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News Briefs

The Veterans Safe Spot, one of three “rest stops” managed by Community Supported Shelters (CSS), is moving from its current location at Chambers and Northwest Expressway to a 7.5-acre Eugene Mission property off West 1st Avenue. Ron Siever, a veteran at the safe spot, says he and other veterans are concerned about the new rules required to move onto Mission property, which include total sobriety, abstinence from drugs and no pets.

Paying for community college may get a little easier now that Senate Bill 81 has passed in the Oregon Legislature, but community college officials say it’s more of a step in the right direction than a miracle cure for students’ financial woes. While this bill, called a “last dollar” program, provides assistance in the form of filling in tuition gaps that other grants leave, heftier legislation in the form of a “first dollar” program is needed for community college tuition to truly be “free.”

The loss of Civic Stadium to a fast-burning fire June 29 is tragic to those who tried to save it and to those who have rich memories of the historic stadium. But, as Eugene Springfield Fire Operations Deputy Chief Joe Zaludek pointed out at a recent press conference, no one was injured in the fire or fighting it, which he called “amazing” for an incident of this magnitude. 

• Oregon Department of Transportation is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for often inaccurate herbicide application information. Highways recently sprayed include I-5, 36, 105, 126, Beltline and Territorial.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fined Arclin U.S.A. $5,200 last month for illegally discharging pollution to waters of the state early last year from its formaldehyde and formaldehyde-based resin manufacturing facility near 28th and Main in Springfield. Arclin’s discharges were low-pH and high in biochemical oxygen demand, with BOD levels as high as 203 percent of the limit in Arclin’s Clean Water Act permit.

The Fourth of July weekend’s shake and bake of high temperatures and a small earthquake may have caused some short-term fear and consternation, but both events are linked to longer-term causes.

On July 2, temperatures at the Eugene airport were a record setting 101 degrees, and temperatures hovered in the 90s through much of the holiday weekend. Then, many of those who managed to sleep late despite the heat were woken at 8:42 am July 4 by a 4.2 magnitude earthquake centered 9 miles east-northeast of Springfield.

Oregon’s seven public universities enter a new era this July: No more Oregon University System, no more Board of Higher Education and no more OUS chancellor. 

Instead Oregon state universities will be run by their own independent governing boards, as pioneered by the University of Oregon, Portland State and Oregon State University. Senate Bill 80, passed by both houses (not yet signed by governor as of this writing) will legally abolish the OUS.  

• The Lane County Metropolitan Policy Committee meets from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm Thursday, July 2, at Coburg City Hall Council Chambers. On the agenda is the Metropolitan Cable Television Commission. Contact Paul Thompson at 682-4405.

• The VA Roseburg Healthcare System has scheduled a town hall from 4:30 to 6:30 pm Thursday, July 2, at the Elks Lodge, 1701 Centennial Blvd. in Springfield. VA representatives will be available to answer questions and assist vets with current claims or filing new claims for disability compensation. 

A recent study shows that, for the first time in U.S. history, obese Americans outnumber merely overweight Americans. Head over to the city of Eugene’s Petersen Barn Community Center this summer to buck this trend through martial arts or dance.

If you only sign up for one of Petersen Barn’s multitude of classes — ballet, belly dance, fencing, yoga — martial-arts instructor Logan Flores wants you to take his class, “Kung Fu Lessons in Harmony.”

As Oregonians swelter in the heat and drought, landmark decisions on climate change came down from courts in the U.S. and Europe just hours apart. 

Here in the U.S., Oregon-based Our Children’s Trust is celebrating a June 23 decision in Washington state’s King County Superior Court on a climate case against the state brought by eight youth. Meanwhile, the Dutch Urgenda Foundation and 900 co-plaintiffs won a climate case on June 24 that forces the government of the Netherlands to adopt more stringent climate policies. 

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for often inaccurate herbicide application information. Highways recently sprayed include I-5, 36, 105, 126, Beltline and Territorial. 

• USDA Forest Service will be spot treating a few patches of false brome near Cape Perpetua and the Cummins Creek Loop Trail with glyphosate.

The Relief Nursery’s Springfield location gives aid to at-risk children and families with a multitude of challenges, according to Executive Director Kelly Sutherland. But Sutherland and others at the Relief Nursery are worried that a proposed Verizon cell phone tower might pose a danger to the children and families who come there for the therapeutic nursery school and other classes the Relief Nursery offers.

The Springfield City Council will discuss the proposed Verizon cell tower at a July 6 meeting. 

Short-term rental companies such as Airbnb have enjoyed popularity in the past few years, but they exist in a “legal gray area” when it comes to paying taxes for temporary lodging providers in Lane County. EW reported on this nebulous legal area last summer (“Airbnb Flies Under the Radar,” 6/24/14). Until now, no action has been taken to clarify proper procedure.

On June 20, about 16 people visited the new “empathy tent” at Saturday Market for a simple reason: to be heard. In honor of the late Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication, Eugene resident Mark Roberts set up the tent so that people could be heard in a nonjudgmental way and experience relief from their troubles. 

“I had the idea for years,” Roberts says, though he says the specific idea for an empathy tent was from another person who attended a memorial for Rosenberg. 

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) one in six men have been through abusive sexual experiences before reaching adulthood. Males experience the same feelings and reactions as other survivors of sexual assault, RAINN says, but they may also be up against additional challenges “because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.” 

Spray Schedule 

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for sometimes inaccurate herbicide application information. Highways recently sprayed include I-5, 126 near Santiam Pass and Territorial near Lorane. Though all of Highway 36 was sprayed in May, not all of this spray was reported on the ODOT information line. 

• BLM will not be spraying more than 5,000 acres of brush near fire trails in three counties including Lane County. Instead, it will be doing manual brush removal of invasive weeds. See ODF notification 2015-772-09247, call Tim Meehan at 726-3588 with questions. 

• Joanna Lovera, 206-8827, plans to hire Oregon Forest Management Services, 520-5941, to spray 46.6 acres near Murdoch Road with Transline. See ODF notification 2015-781-09139, call Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.  

Inside a radially configured sanctuary — more akin to a tree house than a cathedral — Father Tom Yurchak peers out at Eugene’s grassy South Hills through a spotless panorama of oversized panes. “Our ‘stained glass’ windows,” he says. “Through them, we watch the seasons change.”

Last week, the latest potential candidate for Eugene mayor announced her “serious intention” of running for the mayor’s office in 2016. Candidates can’t file for the 2016 Eugene race until September, but ShelterCare Developmental Director Lucy Vinis told EW that she is currently “in a very serious exploration.” 

In Oregon, the terminally ill can take advantage of our “right to die” (aka death with dignity) law. Should the terminally ill have access to experimental therapies? A “right to try,” as it were? 

The federal government says no, but 22 states have passed laws that say yes. Oregon could be the next to do so this July as the Legislature winds to a close. 

Electing judges is the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, June 19, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette Street. Speakers are W. Michael Gillette, retired justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, and James Huffman, dean emeritus of the Lewis and Clark Law School. $5 for non-members. See cityclubofeuegene.org. The following week, June 26, the topic will be “The Future of Collegiate Athletics at the UO” with professor Bill Harbaugh and professor emeritus Dennis Howard.

On Sunday afternoons in Eugene you may have noticed some people wandering downtown with big, warm insulated bags of food, wafting the scent of burritos behind them. Burrito Brigade is an all-volunteer group of vegan burrito makers that started distributing tasty wraps to those in need about a year and a half ago. 

Congressman Peter DeFazio has vehemently opposed the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal from early on, telling EW in January 2014 that the deal was “informed and manipulated by corporate interests” and that if the public knew what was in the classified document, they wouldn’t like it.

Get ready, Eugene: A huge pop culture phenomenon is in the works, and you’re encouraged to dress in costume. Eugene Comic Con, organized and produced locally by longtime comic book fan and Eugene resident Royce Myers, is coming to Lane Events Center in November. The event will include celebrity guests from shows like American Horror Story.

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call 1-888-996-8080 for herbicide application information. Highways I-5 and 126 have recently been sprayed and Highway 36 may be sprayed soon.