WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 • PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY • VOLUME 64, ISSUE 10
Event of yesterday Seem like a small paper today? As a result of prolonged lack of server access to stories, photos and design software, the Vanguard decided to print four pages instead of the usual eight. If you want to find a few more articles, go online at www.dailyvanguard.com.
WWW.DAILYVANGUARD.COM • FREE
Pedal power for cancer awareness
Two students ride over 1,000 miles, raise funds for uninsured cancer patient Green is more than just a name The new MAX line offers more benefits than you may know PAGE 2 Transit into the future via downtown Proposed lines for the MAX will help no one PAGE 2
Power outage caused server failure Tuesday afternoon
Lindsay Bing and Virginia Vickery Vanguard staff
Fool me twice Vintage songs from Tom Lehrer get a well-recieved revival in Tomfoolery PAGE 3
Dazed and confused: a critical look at our pop life Horny, fellatio-loving robots invade the airwaves (and my brain) PAGE 4
Power was lost to the Portland State University data center in the Fourth Avenue Building early yesterday afternoon and remained off for 45 minutes to an hour. All technical systems were knocked offline and most remained inaccessible at press time. Services affected by the outage include campus e-mail, BlackBoard, the Portland State Web site and Banweb. Though the cause of the outage has not been released by the Office
Party in the Park
Campus tradition aims to inform new and returning students tomorrow Erica DeCouteau Vanguard staff
A campus tradition since 1990, Party in the Park promotes student involvement in campus activities and organizations, as well as provides information about university services. This year’s event will offer free food and refreshments to students who visit at least four different groups. Tomorrow, Student Activities and Leadership Programs, along with Campus Recreation, will again host Party in the Park from 11 a.m.
Marni Cohen/Portland State Vanguard
of Information Technologies, there is speculation that a generator and a battery—which work as backup power systems—failed to keep power running to servers, which resulted in a hard shutdown. A hard shutdown is the loss of power to a computer, which prevents the equipment from undergoing system checks. This can potentially result in data loss. The Fourth Avenue Building is powered by two substations, which transfer higher voltage to a lower voltage output that is more appropriate for buildings. There are also alternate power sources, which are tested monthly, built in to prevent complete outages. In 2007, just after the data center was moved to the Fourth Avenue
Building, a massive power outage occurred which resulted in the loss of e-mail data.
to 3 p.m. at the South Park Blocks. The event will also feature live entertainment from local bands New Century Schoolbook, The Rainy States and The Shivas. Groups range from Model United Nations to Kaibigan: Filipino American Student Association to Allies Against Rape Culture. Beyond connecting with campus organizations, there are other benefits of attending. “You get to spend time with students, faculty, administrators, that you normally wouldn’t,” said SALP Events Coordinator Christian Aniciete. Many new students are excited about the prospect of joining groups that fit their interests, however varied, and as a way to make friends as they navigate their first year at Portland State. “Party in the Park is a good way for people to get involved in clubs. I wouldn’t know how to get involved otherwise,” said freshman Sage Niles. Campus newcomers also like the
way SALP and Campus Rec marketed the event. “The connotation behind the idea of it being a party is more inviting to freshmen,” said freshman Nicolette Bartulski. Organizers are also hoping to create buzz for next year’s Party, which will celebrate the twentieth year that the event has taken place. “Next year’s event will give Portland State the chance to celebrate one of the largest and longest-lasting student engagement events on campus,” said SALP Director Aimee Shattuck. Planning for next year’s event is anticipated to begin as soon as Party in the Park 2009 has wrapped.
Timeline of System Failure 1:15 p.m. Power lost to all technical systems 3:57 p.m. Voicemail message sent to campus phones announcing server outage 5:00 p.m. Access to workstations restored 5:20 p.m Internet access restored 6:00 p.m. Server access restored 7:15 p.m. BlackBoard access restored
19th annual Party in the Park Tomorrow, Oct. 1 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. South Park Blocks Smith Memorial Student Union
Party in the Park: An annual event held in the South Park Blocks to encourage student involvement.
Rodrigo Melgarejo/Portland State Vanguard
Carrie Johnston Vanguard staff
After riding their bikes 1,027 miles in eight days, Keith Weitze and David Clark arrived in Provo, Utah, on Sept. 8. The motivation for their massive bike ride was to raise funds for 22-year-old Brett Fafard, diagnosed with advanced stage III testicular cancer in June. Weitze, a student at Brigham Young University, and his friend Clark, of Weber State, rode to support Fafard, another BYU student. Fafard is uninsured—his income is too high for Medicaid, but too low to afford private health insurance. Originally, Weitze and Clark had planned to ditch their car in Seattle and ride their bikes back home to Utah, but when a mutual friend, 21-year-old Laura Vincent, alerted Weitze to Fafard’s situation, they were inspired to ride for a cause. “Keith invited me to join his awareness group and, when they announced the bike ride, I told them I had a friend who was recently diagnosed [who] could use the funds if they wanted to turn it into a charity ride,” Vincent said. Weitze and Clark’s overall goal is to raise $10,000. The ride alone raised over $2,000. “Brett has had two surgeries and has undergone chemotherapy. He appears to be doing much better,” Vincent said. Facing the prospect of nearly $100,000 in medical bills for his treatment, Fafard’s family is asking friends and family for additional donations through their Web site, “Save Brett.” Weitze and Clark mapped their route well in advance, finished up their summer jobs in Seattle and hit the road Aug. 31. Starting in Renton, Wash., they rode approximately 128 miles per day. One gentleman they met at a restaurant was so impressed, he offered the boys a place to stay for the night—a welcome luxury after sleeping in parks and church parking lots. Pedaling on through eastern Oregon and Idaho, Weitze said, “A few times I couldn’t find a place to sleep because the towns were so small.” Neither Weitze nor Clark are avid cyclists, and the experience of having “prehistoric” bike seats wedged between their legs for over 1,000 miles inspired no plans for future rides, but Weitze said he would do it again should the opportunity present itself. “Cancer is a very real thing and it could happen to any of your friends or family members. The bike ride was a good way to raise funds as well as awareness of the disease,” Vincent said. Photos, travel itinerary, stories and a donation page can be found on Keith Weitze’s Web site at www. ontheroadforacure.webs.com.
Vanguard 2 | Opinion September 30, 2009
Sarah Christensen Editor-in-Chief Danielle Kulczyk News Editor Theodora Karatzas Arts & Culture Editor Richard D. Oxley Opinion Editor Robert Britt Sports Editor Shannon Vincent Production Manager Marni Cohen Photo Editor Shane Danaher Online Editor Zach Chastaine Online Assistant Jennifer Wolff Chief Copy Editor Jennifer Wolff Calendar Editor Matthew Kirtley Advertising Manager Judson Randall Adviser Ann Roman Advertising Adviser
Green is more than just a name The new MAX line offers more benefits than you may know Meaghan Daniels Vanguard staff
On Sept. 12, TriMet opened its new Green Line to the public. The Green Line is a positive asset to TriMet covering the area from Clackamas Town Center to Portland State University. TriMet’s Green Line is beneficial to not just the people who ride it, but to everyone. The line was environmentally conscious during construction and continues to be so now that it is running. Not only does it create more public transportation for commuters and makes the City of Portland more accessible to those in Clackamas County, but it is also helping to make our world a better and healthier place for all. With construction, a lot of materials go to waste and it often creates an unhealthy atmosphere. In order to make this project different, TriMet needed to focus on sustain-
ability. According to Trimet’s Web site, they made sure everything possible about this project was environmentally friendly. An example of this was at the Portland Mall, where 30,000 cubic yards of concrete and other materials were reused. Another example is along I-205, where TriMet built almost one mile of new sound walls. For these new sound walls, a product was used that took 9,030 tires from landfills. Renewable energy would also prove to play a part in the new line. At the Portland Mall’s South Terminus, there will be photovoltaic panels added on to the buildings. The goal of this is to generate more than 50 kilowatts of power through renewable solar energy. The 22 wind turbines that they are planning on adding will provide up to 1,760 watts of additional power. This makes for about 70 percent of the electricity provided by renewable energy sources. The power created by the sources will generate enough to run the LED lights there. Conserving energy in Clackamas Town Center’s parking garage proved to be a challenge, but not an
impossible one. The Energy Trust of Oregon’s New Buildings program has enabled a lighting system that will save 496,958 kilowatt hours per year, which is almost five times the efficiency of a standard code lighting system. That number is equal to the annual average electricity use of 44 U.S. households. In order to reduce emissions at the Portland Mall, a B20 biodiesel blend, which consists of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel, was used in the construction vehicles. This greatly reduced the emission of carbon dioxide and other toxic compounds into the air. Topsoil was also altered there in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Something else that will improve is traffic. According to TriMet, 17,800 trips were taken on the first weekday after the Green Line opened. TriMet studies predict the Green Line will have approximately 46,500 people boarding daily by 2025, and 84 percent of those are expected to start or end their trips within the I-205 area. It could be argued that, with construction of a new line, it is not very
green to tear stuff up, and most construction projects waste a lot of material. This was clearly not the case with the MAX Green Line. With light rail construction on Fifth and Sixth avenues, it was required to remove approximately 194 trees. Urban Timber Works salvaged several of the removed trees to use as materials for furniture and residential structures. While there were about 537 trees remaining, the project planted 111 more trees along Fifth and Sixth avenues, and 12 more trees at the South Terminus. Along the I-205 corridor, construction removed 630 trees, but more than 1,050 new trees were planted in their place. “Green Means Go” is the slogan of the new TriMet Green Line. Green clearly proves to be a good thing with the latest addition to the TriMet family. From the beginning of its construction, it has been an excellent addition to Portland. It has created a way for more people to connect to downtown, and has bettered the world we live in by being environmentally aware.
Illustrator Kira Meyrick Marketing Manager Kelsey Chinen Production Assistant Bryan Morgan Charles Cooper Williams Writers Kate Alexander, Lindsay Bing, William Blackford, Bianca Blankenship, Meaghan Daniels, Erica DeCouteau Mariah Frye-Keele, Joel Gaddis, Natalia Grozina, Rosemary Hanson, Steve Haske, Jesse James, Ed Johnson, Carrie Johnston, Mark Johnston, Tamara Kennedy, Anita Kinney, Katie Kotsovos, J. Logue, James MacKenzie, Holly Millar, Daniel Newman, Nilesh Tendolkar, Gogul Krishnan Shenbagalashmi Janakiraman, Wendy Shortman, Robin Tinker, Vinh Tran, Virginia Vickery, Allison Whited, Carlee Winsor Photographers Aaron Leopold, Rodrigo Melgarejo, Liana Shewey, Adam Wickham Copy Editors Rebecca Hartness, Robert Seitzinger Advertising Sales Matthew Kirtley, Ana SanRoman, Jae Specht, Wesley Van Der Veen Advertising Designer Matthew Vu Contact Editor-in-Chief 503-725-5691 firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Manager 503-725-5686 email@example.com The Vanguard is chartered to publish four days a week as an independent student newspaper by the PSU Publications Board. Views and editorial content expressed herein are those of the staff, contributors and readers, and do not necessarily represent those of the PSU student body, faculty, staff or administration. One copy of the Vanguard is provided free of charge to all community members, additional copies or subcription issues may incur a 25 cent charge. The Vanguard is printed on 40 percent post-consumer recycled paper. Copyright © 2009 Portland State University Vanguard 1825 S.W. Broadway, Smith Memorial Student Union, Rm. S-26, Portland, Ore., 97201
Illustration by Kira Meyrick
Transit into the future via downtown Proposed lines for the MAX will help no one Richard D. Oxley Vanguard staff
Once upon a time, I briefly lived in a far-off land called Germany. It was a magical place where anyone could get to practically wherever they needed in the land without the aid of a car. The rail lines there curved through the cities and beyond, offering a very logical and convenient mode of transportation. One of the reasons I was attracted to move to Portland was the efficient mass transit options it has become known for. And it is only going to get better, right? Well, we’ll see. When it comes to traveling in this town, Metro, TriMet and the City of Portland care more about getting you downtown than where you need to go. A year ago, while reporting for another publication, I attended a meeting Metro held for gathering public input on Portland’s future mass transit. It was meant to pick the community’s brain and see how to better improve the system. The dialogue covered many topics, yet the future of the MAX dominated the discussion. One thought echoed across the crowd with fervor: “Stop making us go through downtown on the MAX.” So when the Oregonian reported Sept. 13 on proposed MAX lines that could come our way, where do you think those lines go? If you guessed downtown, yet again, you’re correct.
One line listed on the map accompanying the Oregonian’s article ran from Sherwood to Gresham, passing through some areas currently untouched by the MAX. I seem to remember the area being of interest to everyone at the meeting one year ago, as a stretch of land needing to be addressed. But I also remember no one wanting the line to divert to downtown Portland on its path. Now there isn’t anything wrong with downtown. Though, when you think about it, how efficient is it to bottleneck through the dense city? Not to mention, we now have four lines passing through the area. I think we’ve got it covered. As good as Portland’s rail system is, try comparing it to other rail schemes around the world. London has a nice system with various lines that interact so one can travel from point to point with ease. Or look at New York City’s subway system, the most extensive in the United States. Their lines act like a web across the entire metro area with multiple interacting stations. Munich, Germany,
also has an extensive light and commuter rail system that shares New York’s ability to extend transportation to multiple destinations over the entire city, crisscrossing a number of shared connections. Instead of looking to other cities, and adopting the best of what they have to offer our emerging MAX system, Portland simply has adopted a limited philosophy of “just shove everyone downtown.” Now, try and imagine with me a Portland where one can go from Tigard to Milwaukie and beyond
without taking a detour up north and then back down again. Or go from Beaverton to Gresham without having to play stop-and-go through traffic along Southwest Yamhill. We still have great mass transit here in Portland, but it can get better—as long as the powers that be start understanding that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and not through downtown.
ARTS & CULTURE
Fool me twice Tomfoolery: Pot-smoking teenagers, old tunes
and some very persistent storytellers.
Vintage songs from Tom Lehrer get a well-received revival in Tomfoolery Anita Kinney Vanguard staff
During the 1950s and ’60s, Harvard-educated mathemetician
Tom Lehrer generated a repertoire of quirky, satirical ballads. Lehrer’s ouevre is a staple of the Dr. Demento radio show and, whether you know it or not, you’ve likely heard one or two of his songs. Tomfoolery is a music hall-style revue with 30 of Lehrer’s best-known songs. It’s an enjoyable presentation, led by five charismatic performers, including musical director and pianist Matt Insley, who plays two keyboards and provides enjoyable commentary on the onstage proceedings with his on-point facial expressions and occasional tantrums. The cast of four singers is perfect, too. Margo Schembre plays everything from a blushing schoolgirl to a dominatrix to a perverted nun and uses her powerful, versatile voice to full effect. Nathan Dunkin, looking particularly dapper in a gold vest, is hysterical as a deranged bartender and a Southern belle. Russ Cowan, the oldest member of the cast, is likewise able to cover a variety of roles, from racist Southern plantation owner reminiscing about “whuppin’ slaves and sellin’ cotton” to a Boy Scout leader distributing condoms while admonishing his pot-smoking young charges to “be prepared.”
James Sharinghousen, though, steals the spotlight, both literally and figuratively. A high point of the production is his rendition of “My Home Town”—an ode to a place where math teachers sell pornography after school, ex-girlfriends have become hookers and the mayor’s son is a serial arsonist. Another excellent moment is his recitation of the periodic table of the elements, performed impeccably at an impossible speed. Overall, the production moves at a good pace, although some songs could have been trimmed to shorten the running time. A Sesame Street-style song about “Silent E” is an obvious candidate for culling, as is a song about pollution in American cities. Lehrer wrote most of his songs between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Vietnam War, and some of the social issues he explores (such as the proliferation of nuclear weaponry) are more mainstream than they were when Lehrer was first drawing attention to them through popular music. Lehrer’s music easily lends itself to updating or modifying for a particular audience. Lake Oswego is a frequent punch line in this production of Tomfoolery, but
Vanguard Arts & Culture | 3 September 30, 2009
Arts Editor: Theodora Karatzas 503-725-5694 firstname.lastname@example.org
the performance could have benefited from some more general updates. The song “Folk Song Army,” which pokes fun at flower children and the canonization of musicians like Bob Dylan (“If you feel dissatisfaction / Strum your frustrations away / Some people may prefer action / But give me a folk song any old day”), would have been far more devastating had it targeted more current armchair activism trends, like Facebook “causes.” The majority of Lehrer’s music has aged well, though. “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” (about an afternoon spent feeding pigeons cyanide and strychnine) is hysterical even 50 years later, as is the graphic “Masochism Tango.” Both of these songs are even funnier as duets. Tomfoolery is a thoroughly enjoyable show and bodes well for Public Playhouse’s comedy-themed season.
Tomfoolery CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh Thu–Sat, 7:30 p.m. Through Oct. 3 $20, Thursdays $12
MAX Facts The first MAX line began construction in 1982, but wasn’t operating until 1986. Twenty-six percent of rush hour travelers commuting on the Sunset and Banfield highways are transported on MAX lines. Eighty-three percent of riders on the MAX have a car, or have opted not to own one, but choose to ride the MAX. Every weekday it is in use, the MAX removes 74,000 car trips from metro area roads. Which is good, because, let’s face it, we don’t have the best drivers rolling around town. Let’s learn how to merge, Portland! The Green Line, which is the newest MAX line rolling across the PSU campus, began construction in 2007 and cost $575.7 million to build.
Vanguard 4 | Arts & Culture September 30, 2009
Revolutionary 101: Small ways to sabotage your community without actually being productive. 1. Go on a pigeonkilling rampage in the South Park Blocks. Tell people it’s part of your plan to “clean up the city.” Drop in the word genocide as often as possible. 2. Protest in front of vegan restaurants for endangering the thousands of jobs provided by meat packing plants.
Pop CULTURE Dazed and confused: A critical look at our pop life Horny, fellatio-loving robots invade the airwaves(and my brain) Ed Johnson Vanguard staff
At the risk of sounding like one of Those People, I’ll lay this on you: I don’t listen to the radio anymore. Who does?
Naked Robot by Ed Johnson/
Portland State Vanguard
3. Chain yourself to a hideous building which is about to be torn down and has no historical value whatsoever, claiming that it is an obscure landmark with great significance. Fool as many people into believing this as possible.
The reasons for the demise of radio are legion, but the fact of the matter is, we really just don’t need it anymore. I can choose whatever music I want anytime I want to listen to it, and so can you. My phone, my iPod and my computer are all connected to the Internet right now. Moreover, they can all play music. And they’re better at recommending songs I’ll actually want to hear. Radio, my friends, is a dead scene. But that doesn’t mean its rotting corpse lacks some fresh odor. This summer, a job in the ’burbs necessitated the use of a car. I’ve long thought of these four-wheeled contraptions as traveling music rooms—mainly an excuse to blast Slayer and scare those folks next to me. But on occasion, when I would forget my iPod and when my tape of Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush felt played out, I would turn on the radio and let it sink into my brain. A short review of Portland’s radio choices: They’re awful, but that’s to be expected. For a while, I stuck to the reliably bland classic rock station, and clenched my teeth through “Stairway to Heaven” more than I would have preferred. The “alt” stations were just as bad, and I heard a good song—“There Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” by Cage the Elephant—pounded into shapeless, over-played goop. The real revelation, however, was Jammin’ 107.5. You might argue that the
hip-hop and R&B station plays the most disposable of songs, but to me, that’s what made it great. Radio programming like this isn’t afraid to find the most current sound, play the shit out of those songs and quickly move on. Nostalgia isn’t just rare—it’s not even in their goddamn vocabulary. With so many stylistic shifts since the last time I listened to these types of airwaves, cranking the station made me feel like an astronaut on an unfamiliar moon. Does anyone else realize that most modern “R&B” music is closer to ’90s house music than Marvin Gaye? And by “closer” I mean exactly the same. There are heavy synths, electro voices and repetitive, high-tempo drumbeats. While auto-tune and its compatriots are not a new phenomenon, I guess the extent to which dance music had consumed hip-hop was lost on me. More interesting still is the juxtaposition between these mechanized vocals and the lyrical content. Described in a few words, listening to Jammin’ 107.5 is this: horny robots singing about how much they love fellatio. Do robots have penises? Can they feel pleasure? Do you think Lil’ Wayne’s circuitry “down there” is big or small? Probably average. Either way, I’m pretty sure Issac Asimov wrote a book about this. Now, obviously, there is something interesting about the dissociative qualities of a singer’s real voice being dismantled to describe real sex acts, but I’ll let the feminist scholars handle that one. I just think it’s a bizarre sound. Even though I don’t like the songs Jammin’ 107.5 plays, I find them fascinating.
One of my favorite current singles, which you are guaranteed to hear within 15 minutes if you turn on the radio, is Young Money’s “Every Girl.” Young Money is Lil’ Wayne’s label, and this song features just about every one of his young protégés. The hook is, simply, “I wish I could fuck every girl in the world.” Fully embracing the simpleminded narrative, each of the rappers goes about describing all the different sorts of girls they would have sex with, at least as much as time allows. This list predictably leans on big booties and caramel-skinned types, with nods to housewives and Hillary Clinton. The “loving all women” trope reaches its limit, though, when Mack Maine drawls out this gem: “I don’t discriminate, no, not at all / Kit Kat a midget if that ass soft, I break her off / I exchange V-cards with the retards.” He might have meant well, but I’m not sure encouraging carnal relations with women possessing mental disabilities is the empowering battle cry Maine thinks it to be. All of that aside, my lesson in this gets to the core of why many critics are questioning the demise of “monoculture,” where the vast majority of the population experiences the same sort of cultural artifacts. It was chance that I listened to the radio and discovered this odd and fascinating musical landscape, maybe learning a little bit more about the world I live in as a result. So here’s my advice: If you find yourself riding a fixed-gear bike while zooming on Bon Iver B-sides, consider finding a car blasting Jammin’ 107.5. It will make you feel funny and alive.