FBI will face lawsuit for putting people on the No-Fly list for refusing to inform on friends

Even though the DoJ has expressly prohibited using the No-Fly list to gain leverage over potential informants, the FBI has continued its longstanding practice of blackmailing American citizens by putting them on the No-Fly list because they refused to work as informants. Read the rest

Oregon launches statewide refillable beer bottle effort to curb carbon emissions

Oregon is known for breath-taking vistas, bat-shit crazy ranchers, roller derby, and beer. A new state-wide effort to reduce carbon emissions by using easily cleanable and refillable beer bottles will help preserve several of these things.

Via KQED:

"Anything we get back and clean saves us money down the road, and of course is a more responsible environmental package," Swihart said. "Frankly it's just the right thing to do."

Swihart said what he really needed was a better system of returning the bottles to his brewery.

Now, he has one. It came along with a new bottle developed by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, the group that runs the state's bottle deposit system with support from major beverage distributors.

The cooperative already has a statewide infrastructure for collecting bottles.

"We're in a really unique position to make this work," said the cooperative's spokesperson, Joel Schoening. "We're introducing a bottle we can sell to any brewery that's interested in using that bottle."

The new bottles — which can be refilled up to 40 times — are made mostly from recycled glass at the Owens-Illinois glass manufacturing plant in Northeast Portland. The bottles were designed to be easily separated from the rest of the glass in the existing bottle deposit system, Schoening said. That will ensure those bottles get refilled instead of recycled.

For consumers, he said, basically nothing has to change as long as they collect their bottle deposits.

"I like to say all the consumer has to do is choose to buy it," he said.

Read the rest

Guess what crime ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ writer was just charged with

A Portland, Oregon-based romance novelist has been charged with a crime she once wrote about. Read the rest

Bundyville: a bingeable new podcast that delves into the apocalyptic cult of Cliven Bundy

For many of us, the Cliven Bundy story started when a fringey rancher got a bunch of his militia pals to flex their white privilege by threatening to shoot federal law enforcement officers who'd demanded that Bundy stop stealing public land and grazing; then Bundy's loathsome offspring led a terrorist takeover of a wildlife refuge in Oregon. Read the rest

Reminder: your state may be purging you from its voter rolls

Matt "Metafilter" Haughey got a postcard from his home state of Oregon informing him that he'd been purged from his voter roll because his signature has drifted too much since he first signed up to vote, 15 years ago. He has to go through a bureaucratic process to re-register to vote. Read the rest

XOXO will be bigger and more inclusive in 2018

Described as "an experimental festival for independent artists and creators who work on the internet," Andy Baio and Andy McMillan's internet-fest baby XOXO will be back in early September.

And according to this tweet, they're making it bigger and more inclusive (be sure to check out their "living" inclusion policy):

We're moving to a new venue, and growing so we can offer significantly more free subsidized passes, prioritizing underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals.

The fun is happening in Portland, Oregon at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum from September 6 through 9. If this sounds like your jam, get on the horn and register before the deadline of June 29. Tickets (both paid and subsidized) are offered through a survey and lottery process, of which they write:

A first-come, first-serve system typically favors those with time and money, which ends up benefiting predominantly white men with well-paying jobs and disposable income.

Our survey system allows us to factor diversity into admission, which helps to counteract systemic biases and prioritize access to the festival for underrepresented folx and independent artists.

Check out the lineup! Read the rest

Oregon employers warn that the state has run out of workers who can pass a drug test

Oregon state economists Mark McMullen and Josh Lehner say that employers have told them that they can't fill vacancies because every qualified candidate fails their drug test, which is sometimes mandated by the companies' insurers. Read the rest

Amazon has been quietly selling its facial recognition system to US police forces, marketing it for bodycam use

Amazon bills its Rekognition image classification system as a "deep learning-based image and video analysis" system; it markets the system to US police forces for use in analyzing security camera footage, including feeds from police officers' bodycams. Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica campaigned for Republicans across America in 2014

2016 wasn't Cambridge Analytica's first rodeo; in 2014, they worked for Republicans in races across the country. Read the rest

Cougar visiting Oregon hotel drugged, then killed

A cougar (Puma Concolor) decided to go wandering about a hotel in The Dalles, Oregon. Cougars populate the woods around this suburb of Portland, but they rarely frequent the shops, restaurants or other services. This odd behavior resulted in the termination of said animal.

It is cool to pump your own gas in some parts of Oregon now.

Via KVAL Oregon:

Cougar sightings are not uncommon on the outskirts of The Dalles, especially in the late winter and early spring when deer are on winter range just outside the city, according to wildlife officials.

“But a cougar coming this far into downtown, into the business district and deep into a hotel complex, and not showing fear of people or wariness of urban environments? That’s just extremely odd,” said Jeremy Thompson, ODFW district wildlife biologist. “This may have been a cougar that was unable to establish its own home range in its natural habitat.”

“Considering this cougar’s concerning behavior, it was deemed a public safety risk not suitable for relocation, and so it was euthanized,” said Thompson.

Image via Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Read the rest

A playable version of Oregon Trail to promote Oregon tourism

The semi-independent Oregon Tourism Commission has created a playable version of the classic Apple ][-era adventure game Oregon Trail to promote Oregon tourism. Read the rest

Portland police stage bizarre sensory deprivation stunt against ICE protesters

Protesters against ICE's campaign of mass deportations were treated to a bizarre public stunt by Portland, OR police, who put them in isolation hoods and sound-muffling ear-protectors reminiscent of the treatment described by Gitmo prisoners and other survivors of US torture. The police were attempting separate the protesters from the bonds they used to stick themselves together and the measures were nominally taken to protect the protesters' hearing and vision from police power-tools. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Oregon cops issue "verbal warning" to armed cat in a tree

After receiving a report of a cat in a tree holding an assault rifle, the Newport Oregon Police Department attended the scene, and, after ascertaining that the gun was actually a stick, they issued a "verbal warning" to the offending cat. Read the rest

Oregonians to vote on whether to end constitutional ban on duels between public officials

Move over, Florida! Oregon may supplant you as America's best source of mesmerizingly bizarre violent confrontations, if voters there overturn a constitutional ban on duels.

Should ongoing discussions in Salem materialize, voters would see a question on their general-election ballots asking if a 172-year-old ban on dueling by public officials — as in, the old-fashioned way of resolving fights — should be erased from the Oregon Constitution. The constitutional ban in question is Article II, Section 9, which says anyone who offers, accepts, knowingly participates in a “challenge to fight a duel … or who shall agree to go out of the State to fight a duel, shall be ineligible to any office of trust, or profit.” (this is exact language from the constitution) ...

Democratic Sen. Ginny Burdick, who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, kicked off the discussion by jokingly calling it “the bill I’ve been waiting all session for.”

This wouldn't make consensual homicide legal, but it might make it fun. Read the rest

Watch a 200-ton boulder get blowed up real good

Heavy rains on the west coast have caused rockslides like this behemoth blocking an Oregon highway south of Eugene. Oregon DOT set up a camera as they blasted it into manageable chunks.

Spoiler: it went way better than Oregon's exploding whale...

PS: here's the "blowed up real good" reference if you're scratching your head.

200-ton rock blown up on Oregon highway (The Oregonian) Read the rest

Oregon forms joint task force to apprehend Piggy Smalls

A wild hog, known to local Forest Grove, Oregon law enforcement as "Piggy Smalls" has been apprehended.

Via Oregon Live:

On Friday, the Forest Grove Police Department announced on Facebook they had finally apprehended a troublesome potbelly pig.

According to the post, the pig, known as "Piggy Smalls" (alias "Notorious") had "allegedly been harassing residents in the Hawthorne neighborhood of Forest Grove over the last several months."

He was ultimately captured at a little before 1 p.m. "by a joint task force of the FGPD Code Enforcement Officer and a representative of Home Sweet Home Properties."

Read the rest

Anti-burglary advice, from burglars

KGW Portland surveyed 86 Oregon inmates serving time for burglary to see what they looked for when casing a house that is safe to break into and likely to contain valuables. One important lesson: "NRA sticker on car bumper = Lots of guns to steal." Read the rest

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