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I received my bright pink invitation in the mail again. It comes every year. It's the Oregon Garden, inviting me to renew my membership to the garden. (I received a membership some time back as a gift, but let it lapse after coming face to face with the horror of timber industry propaganda.) This is the letter I wrote back to them on the back of the form, which I will send in the envelope provided.
Yes, I would love to be able to renew my membership. The trouble is, however, that the Oregon Garden has allowed itself to become a tool for the dissemination of dishonest and dangerous propaganda for the timber industry. This is an industry that's destroying the Oregon that I love. The real "Oregon Garden" is (or was) a unique jewel. It is not confined to a tiny plot in Silverton, but lives in the green canopies of the very beautiful, very unique, and very endangered temperate Pacific rainforests of Cascadia. Greedy timber corporations are swallowing those forests whole, and leaving wastelands in their wake. Erosion, decimation, and monoculture are all that is left. Yet the Oregon Garden has inexplicably allowed the timber industry to install a purposefully erroneous exhibit there, claiming that they can "grow" a forest.
The weather may not have been great and the numbers may have been few, but that didn't stop a handful of activists from picket in front of stUmpqua Bank this morning around 11:30 a.m. today. Two great big banners were revealed as others handed out information about stUmpqua Bank and their dastardly destruction of Oregon's ancient forests. The handout that was given went a little something like this:
stUmpqua bank is run by timber barons who are profiting from the destruction of Oregon's ancient forests. Allyn Ford, president of the board of (st)Umpqua Bank, is the owner of Roseburg Forest Products. Lynn Herbert of Herbert Lumber is also a board member, and the Herbert family are the largest stockholders of stUmpqua Bank.
Both Roseburg Forest Products and Herbert Lumber have long histories of destroying native eco-systems, turning salmon bearing watersheds into muddy rivers and ancient forests into fields of stumps and government-managed tree plantations. Currently Roseburg Forest Products is buying tress from the Biscuit Timber Sale as part of the deceptively named "Fire Recovery Project." This extreme logging plan, the largest in US Forest Service history, is mainly in Old Growth Reserves and Roadless areas. Many of these areas are completely unburned and others are part of a fragile post burn eco-system.
Pedalpalooza kicked off it's 2005 bicycle celebration with a bike parade. At its max, the parade had 160 cyclists participating. Most people were costumed and had their bike decked out in fabulous decor provided by the nice people putting on the event.
The bike parade today left NW 10th and Johnson after gathering folks together and having them pimp their rides with everything from tinsel to flags. The parade route was planned by the organizers and apparently permitted as well.
How can we make cycling more sustainable?on my way to bed tonight, i am thinking about a longer-than-usual bike ride i'll be taking in the morning for a visit to a naturopathic doctor. i find myself grateful that the longer ride does not entail, like a car trip would, concerns about whether there's enough gas in the tank. i'll check the tire pressure before i go, and see if the chains need lube, but that's about it. however, the thought occurs to me now, as it sometimes does, that bicycling instead of driving has still not freed me from consuming petroleum and that a future with much less of it that's more expensive will definitely affect me and other cyclists.
Watching "Primetime Live". Dianne Sawyer and Brad Pitt are in Ethiopia, walking through the sewage filled streets of some horrible shantytown. They're smiling, surrounded by hordes of smiling street urchins who don't know Pitt from a red ant. The movie star blathers on about how all these kids really need is money to save them from more starvation, abuse, war and God knows what else. This is a place where eight year old prostitutes sell for a QUARTER! Never once did anyone mention the recent election fraud of 6 weeks ago. Yesterday the Ethiopian government shot dead 22 protesters and arrested 600 who were peacefully rallying to voice their concerns. The election results still haven't been tabulated. The candidate supported by Tony Blair's government is the one accused of fraud. See the hand of the U.K. at work. ABC even had the gall to run a snippet of Pitt's latest movie in the middle of the show! The whole thing was just like a bad episode of those Sally Struthers ads for Save The Kids or whatever.
OK, this is pretty weird. My girlfriend and I were sitting outside in our backyard when I looked up to see this weirdly shaped object tumbling across the sky. It looked angular, reflective (it was reflecting the setting sun) and was moving north to south. We stared at it for a while and then a second object came by, moving faster. It was also reflective, but shaped (I swear I'm not making this up) like a donut. They moved like balloons, but certainly looked larger and more oddly shaped than any balloon I've ever seen. I ran to get my camera and took a few photos, but by that time they were further away and I couldn't make out any detail.
Last night I arrived at the St. Andrew's Community Centre building expecting to hear Superintendent of Portland Public Schools Vicki Phillips discuss publicly the massive loss in staff that is being slated for schools here in Portland. More then a third of staff at local area public schools will be cut for next year due to lack of funding. 248 licensed staff positions more then likely will be lost, a vast majority of those in North/Northeast Portland.
Most of the students who attended these schools are people of color, and low income working families who seem to be the target time and time again of unfair cuts to their local schools. Recently these cuts have become based on a test score system from the No Child Left Behind Act. Forcing teachers in schools to teach and prepare students for testing, instead of teaching an actual education one can take out into the world and use to make educated decisions. I'd like to also note that almost all schools on the east side of the willamette river are where most poor, working poor, and low income families live. Not to mention where a vast majority of the cuts are.
As I took my seat and the presentation began titled:
Not in Our Name: Students Speak Out Against School Closures, Academic Achievement, and the Attack on Public Education.
While I was doing some chores around the house I saw Sean Hannity on the tv show the view. I don't like him and have stopped watching fox news entirely. I turned up the volume because I noticed Rosie O'Donnell yelling at him. They bickered about the Iraq war and she let him have it. She said things like Iraq was not a threat and that we invaded without just cause and might have been lied to about it. Sean Hannity accused her of demonizing Bush. She said she thought that he should be tried at the Hague in order to prove he wasn't a war criminal. The other hosts just looked on in shock. Rosie also said that was why she didn't have a show anymore because she speaks her mind and people don't like that.
Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country! The Shrub regime and the Supreme Court that appointed it have still not gotten around to eliminating the right of trial by jury. That means jurors still have the option of Jury Nullification. What is Jury Nullification? Only the best hope we all have right now of resisting from within the criminals who've hijacked the government.
Six of us met to discuss how to go about re-starting the Free Skool in Portland...It was awesome! We are creating as we go. There are only six now but we have a mutually agreed upon project. What I observed was that we started a learning group that will incorporate everything we want to learn, and everything we want to teach all rolled up into a every changing, wondering, creating, project.
For now, there will be one learning group that anyone can join. There may be more than one learning group as we go along. Our one project may drop seedlets of ideas and some partipants may want to create a new learning group. For now this is what we will be exploring. Radical Botany, bicycle mechanics, and perceptional drawing. We also hope to explore the concept of Peak Oil and what we might need to know about Plants, bicycles and perception if the economics of the Western World collapses.
It seems like alot...but actually it will be awesome to explore such a variety of ideas that are in many ways related.
hat a lot of you don't seem to appreciate is the fact that Fareless Square is one of the factors that make Portland such a civilized place. People have literally been gunned down by cops in this city elsewhere after being stopped on the pretext of not having paid a fare (thinking now especially of the Mejia Poot case, a particularly hideous travesty). How's THAT for a "public safety issue"?!!! Eliminating Fareless Square based on some cockeyed Police State internal security reasoning, or to further extend the already deathgrip stranglehold of savage capitalism over us all, would do a lot to make Portland a less civilized, less desirable place to live. Just by further extending the hassle of constantly having to reach into one's wallet even to literally move, eliminating Fareless Square would help to further colonize our daily lives with monetary transactions.
On my way to work this morning, I was barred from walking down Stark Street. Since I only work a block past the barricade, I asked the lone police officer if I could pass. He said I could not. Suddenly, it dawned on me why. "Is this for Cheney?" I asked. He nodded politely. I frowned and began to walk away. At that moment, the shiny black limos and the big stupid SUV thing emerged from the underground parking lot.
[ How did the night vigilance go for the Cheney Watch | Cheney secretly here for Enron owned PGE? | Dick Cheney Leaving Benson Photo | Potter!!! You better NOT give the people of Stumptown the bill for Cheney's private stay! ]
On May 21, Northwest Resistance Against Genetic Engineering held a demonstration outside of Smith & Hawken, an upscale gardening store in NW Portland, to protest Monsanto and the Scotts Company's Genetically Engineered Creeping Bentgrass. (Smith & Hawken was recently acquired by Scotts.) When we arrived, we saw a familiar face of a woman who had also been in Corvallis on May 18 for a similar protest of ours at a USDA public forum. At first we thought we had a new supporter, but upon questioning her about why she was there, she admitted that she was, indeed, there to spy on us! We don't really know anything about her, other than her name is Jessica and she does not like to have her picture taken. She was also there with another woman who we didn't get a picture of.
We were pretty surprised by how quickly she admitted to us why she was there. But she did refuse to tell us who paid her to be there. "Monsanto? Scotts?" we asked, but she wouldn't let us in on it.
By now youve got the news. Dirty Dick Cheney is staying the night at the benson hotel.
Of course he slithered into town like a snake, or maybe more like a quart of dirty oil on a rainy street.
even the cops had very little notice- it was pretty obvious.
But we only had three or four of us to give the republicans being spirited in and out a bad time. Is everybody just burned out or what?
Channel 2 and channel came out but got bored and went home.
I left at about 9:30pm. But I'm going to wake up at 0 dark thirty and be back down there at five.
We need a couple hundred people at least. It looks like they are going to stuff him in a limo in a tent on the north side of the hotel and whisk him up Oak street (I think it's oak)
I cant belive we dont have a few more dedicated folks to make some noise on the street this evening.
we are going to lose our bad reputation here folks!Cheney in Portland? | Pictures of Downtown Portland Cheney Visit | Past Cheney Protests ]
SustainLane's rankings of San Francisco and Portland as the number one and two sustainable cities leave out the most important indicators of sustainability--population and consumption levels. Without that, sustainability rankings are meaningless. An open letter to SustainLane.
So how must one rank whether Portland (my hometown) or San Francisco are sustainable--i.e., existing within the carrying capacities of their respective bioregions?
June 2005 marks the five-year anniversary of the imprisonment of our friend and comrade: Oregon environmental political prisoner, Jeff "Free" Luers. Jeff was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for burning three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) at a car dealership in Eugene, Oregon, and on attempted arson charges. Jeff set fire to SUVs to call attention to climate change and to protest oil wars and environmental destruction. Jeff was motivated by compassion and a desire to protect life, not to harm it, despite what some might think of his tactics. Prior to his arrest, Jeff was a popular community activist in Eugene. He was well-known to law enforcement because of his involvement with national forest protection (starting an occupation of a controversial old-growth timber sale in 1998), anti-police brutality activism (documenting rampant police abuse in Eugene), free food programs in a local park and his teaching of self-defense to women. Since his imprisonment, Jeff has continued to be extremely active in prison and fight oppression with his words and inspiration.
On June 12, 2004, social and environmental activists in the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Norway, Finland, Australia, and Russia participated in an "International Day of Action" with Jeff by organizing non-violent protests and community events to show their support for him and their disgust for his cruel sentence. The FBI responded by creating a real 'Green Scare', sending a memo to businesses, corporate media, and government agencies warning of planned "terrorist attacks" by the "Earth Liberation Front" on June 12. Of course, no "terrorist attacks" ever occurred.
A total of 49 separate reports in May, the largest being - an estimated 40,000 marched in New York City to abolish nuclear weapons.
Permaculture classes in NE Portland on June 11 and 12 that can be taken alone or as part of a complete permaculture design course. Soil in the Permaculture System, Saturday, June 11. Covers the basics of creating and maintaining healthy soil including topics such as: microorganisms, soil testing, composting, building worm bins and use of sheet mulching. Hands on include harvesting worm compost, preparing a garden bed over existing lawn and soil building cover crops.
Water in the Permaculture System, Sunday, June 12. Learn about water related topics such as rainwater collection, conserving water in the soil, grey water systems, and swales. Hands on include use of simple tools to measure the contour of the land for swales and assembly of a 55 gallon rain water barrel.
Last night at the Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center, Mike Ruppert gave a lively presentation to a packed audience about peak oil, global domination and the "inevitable" crash of the American economy. The presentation went on for approximately 3 hrs and ended with a 30 minute Q&A session after a brief intermission. The last few minutes of the presentation is missing (sorry) because I ran out of tape.
Tree Sit by local activist leading up to Rally, Friday June 3, 2005 @ 7pm on Oak Street in Downtown Hood River during First Friday arts/entertainment gathering.
Local activist, Lorax, has erected a platform in a large tree on the Hood River County Library property in downtown Hood River. Word is there will be a rally Friday June 3rd to support Lorax in his effort to bring attention to President Bush's plan to open up much of our last wild and protected roadless areas to logging and other resource extraction. These lands were previously set aside as protected lands.
The Rally occurs at 7PM on Oak Street [& 5th] in downtown Hood River. Also occurring on Oak street is the Downtown Hood River Business Association sponsored First Friday local art/entertainment gathering. Listen for information about the Lorax's protest and the rally on Radio Tierra 95.1 FM Hood River. Call Lorax to voice your support end encouragement (541) 490-2106.
The Siskiyou Summer push is on! Logging companies are gearing up to punch into several Biscuit old-growth sales as we type. Logging is imminent; we need your help! Come join us at our community mobilization & education camp dedicated to protection of our public lands. Located right in the heart of what's at stake, forest defenders, community activists, and all who love wilderness are coming together again to organize. At the camp we will be going on hikes, teaching each other skills in areas such as: direct action, community organizing, climbing, and local ecology. Everyone is invited - come out for the day, a few days, or a week or more to help protect our endangered forests.
For those who have been involved in this movement already, it is important at this point to remember that there is MUCH left to save. We are still waiting for rulings on lawsuits that affect many of the impending timber sales. Stall time right now is really valuable - come help, have fun, and defend our forests!
Another forest defense call-to-action: [ McKenzie river ranger district (just east of Eugene) ]
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