Monthly Archives: March 2009

Judge finds panhandling ordinance unconstitutional

via Mail Tribune

A Medford panhandling ordinance that prohibits solicitation of money at intersections and other locations is unconstitutional, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Mejia has ruled.

Mejia’s four-page order, issued March 19, found Medford’s ordinance specifically violated Article 1, Section 8 of the Oregon Constitution, which prohibits passing any law restricting freedom of speech. He is expected to issue a formal judgment soon.

The suit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon.

“I think it’s important for government officials to understand that they cannot prohibit expression because they find it offensive,” said David Fidanque, executive director of the ACLU.

Solicitation of money, he said, is a form of expression protected by the Oregon Constitution.

If the city doesn’t appeal the ruling, Fidanque said panhandlers should be able to ask for money again at intersections and freeway off-ramps so long as they don’t violate traffic laws in the process.

City Attorney John Huttl said Medford officials haven’t decided yet whether to appeal the ruling.

“We’ll just wait for the judgment to come in and consider our next step,” he said.

— Damian Mann


Bottlemania: How Water Went On Sale and Why We Bought It!

Bottlemania- Presentation and Panel Discussion with Elizabeth Royte. Author of Bottlemania: How Water Went On Sale and Why We Bought It!

Sustainability @ Southern Oregon University – Thursday, April 2nd

4:00 PM – SOU School of Business Lecture Series
Meece Room: 3rd Floor Hannon Library
Municipal water reports, panelists and brainstorming.

7:00 PM – SOU Rogue Room

Keynote presentation with report from afternoon session.

Come to these thirst-quenching events with author and presenter Elizabeth Royte. Learn about the complex choices we make everyday when we choose to drink tap water or bottled water. Raise your awareness of the issues around disposable water bottles, including the economic and cultural trends that have made bottled water a $60-billion-a-year phenomenon. If our community is serious about becoming more sustainable, the disposable plastic water bottle vs. tap water must be addressed

Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, OR 97520

Progress Ohio | Dave Harding’s Blog: Employee Free Choice Act:: Myth vs. Fact

Employee Free Choice Act:: Myth vs. Fact.

Economic Stimulus Tour

Fighting sweatshops and building an economy based on good jobs .

Saturday, April 4, 2009
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Southern Oregon University
Stevenson Union – Rogue River Room

Hear from international garment workers and ethical U.S. businesses, and take action for positive change in 2009.

We are calling on our State and our City to end tax dollar support for sweatshops and to help build an economy based on good jobs.

This tour ties into the campaign by offering a unique educational opportunity for Ashland City counselors, the mayor, city staff, SOU students/staff/professors and for the Southern Oregon public in general…

This year, our elected officials will spend billions of our tax dollars on uniforms and other clothing for public employees like police officers and firefighters. Unfortunately, most of this gear is made in sweatshops by workers forced to work long hours for poverty wages in inhumane and abusive conditions.

With the global economy reeling, now more than ever our tax dollars should–and can–support higher standards that level the playing field for U.S. workers and support worker organizing around the world.

Speakers will include:

Erlinda Elizabeth Gutierrez Reyes worked 15 years in the Honduran garment industry before becoming an organizer and educator for garment workers through FESITRADEH, a Honduran labor federation. Elizabeth is also a nurse. She has extensive knowledge of Dickies de Honduras, a factory in Choloma, Honduras that makes uniforms for the popular Dickies brand. Dickies supplies many U.S. cities and states with work pants, but behind the label is a history of repression of human rights and labor rights. Dickies garment workers from Pakistan to Mexico to Honduras report poverty wages, forced and uncompensated overtime, and blacklisting.

Rafael Irizarry has worked for five years as a machine operator at Propper International’s Las Marias plant in Puerto Rico. Propper is a major producer of military and law enforcement apparel that supplies San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington State, among others. He is a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against Propper for damages of $225,000 related to unpaid work, alleging that the company did not grant legally required paid sick days and vacation days. Workers in the lawsuit also claim that Propper reduces employees’ agreed-upon hourly wages when workers’ production falls short of quota.

A News Cafe

Community news and media in Northern California.

Mail Tribune offers “social networking” site

A new social networking site is being offered by the folks who bring you the Mail Tribune and the Ashland Daily Tidings.  The Rogue Current offers members a place to form groups or just post photos, videos and blogs.