Tag Archives | Oregon

Largest Living Organism is Not the Blue Whale

The largest living organism, once considered to be the blue whale, might not be what you expect. The discovery of a giant fungus in Oregon has claimed the prize.

W.J.Pilsak (Walter J. Pilsak, Waldsassen)

W.J.Pilsak (Walter J. Pilsak, Waldsassen)

via Scientific American:

The discovery of this giant Armillaria ostoyae in 1998 heralded a new record holder for the title of the world’s largest known organism, believed by most to be the 110-foot- (33.5-meter-) long, 200-ton blue whale. Based on its current growth rate, the fungus is estimated to be 2,400 years old but could be as ancient as 8,650 years, which would earn it a place among the oldest living organisms as well.

A team of forestry scientists discovered the giant after setting out to map the population of this pathogenic fungus in eastern Oregon. The team paired fungal samples in petri dishes to see if they fused (see photo below), a sign that they were from the same genetic individual, and used DNA fingerprinting to determine where one individual fungus ended.

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Oregon Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Ban of GE Crops

PIC: USDA (PD)

PIC: USDA (PD)

Lauren McCauley writes at Common Dreams:

In a victory for sustainable food advocates everywhere, two counties in Oregon on Tuesday voted to ban the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

Despite an onslaught of spending by agribusiness giants such as DuPont and Monsanto, voters in Jackson County and Josephine County overwhelming took a stand for measures protecting “seed sovereignty and local control” of food systems. The Jackson Measure 15-119 passed 66-34 percent, while the Josephine County Measure 17-58 passed 58-42 percent.

“It’s a great day for the people of Oregon who care about sustainability and healthy ecosystems!” GMO Free Oregon wrote on their Facebook page after receiving the final tally.

“Tonight family farmers stood up for our basic right to farm,” cheered Elise Higley, Jackson County farmer and campaign director for the Our Family Farms Coalition, in a statement following the vote.

Calling the bans a “tremendous victory” for the citizens and farmers of the counties, as well as for the national anti-GMO movement, Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), said the votes are further proof that, when given a voice, citizens will choose a sustainable food system over corporate-dominated agribusiness.

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Man intentionally crashes motor home into Boring tavern. Probably sick of his boring life.

13298354-mmmainNothing spices up an evening like crashing your motor home into a bar at closing time and when you live in Boring, Oregon things need some spice. According to the Oregonian, Larry Dale Karasch did just that in the early hours of August 25th, 2013.

via OregonLive.com

“A man intentionally drove his motor home into the Timber Pub & Grub tavern, in Boring, early Saturday as the establishment was closing down for the night, Clackamas County authorities reported.

Only a small number of people were still milling around at the time of the 2 a.m. incident, and  no one was hurt, the sheriff’s office said. Police found the driver walking around afterward. “

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Underwear-Clad Priest Caught Chasing Young Boy in Midnight Pursuit

Via Oregon Live:

Woodburn, Oregon Catholic priest Angel Armando Perez was arrested following an August 12th midnight incident in which he was spotted in his underwear chasing a twelve year-old boy. Local residents interceded when the boy cried for help, claiming that the priest had sexually abused him.

The boy, who was sleeping over at Perez’s home, had fallen asleep on an air mattress after being given beer by Perez. He awoke in the night to discover the priest fondling his genitals and snapping photos of the act. The boy fled on foot and the pursuit began:

It was close to midnight Sunday when Woodburn resident James Curths saw the 12-year-old boy running down the street toward him. Curths said the child, panting and out of breath, begged for help, telling him a man was chasing him.

Moments later, a man rounded the corner wearing only underwear. He stood a short distance away, trying to wave the boy over as Curths and his sister-in-law prepared to drive the boy to relatives.

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Plague: Oregon Man Contracts Yersinia Pestis Bacteria, Cause of the Black Death

Now those damned Ren-Fair kids have taken things too far. Writes Timothy Stenovec at the Huffington Post:
An Oregon man is in critical condition after being infected with the plague, the Oregonian reports. The man was bitten by a cat on Saturday, June 2, while trying to remove a dead mouse from the feline's mouth, according to the Crook County Department of Public Health and the Oregonian. The man checked himself into a hospital the following Friday. The Oregon Department of Public Health confirmed on Thursday that the unidentified man, who's in his 50s, has tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the same bacteria that was responsible for the pandemic that decimated Europe's population in the 14th century. The cat, which was a stray that had lived in the neighborhood for a number of years, has since died. Its body has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing...
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Portland Man Strips Naked To Protest TSA Search

John BrennanReports Cheryl Calm on KING 5 News:
Frequent flying businessman John Brennan set off an explosives wand at Portland International Airport Tuesday and stripped naked to show TSA screeners he was not carrying a bomb. John Brennan stripped off his clothes at the TSA security station and stood there naked, as waiting passengers and their families looked on, took photos or looked away. Brennan said as he left jail Tuesday night that removing all his clothes was not premeditated. The frequent traveler who had heard of many TSA issues while on prior business travels was just fed up as he set off the detector at PDX. "And the machine went off, and I asked what it was and he said 'nitrates' which I know from Oklahoma City is one of the explosive ingredients," said Brennan, "and I was not interested in being hassled so I took off my clothes to show them I was not carrying any explosives."
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OccupyWallStreet Shuts Down 3 West Coast Ports

Port ShutdownVia CBS News:
More than 1,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked cargo trucks at some of the West Coast's busiest ports Monday, forcing terminals in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash., to halt operations. While the protests attracted far fewer people than the 10,000 who turned out Nov. 2 to shut down Oakland's port, organizers declared victory and promised more demonstrations to come. "The truckers are still here, but there's nobody here to unload their stuff," protest organizer Boots Riley said. "We shut down the Port of Oakland for the daytime shift and we're coming back in the evening. Mission accomplished." Organizers called for the "Shutdown Wall Street on the Waterfront" protests, hoping the day of demonstrations would cut into the profits of the corporations that run the docks and send a message that their movement was not over.
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Jury Awards $82,000 To Oregon Woman Arrested For Asking Police for a Business Card

Shei'Meka NewmannAimee Green writes in the Oregonian:
A Multnomah County jury awarded a 33-year-old woman $82,000 Thursday, saying they wanted to send Portland police a message: Hand over a business card the next time a citizen asks for one. Several jurors who spoke to The Oregonian after the verdict in Multnomah County Circuit Court said police weren’t dealing with an urgent or dangerous situation on the evening of Feb. 13, 2009 — when Shei’Meka Newmann questioned what she thought was an unnecessarily rough arrest of a fellow MAX rider. It would have taken only a few seconds for an officer to hand Newmann a card, jurors said. “I think that police need to be reminded that it’s part of their job to de-escalate and defuse situations,” said juror Chris Bolles. Instead, jurors say police overreacted to Newmann’s queries.
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Oregon County Decriminalizes Heroin, Meth and Shoplifting

District Attorney Mike Schrunk

When criminal laws and justice are pushed to aside because of insufficient funds, should we start questioning the laws or those who enforce them? Multnomah County’s DA has decided that those who commit “small crimes” (such as possession of meth or heroin, hit-and-run accidents, and shoplifting) are better off with receiving a fine instead of being arrested. The Oregonian reports:

After years of budget cuts, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk says he’s had no choice but to stop prosecuting dozens of illegal acts as crimes.

Among them, most addicts caught with small amounts of drugs such as heroin, cocaine or meth; first- or second-time shoplifters caught stealing anything worth less than $250; suspects who resist arrest, or who run away from police officers; drivers who hit and run, as long as they have insurance when they are caught.

Multnomah County is treating those offenses as violations — similar to being cited with a speeding ticket.

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