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News Briefs

On Nov. 24 massive loads of tar sands equipment — some as long as a football field — will hit the roads of rural Eastern Oregon, traveling from Umatilla through the small towns of Prairie City and John Day to Homedale, Idaho. Activists, Native Americans, rural dwellers and more have been fighting the so-called megaload shipments for three years now in Idaho and Montana, and now the fight has come to Oregon.

Last year at the West Coast College Open in Monterey, Calif., the UO Disc Golf Club didn’t win a match, finishing dead last in the tournament. This time around, it was a different story for a program that not long ago was struggling for its survival. Paul Fraser and Cory Higdon both joined in February and have watched the roster quadruple in size. They were part of a teamwide effort to not only win a match but also win the Open. Despite being deep and talented, that they had this much success took them by surprise. 

Over the past couple years there have been cuts in Lane County’s budget to the animal shelter, cuts in funding for Womenspace and cuts to other groups that provide aid to women, children and others in need, while at the same time the Lane County administrator who was making more than $150,000 a year was seeking to have her salary raised. If these county financial issues have raised your ire, now is the time to do something about it and weigh in. 

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and its use of indefinite detention of U.S. citizens has brought liberals and conservatives together across the country. Lane County commissioners Faye Stewart, a conservative, and Pete Sorenson, a progressive, were able to agree on the issue at a recent meeting.

“When you are working with people, you make relationships; when they are on TV they are faceless,” says Oxford humanitarian ethics scholar Hugo Slim. When he was working with Save the Children doing relief work during the famine in the Horn of Africa in the 1980s, he says he never broke down while surrounded by thin and dying people. But when he returned to England and watched the famous Band Aid music video with a slow motion image of a skinny child from a refugee camp in Korem, Ethiopia where he had once worked, “Then I cried, watching it.” 

You’re an aboveboard activist, passionate about the environment and willing to speak up and get heard. Then one day the FBI comes knocking on your door. What do you do? 

Endometriosis affects 10 percent of reproductive-age women and can seriously affect a woman’s quality of life and cause infertility, according to University of Washington professor of epidemiology Victoria Holt. A new study of women in the Northwest shows that endometriosis is linked to organochlorine pesticides. While these pesticides are for the most part no longer used in the U.S. — with the exception of some doctor-prescribed lice treatments — their effects linger in the environment and wind up in the bodies of women.

Does 11th and Willamette feel like it’s missing something? Maybe that’s because Sweet Potato Pie has moved to the Whiteaker. 

Sweet Potato Pie has been selling clothes, hemp products and local glass art for the last 16 years. After being given a 60-day notice on her lease, owner Elizabeth Thompson immediately set her sights on her new location at 775 Monroe St., near Sweet Life Patisserie.

The Amazon Creek Headwaters appear doomed following the latest Oregon Court of Appeals decision, but local folks who have been fighting for more than a decade to preserve this pristine area next to the Ridgeline Trail have not given up. They are urging citizens to email or write the Eugene City Council to ask them to set aside the money that is in the voter-approved city parks bond for natural areas to purchase at least 18 of the 47 acres owned by Martin and Leslie Beverly. The family is reportedly asking $2.5 million for the 18 wooded acres.

Construction on Capstone’s 13th and Olive student housing project is continuing, but representatives from the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters (PNWRCC) say that after complaints from workers employed by multiple contractors, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and other agencies are investigating the project.

• Freres Timber Inc. plans to hire Washburn Contract Services Inc. to spray 20,000 feet of roadsides in Township 15S Range 07W Sections 1, 9 and 11 near Prairie Mountain with Forestry Garlon XRT, Accord XRT II, Element 4 and/or Opensight. See ODF notification 2013-551-00474 for more information.

The emails read like something from the New York Post or The National Enquirer, not like messages that would be copied to the Eugene City Council, the mayor and the city manager. Former county administrator Liane Richardson’s ex-husband Mark Richardson fired off a volley of angry exchanges with his ex into the public record late in the evening of Oct. 23 and kicked off an investigation by the Eugene Police Department (EPD) and more questions about Liane Richardson’s tenure at Lane County.

“Black man interrogated. White mom ignored,” McKenzie Messer. “I don’t exist for your curiosity,” Gordon Nagayama Hall. “Where are you from? No. Really?” Alisa Caban.

The most common type of Clean Water Act discharge permit in Oregon is the one for facilities that discharge industrial stormwater. In Lane County, about 120 facilities discharge to local waters pursuant this permit, and these facilities are required to monitor their discharges four times a year and submit monitoring results to regulatory authorities (either DEQ or the city of Eugene) by July 31 each year.

Mercedes Russell may have gone from Springfield to Tennessee, but she will have some of her hometown’s support system with her as she starts her collegiate career at one of the biggest powerhouses in women’s basketball. Bill Wagner, her former head coach at Springfield High, will be in attendance when the Lady Volunteers take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Nov. 11 in a battle of top-10 teams. And he couldn’t be more excited to see her in action on the big stage. 

Just over three years ago, Elliot Glaser-Flynn enrolled at Network Charter School and joined Youth for the Education and Prevention of Sexual Assault (YEPSA), a group whose mission is to end gender violence through education and action. Now, at 18, he’s the project manager of the first ever Youth Empowerment Symposium, which will take place Sunday and Monday, Nov. 10-11, at the Hilton downtown. The event will include 12 workshops, meals, a keynote presentation by Cree Gordon and a concert Sunday evening at WOW Hall.

Yet another non-partisan contender is in the running for the East Lane County Commissioner position currently held by Faye Stewart. Jack Schoolcraft will also be facing Jose Ortal, Joann Ernst and Kevin Matthews in the May 2014 primary.

The battle over Oregon’s federal O&C forestlands isn’t  just taking place in the backrooms and hallways of Washington, D.C., it’s playing out on the internet, in emails and on video. A new video about the O&C lands out of Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office has made it through the House Franking Commission, which has to approve “unsolicited mailings of 500 or more pieces of the same matter” before taxpayer money is used to send it. 

• ODOT is now doing fall roadside spraying in Lane County. Details for Highway 36 are listed below, Highways 99, 126 and others have been sprayed recently. You may reach District 5 offices at (541) 744-8080 or call their automated information line at (888) 996-8080 for more information.

Highway 36 was sprayed by ODOT on Oct. 15 and 17 except for an 8-mile stretch adopted by Members of Beyond Toxics where weeds were cut and pulled by hand on Oct. 17. 

Oregon’s vote on marriage equality is approaching T-minus one year and counting, and Oregon United for Marriage (OUM) is thriving. Eugeneans will mark the countdown with several house parties in the area and 100 throughout the state. The statewide campaign has hired a new director, and a Students United for Marriage chapter has been active in Eugene since late September. Statewide, petitioners have gathered 104,908 of 116,284 signatures required to make the November 2014 ballot. 

Bee advocates and pesticide foes have been slowly gaining traction in their fight against neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides that many believe is contributing to the dramatic declines in honeybee populations. Groups such as Eugene-based Oregon Sustainable Beekeepers (OSB) and Beyond Toxics have been fighting to have local businesses remove neonics from their shelves and, while they haven’t fully succeeded, they have persuaded some local businesses to distribute information about the toxics.

Pelada Football Academy, a youth soccer academy founded as a nonprofit in February, aims to give more kids the opportunity to play and learn while seeking to complement and not compete with other soccer clubs by bringing in kids and their families who find recreational soccer too recreational or competitive soccer too competitive. These kids, in addition to clinics and scrimmages, will have a chance to play more than just soccer.

Pets, tails and tales will be the subject of the Dog Tales fundraiser for the 1st Avenue Shelter and Eugene Animal Services on Oct. 24. 

The event was organized by Constance Van Flandern, also known as former SLUG Queen Marie Slugtoinette, in order to raise money and awareness for the 1st Avenue Shelter. 

Dog Tales will feature local personalities who will share stories about their pets. Anyone who buys presale tickets will also be entered into a drawing for a custom pet portrait by Van Flandern. 

Data from area K-12 schools show an achievement gap between Native American students and other populations, but for the first time in nearly 20 years, Oregon has a full-time Indian education specialist working at the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to improve Native American education around the state.