Close to the roar of I-205, environmentalists picketed an Exxon station last Thursday to protest the company's plans to drill in the Arctic. Led by a polar bear mascot and accompanied by an oil-spewing replica of the Exxon Valdez, 50 protesters kept bewildered, gas-seeking motorists at bay for a few hours.
"It's time for ExxonMobil to start behaving like a responsible corporate citizen," shouted Jenelle Woodlief, a spokeswoman for OSPIRG, the event's organizer. Twelve years after the Valdez dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound, Exxon is more than ever the environmentalist's nightmare. Since merging with fellow oil company Mobile, Exxon has yet to complete payments on the $5 billion damage bill from Valdez. Along with trying to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling, the company still denies the effects of global warming and opposes the Kyoto Protocol, said Nat Parker from OSPIRG. Exxon has even hired their own scientists to release skeptical studies of global warming.
"We're trying to rile things up a bit and send the message to Exxon," said Parker. OSPIRG will have to shout a little more loudly to get their message across--there are no Exxon corporate offices in Oregon, and their only Portland service station sits on the outskirts of town. ANNA SIMON
DIGNITY'S LAST STAND--AGAIN!
Although Dignity Village was recently featured in Architecture Magazine, and has added solar and wind power to its shanty village, it still has yet to find any place to firmly secure its roots. For the past ten months, about 60 homeless men and women have pitched their tents on an asphalt lot near the airport. Although that site, usually the dumping spot for leaves collected by the City, was only promised for 90 days, Dignity Village received one extension when a local entrepreneur paid to ship the leaves elsewhere. On the verge of being booted again--their deadline arrives on July 1--the City last week gave weak promises to again extend through the summer. On July 21, Dignity Village is hosting a noon-to-midnight concert and fund-raiser at PSU's Smith Memorial Ballroom. PHIL BUSSE