• Your Life Post-Quake
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    Step One: Buckle Up
    That’s your coffee vibrating. The mug does a little dance, steps down the coaster, and merrily rumbles its way across the desk. The ground beneath you lurches up and down like the deck of a ship. Then everything just shakes.

    If you’re inside, stay there; be under something sturdy and fort-like. If you’re outside, wide open spaces are a good idea as usual. Driving on roads oscillating like jump ropes? Yeah, you should probably go ahead and pull over. Neat video you got with what was left of your cell phone battery. You’ve had so much time for earthquake observations, you’ve run out of stuff around you to look at. Enough already with the terra-not-so-firma—after a few very long minutes, the ground holds still.

    Great, now you have no signal. The power’s out. Your tap water definitely shouldn’t be that color. Is that gas you smell? Congratulations on surviving the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake and all. Good on you for remembering the old Duck-Cover-Hold bit. Well done. Mind the aftershocks, and do stay out of sketchy unreinforced masonry structures, or near anything else liable to squish you.

    Now where’s that family group of other vertebrates you care so much about? Too bad you won’t be able to reach them just yet. What’s supposed to happen now? Transportation and communication just got weird—and it’s going to be like this for weeks or months, not days. Don’t worry, the beautiful mess you saw in the mirror this morning is exactly what’s going to get you through this. You still should have bought more toilet paper though. What would you need to function that long in a sort-of-scary survival situation? What else could you do to help out?

    Disaster Resilience
    Living on Shaky Ground is the Oregon Office of Emergency Management’s how-to guide to surviving earthquakes and tsunamis in our fair state—a good source of information if the Cascadia subduction subject is new to you. It reads, “A major earthquake or tsunami will likely overwhelm local law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical personnel and resources. In fact, it may take local, state, and federal agencies a week or more to provide the most basic relief. This is particularly true in the many locations on the coast and in rural areas of Oregon.”

    Blocked roads, disabled utilities, busted buildings, and helping people likely worse off than you will be more than enough to occupy emergency personnel. Effectively we could all very well be our own little islands for a bit; and this next part will really depend on you. Imagine a Corvallis without power, or road and cellular networks for a month. Remember that towns and cities from California to Canada are likely worse off, especially those near the coast.

    So what exactly would living in a disaster-resilient community look like after a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake? Well, the Oregon Resilience Plan from the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission sets the goal that, “Oregon citizens will not only be protected from life-threatening physical harm, but because of risk reduction measures and pre-disaster planning, communities will recover more quickly and with less continuing vulnerability following a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake and tsunami.”

    The very same 2013 plan also says, “Oregon is far from resilient to the impacts of a great Cascadia earthquake and tsunami today. Available studies estimate fatalities ranging from 1,250 to more than 10,000 due to the combined effects of earthquake and tsunami, tens of thousands of buildings destroyed or damaged so extensively that they will require months to years of repair, tens of thousands of displaced households, more than $30 billion in direct and indirect economic losses (close to one-fifth of Oregon’s gross state product), and more than one million dump truck loads of debris.” So there’s that.

    Shaky Grounds, Liquid Earth
    Soil liquefaction will likely be a problem as well. According to one US Geological Survey website, “Earthquake waves cause water pressures to increase in the sediment and the sand grains to lose contact with each other, leading the sediment to lose strength and behave like a liquid. The soil can lose its ability to support structures, flow down even very gentle slopes, and erupt to the ground surface to form sand boils. Many of these phenomena are accompanied by settlement of the ground surface—usually in uneven patterns that damage buildings, roads, and pipelines.”

    Unconsolidated sediment deposits predominantly east of Highway 99W are the earthquake hazard regions identified as more susceptible to liquid-like ground behavior around Corvallis. Oregon’s critical energy infrastructure hub, home to our liquid fuel supply, occupies a six-mile stretch of these types of soils downstream of us along the Willamette River.

    It’s perhaps a comforting thought to imagine last century’s architectural malfeasances being wiped away and cities for a new century built in their place, and all of us someday with our “less continuing vulnerability.” A Cascadia subduction zone earthquake, akin to the great Chicago or London fires, certainly might remake the faces of our cities. In the not-so-great near-term though, we’re in for interesting times.

    Short-term resiliency would mean we’d all have access to first-aid, clean water to drink, a warm meal to look forward to, a dry spot to sleep, and a peaceful place to—um, drink coffee and read the Advocate. Particularly with that last one, you’ll need to go ahead and take care of each of those things yourself. With those things accomplished, we stand to be useful humans instead of potential victims.

    Keep Calm, We’re Corvallis
    Now that our tinfoil hats are all neatly folded, take a deep breath and let’s talk about keeping Corvallis comfortable, in case of such an inconvenient event. Rest a little easier knowing great groups of professionals all over this town are exuberantly dedicated to emergency preparedness. Simulating these slightly more apocalyptic scenarios also serves pretty well to prepare for the less grandiose types of disasters, too.

    During June’s Cascadia Rising functional exercise, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho emergency operations centers along with the whole bowl of federal, state, and local emergency alphabet soup simulated their collective response to an 8.0 to 9.0 magnitude earthquake along the entire 800-mile-long Cascadia subduction zone. The four-day live-action-role-play response drill tested responders’ core capabilities including operational communications, public health and medical services, mass care systems, situational assessment, and critical transportation.

    The Great Oregon Shake Out says nearly 23,000 people in Benton County alone participated in the Oct. 20 drill at K-12 schools, colleges, healthcare facilities, and elsewhere. The event is held every year on the third Thursday of October to help Oregonians prepare for a major earthquake.

    Ignorance of the probability of such an event has largely gone away. Chances are this isn’t the first article you’ve read about a Cascadia subduction earthquake. The next step to creating real resilience is about forming strong partnerships and relationships around this knowledge—something that’s certainly been well built into our local emergency management over the last decade.

    OSU’s preparedness planning, too, goes well beyond a just-in-case supply of tarps, sleeping pads, sheets, and blankets. Mike Bamberger, preparedness manager for OSU, said, “We have prioritized our buildings for inspection, based on use after a disaster. We know there will be a limited amount of inspectors and resources after an event, and we want to make sure our immediate needs are met. We anticipate that the immediate needs will be medical services and housing for the on-campus resident hall population.

    “If OSU could have people trained to teach basic response skills on a quarterly basis and have a club or organization to maintain interest and practice, we could be better prepared. I have an ultimate vision that each department has people trained in each of their buildings and they can respond within their building and help evacuate/search/rescue people after an incident. If each building could do that, then the response effort goes faster, is safer—we aren’t waiting for the next level of responders to arrive. It may take a while to achieve this vision, but is something I think we need.”

    This holds true for all of us, and it’s really at the heart of what might keep us from reaching our short-term resiliency goals. Trained, organized, rational thinking humans are the real limiting factor that will make or break this vibe’s whole scene. There’s just one problem—there really aren’t very many of them to go around.

    What each of us knows will be way more important than how many bottles of water we hide under the bed. The Benton County Sheriff’s website is another good place to start for more disaster preparedness information. Making natural disaster plans is a fun family dinner conversation at the very least. Maybe more-than-think about taking that first-aid course, joining a community emergency response team, or ham radio club.

    We have precisely the right sorts of first responders, healthcare providers, builders, engineers, students, scientists, farmers, permaculture enthusiasts, and irrationally, insatiably positive-thinking people in this town. You or your neighbors already own water purifiers, tents, first-aid kits, and flashlights. Wouldn’t it be great if all of that dreadful disaster drama was well, less of a thing?

    A Few Things to Do
    If you do nothing else to prepare, buy your pets food, won’t you? According to FEMA, “For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.” Benton County Sheriff’s Animals in Disaster reads, “If you are a pet owner, your plan and provisions should include your pets. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster; so plan ahead.”

    If your place is more comfortable than a gym floor, settle in for a spell. Have a family plan that includes an out-of-state contact and alternate meeting places. Once your little group is sorted, go say hello to your neighbors. Some of us will need more help than others.

    Don’t trust the water might be a good mantra to adopt. Bringing water to a rolling boil or adding two drops of plain bleach per liter is good enough to kill most everything; but it doesn’t take any contaminants out. Knowing how these things go—of course it’ll be raining—but in a real pinch, your water heater is probably full. Filters and purification tabs aren’t bad investments either. Weeks of bottled water and food has more volume than most of us in affordable housing can afford to store.

    Buying 100 cans of soup will raise suspicions. Besides, you don’t like soup that much anyways. Grabbing an extra box of bunny-shaped-pasta, bag of coffee, and whatever else you already like to eat starts to add up. Remember to rummage, donate, and replace as needed. That and the extra toilet paper will all of a sudden be there for you next time it snows. If you use any medications, when would you run out?

    Don’t worry, The Corvallis Advocate will do our best to bring you the most dependable source of misspelled names in news after any Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. Johannes Gutenberg and Rube Goldberg would both be proud when from the depths of our secret lair the comically over-sized switch is thrown, and the off-grid print shop churns out fresh newsprint to cheer the huddled masses.

    Our first post-subduction zone earthquake story will run with one of two taglines that Thursday: “Corvallis residents accept Earth occasionally wiggles, organize week-long barbeque to commemorate uselessness of freezers” or “Corvallis residents dig holes, bury heads in sand awaiting rescue.” If it’s the former, I’m sure we’d also run a sidebar about some excellent new art installation of upcycled post-industrial building materials, too. 

    By Matthew Hunt

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  • OSU Alum’s New Thriller Tackles Opioid Addiction
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    JesseDonaldson_head_shotJesse Donaldson doesn’t think the characters in his debut novel, The More They Disappear, are particularly special. But you wouldn’t know that from how he speaks about them.

    Mark, who used to be pure evil, “became more interesting when he was more vulnerable.” Harlan is “not even a great lawman; he’s like a capable lawman,” but he’s got a clear “moral view of the world.” Lewis is “kind of dumb,” which is kind of fun. And Mary Jane? “She’s terrible at making decisions,” but she has an “emotional intelligence” that makes her “charming.”

    “You spend enough time writing, and they become real,” Donaldson said.

    And Donaldson, who will read with Jeff Fernside at a free event at the Valley Library at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, has spent a lot of time with these characters. The spark for the Kentucky native’s book came in 2001 when he ran across an article in his hometown newspaper, the Lexington Herald-Leader, about a sheriff who was murdered by an opponent who had local drug ties.

    “It was good source material—drugs and crime. I just had to add sex and it was good,” joked Donaldson, who holds an MFA in creative writing from both Oregon State University and the University of Texas’s Michener Center. “I kind of started with that source material and turned it all around. I made my sheriff corrupt instead of clean, and I made my deputy clean instead of corrupt.”

    The book, set in a small Kentucky town, is a murder mystery with a twist: we know from the beginning who murdered the town’s sheriff, but we don’t know why. The unfolding story reveals a complicated tangle of addictions, mistakes, and questionable decisions, with prescription drug addiction at its core.

    “My characters make a lot of terrible decisions,” Donaldson said. “I would not advise people to read my novel and use it as a guidance post for how to go through life.”

    The novel’s many characters are intertwined in ways they only gradually come to understand, and Donaldson spent a lot of time mapping their connections and motivations. The key? Empathy.

    “You want people’s decisions to all come from, at least in their own minds, a rational place,” he said. “I have to understand why they would make those decisions, and that in a different set of circumstances I might make those decisions.”

    Fiction writers Jeff Fernside and Jesse Donaldson will read on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library Rotunda on the OSU campus, 201 SW Waldo Place. The event is free and open to the public.

    By Maggie Anderson

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  • Artist Erin Dengerink Mixes Magical with Practical
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    aaa.Image-5Some artists’ talents lie in their ability to create something from nothing; they generate a new work that resonates with something inside the viewer. Others artists’ talent lies in their ability to transform existing objects; they force us to reconsider what we thought was familiar.

    The work Erin Dengerink has created for the current Corvallis Arts Center exhibition, Meditations on Temporality, falls into the latter category. Her list of materials reads like a found poem: branches, beads, bees, buttons, bones, brass… dirt, dice, dogwood seeds… rocks, rubber, roots… wood, wax, wings.

    Dengerink is drawn to fragile, used, worn, broken, or even dead materials—objects that make manifest their vulnerability and passage through time. She combines these tiny treasures in unusual ways—a lichen grows through a bolt; blue thread mummifies a seed; a branch shoots from a bead; a marble plugs the aperture of a shell.

    The most immediately striking work might be the largest, For All Your Love, a cascade of dried purple flower petals that adorns the wall like a necklace. But it’s the tiny things in the exhibit that reward sustained viewing. Arranged in clusters, they can be experienced as a single unit from a distance, or individually up close. You choose how you will participate.

    In an essay in a book that accompanies the exhibition, Dengerink writes, “Art is a tool that we use to examine and explore ourselves, and society. The viewer molds the experience to their needs.”

    Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that looking at Dengerink’s work made me think about my bunions. In one of the first pieces you encounter in the gallery, For Strength, Dengerink juxtaposes what looks like sliced bone with shells, little blue stones, clear marbles, and rocks. The blue stones stick on the other materials like barnacles. Like bunions, they are an unwelcome growth.

    Or perhaps the blue stones are reinforcements? Perhaps with a change in our perspective, our flaws and faults can become a source of strength?

    In To Succeed, Dengerink mounts a piece of broken glass like a trophy. In To Make Sunshine, she creates an altar from empty glass bottles and translucent amber-colored pills.

    In her artist’s statement, Dengerink refers to her works as both talismans and tools. Her art is both magical and practical. It reminds us, gently and not without humor, that control of our physical surroundings and physical self will always remain frustratingly out of reach, but our thoughts are fully within our power.

    Glancing over my shoulder as I leave the gallery, the boundaries of the clear glass bottles in To Bring Rain blur and animate. I choose to believe I have seen the space breathing.

     See Erin Dengerink’s work at the Corvallis Arts Center exhibit Meditations on Temporality through Thursday, Feb. 2. On Thursday, Jan. 19, the gallery will be open until 8 p.m. for the Corvallis Arts Walk and Dengerink will present a same-day art talk at 12 p.m.  

    By Maggie Anderson

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  • Three Powerful Exhibits Kick Off Corvallis Year in Art
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    nastywoman_Freda_Anna FidlerNot with a whimper, but a bang…

    For a town of its size so steeped in science, there is a lot of art happening in Corvallis. While I encourage you to check out each and every public exhibit in town (twice, even), there are occasionally must-see shows that are nearly criminal to miss. To kick off the 2017 exhibition cycle, these three stand-out events will hopefully be a sign of the pace of local art in the new year.

    (image credit: Freda by Anna Fidler)

    Nasty Woman at Optic Gallery
    The freshly minted Optic Gallery is run by accomplished artist Melody Owen and is making one hell of a bold statement with its debut, Nasty Woman. Regarding her all-woman show curated in response to the incoming Trump administration, Owen states, “We are coming together to protest against the misogyny of the incoming administration. We are coming together in solidarity with the women’s marches occurring around the United States. This show is meant to display the strength, innovation, talent, fortitude, unity, and excellence of women in our community.”

    As if the acute relevance of the topic weren’t enough to get you out and about, there will be work featured from a literal all-star cast, including Amanda Tasse, Amanda Wojick, Anna Fidler, Anya Kivarkis, Jessie Rose Vala, Julia Bradshaw, Julie Green, Shelley Jordon, Tannaz Farsi, and Terri Warpinski. Each artist involved is an important part of the fabric of our entire regional art community; in part by serving as teachers at either the University of Oregon or Oregon State University (or in at least one case, both). I’ve personally studied with Green, Fidler, and Jordon at OSU—all three are amazing women and the impact they’ve had on art students in Corvallis cannot be overstated.

    The aptly named Optic Gallery, which Owen is primarily using as a studio space, can be found at 225 SW Madison Avenue—a site that used to be an optician’s office in the early days of its 1880’s origin. The second room has turned gallery specifically for this show, after Owen was motivated by a series of other Nasty Woman shows across the country.

    The opening is on Thursday, Jan. 19 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The show will be up for three weeks, but if you’d like to stop in outside of the event you’ll need to arrange for a visit ahead of time by contacting info@melodyowen.net. It feels a bit early to be saying this, but if you only make it out to one local show before 2018, this could very well be it.

    WE LIVE HERE: The Artists of Benton Plaza
    For those unfamiliar, Collaborative Employment Innovations (CEI) runs its Artworks Gallery on the ground level of Benton Plaza—a building that serves not only local businesses and social service programs, but provides upper-floor apartments for those with special housing needs. Under the guidance of Bruce Burris, Artworks Gallery has made a name for itself as an exhibition space that not only displays a truly diverse complement of art, but sources them from an equally diverse community of artists. This exhibit seeks to unravel and honor the creativity of those that live where Artworks breathes.

    “Over time it has become clear that many of the residents of Benton Plaza are engaged in extraordinary creative practices. Some resident practitioners came forth early on and have been mainstays of our ‘open studio’ program. [We] have been introduced to many other creatives who live here,” said Burris.

    Having discovered that about 30% of those living in the building are engaged creatively, it struck Burris as an “amazing accounting, and frankly given that we so often undervalue creative lives, this number seemed startling to us. We wonder if this is typical, and if so are we underestimating the potential and numbers of those who create in a singular fashion all around us day in and day out—or could it be that there is something unique about the culture of this place?”

    These are powerful questions that will undoubtedly be addressed when this exhibit goes live on Thursday, Jan. 19. The reception will be on that first day from 4 to 8 p.m. at their 408 SW Monroe Avenue location (Suite 110), and runs until the 14th of February. You can visit it during normal hours, Monday to Friday, from 12 to 5 p.m.

    montagejuried_Pale Blue Eyes_Angelica IngemanMontage Collective Juried Exhibit at Fairbanks Gallery
    Oregon State University’s art club, Montage Collective, put out a call in November to registered OSU students of all majors, and through a selection process conducted by juror and local art scene legend Bruce Burris, wound up with a slice of Corvallis’ creative underbelly that you won’t get anywhere else. Though the trek to Fairbanks Hall may be long and arduous, you’ll be met with an incredibly wide range of work, from paintings to sculpture, printmaking, photography, illustration, book-making, encaustics, and even poetry. Topics range from the classical to the refreshingly uncensored.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I am currently co-president of Montage and have work in the show. That said, don’t go for me—go to learn the names of your next dozen favorite artists. Doors opened on Dec. 10, and the show will be taken down on Jan. 22. The closing reception event will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 19,  though if you can’t make it, Fairbanks’ hours are weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 220 SW 26th Street.

    (image credit: Pale Blue Eyes by Angelica Ingeman)


    CAW Rundown

    Six Other Art Destinations Worth Your Time

    While our three featured exhibits are definitely not to be missed, be sure to stop off at these other destinations while you’re out and about on this month’s Arts Walk on Thursday, Jan. 19—or just out for a walk during any of their normal business hours. The public is invited during the usual 4 to 8 p.m. time slot; 6 to 9 p.m. for Bison Bison!

    700 SW Madison Ave.

    Meditations of Temporality with Erin Dengerink and Jeff Hess

    354 SW Madison Ave.

    Monochromatic with Chris Adams

    340 SW 2nd St., Studio #3

    New Activist Artwork

    361 SW 2nd St.

    Going Solo

    340 SW 2nd St., Studio 12

    Art for the New Year

    301 SW 4th St., Ste. 160

    Closure and Renewal with seven artists

    By Johnny Beaver

    CORRECTION: The print edition incorrectly states the Montage closing reception hours as 4:30pm – 6pm. The correct hours have been updated above.

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  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events
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    MLKThe third Monday of every year marks the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., and while some look forward to the three-day weekend, many in Corvallis are taking the time to celebrate, learn, and reflect on his impact and legacy. Oregon State University has an entire week of events and workshops designed to uphold Dr. King’s values of justice and service and apply them to today’s society. This list of events begins Saturday, Jan. 14 and extends through Friday, Jan. 20. All events open to the public are noted.

    MLK Children’s Celebration
    Friday, Jan. 13
    Majestic Theatre, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

    The Corvallis Montessori School hosts a multicultural celebration, with a goal of spreading peace and tolerance to the greater Corvallis community and beyond. Montessori students will share in song, dance and narrative, alongside multicultural performances. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit https://www.corvallismontessori.org/annual-events/mlk-children-celebration.

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
    Saturday, Jan. 14

    Students, faculty, staff, and their families have been invited to participate in 10 community projects that can accommodate about 300 volunteers. Projects include working at Heartland Humane Society, cleaning the Whiteside Theatre, landscaping Martin Luther King Jr. Park, a Food Packaging Party, and more. For more information, visit http://sli.oregonstate.edu/cce/mlkservice.

    35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Breakfast
    Monday, Jan. 16
    CH2M Hill Alumni Center 
    9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

    Open to OSU community members and invited guests, the annual breakfast is free and  features a legacy award ceremony to two community members for exemplary social justice services, a Keynote Address by Franchesca Ramsey, and a final Peace March to the SEC Plaza. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/508792602654963/.

    Keynote Address from Franchesca Ramsey
    Monday, Jan. 16 • The LaSells Stewart Center, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Franchesca Ramsey, host of MTV News show Decoded, is delivering the keynote address for OSU’s celebration. She is a well-known YouTube personality, actress, comedian, and activist. This event is free and open to the public.

    Celebration Peace March
    Monday, Jan. 16 • The LaSells Stewart Center, 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.

    The OSU Peace March is meant to provide an opportunity for solidarity and to promote non-violence. The march will end at the Student Experience Center Plaza. This event is free and open to the public.

    Corvallis Celebration
    Monday, Jan. 16
    Corvallis High School,
    6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

    The City of Corvallis and the King Legacy Advisory Board is sponsoring the annual Corvallis celebratory event. The keynote speaker is Leticia Nieto, author of Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment. The Inner Strength Gospel Singers will perform as well. This event is free and open to the public.

    If These Halls Could Talk Film Showing and Discussion
    Tuesday, Jan. 17 • OSU Memorial Union, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

    If These Halls Could Talk is a documentary from director Lee Mun Wah addressing the flight of students and faculty of color from university campuses across the country. The film models cross-cultural discussions of conflict on campuses and in communities. A discussion will follow the film.

    Unpacking the Model Minority Myth
    Tuesday, Jan. 17 • OSU Asian
    & Pacific Cultural Center
    4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

    This series of workshops focuses on addressing and deconstructing African American and Asian American/Pacific Islander stereotypes. Audio gathered will contribute to a radio documentary and short video series.

    Multi-Faith Prayer Service
    Tuesday, Jan. 17 • United Campus Ministry, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

    This prayer service is open to the OSU community, and provides a space for solidarity across various faith and spiritual communities.

    Creating Equitable Teaching and Learning Environments
    Wednesday, Jan. 18
    Valley Library, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

    The director of the Social Justice Education Initiative is leading an interactive workshop to discuss potential parameters of equitable classrooms and learning environments. Participants will be able to address concerns about the intersection of success and equality.

    The Untold Story: Brother Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – The Alpha Man
    Wednesday, Jan. 18
    Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Participants of this event will learn about Dr. King’s joining of the first Greek fraternity for African-American men.

    Non-Violent Direct Action Panel and Training
    Wednesday, Jan. 18
    Centro Cultural César Chávez

    A panel of professors and activists will discuss methods and impacts of key protesters and protests. After the panel, there will be a training session on non-violent direct action from Rising Tide.

    History of Race Relations at OSU
    Wednesday, Jan. 18
    Valley Library, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
    The spoken word artist Too Black will facilitate a workshop centered on OSU history and tying in experiences in South Africa. It will include a discussion on OSU’s anti-apartheid student activism, and time to create spoken word poetry.

    Speaking Justice
    Wednesday, Jan. 18• OSU Memorial Union Lounge
    5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

    Too Black, a spoken word artist who focuses on race, power, and society, will perform at OSU. He leads a college tour called “Education Redefined 101: Tips, Fees, and Degrees.” OSU community members are invited to attend and deliver poetry as well.

    13th Film Viewing and Discussion
    Thursday, Jan. 19 • Learning Innovation Center, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

    13th is a documentary from Ava DuVernay focusing on the intersection of race, slavery, the criminal justice system, and mass incarceration in the United States. A discussion will follow the film.

    Untold Stories: Histories of Students of Color at OSU
    Thursday, Jan. 19 • OSU Memorial Union, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    This guided tour will take attendees around campus to learn about how students of color at OSU have incited positive change around campus.

    The People Speak Read-in
    Thursday, Jan. 19
    Valley Library, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

    Howard Zinn’s book, The People Speak, has inspired OSU community members to read relevant pieces of literature, poetry, or speeches that address social injustices. Song and dance are also welcome at the event.

    Imagining Oregon State
    Friday, Jan. 20
    OSU Student Experience Center

    This event is meant for creative reflection on Dr. King’s legacy and how OSU can head into the future. 

    By Regina Pieracci

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  • OSU’s Waste Watchers Foster Recycling Culture
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    Volunteers assist a community member at the clothing station at a Repair FairThe vacuum cord that won’t retract. The leaf blower with the broken on switch. The socks with a hole in the heel. We’ve all been there: repair it, or toss it? The Oregon State University Waste Watchers is hoping you’ll go with the first option.

    “We want to foster a culture of DIY, not just use and discard,” said Kyle Reed, the group’s student outreach assistant.

    Reed works for OSU Campus Recycling and Surplus Property, which co-sponsors the Waste Watchers student group with Student Sustainability Initiative. Last fall, Reed gave a demonstration of how to make compost using a worm bin at the Waste Watcher’s Repair Fair, where volunteers fix those broken vacuums and leaf blowers for free.

    The Waste Watchers also holds outreach events and runs marketing campaigns to promote recycling across campus, including the annual “recycle mania” competition, in which OSU competes with the University of Oregon for the most pounds of recycling and compost.

    This year’s recycle mania will be held in February, and at the Waste Watchers’ final 2016 meeting, group members kicked around ideas for the sculpture they would make out of recycled materials.

    They liked the idea of making furniture and a TV—“It’s interactive! People could sit in it! You could take pictures in it!”—plus, they decide, it’s a lot easier to make a sofa than a beaver. So they ran with it, and soon had slogan ideas: “Get tuned in for recycling,” “What’s your recycling frequency,” and “Trash talk here.”

    To Andrea Norris, the marketing and development coordinator for OSU Campus Recycling and Surplus Property and the only non-student regularly involved with the group, this kind of idea generation is one of the Waste Watchers most important jobs as the department’s de facto outreach arm.

    “They’re the think tank,” Norris said. “Their ideas and their brainstorming are very valuable to us, because they’re very in touch with the student population.”

    For the students, the group provides an opportunity to see their ideas turned into reality. Callie Limbaugh, the group’s recruitment chair, turned a tip about how to repair an underwire bra into a successful repair fair demonstration.

    “To see an idea that you have really do something is really important,” she said. “This was a real sense of reward.”

    Others are drawn to the group by their personal commitment to the environment.  Amy Salisbury, a junior civil engineering major, has been involved in the group since she was a freshman.

    “Our group is small, but it makes me feel like I can make an impact,” she said. “Everybody has their fight, and sustainability is the fight I’ve picked.”

    Those interested in joining the OSU Waste Watchers are welcome to attend the group’s weekly meetings on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Or, for an introduction to the Waste Watchers and an overview of involvement opportunities, go to the group’s

    “Meet ‘n’ Eat” event on Wednesday, Jan. 18 from 6 to 7 p.m. Both events are held in Room 112 of OSU’s Student Experience Center.

    By Maggie Anderson

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  • Grant to Assemble Network of Eating Disorder Professionals
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    podcast-picEating disorders are a prominent issue in American culture—they have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and just 1 out of every 10 people suffering from an eating disorder receives treatment. “In our whole country we probably have less than 2,000 actual certified eating disorder specialists,” noted Therese Waterhous, president and owner of Willamette Nutrition Source in Corvallis, a private nutrition consulting business.

    “Here in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties, we don’t have many eating disorder specialists,” said Waterhous. Which is why she’s recruited a multidisciplinary team of professionals interested in developing their knowledge of eating disorders in the tri-county area, all thanks to a health transformation grant by InterCommunity Health Network CCO.

    The Grant
    “The grant is first of all recruiting people who have an interest.” Waterhous noted a common barrier to effective treatment being a lack of interest among a wide range of providers.

    In the grant’s first phases, Waterhous has selected a “provider pool” of 50 professionals across multiple disciplines—therapists, doctors, nurses, dieticians—in the tri-county area. The provider pool will be expected to attend regular virtual trainings via webinars, audio files, and podcasts to learn about latest research and treatment practices.

    Waterhous has recruited 15 of the top eating disorder researchers in the country to provide education to the provider pool. “Part of my vision is to have this pool of providers talking to each other, getting to know one another… then we can advertise to everybody else that they exist.” It is her hope that these professionals will collaborate to develop best treatment practice protocols and referral pathways for those suffering from eating disorders.

    Along with her PhD in human nutrition, clinical nutrition, and nutrition biochemistry, Waterhous is a licensed and registered dietician and nutritionist. She’s studied eating disorders for the past 15 years, since encountering a client neither she nor other local professionals knew how to help.

    “I found really that it’s a worldwide problem—eating disorders are under-recognized, under-diagnosed, and when they are diagnosed, often times people fall into pretty bad treatment,” she said.

    What is Good Treatment?
    “You need to have well-trained doctors that know what to look for, well-trained nutritionists that know how to do the nutritional restoration aspect, and bring on social support to help people eat,”  Waterhous explained, “and the whole team needs to be well enough educated that they can educate families and significant others as support people.”

    Waterhous explained that, with eating disorders, you can’t treat psychological deficits first. “Before someone is fully ready to engage in psychological treatment, they need to be nutritionally restored.”

    Specialists such as Waterhous use rapid, aggressive treatment to break eating disorder habits―restricting calories, compulsive exercise, purging behaviors, and binging behaviors―by empowering and engaging with those closest to the client.

    “Having a meal companion is very effective,” said Waterhous, explaining how clients typically struggle most when eating alone. She recommends coming from a place of calmness and compassion when interacting with someone suffering from an eating disorder, as they are likely to present with anxiety or agitated behaviors.

    “If you really strongly suspect that a friend or relative has an eating disorder, approach them with compassion and let them know that you know they aren’t choosing to do this… it’s coming out of a place of anxiety and fear and worry,” said Waterhous.

    Science and Stigma
    In 2004, it was reported that 64% of individuals with eating disorders also possess at least one anxiety disorder; 41% of those individuals suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder specifically.

    “More and more researchers and clinicians are calling eating disorders anxiety disorders,” said Waterhous, noting she’s never met a person with an eating disorder she would describe as “chill.”

    “We also know from current research that genetics and neurobiology underlie eating disorders, so genetically, if you look through a family tree… you will see other people with anxiety-type disorders.” According to Waterhous, research in genetics is currently in infancy stage. She explained that fMRIs show differences in the brains of people who suffer from bulimia or anorexia nervosa.

    Without early intervention, people who suffer for years with an eating disorder experience over time a “loss of gray matter [in the brain], loss of bone, [and are] usually physically weaker.” According to Waterhous, they tend to be very anxious and have “kind of underlying psychiatric things have not been dealt with.”

    It isn’t always easy to spot an eating disorder either. Some people “can look healthy and still be very sick,” said Waterhous.

    Waterhous also speaks to the misconception that those suffering from eating disorders have been victims of trauma. “Some people are just born stressed, right? So they don’t even need trauma or abuse to initiate anxiety, but they do need to learn in therapy how to recognize their own stress and anxiety and how to manage it in way that’s not harmful.”

    A Call for Cultural Change
    Body image, health, and fitness are subjects deeply ingrained in American culture. “Getting healthy” was searched so many times on Google between January and October of 2016—approximately 62,776,640 times—it was determined by digital marketing company iQuanti to be the top new year’s resolution for 2017. Similarly, statistics from December of 2016 mark “losing weight” as the main priority among resolution-makers in 2015.

    Trends in dieting and exercise can, in some cases, be detrimental. For some, setting extreme expectations or adhering to unrealistic standards of health and fitness can be catalysts to eating disorder behaviors.

    “I think it’s important for society in general to stop talking thin ideal and stop talking diets, because diets don’t work for one thing—they’re not healthy, mentally or physically, and negative energy balance can lead to eating disorder behaviors,” Waterhous explained.

    Waterhous references trends in dieting today, such as vegan, paleo and gluten free. She says we should all loosen up a little and “talk about eating in a flexible, joyful manner, as opposed to restrictive or even the idea that there’s a perfect way to eat.”

    For more information on Therese Waterhous and Willamette Nutrition Source, visit http://www.willamettenutritionsource.com/.

    By Stevie Beisswanger

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  • Corvallis’ Most Notorious Speed Traps

    radargunIn honor of getting 2017 off to a good start, we’ve compiled a list of Corvallis’ most notoriously patrolled streets. If you’ve got resolutions for the new year, forget about taking up Zumba or “finding the one,” and instead, focus on something you can actually control: not getting any more speeding tickets. We examined and surveyed user-created content on the web— message boards, social media and anonymous traffic-sharing sites— to find the worst places to speed in town; that is, according to angry locals. The seven following traffic-sting locations are listed in order of least to most notorious.

    7. Between Philomath Boulevard and the Wastewater Treatment Plant
    The Water Treatment Plant is situated on Research Way. This area has been heavily patrolled on and off over recent years. It’s often cop and radar-free, but is said to be referred to by the CPD as the “fishing hole” for officers to catch speeding drivers. No one knows where they’re hiding.

    6. Up and Down Witham Hill
    You’re screwed either way here. Whichever direction you’re headed on as you make it over the Witham hump, make sure to step on the brakes after you pass the peak and begin your descent. Officers are aware that drivers will gain speed coming down the hill, and will be waiting to cite them. Police on motorcycles often wait on the backside of Witham located close to the apartments on the top.

    5. The Corner of Conifer and 99W
    Many drivers are stopped for speeding here, while even more are given citations for crossing the double yellow lines. Between Highway 99 and Conifer House Assisted Living there’s a slow stretch heading west where cars, trucks and buses tend to line up. Once this line breaks, police go after drivers who react to the end of the wait by suddenly speeding up to get out of the stretch. Officers are said to lurk on the south side of Conifer by the railroad tracks.

    4. Where West Hills Road Turns into Western
    Patrol officers may be waiting in the parking lots of residents in this area, and though there aren’t many places where they can’t be seen, visibility isn’t great in the West Hills. Near Sunset Drive, the speed limit drops from 45 to 25 and drivers are urged to slow down as much as possible when driving downhill.

    3. South Corvallis (In General)
    South Corvallisites love to complain about the police force, and they’re not necessarily wrong to do so. Several drivers have described the entire area of South Corvallis as a massive speed trap in itself, perhaps due to the high number of officers patrolling from the Van Buren Bridge all the way down to Highway 99. Many people driving through deep South Corvallis run into issues as they’re going to and from downtown, while others have more trouble near the heavily monitored school zones. Approaching Corvallis from the South on Highway 99 or South 3rd Street is the worst, as the speed limit lowers from 55mph to 25mph over a space of only about 1.5 miles. This space contains a school zone, school buses and several crosswalks. Do yourself a favor and slow down at each juncture in between.

    2. The Bridge Between Downtown and Southtown Corvallis
    This danger zone goes both ways. When you’re driving from Downtown to Southtown via the Van Buren Bridge, or from Westbound Highway 34 (which turns into Harrison Boulevard) into downtown, watch out for cops monitoring the area on either side of the bridge. Coming into North from South Corvallis is worse due to the speed limit changing from 45 on Highway 34 to 25 as you hit the peak of the bridge. Police are said to park at a lot next to the on-ramp. The corner of 3rd and Harrison, which you’ll hit coming into downtown, is also one of the worst places in town for accidents, so drive with caution.

    1. Walnut Near 9th Street
    The worst area to speed in town seems to be on Walnut, passing two different schools and the road to the hospital before Walnut meets 9th. Motorcycle cops are said to park in the driveways of the homes on either side of the street. If you’re coming from the direction of the Timberhill area, you’re more likely to get a citation, because of a quick change in speed limits. Walnut’s speed limit is 35mph until Highland, and between Highland and 9th the speed quickly drops to 25mph as the area becomes a school zone. If you’re coming up the hill to Walnut from Crescent Valley, the speed limit rapidly drops from 45 to 35 and then to 25mph. Drivers are often ticketed in the early evening, so whether school is on or not, the 25mph area is heavily monitored.

    Happy trails, and please drive safely in the New Year.

    By Kiki Genoa

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  • Oregon Health Authority Campaigns for Teens
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    teen-smokingLast summer, the Oregon Health Authority launched a statewide campaign created to encourage Oregonians under the legal age limit of 21 to avoid marijuana use until they are older.

    Thanks to $3.97 million tax dollars provided by the Oregon Legislature after it passed House Bill 4014—regulating marijuana sales under the OLCC—and Senate Bill 1597—which creates provisions for social welfare programs, the OHA was able to generate a multimedia campaign that includes billboards, social media and digital advertising aimed at Oregon high school students living in both metropolitan and rural areas.

    In the fall of 2016, the campaign’s digital ads ran on video-streaming websites such as YouTube, providing Oregon’s teens with information about the effects of marijuana specifically chosen by other teens in focus groups created for the campaign by the OHA.

    The campaign, according to Jonathan Modie, OHA’s Director of Communications, is not meant to vilify or prevent the use of marijuana. As a government agency that works alongside the OLCC in the effort to provide more licenses for recreational marijuana sales in the state—while continuing to improve Oregon’s burgeoning economy through legal pot sales—the OHA’s goal in creating the campaign is to help those who are under the legal age to buy pot to make informed decisions about using it themselves. “It’s not an anti-marijuana campaign,” Modie stated in an Advocate interview, wherein he explained the reasons for the legislation, campaign message, and overall purpose of StayTrueToYou, one of two campaigns the OHA created last year to encourage young people to avoid using pot or at least wait until they are older.

    The OHA’s second campaign related to marijuana use is called Talk with Them. It’s directed at parents and encourages them to have open and honest conversations with their children about marijuana use.

    The OHA used two surveys of Oregon teens to find out which teens use marijuana, what their attitudes are regarding pot use, how their behaviors are affected by current use, and who were most at risk for early pot use and possible abuse.

    The Student Wellness survey and Oregon Healthy Teens survey, both anonymous, school-based self-assessments conducted in 2015, collected data among 8th-graders and 11th-graders living in Oregon. The results of both surveys were compared with those of a national teen survey called Monitoring the Future. The results of all surveys can be viewed in the OHA Public Health Division’s Marijuana Report, published last January.

    The OHA presented the Legislature with several recent scientific studies that detailed the negative effects of marijuana use on teens whose brains are still developing. “The brain is at a particularly vulnerable time in their lives so the concern is that marijuana use will potentially affect their abilities to read, learn, and do things they enjoy,” said Modie.

    Modie was more than happy to provide the results of several scientific studies conducted no earlier than over the past two years to support the OHA’s claims that marijuana can, indeed, have negative effects on teen learning and brain development, along with detailed citations to the sources of said studies. The Oregon Public Health Division’s approved statements are based upon reviews and reports from several scientific studies, which include a 2014 study from Colorado, a 2015 RAND report evidence review, and a 2014 report taken directly from Oregon’s Washington County.

    Notable statements released from the public health sector concerning teen marijuana use, detailed in documents that are available to the public, include the following:

    “Regular marijuana use by adolescents and young adults is associated with impaired learning, memory, math and reading achievement, even 28 days after the last use [and] these impairments increase with more frequent marijuana use.”

    “Regular marijuana use by adolescents is associated with low academic achievement, such as not graduating from high school.”

    The Public Health sector did not approve any statements claiming whether marijuana use by adolescents and young adults was associated with depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts—as the report explained, studies in this particular zone had conflicting results.

    In addition to aiding learning along with mental and emotional development, the OHA seeks to prevent teen injuries and fatalities from overdoses and car accidents.

    “We have found that annual marijuana-related calls to the Oregon Poison Center, based at the Oregon Health and Science University, have increased between 2013 and 2015,” said Modie. This increase, explained OHA press representatives, coincides with increased legality of marijuana in the state. “Among 13- to 19-year-olds, calls went from about 32% in 2013… then jumped up to about 40% in 2015,” Modie explained. Unlike the Oregon Poison Control Center, the Oregon Poison Center at OHSU compiles detailed information about all callers, including age, gender, and ethnicity.

    In the Oregon Healthy Teens survey, students were asked how many times they’d driven a vehicle within three hours of using marijuana. Of all 11th-grade students surveyed, approximately 1 in 20 females (5%) and 1 in 15 males (7%) reported that they had driven vehicles within three hours of using pot at least once over the past 30 days. Though no information is available regarding whether the pot use did indeed cause the teens to get into car accidents, additional studies on adults also published in last January’s report showed that the number of adults who drove under the influence of marijuana was much higher, and frequent users were 36% more likely than infrequent users to drive under the influence. Since another Health Division-approved statement reads that starting marijuana use during adolescence or young adulthood is associated with overuse of cannabis in adults, one could deduce that teens who frequently use pot are more likely to drive while high as adults.

    Subscribers to YouTube and online digital video like Hulu and XFinity TV can see many of the ads, which feature a diverse group of teenagers representing various ages, genders, ethnic groups, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

    After viewing a similar ad campaign that came out of Colorado, focus groups of Oregon teens that helped the OHA in creating these ads decided that our state needed a message that spoke to the particular diversity of Oregonians. Ads in Colorado, reported Oregon kids, did not portray the diversity of attitudes of Oregon teens, while professionals in charge of surveying recalled messages of the 1980s, such as Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign, as being ineffective since telling a child not to do something often results in them doing the exact opposite.

    The most important aspect of the StayTrueToYou campaign is the way it speaks to local teens. Sharing information about teens’ experience with pot in a non-judgmental manner, said OHA representatives, will be far more effective than the strategy of telling them to just say no—a message which unfortunately may go into play on the federal level.

    President-elect Donald Trump’s future appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a current senator, is an outspoken fan of First Lady Reagan’s anti-drug campaign and has caused concern that he might re-use the campaign once in office. Sessions was quoted recently as saying, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” a message that is not only wildly incorrect but also serves no purpose at all in persuading teens to make healthy choices when it comes to drug use. Since teens are the ones most at risk, rather than adults, the vague quality of Session’s statement is concerning as one of a man who may become in charge of the fate of legal marijuana in the United States.

    By Kiki Genoa

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  • The New Sweet Spot in Town… Well, in Philomath
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    oldbluerawhoneyFor many of us, honey typically comes in that classic plastic bear, or is limited to whatever we find at the grocery store. However, a visit to Old Blue Raw Honey in Philomath proves not only that the flavor of honey is distinct, but that “sweet” doesn’t even begin to describe this nectar of the gods.

    If you’re a fan of buying local and trying new things, Old Blue has a honey for you.

    Meet the Storches
    Henry Storch has been keeping bees for at least 10 years. It started as a hobby, but Storch became more serious about the venture in the last five years. He currently keeps about 500 hives.

    According to Camille Storch, customer service, sales, and shipping manager, “Henry doesn’t get stung every day, but some days it’s 50 times or more. He’s pretty much unfazed by it.”

    The Storches put a lot of love into their honey, highlighting the following criteria: they only sell honey from their own hives, they offer a lot of small-batch varietal honeys, they value transparency and share a lot of information with their customers, and they are “actively preserving and improving Northwest-adapted honeybee genetics by raising and breeding [their] own queens.”

    A Flavor for Everyone
    Old Blue offers a honey subscription program that currently has more than 50 annual members. For $115, subscribers get three honeys every season. The current winter sampler includes Meadowfoam, Red Clover, and Hairy Vetch, as well as Wild Blackberry and Groundsel. Each sampler gives detailed information about where the honey comes from, the farmers who work the land, and the flavor profile you can expect.

    The Storches’ website manages to be poetic and informative at the same time. Prices for individual honeys vary depending on how difficult the honey is to produce or how “crazy” the flavor is.

    Meadowfoam, which is almost exclusively produced in the Willamette Valley, tastes like marshmallow and vanilla. Red Clover and Hairy Vetch “tastes of sweetgrass hay and walnuts,” while Wild Blackberry and Groundsel is compared to “golden raisins with a buttery finish.”

    The Shop
    The Storches don’t want to be in every home across the U.S.; their goal is to create high-quality honey that sells out by June, before the next harvest. “We don’t need to be the biggest, best, or fanciest. We have humble goals,” Camille says.

    Currently, the Storches have a tasting room that they are putting the finishing touches on. They wanted to create a space where people could pick up their honey—saving locals money on shipping—and for small groups to come in for tastings by appointment. By next spring, they plan on having “an observation hive in [their] new extraction facility. This will allow honeybee viewing without the risk of getting stung.”

    While the Willamette is known for its wine, it’s not often that you find a tasting that is fun for the whole family. So, ditch the honey bear and try something a little more exotic without leaving the valley.

    For more information or to set up a tasting, visit www.oldbluenaturalresources.com

    By Anika Lautenbach

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  • A Bright Horizon for Local Zine Culture
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    corvalliszinelibraryRecently a group of zine (short for magazine) enthusiasts met at Interzone to exchange ideas for collaboration and ways to promote creative expression. The space was packed. The coordinator, Sara Finkle, was happily surprised by how many people were interested in contributing to the zine scene here in Corvallis. Finkle is new to town; organizing this meeting started as a way for her to discover local zine resources. Indiana Laub, a member of the DIY music scene, was also excited to see some traction in this arena.

    “I think DIY/underground music scenes, particularly punk and indie, have always been closely tied to zine culture. Making music and making zines are similar in spirit and I’d love to see more local crossover between the two,” added Laub.

    Finkle believes that zines are important for generating community support and dialogue. They provide an opportunity for readers to connect with the authors, whether they’ve gone through a similar experience or the topic is something totally unfamiliar to the reader. Because they’re self-made, it’s possible for anyone to share their ideas and address subjects that are often overlooked. Finkle noted, “In the Pacific Northwest, we have the amazing legacy of the riot grrrl movement in the early 90s. Along with the punk music that they were creating, riot grrrls made zines addressing issues that weren’t getting enough coverage in mainstream media: feminism, sexism, queer culture, body image, sexual abuse, mental illness/mental health, and more.”

    The collective left Interzone with four goals on the table: starting a zine library, creating a collaborative zine, holding future workshops on making zines and collecting resources for their production, and connecting with other groups in Oregon that are making zines and putting on zine fests. While this feels ambitious, the group had enough buzz to push these ideas forward. The next steps will be starting a zine library at Interzone and working on their first collaborative zine in early January. The initial topic: Corvallis is the type of place where… and you fill in the blank. Every contributor will be asked to submit a one-page answer to this prompt. Finkle is optimistic.

    “This will be an opportunity to delve into different people’s takes on this city… hopefully get more people in town familiar with and excited about zines,” she said.

    Experience isn’t required. If you’ve got something to say about Corvallis, or anything else for that matter, your voice is welcome. “I think it’s going to bring out a lot of creativity in people who might not have known that these communities exist here,” Laub said.

    For more information about how to get involved with the collaborative zine project, or about zine resources around Corvallis, check out the Corvallis Zine Library Facebook group.

     By Anika Lautenbach

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  • Your 2016 Slate of Local Dillweeds

    First, we want to say that most everyone has redeeming value, even if they have had an outsized negative impact on our fair little burg, and even we want to love some of these folks. That said, when you step into the public arena, you owe your better angels your full mental attention, and our 2016 list of Stupid-Heads and Dillweeds is proof positive that not everyone is on that same page. Without further ado, this year’s worst… the envelope, please…

    jerry-jackson1. Jerry Jackson
    Outgoing Chair, Benton County Republican Party

    Top dishonors this year go to several time unsuccessful office seeker Jerry Jackson for his fine mix of destructive politicking, self-righteous cowardice, and even a touch of the good old fashioned bull-malarkey.

    When not harmlessly losing another of several runs for county commissioner, Jackson did some serious damage chairing the Benton County Republican Party—winning zero seats and recruiting what have sometimes been embarrassingly odd candidates.

    This year’s Republican competitor for state representative, a rather decent human being in our experience, declined to initiate a campaign committee or mount any effort to win—he simply filled a space on the ballot. Also this last go round, the local R’s ran a guy named Paul Cauthorn, a wannabe so disingenuous, bombastic, and just plain odd that he warrants one of this year’s runner-up slots below.

    The whole fiasco may seem like a Democrat’s dream at first glance, but just as journalism’s spotlight can help keep ‘em honest, the elected soul needs the shadow of quickly closing competition to stay creative and engaged. In other words, Democrats have a virtual lock on Benton County’s electorate, and it seems unlikely local Republicans under leadership like Jackson’s could ever articulate positions contemporaneous enough to make their party competitive for local seats. Getting this message, the party has picked Betsy Close as their new chair
    going forward.

    As a county commission candidate this last election, Jackson accepted and then declined a debate invitation for Corvallis, making so many demands that organizers finally just gave up. At the time, he told organizers that he believed the audience would all be people that had already made up their minds, and that he did not want to take his time for the debate.

    Later, Jackson tried answering questions about not showing up by saying the organizers had changed their plans. The organizers denied this in a public letter published by the Gazette-Times. Also, this paper received documents showing the communications between the debate organizers and Jackson; they indicate the organizers made no changes to their plans. Jackson only debated once in the county’s most populated city of Corvallis, and then only to an audience about a quarter the size that attended the debates he skipped.

    The untruth-y-ness does not stop there. Jackson will sometimes allude to being a law enforcement officer, which as a Code Compliance Officer for Polk County, may be true in the strictest sense, but not really beyond that (just for fun, say Compliance Officer and Small Government Republican in the same breath). He also claims to have served as a school board member. Again true in the strictest sense, but he rarely mentions it was for a small private school.

    And then there are times when Jackson sounds like a conspiracy theorist, for instance posting on social media how sitting Commissioner Anne Schuster let “slip” at a forum the county would be going to voters for a tax levy.  So, this will be where we address Jackson personally… Jerry, the county seeks renewal of the same property tax levy every five years and everyone knows this—all our sitting commissioners have always been straightforward about it. The only thing conspiratorial about all this is that voters keep approving the thing. Wait, that’s not a conspiracy, that’s democracy.

    Anyhoo, making it all worse, Jackson should know better, he has served on Philomath’s City Council. And in a turn of freakiness, one of the debate organizers aforementioned is also our Editor, Steven Schultz, who describes Jackson as seeming like a “friendly enough” guy, so there’s that.

    jonesdillweed2. Shannon Jones
    Jones 5 Auto Sales

    Shannon Jones owned and operated the Jones 5 Auto Sales used car lot in Corvallis. In September of last year, Jones’ dealership shut down while being investigated by police. After a year of investigation, Jones has now been found guilty of wire fraud, accepting payments for vehicles and never delivering them, selling consignment vehicles and pocketing the full amount, obtaining loans with false information, and distorting his business’s financial health to lenders and other associates. He has agreed to pay $1.3 million to the victims, however there is still no exact roundup of how many people were held up in his scheme. For any victims who have not spoken with investigators, you are still urged to call the Corvallis Police Department at 541-766-6924 or the Eugene FBI office at 541-685-6260. Jones is scheduled for sentencing in February.

    brad-avakian3. Brad Avakian
    Democrat Oregon Labor Commissioner

    Democrat Avakian had to know his bid this last election for Secretary of State was over when even decidedly progressive Willamette Week endorsed his Republican rival, who they didn’t love either. Their problem, and ours: he seems like that dude who will say anything to get elected.

    For instance, it may be laudable that he promised to audit large corporations, build green jobs, and get civics education back into schools—failing to mention that none of that would be in his purview as Secretary of State. So, either he’s pulling a Shannon Jones, selling what he can’t own, or doesn’t actually understand the office. And just for fun, he doesn’t always pay his Oregon taxes, which came out during a prior run for office.

    4. Paul Cauthorn
    Real Estate Investor

    Having already pissed off everyone that ever attended a City Council meeting with his bombastic blasts towards anyone that didn’t agree with him, Republican Paul Cauthorn thought he’d try running for County Commissioner, a body he’d not visited at all in the past. When even The Gazette-Times, this cycle’s darling of local Republicans, refused to endorse him, they went so far as to mention his inability to get along with others as a factor.

    We were especially amused at his attempts to not look Republican, like the selfie of himself in tie-dye visiting a Beaver Bowls event was gonna get it. Hmm, should we mention the goat in his lap on Facebook… maybe not.

    More seriously, he also skipped the Corvallis debates, at one point telling one of the organizers that Jerry Jackson had asked him to bow out of the event. Paul… can we call you Paul…? We actually think you have what some would call heart, so be who you are, lose the tie-dye, be nicer to people, and tell Jackson to bugger off. In other words, you’re not ready for prime time, but one day you might be.

    Disclosure: One of the aforementioned debate organizers is Steven J. Schultz, who also serves as publisher for this newspaper.

    ammon-and-ryan-bundy5. The Malheur Posse

    Jan. 2, in the year of our lord 2016, some out-of-staters decided to cruise on up to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County and bravely occupy a federal building that looks after the area. Why were they there? Being really into grazing their cattle on federal land and expressing shock when they’re asked to pay for it, they arrived to protest on behalf of the Hammonds. Said Hammonds, a couple of locals who were busted for land arson, were sort of like, “Uh, we don’t want you here.” And neither did anyone else.

    Their proud, gun-waving act of Merican freedom involved completely trashing the facility, destroying the plumbing and subsequently crapping in a huge hole they dug outside. They even received giant boxes of dildos as gifts from fans—we mean, detractors. It was a big, disgusting joke to the tune of $3.3 million of Oregon tax dollars. Around-the-clock police presence, school closures, wages for employees who could not work, shuttered offices in the area, people fleeing their nearby homes in fear, etc. Because the federal government had to get involved, the total bill wound up being something like $9 million.

    And of course, they got off scot-free. The federales tried to nail them with conspiracy charges, rather than “wrecking a building, scaring the hell out of people, and pooping in an improvised ditch” charges. We received a fax this morning that says ringleaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy will be collecting LaVoy Finicum’s Dillweed award for him, considering he decided to martyr himself during an armed encounter close to the end of the circus.

    art-robinson6. Art Robinson

    What kind of a Dillweed list would be complete without a little Art Robinson? The gift that keeps on giving, Robinson has failed four times to get himself a congressional seat in Oregon. This left Oregon Republicans drooling with glee, so they appointed him Oregon Republican Party Chairman from 2013 to 2015. Rather than drone on about his AIDS denial or why he’d be perfect for the Trump cabinet, we’ll just leave you with a few of our favorite Robinson quotes:

    “All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean—or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases.”

    “Public education (tax-financed socialism) has become the most widespread and devastating form of child abuse and racism in the United States.”

    “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

    And our personal favorite, commenting on the number of white males at Cal Tech: “Its applicants are weighted toward those who seek severe, difficult, total-immersion training in science—an experience few women and blacks desire.”

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  • 2016 Oregon State Science in Review
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    cindy_sagersAs the end users of all that scientific knowledge generated in those surprisingly not-so-imposing towers of academia, all the research around here is having real impacts on our local community. Technological and scientific advancements happening around Oregon State University make Corvallis one privileged place to call home. Faculty, staff, students, and even all the rest of us Advocate readers have unique opportunities for collaboration in scientific research, educational outreach, and community engagement that are hard to find in other parts of the planet.

    Opportunities to find fellowships and work with different folks in different fields abound in this town. Oregon State is a big part of what creates those unique assemblages.

    “Working with people outside one’s own field can lead to real advances in knowledge and innovation,” said Cynthia Sagers, Oregon State vice president for research. “We’re seeing progress in unmanned aerial systems for agriculture, forestry and infrastructure inspections, in genetic testing to understand disease and improve food security, and in software for environmental monitoring and crop improvements.”

    Researchers all the while have also been responsible for bringing in ever more of their own funding—and 2016’s been another big year for the record books. “Our researchers deserve all the credit for this amazing accomplishment,” said Sagers. “They have stepped up to the challenge of securing research funds that support our programs and our students, and create an impact on Oregon, the nation, and the world.”

    Corvallis’ own Oregon State University is this state’s Land, Sea, Space, and Sun Grant research institution—and that is indeed a singularly splendid thing. OSU receives more federal, state, and private-sector research funding than almost every other public university in the state put together. And by the numbers it was another record-breaking year for OSU. Scientists brought in an additional $27 million more in research funding in the 2016 fiscal year than they did in 2015 for a total of $336 million.

    OSU Record-Breaking Year, in Review
    Since 2006, Oregon State University has received more than $3 billion in research revenue thanks to the countless hours that researchers, graduate students, administrators, and the like spent writing grants and raising their own funds—just so they could do their day jobs of all that really important research and teaching stuff. That most certainly has had an impact on our economy.

    “Through salaries, student stipends, and expenditures, Oregon State research generates an annual societal and economic impact of about $762 million in the state and globally, based on an assessment conducted in 2015 by ECONorthwest,” wrote Nick Houtman, OSU research communications assistant director.

    Contributions OSU scientists have made this year in a wide range of intermingling fields are certainly making incredible impacts on things important to all of us Oregonians. “OSU researchers undertook projects to study and manage forests, coastal waters and other natural resources; to protect human health by identifying new treatments for infectious diseases; and to support communities and businesses by solving problems in food, energy and water systems,” wrote Houtman.

    This year we could extol the many and notable scientific accomplishments of each of Oregon State University’s research and teaching laboratories, 15 agricultural experiment stations, every county extension office and their service to Oregon families, the Hatfield Marine Science Center, plus the other scientific goings-on in Newport, or the new OSU-Cascades campus in Bend, and all the other happenings across the whole region—but even just that list takes up a load of room on a newspaper page. Instead, here is just a fraction of the highlights from OSU’s scientific enterprise in 2016.

    2016 Scientific Strides, in Tidbit
    Groundbreaking occurred this fall for OSU’s new forest science complex that will feature a variety of local forest products, new technologies like cross-laminated-timber panels, and recycled old Peavy Hall parts. “The complex is crucial to the future of our working forest landscapes,” said Thomas Maness, dean of the College of Forestry. “The way we thought about forestry, natural resources, and wood science in the past is very different from how we think about them now. This complex will help prepare our students to tackle our most complex landscape challenges, improve rural economies, and establish a healthy forest landscape.”

    New image analysis methods may soon be able to more closely monitor complex processes as genetically engineered plant cells develop into modified whole organisms, thanks to a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation that OSU scientists secured this year. Their goal is to better their ability to identify which genes in crop species could either encourage or inhibit genetic modification.

    Oregon State researchers are busy finalizing the design and planning the construction and operation of the first of a new kind of regional class research vessel. RCRVs will support a broad range of scientific research in coastal waters that are growing increasingly sensitive to human alteration from resource extraction, water and air pollution, shipping traffic, and recreational activities. The first of the new 193-foot vessels will call the OSU dock in Newport its home. OSU issued a request for proposals to construct up to three of these advanced vessels in August.

    Newport will soon become home to OSU’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center. The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Oregon State University up to $40 million to create the facility to test new wave energy converter designs, according to a late December press release.

    “We anticipate this will be the world’s most advanced wave energy test facility,” said director Belinda Batten, OSU College of Engineering professor.

    Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research at OSU, added, “This award is a major win for Dr. Batten and her team. It comes after years of collaboration among OSU researchers, state and federal agencies, and industry partners. With it, we are one step closer to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future.”

    Small scale hydropower also got a boost this year from free open source software developed and made available by OSU engineers. The software, field-tested at a 5-megawatt facility on Falls Creek in central Oregon, might soon help pick the best places for smaller-scale hydropower development around the world, and even examine the renewable energy-generating potential of streams in the face of future climate change.

    The number of juvenile sea stars reached a record high in 2016 after sea star wasting disease in 2014 caused a 63 to 84 percent decline in populations along the Oregon Coast. This increase in population is due to the better survival of the young sea stars because of an abundance of their favorite food sources: juvenile mussels and barnacles.

    The presence of these young sea stars is good news for the rocky intertidal communities. Earlier research had suggested that the sea star wasting disease could have been triggered by warmer sea temperatures. However as OSU researchers dig deeper into what caused the outbreak, it appears to be a more complex problem brought about by multiple different factors.

    Scientists at OSU are creating transparent sensors on contact lenses that could one day help people living with Type 1 diabetes monitor their blood-glucose levels in their tears by transmitting real-time data to smartphones or other devices, like an insulin pump. But glucose isn’t all they hope these types of sensors can measure.

    OSU chemical engineering professor Greg Herman said, “We can integrate an array of sensors into the lens and also test for other things: stress hormones, uric acid, pressure sensing for glaucoma, and things like that. We can monitor many compounds in tears—and since the sensor is transparent, it doesn’t obstruct vision; more real estate is available for sensing on the contact lens.”

    AAAS Fellows from OSU
    Three Oregon State University faculty members have been selected to become American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows by their scientific peers this year. Honorees from Oregon State University include Michael Osborne, professor of the history of science, technology, and medicine from the College of Liberal Arts; Alan Mix, professor of geological oceanography, and Peter Clark, professor of geosciences—both from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

    The AAAS Section on History and Philosophy of Science selected Osborne for his considerable contributions to the study of the history of science and medicine with attention to French colonialism and natural history—interests he initially discovered as an undergraduate at Oregon State. The broad range of his research career includes the history of modern biology, environmental issues, and medicine as well as interests in alpine environments, evolution, public health, and regenerative medicine.

    Mix and Clark were both selected under the AAAS section on Geology and Geography for their significant contributions towards our understanding of the links between Earth’s climate, ice sheets, and the last 100,000 years or so of sea level change.

    Mix is a paleoceanography, paleoclimatology, micropaleontology, and geochemistry researcher. He also serves as director of OSU’s Stable Isotope Laboratory at the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

    Clark, OSU’s 2016 distinguished professor of earth, ocean, and atmospheric sciences—and an avid Corvallis pick-up soccer player—has been interested in glaciers and ice sheets since his first day of geology class.

    The spectacular landscapes that had surrounded him through childhood he learned were the results of past Ice Ages. “I have since been extremely fortunate to make a career out of researching the history of the Ice Ages and given the opportunity to share that understanding with students at Oregon State University,” Clark wrote to the Advocate. “At the same time, climate change and its impacts on glaciers and ice sheets and global sea level has emerged as one of society’s greatest challenges, and I am proud to be one of the many scientific voices making the case that we need to address this challenge as quickly as possible.”

    The AAAS News & Notes section of the popular peer-reviewed journal Science announced the OSU honorees in late November. Osborne, Mix, and Clark’s names were listed along with all 391 members awarded the honor of AAAS fellowship this year for their distinguished efforts to further their fields of science and technology. They’ll again be officially recognized for their scientific contributions at the fellows’ forum to be held in Boston, MA this February.

    By Matthew Hunt

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  • Spiritual Music for Anyone and Everyone
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    chanting-groupSo you’re not religious, but you still want to enjoy some spiritual music this holiday season? Corvallis has plenty to offer, from drumming to chanting.

    ‘The Drums Make People Dance’
    On the first Saturday of every month, between 10 and 60 people gather for the Corvallis Drum Circle, held in the winter at 101 NW 23rd Street and in the summer at the Corvallis Riverfront Park.

    “It’s called a drum circle, but to me, it’s more than just drums,” said Michelle Lovrich, the circle’s facilitator and a drum instructor. “It’s really about playing with rhythm and time.”

    Lovrich uses this notion of play to create a low-pressure environment.

    “I play games to get people to listen to each other,” she said. “Listening to each other is what makes a drum circle great.”

    All are welcome to participate, including those with no musical experience. Those with instruments are welcome to bring them, but Lovrich also provides small percussion items like shakers and wood blocks, as well as a few hand drums.

    The goal is not only that participants experience rhythmic play, but also that they build community.

    “I want it to be just rhythmic exploration,” Lovrich said. “It’s all about your own rhythm and what you have to bring. There is no wrong.”

    ‘When You Do These Chants, You Open Yourself Up to These Energetic Beings’
    Every second Friday at 7 p.m., the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2945 NW Circle Boulevard, hosts the New World Kirtan Band. Kirtan is a call-and-response type of music with Hindu origins. In the West, the practice has been largely secularized.

    Michelle Wright Watson, a regular participant in Corvallis Kirtan events and organizer of the local Kirtan Meetup group, compared the events to a meditation.

    “It really focuses you and draws you in and gets rid of the peripheral world,” she said. “That’s a really, really useful thing.”

    Wright-Watson said that about 30 to 60 people regularly attend the second Friday Kirtan events, and on off Fridays, a 15- to 30-person meditation group that incorporates elements of Kirtan meets at the same time.

    For Wright-Watson, Kirtan represents a “religious experience without any of the dogma.”

    “These chants have been used for thousands of years,” she said. “They have built up something that goes with them. I’m not a highly religious person, but I do believe there are highly energetic beings. And when you do these chants, you open yourself up to these energetic beings.”

    French-Inspired Musical Meditation
    Every first Sunday at 7 p.m. the Good Samaritan Episcopalian Church, 3498 NW Harrison Boulevard, hosts a Taizé service. The service gets its name from an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, France, and it consists of meditations sung in candlelight and accompanied by piano and other musical instruments.

    “The idea is that people can learn it really quickly, and they can meditate on it or sing or pray,” said James Moursund, the church’s music director.

    In addition to participating in the service, those who are musically inclined might want to volunteer to play their instruments during the service—just show up an hour ahead of the service for a rehearsal.

    On non-Taizé Sundays at the same time, those who are more religiously inclined can participate in the church’s sung Compline, or final weekly prayer.

    A Moment of Silence
    After your drumming, Kirtan, and Taizé, you might be ready for a little silence. Perhaps a meditative walk? Both Good Samaritan and First United Methodist Church, 1165 NW Monroe Avenue, offer public access to labyrinths.

    Labyrinths are mazes that have a long history of being used in many faith traditions. The Methodist Church’s website offers the following advice to labyrinth walkers:

    When walking the labyrinth, find your own pace. Let yourself experience sharing the path with others. While waiting your turn, the position of witness is extremely important to yourself and those already walking. Walking the labyrinth is an opportunity to let go of the past and come into the moment of mind, body, and feet connecting with the path beneath you.

    The Methodist labyrinth is located in the building’s Wesley Hall, and visitors should call ahead to confirm the room is available for use. The Good Samaritan labyrinth is outside and open 24/7.

    Join the next Corvallis Drum Circle at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 101 NW 23rd Street. Catch the next full-band Kirtan on Friday, Jan. 13 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2945 NW Circle Boulevard. Good Samaritan’s next non-denominational Taizé service isn’t until February, but you can check out the sung Compline every Sunday evening at 7 p.m. at 3498 NW Harrison Boulevard. All events are free, with optional donations.

    By Maggie Anderson

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