Weeks after President Obama deemed immigration reform too contentious to act upon until after the November midterm elections, local advocates for Oregon’s Measure 88 are trying to keep the debate from dissolving into another divisive scuffle over immigration. The measure is a referendum on an Oregon Senate bill that makes four-year driver licenses available to those who cannot prove they are in the country legally.
Oregon’s rivers aren’t meant to flow in straight lines. They are meant to meander and twist under the shade of native trees, giving fish like threatened upper Willamette spring Chinook a safe route to the ocean and back. Humans haven’t just dammed and straightened the Willamette — we’ve boxed it in with construction and with the gravel mines fueling that construction.
“Buffalo, for Lakota people, are our relatives,” Goodshield Aguilar says of his tribe’s origin story. “Because if it wasn’t for the buffalo, we wouldn’t exist.” Around 30-60 million bison (often referred to as buffalo) once thundered through the Great Plains of North America. Today only 4,900 unfenced, wild plains bison remain, most of them huddled within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park.
After eight months and 11 meetings, the Bethel School District and its teachers union are still at a standstill in their bargaining process and will need a mediator to continue. The teachers union is asking for a 2 percent cost of living adjustment and a 3 percent insurance adjustment, but the district says it needs to reduce furlough days and lower class sizes before adding back dollars to the salary schedule.
Did you drive to the Eugene People’s Climate March? That’s one of the questions being hotly debated in web comments and listserv discussions following the climate rally and march in Eugene Sunday, Sept. 21, corresponding with rallies in New York City and in 130 countries around the world. Some Eugeneans even flew to New York for the massive march there.
ODOT recently sprayed Highways 36 and 126. For daily information call ODOT Herbicide Application Information Line (888) 996-8080. Or call Tony Kilmer at the Springfield office at 744-8080 for herbicide and additives information and to ask what time a highway was sprayed.
Tsunami Books is in a pickle. Owner Scott Landfield tells us the building that has housed Tsunami Books on South Willamette for 20 years is up for sale through Evans, Elder & Brown. Landfield says he has decided to keep the business going, “but where and how are now up in the air.” Ideally, he says, someone would buy the building and keep him as a tenant. “We here at Tsunami Books are totally focused on having our best holiday season ever, beginning today,” he says.
University of Oregon professor emeritus Cheyney Ryan was a consultant in settling a 2011 federal case against Yale that led to changes in how that school addresses sexual violence. But last week the UO sent out an email to alumni in the Portland area appearing to criticize Ryan’s competence, saying that TV station KATU had misrepresented “the expertise of a retired UO faculty member” in a series on sexual assaults and the university.
The crux of the City Hall debate appears to be what makes sense economically: tear down or rebuild? And appearance: Can we sustain the function of this building and upgrade its tattered look? That’s what the Eugene City Council will be considering when it meets for a work session and regular meeting Sept. 22 and additional work session Sept. 24.
In mid-July, Eugene resident David Nickles was at the canoe landing below the River House on the Willamette River, a stretch of water he visits with his son two or three times a week, when he alleges he saw the city essentially “dumping trash into the river.”
Portland School Board member Steve Buel has a reputation for stirring things up with his vocal criticisms of the Common Core State Standards. On Sept. 24, he’ll bring his thoughts on high-stakes standardized testing to Eugene, the first talk in this year’s series of Community Alliance for Public Education’s community dialogues.
StoveTec, a local for-profit stove enterprise, is pledging financial support for StoveTeam International, a nonprofit organization that brings safe, fuel-efficient and low-emission stoves to communities in Mexico and Central America. Under the new sponsorship, StoveTec — which markets wood cook stoves developed at Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove — will donate a portion of its domestic for-profit sales to support StoveTeam International.
• Peace Week in Eugene began Sept. 14 and continues with the Sweet Peace Festival from noon to 5 pm Saturday, Sept. 20, at Whiteaker Community Head Start Center at 21 N. Grand St. The People’s Climate March (see below) is part of the series. The finale will be from 3 to 4 pm Sunday, Sept. 21, at the Nobel Laureate Peace Park at Alton Baker Park. Call 485-1755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neighbors were curious to say the least last year when Clay Gautier and Gail Baker decided to demolish a single-story house on 32nd Street in southeast Eugene and custom-build a net-zero home in its place. A net-zero home produces as much or more energy than it uses, and the homeowners were happy to answer the questions of inquisitive passersby. “Everybody has always been welcome to come take a look and walk around,” Baker says.
Barely a year after hosting a Sunday neighborhood potluck when the foundation was first laid last August, the now-completed net-zero energy house will be featured in this year’s BRING Home and Garden Tour Sunday, Sept. 14.
“Probably some of my fondest olfactory memories are the smell of burning marijuana at the University of Oregon,” says Joshua Marquis, district attorney for Clatsop County. “I smoked dope when I was a freshman, and it didn’t kill me, and it didn’t turn me into a drug addict.”
ODOT plans to spray Highway 36 as it did in May. A notice was received as follows: “This is to give our two week notification of ODOT shoulder spraying on Highway 36 between MP 0-24 and 32.2-52.5. The herbicide application schedule is tentative and is subject to change due to weather, equipment breakdowns and availability of product.” For daily information call ODOT Herbicide Application Information Line (888) 996-8080. You may also call Tony Kilmer at the Springfield office at 744-8080.
When you live in Eugene, the phrase “track town” is so ubiquitous it borders on cliché.
But as the latest movie being filmed in Eugene by former UO runner and filmmaker Alexi Pappas, Tracktown hopes to illuminate the allure of the local running obsession.
On Friday, Aug. 29, Pappas and her team rounded up 150 or so locals and 20 professional runners to be extras for a scene with legendary local runners Andrew Wheating and Nick Symmonds filmed at UO’s Hayward Field.
Oregon DEQ recently sent Oregon Resources Corporation (ORS) a pre-enforcement notice for serious violations of environmental law discovered via a DEQ compliance inspection of the stormwater collection and treatment system for ORS’s chromite mining operation outside of Coos Bay. Violations include millions of gallons of unreported discharges, and false statements to DEQ associated with these discharges.
About $24 million in federal funding for the West Eugene EmX project passed the Metropolitan Policy Committee unanimously last week, according to Rob Zako, executive director of Better Eugene-Springfield Transit (BEST). “We are looking forward to work proceeding efficiently with minimal impacts, and to seeing the new EmX line open in just over two years,” he says. BEST has been holding “listening sessions” with the community over recent months and plans to release a report next month. An online survey is at best-oregon.org.
• Eugene PeaceWorks/Eugene Media Action will host a reception with refreshments from 6 to 8 pm Thursday, Sept. 11, upstairs in the Growers Market, 454 Willamette, celebrating its new office space and an FCC-approved, low-power FM radio station. The group is working to “get progressive voices on the air focusing on environmental sustainability, economic justice and music made in the Northwest.” Call Craig at 505-2564.
This November, Oregonians have the chance to make their state the first to require genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled as such. In the wake of failed GMO-labeling ballot initiatives in Washington and California, representatives of Oregon’s “Yes on 92” campaign have invited biologist Michael Hansen to drum up support for the measure.
In 2003 the Lane County Commission voted to move to a “last resort” program in using herbicides on county roadsides. The plan to put a moratorium on pesticide use was in response to concerns for human health as well as concerns for Willamette River steelhead and Chinook salmon. On Sept. 9, with impetus from Commissioner Jay Bozievich and with the encouragement of pro-pesticide group Oregonians for Food and Shelter, the county’s Integrated Vegetation Management Program “last resort” policy will be up for discussion.