Only a year ago, Kelly Middle School science teacher Dustin Dawson expressed his concern at a school board meeting that Eugene School District 4J wasn’t moving fast enough to adopt new science curriculum. At the time, some of 4J’s schools were using 20-year-old textbooks with outdated information written before Pluto was declassified as a planet and before the human genome was sequenced. Dawson was supplementing his classes with his own material.
Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce President Dave Hauser recently weighed in on the future of Kesey Square in his weekly email Feb. 5, “The Chamber Rundown,” to Chamber members.
On Nov. 17, the Chamber voted to endorse the controversial 2E Broadway proposal — the proposal to buy Kesey Square and put an apartment building on it — when most citizens were still wrapping their heads around the fact that Kesey Square was even up for sale.
• Weyerhaeuser Company, 744-4600, plans to aerial and ground spray 416.8 acres in the greater Lorane area near Tucker, Crow, Kelly, Farman, Redford and Shaw Creeks with 2,4-D, atrazine, clopyralid, glyphosate, hexazinone, sulfometuron methyl, Crosshair, Foam Buster and/or Grounded. See ODF notification 2016-781-01556, call Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.
The May election might be a primary, but how a local candidate does in that election — only a couple short months away — can determine the final winner for the position.
In the nonpartisan elections for both the Eugene City Council and the Lane County Board of Commissioners, if a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary, then that person’s name is the only one that shows up on the November ballot.
• Another report on Oregon’s fast-growing economy has come out of the Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP) and the numbers look great, except for the disparity. Sound familiar? Oregon’s economy is a reflection of the national economy, and the unequal sharing of prosperity is a hot topic in the presidential primary debates. Oregon’s steady economic growth since 1997 has outpaced the national economy significantly. Only North Dakota with its oil boom has exceeded Oregon between 2001 and 2014.
Eugene city councilors are feeling a little out of the loop when it comes to the construction of the new City Hall and their future offices there. Or lack of offices, as the case may be. Recently more than half the City Council questioned City Manager Jon Ruiz on the latest developments with the public building under construction that they were not aware of.
On Feb. 12 the Eugene tech community plans to address the topic of downtown livability in Eugene with a giant computer programming event called a hackathon. The tech frenzy starts Friday at the Downtown Athletic Club, where Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) will host Hack for a Cause.
Joshua Purvis, the events coordinator for TAO, explains that local members of the tech community will work in teams to develop and produce ideas and concepts concerning downtown livability in Eugene “with a vision for implementation.”
• M Three Timber Company, 767-3785, plans to aerial and ground spray 66 acres near Muslin Creek with 2,4-D, atrazine, hexazinone, sulfometuron methyl, clopyralid and/or Induce. See ODF notification 2016-781-01311, call Brian Peterson at 953-2283 with questions.
Marijuana: controlled substance or religious sacrament?
In December 2015, the Portland branch of the United States Postal Service (USPS) seized a 5-ounce package of marijuana mailed from Eugene by Joy Graves — the leader of the Cottage Grove branch of Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC) — who says it was intended to help an ailing ONAC member in Ohio.
• Last fall’s Community Apple Drive has culminated in the first cider exclusively harvested by the community, and the cider will be released on tap and in bottles beginning this week by WildCraft Cider Works. Apples, pears and plums from backyards, alleys and street sides were collected from August through November to produce 575 gallons of a 28-varietal cider. A percentage of sales will go to local nonprofit conservation groups. A celebration will be held starting at 8 pm Friday, Feb. 5, at Hi-Fi Music Hall, 44 E. 7th Ave.
On the corner of Lawrence Street sits a tiny white building that houses feisty nonprofit Beyond Toxics, which has advocated for environmental and social justice reforms in the state of Oregon since 2001 — you might remember it as Oregon Toxics Alliance.
On Feb. 5, Beyond Toxics will celebrate its 15th anniversary at Capitello Wine Bar in downtown Eugene, as well as introduce a state ballot petition banning aerial chemical sprays.
The American media has been paying a lot of attention to the clown car that makes up the pool of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. And on the Democratic side, the media has finally noticed that Bernie Sanders is making inroads into what many thought was a surefire Hillary Clinton ticket.
But lately, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein says, there’s been a little more oxygen in the room, and the media and American public have realized that Stein and the Greens have something to say.
Nadia Raza’s lawsuit against Lane Community College, filed Jan. 21, alleges that the administration failed to protect the tenured instructor from an aggressive student felon and stalker.
Raza’s 19-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene by attorney Jennifer Middleton, is not the first attempt to get the LCC administration to adopt immediate measures to better protect its staff from sexual advances and physical threats from students.
[Update: This article has been edited to include information about a petition to Save Kesey Square.]
Before the Eugene City Council meeting Jan. 25, the chants and drums of the Save Kesey Square rally could be heard from the nearby Harris Hall, growing louder as more than 100 protesters walked from Kesey Square to the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza while a council work session was in progress.
• The independent private Oak Hill School will be the new home of Super Summer, a three-week academic enrichment program for advanced learners and Talent and Gifted students, and will expand to include sixth and seventh grade students. The popular program has been housed at the UO for the past 35 years. Super Summer will begin its permanent residency on the rural Oak Hill campus near LCC June 27. The application process will open Feb. 8. See oakhillschool.com or call 744-0954.
• Women’s Action for New Directions meets at 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 28, at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street, to talk about the Women for Peace: National WAND Biennial Conference Report. The conference was held recently in Washington, D.C. Speakers include Annette Rose. Free.
Math gets a bad rap, says Gina Graham, owner of Eugene tutoring service Math Is Magic! “We have in our nation a predisposition to think math is yucky,” she says. “I think that’s a problem.”
The nation’s relationship with math grew even more complex with the onset of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). When the state of Oregon adopted CCSS in 2010, parents and students in Eugene School District 4J and other districts saw an internal shake-up as districts shifted from older, more direct methods of teaching to newer techniques in math instruction that fulfill learning requirements outlined by the Common Core.
Until last year, Eugene School District 4J did not have a policy in place to specifically protect transgender and gender non-conforming students.
When 4J school psychologist Brianna Stiller was developing 4J’s gender policy, which the 4J School Board passed in the spring of 2015, district lawyers told her that since 4J already had anti-harassment policies in place, it didn’t need a gender policy.
“I told them, ‘You’re missing the point,’” Stiller says.
On Dec. 15, the Lane County Board of Commissioners quietly voted on an ordinance that made an already ambiguous policy about who has the right to be on county property even more problematic.
Under Chapter 6 of the Lane County Code, “a duly authorized officer,” who could be a board member, the county administrator or “any person delegated the authority to control county property” by those people — and the delegation of authority does need not be in writing — can trespass someone from county property.
[Update: This story has been edited Jan. 22 to include a response from the city of Eugene]
Slow down. That’s the message citizens of Eugene are emailing to City Manager Jon Ruiz, Mayor Kitty Piercy and the Eugene City Council about Kesey Square and its potential development into an apartment building by a local group, which could happen as soon as this spring.
Jan. 15 was the deadline for submission of RFEIs (requests for expression of interest) for Kesey Square.
KLCC public radio in Eugene is no longer running Alternative Radio, a weekly program that has run for 30 years. The hour-long program slot at 7 pm Tuesday has been filled by Reveal, investigative reports from the Center for Public Integrity, Public Radio Exchange and partner public radio stations around the country. KLCC is now a partner station with opportunities to give Eugene-area stories national exposure. Reveal is free for KLCC, as was Alternative Radio.