As the State Turns

By Johnny Beaver

stateturnssymbolOSU to Get More Sciency-er

Last week Oregon State University ended their billion dollar dollar-vacuuming campaign on a high note. In President Ed Ray’s “State of the University Speech” it was announced that a $60 million complex for “advanced wood” something or other was to be built in Corvallis. This is in addition to a new marine science facility in Newport.

There was a lot of talk about job creation in rural Oregon, and OSU’s commitment to helping get more low-income students enrolled and graduated. There was a bit of rumbling about the haves and the have-nots, the fabric of society, etc. Good, hopeful stuff.

Though, speaking of the have-nots… I think I’d rather have a tuition reduction for the current facilities in the pipeline before millions more go to creating new ones. Just sayin’. Kind of starving to death over here.

Panic in Truffle Land

As some of you may lament, last year the Oregon Board of Forestry mucked up the truffle scene by passing rules that required truffle hunters to obtain permits. Fungus lovers and their trained pigs (or dogs, or kangaroos) have been spotted frowning at farmers’ markets across the state. In all fairness, the technicality of underground growth is the only thing that has kept them unregulated this long. Mushrooms have required permits since 950 BC, and yes, I’m making that number up. Just roll with it.

While permits are indeed available, truffle jockeys report that a large number of the timber companies that own the land aren’t offering them at all. Though groups such as Starker Forests and Weyerhauser have neglected to comment thus far, their reasoning may very well have to do with the concerns over tree safety that helped lead toward the adoption of the new permit system in the first place. Damage to trees, trespassing, and even bizarre, gun-wielding territorial truffle goons (I’m not kidding) have been cited.

Now, if you like to take your badger-mole into the woods and hunt for gnarly balls of barfy, underground fungus that rich people pay a fortune for, all is not lost. The regulations are new and there is bound to be some settling involved. Maybe wait until year before panicking at the war cry of your local lumberjack hipster.

No, No… I Didn’t Forget to Write About This

Here are the facts:

1. Some woman whacked off in the Oregon State library and made a video.

2. The video went online.

3. Everyone’s freakin’ out, man.

4. Ed Ray has made some truly hilarious comments about how the former student, Kendra Jane Sunderland, needs help and that she demeaned herself and other women… which is, of course, both condescending and demeaning toward women (though in his defense, it seems a painfully necessary PR move in our current culture).

5. Ms. Sunderland has indeed been cited for public indecency.

And I think that’s about all there is to it. If that’s not enough, you can always go watch the video—it has apparently disappeared from PornHub, but, well… the Internet. Or read the endless blather of local, state, and national media on the topic. However, personally, I don’t really plan on engaging in the hypocrisy of the moral decency squad’s backwards obsession with anything sex-related.

Best. Owl. Ever.

Joggers jog, it’s what they do. Sometimes they jog in parks in Salem. And sometimes, just sometimes, they get jackbooted by a pissed off owl.

Despite some incorrect initial identifications, the dive-bombing comedy gold mine turned out to be a barred owl—an invasive species that the government has been spending a fortune to kill. In fact, $3.5 million alone has been spent trying to get these birds shot out of the sky (or out of trees, off of joggers’ heads, etc.) in an attempt to aid the long-beleaguered spotted owl. Obviously they should have hired Rambo, but whatever.

Although some say this is just an isolated incident and not part of a vast owl conspiracy, health-conscious citizens of Salem have received complimentary protective football helmets from the U.S. Forest Service.

Huge Slide Coming to P-Town

Slide the City ( plans to bring their 1,000-foot Slip ‘N Slide to Portland in the relatively near future, and people are either wetting themselves with delight or throwing tantrums over the waste of water. After doing a ton of research, I managed to discover that they go to pretty great lengths to recycle every drop they use, and that a lot of money goes to charities that, for instance, help build wells in arid Third World countries. So it seems pretty legit, but seeing as how they do a terrible job of explaining themselves on their own website, I invite you to research this on your own.

In the meantime… yeah, there’s a slide the length of three football fields coming to Portland. Oh yeah, and Eugene. And also Bend. And it’s like $15 to ride on the damn thing.