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Fair and Balanced Discussion from Southern Oregon
Friday, February 25, 2005
Wild Horses - sneak law change to allow slaughter
Over on DailyKos, a diary this AM calls attention to an amendment offered to the budget bill passed and signed in December. This amendment altered the 34-year-old ban on the slaughter of the wild horses that run free across the West. Oregon is home to a fair number of these mustangs and burros. The amendment authorizes slaughter for commercial purposes (read: dog food) and apparently clears the way from the introduction of cattle at ratios in excess of 100 for every mustang or burro culled, effectively nullifying any environmental 'conservation' argument that could be made.
My initial undertaking has been to spur interest in the Oregon schools that honor the wild horse - the Mustangs of Hidden Valley, Jordan Valley, and Heppner High schools, and Talent Elementary, as well as the Parkrose Broncos. This letter went to administrators and social studies teachers earlier today:
Greetings assorted administrators and teachers!
The following article links provide background and suggested action:
As a Talent Elementary student (1974-1980) and a coach in the same league as Hidden Valley, it occured to me to contact schools with wild horse mascots. The OSAA website tipped me off to Parkrose, Jordan Valley and Heppner. I am urging these schools to take an active role in supporting the Rahall/Whitfield Bill (H.R. 297) to reverse the Burns Amendment to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. Action on this point can focus on aspects of civics education and policy discussion for all ages without venturing into partisan positions.
Particularly for government classes, this can provide a context for discussion of legislative process, tracking some history of the original legislation, the recent amendment, and the current repeal effort. Application might be found for history classes in the context of the various historical efforts at legislating conservation - from the T. Roosevelt administration establishing the National Park system through to creation of the EPA and the Endangered Species Act during the Nixon administration. A letter writing campaign could be considered one of several optional assignments, though if your building buys in that this is important, the volume of letters generated will be an important factor, too.
For the high school and upper grade elementary students, the sample letter provided in the second link can be a solid starting point. For the younger groups, I would encourage illustrated pleas in support of the introduced legislation.
If your school does take a role in this matter, I also encourage calling attention to it via a release to your local print and TV outlets.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Phoenix HS Girls' Soccer Coach
Talent Elementary Alumnus
Social Studies Teacher
DogBlog - recovery and cats
Indy (left and near right) is a week post-op. She is doing well. Tramadol is her pain med for the rest of the week, then she is "on her own." Sutures come out in a week. Meanwhile, she is resting a lot on the big bed (spoiled rotten) and enjoying the company of the cats, who aren't too big to socialize with.
So, Thought and Memory (you can't tell them apart visually - but there are behavior cues) and Skitters are back as promised, lounging with Indy and her shaved haunch, and watching CSI.
85+lb Sallah (far right) is a risk factor due to his mass, so he is barred from extensive contact with Indy - she can't be left at home with him - but he is restrained enough that they can come into the same room at night for sleeping.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Congrats to the Cougs and Bucs
A big part of my life that isn't politics, is high school (yeah yeah). This is a quick tip of the hat to the Phoenix Pirates and Illinois Valley Cougars, who both won on the road last night and will share the Skyline Conference (3a) Girls' Basketball Title.
A quick roundup can be found here at the Mail Tribune, but I'll add a bit.
Phoenix's Jaclyn Unruh led all scorers in Murphy with 18, as Phoenix downed Hidden Valley 50-32. Jac (also the 1st team All-State goalkeeper from my soccer team) leads the league with 295 points scored over 22 games. IV's Sheena Cole tallied 22 in toppling the Mazama Vikings in Klamath Falls. Both are solid contenders for Player of the Year (so is IV's Emily Dudley).
Both teams finish league play 10-2, though IV's season mark seems a solid 19-5 while Phoenix managed a 12-10 mark for their season campaign, thus far. IV did get wins against 2a teams while Phoenix was weathering contest with 4a South Medford, Crater, and Eagle Point. The teams are fairly even when measured agains other Oregon 3a teams (IV 13-4, Phx 11-5). (I get my numbers from NC Eagle, an expatriate Oregonian (from Stayton, living in North Carolina) maintains a great 3a hoops page, which allows Oregon's basketball fans to track pretty much anything they want.)
While the league had a two-way tie at the top, they also had a three-way tie at #3. North Valley, Hidden Valley, and Henley all ended up 6-6, and when sorting out that situation, the first tie-breaker was the collective head to head records within the three of them HV was 3-1, NV 2-2, and Henley 1-3 in games just involving each other. Oddly enough, Hidden Valley is the one team in that trio to be 0-4 to the co-champs - both NV and Henley snuck in wins against the Bucs or Cougs.
Friday, February 18, 2005
DogBlog Friday! The Post Op Edition
Indy's surgery is complete... I went in on Thursday evening to see her, and took a couple of pictures. She is in good shape, did very well during surgery, and was only slightly bleary and whimpery once she was aware I was there to see her. She's the only medical guest at the clinic - only the clinic cat (see below) will share tonight's slumber with her. I'll check in with her again tomorrow and I'll bring her home on Tuesday. The post op logistics were complicated somewhat by a pre-determined travel date driving my father from Medford (where he has been staying with me) back to Bandon (his usual home base).
1st - her poor, post-op drugged self, all shaved and stuff; then - a closer-up of the incision along the midline of her knee (click for a bigger JPG)... and finally - her around-the-clock company while boarding, Clinique, the sweet (sometimes mostly:)) cat, who calls OHVH home.
Next week, we'll reintroduce the Doty cats (who were bumped last week for the Indy Injury coverage). Skitters, Thought, and Memory, and more Indy recovery pics...
And now we return to your regularly scheduled, low traffic, lefty political blogging.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
When DogBlog happens on Friday, I hope to have a few digital pictures of Indy's surgery - but meantime, here is the scoop. She is scheduled for a 2pm Thurs date with Dr. Russell Fugazzi at Orchard Hill Veterinary Hospital. The procedure will be one of replacing her cranial cruciate ligament (the dog equiv of the human ACL that several of my soccer players have gone down with) with a 16 gauge surgical monofiliment. Her recovery course will then be 4-5 months, with the first three weeks crated exclusively, then a very strict course of physical therapy, to guard against reinjuring the current leg, or bilaterally injuring the OTHER one.
On the plus side, we have found a great therapeutic benefit from having Indy in the classroom with my high-risk kids, and she has been invited to (and will) visit throughout her recovery period.
Thanks to everyone who has used the paypal link (on the left) to help out with the procedure - we haven't touched the actual surgery cost yet, but we've just about covered the cost of post-op boarding, and may make an impact on the pain management meds! (every little bit helps)
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Lady Pirate soccer - 1985!!
crossposted to BucsBlog
Phoenix soccer is looking for the women who played in the first interscholastic girls' soccer game in the fall of 1985.
This upcoming season represents the 20th anniversary of that inaugural game, and we want to commemorate the event with a pregame or halftime ceremony for the involved players.
If you are one of them or know one of them, get in touch with us!
Saturday, February 12, 2005
It's Official - Dean will Chair the Dems
Sets sights on 2006 Midterms and retaking the White House in 2008
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, MD - my first choice to be the 44th President of the United States - took up a different mantle of national leadership today when he was unanimously selected to Chair the Democratic National Committee. Over at the DNC website, Dean has an introductory letter and a outline of his plan. Dean writes
"Our success depends on every single one of us taking responsibility for our Party's future. We have to commit to an active role in the political process. And we have to grow the Democratic Party in every single state so we can protect the values that bring our Party — and the vast majority of Americans — together."
and his plan's #1 item:
Show up! Democrats should never concede a single state, a single district, or a single voter to the Republicans. We must be active and compete in all 50 states and work with the state parties to build a true national party.I have added a fundraising link on the left, and encourage all my readers to kick in something EARLY to the DNC as a gesture of our wholehearted endorsement of Dean's selection and his plan.
Meanwhile, the DNC Winter meeting continues apace - track the goings on via Oregon DNC member Jenny Greenleaf's posts at The American Street. And congratulations to the Vice Chairs selected today, as well - particularly Susan Turnbull, who introduced herself to many of us over at DailyKos earlier this week.
Friday, February 11, 2005
Friday DogBlogging - Unexpected Surgical Update
I feel like I haven't been doing much else this week - no blog entries to speak of here... Most of the week was spent doing school (highlights included an American History test spanning English Colonization to Revolution; a Geography test on Oceania, Europe, and Africa; and Blade Runner in Film as Literature). Over on BucsBlug, we solved a tech glitch with the commenting tool with the help of a complete stranger; on OregonLive's 3a Girls' Hoops forum, I exchanged a bit...ditto on the Boys' Soccer forum. Here on johndoty.us, we resurrected the Issues pages from the '04 campaign, and will be cleaning them up to match the new page format during the next week or so. And of course, I have had an opinion or two at DailyKos.
Earlier in the week, we were touched by the story of a Ridgeback, lost unexpectedly. To bring life full circle, we lead today with a Ridgeback pup cradled in Jen's arms at UMN Vet school.
Also today, as promised last week, meet Nelson (on the right, with Tess and Jen's hand :))
Nelson and Tess will get to meet me in a little over a month, and then this summer, they may get to meet my pair, Indy and Sallah, who you've seen before, but today, meet them as I get them in the early morning. Also how much bed do they take up...?
Yes, there were cats before this UPDATE, but they are gone for now.
Indy came in with a pronounced limp and repeated vocal expressions of pain last night, that manifested any time she put her right hind leg through range of motion (standing still was fine). Either roughhousing with Sallah or the two of them going through the dog door simultaneously seemed the culprit. I took her in to my vet this afternoon, after having her sleeping under my desk at school all day. The verdict is an ACL rupture, and approx $1150 of surgery. This will be financially interesting, but she is young enough and the quality of life degradation is pronounced enough, there really aren't any options. More as I know more...
I am adding a paypal button, in case anyone is inclined to assist.
Death of a Playwright
Arthur Miller died last night. The web is full of the typical tribute/obit stuff. His work has always had a profound impact on me, with each viewing or reading.
I worked with three of his scripts during my time as a theater major at Wesleyan. All My Sons and Death of a Salesman in acting classes, and on Karl Sikkenga's production of The Crucible.
I really don't have much to add that isn't already being said all over the 'net.
after the closing lines
and after the curtain call
the curtain falls
on empty chairs...
- Billy Joel
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
DogBlogging on the wrong day
the dKos Cheers and Jeers diary always has a daily dog link... Usually it's cute puppies, but sometimes, it's sad news.
So just a quick note to Pam Spaulding (who I have never met, or even read until today) - Red will have good playtimes with Grandma, Woody, and Bandon and all the other dear ones collectively lost this year. They'll keep each other wonderful company until we can come get them.
Friday, February 04, 2005
Friday DogBlogging - more memories
Back when I was a candidate, my blogging was generally limited to politically-themed commentary on my own candidacy, my opponent, and issues of the day. It was a rare thing to digress into a more personal topic. The loss of my dog Bandon was the topic of one of the rare personal posts. I reintroduced her in last week's DogBlogging. The original post brought me back into contact with Jen, who I'd known back in the early '90s. We have a lot in common and have, since April, reconnected in a major way. Part of what urged her to contact me then was a similar loss of a dear dog friend.
We have shared many stories about the dogs of our pasts. Over the next few weeks, I'll introduce more of them. Today is a tribute to Woody - Jen's best guy for a long time. He's shown here visiting Lake Itasca (take my word for it), visiting the Oregon coast, and curled up with Tess, his packmate.
As Jen and I get closer to her graduation day in 2007, we have 4 dogs we will be blending into one pack. Sallah and Indy have been seen here before. Nelson will make his debut next week.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Know anyone who wants to be a Senator?
The following individuals voted YES to confirm Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. All are Senators with a (D) after their name. If you know anyone in these states with any political interest, get their committee going now. Start raising money NOW. The list is in order of their next election.
1. Joseph Lieberman (CT) 2006
2. Ben Nelson (NE) 2006
3. Bill Nelson (FL) 2006
4. Mary Landrieu (LA) 2008
5. Mark Pryor (AR) 2008
6. Ken Salazar (CO) 2010
The support will be there. The dollars will start coming immediately. Use the Anti-Gonzales blog list as a foundation for your fundraising effort.