Group Protests Pipeline Project

EUGENE, Ore. — A group of concerned citizens in Eugene is fighting a Canadian gas pipeline that could be installed through Oregon.3-4 pipeline protest

About 40 community members gathered in the West University Neighborhood Wednesday night frustrated over what a pipeline could mean for Oregon.

A number of the homes participating in raising awareness were covered in signs with the word “condemned” as well as a 300 foot makeshift pipeline covering a number of front yards.

Right now a Canadian gas company is looking to install the Pacific Connector Pipeline which would bisect Oregon between Malin to Coos Bay.

The group is concerned the pipeline will hurt the climate.

“There’s the issue of fracking in our country which is poisoning aquifers and wells. Then there’s the issue of pumping it hundreds of miles through private property that’s being seized through the use of eminent domain which our government officials are allowing,” said Mary DeMocker, Eugene resident.

DeMocker says that’s why several homes have the word condemned on them to prove the point they’d be taken over if landowners refuse the pipeline.

The group is hoping their message gets to Governor Kate Brown to hopefully save Oregon from a massive pipeline.

Eugene Police Prepares for Protests

Eugene PoliceEUGENE, Ore. — Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns says his department is making preparations for possible protests after the Michael Brown decision.

The department has requested that groups give advance notice of possible demonstrations, though they are not required to do so.

Kerns says EPD is very good at supporting protesters who want to express their feelings lawfully like they did at a recent candlelight vigil.

“There could be demonstrations of some measure, and so we’ve connected with leadership at the NAACP and LULAC to offer our assistance in the event they choose to bring a march together or a demonstration of any kind,” Kerns said.

Kerns said he also promised the groups that he would inform them if he learned of any threats against minorities from extremists.

Corvallis tea partiers protest government regulations

About 30 protesters waved American flags and held up signs with slogans like, “Abolish IRS,” “Free enterprise,” “De-federalize Oregon lands” at a tea party rally in front of the Benton County Courthouse on Saturday.

Though the president of Benton County Republican Women, Stella Guenther, staffed a table at the event to sign up new voters, the rally wasn’t affiliated with any political party, organizer Carolyn Webb said.

“It’s really nonpartisan,” she said. “It’s a tea party rally — tea party means that we’re interested in limited government and less regulations, so anybody and everybody whose interested in those issues can be involved.”

Because the tea party encompasses a set of values and is not an official political party, it’s difficult to determine the number of locals who identify as a tea partier, Webb said.

The tea party favors tax reform, energy independence, lowering the state and national debt, a reduced federal government, and fewer regulations on business.

Webb purposefully planned the rally to loosely coincide with the IRS Tax filing deadline, which is Tuesday.

“It’s tax day next week,” she said. “I thought it was a good time for the people to think about all of the rules and regulations — what the federal government and state government is doing — because the people need to have a voice.”

Corvallis Protest Against Homelessness

Homeless ProtestCORVALLIS, Ore. – The men’s and women’s homeless shelters have closed their doors for the season; dozens of people say they have no place to go, and protesters are speaking out in front of the Benton County Courthouse.

One woman says she wanted to make a statement by pitching a tent on Tuesday afternoon. She camped in front of the courthouse Tuesday night, and says she is not planning on leaving the area anytime soon.

“There’s nowhere to legally camp in Corvallis,” said 56-year-old Marge Pettitt. “There’s nowhere when the shelter closes for us to go.”

Pettitt says she became homeless after leaving a situation of domestic violence. She was staying at the women’s shelter in Corvallis until it closed its doors Tuesday morning. Both shelters for single men and women say if they had the resources and the volunteers to run all year, they would, but they are only financially able to operate for part of the year.

“I felt safe camping out here,” Pettitt said about the location in front of the courthouse. “There’s nobody out here and the police department is across the street.”

But around 10 pm Tuesday night, Corvallis Police gave her a notice to vacate within 24 hours.

“They don’t tell us where to go, but they tell us where not to go,” Pettitt said.

The police department says it is simply enforcing a city ordinance that bans camping in public areas. Police say they issued Pettitt a warning. She will not be cited unless she stays where she is.

“So I’m going to play chess,” Pettitt said. “We’re going to measure and I’m going to move sixty feet.”

Pettitt says she refuses to give up on her fight for a dialogue with community members to discuss the future of homelessness in Corvallis.

Other protesters are joining her with their own ways of expression.

“My sign says: ‘We need no money, just less camping laws,’” said Renae Nichols, who played her flute in front of the courthouse on Wednesday afternoon. “We should be allowed to camp in parks because right now we don’t have anywhere to go.”

Community Outreach, Inc. is the only homeless shelter in town that operates year-round, but it says it is at capacity.

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*

July 18 – Morning Headlines




Keep Current: – EDN Headline News, Sports and Weather

Tim Chuey Weather:

More scattered showers and thunderstorms today continuing through Thursday. Starting Friday sunny and warmer weather will return.

High: 82
Low: 52
Forecast: stormy

closed low (brown circle) slid south from Canada through Oregon on to the California/Oregon, where it will stay a while, and then migrate north and east bringing us more clouds and the chance of showers or thunderstorms. A frontal system will swing in today and tonight, again bringing only clouds and not a significant chance of precipitation. We will dry out and warm up as we head into the weekend.

[gn_note color=#eee]
The pollen count for the Eugene-Springfield area is:
Grass- Moderate (5)
Observation: It looks like the grass pollen season is just about over, since grass is just barely in the moderate category, by 1.
Trees- Low (5)
Data from Oregon Allergy Associates

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly cloudy with a (30%) chance of showers this AM, a mix of clouds and sun with a slight (20%) chance of showers this afternoon and evening, partly cloudy tonight, partly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of thunderstorms Thursday afternoon, a slight (20%) chance of showers Thursday night, then just partly cloudy Friday and Friday night highs 76-82 lows 55-52. Mostly sunny Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday with mostly clear nights highs 80-85 lows 50-54. (seasonal averages high 83 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:

Homeland Security shuts down Occupy Eugene outpost

Officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security showed up this evening at the Occupy Eugene outpost at the Federal Building at East Seventh Avenue and Pearl Street.

Officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security showed up this evening at the Occupy Eugene outpost at the Federal Building at East Seventh Avenue and Pearl Street. Putting a perimeter around the area with yellow tape marked “Police Line — Do Not Cross,” officers ordered protestors to leave the space. When one protestor refused to vacate the premises, Homeland Security officers prepared to make an arrest.

In May this year, the federal General Services Administration granted Occupy Eugene a 60-day permit to set up a 24-hour-a-day protest site on the plaza. That permit expired 10 days ago. When Occupy Eugene applied to extend their permit, they were told there would be a stipulation. Mary, one of the organizers of the outpost, says,

We were told they wouldn’t give us another permit unless we vacated the site at night time. We were only going to be permitted to be there from 7 am through 11 pm.  Our constitutional rights do not disappear when it is dark.”

When asked to leave this evening, all but one complied. A woman —
named “brave Beatrice” by the other protestors — refused to leave.

Mary said Occupy Eugene does not believe it needs to have a permit.

“GSA says it is necessary to have a permit to protest in front of this building. Why is it necessary? People have been here for years for all sorts of protests. They have never needed permits.”

Vicki, another protestor, said that Occupy Eugene has contacted both Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden.

“We’re asking DeFazio and Wyden if this order is coming from the federal government and why. Why is the federal government shutting down local protests?”

The answer, according to the officials with the U.S. General Services Administration, is simple: Occupy Eugene no longer has permission to carry out a nonstop outpost at the federal building area. Both yesterday and today, GSA representatives went to the outpost to inform protesters they could no longer have nonstop demonstrations.

GSA official Chaun Benjamin said,

“I will ask Federal Protective Services to get involved for law enforcement activity,” if the protestors did not leave today by 3 pm.

A crowd gathered to watch Homeland Security officers rope off the area outside the federal building.

When asked to leave this evening, all but one complied. A woman — named “brave Beatrice” by the other protestors — refused to leave.

Officers talked privately to the woman, allegedly trying to convince her to leave the space peacefully. While some protestors shouted loudly at the officers from the other side of the yellow tape, others told them to be quiet—the officers would not make an arrest, they said, unless the crowd calmed down.

Mary says that the arrest needs to be made.

We’re looking to make a constitutional objection to the arrest. We need to take this local issue national and make our voice heard—that the federal government cannot dictate when and how people can protest their government.”

Occupy Eugene’s local attorney, Lauren Regan, has already said they plan to challenge the constitutionality of any arrests made today.

An officer for Homeland Security said the procedures were simple and matter-of-fact:

“The woman in question is failing to comply with lawful direction. It’s a Class C misdemeanor.”

Officers ended up arresting “Beatrice,” whose real name is Emily Semple. Semple is a 58-year-old Eugene resident.

June 26 – Morning Headlines



Yes your honor, it’s officially a catch and release policy at the Lane County Jail.
  • Kids Scale Trees Outside Hayward Field
    As world class athletes sprinted towards london kids are having fun just hanging outside Hayward. The Pacific Tree Climbing Institute tied ropes to an old tree outside the field. It’s all part of a demonstration of what the institute do..

Keep Current: – EDN Headline News, Sports and Weather

Tim Chuey Weather:

Today we will see quite a bit of sunshine with a good chance of more showers. We will dry out a bit mid week, then the chance of showers will return.

High: 77
Low: 45
Forecast: showers

An upper level low is siting off the Oregon coast spinning showers toward us from the South producing some pretty serious rainfalls. A frontal system will approach the Pacific Northwest about midweek, weak high pressure will take over after that, then another frontal system returns more clouds and the chance for showers on Saturday. The pollen count will stay high enough when the showers taper off to bother those athletes who are allergic. So far, at least, we don’t have smoke from wildfires or grass field burning as we did during the previous Olympic Trials held here.

[gn_note color=#eee]
The pollen count for the Eugene-Springfield area is:
Grass- High (80)
Trees- Moderate (27)
Data from Oregon Allergy Associates

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: A mix of clouds and sun with a good (50%) chance of showers today (0.10 in. of rain possible), partly cloudy with patchy fog late tonight and Wednesday AM, mostly sunny and warmer Wednesday afternoon, partly cloudy Wednesday night, partly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers Thursday afternoon and Thursday night lows 45-54 highs 65-77 cooling to 74 Thursday. Mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers  Friday AM, a (30%) chance of showers Friday afternoon through Saturday night, a mix of clouds and sun with a (30%) chance of showers Sunday AM, a slight (20%) chance of showers in the afternoon, mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers Sunday night, then a mix of clouds and sun with a slight (20%) chance of showers Monday highs 75-72 lows 54-48. (seasonal averages high 76 low 49)

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:

Councilman Poling Still Affected By Occupy Protest Held On His Lawn


On a recent Friday afternoon, Eugene City Councilman George Poling met off-campus with a group of University of Oregon students to discuss a Christmas Day, 2011 protest held on his front lawn by Occupy Eugene.

Poling, a Democrat, was originally invited to speak at Agate Hall, but wasn’t able to meet with students at the university—firearms aren’t permitted on Oregon campuses, and the councilman has carried a gun since the protest, he explained.

“Christmas night, they showed up at my house, started damaging my yard, damaged my fence, had their faces up against the window, chanting, making threats,” Poling, a former law enforcement officer, said. It made him feel like a “citizen under attack,” not a public servant.

Occupy Eugene member Art Bollman, one of four people arrested that night, said that the protest was motivated by the councilman’s decision to oppose allowing campfires and other open heat sources at the campsite. To Bollman, it was a typical peaceful protest. Poling considered it confrontational. 

“It was nothing but an intimidation tactic on their part, because they disagreed with what I did as an elected official,” Poling said.

Bollman originally planned to just observe the protest, but became angry after police arrived to remove tented occupiers from the lawn, and decided to commit civil disobedience.

“What really triggered me was when one of the people in the tents was ripped out, and went limp,” Bollman said.

“Police were bouncing him on the ground, which is when I decided to go on the lawn. I chose to trespass on his front yard, and that’s why I was arrested.”

Bollman was charged with second-degree trespassing, and ultimately spent two days in jail, he said.

Poling’s decision to oppose open heat sources at the Occupy camp stemmed from procedural and political motivations, the councilman said. For one thing, the city wanted an emergency meeting to decide the issue, which Poling thought was premature. 

Also, during this time, Eugene police had been sending city councilors regular emails, regarding safety at Occupy camp, which Poling said influenced his decision. The emails have since been publicly disclosed, and in them, police describe various alleged crimes being committed at the camp, mostly fistfights, drug use, or theft.

Police also document their efforts to monitor the overall health of the camp, and voice concern that disease would spread. There are also frequent references to officers shutting down impromptu campfires in the emails.

The Eugene Police Department refused a public records request asking for a police report on the lawn protest, citing Oregon state law 192.501(3). That statute says that police reports must be disclosed “unless and only for so long as there is a clear need to delay disclosure in the course of a specific investigation, including the need to protect the complaining party or the victim.”

But a 53-minute video, taken by a participant in the protest and uploaded online, has revealed most of the night’s details. In the video, a small gathering of people can be seen standing on the sidewalk outside Poling’s house, while a few individuals, dressed in tents, sit on Poling’s lawn.

members of the topless protest at Polings

Also, Poling heard occupiers that night describe a piece of his backyard that couldn’t be seen from the sidewalk, and assumed they had previously trespassed onto property.

But Bollman had an innocent and legal explanation for this inside knowledge.

“Obviously, the councilman has never heard of Google Earth,” he said. “That’s how we got the information about his backyard.”

Google Earth is an online service that allows users to see close-up satellite images, and overhead pictures shot from airplanes, of virtually any location in the world.

At this point, it’s unlikely the two sides will come to terms—Poling and Occupy members have both publicly chastised the other side for not calling a meeting, and at other times, stated publicly that they would refuse to attend such a meeting. Furthermore, the nature of the accusations coming from both sides would indicate that they’re engaged in a public battle for favorable public opinion.

Poling has accused those arrested at his house of being paid by Occupy, which Bollman flat-out denied. Bollman, meanwhile, indicated he had heard the councilman and his wife had slept through the protest, which doesn’t seem possible, since Poling’s wife is the one that called police.

“I was headed for the door,” the councilman said. “But the 9-1-1 dispatcher instructed my wife to stay inside and let the police handle it. And my wife stopped me.”

Since the protest, Poling has taken steps to protect himself and his family—the City of Eugene installed a fence, and other barriers on his property, and Poling put up an alarm system himself.

When asked if he intended to harm Poling, Bollman immediately said, “of course not,” and added that neither was anyone else at the protest in his view. Still, the incident was enough to make Poling and his wife consider moving out of town, although they ultimately decided against it, Poling said.

“We’re not [leaving,]” Poling said. “This is our home.”

City Council Exemption to Occupy Eugene Challenged.


Occupy Eugene, and the Eugene City Council face a new hurdle in resolving the vagabond status of the protests twice relocated base camp. This morning the City Council received a letter from attorney Bill Kloos on behalf of Bridgeview West,LLC. requesting the Council enforce the Willamette Greenway Regulations and remove the Occupy Camp from the Washington-Jefferson street park. The city council approved an exemption Wednesday, on a 4-to-2 vote, allowing the group to camp there until December 15.

The Willamette Greenway project was created in 1967 in an effort to protect and enhance the historic, scenic and public value of the river and surrounding lands. In 1975, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development included the Willamette River Greenway as one of nineteen standards for statewide planning, requiring that public access, native vegetation, and scenic views be considered when planning new developments. (Wikipedia) The Washington Jefferson Park became one of the more than 170 parcels of land that make up the project.

According to Bridgeview, Greenway regulations do not allow for an encampment without a permit and they stress that the Occupy Eugene usage would not qualify for a permit. Procedures for modifying or acquiring permits do not allow for approval on an ad hoc basis, but instead require compliance with substantive standards for the approval process. EDN has contacted both the City Managers office and Bill Kloos office, but we haven’t received a response from either party at this time.

By all indications the groundwork for a lawsuit has been laid, the City stands accused of violating permit and procedure rules, and the Occupy Eugene encampment may once be looking for a new home. This clearly isn’t your fathers protest. The full letter is available here.

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