Blogs: Social Issues

If you're in the middle of one, the phrase "healthy breakup" may sound like some kind of sad joke. But whether you're breaking things off or you've just been broken up with, you can make the breakup more bearable.

If you feel like your relationship is unhealthy and you're trying to decide whether to break up, check out Love Is Respect's "Should We Break Up?"

Rookie Magazine has some great advice: "Making A Clean Breakup" makes the point that "breaking up with someone can be just as painful, if not more so, than being the one who’s left behind." "Cures for Love" explains how to "beast through the aching immobility of heartbreak by conducting specific rituals, exercises, and experiments."

Oakland artist Jess Wheelock drew a comic that helps explain what the brain goes through during a breakup.

And there's no subsitute for connecting with others who've been through the same thing, so register for the first annual Healthy Breakup Summit, which will be:

Thursday April 24th, 2014
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
5135 NE Columbia Blvd Portland, OR 97218
 
 
·         Dynamics of break ups and tools to build healthy relationships
·         Specialized activities for youth of all ages (0-24), parents/guardians and Elders
·         Two-Spirit and LGBTQ Perspectives of break-ups/relationships
·         Building communication skills to navigate relationships
 
For more information please contact:
Brighton, Native American Youth & Family Center: brightonk@nayapdx.org; Office 503-288-8177 x220
Erin, Native American Youth & Family Center: erinh@nayapdx.org; Office 503-288-8177 x316
Lesley, VOA HomeFree: lramos@voaor.org; Office (503) 988-6475, Cell (503) 473-7396
 

On April 5, 2014, the Multnomah Youth Commission will hold the 3rd Annual Rob Ingram Youth Summit Against Violence at the Ambridge Event Center (1333 NE MLK Jr. Blvd).

Youth Summit Against Violence photo

The youth-planned, youth-led event will feature in-depth exploration of school, gang/police, and dating/sexual violence.

Multnomah County Library supports the summit's goals and has compiled these resources:

 

 

 

Have you ever heard someone say they're "so OCD" when they're talking about how they organize things, or how they only like one color of Skittles? 

People who have OCD -- obsessive-compulsive disorder -- certainly can and do use humor to talk about how the disorder affects them. Performance poet Neil Hilborn has a poem called "OCD," and while overall the poem is a poignant reflection on a relationship, there are some funny moments where the humor comes from Hilborn's depiction of his compulsions.

But as Mara Wilson writes in "4 Things No One Tells You About Having OCD,"  "it's an incapacitating, isolating disease that makes you afraid of your own mind." 

You can learn more about OCD and other mental illnesses and find out about support and resources available in Multnomah County from the National Alliance on Mental Illness's Multnomah chapter

 

In June 2013, the Supreme Court issued two rulings that quite possibly permanently changed the face of marriage in the United States: In one, the Justices struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), making same-sex spouses eligible for the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples, such as social security and – in the case of the plaintiff in this case – exemption from estate taxes. In the second ruling, the Court elected not to hear an appeal of a California lower-court decision striking down Proposition 8 – which prevented same-sex couples from marrying – as unconstitutional.

Because the Court struck down DOMA, plaintiffs in states where same-sex marriage is illegal can now argue that since the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages, so must the state.  Same-sex marriage advocates in many states – including Oregon – are moving forward with legal challenges.

More than one third of the states have already legalized gay marriage. In Oregon, gay marriage licenses were both approved and retracted in 2004. A 2013 poll shows 49% of Oregonians in favor of changing the constitution in support of same-sex marriage, and organizations are mobilizing to put a measure on the 2014 ballot.

There are many issues, both pro and con, on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate. Major religious groups have also taken a stand on both sides of the issue.  

No matter what, if legalization of same-sex marriage passes, the one thing it guarantees is to bring more money to the wedding industry, as evidenced in states where it already exists, like New York and Massachusetts.

On October 28, 2013, the governors of Oregon, Washington, California, and the premier of British Columbia announced they had agreed to a set of shared goals for the region to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change, called the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy.

Although the plan is not legally binding, it says that Oregon will, among other things, set a price on carbon emissionsestablish a target for reducing carbon emissions, encourage the use of zero-emission vehicles and the design of "net-zero" buildings. 

In 2012, the Union of Concerned Scientists produced Cooler Smarter: practical steps for low-carbon living, which "shows you how to cut your own global warming emissions by twenty percent or more."

Hank Green of the popular Crash Course and Vlogbrothers series explains five human impacts on the environment:

 

 

When genetically-modified wheat was discovered in an Oregon field this spring, the long-standing debate over genetically-modified foods intensified. How was Roundup Ready wheat created? And how did it end up in a field in Oregon, years after it was discontinued? What is the government’s role in regulating such technology?

Citizens and scientists have been debating the pros and cons of GMOs for years. Polls have shown the public is skeptical. Environmental and food safety organizations are concerned about the risks GMOs pose for humans and the planet. However, the companies engineering the crops, such as Monsanto, insist they are safe, as do some farming groups. A number of scientists take a middle ground, acknowledging the potential benefits of genetic engineering but criticizing the current use and regulation of GMOs. Some writers have even argued for an “open-source” model of food genetics.

For an excellent overview on this issue, check out Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center in Context, which contains articles, statistics, audio files, and images. You’ll need to log in with your library card number and PIN to access this resource from outside the library.

Are you looking for some specific information not covered here? Contact a librarian for help.

There’s a good chance Oregonians will be voting in 2014 on whether Oregon will legalize marijuana.  Other states also have pending legislation, although there are a lot of pros and cons about legalizing pot. Although marijuana for medical use already exists in many states, it has its pros and cons too.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington both legalized marijuana usage. Legalization hasn’t solved the problems; it’s just raised new ones. The state of Washington has detailed rules about how marijuana will be raised, sold, and regulated. The state is looking at the business of pot and the many faces of legal marijuana as they move forward. How do you guard the ganja? How does banking hinder the legal weed industry?  Who are the new entrepreneurs?

Need some specific information we haven’t covered? Contact a librarian and we’ll be glad to help.

Gun rights and gun control are on everyone’s mind, after the unfortunate shootings that took place last year. It’s often hard to find good resources that present multiple viewpoints on issues like this, and provide quotable sources.

An excellent electronic resource is Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center in Context. It provides links to articles, videos and audio files from multiple viewpoints (you will need a library card # and PIN in order to access this electronic resource from outside of the library).

The Washington Post created this quick timeline of gun control history in the United States, and LawBrain covers the legal history of gun control back to the U.S. Constitution. Another good listing is Infoplease’s Milestones in Federal Gun Control Legislation  which covers laws up until 2013.

L.A.R.G.O. Lawful and Responsible Gun Owners and the N.R.A. National Rifle Association both support gun ownership in America. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and The Violence Policy Center both work to reduce gun violence. The Violence Policy Center is also a good resource if you’re looking for statistics related to gun violence (including drive by shootings and suicide).

This Guardian article compares gun crime in individual states and About.com lists Oregon Gun Rights. FactCheck looks at statistics in the media after the Newton shootings, and reports on Gun Rhetoric vs. Gun Facts.  Looking towards changes in the law, gun control is supported by more women than men, and that may have an effect on future legislation.

Need some specific gun facts or laws we haven’t covered? Contact a librarian and we’ll be glad to help

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