Roundtable: Observations on a Duck bill double standard

November 30, 2011

I have no strong view one way or another about the ouster of Dr. Richard Lariviere as president of the University of Oregon, but has anyone else noticed a basic double standard at play in Duckville?

The president stuck his neck out, worked to expand the university, apparently at a different pace than the other higher educational institutions in the state.

For this, the State Board of Higher Education has declined to renew his contract, painting him as a loose cannon who won't keep lockstep with the Board's bidding.

At press time, word is students and other supporters are taking to the streets in Lariviere's support. "Stand by the Hat," read the t-shirts honoring the "maverick" president's familiar fedora.

Apparently, Uncle Phil Knight, billionaire benefactor of the hot-tub laden resort known as the University of Oregon athletic complex, is among those throwing support behind Lariviere.

Give credit to Knight for knowing hypocrisy when he sees it.

Because apparently is it fine and dandy with the State Board that U of O allows a private benefactor to pour millions into the athletic side of the university, creating a more-than-state-of-the-art facility to attract the best and beefiest of athletic recruits.

These ornate facilities (ESPN's cameras practically drool over all that marble and chrome) put OSU and PSU to shame, but it's not okay for the university president to take innovative steps to expand the school's resources on behalf of classrooms and instructional programs?

Fittingly, Lariviere has announced he will return to the classroom to teach Sanskrit. The guy never did speak the same language as his panel of bosses.

And meanwhile, "Little Brother" OSU might make the case that if self-actualizers like Lariviere are being told to toe the line and not to show up the rest of the family, wouldn't it follow that the same board might instruct the Ducks to share some of Phil Knight's largesse with their scholastic siblings?

That would be too much to ask - rather like a certain $42,000 monthly PERS payment to another Phil Knight best buddy, Mike Bellotti. But that's another inequity for another column …

Kirby Neumann-Rea attended Linfield College but some of his best friends are Ducks and Beavers.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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