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 Local News 101
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Apr 9
A new study published in Behavioral Sciences today has a bearing on Corvallis's "open carry" discussion. It shows that 'the more guns you own the more likely you are to be subject to angry outbursts that you cannot control', a new study published in Behavioral Science magazine has shown. 'The new research also indicates that the 310 million firearms estimated to be in private hands in the United States are disproportionately owned by people who are prone to angry, impulsive behavior and have a potentially dangerous habit of keeping their guns close at hand.'

Apr 7
A committee in the Oregon Senate passed a bill regarded widely as a no brainer, requiring background checks for gun sales except to relatives. It is expected to make it more difficult for deranged criminals to get access to guns. Republicans opposed the bill, and the Party can't be blamed for never losing sight of their core support in Oregon - deranged criminals.

In related news, Wonkette dropped a bombshell this morning:
"WHOA gun-humpers better put their right hands on their hearts and their left hands on the guns they put in their underpants to make their bulges look bigger, because the beloved National Rifle Association may have been infiltrated by Obama-loving anti-American liberals. They have announced that at their annual convention of donkey-f*cking nutbags, to be held this weekend in Nashville, you aren’t even allowed to have loaded guns! How is this even safe? What if a bad guy with a gun somehow infiltrates the premises, like an Ay-rab or a black person?"



Mar 30
Some Benton County "farmers" are going to have to go through another hoop to collect pubic welfare subsidies. 'The government is revising its definition of what it means to farm, meaning some people who receive farm subsidies but don’t do any of the work would receive less government cash. Congress charged the Agriculture Department last year with creating a new definition for what it means to be “actively engaged” in farming, the criteria to receive some subsidies. ...
   Farms must document that their managers put in 500 hours of substantial management work annually or 25 percent of the time necessary for the success of the farming operation to qualify...Congress exempted family owned entities, which make up some of the country’s largest farms' and the source of much of the abuse. These "family farms" are in the same category of Wal-mart being a "family owned" variety store.

'USDA said as many as 1,400 operations could lose eligibility under the rules, saving around $50 million over a three-year period.
    The rules are in response to concerns that some people were abusing the idea of “actively engaged” to qualify for subsidies. A report by the Government Accountability Office in 2013 looked at some farms that received hundreds of thousands of subsidies a year and claimed that 11 or more people were actively engaged in the operation. For some operations, unlimited numbers of so-called managers can now receive payments.
   Under the new rules, up to three managers per operation could receive subsidies. Farmers receive roughly $5 billion a year under the actively engaged requirements. The definition up until now has been broad, allowing people to claim vague “active personal management” to receive subsidies. People who don’t even visit a farm can receive money, and USDA employees often have a difficult time verifying how engaged an individual is...
   The proposed rule still would allow people to claim “active personal management” but defines that as the 500 hours of work or 25 percent of time. To receive payments, managers would have to document that they were directly involved in farm finances, labor management, planting, marketing or other activities directly contributing to the success of the operation. 
The rule is focused on farm businesses that are organized as general partnerships, in which multiple members share management, and non-family joint ventures, which are short-term business associations among individuals or entities...
   Farm bills passed by both the House and the Senate proposed stricter rules for which farmers could qualify, and would not have allowed anyone to have qualified under the vague classification of “active personal management.” Farmers would have had to contribute labor, capital, equipment or land to qualify for money.
   Instead, the final bill that emerged from House-Senate negotiations directed USDA to better define what that management is and specified that family farms could not be part of the rule. Craig Cox of the Environmental Working Group, which has fought farm subsidies for the wealthy, called the rule “a tiny step forward.”


Mar 26
 The U.S. House today passed a Medicare bill that includes renewal of a program that pays subsidies to timber counties, especially in Oregon. The House voted 392-37 to pass the bill that permanently blocks physician Medicare cuts. It now goes to the Senate. Attached to the bill is a two-year renewal of the Secure Rural Schools Program, which expired last year amid partisan disagreements. That program pays subsidies to rural, timbered counties around the country to make up for declining federal timber revenues from logging. Timber harvests have been reduced to protect fish, wildlife and clean water.' Counties which had counted on the public subsidies so they could reduce property taxes to pay for essential services began cutting schools and services like law enforcement in the wake of losing the subsidies.
'Last year Oregon got about $100 million of the $500 million paid nationwide. '



Mar 23
The Oregon legislature has cut a deal which will lower Comcast's tax bill as well as those of corporate megaliths Google, Apple and others and which will strip $15-20 million from local governments like Corvallis, money which Jody Wiser, a corporate tax monitor, says will accrue almost entirely to Comcast." It's really just somebody stomping their feet and saying: We want a tax break",says Wiser. As importantly, the bill includes the usual corporate gift of prohibiting local governments like Corvallis from imposing steeper taxes on our own initiative.
   The tax breaks for Google are designed to encourage fiber optics and those for the Prineville data centers are designed to produce bigger call centers with more jobs, although the cost to the public of each of those hypothetical jobs was never calculated. More Welfare for Central Oregon Republicans and corporations.
Oregon governor Kate Brown has always been a front woman for Comcast, and is expected to sign the bill.


Mar 16
Voltaire and Benton County's Pertussis Epidemic

   After 37 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) since October in the public schools of Benton County, the responsibility for the outbreak is clearly falling on the "anti-vax" crowd. The affected children are not infants (generally too young to immunize anyway, and pertussis thus is a mortal treat for them), but middle school and high school students. These are not children who are young and are going to "turn autistic" at such an age, as those afraid of vaccines have predicted.
     Of their parents, a majority are, by general agreement, parents who are too lazy to take their children to a physician and can avoid doing so by simply signing a non-medical exemption form. It's a matter of convenience for them. An Oregon legislator who tried to make it more difficult to secure a non-medical exemption than to see a physician with the child was shouted down in the legislature.
   A second segment of the anti-vaxers fall back on the same arguments as the religious zealots who allow their children to die before seeing a physician. They claim the right of parents to make medical decisions for their children supersedes the rights of the children and of the community which is impacted. It's a variation of the "Me First" argument of a 6 year old.
   The 3rd segment of the anti-vax crowd is born of an understandable general distrust of Big Pharma and the medical corporations. But there are times when distrust needs to be accepted and balanced by a view of the risks. There is little difference between these people and those in Pakistan who fear polio vaccines are an American plot to sterilize the population. Understandable, but one fraught with consequences for children in the event the theory is wrong.
   Suspicion of vaccination is not a new development, In Voltaire's day, small pox vaccination had come to Europe via the Moslem countries, and the Islamaphobes seized on the non-Christian origin to cast doubt. Only the English adopted the practice widely, and the vaccine was made available to the Hudson Bay fur traders of Oregon. Elsewhere, Europeans generally did not follow suit, and Voltaire himself stepped into the fray:
   "It is inadvertently affirm'd in the Christian Countries of Europe, that the English are Fools and Madmen. Fools, because they give their Children the Small-Pox to prevent their catching it; and Mad-men, because they wantonly communicate a certain and dreadful Distemper to their Children, merely to prevent an uncertain Evil. The English, on the other Side, call the rest of the Europeans cowardly and unnatural. Cowardly, because they are afraid of putting their Children to a little Pain; unnatural, because they expose them to die on Time or other of the Small-Pox. But that the Reader may be able to judge, whether the English or those who differ from the in opinion, are in the right, here follows the History of the fam'd Inoculation, which is mention'd with so much Dread in France.
   In order therefore to preserve the Life and Beauty of their Children, the only Thing remaining was, to give them the Small-Pox in their infant Years. This they did, by inoculating in the Body of a Child, a Pustle taken from the most regular, and at the same Time the most favourable Sort of Small-Pox that could be procur'd. The Experiment cou'd not possibly fail. The Turks, who are People of good Sense, soon adopted this Custom, insomuch that at this Time there is not a Bassa in Constantinople, but communicates the Small-Pox to his Children of the Sexes, immediately upon their being wean'd.
   Some pretend, that the Circassians borrow'd this Custom anciently from the Arabians; but we shall leave the clearing up of this Point of History to some learned Benedictine, who will not fail to compile a great many Folio's on this Subject, with the several Proofs or Authorities. All I have to say upon it, is that in the beginning of the Reign of King George the First, the Lady Wortley Mountague, a Woman of as fine a Genius, and endu'd with as great a Strength of Mind, as any of her Sex in the British Kingdoms, being with her Husband who was Ambassador at the Port, made no scruple to communicate the Small-Pox to an Infant of which she was deliver'd in Constantinople. The Chaplain represented to his Lady, but to no purpose, that this was an unchristian Operation, and therefore that it cou'd succeed with none but Infidels. However, it had the most happy Effect upon the Son of the Lady Wortley Mountague, who, at her Return to England, communicated the Experiment to the Princess of Wales, now Queen of Enland. It must be confess'd that this Pricess, abstracted from her Crown and Title, was born to encourage the whole Circle of Arts, and to do good to Mankind. She appears as an amiable Philosopher on the Throne, having never let slip one Opportunity of improving the great talents she receiv'd from Nature, nor of exerting her Beneficence. 'tis she who protects the learned Father Courayer. 'tis she who condescended to attempt a Reconciliation between Dr. Clark and Mr. Leibnitz. The Moment this Princess heard of Inoculation, she caus'd an Experiment of it to be made on four Criminals sentenc'd to die, and by that means preserv'd their Lives doubly; for she not only sav'd them from the Gallows, but by means of this artificial Small-Pox, prevented their ever having that Distemper in a natural Way, with which they would very probably have been attack'd one Time or other, and might have died of in a more advanc'd Age.
   The Princess being assur'd of the Usefulness of this Operation, caus'd her own Children to be inoculated. A great Part oft he Kingdom follow'd her Example, and since that Time ten thousand Children, at least, of Persons of Condition owe in this Manner their Lives to her Majesty, and to the Lady Wortley Mountague; and as many of the Fair Sex are oblig'd to them for their Beauty.
   Upon a general Calculation, threescore Persons in every hundred have the Small-Pox. Of these threescore, twenty die of it in the most favourable Season of Life, and as many more wear the disagreeable Remains of it in their Faces so long as they live. Thus, a fifth Part of Mankind either die, or are disfigur'd by this Distemper. But it does not prove fatal to so much as one, among those who are inoculated in Turkey or in England, unless the Patient be infirm, or would have died had not the Experiment been made upon him. Besides, no one is disfigur'd, no one has the Small-Pox a second Time, if the Inoculation was perfect. 'Tis therefore certain, that had the Lady of some French Ambassador brought this Secret from Constantinople to Paris, the Nation would have been for ever oblig'd to her. Then the Duke de Villequier, Father to the Duke d'Aumont, who enjoys the most vigorous Constitution, and is the healthiest Man in France, would not have been cut off in the Flower of his Age.
   The Prince of Soubise, happy in the finest Flush of Health, would not have been snatch'd away at five and twenty; nor the Dauphin, Grandfather to Lewis the Fifteenth, have been laid in his grave in his fiftieth Year. Twenty thousand Persons who the Small-Pox swept away at Paris in 1723, would have been alive at this Time. But are not the French fond of Life, and is beauty so inconsiderable an Advantage as to be disregarded by the Ladies! It must be confess'd that we are an odd kind of People. Perhaps our Nation will imitate, ten Years hence, this Practice of the English, if the Clergy and the Physicians will but give them Leave to do it: Or possibly our Country Men may introduce Inoculation three Months hence in France out of mere whim, in case the English should discontinue it thro' Fickleness.
   I am inform'd that the Chiness have practis'd Inoculation these hundred Years, a Circumstance that argues very much in its Favour, since they are thought to be the wisest and best govern'd People in the World. The Chinese indeed don't communicate this Distemper by Inoculation, but at the Nose, in the fame Manner as we take Snuff. This is a more agreeable way, but then it produces the life Effects; and proves at the same time, that had Inoculation been practis'd in France, 'twould have sav'd the Lives of Thousands."



Mar 11
'After consecutive years of bad wildfire seasons in Oregon, the state may not get its unique fire insurance to help cover costs next year. Similar to car insurance, Oregon pays a premium for fire insurance every year. The state then must pay the deductible, which last year was $20 million, before the insurance policy pays for up to $25 million. '
   The state has saved more than $40 million through the fire insurance, but now as sent the state forester to London to convince the insurer not to cancel the insurance in the face of another record-low snowpack. Last year's premium was $2 million. If Lloyd's does not cancel the policy, they will certainly raise the premium.
   'The state received about $77 million of help through the insurance plan that it has paid about $55.3 million for since 1973 through the 2013 season. The state is still tallying some of the costs from the 2014 season, but it expects the season cost about $76 million.'
   Republicans in eastern and southern Oregon spent years sending climate-change-denyingsock puppets for the notorious Koch brothers to Salem, but now even they are willing to admit global climate change is responsible for the increasing fire damage. Now, they are saying they expect the insurance to be either cancelled or prohibitively expensive and are talking about the public raising $100 million for fire fighting.
   Nuh uh. They were warned every year for nearly 20 years that global climate change was here, and they chose to deny it for the sake of ALEC and the Koch brothers. THEY can raise the $100 million. Here, we BELIEVE in "personal responsibility".


Mar 8
OSU coach Wayne Tinkle is still being lashed for his decision to honor 4 walk ons in the Civil War game, since the usual seniors honored are lacking from the team. Tinkle had scheduled tryouts for walkons Occt. 4, and those who made the cut played their hearts out for their OSU peers through the seasons. They had aalways been mismatched with other teams and yet produced an astonishing record at home.
    Tinkle decided  to honor them by starting them the first 3 possessions, and it may have cost OSU the game, critics say, which the Beavers lost 65-62. "Some people might call me crazy, and maybe I am, but it was something our guys deserved, said Tinkle. "Knowing what I now know, I'd do it all again. One of my proudest moments as a coach". Good for him, and for us. It matters less whether you win or lose than how you play the game. If Doing the Right Thing costs you a game, who really cares? It may keep a few amoral sports junkies or the Athletic Director awake at night, but here in Corvallis, the rest of us sleep better  knowing we have such people at the wheel of OSU teams.



Mar 7
One of the deals worked out by the depraved Republican to last be elected governor of Oregon, Vic Atiyeh, is unraveling after 30 years. The prohibition on rent control by local municipalities, worked out by Atiyeh with "the Oregon Multifamily Housing Council, the Oregon State Homebuilders Association, the Oregon Association of Realtors, the Oregon Mobilehome Park Association, the Affiliated Rental Housing Association and the Oregon League of Financial Institutions" - all major landlord groups - is coming under major fire in Portland, where rents have risen twice the national average.


Mar 5

Oregon Senate Gives Priority to Corporate Tax Breaks

It’s a disconcerting time in Salem. Surely all five members* of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee talked about funding schools and closing corporate loopholes when they ran for office. But that’s not what they’ve spent the first four weeks of session devoted to.
   Nope, reducing property taxes for Comcast, Yahoo, Google, CenturyLink, etc., that’s what they’ve devoted their effort instead to, for 14 days running. Finally on Thursday they voted their fourth version of a “what to do” out of committee and to the Senate floor recommending their colleagues vote “aye” for SB 611-A.
   On their last day of working on the bill, Hass allowed businesses to bargain yet again for better deals. But he didn’t allow the lobbyist for the League of Oregon Cities to speak. After all, she would have objected to the committee’s plan to take revenue from local jurisdictions. While representatives of Oregon’s counties and cities tried hard to protect their resources, the education and human services lobby was absent or silent throughout the hearings and work sessions, despite the revenue losses that will hit them.
   The final Senate deal? Property tax breaks of over $15 million a year—benefitting corporations that didn’t even threaten to leave Oregon. Last minute amendments to exempt various property from taxation for cable, Internet, satellite and high tech companies nearly doubled earlier revenue impacts statements. The Senate did a rush though vote on Monday!
   It’s a good thing there are two sides of the building!
   Hopefully the House will remember that we’re revenue constrained and not think giving corporations tax breaks should be on the menu this year.
   But it’s hard to be hopeful. Eight of the nine members of the House Revenue Committee received donations from Comcast—donations of $500 to $5500!* The next step in the process is the House Revenue Committee.
*Of the two revenue committees, only one senator and one representative didn’t receive a Comcast donation.
To contact the House Revenue Committee. The members are Reps. Barnhard, Vega Pederson, Bentz, Davis, Johnson, Lininger, Read, Smith Warner and Whitsett. Your email will be entered as testimony to the House Revenue Committee ONLY IF you say SB611 in your subject line, or the first line of your text. - Jody Wiser



Mar 4

Icecapade Devastates Parts of Vineyard Mountain

A reader who is a forestry worker tells us that, above the frost line, parts of Vineyard Mountain are looking like a bomb-ravaged landscape, with trees downed everywhere, of all diameters, due to the weight of the ice. He is spending his day sawing and clearing the fallen trees.

Feb 23

Jody Hiser: More Corporate Welfare in Store for Oregon
'Oregon has about the lowest business taxes in the nation.
   Nonetheless, Senator Hass’ Finance and Revenue Committee has had a set of bills on their agenda to give even more take breaks to business. Every day for seven days now, the argument seems to be about how big the property tax break will be—someplace between $10 and $35 million a year. The cost depends on the version of the bills that might finally move forward. SB 611, 570 and 571 and their amendments will sharply reduce local property taxes for numerous businesses, by millions of dollar a year.
   Tax Fairness Oregon is fighting like crazy—to stop the back room action, negotiated behind closed doors, on these bills. We need your help. After all, lower property tax receipts are not in the public interest! As we have seen before, the outcome may not be guided by good public policy—but by huge political donations.
   Comcast, one of the biggest proponents of lowering their own taxes, gave $222,000 to Oregon election campaigns, and has its lobbyists working the capitol every day. Other business lobbyists are swarming.
    How can you help? Ask your legislators to say “NO” to a property tax break involving “intangible assets”* for Comcast and other giant corporations.
   Write to the five members of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee, Senators Hass, Baertschiger, Boquist, Edwards and Riley at lro.exhibits@state.or.us.


Feb 19
Paul Cauthorn, who moved to submit the proposed parking permit system near campus to voters, who overwhelmingly defeated it in all wards, has responded to the latest attempt by council member Roen Hogg to salvage the plan:
"Roen,
At the 2/17/2015 council meeting you continued to advocate for increasing neighborhood parking restrictions. I would like to remind you that the voters in your ward (and the whole city) did not support increasing parking restrictions. In your ward alone, 999 people voted against the parking ordinance.
    From your statements at the recent council meeting, it appears that you are ignoring the will of the electorate. I feel that your personal agenda is overriding your ability to represent the citizens of your ward and this community. Pushing for a parking district and incorporating elements from the failed ordinance into the existing ordinance, as you suggested, demonstrates your disrespect for the voters.
   Also statements like, "We have a parking problem in the neighborhoods, but there is nothing OSU can do to fix that," is counterproductive to dealing with the root of the problem. Apparently from statements you made, you believe that more availability of parking on campus will not reduce the impact to the neighborhoods. That's a ridiculous assertion. When OSU eliminated free parking lots, increased cost for permits, and eliminated conveniently located parking lots, of course, this impacted neighborhood parking densities.
    You also made a repeated statement that you do not personally have adequate off-street parking at your house. Let's be honest about this situation once and for all.
    Your lack of off-street parking is not the fault of your neighbors, it is not the fault of the commuters, and it is not the fault of the voters. It was a choice Doug made to reduce parking on your property and cover what was historically adequate off-street parking with a deck and landscaping. You are receiving a benefit of a larger backyard as a result of the choice of removing off-street parking. It is not the community's problem that you only have one off-street parking place -- it was a choice that was made and choice that continues to be made.
   Moving forward, you have an opportunity to support your other councilors in holding OSU responsible for the impacts on our neighborhoods. The voters are supportive of the council taking actions in that direction. The voters will become outraged, if you continue to ignore the tested and quantified will of the people.
   There are many issues to deal with, other than just parking. It is time to move forward.
Paul Cauthorn

 
Cylvia Hayes

Once again, Cylvia Hayes has impressed us with the depth of vision she has of herself. Leaked emails show us the books she planned to publish over the net 4 years - on about herself, one about John Kitzhaber, and one about herself and Kitzhaver. Breathtaking.

Feb 17
Republicans in the legislature are doing their usual foot-dragging routine on anything that benefits Oregon workers, claiming sick leave will ruin business. It's ironic they'd be doing so the day an exposé in the Oregonian ran, showing a $700,000 corporate subsidy for a single corporate job in Hillsboro.

Feb 15

Mater: "The Real Issue...is not Coal, it’s Fraud"

   As the federal grand jury probes deeper into the actions and transactions of Cylvia Hayes and her bf,Governor Kitzhaber, old decisions are being dug up and re-examined in light of recent developments. Among them are the axing of Corvallis resident Catherine Mater in the wake of a vote to turn down a coal export port, a firing once portrayed as a sop to a vindictive Republican legislator. In her most explicit explanation yet, Mater insists that the issue was not coal, but fraud. Writing the past week in the Astorian, she says "since Connect Oregon passage into Oregon law, projects forwarded to the OTC have been summarily approved ... until last year when a berth improvement project at the Port of St. Helens was denied funding.
   The project proposed to assist coal company Ambre Energy in the transport of coal through Oregon to foreign energy markets via the Port.
   The project was rejected on the basis of not complying with ConnectOregon legal requirements, but the criticisms — and accolades — pouring in from the public following the OTC decision squarely focused on the debate over Oregon’s role in coal.
    The real issue surrounding the story is not coal, it’s fraud: the submittal of fraudulent information to a public entity for the purpose of securing public funds. The Port of St. Helens submitted a request for $2 million in ConnectOregon lottery funds to pair with a $3 million match the Port said Ambre Energy had committed for the project. All ConnectOregon projects are required to have a funding match in order to be eligible for public funds.
   The problem? Coal issue aside — the Port never had a commitment from Ambre Energy to do the project in the first place — a fact that was discovered at the commission level after months of project review by Oregon Department of Transportation staff.
   Further, when asked, the Port could not show they had the funds in their own coffers to guarantee the required match in absence of Ambre Energy’s funding. To compound the problem, the Port claimed their project was ‘construction ready,’ but failed to disclose they have a serious operating permit problem with the Division of State Lands that will negate construction start up to a year (a fact that would disqualify the project from being ‘construction ready’ as is required by law).
   It seems that no construction at the Port will occur without the Port securing a new proprietary lease from DSL, a process that requires months of review and a full public hearing. This, too, was discovered at commission level.
   To exhibit such a reckless disregard for the truth, one can only conclude that the Port either felt they were above the law, should be awarded special treatment, or both.
   Consequently, the Port project was denied, but another project was approved at the same time. A Corvallis-to-Albany bike trail project submitted by Benton County proposed a bike trail to be constructed on railroad right-of-way between the two cities. Shortly after ConnectOregon project submittal to ODOT, the county discovered the railroad would deny use of their right-of-way for the project, placing the county back at square one for getting the project construction ready.
   In response, the county sought private property acquisition for the project by use of eminent domain and the project is now being contested by 100 percent of the farmland owners whose property will be affected. The county failed to disclose the railroad easement denial to the commission at the time of their August decision. As a consequence the project was unanimously approved for $2 million in public funds — based on misrepresentation of project status.
   Both projects are up for reconsideration at the February OTC meeting: the former by heavy political pressure to reverse the August OTC decision to deny project approval at the Port; the latter by citizen demand to revoke project approval from Benton County.
   Both are clear examples of an alarming fact: the Oregon Department of Transportation lacks oversight on projects submitted for ConnectOregon funding to ensure against project misrepresentation or project fraud. And, if OTC oversight is exercised, it is ignored or “removed.”
   It is times like this we all need to be reminded that no one is above the law; no governor; no senator; no government agency; no port."

UPDATE: Jody Wiser of Tax Fairness Oregon adds:
"We have an opportunity coming up to get some good news about state government in Oregon.

Until recently, the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) was Chaired by Catherine M. Mater, president of Mater Engineering in Corvallis and a senior fellow at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation. A distinguished Oregonian, Mater was appointed to the unpaid position by Governor John Kitzhaber. Until, that is, he suddenly fired her in January.

What happened? Mater stated that she discovered a fraudulent application for a grant under the ConnectOregon program of the DOT and she voted, along with two other members of the five-member Commission, to disqualify it. She has now updated her experience in detail in the Daily Astorian.

As Mater explains, the application requested a berth improvement project at the Port of St. Helens which would assist the Australian Amber Energy company in the transportation of coal by train through Oregon to Asian markets.

Specifically, the request was for $2 million to pair with a $3 million match that the Port said Ambre Energy had committed. But the Port never had a commitment from Ambre Energy, and did not have the $3 million on its own.

“To compound the problem,” Mater adds, “the Port claimed their project was ‘construction ready,’ but failed to disclose they have a serious operating permit problem with the Division of State Lands that will negate construction start up to a year (a fact that would disqualify the project from being ‘construction ready’ as is required by law).”

Therefore the project was rejected, she concludes, “on the basis of not complying with ConnectOregon legal requirements, but the criticisms—and accolades—pouring in from the public following the OTC decision squarely focused on the debate over Oregon’s role in coal.”

The OTC will meet to make a final decision on this and other grant applications on Thursday, Feb. 19th, in Salem. There is hope that, even in Mater’s absence, Commission members will respect her integrity and that of the two members who voted with her—which Governor Kitzhaber did not respect—and reject a fraudulent $2 million grant request so that the money can go to legitimate, much-needed transportation improvements.

Many Oregonians have already added that OTC transportation improvements should not include more coal trains! After all, air pollution in Asia blows right back in our face and increases “baseline levels of ozone in the Western U.S.” (“Pollution in West put partly on Asia,” Oregonian, Sunday, Feb. 8, A15)

It you’d like to register your opinion to the Commission by Feb. 19th, go to the ODOT Citizens’ Representative Office:
http://www.oregon.gov/ ODOT/COMM/CRO/Pages/ contact_us.aspx
Or call 1-888-275-6368.

Let’s hope there’s a happy ending in this for Oregon!"


Feb 14
Governor Kitzhaber did Oregon Romantics a good turn by resigning on "Friday the 13th" rather than on a day later, on Valentine's Day. He couldn't possibly have lowered the image of the Thirteenth any, but Valentine's Day - even in the wake of a really BAD love affair - well, some things remain sacred.

Feb 11

Corvallis's Pete De Fazio - to the Defense of Craft Beer

   Corvallis Congressman Peter De Fazio was set off by a Budweiser ad during the recent Superbowl and is still on the rampage. "They know that the craft beer industry is eating their lunch,” the animated founder of the Small Brewers Caucus yelled. “More and more Americans are developing a taste for beer that isn’t insipid and has real taste, and so they’re now starting to buy them up.”
   Burn.
   DeFazio’s anger is partly due to recently watching 10 Barrel Brewing Co. of Bend, Ore. become another local operation added to the binder full of craft breweries acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev – a Belgium-based company that looks to be picking off the most successful American craft breweries one by one.
   The conglomerate boasts being the largest brewer in the world and claims to now control 25% of global beer sales. They couldn’t have reached a quarter of international beer sales without scooping up craft breweries in the U.S. though, which DeFazio said starkly contrasts with their Super Bowl message.
   "So it kind of contradicts their ad. I mean, they’re trying to say, ‘Oh, come on back and buy the schlock,’ yet on the other hand, they’re out buying up the good beer,” DeFazio said, before he added a warning. “They better not change the formula’s cause people will just stop buying it and someone else will replace them.”
   In related news, 6 brewers have taken on the challenge of turning purified Oregon sewage into craft beer. Says brewer Jeremie Landers, 'the water we'll be using is cleaner than tap water you'd ever find anywhere. The purity level is incredible.'


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BREAKING NEWS OF
THE ECONOMY, TRAFFIC AND BUSINESS
Apr 8
In Lincoln City, ' in a bid to control real estate prices, city councilors slammed the door on a 71-unit housing proposal.


Apr 7
Amphastar, which makes the "miracle drug" naxolone to counter heroin overdoses, has come under criticism in Congress and elsewhere for jacking up prices after going public a year ago.



Mar 24
An array of solar cells at OSU has come under the lens of a federal fraud investigation of the tax breaks involved, which included "phony and misleading documents to the state to demonstrate construction was underway by the deadline... One of the documents was an invoice from a subcontractor showing purported construction expenses in early 2011. The Oregonian/OregonLive found no record the company existed. The business address and contractors license number listed on the receipt were fictitious.
   The second document was a letter from Ryan Davies, the chief executive of the Utah-based company hired to build the arrays, Renewable Energy Development Corp., to the OUS vice chancellor in charge of the projects, Robert Simonton. The letter made a series of statements about construction and permitting activities that would show the project qualified for an extended construction deadline.
   In an interview with the Oregonian/OregonLive, Davies acknowledged that construction on the projects did not begin until well after April 15, 2011. He said he never saw the invoice in question, and didn't write the letter to Simonton. He said the letter was dated a week after he resigned from Redco", the installer who later went out of business.


Mar 4

Drug Raid, Killing Are Marketing Opportunity for Oregon
OSU's Ernest Wiegand

In 1923, alcohol was banned, which gave OSU professor a perfect time to experiment with making Oregon's Queen Anne cherries into something more closely resembling the marasco cherries of southern Europe rather then the moldy, mushy mess they tended to become when stored in vats. Wiegand's introduction of calcium salts and the only permitted use of Red Dye #6 (the cherry, OSU protested, is not really, not REALLY a food source) resulted in the cherry that bartenders began using as soon as prohibition was repealed. Oregon maraschino cherry makers dominated production of the maraschino. Except in New York City.
   In NYC, an entrepreneur adopted Wiegand's methods and imported Northwest cherries. In 1948, one of the descendents founded Dell's and Red Hook, which now supplies Red Lobster, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chick-Fil-a, TGI Fridays, and other chains with cherries. Yesterday, tipped off by an informant, drug agents raided the Red Hook factory. 'Mondella was reportedly cooperative during the search's first five hours or so, until investigators discovered the hidden room...Later, after executing a search warrant on the secret entrance, investigators uncovered "a huge marijuana-growing operation" underneath the warehouse, a source said. In the space below the plant, they also found numerous high-end vehicles, including a Rolls-Royce, a Porsche and Harley-Davidson motorcycle. "Underground, it was really 'Breaking Bad,'" said the astounded law enforcement source.
   As he watched the fake wall being discovered, " owner Arthur Mondella reportedly locked himself in his private bathroom, yelled "take care of my kids" to his sister, and then shot himself in the head.'


Feb 19
'State economists are predicting that Oregon taxpayers will receive “kicker” income tax rebates next year.
The quarterly revenue forecast released Thursday projects nearly $350 million will be credited to taxpayers when they file their 2015 taxes.'


'Hoping to shed its reputation for offering little more than dead-end jobs [and welfare], Wal-Mart, the nation’s biggest private employer, is giving raises to nearly a half-million workers and offering what it says are more opportunities for advancement. Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that as part of $1 billion its spending to change the way it trains and pays workers, the company will give raises to nearly 40 percent of its 1.3 million U.S. employees in the next six months.'

Feb 14
'U.S. dairy exports in 2014 totaled $7.1 billion, an increase of nearly $400 million from $6.7 in 2013, according to the latest export report by U.S. Dairy Export Council.
At mid-year, those exports were up 22 percent from a year earlier at $4.5 billion, an increase of $800 million over $3.7 billion in the first half of 2013.
   U.S. exports to China saw the biggest retreat in the second half of 2014, down 1 percent for the year after having been up 32 percent in the first half of 2014. China slowed its purchases overall, not just from the U.S., in the second half of the year, said Alan Levitt, USDEC vice president of communications.
China purchased $452 million worth of U.S. dairy products in the first half of 2014 but only purchased another $245 million in the second half for a total of $697 million.'


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        CHRISTY'S
CRIMEBEAT
Apr 9
Ivan Sandria Cruz

Mr. Cruz is being charged by police with being one of the most stupid men in the universe. They say he was driving drunk - his blood alcohol was more than 3 times the legal limit, they say - with his own 7 year old son in the car at 80 miles an hour, says a witness, on Highway 20 near Eddyville. They say his Dodge Durango crossed the center line and crashed head on with another, who was killed.

Elsewhere in Oregon, 'a 62-year-old Portland man accused of threatening to push his girlfriend while she was in a wheelchair into traffic and then assaulting her daughter with a machete is now in custody on criminal mistreatment and assault allegations.'.

'The more guns you own the more likely you are to be subject to angry outbursts that you cannot control', a new study published in Behavioral Science magazine has shown. 'The new research also indicates that the 310 million firearms estimated to be in private hands in the United States are disproportionately owned by people who are prone to angry, impulsive behavior and have a potentially dangerous habit of keeping their guns close at hand.'


Apr 8

Javier Nickolaus Corona

Mr. Corona has been charged with sex abuse, heroin, etc. Mr. Corona was previously charged with heroin, meth, theft etc.

Jamal Isaiah McGinty

Mr. McGinty began serving a 12 day sentence for violation of parole/probation. This is Mr. McGinty's 9th time to be charged in Benton County, usually related to charges of disorderly conduct, alcohol, etc.

Elsewhere in Oregon:

'An Oregon woman who made national headlines in 2010 for marrying at least 14 U.S. servicemen and stealing their money is back in the spotlight with a new beau and new allegations. According to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, Bobbi Ann and Zackerie House are wanted for writing a series of bad checks in Oregon, Colorado and Oklahoma.'

'Prisoners in the Oregon State Penitentiary unit reserved for inmates with the most severe mental illnesses spend months, sometimes years in small cells with no natural light or outdoor access and rarely get to speak with others, according to an investigation'.

'The former CEO of a Bend-based experimental aircraft company, Epic Air, which promised local jobs in return for public funding, has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging he deliberately defrauded customers of more than $14 million. '
 

Above: elsewhere, in South Carolina, an officer who shot a fleeing traffic suspect dead and then planted his taser beside the body has been charged with murder after a bystander submitted a video of the shooting.

Abroad, 'U.S. soldiers and military contractors stationed in Colombia allegedly sexually assaulted as many as 54 Colombian children between 2003 and 2007, according to a report commissioned by the Colombian government and the FARC..


Apr 7

Nicole Lynn Francois-Bergstrom

Don't let Ms Bergstrom's hyphenated name throw you. She could put Dame in front of her name and she'd still appear to be as she appears to be today - another Philomath low life who moved to Junction City to pursue a life of theft. That's the appearance. She's been charged with not showing up for a theft, a car prowl, meth, heroin, etc. 'A woman reported her car was broken into last Saturday at the Alsea Falls trailhead in Benton County and that her iPhone, iPod, iPad, jewelry and other items were taken, the county sheriff's office said. An app on the taken phone broadcasted its location to the home of Nicole Lynn Francois-Bergstrom..Deputies went to Francois-Bergstrom's home the next day. She handed over the iPhone, but claimed to not know anything about the other items taken with it, the sheriff's office said. Authorities issued a search warrant at Francois-Bergstrom's home Friday and found evidence linking her to the car break-in".

Kyle Ryan Stewart

Mr. Stewart is another gift from Albany. He is charged with a violation of probation/parole on a car prowl and burglary.

Elsewhere in Oregon, 'testimony from a detective detailed an eerie set of circumstances on the evening a Newport man was killed after allegedly being shoved off a cliff in Seal Rock.'

In other crime news, Amphastar, which makes the "miracle drug" naxolone to counter heroin overdoses, has come under criticism in Congress and elsewhere for jacking up prices after going public a year ago.

Like middle school children stuffed into their own lockers, the Tewksbury, Mass., police department resorted to paying off hackers who locked them out of their own computer files.
According to a Boston Globe report, Tewksbury's finest were the latest targets in a string of "ransomware" attacks, wherein hackers trick victims into downloading software that encrypts their entire computer.
 

James Best, aka "Sheriff Rosco"

Last and not - OK, maybe it is - least, Sheriff Rosco of one of the worst sitcoms of all time, the Dukes f Hazard, died today at 88. He was in many shows as a regular, including Gunsmoke, Rawhide, and Bonanza, where he excelled as a buffoon. He opened an acting school 45 years ago, and taught Clint Eastwood, Quentin Tarantino and Burt Reynolds, among others.


Apr 4

Brian Lee Schmitt
Mr. Schmitt has been charged with 3 counts of theft and stealing a vehicle. Although this is Mr. Schmitt's 4th time to be charged in Benton County, he is an Albany resident, as readers would have guessed.
   In other Albany news, a 'hit-and-run crash in Albany killed a male pedestrian sometime between 11 p.m. Friday and 7:15 a.m. Saturday, Oregon State Police said, and investigators are now seeking tips to find the driver... Police think a silver compact or mid-sized sedan was heading north on Century Drive when it fatally struck the pedestrian, Brooks said. The car is missing its passenger-side mirror and likely has damage to its passenger-side headlight and bumper. Investigators have not yet determined the make and model of the car.'
Deen Castronovo

The drummer for journey, Deen Castronovo, has stepped in with $10,000 and offers to help with music instruments for the South Albany music band after a convicted arsonist'set the high school cafeteria ablaze. "Isaac Andrew, South Albany’s band director, said Castronovo called him personally on Thursday afternoon, saying he just wanted to see how Andrew was doing. The drummer said he has a music store in California where he and his friends get supplies and told Andrew to give him a wish list for the program. “He was really cool. He was just totally down to earth,” Andrew said.'

Elsewhere, '27-year-old San Diego native Kevin Bollaert was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Friday for running a revenge-porn website and charging victims to have their photos, along with personal information, removed...Bolero is the first operator of a cyber-exploitation site to be criminally prosecuted'.



Apr 2

William Jared Lang

Police are saying Mr. Lang is charged with a probation violation and distributing heroin.

Miranda Emmanuelle Edwards

Police say Ms Edwards has started serving her sentence of 7 days on a probation violation.
 

Rachel Chepulis, Wes Brown

Elsewhere in Oregon, 'U.S. Marshals have caught a fugitive federal prisoner and a corrections officer they say helped him escape a North Dakota jail. The U.S. Marshals Service says 35-year-old Wesley Brown III and 26-year-old Rachel Chepulis were captured Wednesday by authorities in North Bend, Oregon.'

Two Federal investigators who worked to shut down the infamous black-market website 'Silk Road' are accused of fraud and stealing more than a Million dollars in Bitcoins during their investigation.


Apr 1
ALERT!

Robert Edward Foster

A Washington County serial criminal has disappeared. He was last "convicted of following a woman from a MAX light rail train to a bathroom at Portland State University and sexually assaulting her there, officials said. When he was arrested, Foster had women's undergarments tied around his waist and shoved down his pants. He has been arrested 44 times and has escaped supervision multiple times."
 

Michael Eugene Crist

Mr. Crist has been charged for the 6th time in the recent past, usually for assault or disorderly conduct but this time for violating a release agreement.

Justin David Holloway

Mr. Holloway appears to be from Bwnd and has shown up to begin a 15 day sentence for domestic violence assault.

Elsewhere in Oregon, 'a teen convicted in the rape and beating of a woman near Autzen Stadium was arrested Wednesday in the killing of 29-year-old Nicole Laube, the Washington County Sheriff's Office announced. Jaime Tinoco, 17, faces charges of aggravated murder and unlawful use of a weapon in the stabbing death of Laube at the Commons at Timber Creek Apartments complex.'

Abroad, a '51-year-old British church treasurer and driving test examiner is in court accused of deliberately ramming his speeding car into a tree in order to kill his wife, who had reported him as abusive and who was apparently unwilling to meet his incessant “sexual demands.



 

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.

 
BREAKING NEWS OF
 
LIVING
Apr 8
'Federal biologists have agreed to consider changing Endangered Species Act protections for the northern spotted owl from threatened to endangered.'

Apr 7
'Management policies that cut the environment out of management decisions about the Columbia River have earned it the title of America's second-most endangered', topped only by the Grand Canyon section of the Colorado River.

'Radiation from Japan's 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has for the first time been detected along a North American shoreline — though at levels too low to pose a significant threat to human or marine life, scientists said Monday. Trace amounts of cesium-134 and cesium-137 were detected in samples collected on Feb. 19 off Ucluelet, a small town on Vancouver Island, on Canada’s Pacific coast'.

'Mammal torture porn operator Sea World is launching a new ad campaign to assure you, the onetime Sea World patron who's been eaten alive by guilt ever since you saw Blackfish, that everything is A-OK with those whales. They love whales!'



Apr 1
'Gov. Jerry Brown, standing on a patch of brown grass in the Sierra Nevada that is usually covered with several feet of snow at this time of year, on Wednesday announced the first mandatory water restrictions in California history.

"It's a different world," he said. "We have to act differently."


Mar 26
'Legislation to regulate genetically modified crops and food has stalled in the Oregon Legislature. But nationwide, the topic has heated up over the past week: On Friday, the World Health Organization announced it had classified glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, as a 'probable carcinogen.' Roundup is used in connection with Roundup-Ready seeds, which have been genetically modified to withstand the herbicide. They include corn, soybeans, canola, cotton, sugar beets and alfalfa.'
   In related news, a Monsanto lobbyist who claimed that the chemical in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer was safe for humans refused to drink his own words when a French television journalist offered him a glass. "I'm not stupid" the lobbyist declared when refusing to sip.

'The city of Eugene has won a state transportation grant for nearly $1 million to set up a bike share system throughout downtown, the Whiteaker neighborhood and the University of Oregon campus.'


'An Oregon board has yanked the license of a Portland psychologist whose 11-year-old client attempted suicide following her unorthodox treatment recommendation that included drinking milk from a baby bottle while sitting in his father's lap.'


Mar 22
Cancer researchers from the World Health Organization today labeled Monsanto's Round Up a probable carcinogen for humans. 'Glyphosate [Round Up] caused DNA and chromosomal damage in mammals, and in human and animal cells studied in laboratories, the report said. Studies of workers who had been exposed to the chemical in the U.S. Canada, and Sweden found “increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma that persisted after adjustment for other pesticides,” the report said. OSU's Forestry Department, best viewed as Monsanto West, claims glysophate is "practically non-toxic to mammals".


Mar 21
'In yet another instance of state lawmakers taking a perfectly nice idea proposed by some civic-minded kids and teaching them a wholly dispiriting lesson about how government really works, several members of the New Hampshire House went out of their way last Thursday to be personally dickish to a group of fourth graders who had written to their state representative to propose a bill.  
   The kids had proposed that the red-tailed hawk be named the official State Raptor, and the bill initially made it through the Environment and Agriculture committee. But when the kids and their teacher, James Cutting, took a field trip Lincoln Akerman School in Hampton Falls to see their bill pass in the full House, they got a civics lesson they hadn’t expected.
   Not only was the bill defeated by a 133-160 vote in the full House, a couple of lawmakers went out of their way to ridicule the bill and the stupid kids who had the temerity to waste the state legislature’s time on it. Rep. John Burt, a Republican from Goffstown, taught the children a valuable lesson about small government: “Bottom line, if we keep bringing more of these bills, and bills, and bills forward that really I think we shouldn’t have in front of us, we’ll be picking a state hot dog next.”
   Dumb children. Don’t they understand that good government is about repealing laws, not passing them?'


Mar 5
'France's nuclear industry is in turmoil after the country's main reactor manufacturer, Areva, reported a loss for 2014 of 4.8 billion euros ($5.3 billion) — more than its entire market value. The government of France, the world's most nuclear dependent country, has a 29% stake in Areva, which is among the biggest global nuclear technology companies. The loss puts its future — and that of France as a leader in nuclear technology — at risk.'

In Salem, 'after a marathon 5½-hour debate today, the House narrowly voted to mandate a reduction in the amount of carbon in car and truck fuels in Oregon over the next decade'.



Feb 19
'Contaminated medical instruments are suspected in a "superbug" outbreak at a Los Angeles hospital that has infected at least seven patients, two of whom died. More than 170 others may have been exposed to the antibiotic-resistant bacteria.'


Feb 11
'A fraternity and sorority held a party at the home of the third University of Oregon student diagnosed with a contagious bacterial infection -- meningococcemia.Lane County Public Health is contacting the students to tell them they may want an antibiotic to stop the spread of the disease.A fraternity and sorority held a party at the home of the third University of Oregon student diagnosed with a contagious bacterial infection -- meningococcemia. Lane County Public Health is contacting the students to tell them they may want an antibiotic to stop the spread of the disease.'


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BREAKING NEWS OF
GAMING, SCIENCE AND THE INTERNET
Apr 10
'U.S. and European law enforcement agencies have shut down a highly sophisticated piece of the botnet that had infected at least 12,000 computers worldwide, allowing hackers to steal victims’ banking information and other sensitive data.'.

Apr 8
'
Google, Apple and Microsoft chiefs were hauled in front of an Australian Senate Committee on Wednesday and forced to answer questions about their tax dodging structures. "Under questioning from Greens Senator Christine Milne, [Google's Maile Carnegie] revealed none of the revenue derived from Google's lucrative advertising business is taxed in Australia, rather it is booked in Singapore where the corporate tax rate is set at 17 per cent, as opposed to Australia's 30 per cent.


Apr 7
'Some of the same Oregon cities Google is eyeing for its speedy Internet service are contemplating building their own networks. Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Gresham and West Linn are at various stages of assessing how they might commission their own fiber-optic networks, which they hope would upgrade Internet speeds and hold down costs for residents and businesses.'

'Like middle school children stuffed into their own lockers, the Tewksbury, Mass., police department resorted to paying off hackers who locked them out of their own computer files.
According to a Boston Globe report, Tewksbury's finest were the latest targets in a string of "ransomware" attacks, wherein hackers trick victims into downloading software that encrypts their entire computer. '



Apr 4
'Security researchers have uncovered an active cyber attack campaign that has successfully stolen more than $1 Million from a variety of targeted enterprise organizations using spear phishing emails, malware and social engineering tricks.
The campaign, dubbed "The Dyre Wolf" by researchers from IBM's Security Intelligence division, targets businesses and organizations that use wire transfers to transfer large sums of money, even if the transaction is protected by 2-factor authentication... The attack starts with a spear phishing email reaches into your organization with an attachment claiming to be a document of financial importance, like an invoice, but is actually an 'Upatre downloader'. Once opened, Upatre downloads and executes the Dyre Trojan into the victim's system which, according to IBM researchers, went undetected by the majority of antivirus software programs.'


Apr 2
Two Federal investigators who worked to shut down the infamous black-market website 'Silk Road' are accused of fraud and stealing more than a Million dollars in Bitcoins during their investigation.


Mar 30
   'Thomas Jiřikovský, an alleged Owner of one of the most popular Darknet website ‘Sheep Marketplace,’ has been arrested after laundering around $40 Million, making it one of the biggest exit scams in Darknet history.
   After the arrest of Silk Road owner 'Ross Ulbricht' in 2013 -- Sheep Marketplace became the next famous anonymous underground marketplace among Black Market customers for selling illicit products, especially drugs.
   But only after few weeks, Sheep Marketplace was suddenly disappeared and was taken offline by its owner, who had been suspected of stealing $40 million worth of Bitcoins at the time when Bitcoin market value was at the peak.Shortly after this Bitcoin Scam, a Darknet commentator ‘Gwern Branwen’ doxed the owner, and the suspect was identified -- Thomas Jiřikovský as the owner of the black market website. Unfortunately, Jiřikovský forgot to hide his identity and residential address from the Internet, which was exposed by his Facebook page. While Investigating for stolen money from online market, Czech police noticed a suspicious young programmer who attempted to buy a luxury home worth 8.7 Million Czech Koruna ($345,000 USD) in Lusatia, a region in the Czech Republic, under his grandfather’s name.
   Additional investigation revealed that in January last year, a new bank account of 26-years old Eva Bartošová received a huge payment of almost 900,000 Crowns from a foreign Bitcoin Money Exchange company. However, the young woman was unable to justify the source of the money.
   According to Czech media, ‘Eva Bartošová’ is ‘Thomas Jiřikovský’ wife, who helped him to transfer the stolen money to her freshly created bank account. Czech’s Economic Police wing investigated into Jiřikovský's money and found that the house had been purchased entirely using Bitcoin.'


Mar 26
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden quickly transferred his planned fund raiser from a swanky Portland restaurant after it became apparent that residents would be protesting his role in a new international "trade pact" ensuring corporate rule world wide, including copyright troll protection. The pact is being negotiated in secret.

Mar 23
'A new and terribly awful breed of Point-of-Sale (POS) malware has been spotted in the wild by the security researchers at Cisco's Talos Security Intelligence & Research Group that the team says is more sophisticated and nasty than previously seen Point of Sale malware.
   The Point-of-Sale malware, dubbed "PoSeidon", is designed in a way that it has the capabilities of both the infamous Zeus banking Trojan and BlackPOS malware which robbed Millions from US giant retailers, Target in 2013 and Home Depot in 2014.
   PoSeidon malware scrapes memory from Point of Sale terminals to search for card number sequences of principal card issuers like Visa, MasterCard, AMEX and Discover, and goes on using the Luhn algorithm to verify that credit or debit card numbers are valid.The malware then siphon the captured credit card data off to Russian (.ru) domains for harvesting and likely resale, the researchers say.'



Mar 21
'The largest Deep Web drugs marketplace, disappeared suddenly overnight from the Internet. But unlike Silk Road, there is no indication that the law enforcement took down the Evolution marketplace.
The Darknet’s most popular markets for drugs and bespoke carjacking services is mysteriously offline Wednesday with rumours circulating over the Internet that its own administrators may have just scammed its huge user base and stole $12 Millions in Bitcoin.'



Mar 14
'Swedish prosecutors on Friday offered to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, potentially breaking a stalemate in an almost five-year-old investigation into alleged sex crimes; - having sex without a condom.


Mar 11
''Microsoft has come up with its most important Patch Tuesday for this year, addressing the recently disclosed critical the FREAK encryption-downgrade attack, and a separate five-year-old vulnerability leveraged by infamous Stuxnet malware to infect Windows operating system.'

Mar 9
'Users of the μTorrent file-sharing service are complaining that the latest update of software used for torrent downloading is silently installing a piece of unwanted software called EpicScale, which is basically a Bitcoin mining software.The Epic Scale, installed without the consent of users, is a cryptocurrency mining software that reportedly uses the combined computing power of users to generate Bitcoin income for BitTorrent company. The unwanted software slows down the host computers and is particularly harder to remove from the system.'


Mar 7
The regulation of Airbnb in Portland has not affected other parts of the Metro area unincorporated, and residents are bitterly demanding action. Says one Washington County activist. These people don't care about their neighborhood. They're on vacation! This is a neighborhood. It's zoned residential. They're running a hotel".

Mar 5
'Advertising companies are also monitoring unsuspecting users' cell phone data with the help of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS) called Drones.'

Mar 4
'TalkTalk said customer information was accessed after a breach at a third-party company, in which names, addresses, phone numbers and TalkTalk account numbers have been stolen.'

Feb 26
2 years ago, the issue of net neutrality was regarded as a slam dunk for corporate megalith Comcast and their ilk. That meant crawling internet speeds in towns like Corvallis would not only continue but get worse. Several grass roots efforts funded by streamers like Netflix helped fund a grass roots effort to turn back the tide and today the FCC responded, declaring internet traffic a utility, like telephone service. That greatly increases the likelihood of faster service for Corvallis residents since the public utility poles will now be made available.
   Nonetheless, Comcast is organizing Republicans for a fallback position stripping the FCC of their power to regulate utilities and the charge is ld by Oregon's lone remaining Republican Greg Walden, who has served Comcast like few others. However, organizing partisan pressure to block the Republican move to bolster profits at the public's expense would have been a lot easier if the new Oregon governor, Kate Brown, had not turned herself into a Comcast plaything during her stint as Secretary of State, allowing Comcast to even ghost write the state's position when her opinion was solicited by the FCC.



Feb 24
'Apple’s operating system is considered to be the most secure operating system whether it’s Mac OS X for desktop computers or iOS for iPhones. But believe it or not, they are the most vulnerable operating system of year 2014.'

A D.C. man is suing Uber for $2 million in federal court after claiming a driver stabbed him. Erik Search said that Uber driver Yohannes Deresse was acting "erractically" when he and his friends got in the car, so they hopped out and walked away. Deresse allegedly followed them and then stabbed Search at least six times.'


Feb 23
' 'SuperFish' advertising software recently found pre-installed on Lenovo laptops is more widespread than what we all thought. Facebook has discovered at least 12 more titles using the same HTTPS-breaking technology that gave the Superfish malware capability to evade rogue certificate.
   The Superfish vulnerability affected dozens of consumer-grade Lenovo laptops shipped before January 2015, exposing users to a hijacking technique by sneakily intercepting and decrypting HTTPS connections, tampering with pages and injecting advertisements.
   Now, it's also thought to affect parental control tools and other adware programmes. Lenovo just released an automated Superfish removal tool to ensure complete removal of Superfish and Certificates for all major browsers. But, what about others?'



Feb 19
'The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) may be hiding highly-sophisticated hacking payloads in the firmware of consumer hard drives over the last 15 to 20 years in a campaign, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop.

Feb 16
'The most popular Chinese Bitcoin exchange BTER announced that it has been hacked on Valentine’s Day and lost more than £1.1 Million-worth ($1.75 Million; one BTC is about $270) of the digital currency. The Bitcoin Exchange hasn't revealed more details about suspects behind the breach or how the cold wallets were compromised, except that 7,170 Bitcoin cryptocurrency was stolen from the company's "cold wallets," a way of storing the digital currency offline.'


Feb 15
'A hacker group has infiltrated a number of banks and financial institutions in several countries, stealing hundreds of Millions of dollars in possibly the biggest bank heist the world has ever seen.'

Feb 14
'Security researchers have warned of a pair of vulnerabilities in the Google Play Store that could allow cyber crooks to install and launch malicious applications remotely on Android devices'.

Comcast is screaming about California's approval of their merger with Time Warner, because of the conditions attached, including affordable internet and banning Comcast objections to municipally owned fiber.


Feb 11
' Remember RapidShare? Once one of the world's most popular and first ever one-click online file hosting and cloud storage website on the Internet. The company has announced that it will shut down its business at the end of next month. RapidShare file hosting service announced its shut down Tuesday through a notice on its official website, saying that it will stop active service on March 31, 2015. All user accounts on the website will no longer be available after this date, and all files will be deleted automatically.'

'There are several sources who are reporting layoffs at Daybreak Games (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) today. Notable layoffs include Linda "Brasse" Carlson (former Global Community Relations Lead) and Dave Georgeson (former Director of Development / Franchise Director for Everquest, EverQuest II, and EverQuest Next / Landmark).'

New data shows smartphone thefts have declined 40% in San Francisco since "killl switches" were introduced by most manufacturers.


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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.