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Dr. Julian Bell is all fired up about climate change. But rather than lobby politicians to enact laws cracking down on fossil fuels causing greenhouse gas, he’s decided to dive right into politics and run for governor against incumbent Kate Brown in the Democratic primary. 

As Linda Wheatley stood on the edges of the Civic Stadium site on June 29 and watched the structure become engulfed by flames, she felt sick. “It was as if something I owned myself were burning,” she says. 

It’s the opposite of Citizens United and then some. Corporations have rights beyond personhood, according to Thomas Linzey of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). Those rights allow corporations to run roughshod over local communities, affecting everything from their drinking water (think of Nestlé in the Columbia Gorge) to their homes (as with coal trains running through towns). 

Two big conventions — or “cons,” as attendees call them — hit Eugene this weekend, one focused on gaming and the other revolving around comics and pop culture. 

The emergence of tech-centric events is great for the area economically, but the question of whether this town is too small for multiple cons has led to a little drama, according to event organizers.

• Lane County’s new Performance Auditor Shanda Miller will be available to talk about her work in a series of public meetings that will include at least one county commissioner. The next will be at 3 pm and again at 6 pm Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Siuslaw Public Library in Florence. Future meetings will be at 5:30 pm Monday, Oct. 19, at the Brewstation in Cottage Grove; 7 pm Tuesday, Oct. 20, at South Eugene High School cafeteria; and noon Thursday, Nov. 19, at Springfield City Club.

Free joints, lines around the block, medical marijuana express lanes — the first day of October will surely be a day of celebration for many and, perhaps, a headache for others. 

Oct. 1 marks another milestone for cannabis legalization in the state of Oregon: Medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to legally sell limited amounts of pot to recreational users — customers without an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) card — who are over the age of 21 with valid proof of age.

Campaign season is well under way for the presidential election. Locally, candidates for Eugene City Council and mayor, and Lane County Board of Commissioners are starting to declare themselves. 

But those elections and campaigns are still taking shape, while here in Eugene, a campaign has launched for a Nov. 3 special election: the library levy.

Vote Yes! for Libraries has kicked off its campaign. Measure 20-235 would add $2.7 million a year, for five years, to the library’s operating budget. 

Local businesses can benefit from a collection of useful web links regarding surveys, zoning, planning, building permits, flood hazard, wetlands, restaurant inspections and more at lanecounty.org. Lane County’s Geographic Information System and property records online have been updated into a new system that can be accessed by computer or cell phone. Look for “Maps and Property Info” under “Quick Links” on the county website’s home page. 

 • Lane County is taking public comment on its draft 20-year Parks Master Plan, which will guide the management of county parks from 2016 to 2036. This is the first comprehensive update to the original 1980 master plan. The draft plan is available at city libraries and an open house runs from 6 to 8 pm Thursday, Sept. 24, at Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwy. 99 was recently sprayed.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments through 5 pm on Friday, Sept. 25 on an application from Utah-based Layton Construction for Clean Water Act permitting of discharges of construction-related stormwater pollution at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center, in Springfield. Visit goo.gl/Yp4iAK for info on commenting.

Photo by Gary Hale / Forestland Dwellers


Eugene lost a culinary legend with the passing of chef Gabriel Gil last week. Known best for his influence on local restaurants past and present, including Rabbit Bistro and Bar, Soubise and Tacovore, Gil was a friend and inspiration to many in the local restaurant community. 

Gil was 43 years old and died after suffering a medical crisis.

His partner in life and work, Amy Hand, says working with Gil was “challenging but rewarding. I learned a tremendous amount from him — he upped my personal game. It was inspiring to work with him.”

Oregon Department of Transportation is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwy. 36 near Mapleton and Hwy. 99 near Eugene were recently sprayed.

We hear Pacific Recycling has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is currently closed. The scrap metal processor based at 3300 Cross Street in Eugene had employed an average of 55 full-time workers. It listed assets and liabilities ranging between $10 million and $50 million in a petition filed in Oregon Bankruptcy Court, according to a story Aug. 31 in the industry newsletter American Metal Market. Company President Rod Shultz told AMM that “we’ve overcome many obstacles while heavily investing in new capital improvements.

• The South Willamette Special Zone Area is the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Sept. 18, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette Street. Planning consultant Eben Fodor and local architect and Planning Commission Chairman Bill Randall will be the speakers. The discussion is in advance of an Oct. 19 public hearing before the City Council on the proposal to create a long-range development plan along the Willamette corridor between 23rd and 32nd avenues. Fodor is a critic of the plan and its impact on the neighborhood and Randall helped craft the plan.

In Afghanistan

• 2,363 U.S. troops killed (2,355 last month)

• 20,071 U.S. troops wounded in action (updates NA)

• 1,599 U.S. contractors killed (1,599)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $713.4 billion cost of war ($709.4 billion)

• $285.4 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($283.8 million)


Against ISIS

• $6 billion cost of military action ($5.4 billion)

• $2.4 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($2.2 million)

Light streams through large glass windows to fall on each carefully salvaged piece of wood in Jess Pollack’s beautiful remodeled home. Pollack, a humble self-described contractor with an appreciation for the arts, turned an odd ’60s home into a work of modern whimsical art in a 14-year labor of love. 

Although statewide results won’t become public until Sept. 17 for the Smarter Balanced Assessment — a standardized test Oregon students took this spring to determine if schools are teaching in alignment with the Common Core State Standards — preliminary results show that around 11 percent of Eugene School District 4J students did not take the test.

For local anti-testing group Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE), this statistic is good news. For school officials on the local and state level, the number strikes a more ominous tone. 

350 Eugene, a local climate activist group, will hold its fall gathering from 7 to 8:45 pm Thursday, Sept. 10, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street. The group is planning for the Paris 2015 United Nations climate summit Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. A global climate march is being planned in November.

• Oregon Department of Transportation is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwy. 36 near Mapleton and Hwy. 99 near Eugene were recently sprayed.

• Sharon Kester, 520-0131, plans to hire Applebee Aviation, 866-311-4354, to aerially spray two units totaling 93 acres near Hawley Creek with Accord XRT II, Arsenal Applicator’s Concentrate, Oust XP and/or Syl-Tac. See ODF notification 2015-781-12122, call Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.

Leasing water rights? Logging? What about bringing back Faerieworlds, the Dirty Dash and other events? Lane County’s park system is massive in scope — it encompasses 4,300 acres from the coast to the Cascades, including everything from marinas and campsites to hiking and horseback riding — and also massive is the draft master plan Lane County Parks produced last month.

For the first time since 1980, Lane County is updating its Parks and Open Space Master Plan, and the county is now taking public comment on the almost 300-page document. 

On Sept. 8, ShelterCare Development Director Lucy Vinis announced her candidacy for mayor of Eugene in the 2016 election, and she said three platforms drive her campaign: education, affordable living and climate change. 

Vinis, who worked with environmental nonprofit EarthShare of Oregon before her time at ShelterCare, said those three issues have emerged “consistently and repeatedly” as she’s talked with members of the community. 

“I want Eugene to be a city in which everyone has an opportunity to thrive,” she said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently entered into separate settlement agreements with Portland-based Cascade Petroleum Transportation, Inc. concerning a March 2012 truck crash near Westfir that resulted in the release of thousands of gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel to a ditch on the west side of Hwy. 58. The ditch flowed to Deception Creek, which in turn flowed to the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. Gasoline and diesel fuel also ended up in groundwater that supplies drinking water to nearby residents.