Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What the Internet is for: Five-Star primer on how predatory lending works (you over)

checks, etc.This is one of the many side doors to Satan's abode. There's another one at every payday loan, check cashing "money" store, "E_Z Auto Loan" and especially furniture rent-to-own places. Image by TheTruthAbout... via Flickr

This is most excellent. Any person who earns, spends, or tries to keep some money should run over there are spend a little bit of time with this most useful rundown, in very simple English, with pictures, showing how many ways the scam payday-loan and "rent to own" places screw you over.

And anyone with teenagers or mature tweeners should definitely sit down and walk through this very slowly with said kids.
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Starts tonight! Great menu of options for Democracy and Education week in Salem

Dumbing Us DownImage via Wikipedia

Democracy and Education Events Begin Today
Please join us on Wednesday, May 12th, at 7pm for a free public forum at the Public Library's Loucks Auditorium, "Democracy and Education."

This event will feature a diverse, bi-partisan panel of experts who will examine the state of public education and alternatives to compulsory schooling with time for questions and dialogue with the public.

Panelists include
  • City councilman and mayoral candidate, Chuck Bennett,

  • Conference Keynote Speaker, former 3-time New York State Teacher of the Year and author of "Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling," John Taylor Gatto;

  • Candidate for Superintendent of Public Education, Dr. Ron Maurer,

  • Founder and Director of NHERI (National Home Education Research Institute) Dr. Brian Ray,

  • Willamette University History Professor and former Salem City Councilman, Bill Smaldone,

  • 4th Grade teacher Ron Barnes.
"Get ready for plenty of feisty, thoughtful, blunt, and respectful debate amongst these panelists," encourages Dr. Ray. "I don't think you will be bored with the typical and blasé suggestions about school reform so common in education circles."
In addition to the thought-provoking forum, Salem's first Conference on Educational Alternatives events this weekend are as follows:
Friday, May 14th 7:00pm "Hall of Mirrors: An Evening with John Taylor Gatto" - Mission Mill Spinning Room 1313 Mill Street SE, Salem, OR 97301 Cost: $15-$25 sliding scale.
Saturday, May 15th 9am-4pm Workshops with John Taylor Gatto and David H. Albert at Tea Party Bookshop 420 Liberty St. SE Salem, OR 97302
  • "A Walk Around London: An Introduction to Open-Sourced Education" -John Gatto
  • "Guerilla Curriculum: How to Get an Education in Spite of School"-John Gatto
  • "Learning About Learning: Conversations with My Violin"-David Albert
  • "The Curriculum of Beauty, Happiness and Abundance"-David Albert
  • Cost: $25-$50 sliding - COST COVERS ALL WORKSHOPS AND LUNCH
May 15th 5:00pm-6:00pm Book Signing with John Taylor Gatto and David Albert at Tea Party Bookshop 420 Liberty St. SE Salem, OR 97302.

May 15th 6:30pm-8:30pm Banquet Dinner with John Taylor Gatto and David Albert at the Marco Polo Restaurant 300 Liberty St SE Salem, OR 97302 Cost: $35.

Tickets can be purchased at: or at the door.
For more info contact Michele Darr-Babson or call 503 569-7223.

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Urgent: Sound off about deadly field burning

BEST of SHOW March 2010 - Oregon Society of Ar...Image by rabbits on chairs via Flickr

Small particulates -- "smoke" -- have turned out to be one of the great health risks that we were very slow to recognize. Simply put, smoke from field burning causes crippling and even disabling health problems and sometimes death.

If you'd like some relief, to have a chance for some clean air in your air, time to speak up! The health you save by fighting field burning might be your own.
DEQ is re-opening the public comment for the Proposed Willamette Valley Field Burning Rule Revisions. This comment period begins Wednesday, May 12, 2010, and closes Friday, May 21, 2010, at 5 p.m. All comments must be received by that deadline. The previous comment period was April 1 to April 30, 2010. DEQ is re-opening the comment period to provide the public with additional opportunity to comment on these rule changes.

News Release
Willamette Valley Field Burning website

To submit comments on this rulemaking you may use one of the following options:
  • Email to

  • Fax to 503-229-5675, attention Brian Finneran, or

  • Mail to DEQ Air Quality Division, Brian Finneran, 811 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97204
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And one more thing. Let's be careful out there.

Excited HelmetImage by Clover_1 via Flickr

A comment on a Portland-area blog is a timely reminder:

My brother was riding his bicycle in Salem this weekend, and was hit by a car that right-turned into him across the bike lane.

He's alive today because of his helmet. It cracked in half with the impact, but absorbed the kinetic energy in doing so. The bike is a total loss, as well as basically everything he was wearing - but all he's got is some road rash and a horrifying memory of riding » car hood » windshield » A-pillar » pavement.

The insurance settlement will buy back the lost possessions, and he'll be perfectly healthy again in a week or two.

Anyone who rides a bicycle without a helmet is a Grade-AA idiot.

The ones that kill me -- and who I see far too often around Salem -- are the parents who carefully put the helmets on the kids whilst they themselves ride without one. I always want to ask them:
  1. Do you not know anything about how kids learn?

  2. Do you think that your kid will have a better life when you're dead or a quadriplegic than if you canceled the cable TV or cell phone and used the money to buy yourself a helmet too?
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