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Monday Short Takes 

Jeff and Marci Beagley, members of a faith-healing cult in Oregon City who let their 16-year-old son die without seeking medical care, were sentenced to 16 months in prison last Wednesday.

Rejecting the defense’s plea for leniency, Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Steven Maurer said the grisly history of the Followers of Christ Church demanded that he impose a heavy penalty.

“The fact is, too many children have died,” he said. “A graveyard full.”

Blogging on, Charles McAlpin wrote that despite the conviction and the stiff sentence “it remains to be seen whether parishioners at the Followers of Christ Church … will continue the decades-old practice of faith-healing-related medical neglect. The church … has a history of defiance, despite an unusually high death rate among its children.

“Furthermore, there is reason to believe that, although their grief may be sincere, the church families wear the failed healings of their children as a badge of honor, a symbol of their willingness to sacrifice for their faith.  Not long ago, the Beagleys' son-in-law, Carl Worthington, was convicted in the death of his daughter, Neil's niece.  Just before the conviction, a former member of Followers of Christ said of Carl and his wife, ‘They'll probably be looked up to, that they made this sacrifice for the love of God, for the church and for all of the members.’”

Sick, sick.


How the mighty have fallen: Bill Sizemore, once the terror of Oregon liberals, is so broke that he needs a public defender to represent him on tax evasion charges.

According to The Oregonian’s account, the former anti-tax activist told the court “he barely has $100 in the bank, is working for $10 an hour planting trees and clearing brush, and makes barely enough to buy groceries.”

After listening to Sizemore’s sad tale, Marion County Circuit Court Judge Claudia Burton agreed he could have a court-appointed attorney.

Sizemore and his wife Cindy, who live in Redmond, have been charged with three counts each of felony tax evasion for failing to file state income tax returns in 2006, 2007 and 2008. If convicted they could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $125,000 on each count.

I can’t help feeling sorry for Sizemore, but I also wonder why he couldn’t just ask his sugar daddy Loren Parks for a few bucks.


Oregon Public Broadcasting came out with a poll last week that found 64% of Pacific Northwest residents believe they’re worse off than they were a year and a half ago.

The poll of 1,200 people found that 68% have cut back on eating out and at least half of them “are driving less, cutting back on vacation and personal travel, doing more bargain shopping and cutting back on entertainment,” said Alan Davis of the polling firm Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall, which conducted the survey.

People still seem to be in love with electronic toys, though. The poll shows that “in the last 12 months, 19% of people bought a personal computer, 12% bought an iPhone or Blackberry, and 10% bought a big-screen TV,” according to OPB’s story.

But probably the most surprising finding is that 71% said “their spending and saving habits will be permanently changed because of the economy.”

Will they? My hunch is that when the good times roll again (if they ever do) most will go back to their old borrow-and-spend ways.


Well, it was fun while it lasted. The Oregon Ducks’ chances of revisiting the Rose Bowl next year look pretty dismal now that star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has been suspended for the entire 2010 season.

Masoli pleaded guilty to a burglary charge in connection with the theft of a couple of laptops from a frat house. Star running back LaMichael James and kicker Rob Beard pleaded guilty to lesser charges in separate incidents and will have to sit out the first game of the season.

Masoli, a junior, could redshirt this season and come back to play in 2011, Coach Chip Kelly said.

“This is not what our football program is all about,” Kelly told reporters in announcing the suspensions.

Which begs the question: “What IS it all about?” It looks to this Ducks fan like it’s all about winning at any cost, even if that means recruiting players with a dubious character and a shady past.

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