Watery Graves and Transit Knaves: The News Week in Review

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Giving to others is usually a good thing. Unless you're giving bad smells to your neighbor.

The Democratic National Convention just came to close. The question on everyone’s mind has been, “Is America better off now than it was four years ago?” At least that is the esoteric question. The more popular question, it seems, is, “Why can’t Bill Clinton be president again?”

Almost 300 people submitted comments on the Lane Transit District’s proposed extension of its bus rapid transit line to west Eugene. Many of them were negative.

Clint Eastwood seemingly upstaged Mitt Romney during the Republican National Conention with his speech directed towards an empty chair — a metaphor for an invisible Obama. The speech began a new trend called “eastwooding.” [1] The news media, of course, was wondering if the DNC could match that with its own brilliance or blunder, depending on how you perceived it. While the DNC did not have Eastwood, it did have Bill Clinton. Clinton’s speech so inspired his base that the internet exploded with comparisons between Clinton and the man he endorsed for President, Barack Obama.

Even TMZ got in on the action. They asked their readers who they prefer, Obama and Clinton. Almost 120,000 people weighed in, with Clinton the favorite at 59%. [2]

It’s always hard when a flood of opinions comes pouring in, and those opinions do not favor you. But Obama has taken it in stride. Lane Transit District, on the other hand, has not taken a flood of opinions as well. “Almost 300 people have submitted comments on the Lane Transit District’s proposed extension of its bus rapid transit line to west Eugene, and many of them were critical of the project…LTD hasn’t yet done a detailed review of the comments but it is clear a large number of them came from opponents, Vobora said.” [3]

The Register Guard apparently did not like the results either, running the story with the title, “Critics flood LTD with opinions: Most of the negative comments were generated by the anti-EmX group Our Money Our Transit.” Their reasoning that the group “generated” most of the comments? The group has a website. And that website “provided ‘click-through’ links to make commenting easier.” [3]

Giving to others is usually a good thing. Unless you’re giving bad smells to your neighbor.

The internet is an amazing tool, you see. It can provide click-through links to provoke political dissent. It also can help raise money for people in need. One family this week hopes to do just that. “[Davien McCarty, a] 17-year-old from Eugene has Asperger’s syndrome..Unfortunately, [his] family’s difficulties have not ended with their son’s Asperger’s syndrome…On May 1, 2012, Winter heard the results from Dr. Dunphy: McCarty has Burkitt’s Lymphoma…That is when Rose Kempton, Winter’s mother and McCarty’s grandmother, stepped in. Kempton saw her daughter’s family struggling and decided to help by creating a fundraising drive on GiveForward.” [4]

Giving to others is usually a good thing. Unless you’re giving bad smells to your neighbor. Like how “a pot patch in southern Oregon stinks — one neighbor says it’s like having a family of skunks in the backyard — and now, she’s asking the City Council to force the grower to keep his plants out of range of her nose…The Ashland City Council has been asked to consider requiring marijuana gardens to be 75 feet from property lines, a challenge in a city with pricey real estate and small lots.” [5]

Ashland wasn’t the only city in Oregon with a pot problem this week. “A narcotics task force searched a medical marijuana club in Eugene and four other addresses in Lane and Douglas counties last Thursday, arresting two men on various marijuana charges…The raid left employees and customers at Kannabosm in shock – and the facility in disarray. ‘Everything was in line with the state laws. All of our paperwork was in order. None of that was even checked,’ said Eric Chavez, Kannabosm manager.” [6]

Having your business raided can understandably lead to shock. But you know what really leads to shock? Finding a dead body. “A man was found dead inside of his boat at Alton Baker park along the shore of the Willamette river, the Springfield Police Department said…They found the subject inside of his pontoon watercraft, which was hung up on the side of the Willamette river.” [7]

Five passing commercial trucks drove through a cow herd, striking and killing 44 cows.

That wasn’t the only dead body found in water, either. “A body found in Cottage Grove Lake could be a suicide based on earlier reports of someone jumping off the dam, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office said. Capt. Byron Trapp said calls came in at 1:37 p.m. reporting a body in the lake.” [8]

This trend of finding dead things was not limited this week to humans. Law enforcement also had to deal with dead cows. “Dozens of cows were killed on Thursday night after wandering onto a highway, where they were struck by passing trucks. Oregon State Police Trooper Clint Prevett said the herd walked onto Highway 97 north of Madras around 11:45 p.m. During that time, five passing commercial trucks drove through the herd, striking and killing 44 cows.” [9]

The farmer who owned those cows will certainly not be happy this week. But if you like having your own backyard farm, you on the other hand can be happy: backyard farming is on the rise and the city of Eugene supports you. “The city of Eugene seems to be more than encouraging in creating the tools necessary for people to build their own urban farms…Besides providing support to non-profit groups, the city of Eugene — through the Neighborhood Matching Grant Program — will provide funding for neighborhood gardens as long as they meet the requirements of the grant and satisfy concerns raised by different city departments.” [10]

Just don’t use your backyard garden to grow weed that smells like a family of skunks. Especially if you have neighbors that are going to wish that you end up in a lake.

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