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Biz Beat 8-15-2013

Too many cohousing projects in the works? Oakleigh Meadow, a cohousing community planned along the Willamette River in north Eugene, is making progress on city approvals and hopes to break ground soon, but home sites are still available. Until Oakleigh sells out, we probably won’t see much happen at an earlier cohousing site — the big empty lot at the corner of Lincoln and 11th Avenue. Martin Henner owns the Lincoln property and actually had a groundbreaking ceremony for cohousing apartments in October 2007, and then the economy tanked. He tells us McCamant & Durrett Architects of California is now interested in buying the property to build a senior cohousing community. Charles Durrett is the consultant for Oakleigh and “they have asked that he not get involved with another local venture” until Oakleigh is full, Henner says. The husband and wife team of McCamant & Durrett literally wrote the book on cohousing, and they design and consult worldwide on sustainable projects. 

The Whiteaker Block Party was a big success this year, and while it was free to attend, it was not free to put on. It cost around $20,000 for building the music stages, city police and fire marshal services and several thousand more in miscellaneous costs. Musicians and performers donated their talents and hundreds of volunteers helped out. “This year the total was around $23,000 in [Ninkasi] sponsorship to keep the party a free event,” says Nikos Ridge, CEO of Ninkasi, the major sponsor. “Big Green events also helped the Block Party to make about $10,000 in profit from beer sales at the event.” 

National Bee Day is Saturday, Aug. 17, and the Eugene-based nonprofit Beyond Toxics will be asking help from grocers to raise awareness about the plight of our honeybees. “We will be asking grocery stores around Oregon to temporarily remove or cover (for a short window of time) the produce that would be directly affected by the loss of pollinators (like the honeybee) that do the work needed to pollinate the wide variety of fruit, nuts and seeds we take for granted,” says Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics. See nationalhoneybeeday.com or beyondtoxics.org.

BEST (Better Eugene-Springfield Transit) was formed to support expansion of LTD’s EmX system and future green projects that enhance walking, biking and mass transit in our metro area. BEST got notice this week of a $5,000 Local Transit Coalition Grant from the American Public Transportation Association. The money will go to support advocacy activities. “We’ll be forming our new outreach committee and looking at hiring an intern or some kind of support staff,” says Rob Zako of BEST.

A new produce stand opened Aug. 9 at the corner of Rainbow and Centennial in Springfield and will be open from 4 to 6 pm Fridays until late fall. The stand is a collaboration between the Lane Coalition for Healthy Active Youth, the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, Dari Mart, the Healthy Corner Stores project and Telltale Farm in Junction City.

The nonprofit Kairos Agency based in Grants Pass has expanded its services into Eugene with a new treatment home for five residents. The nonprofit has provided services for youth and young adults with mental and behavioral disorders and their families for the past 35 years. Until last year Kairos was known as the Southern Oregon Adolescent Study and Treatment Center. See kairosnw.org for more information.

The NAACP of Eugene and Springfield is sponsoring a training on “Connection Compassionately: An Introduction to Nonviolent Communication” from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Jazz Station, 124 W. Broadway. Fee is $50 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Trainer is Gary Baran. Email president@naacplanecounty.org or call 484-1119.