Monday, October 31, 2005

My first midterm at the U of O

Robin's Commentary

Well I just finished my first midterm at the University of Oregon and I will admit that my time there has been rather interesting to say the least.

Of course, before you register and you go to all the seminars and listen to the sales pitches and talk to a number of people, and they all welcome you with open arms and tell you everything that they can do for you... only to find that is a different story if you're returning student (More on that later)

Putting the fear of God into you before a test...

Apparently, dishonesty, lack of trust and cheating is a major problem at the University of Oregon, or least according to my instructor who told us the following just as we are about to begin the midterm.

"For the next hour and a half, while you are taking your tests, I will be sitting at my desk playing a game on my computer on Occasionally, I will be looking up and I had better see your eyes in one of three places... looking at your paper, looking forward or looking at me because if your eyes are anywhere else, we are going out into the hallway to talk about cheating."

This is college life? I thought we are all adults here.

Needless to say, for the next hour and a half while I was taking my test, I was afraid to move.

The returning student...

If you ever had been to school before and have accumulated ANY college credits and are thinking about returning to school and being on financial aid, seriously consider a technical college. In the long run, it is a lot cheaper.
Ever since I returned to school two years ago, I have spent the last year and a half battling financial aid because I went to Lane Community College 30 years ago and earned 65 credits. I also earned extra credits by taking other classes during my lifetime to improve my job skills and from on-the-job training that was contracted to Lane Community College from my employer.

What's the big deal?

They count ALL OF THEM for your lifetime attempted credits!

Short example... it takes 90 credits to receive an associate's degree, if you paid for 80 of those credits out of your pocket and then decide to go for the last 10 credits on financial aid, you will find yourself filing an appeal and begging for forgiveness.

Next, my visit to the U of O academic advising (choke)counselor.

Counselor:" I see you have 145 credits and will be graduating soon."
Robin: "no, U of O disallowed 53 credits, which puts me at junior level (92 credits) but according to the academic requirements for a bachelors degree, I am a freshman."
Counselor: (looking puzzled) "but you have all these credit, you should be getting your bachelors soon."
Robin: "this is because you are looking at my LIFETIME ATTEMPTED CREDITS, and 65 of them from 1975 are worthless."
Counselor: (looking even more puzzled) "I see, well looking at your age (49) and the fact that you will have 5-6 more years here, you're going to be about $100,000 in debt and personally I wouldn't do it."
Robin: "I understand that I'm going into a lot of debt, but forgetting about the amount of money that I'm going to have to pay, I came here to discuss a plan with you about an academic path to my goal in media, in particular broadcast. Can you help me set up a plan for this?"
Counselor: "I really would not do it, you're going to be working poor."
Robin: (confused) "never mind about the money part, is there any courses that you offer in this area?"
Counselor: "no, my advice to you is to quit now. Finish your associate's degree at Lane Community College, and call it good. You will have a better chance of getting a job with your associates degree without occurring a huge debt."

Thanks, I feel a lot better now.

Gee, and they wonder why I am not overly excited about being back in school.

in my opinion,both Lane Community College and the University of Oregon are designed for first-time students (younger) and based on my experience, if I was able to do it over again, I would go to a technical College in Portland.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Piggy banks offend UK Muslims

British banks are banning piggy banks because they may offend some Muslims.

Halifax and NatWest banks have led the move to scrap the time-honoured symbol of saving from being given to children or used in their advertising, the Daily Express/Daily Star group reports here.

Muslims do not eat pork, as Islamic culture deems the pig to be an impure animal.
However, the move brought accusations of political correctness gone mad from critics.

Khalid Mahmoud, the Labour MP for a Birmingham seat and one of four Muslim MPs in Britain, also criticised the piggy-bank ban.

"We live in a multicultural society and the traditions and symbols of one community should not be obliterated just to accommodate another," Mr Mahmoud said.

"I doubt many Muslims would be seriously offended by piggy banks."

I thought this story was great because it started out like many other headlines that you hear...

We must change our culture and history it because [Insert name of group] was offended by [insert item] , so in the name of politically correctness, we will no longer be able to have/celebrate/observe this [insert item] anymore because we do not wish to offend a minority group.

I get so sick of hearing this. E.g. Christmas trees = holiday trees

That's Bunk!

Whether you're a Christian or not, I have not heard too many people turning down a day off because of a Christian holiday.

I mean if you want to get particular, then how about removing other minority groups and religious symbols because they may offend me or my neighbor?

in that case, why don't we just get rid of all of them?

or do we just grow up and respect each other's cultures in a country that is supposed to be a "melting pot" where we preach (pardon the pun) religious freedom.

In this particular case, I think kudos go out to Khalid Mahmoud for stating the reality that some Muslims may be offended, but he does not feel that the traditions and symbols of one country should not be obliterated just to accommodate another.

Very well said.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Bush vows to oust every single illegal

The Washington Times
President Bush said that his goal is eventually to expel "every single" illegal alien from the United States has his administration pressed Congress to pass a guest worker program.

Although conceding that the administration can not immediately deport an estimated 11 million illegal aliens who are here, Homeland security Secretary Michael Chernoff and Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao told Congress that a temporary worker program would give aliens in incentive to come out of hiding and let them work legally for six years before being forced to return home.
if they are hiding successfully now, then why should they come out and be counted when they know that within six years of that date, they will have to leave. Again, if they're not afraid to violate federal immigration laws by being here illegally, they are just going to laugh in the face of President Bush over this one and see it as an even bigger opportunity to come here.

"We're going to get control of our borders," he said during the signing ceremony in the East room. "Our goal is clear -- to return every single illegal entrant, with no exceptions."

I would say get your priorities clear first.
The current administration under the Homeland security act has made it tougher on the citizens of United States in the name of security while in the meantime, our biggest threat in my opinion is our borders.

This is the same analogy of buying an expensive alarm system and leaving the doors and windows unlocked.

First, get your borders under control and clean house. Then, talk to me about your guest worker program.

I'm also wondering what percentages are of how many illegals would be even interested in the guest worker program. Perhaps one suggestion might be, that to qualify for the guest worker program, YOU CAN NOT BE LIVING IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME.
Otherwise, it is like catching a burglar in your house and offering him forgiveness because he came forward knowing that there would be no consequences for being caught.

Friday, October 21, 2005


The county board of commissioners voted 3-1 Wednesday to advance a plan to enact either in a sales tax or a business gross receipts tax to pay for public safety.

Anna Morrison, Fay Stewart and Bobby Green said they were merely advancing a generic plan to fix the system, until next week with the board will conduct a thorough examination of all the ways to pay for public safety.

Commissioner Peter Sorensen cast the only no vote.

Commissioner Bill Dwyer, was absent.

A 13-step set of decisions about the state of public safety will be discussed next Wednesday when the board is scheduled to meet. Topics will include how to improve and pay for improvements, including a retail sales tax, a business gross receipts tax, a personal income tax or a corporate income tax. the key word here is... tax

"In my judgment, the people of Lane County do not want a sales tax. [Finally someone gets it] in my view, it's not a good idea for us to be the first county in the state of Oregon to initiate a sales tax," said Sorensen, who is running for the Oregon governorship.
I have lost count how many times the people of Oregon had said no to a sales tax, and I will constantly vote no on any proposals to increase any taxes because the city and county's as well as a state have proven over and over again that they are unable to manage the money that they have and provide the services that we pay for.

If this measure is approved, I hope that the public will insist that we get the services that we are paying for. By this I mean, I want the police and sheriff to start responding to burglar alarms for starters, and I want to see patrols back in the neighborhoods instead of watching police sitting for hours on end running radar to try and raise money.

In other words, public safety means the safety of the public. And if I'm not mistaken, that is one of the requirements of the city charter.

What does a $29 million bus system and the 2008 Olympic track and field trials have in common?

They're all happening in Eugene.
According to The Statesman Journal, Eugene will be hosting the 2008 US Olympic track and field trials that could bring $20 million into Eugene's economy. About 1200 athletes, 500 coaches, 1100 journalists and sellout crowd of 17,000 people a day were expected.

So this brings one little question to mind...


Currently, there is barely any parking available at the University of Oregon as it is. I know, because I go to school there.

There will even be less parking when the U of O has completed the two buildings currently under construction.

So how in the world do they expect to host an event of 17,000 people a day?

Traffic congestion in Eugene/Springfield area will basically choke off the cities. Look at what it does now whenever there's a game at Autzen Stadium or Hayward Field.

We are also very understaffed in public protection services.

So looking at the logistics, I just do not see how we can SAFELY host an event as large as this one.

and then a light came on... [thank you honey]

Currently under construction is a new $29 million high-speed (choke) hybrid bus line that travels between Eugene/Springfield that will save you a whopping five minutes over the current bus system, however, according to LTD, it looks nice.

City and county law enforcement's are trying to push through a $34 million tax hike which according to Eugene weekly will cost the homeowner about $400 per year. [My property taxes went up 6% and I can't afford an additional $400 a year ]

The U of O Department of public safety publicly announced that it wants to discourage vehicle traffic in the university area and encourage more use of public transportation and they help to promote this endeavor by issuing 24,000- 35,000 tickets every year for improperly parked cars on campus according to The Oregon Daily Emerald [do the math... 24,000 times $15 (the smallest fine)=$360,000 in parking citations alone]

So is it just me, or is there actually a pattern starting to form here?

Finally, I have to ask the question... was the public asked if we want any of this?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Security guards with police powers?

590 KUGN has a regular feature in the mornings called "ask the sheriff" or something similar to that where callers get an opportunity to ask questions from Deputy Art regarding traffic and other issues.

I called the show this morning and asked him why is it when they are constantly complaining that they do not have enough deputies to patrol Lane County, and why a deputy for over a week was constantly patrolling and running radar in the parking lot of Lane Community College.

His reply was that Lane Community College asked for their assistance at the beginning of the term to help monitor traffic on campus. He also pointed out that this was to assist LCC security.
Gee, I thought the citizens were asking for their assistance in keeping our neighborhoods safe and that is what our tax dollars were paying for.

With that, I took the opportunity to ask him about LCC security and if we have to stop when they turn their red lights on us.

He said that they do have police powers and they are allowed to stop you on campus but not on 30th Ave.

I was going to ask him how LCC security is different from any other security company, but at that point they hung up on me.

I would also would like to know a little bit more about these "police powers".

Are they sworn police officers? Do they have the same powers as a regular police officer? And why are they allowed to do traffic stops? Does that also mean that they have the power to blow the stop sign with their lights going? Do they have the same training that a sworn police officer has to acquire the police powers?

Why are their vehicles equipped with fixed radar units and why do they have access to your traffic record?

The reason why I even bring up this issue, to my understanding, unless the vehicle has a blue light on it and/or it is an emergency vehicle that they are not allowed to stop someone and detain someone against their will in less they are on the property committing a crime.

In other words, how does campus security differ from the security officers at Valley River Center. Do they also have police powers?

and the point about the sheriff's deputy, Lane County Sheriff's Department and the city of Eugene both say that they do not have the manpower to respond to burglar alarms and they refused to respond to an alarm unless it is witnessed by someone but they do have the time to sit on a campus parking lot all day.

Just wondering

No more flags for Veterans' Day?

Democrat Herald
The 53 year old tradition of volunteers placing American flags in holes in the sidewalks in front of Albany businesses on holidays will end after this Veterans' Day.

Organizers say the volunteer force putting up the flags has dwindled to nothing, the number of businesses providing financial support has waned and many of the holes for the flags were eliminated with new sidewalks were installed on Santiam Highway and on 1st Ave downtown.

I'm very sorry to see this happen because our veterans and others who have given their lives and of themselves for this country should be remembered.

The Toll Booths Are Coming, the Toll Booths Are Coming...

The Oregonian
The Oregon Transportation Commission gave the go-ahead Wednesday for the state to negotiate with an Australian company to develop three private toll roads in the Portland area.

The approval at a meeting in Medford means officials and the Macquarie Infrastructure Group will attempt to work out a "predevelopment" agreement to define if they are feasible.

The projects include a Newberg Dundee bypass, widening the south portion of Interstate 205 and a new highway from I-205 towards Damascus.

Estimated costs of about $1 billion.
First question that I have is, why do we need toll roads in the first place? I thought that is what our tax dollars, gasoline taxes and other road fees were supposed to pay for.

Second, if they are going to do a project like this, isn't there a company based out of Portland or somewhere in Oregon that could do this to keep the money local?

Third, since it affects Portland, why are these guys not holding their meetings in Portland instead of Medford? I would think that the people of Portland would kind of like a say in this matter.

Finally, once they get a few toll roads established, you can bet that they will start popping up like mushrooms.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

benefit to help replace stolen band equipment

There will be a benefit concert this Thursday night at the Overtime Tavern 770 S Bertelsen Rd Eugene at 8 p.m. to help John Powell of the Valley Boys who recently had all of his equipment stolen from his van.

John and some of the other of Eugene's finest musicians will performing at this event.
come on by and show your support and have a good time.

The Valley Boys have been entertaining us for over 22 years including performances at charities and private events.

Monday, October 17, 2005

if you're a U of O student, your personal information may be displayed without you knowing it

I got a shocker today when my instructor was informing us of the new U of O e-mail policy and recommending us to foreword the U of O e-mail to our personal e-mail address and when he went to the directory to show us that all the accounts now have a e-mail address, I was very surprised to see that the name and other information was being displayed.

As soon as I got home, I went and looked up my information (link)and sure enough,there it was... my name, the fact that I am an undergraduate and that I have undeclared major, my home address and my phone number including my U of O e-mail all out there for just anybody to look at it.

I have an unlisted phone number, so I was not happy to see this information was out there.

Fortunately, there is something that you can do about it should you decide if you do not wish to have your information displayed publicly.

go to duck web*, select personal information,then directory profile--and uncheck the boxes under "display in directory" or if you wish to restrict all the information in the student directory about yourself, visit the office of the registrar, second floor Oregon hall, to file a "restriction of directory information" form.

*Duck Web, is a cutesy name for student personal and enrollment information web page based on the theme of the Oregon ducks.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Thinking of Returning to School? Be Prepared for Some Shocking Surprises

The year was 1975. This was the year that I first decided to attend college and improve my life. Little did I know at the time that this would come back to haunt me 30 years later.

Two years ago last April, the company that I worked for closed its doors and left the area putting 277 people out of work however, it did give us the opportunity to return to school under the dislocated worker program for retraining.

I was really excited about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to return to school full-time. I proceeded to head out to Lane Community College (LCC) and spoke with an adviser who set up a really great two-year schedule so that by spring of 2005 I would have an Associates degree in both programming and networking.

Everything was going along great until six months into the program I ran into one small little detail that my advisor did not forewarned me about and it has haunted me like a cancer for the last year and a half and continues to come back and be an issue.


The maximum credit limit basically has to do with federal financial aid. to quote "Per federal regulations, students must complete a degree within 150% of the credits required for their program (source) a student is expected to complete a one-year program within 75 attempted credits for a two-year program within 150 attempted credits.

regulations require institutions to count all attempted credits even if financial aid was not received or coursework was not successfully completed. Attempted credits include audits, transfer credits, incompletes, dropped courses and repeat or failed classes.

Referring back to 1975, I earned 69 credits through the LCC automotive program.
In addition to those credits, during my lifetime I have taken one or two credit classes for extra knowledge and skills for my job.

As I found out the hard way, ALL of these credits are being counted towards the maximum credit limit.

Within six months of returning to Lane, and receiving this notice, I had to scrap one of my degrees and file an appeal and beg for the opportunity to continue in school.

So I filed the appeal and change my direction towards programming.

Based on my experience about the LCC CIT program, if you decide to go there for any computer related studies... DON'T.

Skipping ahead a little, towards the end of spring term this year, after finally resigning to the fact that I'm going to be in huge debt, I decided it might not be a bad idea to continue onto the University of Oregon and work towards my bachelor's degree while at the same time finishing up my associates degree in networking.

The University of Oregon and LCC, together have put together a program called dual enrollment. This allows a student to take classes at both colleges and still receive financial aid.

Well, 1975 comes into play again.

The University of Oregon, audited my transcripts and decided that 53 of those 69 credits were no longer valid (Yeah!) and they did not accept them. That is wonderful. However, that decision caused confusion between who will sponsor my financial aid.

University of Oregon handles all financial aid for anything above 90 credits otherwise LCC administers it.

so sports fans this put the score at... U of O 70 -- LCC 128. as a result, I lost the financial aid for the summer.

So I spent four weeks of summer term in addition to my classes making phone calls, e-mails, in person visits to both colleges trying to get this straightened out.

Fall 2005, thinking that I have financial aid taking care of, I start classes at the University of Oregon, and when I find out that they don't use calculators in trigonometry (see previous post) decided that since I am "duel enrolled" that I would take advantage of it and go to LCC for math.

The other factor was why was I subsidizing a kid to teach me trigonometry when I could go to LCC and have somebody with a master's degree for $100 less per term instruct me.

Starting a math class in the second week of the course can be a very difficult thing to do, and math is not my best subject. Concerned about the consequences if I failed this course, I started making some inquiries and was very shocked at what I found out.

The University of Oregon differs from LCC in that they figure that they paid for the credits for that class, and they want those credits completed. Reasonable. They do not want the money back; they want your time, which is normally paid back by taking two terms of two credit classes.

Normally, for everybody else, that would not be an issue however, I went to school at LCC in 1975 and earned 69 credits.

Remember when I said that the U of O disallowed 53 credits? That is only for their degree program, not financial aid.

The U of O for their maximum credit limit range is 270 credits. This means that if you have never received financial aid in your life, and you apply for financial aid for the first time with 250 attempted lifetime credits, that within 30 credits you would have reached the maximum credit limit and unless you could find other funding, you would have to drop out.

Therefore, even though I am starting out at the University of Oregon with 92 credits at junior status, technically, I'm a freshman which means I will not have enough financial aid to see me through the program.

The financial aid office advised me not to take any "unnecessary credits" and to try to complete my degree as soon as possible.

Therefore, in that regards, it makes me very thankful that I did not pursue the remaining three terms (36 credits) of the networking program at Lane Community College.


The financial aid office recommended that I pay a visit to the U of O academic adviser for advice and to lay out a plan.

The adviser's advice... QUIT!

I definitely was not expecting that response.

He said that based on my academic credits, the large expense that I would be incurring and in his opinion that the U of O based on my background does not offer any courses that I would find of interest so his advice was to return to LCC and finish the associates degree or just quit and find a job.

So currently as I am writing this, I am taking of the two years of my life along with over $18,000 in loans, not to mention another $4000 that I paid out of my pocket for school and I find myself wishing that I never heard of LCC.

I believe the issue of the maximum credit limit needs to be brought to the forefront and dealt with because it is utterly ridiculous to punish somebody for trying to further their education just because they went to school 30 years ago.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Racketeering Immigration Fraud Case 80,000 Oregon drivers license applications

The Oregonian
Hillsboro -- The first trial in what authorities have called the biggest immigration fraud case in Oregon history started Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court.
Miguel Robleto, 47, of Hillsboro is charged with racketeering involving 189 counts of money laundering, forgery, falsifying business records, tampering with public records and related crimes.
Robleto's Drive Master Education, a third-party testing business in Hillsboro, provided false Oregon addresses, identification and sometimes fraudulent driving tests and applications for thousands of illegal immigrants from across the nation.
Once they had an Oregon driver's license, the illegal immigrants could use the photo ID to open bank accounts, get credit cards, buy airplane tickets and apply for jobs and government services.

Investigators said Robleto, two of his brothers and others who worked for Drive Master Education and the La Unica testing business in Beaverton handled about 80,000 Oregon driver's license applications over two years, before the state shut their operations in 2003.
Vitolins said the prosecution will present about 30 witnesses, including two people who sold canceled mail with fake addresses, a man who hauled illegal immigrants to Robleto's business from California, and police officers who conducted surveillance that shows Drive Master Education billed DMV for driving tests it never performed.

Eight of 12 people arrested in connection with the case have pleaded guilty.
To me this brings up several issues...
First, did DMV investigate this company?
Second, even though Drive Master Education trained and tested the drivers, it is still DMV's responsibility to make sure that the applicants are legitimate.
Finally, although I am glad to see that a case like this is finally coming to court and may set a precedent for future cases, I think it should also be pointed out that we allowed companies like this one to start in the first place. How many other companies are out there doing similar things.

Like a broken record, I will say again, a lot of the problems that we are having would not be here if we followed the laws that are in place.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Stolen Band Equipment -- Update

The van was recovered, however of course it was empty.
I think that it is really great that some members of the community are getting together to try and raise money to help John out, there's talk of a benefit deal in the works.

I will post information on here when I receive more details.

if you have any information about the equipment listed below or would like to contribute, John can be reached at

they have done so much for our community, so if there's anything that you can do to help, it would be more than appreciated.

List of stolen equipment,


This was stolen, along with my van, from the parking lot at McMenamin’s North Bank on Sunday, Oct 2, 2:30 p.m.

ENSONIQ MR-76 keyboard, s/n MR-13540. Black, has right end cap broken.

2 JBL EON powered speakers, s/n 10G2-36975 and 10G2-37351. New condition.

FENDER CYBER TWIN guitar amp, with cover. S/n M1210381. Some knobs broken off.

PEAVEY KB/A keyboard amp, s/n 101730?887 (one number unreadable)-older, a bit worn.

STEPHENS electric guitar, 2 pickups, natural finish. No serial number available. Older, with visible wear on neck; not a common brand.

Also stolen were; an Ultimate tripod keyboard stand, 3 Shure SM-58 mics, 2 SM-57s, 2 speaker stands, a sony wireless guitar reciever, Rolls MIDI footswitch controller, and LOTS of 1/4", XLR, and speaker cords & adaptors.

If you see any of my gear, please contact:

Eugene police, 682-5111. This is case # 88015

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Local band had vehicle stolen along with $8,000 worth of equipment


John Powell, lead singer of the Valley Boys and the Cheeseburgers was having lunch at the north bank restaurant when his white van with green stripes was stolen with about $8,000 worth of band equipment inside.

Both groups are very well known in the communities and are also known for participating in local fund-raising events, like the American Cancer Society's relay for life and the American Diabetes Association Walk.

"They're great events and I've worked for a lot of good causes in the past and it is real gratifying. We do what we can," said Powell

The Valley boys, who have been around the Eugene area for over 22 years, have recently had a run of bad luck as far as equipment goes.

This summer, the drummer, Gary, had his drums stolen from the back of his pickup sitting in his driveway.

I have personally known the Valley Boys for a few years and I have helped them at several of their events, and they are wonderful people.

Therefore, if you know anything about the van or the instruments or if you can help out in any way, they can be reached at their web site,

Friday, October 07, 2005

something interesting

Ok, we are told that local police and sheriff do not have the funds and the officers to partol the streets, so with that being the case, then could someone tell me how they can afford an unmarked sheriff to spend all week at LCC crusing the parking lots?

Now I know that they sometimes "job" officers to a location for an event, but to be honest, where would you rather have him...

Just a thought

Sunday, October 02, 2005

$29 million for a new Bus system, is it worth it?

EmX - LTD's Bus Rapid TransitPhoto

It is interesting living in Eugene/Springfield area, working all the streets being torn up for these special hybrid buses that run on wheels. And I have been asking myself for a while, what is it about these buses that requires the streets to be torn up and all the construction? And even more importantly, why does it cost $29 million for a 14 mile route?

So what is EmX? The concept is based on light rail principles, but uses rubber tires and technology such as queue jumpers, bus only lanes, and signal priority to achieve a similar service that is more affordable for smaller communitiesSource

Designs for the final design of the new vehicle is still underway, but not only will the exterior be sporting an exciting futuristic look (buzzword warning) but the interior design include state-of-the-art features in consideration for people with disabilities (buzzword warning)

The buses sport an INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM (ITS) in which LTD claims a system opens the doors to new ways of managing, operating and refining transportation system. There is not much information available on the LTD's web site regarding the full features of ITS, but I'm speculating that it has to do with robotic navigation systems. I have worked with simmular systems, I don't trust them 100%

Detail of the service on Franklin Boulevard is available at Link

check out the drawing of the Franklin Corridor. what happened to the trees? Link

I'm also surprised at the tree huggers are not raising a stink either.

So in conclusion, we really need such an expensive system when there are cheaper and more flexible alternative methods of doing so. Or is it because of the federal grant that it giving for this project, or is it just a new toy that they want to play with?

Additional information regarding this technology for Bus Rapid Transit is available at this link from the Federal Transit Administration.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Alert: man impersonating a police officer in Eugene

The Register Guard

Police are looking for a man posing as a police officer who is driving a black and white Chevrolet Capric used a small light to pull a woman over recently and raped her.

Police are withholding details as to not hamper the investigation however the sheriff's public log includes a report of rape at 3:09 a.m. Monday at the intersection of Irving Road and klemia Street.

The release described the driver as a white man in his late teens to early 20s with shorter dark hair and a thin build. It said the car had been "involved in an assault of a female."

The press release offered the following instructions for people who are approached by someone they suspect is not a real police officer: "Ask for identification. Use a cell phone to call 911. A last resort would be to inform this person you are driving to a well-lit public place or police station. If you think this is not a police car before you stop, pick a well-lit public place at which to stop. Use hand signals to inform them you are acknowledging their presence. Remember: This is not permission to disobey a police officer's lawful order to stop."

first, I wanna make this clear that I'm not putting down the fact that this woman was raped, but I did what I make a comment about unmarked police cars.

With the use of superbright LEDs now appearing on police vehicles, it makes it easier for the police to disguise anything as an unmarked police vehicle. Okay, realizing that there are advantages to them for doing this, the question is, how does the public know that the person that is trying to stop you is actually a police officer? You don't!

One clue that may help, is that it has become commonplace in both marked and unmarked police vehicles the use of strobe lights that are permanently installed in the vehicle itself e.g. inside the marker lights, taillights etc. e.g., chances are you'll have a combination of both red and blue lights flashing at you inside the vehicle as well.

The Starsky and Hutch method of throwing a rotating light on top of the vehicle has become ancient history.

However, if you have any concerns at all, don't be afraid to call 911. They do understand and appreciate your concern about your safety.

This is my little rant and rave however about the use (or misuse)of emergency lights and security guards.

first and foremost, security guards are NOT police officers. Although they do have the right to detain you while on property that they are protecting, it is still a very touchy situation.

A long time ago, when I used to know more people in Eugene Police Department, I asked a friend of mine who was a sergeant at the time about the rule of thumb about stopping for vehicles shining their lights at you.

The reason that I had asked him this question, is for the same reason of what was happening above. There was somebody impersonating a police officer and pulling people over.

His reply to me was, "unless it has a blue light, you do not have to stop." At the time, I was working for a security company and had to be a little bit adverse in the usage of overheads and one of the rules for the use of such lights, is that you do not use them to stop vehicles. In addition, red lights in the front were a no-no unless you were fire or a tow vehicle, blue lights were strictly prohibited on nonemergency vehicles.

Moving forward to current time, I refer to Lane Community College and their "Public Safety Department", where it was starting to become commonplace to see them pulling people over with their RED lights mounted on top of their vehicles. I have even seen them with a vehicle on 30th Ave. (to be fair, I do not know the situation)

To my knowledge, and please correct me if I'm wrong, however, these are not sworn police officers.

Out of curiosity, I called the sheriff's department and ask them if they had the power to stop people. I was forwarded on to a sergeant and he asked me quite puzzled, "why wouldn't I stop?" So I proceeded to ask him what would happen if I refuse to stop. His response, "that it would be my choice, and that if I wished to use the college, then I have to follow their rules." He added, "that they were not allowed to stop people on 30th Ave." he never did answer my original question.

I had informed him what I knew about blue lights, and he said that I was misinformed.

To be clear, I do not have anything against the police, my father was an investigator for the state of Oregon, etc. a disclaimer which always seem to be necessary whenever talking about law enforcement.

I always make a point at stopping at all the stop signs, driving the speed limit (yes I like my safe driver discount on my insurance), however, if one of these rent a cops decides to pull me over, he better be able to prove that he is a sworn police officer, because that is the first thing that I'm going to ask you before he starts to do his business with me, and if he does not provide immediate proof, then I am driving on and filing charges.

How it relates to the story above, if you are not sure that they are sworn police officers that are attempting to stop you, then follow the advice above.
Signal to them that you are acknowledging their presence and immediately call 911 for assistance. If it is a legitimate traffic stop, their dispatcher will inform the officer that you are making the inquiry, however, if that does not turn out to be the case, the police take these issues quite seriously and they will instruct you on what to do next.