Down the Ballot

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Governor's Desk Found!

I was recently visiting Tillamook, Oregon most famously known in the region for their cheese factory and aviation museum. I was visiting to go see the freshly renovated  Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. I had not been in for a visit since they had finished the renovations. I was amazed to see how they had made the first level much more open and inviting. Nearly everything else remained the same from what I could recall. The old cars in the basement, the American Service room filled with military artifacts from the community, the pioneer living area and of course the nature preservation room.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Petition Season is Here!

Most likely if you have been out and about in Oregon at a high foot traffic area you have been asked to sign a petition to get put something on the 2014 Oregon ballot. Oregonians United for Marriage have been out for several weeks now collecting signatures to help get Oregon to repeal Measure 36 (passed in 2004) by Oregon voters. Public opinion has changed a bit on the matter of marriage equality and groups like Basic Rights Oregon think 2014 is a good year to try to amend the Oregon Constitution. Currently, 13 states + DC, and 5 Native American Tribes recognize marriage for same sex couples. Oregon would soon join those ranks if OUFM is successful in getting on the ballot and winning their campaign in 2014. It should be noted that the chances are very good for Oregon. All the states that currently have full marriage equality are states that have generally been carried by Democratic candidates in the last 12 years. President Obama carried all 13 in both 2008 and 2012. This does not mean that it is guaranteed per say, but it perhaps help boosts the confidence of those mounting the campaign. I expect it will be one of the top three campaigns on the ballot after the Senate race and race for Governor.

Another petition drive out there currently, which will probably not garner as much attention as the Marriage Equality debate is the campaign to get Tom McCall a recognized state holiday. Governor McCall turned 100 this year and supporters and friends hope to make sure Oregonians remember him in another 100 years. They want a state holiday on May 22nd of every year. In conjunction with the holiday, they hope to gather support organizations around the state for a Tom McCall Festival, which they want to call Vortex (after the famous rock concert McCall sponsored).

I was approached while I was attending Atomic Arts Trek in the Park this last weekend to sign the McCall petition. I was happy to do so. Perhaps if more people were like Tom McCall our state would be a lot better off today. I don't know how Tom McCall would vote on the marriage equality issue, but I sure bet he'd want it on the ballot for voters to have the chance to debate it in full. If someone tells you "well, we've already decided this issue when we passed Measure 36 in 2004". Remind them that Measure 36 will have been passed a decade ago by the time 2014 roles around. Think about how much has changed in the last 10 years. It is about time to reexamine this issue. I still think it will be a tough vote to carry, but I hope it will pass.

Religious freedom, which is sometimes used as a rallying cry for folks against marriage equality has been lost or confused in this debate. America is a great country when it comes to religious freedom. So long as you don't harm others, you're pretty much allowed to believe what you want to believe in terms of religion. Christians and all the colorful denominations that comprise it, Muslims, Judaism, Buddhists, Scientologists, Hindus, and even those who don't have any religious leanings all make up that wonderful patchwork that is America. Denying a someone the right to marry the person they love is the exact opposite of respecting freedom of religion. Using your faith to dictate how others live their lives isn't right. We wouldn't tolerate people passing laws telling us:  that restaurants can't serve steak on Fridays, preventing businesses from being open from sundown on Friday nights until the appearance of three stars in the Saturday night sky, and of course people would be infuriated if we passed laws saying women could not drive cars.

Religious freedom requires tolerance for faiths different from your own. I hope that in the coming debates over marriage equality in Oregon folks on both sides remember that.

I'm sure there will be others gathering signatures, as soon as I hear about them I will spread the word.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

SNL Top 10 Hosts for Season 39

Well SNL'ers Season 39 will soon be upon us. It is looking like some of our longstanding regular cast members are moving on for different projects. Seth Myers will be departing in December to get ready to replace Jimmy Fallon at Late Nite so that Fallon can then take over for Jay Leno. Let's hope this goes better than the last time Jay retired.

Fred Armisen won't be coming back. Here's hoping he's devoting his new found free time to more Portlandia. He had been with the show since 2002 (Season 28). He started on SNL, when one of my all time favorites, Will Farrell left the show. Amazing how much staying power a lot of these folks have. Bill Hader also announced that Season 38 was going to be his last. Simply stating, "maybe it's just time to go". He had been with the show since 2005, and has really grown on the show. I am excited to see what his next thing will be. The other departure is Jason Sudeikis. He's not going sit around doing nothing. Never one to just do one thing, he'll continue on with a solid career he has been building up the last few years.

Last year I wrote about the Top 10 Hosts for Season 38 I would love to see on the show. Here is the Top 10 Hosts for Season 39!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Top 10 Star Trek DS9 Guest Stars

In continuation of celebrating all things Trek, I have put together a list of the Top 10 DS9 Guest Stars. These are actors who had one or two appearances on Star Trek Deep Space Nine during the seven seasons the show was on the air. This list was a little more difficult to make in my opinion because of all the great recurring characters that were utilized week after week during the production of the show. 2013 marked both the 20th Anniversary of Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5. Two shows that fans sometimes let a healthy competition between go a little too far, but all in good fun none the less.  There were just so many great established characters that some weeks there were no big surprise guest stars booked. Still, I was able to get my list of TEN!

Back on the Grid

Spent a week away from the grid. It was very relaxing and I spent most of the time fishing and swimming. Here is one of the places I ended up visiting along NF-57 in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Tom McCall said, "Oregon is an inspiration. Whether you come to it, or are born to it, you become entranced by our state’s beauty, the opportunity she affords, and the independent spirit of her citizens." It was inspiring to be out enjoying Oregon the last week.