Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012


Matt Wuerker deserves a Pulitzer for this one alone. It's astonishing how many Rube Goldberg complications we'll endure to avoid giving people simple access to health care.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Measure 9 Documentary March 28, 2012

Confluence: Willamette Valley LGBT Chorus is pleased to co-sponsor and invite you to a free screening of the award-winning documentary
ballot measure 9 poster
"Ballot Measure 9"
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 
6:30 – 8:30 PM
Salem Public Library (Loucks Auditorium)
585 Liberty Street SE, Salem
Twenty years ago, Oregon faced Ballot Measure 9, an anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) initiative sponsored by Lon Mabon & the Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA).  
A revealing and spirited documentary, "Ballot Measure 9" takes a look back to 1992.   Whether you remember Ballot Measure 9 and worked on the campaign against it, are new to Oregon, or perhaps weren't even born in 1992, please join us for this important film and discussion. 
Following the film showing, there will be a panel presentation, featuring Cary Renfro, Ann Montague, Dr. Glenda Russell and Dr. Janis Bohan, as well as time for audience questions and discussion.   
The event is co-sponsored by The Salem Human Rights and Relations Advisory Commission (HRRAC), as well as Oregon PeaceWorks, Causa (Oregon Immigrants Organization), The Gender Center, SEIU 503 Lavender Caucus, Basic Rights Oregon, Confluence: Willamette Valley LGBT Chorus, the Peace and Justice Committee of First Congregational Church (UCC) and the Human Services program at Chemeketa Community College.
For more information, please contact  
Cathy Busha ( or Nancy Stempek (

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Confluence: The Willamette Valley LGBT Chorus
2601 NE Jack London
Unit 104
Corvallis, Oregon 97330
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Contest! Prizes! Send in your clever reuse/upcycling ideas by April 2, 2012

So, for the last couple years, I've been bothered by the tremendous resource waste represented by the packaging on dental floss -- a few cents of waxed string delivered in a very highly engineered and complex package made from petrochemicals and (overwhelmingly) discarded after a short period of use.

Reading about the TerraCycle folks made me think again about this, and decide to ask folks if they could come up with a creative reuse or "upcycling" method for using these empty containers for a good purpose. SO if you're a creative type, or just have been around enough to know of a clever reuse or way to repurpose these containers, send me your idea.

If I get any ideas that seem really exciting and plausible, I'll work on getting them tested and implemented. I'll rate the ideas on the following criteria (in a totally subjective way):
  • 1) Ease of implementation -- the less work needed to do the repurposing, the better.

  • 2) Size of potential market -- if only a few people in the world would value the repurposed container in its new incarnation, then even if your idea is clever and easy to implement, it's not going to result in getting many of these things out of the landfill.

  • 3) Lack of special tools needed -- this is related to ease of implementation, but not identical. A great idea for a big market would make it sensible for a business to buy or make special tools to accomplish the transformation of the object from waste into a new, valuable thing. But if the tooling would be costly or hard, then that counts against the idea.

  • 4) Repurposed product durability -- the best idea is one that will keep these things out of the waste stream as long as possible, if not indefinitely, while accomplishing a useful goal. If your upcycled use will cause the product to fail quickly, then the idea might still be ok, but it's definitely better if your idea accounts for durability.
Send me your ideas by April 2, 2012 (preferably in a drawing or by arranging for us to meet and you can show it to me). As I say, it's going to be my subjective opinion solely as to the best idea received, but it might turn into a business opportunity for us down the road (or for Garten or some other worthy nonprofit). If I get any great ideas, I'll pick the best and arrange for you and a friend to have two tickets for a show at Salem Cinema, and run through all the ideas on this website on Earth Day. (In other words, if you send me your ideas, they will or may be shared with others -- don't send me anything you want to remain a secret.)

Good luck and creative thinking everyone!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Concert for Japan -- today, free, 2:30 pm @ Loucks Auditorium

Looking For Hope....
A concert to honor the victims of the disaster in Japan.

The Salem Public Library will host a musical concert featuring the traditional music of Japan. Performers include Masumi Timson and Noriko Dozono on koto, Larry Tyrrell on shakuhachi flute and Monmouth Taiko on drums. The concert is free, at Loucks Auditorium near the Salem Public Library, on Saturday, March 3rd, starting at 2:30 PM. There is general seating. Doors open at 2 PM.

This event will raise awareness of how Japanese citizens are dealing with the tragic disaster that occurred last year. Recovery after the earthquake, tsunami and radiation leak slowly continues. Residents near the Fukushima Power facility face a very uncertain future and need our support. Concerned performers with emotional ties to Japan have come together to honor the victims and offer hope through the sharing of traditional music.

The welcoming address will be given by the Honorable Takamichi Okabe, Consul General of Japan. After the intermission, there will be a short slide presentation by Kazue Suzuki, who will show images from a recent visit into areas affected by the disaster.

Items offered for sale include cd’s, t-shirts, origami earrings, etc. Monetary proceeds from the sales will be donated to the town of Minami-Souma City, to help with the relief efforts there.

Please come enjoy the music and help us to help others in Japan! 
For more information, go to  HYPERLINK ""