Knob Heads Invade Eugene: Trash Food Pantry Delivery Vehicle

Sometimes, I just can’t stand it!  The Register Guard reported this morning on one of the most meaningless, imbecilic acts of vandalism I have ever read about.  Whoever did this was too stupid to even qualify for a hate crime.   They, and I’m assuming it was probably more than one person, broke into a RV owned by Eugene’s Relief Nursery. The Nursery uses the vehicle to distribute food to their clients:

The Relief Nursery helps parents in need with counseling, drug and alcohol recovery, parent education and other services. The food pantry dispensed emergency food and household goods such as laundry detergent and toothpaste. All families served by the pantry are extremely low income and have children age 5 or younger (emphasis added).

The knob heads smashed open the ceiling vent and proceeded to trash the interior, in an  psychotic food fight not even the likes of Animal House (which, BTW, was filmed here in Eugene) could have imagined. They attempted to start a fire to burn up the vehicle, but (fortunately) couldn’t even pull that off.  Then, evidently having vented their spleen, they left.  The idiots didn’t even steal anything.

Does any of this make even the remotest sense as to motive? Neither marauding baboons nor trash-diving bears are known to inhabit Eugene, so it had to be some form of human being.  Not even eco-terrorists would stoop so low as to destroy a RV that delivers food to little kids.  Here’s the picture from the article:

Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard Surveying the ransacked interior of the Relief Nursery’s mobile food pantry, Executive Director Irene Alltucker looks up at the vent hole used by vandals to gain access sometime late Thursday or early Friday.

Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard. Surveying the ransacked interior of the Relief Nursery’s mobile food pantry, Executive Director Irene Alltucker looks up at the vent hole used by vandals to gain access sometime late Thursday or early Friday. Picture Credit: Courtesy the Register Guard

In the spirit of the TV series, Connections, I also noted that the Guard published an article on the same day reporting on the result of a joint research project at Oregon State University and the University of Washington.  Testing untreated wastewater from communities in the state, the report found:

Researchers tested waste­water from 96 different cities for methamphetamine, ecstasy and cocaine in March 2008.

They found that cocaine use was higher in urban areas, while methamphetamine was present in both rural and urban areas. Ecstasy use was found at measurable levels in less than half of the communities that were tested, the majority of them in urban areas.

The Eugene-Springfield area was labeled a “high” use area among the communities that participated in the study, meaning it fell into the top third overall when it came to all three drugs.

Although I’m well aware that I’m making an assumption of correlation, I would bet that the perps had at least one of those substances running through their blood streams and wringing all reason out of their brains (probably with a blood alcohol content well beyond the legal .08% level added to the mind-altering cocktail).

One can only hope the knob headed vandals left finger prints all over the interior of the RV, and with a good chance of having priors, they can be apprehended.

In the mean time, I’m making a contribution to the Relief Nursery to help replace the food they lost.

Communities of Fate: Read the Abstract to my Journal Article

I have added a page to my blog that provides the abstract to my journal article and the ERIC citation, co-authored with Paul Goldman, PhD (my doctoral adviser) “Universities as Communities of Fate: Institutional Rhetoric and Student Retention Policy” published in the Journal of Educational Administration in 2005.  Just click on the “Communities of Fate” link below the header.

I remain deeply grateful to Paul for his support and guidance, both during my doctoral studies and for encouraging and shepherding me through the publication process!

Thank you Paul, and I miss our long sessions drinking very strong coffee, the great discussions about organizational and educational policy, and the hours working on yet another draft of the article!