CHEERS & JEERS: Hirings, Firings… And Fire Deniers

CHEERS to Dr. Xavier Siemens for a lecture on pulsar arrays. When Siemens called pulsars “nature’s gift” for their clock-like constancy, we felt a little swoon come over us. He made the whole astrophysics field feel relatable and understandable and fun. [Half the staff has quit to study the stars] 

CHEERS for Pre Atomic Records and Happy Trails Records. Not every smallish town gets a record store, and we’ve got two! More importantly, Saturday is the return of Record Store Day. So go on out and see what they’ve got.  

POLITE CLAPPING for the Greater Albany Public Schools Board for taking a bull by the horns and firing Superintendent Melissa Goff on Wednesday night. Not everyone will agree with us, but being a newspaper, we’re partial to the First Amendment, and Goff… not so much. She faced off against student protests and Democrat-Herald reporters, and in the end, couldn’t convince more than one GAPS board member to her side. She is canned without cause as of July 24 by a vote of 3-1  

CHEERS to the Portland Trailblazers for their vetting of a rape accusation against new head coach Chauncey Billups. Saying “We did everything in our power to vet the incident” which obviously means “we know he’s innocent” in basketball-ese. PATS ON THE BACK to an athletics system where players get to “play” however they want provided they can be successfully “vetted” in their lives afterwards. It’s so nice that our society has developed this inherent trust in all things said by horny boys with ball skills and enough money to buy their way out of trouble. [BTW the attorney representing the victim in this case – one of them since the other two are (a) dead and (b) have Alzheimer’s – was not contacted by the Blazers… hmmmm] 

BATED BREATH over how interim Oregon State President Becky Johnson will handle similar antics on OSU campuses. She thinks the biggest task at hand is Post-COVID re-entry, but we know that there’s a history of not-so-great behavior in this department. Here’s hoping she never has to deal with an assault on campus… here’s hoping no one at OSU has to ever again…   

CHEERS to Linfield College for finding the most efficient means of getting rid of a problem – firing it. The tenured English prof who allegedly blew the whistle on the sexual harassment and discrimination allegedly happening at the Board and Presidential levels, was allegedly fired for blowing the alleged whistle. Now, we can all just turn our heads carefully away from all of this alleged crapola until we can forget it ever happened, while those who were allegedly discriminated against and harassed can talk it out with their respective therapists. That’s how we handle things, right? 

AND ANOTHER THING… don’t tenured professors who sit on endowed chairs [in his case the Shakespeare studies chair] have some job security? When we all went to college [and granted that was back in the days when horse and cart transport was the next new thing] tenure meant safety from being fired. And when others of us went to college [back in the time of the Studebaker] whistleblowers were kinda sorta protected because they were, you know, blowing a whistle on bad things… like sexual harassment… or discrimination… moving along…  

JEERS to people not leaving when fire crews tell them to. The fact that the state has to threaten to arrest someone in order to save their life is past stupid and drifting into flat out idiocy. Last year, over one million acres burned in Oregon. So far this year, thousands of acres have burned and we’re only halfway through July – meaning there’s a whole lot of hot still to come.   

WAGGING FINGER to those with homes in the line of fire, because the stats are not on your side. In 2019, there were two houses destroyed by wildfire in Oregon. In 2020, there were 4,009 houses destroyed by wildfire in Oregon. The math is simple on this one – when they tell you to leave, just leave already!  

CHEERS  for Secretary of Transportation “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg who landed in the area to talk about, unironically, transportation. Buttigieg met with Mayor Biff Traber and Rep. Peter DeFazio on Third St. to discuss safety issues on the Corvallis main corridor through town. It’s nice to know that the DC-ers are taking Corvallis into consideration as they plan.  

JEERS for the above mentioned conversational topics, because as far as we know, they did not include the air tram and zipline plans we at The Advocate have been drawing up. Our goal being ziplining to work, air tramming it over to Kell’s Koffee, then taking a nice hike back home again. If only we could get into one of those “Mayor” meetings!