politics - Page 5

Videos of UO instructor in confrontation with student group circulate on social media

A pair of videos displaying an argument between University of Oregon adjunct law instructor James Olmsted and students protesters started to make the rounds on social media late Thursday evening. The two videos show different angles of a heated altercation between Olmsted and a student he pushed out of the way.

According to the YouTube descriptions, the videos take place near the EMU amphitheater at a mock border check-in organized by Students Against Imperialism  — a group in support of equitable treatment along the United States-Mexican border which recently combine with the group, Students for Palestinian Liberation.

It is unclear how the dispute started and ended, as both videos capture only the middle of the quarrel.

More to follow.

*Warning, these videos may contain profane language*

Student groups seek to repeal Social Host Ordinance

The Social Host Ordinance, a piece of legislation passed by the Eugene City Council in late January, is being petitioned by ASUO Sen. Lamar Wise and Kevin Cronin, executive director of the Lane County Young Democrats. The two student leaders began gathering signatures this week in hopes of bringing the legislation to a public vote. The city council unanimously approved the measure, which imposes fines of up to $1,000 on anyone who hosts a “party or gathering” that violates the ordinance, on Jan. 28.

Wise and Cronin have two years to collect the 7,800 signatures necessary to put the repeal up for a public vote. Cronin told The Emerald that the Lane County Young Democrats’ goal was to have Eugene voters weigh in during the 2014 primaries. He said he’d rather not dedicate a special election to this issue alone in order to avoid putting an unnecessary tax burden on the city’s residents.

More than 2,000 signatures have been collectively gathered between efforts on the UO campus and at Lane Community College. Cronin says this is more than the number of votes Eugene City Councilor Alan Zelenka (D-Ward 3) secured for his re-election.

“He’s the face of the measure to students,” Wise said.

If Zelenka doesn’t publicly support the ordinance’s repeal after all 7,800 signatures are collected, Cronin says the Young Democrats would seek a representative to replace him on the council.

“We’re going to hold our elected officials responsible,” Cronin said.

The ordinance went into effect March 2 but will not be enforced until April 1 in order to give Eugene and University Police a month to spread awareness of the law. The decision to implement the ordinance rested with the city council prior to its passage in January. Cronin, Wise and their respective student groups had to wait until the legislation took effect in order to appeal it in an official capacity.

Zelenka could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Tuition equity bill passes Oregon House, heads to Senate

Over half the room silently rose to their feet, their hands joined and raised up to the ceiling, at the moment Oregon’s tuition equity bill passed through the State of Oregon’s House last Friday. University of Oregon student Tania Sarabia was among those standing. Along with other members of the UO’s Chicano student group, MEChA, Sarabia had traveled to Salem that day to show her support for the bill.

H.B. 2787 would allow undocumented Oregon high school graduates to pay in-state tuition at Oregon universities instead of the steep international rates, which currently apply to them. To be eligible, students are required to have studied in the United States for a minimum of five years, attended an Oregon high school for at least three years and show intention to enroll for American citizenship. The bill is now headed to the Oregon senate, which had passed similar bills in 2003 and 2011, when it failed to pass in the House.

Oregon University System spokeswoman Diane Saunders said the passage of the bill allows the students, whose high school education Oregon has already invested in, to continue on in college.

“We’ve made significant investments in (these students),” Saunders said. “This allows them to continue their education and contribution to the State of Oregon.”

She said the bill would also benefit the state of Oregon financially. According to her, research shows the higher a citizen’s education is, the less the state will pay for them in social services. Additionally, according to OUS estimates, should tuition equity pass, the net revenue gain for the OUS system between 2013 and 2015 would be $334,820. Between 2015 and 2017, the number is estimated to be $1.6 million.

For Sarabia, the passage of the bill and the effects it could have are personal. Although she is attending a university, her cousin, who first inspired her to go to college, is unable to due to her illegal status. With the passage of the bill, Sarabia hopes her cousin will have the opportunity to attend a university as well.

“For me, the first person who really got me energized to go to college was my cousin who was undocumented, and she was going to community college,” she said.

Sarabia, like many other college students, was heavily involved in advocating for the passage of the bill. Along with UO students from MEChA, the Oregon Student Association and Oregon Students of Color Coalition, she attended the bill’s committee hearings and delivered Valentine’s Day cards to representatives supporting the bill. In the days leading up to the House hearing, she and other students were busy contacting representatives to encourage them to vote “yes” on the bill.

“People are really passionate about this issue,” she said.

According to Democratic representative and UO alum Ben Unger, it is because of college students like Sarabia the tuition equity bill was able to pass through the House. Unger, who represents District 29, has been lobbying for the bill for the past 10 years and said the involvement of college students was what made the difference this year. Because students are directly impacted by the bill, their personal stories made a tremendous impact, he said, and their advocating for the issue showed representatives its importance and prevented it from being forgotten over time.

“This is a bill that was passed by college students,” Unger said.

According to him, the passage of the bill is of great importance to students.

“It’s important that every student in the State of Oregon who graduates from an Oregon high school has the right to go to an Oregon college,” he said. “Unless the bill passes through the House and Senate and signed by the governor, that won’t happen.”

Both he and Sarabia are optimistic the bill will pass through the Senate. Governor John Kitzhaber has already promised to sign the bill into action.

However, the passage of the bill does not solve all the problems for undocumented students. Under the bill, they are not eligible for state or federal financial aid, and scholarships are limited. For Sarabia and other students involved, though, the bill’s passage through the House is a victory.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” she said.

March 2 – Morning Headlines



Everyone is impatient for spring.
  • Car hits, injures Springfield pedestrian
    Police closed a portion of eastbound Main St. Thursday night after a car struck a pedestrian at 19th Avenue in Springfield.
  • Last defendants sentenced in Marcola kidnapping case
    A 21-year-old rural Springfield man got a 70-month prison sentence this week — and a tongue-lashing from a judge — for his linchpin role in the kidnapping and assault of a Marcola man last October. Cody Morton was among five men tending an illegal …
  • Eugene candidate field set
    Barring successful write-in candidacies, three Eugene City Councilors are on their way to re-election, and the Eugene Water and Electric Board will get two new commisioners. The filing deadline for candidates to file for Eugene mayor, city council and …
  • Senate kills gun bill
    The Oregon Senate this morning narrowly voted down a proposal to prevent concealed handgun licenses holders from bringing their firearms onto the grounds of public schools and universities. Two Democrats – Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose an…
  • Beavers Snap Losing Skid, Handle The Utes 77-67
    Jared Cunningham led four players in double figures with 17 points as Oregon State (16-13, 6-11 Pac-12) defeated Utah (6-23, 3-14) 77-67 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. The Beavers led wire-to-wire to end a five-game skid. …
  • Oregon rallies past Colorado to move into tie for third in Pac-12
    Oregon did what it had to do Thursday night, overtaking Colorado in the second half and pulling away in the final minutes for a 90-81 win over the Buffaloes at Matthew Knight Arena. Devoe Joseph led the Ducks (21-8 overall) with 24 points as the Ducks …
  • Oregon women’s basketball tops Colorado 64-62
    Oregon will finish below .500 in Pac-12 regular-season play, but the Ducks took a big step towards making a successful run in the Pac-12 Tournament by defeating host Colorado 64-62 Thursday night. The Ducks (15-14, 7-10 Pac-12), who entered the game in…

Tim Chuey Weather:

There will be a chance of showers for your Friday and early AM Saturday, but Sunday should be dry with sunshine.

High: 58
Low: 37
Rain: 50% chance

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly cloudy with areas of fog early this AM, mostly cloudy with a (40%) chance of rain (0.15 in. of rain possible) today, cloudy with a good (50%) chance of rain tonight, mostly cloudy with a (40%) chance of rain Saturday AM, a mix of clouds and sun in the afternoon, partly cloudy Saturday night, areas of AM fog, a mix of clouds and sun Sunday, then mostly cloudy Sunday night highs 45-58 lows 37-40. Cloudy with a good (50%) chance of rain Monday, rain likely (60%) Monday night, mostly cloudy with showers likely (60%) Tuesday, then a good (50%) chance of showers Tuesday night through Thursday highs 52-46 lows near 37. (seasonal averages high 54 low 36)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

Live Out Loud


by Mike Bullington, EDN

What had looked like a perfect life has become a perfect nightmare. Rick Dancer has cancer and he is dealing with it in the only way that he knows: with the cameras rolling.

After four years of routine cancer screenings raised concern and after four subsequent biopsies proved inconclusive, his doctors at the Oregon Urology Institute finally found the prostate cancer. It was January 28, 2010—just two years after resigning from lead news anchor at KEZI 9 News and only fourteen difficult months after losing the Republican ticket for Oregon Secretary of State—and Rick drove his black 2008 Acura onto I-105, put a camcorder on the dash and made a tearful confession to the blogosphere—to the world—that he had cancer and must undergo radiation treatment

Rick’s blog (rickdancer.com) is a collection of personal vision, insights and, even in the best of times, a study in heart-on-the-sleeves living. But this was beyond anything that he had done online. This was real, this was personal, this was traumatic, this is cancer.

Almost instantly the feedback came. Men, prostate cancer patients from all around the world, wrote to him, thanking him for saying exactly what they were thinking. His wife and family were devastated—this after two already difficult years with their share of late nights and personal pain. Rick had no plan B when he resigned his position as top anchor in a all or nothing bid for Secretary of State.

And he almost pulled it off.

Rick and Kathy Dancer

With no political experience and some Sarah Palin-esque moments on television answering hard questions that he admits now he was not ready for, he gathered 47 percent of the vote.

And if he had to be in a free fall from putting everything on the line, losing, and then facing his worst nightmare—cancer—then he knew no other way to do it than with the pedal to the floor, the spotlights on and the world watching.

It hit him when he was driving back from a business trip in Washington state: “If I have cancer, what can people stop me from doing?” He could do anything. He could dance in the streets if he wanted.

With camera man in tow he approached a table of ladies at the Subway restaurant in Kalama, Washington and pleaded with them to join him in dancing in the street—to celebrate his emancipation from an old, uptight Rick Dancer hungry for success to a new, younger Rick hungry for life. No, no, he pleaded, this thing—cancer—“it is not bad thing, it is a good thing.”

Finally, after an awkward moment of understandable dismay from the Subway patrons accustomed only to sandwiches made without any unpleasantries, the store owner broke the tension by calling out, “Honey, I’ll dance with you.”

Out they went onto First Avenue in Kalama, Washington, Rick Dancer, media guy and an anonymous franchise owner to do a quick shuffle and declare that Rick had placed a line in the sand, drawing a boundary between living life their way and living life his way.

If he was going to have cancer, and there was clearly nothing he could do about that decision, then he would control how he handled it. He chose a new, promising yet un-proven radiation treatment, Calypso radiation, and became something of a poster child for prostate cancer. He approached his doctors at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and suggested they put a camera on him—film the entire 28-week treatment process. Rick took no money for the assignment and the company jumped at the chance to put a media guy like Dancer on their website.

In each of a series of six videos produced for OHSU and filmed at the Knight Cancer Institute in Beaverton, Dancer introduces himself, “Hi, my name is Rick and I have prostate cancer. This is my treatment story.” It is a surreal experience for someone who was, in the past, back in Eugene, back in another lifetime, more accustomed to turning the camera on the intimate details of other people’s lives. Or for a man who similarly looked into the camera and Oregon’s living rooms and said, “I’m Rick Dancer and I’m asking for your vote.”

In Episode 2: Beacon Transponder® Implantation, an 11 minute video, Dancer lies on his side while attendants work behind, out of his view. His face looks different. The stern professionalism is gone and he looks, all at once, years younger and undeniably older. A young boy’s face and innocent blue eyes are framed by the gray hair of 50-year old man. A man who has achieved success—a six figure salary at KEZI, a beautiful wife and two strong, healthy boys. Cancer levels everything. The gray hair, which the radiation will not take, looks out of place on a boy’s tender face. Blue eyes open wide, looking, searching for what is next: the pain of a needle piercing his prostate. But the blue eyes cannot see behind him, through the white sheets, and he waits for the stab. It is a truly humbling look on his face.

Three GPS transmitters, or Calypso beacons, are inserted into Rick’s prostate to guide, via triangulation, the attack of the radiation beam. The hope is that by pinpointing the radiation to within millimeters of the cancer there will be less collateral damage to the rectum and sexual nerve endings that surround the prostate. Damage to either of those often leads to life-altering side effects—incontinence and impotency.

In Episode 4: First Treatment, Dancer is on his back on a table, pants down, covered by a white sheet. It is the first of 28 such treatments he must endure. Hydraulics raise him up and back under the radiation machine, his hands clenched in fists and held close to his chest. A green laser dances down his face, along his chest and over his crotch. A second laser runs from his shoulders to his feet, down the side of his body. It is a place that no one would want to be, not unless they were certain it would save their life.

Black dots have been tattooed on Rick’s hip which the nurses use position his body to the green lasers, like leveling a shelf on a wall. A click of a button and the radiation machine begins to gyrate slowly around Dancer. The fear is palpable. A white plate is positioned inches above Rick’s waist, a “Calypso plate,” which homes in on the three beacons in order to guide the upcoming radiation beam. More last-minute adjustments and verifications are made and then, that’s it. The cameraman and nurses retreat to a control room, safe from the harming radiation that will be introduced into the room. The radiation machine makes two passes, shooting a destructive beam into Dancer’s body, into the cancer and, hopefully, little else.


Rick and his two sons on his final broadcast with KEZI 9 News

In 1998, Rick was one of the first reporters to arrive at Thurston High School in Springfield after Kip Kinkel shot 27 students, killing two. It was there that a defining characteristic of Dancer began to emerge. He was told by authorities to ask family members to stay away from the scene. Rick, who had come to tears on the live broadcast, could not fathom telling panicked parents to stay at home and wait for authorities to notify them, possibly telling them that their children were victims of the rampage. So he went on the air with a message: “The official word is to stay away from Thurston High, but if I had kids who had not come home from school yet, I sure as heck would be down here.”

His human handling of stories, such as the Thurston High story, had cemented him into the local community. Early in his career, however, KEZI management tried to get rid of him. Surveys had shown that Rick Dancer was a not favored newscaster, that he didn’t give off that local boy image that local news is always trying so hard to impress. Management let him know that he was working on borrowed time and that they intended to replace him. For what Rick calls, “one of the hardest years of my life,” he worked the ten hour days with the professional smile put in place over a fear of the axe falling at any time. Rather than sit around and sulk, Dancer went out to the people.

His strategy was a simple one. If the people of Eugene would get behind Dancer, there was nothing management could do to him. He could, in a sense, beat them at their own game. He started doing public service pieces after hours: Easter Seals, graduations, talks at schools and countless charity events. He immersed himself in the community that he was reporting—and depending on.

The hard work payed off. A year to the day of the first talk by management they approached him with a different tune. The most recent survey showed that he was well received in the Eugene/Springfield demographic.

And then came the campaign for Secretary of State.

With success around him, all he needed to do was sit tight and enjoy the ride of a career on easy street. Instead, he resigned from KEZI with a controversial last night of broadcasting, using precious, expensive, airtime to announce his candidacy. With his family and friends behind him he put it all on the line, grasping ever for more, and failed.

Dancer was an enigma in the political scene. Both parties criticized him. To the Republicans he was too liberal, too progressive. He attended rallies in support of gay rights to which he was asked by the organizers, “What are you doing here?” He dreamt, like a man he greatly admires, former Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield, of reaching across the aisle and of finding compromise. He thought the illegal alien issue was blown way out of proportion by conservatives.

Character assassinations flew in letters to the editors of local papers. He was accused of being egotistical, inexperienced and out of step with Oregon. Lane county went with him at the polls. In fact, most of the state voted for Rick, but the race was lost in Portland, which voted strongly against him, giving his opponent a six percent margin.

“It was the worst and best thing I have ever done,” Dancer says of his campaign. “People tear you apart. They were trying to paint me into this right-wing guy and it’s like, ‘You don’t even know me!’”

“I’m a progressive-liberal Republican. Try to put that into a party,” Rick says, remembering the people who told him he can’t be both Republican and progressive. “You can’t tell me who I am. That is who I am. Maybe there is not a party to back me, but that is who I am.”


“I’m a progressive-liberal Republican. Try to put that into a party”

Rick Dancer took an F in high school speech class because he could not get up in front of his peers. It was a spell of fear that had existed since his childhood, where he was a somewhat lonely, shy boy growing up in a middle-class “house and culture where mistakes were frowned upon. There was little wiggle room when it came to how you do things and why.”

That child who always longed to fit in—dreamed of fitting in—made it. He fit in. Only now, he doesn’t want to fit in any longer.

“Once you start to fit into it, you become part of it, and then you lose something: individuality,” Dancer says, nuzzled into a leather couch in the back room of the Humble Bagel in Eugene. “If I am really open to who people are, nothing you can do is going to offend me. That is relationship. That is what we have taken out of politics and our culture.”

When Rick was doing media stories for KEZI, some of the stories changed him. They were the people stories, like the story of Nathan Madsen, a missing nine year old boy from Veneta. Nathan had been rounding up cattle with his family near Chemult, Oregon when he was suddenly nowhere to be found. His family searched in vain before contacting the authorities. Hundreds of volunteers combed the woods looking for the boy. Rick drove the four hour round trip to report on the search every day for weeks.

“It shook me,” Dancer remembers. “I’d be in tears all the way home.”

The following July, more than six months after Nathan vanished, his bones were found. Rick went with Nathan’s father and a cameraman by horseback to the site of the body.

The experience showed him that he could be more than just a talking head vying for ratings. It showed him he could be human and a reporter.

That passion for people is what is fueling Rick now, in the days after cancer. He has found his niche and he has no intention of letting it go. That passion is fueling projects like Look Me in The Eye, a campaign to bring an awareness “that people with disabilities are in this community and that they have something to offer. I am continually flabbergasted at the abilities of people with so-called disabilities.”

“These people are my family,” Rick says, “They don’t hold it back… I need that, I crave that in my life.”

The developmental disabilities story is just the main crutch he sees as a message that is so much bigger.

“We need to look people in the eye rather than what their color is or what their sexuality is,” Dancer says. “If you are a Republican, go hang out with Democrats. If you think you don’t like gay people, go hang out with some gay people. You’ll have a great time.”

It has been just over a year since treatment ended at OHSU and Rick’s test results show that the cancer has retreated. His PSA number (an indicator used to detect prostate cancer) are down from 20—fives times the accepted safe zone—to 2.6. He looks strong. Any hint of thickness in his face from his KEZI days is gone. His arms and shoulders are noticeably toned. During radiation treatment he took 45 mile bike rides, jogged three days per week and lifted weights. He has suffered only minimal side effects. None of the life-altering fears have come to pass.

He has learned other things. He knows, better than many of us, that he is going to die. He has brushed up against his own mortality. He has learned about the cost of putting success before happiness. He has learned that he does not have to be perfect at everything. His biggest lesson, however, came from the mouth of a child he met while doing a community service spot at a local school.

Rick’s standing up before a kindergarden class, standing tall and professional in his neatly tailored suit and polished shoes in front of all these little people who are sitting on the floor before him cross-legged and wide-eyed, and he is being moved to tears about all these lives before him. The teachers are standing back, behind the kids, wiping tears from their own eyes, feeling compassion for these children that will grow up into a world where hate, division, and prejudices still exist. One small boy raises his hand in response to Rick’s talk about being an individual and says, quietly, shyly, in the meekest of voices, not too unlike a young Rick Dancer, “Perhaps, Mr. Dancer, we were never meant to fit in.”

August 8 – Morning Headlines


Morning Headlines


  • Oregon loses a statesman 
    Former Sen. Mark Hatfield, an outspoken critic of war whose liberal views often put him at odds with fellow Republicans, died Sunday. He was 89. Hatfield, who had become increasingly frail in recent years, died at a Portland residence, sai…
  • Fire breaks out at Short Mountain Landfill
    A large fire broke out at Short Mountain Landfill south of Eugene late Sunday morning and was extinguished within a couple hours by firefighters from Goshen Rural Fire Protection District. Fire dispatch records show 15 fire units were dispat…
  • Neighbors raise a stink at council meeting
    The smell may be dissipating, but some Cottage Grove residents aren’t done kicking up a stink. Fed up with the pungent odor of biosolids, or sewage sludge, from the city’s sewage treatment plant spread on a field near their rural …
  • Man sues over teeth cleaning at LCC
    A Dexter man has filed a $350,000 lawsuit against Lane Community College, alleging that a dental hygiene student burned holes through his gums and “into bone” while cleaning his teeth at the school’s dental clinic in November 2009. Scott Ritchie�…
  • Two at-large members named to county task force on political boundaries
    A seven-member task force that will recommend new political boundaries in Lane County was finalized last week with the Board of Commissioners’ selection of two at-large members. The board unanimously approved the selection of Diane Wiley, director of…
  • Funding for graduate education slashed in new debt deal
    Starting next year, graduate and professional students will pay more for their education, thanks to a last-minute debt deal reached by Congressional leaders last week. The Budget Control Act specifies, among other things, the end of federal subsidies …
  • Oregon state workers to vote on union contract 
    Tens of thousands of workers represented by Oregon’s top two state employees’ unions are preparing to vote this month on a proposed union contract for the 2011-13 biennium.

Tim Chuey Weather:

Another pleasant week ahead with lots of sunshine. After a slow fall temperatures will start climbing for the end of the week into next weekend.

The upper air flow continues to be onshore and that means don’t look for any serous changes in the weather through the middle of next week. Weak waves will move onshore only to bring the chance of coastal drizzle mainly early Friday. A high pressure ridge (“Arch” shape on the orange Jet Stream line) will give us some warming again.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly cloudy this AM, mostly sunny in the afternoon, partly cloudy tonight, AM clouds, mostly sunny Tuesday afternoon, mostly clear again Tuesday night, mostly sunny Wednesday, then clear Wednesday night highs 82-75 warming to near 80 Wednesday lows near 50. Sunny Thursday and Friday with clear nights, mostly sunny Saturday and Sunday, mostly clear Saturday night highs 82-88 lows near 52. (seasonal averages high 84 low 52).

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com


Sen. Mark Hatfield, dead at 89.

Lawmakers try to ban offshore drilling for Oregon Coast

Three members of Oregon’s congressional delegation introduced an amendment Wednesday that would exempt Oregon from a bill that would make it easier for companies to drill in deep water.

Should Eugene Council Recite Pledge of Allegiance?


Should Eugene Council Recite Pledge of Allegiance?
EUGENE, Ore. — Classrooms across the nation do it every day, but should the Eugene City Council recite the Pledge of Allegiance at its meetings? That's the topic up for discussion at City Hall on Monday night. "Growing up, first through

and more »

April 11 – Evening Update


The Monday night headline round-up:

Former UO wrestler sentenced for money laundering
A former University of Oregon wrestler turned professional fighter and political candidate has been sentenced to two years on probation and fined $10,000 after pleading guilty to a federal money laundering charge.
Oregon lawmakers may strip Independent Party of name
The Independent Party of Oregon, the state’s third-largest party, has pledged to take legislators to court if they approve a bill that would strip the party of its name. – this should be interesting. –ed.
Prison inmate from LaneCo walks away from work crew in CoosCo
An inmate from Lane County serving time for unauthorized use of a vehicle walked away from an inmate work crew Monday just off Highway 101 between Coquille and Bandon in Coos County. – and Michael Lee Baker adds another stellar choice to his resume. –ed.
Surge in Oregon public employee retirements
More public employees in Oregon are retiring early, apparently to lock in medical coverage before state lawmakers tighten benefits. – from the “get it while its hot” department. –ed.
A Dozen Trees Being Removed Near UO
If you walk near the university area, you’ll start noticing signs posted on a number of trees. They state that starting next week the trees are set to be removed. The given reason is that the 50-year-old trees are hazardous because they are prone to diseases and termites.

I saw an elderly couple euthanized today...

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