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{Tuesday, December 23, 2003}

Mad, I say, Just Mad!!!

What many of us has suspected to have already occurred has finally been "officially" recognized as having happened. A case of Mad Cow Disease in the United States was confirmed by the Agricultural Department. Seems that a "single holstein" on a farm near Yakima (practially my backyard!) could not move on its own and was tested for the disease. The preliminary tests came back positive on DECEMBER 9TH!! That was two weeks ago. Boy they sure kept that quiet. The really wild part was this little nugget from the AP story:
"Parts of the cow that would be infected — the brain, the spinal cord and the lower part of the small intestine — were removed before the animal went to a meat processing plant."
Parts of that spongy-brained cow are now in the food supply. Hmmm.

I hope they know what they are doing. In the mean time I'll be buying my beef locally through New Seasons or such, if I even buy any.

posted by The Brooklynite 5:00 PM

{Monday, December 22, 2003}

Finals are Over...

and I'm back at work this Monday morning. I took the opportunity to meet one of my favorite local Portland political news bloggers, The One True B!x of Portland Communique fame, at his meet & greet at Stumptown Coffee down on SW 3rd. Keep up the good work B!x.

Now that I'm through the fall semester and heading smack dab into the holiday season (broke, of course), I'll try to blog a little more regularly.

For today's rant, I'm surprised with the relatively underwhelming response to The Big O's excellent journalistic expose of local-girl's-basketball-mill-Triple Threat's Howard Avery and his seemingly serial sleeping with teenage players. The Big O's ridiculously bad web presence doesn't archive far enough back to link to the first story, but here is Steve Duin's column about it. Other than Triple Threat losing its lease to use a gym and a couple of letters to the editor printed, I haven't heard much else. Somebody please tell me the police are investigating this creep. The worst part of the original story was the now 20-something woman telling of how Avery not only got her pregnant when she was underage, but droppoed her off at the abortion clinic, paying for the procedure, only to not even stay or even pick her up post-procedure.

This hits home for me because of my experiences during my first year of coaching high school level rowing in Portland back in 1994-95. I was an assistant coach to Kris Haefker. At the end of the season (but before we went to the quasi-national championship regatta in Cincinnati), he admitted in a club meeting that he had been sleeping with one of the high school female rowers. It really ticked me off because one, it happened right under my nose without my really noticing, and two, my future as a rowing coach was potentially seriously affected by my association with him as his assistant coach. And, allegedly like one of Howard Avery's victims, the family actually approved of the situation!!! Needless to say, Haefker was removed as coach and has not, as far as I know, returned to coaching since then.

Haefker had a lot of the same qualities described in the Big O story as Howard Avery. In the two years of his coaching he was already building up an incredible team of athletes including one young woman who has gone on to win a gold medal in the US Women's 8+ at the World Championships. But he also said a lot the really creepy things that Howard Avery allegedly said about younger women. Blechh! Good Riddance Haefker!!!

Fortunately the rowing program survived and has become one of the best clubs in the region and the country. But it all could have just crumbled down.

posted by The Brooklynite 8:53 AM

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