Fixing large class sizes in Eugene School District 4J can be like “moving around deck chairs on the Titanic,” 4J School Board Chair Anne Marie Levis said at a Feb. 25 meeting.
Parents, teachers and staff from across the district filled the library at Edison Elementary School last Thursday to discuss class sizes in the 30s at the elementary school level. No clear answers came out of the meeting, although school officials suggested that parents write letters to 4J’s Budget Committee and to the Oregon Legislature.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a civil penalty of $6,451 to Rexius Forest By-Products, Inc. on Feb. 17 for Clean Water Act violations at its Bailey Hill Road facility. Specifically, DEQ penalized Rexius for negligently failing to monitor for arsenic in its stormwater discharges. Rexius can appeal the penalty, pay it or offset it by implementing a “supplemental environmental project.” Examples of such projects include stream restoration and replacement of pavement with rain gardens to improve water quality.
It may come as a surprise to some landlords, renters and even attorneys in Oregon that pet fees have not been permitted by Oregon statutes for the past five or six years. But confusion about the law remains, most likely because Oregon Revised Statutes 90.302 does not actually declare that pet fees are prohibited; rather, the list of “Fees allowed for certain landlord expenses” no longer includes non-refundable pet fees.
The annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) comes to the University of Oregon March 3-6. For the first time in its 43-year history, PIELC has organized a film festival to preview the conference at the Bijou Art Cinemas Feb. 25. Films will also play as part of the conference itself.
“Almost all the films have a panel accompaniment with people involved in the films,” says PIELC co-director, Emily Hajarizadeh. “We chose to incorporate film this year because every year we receive massive amounts of submissions for films, and we haven’t had a space to show them.”
The night of Monday, Feb. 22, was a moment many have been waiting for since October, when the city considered the private purchase of Kesey Square in a closed executive session: For the first time, the Eugene City Council publicly discussed Kesey Square, aka Broadway Plaza.
The work session, and public forum that followed, illustrated a lingering divide between some of the city councilors and mayor and the requests from citizens to keep the square public.
• Seneca Jones Timber Company LLC, 689-1011, plans to hire JR Helicopters, (509) 452-3300, to aerially spray 56.9 acres near Douglas Creek with glyphosate, atrazine, 2,4-D, clopyralid, hexazinone and/or Crosshair. See ODF notification 2016-781-02102, call Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a civil penalty of $6,777 to Ninkasi Holding Company on Feb. 9 for Clean Water Act violations at its Whiteaker facilities. Ninkasi’s Clean Water Act permit requires monitoring for various pollutants in its stormwater discharges four times per year, and Ninkasi failed to take any samples at its Blair Boulevard discharge point, and took only three of the required samples at its Polk Street discharge point.
Graduate student Jewell Bohlinger studies human and cultural geography at the University of Oregon, and she’s currently researching prisons — from environmental impacts within prisons to whether prisons can be sustainable with high incarceration rates.
Bohlinger is one of more than 100 UO graduate students who will present their research projects Feb. 26 at the UO’s Ford Alumni Center for the UO Graduate Student Research Forum, organized by the UO Graduate School.
The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by anti-government activists was expensive on a number of levels, from law enforcement costs to loss of revenue stemming from the refuge. Also costly could be the Bundy’s and other occupiers’ legal fees and possible restitution, and there are questions about how the ranchers were able to afford to be be away from their jobs and ranches for more than a month from Jan. 2 to Feb. 11, when the last four militants surrendered.
Oregon State University is hosting doctor, author and New Age spiritualist Deepak Chopra in collaboration with the I Am Genie Foundation at the LaSells Stewart Center across from Reser Stadium in Corvallis Feb. 23.
“I’ll be speaking about the topics from my last two books, which were called Super Genes and Super Brain,” Chopra tells EW from the Chopra Center for Well Being in Carlsbad, California.
Frustration is growing with the way Lane County Animal Services is handling horse neglect cases, says horse rescuer Darla Clark of Strawberry Mountain Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.
Although Clark is in Douglas County, she gets frequent calls from concerned Lane County residents about horse neglect situations here, including a case in which horses were wandering on a roadway near a school in Cottage Grove and another situation in Elmira in which a herd of horses were alleged to be starving. Many of the Elmira horses were sold at the Eugene Livestock Auction on Feb. 14.
Kesey Square was originally intended to be a dedicated public space when a building was removed from the site in 1970. According to a Feb. 13 article in the Register-Guard, the deed to the square has surfaced and it says the area, also known as Broadway Plaza, is supposed to stay public permanently.
The R-G reported that it found a copy of the 1971 deed, committing the city-owned land parcel at Broadway and Willamette to be “forever dedicated to the use of the public.”
Hey, hold on just a second before you fire up that weed — it could be toxic as hell.
A shiver ran through Eugene’s marijuana community Feb. 5 when the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) ordered the stop-sale of Guardian, a popular pesticide, after it was discovered the product contained abamectin, an insecticide that is highly toxic to bees and marine life, and which in high doses may lower sperm count in men.
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.
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.