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Friday, July 23, 2010

"Mega-party"

I’ve coined a new word in local Corvallis politics—the Mega-Party. A mega-party is one that is “too big to fail,” usually involves over 100 drunken people, mostly underage, that spills out into the backyard, street, and neighborhood, resulting in several calls to the police in one night. We’ve had many since the Christian fraternity moved out and the trashy one moved in across the way almost three years ago. They have pushed us over the edge into activism, forming a neighborhood association and speaking before the city council. That’s when I realized that my phrase had taken hold…

There was a committee meeting for a change in the second response law on Tuesday at noon. The second response law, for those of you who do not live near a trashy frat house, says that, when the police have to come back to your residence again within a stated time frame, you are charged for the entire call—dispatcher, police time to process everyone at the party, gas for the cars, as well as any fines you may accrue for noise and under-age drinking. Before this week, the time frame was 48 hours. Anyone who has been to college in the last 25 years will see the loophole here. Parties are on Thursday and Saturday nights, not Fridays, so you can easily slip through the time slot, especially if you were busted early on Thursday. Keep the volume down until eleven, and you are safe. The proposed change extended this time for thirty days, which is an improvement in our eyes, not so much in the eyes of the trashy frat (which doesn’t know about it yet…).

Half of the neighborhood association, mostly from the sub-committee on noise, turned out to testify. The first person used my phrase—the mega-party, which was not surprising, as we had discussed the problem at some length. The city counselors looked puzzled for a moment, but nodded. They knew what he was referring to. Then another person worked it into her testimony. I gave my testimony and answered a few questions, using the phrase. At the end of our testimony, the police chief returned to the front to answer a few more questions. When he said “mega-party” I knew it was an established. I expect to see it in the G-T soon.

The measure passed. Granted, it was going to pass even without our testimony. It cost the city nothing, could be small source of revenue, and hurt no one except the mega-party. What’s not to like?

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