Considering the fact that 90% of voting Oregonians have probably already voted by mail, this very last minute “Official Skate and Annoy Endorsement” of Portland mayoral candidate Charlie Hales is pretty pointless, but here it is for all the procrastinating undecided voters.Charlie was instrumental behind legalizing skateboarding on the streets of Portland. On his own Facebook page he gets hassled for not wearing a helmet in this photo.
[Source: Cal Skate via Facebook]
Don Gerard, one of my college roommates is running for mayor of the town we went to school in. Champaign is also the town where he grew up. I suppose I should put “college” in quotes because I don’t think we were ever both in school at the same time while we were roommates in three consecutive houses named Ten Shitty Guys. Aside from having the idea to start a zine, I believe it was also Neil’s idea to start a skate rock band. We drafted Don to play drums, pretty much against his will. He was embarrassed by it at the time since he was accustomed to playing in “real” bands. He used to wear sunglasses and a sorority baseball hat as disguise on stage, but I think he secretly enjoyed it. Our first gig as McWilson was opening up for Naked Raygun’s first Champaign, Illinois apperance. It was actually the main reason for our existence. We played a handful of shows and parties after that. We burned bright and extremely short. If you live in Champaign, Illinois, get yourself registered to vote for Don Gerard. Campign commercial after the jump. This whole thing smells like the script for the sequel to Old School.
McWilson was (L-R) Evil Tom (Burke), Randy Kilwag (standing), Neil McDougall, Don Gerard.
Former SPS board member Tom Miller will be stepping down as the Chief of Staff for Portland’s Mayor Sam Adams in order to replace the retiring director of the Transportation Bureau. Oregon Live reports that the position oversee 750 employees and has a $250 million annual budget. The picture above is credited to the Wall Street Journal but I found it over at the Portland Mercury where they call him “the mayor’s controversial, skateboarding chief of staff.” I didn’t know Tom was controversial. I mean as far as I know, he doesn’t push mongo or grab stinkbug. Congratulations Tom. I predict that in the not too distant future S&A will have the pleasure of reporting the first skateboarding mayor of a major city. I should be sponsoring him. I missed a golden photo opportunity. Looks like that’s a Scarecrow deck.
- Thanks to Sam for the tip.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Newspaper from mid-level city actually publishes a decent skate photo! Astonishing considering they are essentially giving the Oregonian away these days. Not a week goes by that I don’t get a phone call practically begging me to get the Oregonian for delivered to my door for pennies on the dollar. I’d be more inclined to fill my recycling bucket with the paper if the delivery man (not a boy, because he drives a car on his route) would stop nailing the storm door with the paper and waking me up at 5 in the morning. What’s the point? Oregon lottery money has apparently been funding skateparks in some capacity, and some folks are upset because school funding is and other services have been dwindling. Oregon ballot measure 76 will extend the mandatory parks expenditures from lottery proceeds. The measure isn’t going to increase the 15%, it’s just going to make sure it can’t be diverted to other areas. I think that’s a good idea. I’m voting yes on 76.
- Thanks to Colin for the tip.
Jack Smith of the Skateboarder’s Journal and Cuppa Stoke is running for Morro Bay, California City Council. He’s not accepting direct contributions, but you can purchase a skateboard themed campaign t-shirt for $15, which includes delivery in San Luis Obispo county, otherwise it’s another $5. All you need to do is send him a payment via paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or mail a check to: Jack Smith 415 Acacia Morro Bay, CA 93442. Check out his campaign web site, Facebook page and Twitter account. I need to check out this Twitter thing, as soon as I figure out hot to get the Lycos running. Time to update my Geopages account.
Well, I opened a can of worms with religion, so I might as well tackle present another hot topic, health care reform in the United States. Part two of a series from Austin Considine called Faces of American Health Care features a sobering look at former pro skater Lee Bender.
Number two in a multi-part series: From the heartland, a look at a few of the real people adversely affected by our health care system today. Part two looks at Lee Bender, a former pro skater who was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Despite comparatively good coverage he faces over $36,000 in debt for treatment over the last 18 months.
According to the World Health Organization, health care in the United States ranks 37th in the world, based on quality and access, among other things. Skateboarders take a risk every time they skate. Insurance or lack of, is in the back of many of the minds of skaters who are living on their own. I’m not sure how to do it, but our health care system definitely needs reform. Health insurance is a racket and costs are out of control.
- Thanks to Max Macias via Facebook for the tip.