Many of Oregon’s biggest polluters are allowed to pour wastes into the state’s rivers and streams using outdated permits.
The state agency responsible for protecting Oregon’s waters, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), has allowed 75 percent of large industrial and municipal plants to discharge wastes despite having expired permits. Some permits haven’t been updated for more than two decades, agency documents show.
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 email@example.com with Activist Alert in the subject line.
Threats to the environment, immigration raids, attacks on Planned Parenthood. The Muslim ban, attacks on people of color and LGBTQ. Businesses in Eugene targeted with Nazi graffiti. Locally and across the nation, the Trump administration’s first 100 days have been marked with anger and dissent.
The couple-week-old pit mix — named for the flame red Dodge Charger in the ’80s TV series The Dukes of Hazzard — peeks out from behind the zipper of Annamay Bertholf’s jacket.
Bertholf’s friend, who prefers to remain nameless, just sold his iPod to scrape together enough cash to pay for the pit bull pup’s parvovirus shot this morning. Lee yawns himself awake and passes back out.
“Nonviolent direct action”: This bit of political jargon might sound like some kind of anarchist crap, but it’s probably what you’ve been doing since the inauguration if you’re newly politically active.
Those rallies you’ve attended, phone calls to senators, and petitions you’ve signed are all non-violent direct actions — actions taken by a group with the aim of revealing a problem, highlighting an alternative or demonstrating a solution to an issue. On Feb. 4, 350 Eugene put on a daylong series of training sessions attended by about 150 people to introduce new activists to the frontlines of making change.
Marijuana is a crutch on which many were hoping to lean for the next four years.
That alone explains why our bronzed chief executive might be looking to snatch it away. Why else would President Donald J. Trump select unabashed marijuana-phobe Jeff Sessions to run the Department of Justice?
From Nazi swastikas on Old Nick’s Pub to fliers proclaiming “Diversity is white genocide” on cars, Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood was plastered with hate in the early hours of Feb. 4, and many in the area are up in arms. Some in the Whit are discussing doing their own policing.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently sent a warning letter to Dirk & Colleen Brainerd in Springfield for operating the wastewater treatment system without a permit at the Country Inn on County Farm Road in Eugene. DEQ classified this violation as a “Class I” violation (the most serious class of violations), and noted the human health and environmental problems that can be presented by human sewage. DEQ’s inspection also appeared to indicate a lack of maintenance of the treatment system.
In 1994, Oregonians voted to ban the use of dogs to hunt cougars and bears. In legislative sessions following the passage of that ballot measure, however, lawmakers have introduced bills aiming to dismantle and weaken Measure 18.
What, we wondered, will happen around here exactly if the Trump regime manages — as he promised in January — to abolish the 62-year-old National Endowment for the Arts? Oregon — and Lane County — will lose a bunch of money.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently sent a warning letter to Arclin USA concerning numerous hazardous waste law violations observed by DEQ during an unannounced inspection at Arclin’s Springfield facility in December. Violations included failure to make arrangements with emergency responders, failure to post emergency information, failure to label hazardous wastes, failure to inspect hazardous wastes, failure to manage hazardous wastes in proper containers and failure to train employees in hazardous waste handling.
• We’ve been running our Activist Alert updates for years, but now more than ever we realize that as people get “woke” they need to turn their frustration and anger into action and activism. Got an activist event planned? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org as well as to our calendar at email@example.com.
Lynne Fessenden is stepping down from her decade-long position as the executive director of the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, a nonprofit focused on developing a sustainable food system in Lane County. But she says her passion for educating the community about local foods is still as strong as ever. “It’s been ten years, and that’s long enough,” she says.
Lack of funding in recent years has led to cracked pavement, aging playground equipment that needs to be replaced and other maintenance needs in Eugene’s parks. City parks officials plan to bring this issue before the City Council as soon as March.
On Jan. 21, a sea of pink pussyhats and vibrant signs promoting women’s rights and denouncing President Donald Trump swelled across the nation. Cries of “We need a leader! Not a creepy tweeter!” and “This is what Democracy looks like” echoed in the streets as the Women’s March surged beyond expectations.
As Eugene’s downtown continues to thrive, it’s easy to forget that only a couple years ago the urban core was widely regarded as lacking a sense of place. It was a downtown without being a downtown center.
More recently, Eugene has been a city and a downtown without a City Hall, ever since the City Council approved demolishing its central public building in 2014.
Seventeen states, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, still pay the federal minimum wage of $2.13 per hour to workers who receive more than $30 in tips per month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Saru Jayaraman, a professor at the University of California at Berkley, will address food industry wage inequality and what’s happening more broadly within the economy in a Jan. 23 talk “Food First: Justice, Security, and Sovereignty” at the University of Oregon.
In a 2007 interview about her Ward 7 Eugene City Council seat, Andrea Ortiz told EW that something she treasured about Eugene was this: “We put such a high value on humans, how we live our lives, the quality of education and the environment.”
Ortiz, who was born May 4, 1957, in Riverside, California, died Jan. 20 of bronchitis that turned into pneumonia. As the outpouring on social media shows, her fellow humans put a high value on the former city councilor and longtime community activist.
Look around and see signs of political burnout, in more than just eyes red and raw from excessive newsfeed scrolling. Listen and hear it in voices: nervous laughter, talk of fascism and edgy jokes about leaving the country.
And all this is amongst folks who arguably have the least to lose with the election of Donald Trump.
For less comfortable Americans, this malaise — this Trump Funk, if you will — is more like abject terror, a genuine nervous exhaustion. A quick Google search produces a sea of how-to articles about dealing with post-election anxiety.