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According to the city of Eugene, roughly 3,000 people in the community have no home to return to on any given night, and many others are on the brink of becoming homeless.

Yet for the past four years, the city has poured money, time and energy into designing a new City Hall that has yet to come to fruition, while the unhoused continue spending their nights on the streets.  

Air quality concerns — after revelations about Portland’s glass factories — bee die-offs and longtime worries about the dangers of aerial sprays, are hopefully being addressed via bills introduced into Oregon’s Legislature this session. 

After nearly six months of discussion, Springfield will join dozens of cities nationwide, including Eugene, to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday of October. 

Giustina Land & Timber Co, 541-345-2301, plans to hire Northwest Reforestation Services LLC, 541-520-6215, to ground spray 54.2 acres on three units south of Fox Hollow Road; 162.1 acres on three units near Camas Swale; 50.6 acres near Bennett Creek; and 5.1 acres near Jones Creek with clopyralid, sulfometuron methyl, atrazine, hexazinone, Forest Crop Oil and/or Crop Oil Concentrate. See ODF notifications 2017-781-02786 and 2017-781-02857, call Brian Peterson at 541-935-2283 with questions.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent VISCO, Inc., a warning letter on March 10 for Clean Water Act violations at its Awbrey Lane facility. DEQ inspected VISCO’s facility on Feb. 9 and observed that VISCO was failing to clean up sand blasting material, leaving it exposed to precipitation and therefore vulnerable to ending up in local waterways.

• The growing popularity of tiny houses is leading Keith Schneider of Eugene’s Bohemian Cottages to expand from construction into all-day, do-it-yourself seminars locally and across the nation. Schneider and his crew have built or remodeled about 35 custom-crafted tiny dwellings over the past eight years, most 200 square feet or smaller.

Ten Douglas County library branches will close on April 1, and Roseburg’s main branch library will close May 31. Douglas County Commissioners have asked for specific input on governing source, funding streams and other library system operating issues. Public comment is needed on long-term solutions to the library system’s funding crisis. Whether you can or can’t attend the hearing, submit comments by email (commissioners@co.douglas.or.us leif@co.douglas.or.us) or snail mail (DC Commissioners, Courthouse, Room 217, 1036 S.E.

House Bill 2921 would repeal Oregon’s sanctuary state law and mandate that Oregon law enforcement agencies assist in federal immigration enforcement. The bill would also prohibit cities and counties from establishing sanctuary protections. 

But Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican from Independence, who is one of the bill’s chief sponsors, says he doesn’t expect HB 2921 to receive a hearing, instead Nearing is working on a petition to make the repeal a ballot measure to put before the voters in 2018.

Indivisible Eugene is playing defense against the Trump administration. The local chapter of a grassroots effort of politically active individuals looks to pressure Oregon’s political representatives in Congress to continue their opposition against the new president. 

Late last year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency tried adding an obscure herbal leaf with narcotic effects called kratom to its list of banned substances. Public outcry in support of the mysterious painkiller, as well as a September 2016 letter penned by a small handful of U.S. senators — including Oregon’s Ron Wyden — convinced the DEA to back down for the time being.

Join 350 Eugene Thursday, March 16, for a spring membership potluck and meet-up at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street. Bring food to share at 6 pm. At 7 pm the meet-up will include “campaign updates, work group news, action break outs, music and more,” according to organizer Betzi Hitz, as well as recruit people to help plan the April 29  “March for a Climate of Safety” in Eugene. Go to world.350.org/eugene for more info.

Despite signs of spring in Oregon, the risk of frostbite is still prevalent with freezing nights and cold rain. It is still what Occupy Medical volunteers call “amputation season.” 

“It begins in December,” clinic manager Sue Sierralupe says. It only takes one night of exposure to get frostbite, she adds.

Rumors are flying in the immigrant community: What is going to happen to undocumented members of the Lane County community under Donald Trump’s presidency? In the Portland area, the Immigration and Customs Service (ICE) has stepped up raids and arrests since January. 

George Orwell’s 1984, as well as other novels envisioning a dystopian future, have made their way to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list since the election of Donald Trump. In Eugene, readers are supporting their local bookstores and pumping up the sales of political books as well. 

The St. Vincent de Paul Youth House kicks off its fundraising campaign 10 am Thursday, March 9, at the site of the future Youth House. SVDP is converting the former Cascade Presbyterian Church at 3350 Willamette (across from the post office) into a facility that will provide up to two years of free housing and social services for homeless high school students from Eugene, Bethel and Springfield school districts.

Congressman Peter DeFazio got a rousing reception Feb. 25 at Lane Community College, with attendees chanting “Thank you! Thank you!” when he entered the gymnasium. The standing-room-only crowd of more than 2,000 repeatedly voiced its appreciation for DeFazio’s vociferous opposition to the Trump Administration and its chaotic, backward agenda.

The community forum was followed by a health care rally with Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Oregon has been home to standoffs over public lands during the past few decades. Armed militias carried out the takeovers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016, the Sugar Pine Mine in 2015 and the headgate standoff during the Klamath water crisis in 2001, says Steve Pedery of Oregon Wild.

“These militia groups are homegrown — this isn’t something that was imported to Oregon from somewhere else.” 

Advocates for the Elliott State Forest had high hopes in February when Gov. Kate Brown released her plan to keep the state forest in public hands. But that optimism was dashed when newly elected Democratic State Treasurer Tobias Read voted with Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson to go ahead with a sale proposal to Lone Rock Resources.

The Elliott is a coastal rainforest and home to the marbled murrelet, a threatened seabird species. It is also tied to the Common School Fund, which provides money for K-12 school children. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) cited Sacred Heart Medical Center on Feb. 3 for monitoring and recordkeeping violations related to an underground storage tank at its facility on Hilyard Street in Eugene. DEQ also sent Kingsford Manufacturing Company a warning letter on Feb. 3 for 23 days worth of Clean Water Act violations at its Springfield facility, specifically for discharging high-temperature wastewater. DEQ sent Christian Church Homes of Oregon a pre-enforcement notice on Feb.

•The GTFF (Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation) is hosting a Know Your Rights Training for activists and international students, presented by the Civil Liberties Defense Center 5 pm Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 609 E. 13th Street. This event is open to the public and free.

Local marijuana retailers have been waiting close to a year for the city of Eugene to adopt an ordinance requiring a 1,000-foot buffer between dispensaries. 

Eugene remains the only major municipality in the state that has yet to adopt a buffer, and while City Council is deliberating the issue, corporate-owned dispensaries with out-of-state money are flooding into the market, and local businesses say they are being displaced.

Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden entered a crowded Lane Community College gymnasium Feb. 19 with the statement that “no topic is off limits.” He was met with loud applause and cheering from the packed town hall meeting. 

An estimated 1,500 people showed up at LCC on Sunday afternoon. Since the inauguration, thousands of people in the Eugene community have shown up to protests, marches and activism workshops to denounce recent actions taken by President Donald Trump.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently fined the city of Cottage Grove $4,500 for Clean Water Act violations committed in the city’s operation of its wastewater treatment plant, which is located along the Coast Fork Willamette River on North Douglas Avenue. Specifically, the city discharged high temperature effluent to the river on multiple occasions in June; applied “recycled water” that was high in bacteria to land on multiple occasions in July; and was late in submitting annual reports to DEQ for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

EW runs “Activist Alert” in our pages and online as often as space allows and events demand. Wondering what you can do to battle the evils and insecurities of a Trump administration? Activist Alert is a list of the actions people around Lane County are undertaking to make the world a better place. Send events to editor@eugeneweekly.com with Activist Alert in the subject line.