Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spanning the State--"Scared Straight" Edition

Thanks to TJ, there's no need for me to hype up today's Oregon v Florida Elite Eight matchup. But if you didn't click on all the links, be sure to visit The Tao of Tajuan Porter by Brian Hines. I'm not someone who generally cares much about basketball, but after reading Brian's piece I'm intrigued by this player who is shorter than I am--but manages to put a crowd of college basketball fans into an excited hush.

But before I tune in to watch the game, let Span the State!


A third grader at Shady Cove Elementary School was "arrested" on Tuesday by the local sheriff at the request of her parents. The girl had been caught stealing for the second time. Her parents say they wanted to teach her that if she continued to break the law she'd end up in the juvenile justice system. The mock arrest included handcuffs and a ride home in the police car for the girl.

Officials from FEMA are headed to Astoria to assess damage from a landslide thats putting a strain on local services. Heavy rains have caused the slide which keeps disrupting water, sewer and power. Given the continual post-Katrina problems in Louisiana, it'll be interesting to see if FEMA is able--if they're willing at all--to help the locals in Astoria.

Baker County is seeing a curious exodus from the local bee population. Not only are honey producers concerned--but those whose orchards rely on bees to provide the appropriate pollenation are also alarmed. Last month, the New York Times had a story about the loss of bees from all around the country which includes possible reasons for the losses.

The Bend Bulletin has a profile and interview with Kris Helphinstine, a biology teacher from Sisters who was fired for deviating from the approved science curriculum for Sisters, according to their school board. The Bulletin says Helphinstine "showed a class of freshman and sophomore students pictures of naked corpses, a Nazi swastika and Charles Darwin in a PowerPoint presentation." Helphinstine went on to ask students what the pictures had in common as well as requiring students to visit which says it is "dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith, and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively." He says his teaching was to promote critical thinking among students.

I didn't know that someone could be arrested for intimidation. Not that the guy in question didn't deserve the arrest--but I had no idea that this is something one could be officially charged with.

Students in John Day are taking their park back from vandals.

Embattled US Army officer Lt Ehren Watada addressed a peace rally in Eugene last Saturday. Watada is set to undergo a second court martial (the first was declared a mistrial) for refusing to deploy to Iraq.

A Beaverton police officer is going to court to fight a photo radar citation she got while patrolling on duty. Officials say that the officer wasn't responding to a call and had no reason to speed. The officer says she's being penalized because she's female and because her union opposes photo radar.