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Vladimir Sovyak

Vladimir Sovyak has 25 articles published.

Twilight hours of net neutrality approach

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Ajit Pai is the current Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

The Federal Communications Commission’s Chariman Ajit Pai voiced concerns on Nov. 28 over the potential dangers of sites such as Google and Twitter at an event held by R Street Institute. A TechCrunch article by Devin Coldeway details a bizarre quote from Pai’s speech at the event in which he stated that such websites “are a much bigger actual threat to an open Internet than broadband providers, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of viewpoint… So let’s be clear. They might cloak their advocacy in the public interest, but the real interest of these Internet giants is in using the regulatory process to cement their dominance in the Internet economy.”

However, the comment overlooks the basic right of websites to express their perspectives through their own content, and Pai may have just attracted the wrong kind of attention to conflicts of interest as an FCC Chairman who favors deregulation and an end to net neutrality.

Many consumers and legislators take issue with undoing the laws in place concerning net neutrality. The Declaratory Ruling clause of “Restoring Internet Freedom” intends to “Restore the classification of broadband Internet access service as an ‘information service’“ instead of its current classification it as a utility. The utility classification was given partly because internet access is necessary to make and send most job applications in present-day America; it serves as a means of paying bills, communications and shopping to name a few more of its myriad consumer uses.

The wording of “Restoring Internet Freedom” favors deregulating internet service providers rather than focusing on consumers’ rights which returned the internet’s legal classification to its status an information service. The FCC’s document refers to the domain name system multiple times as too distinct from telecommunications management to be protected as a utility, deeming it an end user function. This is because the utility exceptions that apply to telecommunications are “directed at internal operations, not at services for customers or end users” (para 35-117). However, the document also admits the necessity of DNS to the average American. Paragraph 35 states “DNS does not merely ‘manage’ a telecommunications service, as some commenters assert, but rather is a function that is useful and essential to providing Internet access for the ordinary consumer.” According to the FCC, legal precedent shows that end user functions should not be under their previous classification as a utility.

The 2015 decision to change the classification of the internet from a utility to an information service is described by “Restoring Internet Freedom” as relying too heavily on Computer Inquiries section of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and neglecting the findings of the Modification of Final Judgment in the 1982 antitrust case between AT&T and Bell Operating companies. This is disturbing because while the legal decisions used to determine the FCC’s findings are well established, the MFJ was written at a time before the Internet existed and the prevalence of the Internet has grown drastically and almost exclusively in the past twenty years. Plus, comparing telecommunications management from the 1980s and digital network management is like comparing apples and oranges.

One of the foundational goals of “Restoring Internet Freedom” is to eliminate the Internet Conduct Standard. The FCC’s Commissioner Ajit Pai argues that the rules in place via the Internet Conduct Standard are too restrictive to investment and entrepreneurship in the internet. Paragraph 18 of “Restoring Internet Freedom” states “Specifically, the Internet Freedom [Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] NPRM proposed to eliminate the Internet conduct standard and the non-exhaustive list of factors intended to guide application of that rule.”

Paragraph 17 also criticizes the November 2014 classification of broadband as a utility the February 2015 legislation by the FCC to protect consumers from dubious ISP practices: “The Commission also adopted no-blocking, no-throttling, and no-paid-prioritization rules, as well as a general Internet conduct standard and ‘enhancements’ to the transparency rule.” This is a prime example of how “Restoring Internet Freedom” repeatedly victimizes ISPs as companies trying to reason with the government to turn a profit and argues against consumers’ rights. The previous language of the proposed legislation opens the door for ISPs to slow down and block web content of their choosing, and it decreases the potential for ISPs to be reprimanded, investigated or punished for unethical business standards and practices.

Please transfer my credits, please . . .

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    Photo Credit: Richard Hicks / Flickr

All voting members of the Oregon House and Senate affirmed House Bill 2998 this summer. The bill was drafted to make college credits more transferable between public colleges.

Governor Kate Brown signed HB 2998 into law on August 8, and the bill is planned to be implemented in college’s curricula in the Fall 2018 academic term. Requirements for an associate’s degree currently shift depending on the specific college, leaving students to repeat course they have already passed or enter upper level courses without adequate preparation.

According to Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s

2017 Legislative Summary: “The bill establishes a path toward a guaranteed portfolio of transferable credits between any Oregon community college and any Oregon public university. In pursuit of this goal, the bill first requires the establishment of a 30 credit foundational curricula.”

Foundational curricula largely refer to courses and course outcomes of general education. As a result, the bill most directly will impact first-year college students. The first application of foundational curricula is slated to be established in Fall 2018 according to UCC’s Dean of Student Services April Hamlin and UCC Advising and Transfer Specialist Les Rogers.

Hamlin has optimism about the potential positive changes that could arise from HB 2998 and the inclusiveness of those working on the bill’s implementation. Hamlin said that the bill may shit college’s focus from course numbers students must complete to course outcomes.

“No one knows exactly what this will look like but foundational curricula will entail beyond that it is supposed to be 30 credits,” said Hamlin, “What I’m hearing right now, and this could change, is that they’re leaning more towards outcomes and less toward classes.”

Course outcomes of a class refer to the knowledge base and skills that a student should have by the end of a course. While systematizing this in a way that independent institutions can measure would be a major challenge to coordinate, such a system could potentially make the transfer of credits between institutions more fluid. The transfer of credits between similar majors may eventually also be easier course outcomes.

However, there is debate as to the how effective the bill can be. Oregon House Bill 2979 passed in 2013 and outlined a plan to establish universal list of course equivalences to ensure that each course of an accredited college would be transferable to other public colleges. Section 1 of HB 2979 bill stated it would “Identify strategies to establish a common course numbering system for lower-division undergraduate courses.” However, House Bill 2979 has effectively been replaced by House Bill 2998.

“The goal of that (HB 2979) was to do universal course numbering, but what happened to it? Where did it go?” asked Rogers. Common course numbering is seen by Rogers as imperative to Oregon working out its problems concerning transfer credits.

The timing of House Bill 2998’s implementation has also raised concerns. Rogers feels doubtful of the implementation of the bill because it calls for the foundational curricula to be presented in February, months after the time-frame in which colleges can present curricula for the following year.

Rogers said that while HB 2998 is a step in the right direction, it is only a baby step. His summation on the topic of transfer credits “My goal, and I think the goal for the whole state should be to get people done quickly, affordably, don’t waste financial aid, don’t waste taxpayer dollars.”

The disorganization of transfer credits was the impetus for House Bill 2998, and the Oregon legislature deemed it a state emergency. When students have to take an inordinate amount of credits to enter and complete their requirements, student loans will increase, and more financial aid is required. Both of these financial strains impact not only students but also Oregon taxpayers as well. Similarly, the workforce suffers from having a lack of incoming applicants if students have to remain in school longer than anticipated.

Spanish Club: Overcoming the first language barrier

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    The Spanish Club will attend a bilingual exchange at St. Joseph’s church Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Any student may attend Spanish Club.

    Spanish Club is an organization for members of the UCC community to enjoy some time together while learning about the Spanish language. No level of fluency is required to be a participant.

   “It’s open to everyone, even if you’ve never taken a Spanish class; if you just kind of want to get introduced to it, we want people to come. It’s just really to open up that barrier of communication,” Spanish Club member Kelsey Stone said.

   “I first got involved this year with the club. I took Spanish last year, and I wasn’t able to go to the meetings because of my work schedule, but I was able to go this year,” Stone said.

   Ease of accessibility of the club has personally allowed Stone to practice her Spanish in a casual setting, which is important because her current schedule does not allow her to take a Spanish class: “I enjoy working with Señor Tratz, and I have a couple other friends that are in Spanish Club.”

   Her favorite activities of Spanish Club are simple: “Just general introductions, and asking how you’re doing, or what you did that day or the previous night— like small talk and really kind of building on that. Because initially when you meet people, that’s what you’re going to talk about.”

   “A lot of the Spanish-speaking people I have met do actually speak English pretty well, but they aren’t necessarily comfortable speaking it to others that are fluent (in English),” said Stone.

   Worrying about lack of fluency about a second language is often what hinders starting conversations across languages. Working through conversational errors can be embarrassing, but Stone said it can also be most encouraging. She said that when both parties know little of a second language but make an attempt to speak it for the other person’s benefit, neither person is left to feel ashamed for not knowing more about second language.

   Stone stressed the benefits of making an effort to know more than one language: “Even if you aren’t fluent in a language, just to kind of learn how to communicate on that simple level with others that don’t speak English, or speak it as a first language, as well just to get that communication, and to get to know people, make them feel comfortable.”

   Spanish Club meetings are at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays this term in Jackson Hall 16. At 7 p.m. on Nov. 17, the Spanish Club will attend St. Joseph’s Church for a bilingual exchange.

IRS finally suspends exclusive Equifax contract, but they did not terminate it

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    Photo Credit: Blue Coat Photos / Flickr

“Fraud is a huge opportunity for us, it is a massive, growing business for us,” Richard Smith, former CEO of Equifax, said in August. While Smith’s statement may have stirred little attention at the time, when Senator Elizabeth Warren read the quote back to him, it must have been a regrettable choice of words.

More than 145 million Americans have been affected by the breach of the credit bureau Equifax. While massive hacks make headlines, they usually only pertain to credit card fraud, which is incomparably easier to remedy than stolen social security numbers (SSNs), tax returns addresses, and driver’s licenses that have been compromised. Most of the stolen information cannot be re-issued or replaced. Those affected have typically had permanent information stolen, and may be vulnerable for the rest of their lives.

On Oct. 13 the IRS suspended its $7.25 million taxpayer identity verification contract to Equifax, technically called a sole source offer. The decision followed on the heels of a false Adobe Flash update on Equifax and TransUnion websites that installed malware on users’ computers as they tried to check their credit reports. On Oct. 16, the Government Accountability Office denied the arguments from Equifax for the bid to be re-opened.

However, it is key that this contract was suspended and not terminated. “Once the fury calms down, the IRS will most likely re-open the offer to Equifax,” said associate professor John Blackwood of UCC’s Computer Information Services.

The IRS contract is now in the hands of Experian, and has been shrunk by almost ten times. The initial decision to grant the multi-million dollar sole-source contract to Equifax while its CLO John Kelley and former CEO Smith were under Congressional investigation is still mysterious. Why the contract was solely offered to Equifax in such circumstances also seems morally dubious to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Allowing Equifax to continue its work with the IRS seems to defy all logic, but it would be on par with the lack of immediate consequences for three chief Equifax officers that sold an estimated $1.8 million in the days following unauthorized access to their website on July 29.

Products like LifeLock and similar products should be researched before being purchased. Blackwood and “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver said Lifelock’s CEO Richard Maynard drove his company truck with his SSN posted on the side like a phone number. He was personally hacked thirteen times after that point in time, making consumer rights advocates more than skeptical of Lifelock’s leadership.

But Maynard’s poor judgment is not the only reason consumers should avoid using LifeLock as protection from the Equifax hack. Senator Warren confirmed during her congressional questioning of Smith that “LifeLock purchases credit monitoring services from Equifax.” This is most significant, because anyone who went to LifeLock because of issues with the Equifax breach did anything but help their own situation by doing so. In other words, LifeLock purchasers are no more protected than anyone else due to Equifax being the security provider for LifeLock and the target of a massive security breach. Senator Warren also told Smith during his questioning that enrollment of the product LifeLock increased tenfold after the public knew of the Equifax breach.

Blackwood said that LifeLock should donate a significant portion of their earnings to those most in need, such those affected by the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, if they hope to save face.

The brash advertising of the LifeLock CEO tactics points to an incalculable issue of false confidence within the financial services industry on which the Equifax breach has pointed a spotlight. The Federal Trade Commission fined LifeLock $12 million in 2010 for false advertising, as the company’s advertisement gave consumers a 100% guarantee to protect against identity theft, an impossible offer. In 2015, the FTC penalized LifeLock $100 million for continuing to offer substandard service, particularly in regard to its security.

Chief officers from Lifelock and Equifax have displayed disregard for their consumers personal information in some of the most obvious ways.  “Equifax has been hacked several times in the past few years. It is consistently rated as having some of the worst data security practices in the financial services industry, and this latest hack happened through a hole in your system that had been identified months before, and should have been fixed pretty easily,” Warren said during the congressional questioning of Smith. Warren was referring to a weakness in security that had been first realized in March, but was still not fixed by the time of the July 29 hack.

Blackwood said that scientists at the CERN supercollider in Switzerland estimate that 90 percent of breaches could be prevented just through proper patching of network systems. Performing patches in a timely manner is one of the most reliable, and most obvious, methods to how cybersecurity analysts can remain ahead of threats and respond to digital attacks. Yet, such a basic action was not taken by the credit bureau Equifax to protect consumers’ credit and their own reputation.

Blackwood also stressed that consumers should check all three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, in order to get the most complete picture possible of one’s current credit.

Check out the Oregon coast for incoming surfperch

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    Bullard's Beach in Bandon provided Jasmyn Antos with this hog of a surfperch. Photo provided by Marie Cozine

Surfperch have arrived on Oregon shores. Those who do not fish for surfperch, or don’t know someone who fishes for them, are unlikely to get a chance to taste this fish. These fish can rarely, if ever, be found in fish sections of supermarkets.

The May 23 recreational fishing report by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife describes surfperch fishing as “good” during periods of small ocean swells and incoming tides. ODFW’s website names late spring through early summer as the best times of year to fish for surfperch.

Persons of varying ages and strengths can cast for surfperch. These fish average roughly a pound in weight, but the bag limit for surfperch is 15 fish per day. ODFW notes that schools of surfperch will frequently come within 30 feet of the shore. Their bite feels much more rapid than the pull of the surf. Many stories circulate among surfperch anglers about how the smallest and youngest person in the group with the shortest cast and the least amount of fishing experience landed the most fish.

Many of the specifics regarding tackle are contested among anglers, although tying off two hooks is a common surfperch fishing method to allow the perch have a better window to strike in the rough surf. These discussions may entail what size or type of sinker to use, hook size, types of bait, monofilament versus braided line, swivels versus mainline only or line strength.

ODFW’s surfperch flier describes a common setup of No. 2 or No. 4 hooks and a pyramid sinker tied about a foot below two three-way swivels or loops spaced around 16 inches from each other. Some anglers prefer to use a claw surf casting sinker or a spider sinker instead of a pyramid sinker, but all of these sinker types are adequate for digging into the sand.

The flier also recommends using a nine to eleven foot pole and a reel with a spool capacity of at least 200 yards of 15-pound to 30-pound monofilament line. This might sound like overkill for a fish that may be less than a pound in weight, but the heavy tackle is necessary for dealing with the rugged surf conditions.

The right amount of weight to use depends on the strength of the tide and surf. ODFW recommends two to six ounces of weight for relative stability. Anglers should usually rig a 3-ounce to 5-ounce weight unless fishing in glassy ocean conditions or a storm at high tide. Too much weight can cause the sinker to get too buried in the sand, but a lack of weight for the given conditions will cause frustrations through missed hook-ups and tangled tackle.

Bait for surfperch can vary greatly: sand crabs right on the beach, artificial worms, live pile worms or nightcrawlers, and sand shrimp are all well-tested attractants for surfperch.  For anglers that do not know what is “hot” currently, anglers can almost always receive solid advice concerning baits from the nearest fishing store to the beach. ODFW’s fishing report declared sand shrimp and Berkeley Gulp sand worms as the most successful baits.

Only an Oregon fishing license is required by the state for surfperch fishing. A successful outing usually ends up leaving participants muscle sore in at least one area. For anglers that need or want some assistance with holding their surf pole for hours, try investing in a sand spike to place your rod in after casting. If fishing with a sand spike, anglers need to keep a close eye on their rod tip to ensure fish are not escaping.

The lack of digital privacy in the United States

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The lack of personal control of digital data is a major concern to people of almost any demographic in the United States of America.  Federal congressional rulings have deemed the online data of U.S. consumers to be salable to any third parties internet service providers desire.  The ruling was made possible by the Congressional Review Act of 1996, enabling Congress to overturn standing federal regulations.  In Quincy Larson’s article “How to set up a VPN in 10 minutes for free (and why you urgently need one)” he wrote that “Prior to 2017, congress had only successfully used the CRA once. But since the new administration took over in January, it’s been successfully used 3 times — for things like overturning pesky environmental regulations.” Larson’s article also explains that it is not just web addresses and browsing history that can be sold now, but financial information, social security number and even geolocation information.  Americans are unsurprisingly disapproving of their personal information being sold by their ISP to unknown third parties without giving permission, but American consumers are relying upon their ISPs in order to perform a myriad of tasks.

The collusion between politicians and ISPs that donated to their efforts lies at the heart of the issue.  While white-collar crime and political corruption headlines often reach the public, the ability of a select few corporations to own and sell all online information of its customers, with congressional ruling on their side, is still shocking to many Americans.  Larson’s article notes that while Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona was spearheading congress towards overturning FCC regulations protecting the digital information of Americans, “Every single Democrat and Independent voted against the CRA resolution,” two Republicans did not vote on the resolution and all other Republicans approved the resolution, enabling the resolution to pass with a final count of 50-48.  This raises an issue of where Republican senators’ interests lie.  Larson’s article claims that only the four ISP monopolies benefit from rolling back internet privacy regulations previously set by the FCC.  However, due to the donations and subsequent unilateral decision by Republican lawmakers to greatly empower ISPs at the cost of its constituents implies that at least federal Republican senators have benefitted from this legislation.  The future remains uncertain for how this collusion will play out specifically, because ISPs’ prerogative over the digital information of Americans has been made so far-reaching.

One way in which tracking digital information of American citizens has been used for explicitly political purposes prior to this legislation was the management of Trump’s presidential campaign by Jared Kushner.  Steven Bertoni’s interview with Kushner “Exclusive Interview:  How Jared Kushner Won Trump The White House” asserts that Kushner’s focus on targeting of voters through collecting social media data had a profound effect on the 2016 election of Trump, and Bertoni even claims that Kushner’s tactics “will change the way future elections will be won and lost.”  The former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, said in the article that “Best I can tell, he [Kushner] actually ran the campaign and did it with almost no resources.”

The Trump campaign was able to take data from Facebook users and market their product– Donald Trump.  Kushner’s ability to network digital marketing circles gave the campaign the networking capabilities to digitally design a campaign.  Bertoni’s interview discusses that after receiving consulting and training from subcontractors of digital marketers he knew in Silicon Valley, Kushner was able to micro-target for Facebook, effectively sparking an increase in daily sales Trump merchandise tenfold. Constantly finding new ways to reach Facebook users creates the potential for micro-targeting on social media to desired congressional districts, in particular, swing districts.  Just by mapping Americans’ interests on social media, the Trump campaign may have even been able to put its efforts towards discouraging liberal voters in certain areas.

The campaign was highly adaptable the public’s tastes.   According to Bertoni, the Trump team employed the use of data analysis firms such as Cambridge Analytica “to map voter universes and identify which parts of the Trump platform mattered most: trade, immigration or change.”  This highly specific data enabled Kushner and the Trump campaign team to know what to say and when.  According to Bertoni’s article “Ineffective ads were killed in minutes while effective ones scaled.”  Bertoni describes the online presence of Trump supporters as “human billboards.”  The utilization of supporters to act as free advertising was paramount to the way in which Kushner helped to shape the 2016 presidential election.

Starting in 2016, any public Facebook post had the potential to be turned into a trolling or political mudslinging contest no matter how removed the original post was from politics.  This brings up the long-term social effects that seem to be the new norm.  Facebook may have painfully proven the point that all social actions are political, whether or not the actions, comments or gestures are intended to be political.

The congressional decision should be alarming to anyone that values having any sort of autonomy over their personal information, or the idea that an average citizen’s personal information is more than a bargaining chip for corporate monopolies.  It seems inconceivable that there is any moral substance behind seeking the ability to sell all digital data  from Facebook likes, to social security numbers and geographic location.  Larson’s article references a Pew Research Center, a study that found “91% of adults agree or strongly agree that ‘consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected and used by companies.”  This data shows a serious manipulation of citizens, residents and customers by the partnerships between political and economic leaders that speak ad nauseam about working in accord with public interest.

League of Legends new campus club

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A new challenger has appeared on the UCC campus, but have no fear. . . it’s a gaming club. The Umpqua University League of Legends club, led by UCC student McKenzie Callahan, is working on their five-person team for competitive gaming.

League of Legends is a multi-player online battle arena game. Other widely popular titles within this genre include Warcraft III and Defense of the Ancients, also known as DotA.

“It’s like a really complicated version of capture the flag,” Callahan said. Players control their champion from a third-person perspective and must first clear at least one of three lanes in order to reach the enemy base, dubbed the Nexus. Each lane is defended by three turrets, one inhibitor, two towers and human-controlled avatars called “champions.”

Over 100 champions can be chosen by the player. Some champions may rely on a particular skill set to maximize their effectiveness, while other champions blend skill sets. For example, the larger class of “tank” champions (aka support) is broken mainly into two groups: Vanguards have high damage output and Wardens primarily protect teammates from threats. However, their ability to soak up damage more than other teammates often necessitates filling both offensive and defensive roles. In addition, marksmen champions are similar to Vanguards in terms of being capable of high damage output, but marksmen are far less tough than Vanguards.

Jargon is widely used within the League of Legends community.  Marksmen are also commonly called “attack damage carries” (ADCs). Mages are sometimes referred to as “ability power carries” (APCs).  The term “squishy” is often used within the League of Legends community to describe marksmen, mages and other relatively fragile champions because of their limited toughness.

The dynamic gameplay lends itself to a vast number of tactics, some of which are not by design, including social ridicule. The atmosphere can be unhelpful and unforgiving to many users.

UCC’s club has set up a general rule to prevent the spread of degrading remarks from the club’s inception. “We didn’t allow any saltiness. If someone gets salty, they can’t come back for a couple of weeks,” Callahan said.

While many popular titles are cast aside by their core community when the next installment gets released, or when a preferable franchise takes the limelight, League of Legends retains a stalwart fan base of millions more than seven years after its release date.

Callahan accredited the developer, Riot Games, with the continued success of the game. “They have made a community.  Riot listens and responds to the community. They are constantly updating content.  For example, they recently added support objectives that can only be carried out by support,” Callahan said.

Players of any skill level are welcome to join the club; students can visit TC 104 in the Technology Center on Friday afternoons from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The team currently has five members, allowing them to fill a necessary team for competition, but Callahan said that the club is looking to secure alternate positions for competitions.

An analysis of the bias in national media headlines

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A news story’s headline can often be its most salient point, but a headline can also be misleading, divisive and inflammatory.  In a time where information is constantly transmitted and consumed as events unfold, viewers often only see news headlines. While many outlets claim to be fair and unbiased, this is not a realistic reflection of their own reporting. Inaudible shouting matches and banter between pundits, anchors and hosts can be seen any night on national news channels.

Every person and media organization has some sort of opinion, and no one person or news organization can describe all pertinent facts in every news story. FOX News and CNN at times have very similar, or even equivalent headlines, but not all the time.  Those subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, differences can prime viewers to think of a person, organization or topic in a specific way before the viewer reads the content of the news story.

Below is a side by side comparison of Fox News (left) and CNN (right) headlines regarding some of the major developments that led up to the special investigation of Russian ties to the Trump campaign. It is important to keep in mind that the dates included are dates of publication, not necessarily the date of the event described in the headline.

FOX

 

July 5, 2016: FBI’s Comey: Clinton ‘extremely careless’ about emails, but bureau will not advise criminal charges

Oct. 28, 2016: FBI reopens Clinton probe after new emails found in Anthony Weiner case

Nov. 4, 2016: Dems trying to nudge Comey out at FBI after Clinton probe decision

Feb 24, 2017: Trump blasts FBI ‘leakers’ after reports on Priebus conversation

March 20, 2017: White House stands ground after Russia probe confirmed, says no ‘collusion’

 

May 3, 2017: Comey hearing: FBI chief defends ‘right choice’ on handling Clinton email probe

 

May 10, 2017: James Comey fired: Ousted FBI director learned he was fired from TV

May 16, 2017: Report: Trump asked Comey to end Flynn investigation

May 17, 2017: Robert Mueller to oversee Russia election probe as special counsel

May 18, 2017: Trump rails against ‘witch hunt’ amid special counsel appointment

 

 

CNN

 

July 5, 2016: FBI director: Hillary Clinton ‘extremely careless’ but no charges recommended

 

Oct. 28, 2016: Comey notified Congress of email probe despite DOJ concerns

 

Nov. 7, 2016: FBI clears Clinton — again

Feb 24, 2017: FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories

 

March 21, 2017: FBI: Trump campaign, Russia ties investigated, no wiretap evidence found

May 3, 2017: Comey hearing: FBI chief defends ‘right choice’ on handling Clinton email probe

May 9, 2017: Trump’s letter firing FBI Director James Comey

 

May 12, 2017: Sources: Rosenstein sees no need for special prosecutor in Russia probe

 

May 17, 2017: Memo: Trump asked Comey to end Flynn investigation

May 18, 2017: Special counsel appointed in Russia probe

 

 

For potentially more neutral sources, readers can also check timelines on FactCheck.org or PolitiFact.com.

FactCheck.org claims to “seek to devote an equal amount of time reviewing claims by Republicans and Democrats,” and they compare media stories with primary, original documents. They are funded by the Annenberg Foundation, founded by Walter Annenberg who also established the Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania and Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Reagan.

PolitiFact is a Pulitzer Prize-winning website operated by the Tampa Bay Times, currently owned by the non-profit Poynter Institute. Bill Adair, formerly of the Washington Times, started PolitiFact (The Times has been accused of bias to the right by Right Wing Watch, a site run by People for the American Way; however, it has also won a Pulitzer prize and has background and expertise in investigative media practices). PolitiFact discloses that it “currently receives funding from the Democracy Fund, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation” as well as reader contributions.

All fact checking sites receive some complaints related to bias, but The Mainstream found these two to be the most neutral, reputable and transparent.

Flags symbolize lives taken by Nazis

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    Kaya Maliglig / The Mainstream

The Days of Remembrance display at Swanson Amphitheater was organized to remember the 22 million lives lost under the Nazi regime during World War II.

“It started with a student who was concerned with a lack of Holocaust awareness on campus a couple years back,” Perley said.

Perley described the difference between “genocide” and “Holocaust”: “Genocide is the general term to describe a mass killing of people, and it’s basically a destruction of a way of life. The Holocaust, it’s a capital ‘H’ Holocaust, is referring to just the World War II event.”

The flags were too numerous to count just by looking, but the total number was intentional. “So, exactly, there’s 2,222 flags. There are supposed to be 2,220, because each flag represents 10,000 individuals,” Perley said, adding that the additional two flags account for possible statistical underestimation.

Perley described the memorial from the center to its edges. He said that the yellow flags represent the six million Jewish lives taken. Red and white checkered flags stand for Russian civilians, estimated at 5.7 million people. Working out from the center, solid red flags represent Russian P.O.W.s.

“Then you have the white and blue checkered flags after that; there was 1.8 million, and those included Polish elites, a large population of Polish Catholics, and really just any resistance from the country of Poland. Poland, in fact, lost 16 percent of its entire population during World War II.”

Perley continued by saying that the green flags represented Serbian lives taken by the Nazis and that the orange flags represent disabled Germans. “There were a lot of Germans with disabilities, and the Nazis wanted the ‘perfect’ Aryan race, so to say, and they got rid of anyone who didn’t fit into that cookie cutter image,” Perley said.

“The black, that is actually the Roma, a lot of people know them as ‘gypsies.’  That is actually a very politically incorrect way to refer to them. They are referred to as ‘Roma;’ that is the politically inclusive and correct way to refer to them,” Perley said.

The white flags represent Germans who resisted and died due to the Nazis. “Right when the Nazi Party took over Germany, they started getting rid of everyone who opposed them, and that’s what these white flags are. It’s white because of the White Rose. The White Rose was a group of students who actually subversively tried to fight Hitler and his regime through media, through pamphlets and anything like that,” Perley said.

In the front of the display, the pink flags represent the LGBTQ people who were killed as a result of Nazi rule, and the purple flag represents Jehovah’s Witnesses whose lives were taken.

UCC’s Charles Young was mentioned by Perley as a good on-campus source for information on the Holocaust, and he stressed the importance of finding credible online sources. Students can contact Perley or Marjane Coester in the LaVerne Murphy Student Center for questions or issues about the display.

 

Coastal salmon seasons close in parts of Oregon, California

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    APRIL 11—The Pacific Fisheries Management Council decided to officially close both commercial and sport fishing for Chinook and Coho salmon along approximately 200 miles of the southern Oregon and northern California coasts for the remainder of 2017. According to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council ‘s website: “Fisheries from the Florence South Jetty to Horse Mountain, California vwill be closed for the entire season to reduce impacts on Klamath River fall Chinook.” This closure primarily affects coastal waters from Florence to Horse Mountain, not inland rivers in Oregon. “Inland, spring-run Chinook fishing will still be allowed through Aug. 14 on the Klamath River and through Aug. 31 on the Trinity River. After these dates, both fisheries will close for the remainder of the calendar year,” according to the Lost Coast Outpost. The coastal closure was due to the sharp decline in returning salmon to the Klamath River in California; “returns of spawning Klamath River fall Chinook are projected to be the lowest on record in 2017 due to drought, disease, poor ocean conditions, and other issues,” according to PFMC. One parasite has been particularly impactful. The Oregon Public Broadcasting’s article “Drought Allows A Salmon-Killing Parasite To Thrive In The Klamath” details the complications of parasites on salmonids. The article points to the parasite Ceratanova, commonly known as “C” shasta, as the most prominent cause of salmon disease and death in the Klamath. While the parasite naturally resides in Northwest river systems, the abnormally warm water in the Klamath made conditions close to ideal for the parasite to multiply. According to the Eureka Times-Standard, “Tribal fishery scientists such as Michael Belchik of the Yurok Tribe stated the low return of spawners is the result of several severe years of drought conditions and river management practices, which caused the waters to warm and become hot beds for toxic algae and deadly parasites.” Native American tribes and commercial fishermen are most directly reliant upon the harvest. However, the decision will significantly impact coastal communities and economies. The closure impacts local industries dependent upon salmon beyond commercial fishing, such as tourism and dining. This spells more than frustration for those who rely upon salmon for food, tribal ceremonies or the economic stimulation that salmon bring to Pacific coast communities. “There is a lot of tears and there’s a lot of questions about how am I going to feed my family?” Yurok tribe General Council Amy Cordalis said to the Eureka Times-Standard. The article later said that the “Yurok Tribe Fisheries Department Director David Hillemeier said in good years the tribes would be allocated nearly 100,000 salmon by the Pacific Fishery Management Council for harvest. This year, Cordalis said they anticipate receiving 650 fish for the entire 6,100-member tribe.” Multiple reports have noted the dire issues facing communities that rely on the salmon. In the case of the Yurok people in northern California, allocations have been roughly one salmon per ten individuals. Removal of the dams along the Klamath is viewed as vital for salmon populations. OPB reported that “PacifiCorp is awaiting approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a plan to remove its four Klamath River dams by 2020.” The Eureka Times-Standard estimated that “the removal project will cost about $450 million, with $250 million coming from California’s $1 billion water bond Proposition 1 and the remaining $200 million from PacifiCorp ratepayers.” PacifiCorp is a Portland-based company providing power to California, Washington and Oregon, including Roseburg. Information about which ratepayers may fund the potential dam removal is currently unavailable. Photo caption: Shown above are the Sport and Commercial zones affected; these zones keeping close to Eureka, CA and Florence, OR. Illustration by Peter Bordenave

APRIL 11—The Pacific Fisheries Management Council decided to officially close both commercial and sport fishing for Chinook and Coho salmon along approximately 200 miles of the southern Oregon and northern California coasts for the remainder of 2017. According to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council ‘s website: “Fisheries from the Florence South Jetty to Horse Mountain, California vwill be closed for the entire season to reduce impacts on Klamath River fall Chinook.” This closure primarily affects coastal waters from Florence to Horse Mountain, not inland rivers in Oregon.

“Inland, spring-run Chinook fishing will still be allowed through Aug. 14 on the Klamath River and through Aug. 31 on the Trinity River.  After these dates, both fisheries will close for the remainder of the calendar year,” according to the Lost Coast Outpost.

The coastal closure was due to the sharp decline in returning salmon to the Klamath River in California;  “returns of spawning Klamath River fall Chinook are projected to be the lowest on record in 2017 due to drought, disease, poor ocean conditions, and other issues,” according to PFMC.

One parasite has been particularly impactful. The Oregon Public Broadcasting’s article “Drought Allows A Salmon-Killing Parasite To Thrive In The Klamath” details the complications of parasites on salmonids. The article points to the parasite Ceratanova, commonly known as “C” shasta, as the most prominent cause of salmon disease and death in the Klamath.  While the parasite naturally resides in Northwest river systems, the abnormally warm water in the Klamath made conditions close to ideal for the parasite to multiply.

According to the Eureka Times-Standard, “Tribal fishery scientists such as Michael Belchik of the Yurok Tribe stated the low return of spawners is the result of several severe years of drought conditions and river   management practices, which caused the waters to warm and become hot beds for toxic algae and deadly parasites.”

Native American tribes and commercial fishermen are most directly reliant upon the harvest.  However, the decision will significantly impact coastal communities and economies. The closure impacts local industries dependent upon salmon beyond commercial fishing, such as tourism and dining.

This spells more than frustration for those who rely upon salmon for food, tribal ceremonies or the economic stimulation that salmon bring to Pacific coast communities. “There is a lot of tears and there’s a lot of questions about how am I going to feed my family?” Yurok tribe General Council Amy Cordalis said to the Eureka Times-Standard.

The article later said that the “Yurok Tribe Fisheries Department Director David Hillemeier said in good years the tribes would be allocated nearly 100,000 salmon by the Pacific Fishery Management Council for harvest. This year, Cordalis said they anticipate receiving 650 fish for the entire 6,100-member tribe.”

Multiple reports have noted the dire issues facing communities that rely on the salmon.  In the case of the Yurok people in northern California, allocations have been roughly one salmon per ten individuals.

Removal of the dams along the Klamath is viewed as vital for salmon populations. OPB reported that “PacifiCorp is awaiting approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a plan to remove its four Klamath River dams by 2020.”

The Eureka Times-Standard estimated that “the removal project will cost about $450 million, with $250 million coming from California’s $1 billion water bond Proposition 1 and the remaining $200 million from PacifiCorp ratepayers.” PacifiCorp is a Portland-based company providing power to California, Washington and Oregon, including Roseburg.  Information about which ratepayers may fund the potential dam removal is currently unavailable.

 

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