As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolHuffPost Bests Oregonians Helping Nepal with Boxing Gloves
Filmmaker Sean O’Conner of Portland and Hood Riverite photographer Peter Marbach are two swell guys. They were part of a team that had gone to Kumari, a small farming district in Nepal, in order to help film a documentary about Nepali trekking guide Jagat Lama. They’ve now made the trip back, in a way… but not to film Jagat Lama 2: Electric Boogatloo. No tears, though! They did do the next best thing: get a bunch of emergency supplies, such as water purification tablets, solar chargers, medicine, etc. to those suffering the aftereffects of the quake.

After launching a grass-roots, online fundraising campaign just a short bit ago, they were able to get together all the supplies and send them along with Dr. Douglas McKeag of the Oregon Health Sciences University, where he and other medical staff will wield the Wand of Torach and weave wonders straight from the energy of the Earth. Or do doctor stuff, whichever.

Portland’s Mercy Corps aid group has about 100 people on the ground in Nepal already, and has sent a team to assess the situation in the greater Nuwakot region, which is where Kumari is located.

One of the poorest nations on Earth, over a third of their citizens make less than 25 cents a day. Nepal is facing what experts believe to be a $5 billion repair bill. The quake, estimated to register a 7.9 on the Richter scale, killed over 7,000 people, injured at least double that amount, and has displaced  countless people with the destruction of hundreds of thousands of houses.

The story following this disaster is, at the time of this writing, ninth down on Huffington Post’s website. Just below a story about a race horse and two stories below the 11 most important statistics we’re supposed to remember before a big boxing match.

Portland’s May Day Demonstration Gets Spicy
And  by spicy, I mean a bunch of protesters were jazzed in their faceballs by pepper spray-wielding police. As always, a violent minority showed up to an otherwise peaceful process, throwing chairs and other things at police. When the protest took an unplanned route (I love how protests have to be permitted…), the boys and girls in blue closed down the Burnside Bridge for about half an hour to block them.

It was also reported that about 100 protestors clashed with police near Pioneer Courthouse Square. In its most dramatic moment, an unmarked SUV full of coppers was barricaded by the unwashed masses until some bicycle officers caught air off some sweet jumps, landed in a power-slide, sparks flying everywhere, and led the SUV to safety. Flash grenades were chucked at the crowds to help allow the police trapped within to get away safely.

What was the protest about again?

Break Out the Fire Marshal Bill Clips
It’s fire season, ladies and gentlemen! The Interagency Fire Center (IFC) has published their 2015 forecast and it looks like in July and August we might be the guest of honor at our own barbecue, if ya know what I mean! And if you don’t, I meant we might burn to death because the fire season shows a general moisture level that’s lower than it has been in a quarter of a century.

While the fancy fuel moisture value rigmarole isn’t the only factor in determining fire season susceptibility, it is among the most important. One major contributing factor to all of this is the 10 to 20 percent shrunken snowcap, considering as things heat up there is a lot less snow to melt and rehydrate the forests.

Corvallis had some scares last year and so it might be time to brush up on fire safety. Or, “Don’t throw lit stuff in the field near Timberhill.”

Number of Lunatics in Oregon Decreases
For the first time in about 10 years, the number of children receiving non-medical exemptions from vaccinations has decreased. The Oregon Immunization Program says this number is 17 percent, which sounds huge… but…

Turns out that last year the rules changed. Now if you want to profess your personal voodoo, you’ve got to get a form signed by your doctor, or watch an hour-long video online. I can see the thought process now… “deeply spiritual, personal beliefs… or getting out of watching a video…”

 I guess we all now know which percentage didn’t want to watch the video. Oh well, it’s a step.

By Johnny Beaver