come from giant "birds of terror", but also that falcons, for example, are more closely related to parrots than to eagles and hawks.

An oil corporation's tanker has had a collision and sunk in Bangladesh, creating "an ecological disaster" in a bay harboring rare dolphins and contaminating the Irrawaddy and Ganges rivers. The head of Bangla Desh's Wildlife Conservation Society says dispersants are ruled out in the case of delicate mangrove ecosystems such as this.

Above: Greenpeace has absolutely pissed off the world's environmentalists by damaging a World Heritage site with an ad.

Dec 11

Children who were exposed to elevated levels of phthalates - common household chemicals - in the womb score 6 points lower, on average, in IQ tests than other children.

In one more attempt by Republicans in Congress to gut the environment for the profits of the Koch brothers, the preservation of sage brush habitat is not included in their spending bill.

The Obama administration is considering new measures to attack the import of Chinese solar cells, claiming the cells are subsidized. Some US firms are wondering why. If the Chinese government is willing to subsidize solar energy around the world, what's the big deal?

Pennsylvania schools are suing the state over a lack of sustainable funding for education in violation, they say, of the state Constitution. One Philadelphia school for 400 students has an annual budget of $160 for supplies for 400 kids.

Big Agra - those people who brought you GMOs too - have overfed animal;s with antibiotics to the point that drug-resistant strains are now predicted to be killing more people than cancer by 2050, says a UK panel of scientists.

BASE Jumper's Last Photos Go Viral
The UK's Gareth Jones took the above photo before BASE jumping to his death in Australia. Wrote his friend Echo Widmer: "He was loud the day I met him, and he was loud the last day I hugged him and squeezed him before saying goodbye. He was never boring, he always challenged the norm. He made every moment more fun, and exciting. He pulled everyone out of their comfort zones and just let go. He was a 100 percent authentic version of himself, and completely proud to be who he was. He reached out to people when he needed to, and he held himself together beautifully. Ironically he told me and some others a week ago that when he died, he'd be pissed if his friends had a funeral and cried for him. He said he wanted to have a Viking Funeral and he wanted his friends to send him out to sea on a burning ship while celebrating and partying in the moonlight."

Dec 10
While Republicans have danced around the issue of global warming to allow their Koch brothers funders time to continue profiting from greenhouse gasses without concern for the consequences, a new threat has emerged off the coast of Oregon and Washington. 'Off the U.S. West Coast, methane gas is trapped in frozen layers below the seafloor. New research from the University of Washington shows that water at intermediate depths is warming enough to cause these carbon deposits to melt, releasing methane into the sediments and surrounding water. Researchers found that water off the coast of Washington is gradually warming at a depth of 500 meters (about a third of a mile down), the same depth where methane transforms from a solid to a gas. The research suggests that ocean warming could be triggering the release of a powerful greenhouse gas'.

A Mormon associated charity in Utah barred a volunteer who dared to wear a pants suit instead of a skirt. The chairwoman said "Once someone sees someone wearing pants, then everyone thinks that would be accepted. “We just don’t go there. We still are very strict". Strict here is a euphemism for fossil. “I had worn this because I thought it would best represent my professional attitude" said the volunteer, Ellie Kaiser.

Dec 9
The state Land Board has turned their backs on Republican pushes to sell off public lands and assets cheaply to corporate raiders, saying that the overwhelming public feedback has been against closing Elliott State Forest to the public, in order to sell it.

The stronger US dollar is leading to lower costs for chemicals and fuel for farmers who use a lot of both, but prices of US exports will rise significantly.

Dec 8
Midas, KFC Team Up for Crossover "Road Bucket"

On the heels of KFC's spin with Aquafresh and the "Original Recipe" toothpaste flavor, the Onion reports the KFC Road Bucket with Midas  as partner. It comes "with 10 pieces of chicken, your choice of two sides, and four biscuits served on a corrosion-resistant aluminized steel muffler, all for the special low price of $19.99,” said KFC marketing director Mike Wesle...“Or customers can upgrade to the Colonel’s Highway Bucket for an additional $10, which includes twice the food served in an all-season radial tire, plus a 64-ounce coolant reservoir of Pepsi.”

Supporters of the GMO labeling issue say those counting ballots left out 4600 ballots and they are suing.

'It's far too early to declare a state of emergency, but the low snowpack that plagued winter recreation all of last season appears to be rearing its ugly head again. The main problem — precipitation falling as rain instead of snow — has kept even higher-elevation ski areas closed on Mount Hood, as well as keeping snow almost nonexistent at mid-elevation ski areas at Santiam and Willamette Pass.'

The sports writers are whining that the Big 12 "got hosed" in the selection of national championship candidates, when Baylor and TCU. the Big 12's best, were passed over. The problem is that the Big 12 is now really just the Big 10, and they had to scrape the bottom of the barrel - Iowa State for example, to even find TEN teams willing to play in the same league as the Texas teams. The problem is that conferences need 12 teams to host a league "championship".
   Leagues are expected to have SOME values in common, and Texas's insistence on educating students with falsehoods like "Moses wrote the Constitution" in texts gives everyone pause. No one wants to be grouped with Texans on such matters. Texas's anathema is not going to change for others outside the state. And until Texas changes, the chance that Texas teams will find their way into the national championship are slim to none.

The state has lifted the algae alert at Devils's Lake which was instituted in August.

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Jan 29
A Comcast customer who tried to cancel found their business name and credit rating changed to "Assh*le Brown" after declining to sign a new 2 year contract.

Jan 28
'Kate Brown, Oregon's Secretary of State, allowed Comcast – a steadfast campaign contributor -- to dictate a 2014 letter she signed and submitted in ardent support of its $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable.'

Above: Adieu from an ALS announcer.

'YouTube today announced it has finally stopped using Adobe Flash by default. The site now uses its HTML5 video player by default in Google's Chrome, Microsoft's IE11, Apple's Safari 8, and in beta versions of Mozilla's Firefox browser. At the same time, YouTube is now also defaulting to its HTML5 player on the web.'

'Researchers have uncovered a new evidence that a powerful computer program discovered last year, called "Regin", is "identical in functionality" to a piece of malware used by the National Security Agency (NSA) and its Five Eyes allies.'

Jan 27
About three years ago, popular game development and digital distribution company Valve hired lesser-known economist Yanis Varoufakis to analyse and improve the Steam Market. Yanis Varoufakis was appointed the new finance minister of Greece. The economist has now gone places, with his appointment as the new finance minister of Greece.

The Lizard Squad is claiming responsibility for Facebook, Instagram attacks which took down the two.

In the typical contribution made by capitalism to world culture, a Florida firm is now claiming patent rights to "Je Suis Charlie" after the recent killings in Paris.

Jan 26
Pirate Bay looks ready to relaunch Feb 1.

Jan 24
'Poland-based Przemysław Strzelczyk and a team of software developers working on a new concept have created what they believe is the future of desktop computing — a mouse that's also a PC'.

2 Delta planes from Portland were diverted on the basis of a "credible threat" - "credible threat" meaning a sketchy troll's "dumb tweets". From "king Zortic":
"Delta Assist, I have a bomb left on one of your airplanes but I forgot which one when I left the airport. Can you help me find it?"

Jan 23
Skymall, the in-flight shopping catalog, declared bankruptcy, saying that increased wi-fi access on planes had shrunk the shopping base noticeably.

Despite Yahoo promises of Tumblr independence, 'do you work in sales at Tumblr? Have you noticed a disturbance in the force? We're hearing that bad shit went down at Tumblr this week, and while it is not going to be announced until next week, for now everyone at Tumblr is drinking heavily. The deal: Yahoo is going to announce some tighter integration between their sales force and Tumblr's sales force. No word yet on management-level exits or layoffs. But if you're working in ad sales, you know the drill.'

Jan 22
'Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you’ll hear a meaty, throaty rumble — the same style of roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades. It’s a sham. The engine growl in some of America’s best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether'

'A small village in the Philippines will no longer allow residents to play Defense of the Ancients following a series of violent incidents that culminated in two deadly stabbings.. The village of Salawag chose to enact this Dota ban after government officials met with computer cafe owners and determined that the game was making their children more violent. In November, two teenagers were stabbed and killed after a fight involving the game'.

'A company that makes online gift cards just raised $56 million at a valuation of just under $1 billion. The company's name, ironically, is Raise. I'm not making that up. '

Jan 21
'An electronic dongle used to plug into the on-board diagnostic port of more than two million cars and trucks contains few security weaknesses that makes them vulnerable to wireless attacks, resulting in taking control of the entire vehicle. Since 2008, US-based Progressive Insurance has used the SnapShot device in more than two million vehicles. The little device monitors and tracks users' driving behavior by collecting vehicle location and speed records, "in order to help determine if they qualify for lower rates".'

A new 'service is called Invisible Girlfriend, and the idea is that you sign up and pay $25 and they will send you text messages and photos and make you feel as if you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend (your choice), and if you can laugh at this without your laughter getting caught in your throat and turning to sobs, then you are a heartless tool.'

Jan 20
A plain text file containing login credentials for over 1800 Minecraft players has just been posted on the internet.

The Obama administration has asked the FCC to declare invalid many of the laws passed by Republican legislatures at the behest of telecommunication corporations prohibiting the development of municipal fiber optics networks.

In their traditional role of championing every corporate sleazeball, the FBI is trying to find hackers who shut down the website "the Dirty", of Nik Richie, 'the CEO of Capitol Imaging Group- an organization that was accused of scamming musicians, by promising to give big breaks to those who paid for them...and then failing to follow through.'

'Minh Nguyen, a co-founder of Plaxo and a techie who was involved in several other startups, was arrested and charged with murder after allegedly shooting his ex-wife's new husband in Virginia. Police say Nguyen's ex-wife was returning home with one of the kids when the attack took place. Two other kids were in the house at the time.'

Jan 17
'Reports are coming in that users of certain devices by Indian phone manufacturer Micromax noticed apps being silently installed without their consent or permission. Uninstalling these apps won't help, as they will be automatically reinstalled. Alternatively, instead of downloading apps, the phone might litter the UI with stack of notifications which are advertisements for online stores and other apps. It turns out that the "System Update" application is responsible for all of this. When starting to tear down the application (which is actually called FWUpgrade.apk on the filesystem), the first thing you notice is that it's a third-party application. A Chinese company named Adups developed it as a replacement for the stock Google OTA service.'

The country's most back water state, South Carolina, joined the rest of the US pretty much and told Uber to quit doing business there too.

Jan 15
Uber's fines in Eugene now have reached $118,000.00 and continue to rise.

An elaborate sound-boarding hoax targeting a Bend Special Needs kid has been tracked to the UK, where it is apparently not even a crime.

$Bitcoin lost 22% of its value yesterday, for a total loss of more than 44% since New Year's.

'Xiaomi is a Chinese mobile phone maker, and suddenly they're getting lots of attention for a bunch of new products that apparently are really good, like a new phablet called the Mi Note.'  

Nintendo's Majora's Mask New 3DS XL is now sold out everywhere.

Jan 14
Where cell transmission doesn't exist, villages are putting in makeshift towers and using open-source, an NGO and a Canadian company to create it.

Jan 13
A hacker has released a device which can secretly log the strokes of any nearby wireless keyboard.

Jan 12

Above: 'Farewell, hilarious Destiny exploit that allowed us to kill Crota by pulling out a LAN cable and watching him enter a permanent state of paralysis as we danced around his big dumb green head. As of today—as of right now!—the Crota cheese is fixed, as are a bunch of other exploits Destiny players have been using to grind through Crota's End, the game's newest raid. Still no explanation as to why we have to go summon and fight Crota after destroying his soul in the story mission The Awakening, but hey, if it made sense, it wouldn't be Destiny.'

'Portland's taxi companies plan to take over downtown's Pioneer Courthouse Square on Tuesday afternoon to protest City Hall's approach to revamping regulations to allow' Uber, Lyft and others to take over the taxi business.

'The Twitter feed for the U.S. military command that oversees operations in the Middle East was hacked on Monday by people claiming sympathy to the Islamic State.'

The Obama administration is proposing a law limiting to the ability of companies like Home Depot, Sony and Target to "sit" on knowledge that customer data was breached without notifying the victims, for more than 30 days.

Jan 11
The greatest threat to free speech in the US are not religious extremists but corporate DMCA claims, says Chilling Effects, the much praised DMCA archive which has now begun hiding itself from search engines.

Nintendo is blaming a lack of manufacturing locally in the face of high import duties for the decision to sell no more consoles in Brazil.

Jan 9
One in 10 "cloud" apps are secure enough for business use and 15% of businesses using the cloud have been breached by hackers, a new report shows.

'There are bad games, and there are bad games. Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is one of the truly awful ones. My former colleague at Giant Bomb, Alex Navarro, has a long and sordid history with Big Rigs. He reviewed it at GameSpot many years ago, and returned to the scene of the crime during Awesome Games Done Quick to speedrun the game in just over three minutes.'

A Democrat is using the Sony hack as an excuse to try to resurrect the draconian CISPA anti-privacy act. After all, the purpose of Congress is not to protect the interests of US citizens, but those of a Japanese entertainment corporation against their own ineptitude.

The founder of Twitter and other apps has spent a lot of time thinking of social media and such maters. His advice is sound:
   "Numbers are important. Number of users is important. So are lots of other things. Different services create value in different ways. Trust your gut as much (or more) than the numbers. Figure out what matters and build something good."

Jan 8
The FCC is onsidering granting Google Fiber a re-definition as a Title II telecom, giving the company access to utility poles. That would lead, experts say, to a race to give homes access to fast intertnet over fiber optics.

Portland's controversial and hotly debated plan for street repairs will instead be decided by the public in a referendum on a variety of options.

Portlandia's 5th season begins tonight.

Patent trolls from the porn industry are deluging Github with a series of DMCA demands threatening to take down the shared site for programmers.

Jan 7

A second college has started offering athletic scholarships for League of Legends players. 'As with any scholarship, students will be asked to do more than play League of Legends. "It will be a regime a lot like athletics," said new media director Bruce Parsons.."They'll have to have a certain GPA. We'll look at them like student athletes. There will be practice time and video time when they have to study other teams for upcoming competitions."

Today at CES, Intel pledged $300 million to increase diversity in tech workforces.

Visitors to the Huffington Post and other AOL websites are being targeted by malware hidden in ads.

WattUp is being demo'd at CES today, powering up devices from as far as 20 feet away.

'Has Jeff Bezos Lost His Mind? -That in a nutshell is the gist of a new 8-million-word article in Fast Company that starts out blaming Bezos for the failure of the Fire Phone and then says the Fire Phone is just one of several dubious new ventures like delivering groceries and making TV shows that probably make no sense. Also, Amazon's growth is slowing and investors are getting impatient with its inability to turn a profit.'

South Africa has begun impounding Uber cars.

Jan 6
Portland's much-swatted street-fee proposal was swatted again when swing vote Amanda Fritz announced she was "swinging" against the latest proposal.

'Gogo — one of the largest providers of in-flight Internet service — has been caught issuing fake SSL certificates, allowing the inflight broadband provider to launch man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks on its own users, view passwords and other sensitive information.'

'Say you're a student in a northern Virginia school district that just robbed you of a snow day and forced you to go to school on icy roads, a decision that caused numerous school bus accidents. How do you get back at them? Hack their site, of course. '

Jan 5

Grace Lynn

Above: When Oregon's Grace Lynn first became aware of #gamergate, she was a big partisan of the flame war against women gamers. Then, she says, she discovered a series of tweets dissing transgender women, which she is. She describes herself as "a one-time misogynist".
   After she made the shift, she became a target of #gamergaters and last night, 20 officers were sent to an old Portland address by "SWATTERS" using false alarms. Lynn has since moved to California, where she is a digital artist.

Jan 3
The EU's online tax policies will change this week, with Amazon expected to provide the most widely adopted models.

An unofficial version of the SDK for Xbox is freely circulating on the net after the Christmas hack, allowing "homemade applications and allowing unapproved developers to create unofficial software for the system".

South Korea has indicted Uber's CEO and a judge has granted a subpoena for more than 20,000 emails from him.

Jan 2

One of Japan's New Year customs is handing out money gifts in small envelopes to younger relatives. Lately, people have begun re-forming the small envelopes sold for the "Otoshidama", to allow the faces within to show.

Jan 1
Boise became the latest city in the Northwest to issue Uber a cease and desist order in the city.

India's Hindu Bigot Party (BJP) has banned Vimeo, GitHub, Imgur, Daily Motion and others in an attempt to suppress criticism of the central government.

Google Fiber just told the FCC that reclassifying broadband under Title II would greatly hasten gigabyte access for communities throughout the US.

An exhaustive examination of the Mt. Gox $Bitcoin disaster has concluded that at least part of the theft was a inside job.

United Airlines and Orbitz are suing a young developer who found a way to save travelers money with an app targeting "connecting cities". 'or example, as a 2011 New York Times article points out, a ticket from Des Moines to Dallas might cost $375. A ticket from Des Moines to Los Angeles – twice the distance – could cost as little as half that. As the latter flight features a layover in Dallas, by ending your travel in your layover city, you can save big.'

Dec 31
' Bad News for Internet Explorer fans, if any! Microsoft's almost 20 years old Web browser with a big blue E sign might soon be a thing of the past. With the arrival of Windows 10, probably by next fall, Microsoft could come up with its brand new browser that’s more similar to Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome, but less like Internet Explorer (IE), according to a recent report published by ZDNet.'

"Lizard Stresser", the same group that claimed to have taken down PlayStation Network and Xbox Live over Christmas now appears to be selling its attacks as a service.'

'A number of people across the web say they're seeing fraudulent charges on their EA Origin accounts—though a representative for the publisher says there's no evidence of a hack.'

Dec 30

The Best Cosplay in the World: Laura Salviani

'Laura Salviani, aka Nikita Cosplay, is one of the best cosplayers on the planet.. We've never showcased her entire range of work here on Cosplay, though, so let's fix that.'

Early adaptors of $Bitcoin have been singled out for extortion by a criminal going under the skype names of Nitrous, Savaged or Clerk 1337.

Dec 28
In their usual inane, insensitive style, Facebook has flooded people's pages with assemblies of photos headlined with '“It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.” But not everyone actually had a great year. For some users, the prompts to view their own digital year in review may dig up painful memories. Eric Meyer, a web design consultant and writer, is one of those people. Earlier this year, he lost his daughter to brain cancer on her sixth birthday. For that reason, Meyer wrote in a blog post, he had actively avoided looking at previews of his own automatically generated summary post. But Facebook put a personalized prompt advertising the feature in his newsfeed, he wrote, prominently featuring the face of his dead daughter -- surrounded by what appears to be clip art figures having a party.

An Android app for downloading the Interview from Amazon is actually a banking Trojan designed to compromise users.

True to their role as protector of corporate profits rather than as protectors of US citizens in any walk of life, the FBI is intensively investigating the guy who gave a public interview as a member of the Lizard group claiming responsibility for the XBox/ PS shutdown on Christmas Day. The kid is reputed to be 16 and from Finland.

Dec 27
North Korea's internet connection is down again this morning.

Hackers have released 13,000 Amazon, XBox, PS and porn site passwords this morning.

'"You ever feel like what we're doing is too much like pornography?" - Trip Hawkins, EA and Digital Chocolate founder, asking an odd question while talking about the difficulty of monetizing games.'

Sony is whining that it's unfair for agents of actors and managers to use the "stolen information" of salaries released in the Sony hacks in salary negotiations.

Dec 26

Above: Joe Riquelme built the popular iPhone video editor, VideoShop, and does he blow the profits on trinkets for himself like other startup preppies? NOT. He pays off his parents' mortgage.

'Koreans have once again gain media attention but this time not as an accused of any kind of hack attack, but as a victim of a severe attack on computers systems at a nuclear power plant in South Korea by an unknown hacker or a group. South Korea was hit by a cyber attack on its nuclear power plant, causing the operator to conduct drills in order to test the ability of the nuclear plant to cope with a full-scale cyber-attack. Although the plant's operator says no critical data has been leaked. The cyber attack came into light after a hacker posted blueprints of nuclear reactors online and threatened further "leaks" unless authorities close down the reactors.'

Both Xbox and Sony were attacked on Christmas Day, shutting the popular services.

Dec 24
Theaters in Dallas, Eugene, Portland, Florence, etc. will all be showing the Interview, Sony's much bashed movie.
   In related news, Sony will rent or sell a copy to you via Youtube.
   In more news, the head of security for DEF CON, the hacker conference, says that the North Koreans were NOT the party who hacked Sony. He believes the argument that they did is flaky and is designed to make sure pet cyber laws of the Obama administration are passed.

'Combine Lego and Frozen and you have a recipe for one of the most sought after toys this Christmas. The problem is that Elsa's Sparkling Ice Castle (41062) isn't slated for release by Lego until January 1st of 2015. Fortunately, if you know how to look and where to look, you might just find this set buried in the depths of retail stores that have received them early.' Local Target, for example.

'62-year-old Noelle Penraat, had been renting out rooms in her four-bedroom, rent-controlled Upper West Side apartment, but New York State Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead found the practice to be in violation of both zoning and rent-control laws.' She has been ordered to stop and will likely be evicted by her landlords.

Dec 23

Above: If you insist on flying your drone over the kangaroo moms and their babies, choose the right kangaroo.

The Tor Network has been attacked in the wake of Sony's illegal hacking of websites hosting the hacked Sony documents.

The use of voice mail has become as obsolete 'as swing-dancing and playing NHL ’94 on Sega Genesis.' People under 35 rarely use it.

'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has a cheating problem. It can be infuriating to come up against rule-breakers and code-busters in regular matches, but there's a silver lining here: Valve is doing its damndest to fight back. If you go on any major Counter-Strike board right now, you'll notice a trend: thread upon thread upon thread either complaining about or cheering for VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) bans. Much like when multiple pros got caught red-handed right before DreamHack Winter 2014, Valve has again upgraded its cheat detection orbital defense laser, and countless jerks are feeling the burn.'

'Elon Musk has confirmed that SpaceX is indeed working on satellites. As spotted by Gizmodo, Musk tweeted that the company is in the early stages of developing advanced micro-satellites that can operate in large formations' for very low cost internet.

Dec 22

Latest Uber Victim: Pop Music Star Nikki Williams

Above: "Rape Russian Roulette" service Uber received more bad publicity as music diva Nikki Williams says her Uber driver "tried to grab & kiss on me in my own driveway. Fought him off and ran inside."

Pirate Bay appears to be on its way to being resurrected from a server in Moldava.

North Korea's servers went down - or were taken down - for several hours today.

Dec 21
As a result of the leaks from Sony, Google has now instituted lawsuits, showing from the emails that Sony conspired with various public officials to launch an anti-google campaign over trade marked Sony products.

Anonymous says "we all know the Sony hacks didn't come from North Korea" and threatened to release more Sony confidential information unless Sony makes the disputed "interview" movie available online.
   It would be curious if the hooplah over the film proved to be a gigantic publicity campaign by Sony, which appears ready to release the movie on its own Crackle streaming service.

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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 by George Bush 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 tried 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.