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August 22nd, 2012 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs: OHSU Fined in Monkey Deaths

What’s a monkey’s life worth, anyway?

murmurs_3842IMAGE: Tambakothejaguar / Creativecommons
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has fined Oregon Health & Science University $11,679 in the 2009 deaths of five monkeys at the school’s Oregon National Primate Research Center. Two died after receiving the wrong medicine, two died of dehydration, and the fifth was euthanized after being given too much of a sedative. The investigation found workers were poorly trained and didn’t follow proper procedures. The USDA also cited the 2009 escape of nine macaques after an employee left their cage door unlocked. (All were later captured.) OHSU spokesman Jim Newman says the Primate Center has built a secondary fence around the monkey pens. “Our goal is to make mistakes as rare as possible,” he says. WW interviewed Primate Center scientists in 2010 as the school responded to animal activists’ protests (“This Monkey Died for You,” WW, March 31, 2010).
  • Gone but not forsaken: Five-term State Rep. Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley) lost his May primary race to newcomer Jeff Reardon. But Schaufler, known for using his campaign funds to pay his bar tabs, picked up $2,000 checks this week from Allstate Insurance and 7-Eleven—both clients of lobbyist Mark Nelson and his Salem firm, Public Affairs Counsel. Nelson’s firm effectively ran Schaufler’s losing campaign. The firm’s David Reinhard says the donations were supposed to arrive before the primary. “It just takes so long to get checks in from corporations sometimes,” Reinhard says.
  • Some addictions die hard. Since 2006, the State of Oregon has handed out nearly $25 million in subsidies to rail giant Union Pacific under the Connect Oregon program (“Gravy Train,” WW, Feb. 8, 2012). The program is supposed to help projects that need money. Union Pacific’s 2011 profits? $3.2 billion. Last week, the Oregon Transportation Commission shoveled $4 million more to Union Pacific to help replace a bridge. Meanwhile, the state turned down a request from cash-strapped TriMet, which sought $736,000 to improve security at its East 181st Avenue MAX station.
  • Horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse has long had a following of extreme face-painting fans known as Juggalos. Last week, band members announced they want to know why the FBI considers these fans a gang. The band’s frontmen, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, might look to Oregon. The FBI’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment lists Juggalos as a “hybrid gang,” citing two Corvallis teenagers linked to Juggalos who attacked a homeless man in 2010. The Mail Tribune in Medford reported last year Juggalos have been involved in beatings and one stabbing. There is a happy-clown side: Juggalos helped broker a truce last fall to keep Occupy Portland’s downtown camps less violent.
 
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