Thanks to Gov. Brown: Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick loses another client

4/4/2017 update, in the SJ here:

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A state agency has dropped its lawsuit against a weekly Oregon newspaper that sought public records about a man charged in the kidnapping and killing of his ex-wife.

… After Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum ordered the review board to release the records, the board responded by suing the newspaper. The suit was dropped Tuesday after Gov. Kate Brown intervened.

Presumably someone will soon file a request for the public records showing HLGR’s billable hours – rumor has it the rate was $400 per – for this abortive lawsuit against the Malheur Enterprise for having the temerity to get an order from the Oregon DOJ for the release of public records.

3/29/2017: Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board hires Harrang et al to sue newspaper

This should be amusing. Oregon’s PSRB – a state agency – is using public funds to pay the Harrang, Long, Gary & Rudnick law firm to sue the Malheur Enterprise, a newspaper.

This is the same Eugene law firm that, in the midst of defending Eugene’s 4-J School Board from a public records lawsuit brought by the Register Guard newspaper, mistakenly emailed the RG reporter a zip file with all the documents the school board had been trying to hide from the public. Whoops.

I have to wonder if the PSRB – which doesn’t have a lot of money in their budget to pay lawyers to sue newspapers – did their due diligence on this hiring decision.

The Malheur Enterprise has the story here:

The state Psychiatric Security Review Board is defying a state order that it release public records to the Malheur Enterprise and intends to sue the weekly newspaper to keep the records secret.

Such a suit would be only the third time in the past 30 years a state agency has gone to court to keep its records secret.

The state board wants to keep confidential certain records it used in deciding last December to discharge from state custody Anthony W. Montwheeler, 49. Three weeks after that decision, police say Montwheeler kidnapped and killed his ex-wife and then killed a Vale man and injured his wife in a collision as he was eluding police.

… Rosenblum’s office subsequently said that the newspaper was entitled to the documents it requested. The public records order issued March 15 and supplemented a week later said there would be some redactions.

In the order, Deputy Attorney General Fred Boss concluded the law didn’t prohibit release of the records. He also rejected the Security Review Board’s claim that secrecy was needed to protect Montwheeler’s privacy. He said the Enterprise “has shown by clear and convincing evidence that the public interest requires disclosure.”…

… Rather than comply, the Security Review Board retained at public expense the private law firm of Harrang Long, which on March 22 notified the Enterprise to expect to be sued to block access to the state’s records. The Security Review Board last week couldn’t produce a contract or any other record showing the cost of hiring the outside lawyers.

Perhaps Harrang Long will put partner Andrea Coit on the case for $290 an hour, and she’ll uncover another Masonic blood oath conspiracy? Although $290 is cheap for HLGR’s work east of the Cascades – when former UO Pres Dave Frohnmayer was working for them back in 2011, he billed Deschutes County $550 an hour for this losing case.

Mel Streeter

Thanks to a friend for sending me a link to this story by Kurt Streeter, about his father Mel Streeter. Read it all and the obit below, these are just snippets:

… My dad, who grew up in Riverside, California, wasn’t just the fourth black athlete to ever suit up for a Ducks basketball team — he was the first to come from outside Oregon.

Hard to imagine? Think of this. In the Eugene of the early 1950s, there were only a half-dozen or so black students on the Oregon campus.

Even though he mostly kept it to himself, that kind of isolation left its mark and its sting. He was a man who came of age just before the civil rights movement and the dawning of a new kind of racial awareness. His way was the old way: Hold inside the anger and the self-doubt caused by prejudice. Sometimes completely cast those kinds of hard feelings aside. For all the open-hearted joy my dad showed the outside world, all the success he had — he moved to Seattle after college, raised his family and became a noted architect — I came to see that his upbeat exterior masked deep pain. The existential pain of not being seen for his full humanity, of having had to fight for his dignity daily, in small moments and in large. An existential angst that he, like black folks have always done, knew how to hide from the rest of the world. …

And here is Mel Streeter’s obituary from 2006:

… Mr. Streeter was 75. His architectural firm, Streeter and Associates, designed the African American Academy, the Northwest Regional Headquarters for the Federal Aviation Administration and the Auburn City Hall.

Streeter and Associates also participated in designing Qwest Field and Safeco Field, among many other projects.

But when Mr. Streeter came to Seattle in 1955 he had to struggle just to land a job as an architect.

In an interview with The Seattle Times 10 years ago, Mr. Streeter said, “I love a challenge.” He applied to 22 firms before finding one willing to hire a young African American.

Mr. Streeter grew up in Riverside, Calif. His father was a porter and his mother a cook. A mechanical-drawing class in high school ignited his love of architecture and his determination did the rest.

Mr. Streeter was an accomplished athlete, tall and muscular. He was recruited by legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, but he chose to attend the University of Oregon instead, because it offered him a chance to study architecture.

While there, he met and married Kathleen Burgess in 1954, another pioneering act, since she was white, and Oregon had lifted its ban on interracial unions only three years earlier. …

As John Lewis said when he talked at UO back in 2010 or so, “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t make a difference. People make a difference. We made America a better country.”

Adjunct activist & Art History instructor killed in crossfire shooting

InsideHigherEd has the story. I’m no art history professor, but the resemblance is a bit unnerving – down to the hair and glasses:

David Wilder, 61, was killed by a shooting in Cleveland when he was caught in the crossfire as three other men engaged in what authorities called “a running vehicular gun battle,” Cleveland.com reported. Wilder was a long-term adjunct at Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College and John Carroll University — and he was a leader in efforts in Ohio and nationally to gain more rights for those who teach off the tenure track. His fellow adjuncts are noting his contributions to their cause — and raising money to help cover his funeral expenses.

That gofundme site is already at nearly twice its goal:

… David was unafraid to speak up about the urgent need to end the disrespectful and detrimental employment practices that prevent adjuncts and their students from experiencing the true promise of education. He was passionate about the art and art history he practiced and taught, and deeply concerned about his students and colleagues. He had a gentle demeanor which did not ever diminish his fierce integrity or his playful and witty sense of humor.  He was an accomplished artist with an eye for quiet and unusual beauty and was ever conscious of the important role of art in advancing social justice.

That’s not the eulogy I’ll get, but it’s probably a more admirable one.

Will Trump’s NASA budget cuts delay Oregon’s 2017 Solar Eclipse?

3/29/2017 update: It’s currently scheduled for August 21. Any delay would be an economic disaster for the state. Christian Hill has the latest in the RG here:

By some estimates, a million visitors will be in the state to gaze up at the total solar eclipse and watch in wonderment as the moon’s shadow makes landfall before sweeping across Oregon in 12 minutes at more than 3,000 miles an hour.

The main event will be brief, but it’s likely to live long in the memories of its viewers.

“It’s the most important two minutes people will witness in August probably during their whole lives,” said Jim Todd, director of space science at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland.

Public agencies throughout the state are preparing for the influx of visitors who already have booked virtually all of the hotel rooms and campsites along what’s known as the path of totality.

My guess is that, with all the plans and hotel deposits, this eclipse has some unstoppable inertia behind it – but then I thought the same thing about Hillary Clinton.

8/29/2016: Duck physicists lose bidding war to Beavers for lucrative 2017 Solar Eclipse

It’s a bitter night down at the UO Faculty Club after NASA’s announcement that Corvallis – not Eugene – will have a place in the lucrative Path of Totality for the August 21 2017 Solar Eclipse. The official map is below.

Continue reading

NYT ignores *increase* in international apps at 35% of universities

The NYT headline, particularly scary for schools like UO that rely on international student tuition:

Amid ‘Trump Effect’ Fear, 40% of Colleges See Dip in Foreign Applicants

Economist Tyler Cowen has the real story here:

… Here is what the opening of the survey itself said:

39% of responding institutions reported a decline in international applications, 35% reported an increase, and 26% reported no change in applicant numbers.

The NYT article does not reproduce the more positive pieces of information, from its own cited study, which may be suggesting international applications are not down at all, or perhaps down by only a small amount.  If you look at all the data, they probably are down, but by no conceivable stretch of the imagination should the 40% figure be reported without the other numbers. …

Here’s the survey:

And there’s more in the WaPo here.

How does Tom Hart do “cyberspace surveillance” of Duck athletes?

Someone wants to know. Here’s the public records request, now more than two weeks old:

Requester:  Snur, Carrie
Organization:  Capital News Service
Initial Request Date:  03/06/2017
Status: Requesting/Reviewing Records

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request copies of the following records:

Documents including or referring to guidelines and/or instructions for university administrators/athletic department staff/coaches to monitor student athletes’ or prospective student athletes’ social media accounts.

Documents including or referring to policies that require students athletes to give university administrators/athletic department staff/coaches access to private social media accounts, either through providing their login information, or changing the security settings of their accounts.

Documents concerning any use of an outside vendor to monitor or investigate student athletes’ private social media platforms.

Documents including or referring to guidelines and/or instructions for university administrators or staff to monitor student or prospective student social media accounts.

Documents including or referring to policies that require students to give university administrators/staff access to private social media accounts, either through providing their login information, or changing the security settings of their accounts.

And the contract for the Duck’s Tom Hart is here:

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 11.18.02 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 11.17.33 AM