As the State Turns

By Johnny Beaver

stateturnssymbolAnd to All a Good Night
Aww, the debate for the Independent Party endorsement. Current Governor John Kitzhaber and state Representative Dennis Richardson had their first joint appearance last Friday, and it was not unlike everyone’s favorite sort of delayed prize fight. They both exited their corners with awe and grace, throwing soft jabs long before they were near enough to connect. The Columbia River Crossing, bridge replacement plans, marijuana… it was all hangin’ loose, which is how I’ve heard Salem likes it.

Questioned together at the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association meeting, a sparkling ball if I’ve ever heard of one, Richardson predictably and rightfully referenced the Cover Oregon Apocalypse with a twinkle in his eye. Clever retorts and quips all around. The two candidates synchronized in dance for their “come together” moment, which was less graceful in reality as it had something to do with an open voting system, in which voters would not be confined to their political parties. You know the kind of boring stuff… who cares about the third of all Oregon voters that aren’t able to vote in the primaries because they don’t have a party affiliation? Communists.

But I digress. Everyone went home happy and sipped a Mike’s Hard Frozen Margarita as all manner of night fowl rustled about in the cool branches above.

Hitler’s Robot Sasquatch Squad Strikes Again
A Jewish fraternity near the University of Oregon had their mailbox defaced with 11 black swastikas last week. Or rather, the mailbox of an apartment complex across the street. Police are investigating and say that the crime could add up to charges of second-degree criminal mischief and intimidation—both of which are Class A misdemeanors.

Whether or not it was a directed, hateful act from Nazi sympathizers, or merely the scrawling of some numbskulls, remains to be seen. This reporter, however, has to wonder if the swastikas were drawn in the same direction they are on the Nazi flag, or the other way around. Getting it wrong is a sure sign that it was indeed done by a neo-Nazi, because I’m pretty sure they don’t know how to read, let alone look at the pictures.

5-hour ENERGY Peters Out
Those little orange bottles on the counter. You know damn well the Mountain Dew and donuts will do the trick, but you’re pulled in by the slick marketing. No crash, you say? ::gulp::

A sucker is born every minute, and the Oregon and Washington attorney generals’ offices have taken the steps necessary to protect you from yourself. The lawsuit launched by Oregon’s attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, kicks 5-hour ENERGY’s marketing in four critical organs: doctor support, whether it’s safe for young people, whether the “crash” is really avoided, and what the beverage actually does.

The company that makes the product, however, complains that they’re being bullied and that the lawsuit asks for a ransom. By ransom I’m assuming they mean “scientific evidence for our claims.” They even accuse Rosenblum of potentially suing Starbucks because they make coffee. I read the statement… it literally makes only that much sense.

After carefully analyzing these initial salvos, and taking into account my time as a sucker… my money is on the state.

Hunting Crime Doesn’t Pay
At the tail end of an exhaustive investigation by the Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division (OSP), a man from Bend has been sentenced on both misdemeanor and felony charges in relation to guiding and hunting activities that were… well, illegal. An additional 23 folks were charged for over 200 counts in Wheeler County, and another 15 in Deschutes County.

The long and the short of it is that one Alan Roy Aronson (the fella from Bend) was caught taking guided hunts into private property without consent. Dozens of elk and nearly another dozen buffalo were shot by hunters without valid tags. Turns out Aronson wasn’t a registered hunting guide. And neither was his wife Emily, who apparently got herself a 6×7 bull elk. Way to go!

After warrants were issued, OSP officers seized the untagged trophy mounts, vehicles, a rifle, skinned buffalo hides, documents, and a computer. Aronson has since had his hunting license suspended for life, picked up 30 days in jail, and took so many fines to the face that he had to forfeit his Ford pickup and two UTVs. Aronson’s wife was ordered to pay $15,350 herself, and was sentenced to having to stay married to Alan.

Although it will take some time for everyone to see their just desserts, currently over $150,000 in fines, 180 days in jail, and about 34 years in license suspensions (not counting Aronson’s lifetime ban) have come down the mountain.