For the first time since 2003, Eugene School District 4J has increased its year-to-year enrollment, according to school officials. With an additional 217 students this year over last year, it’s the largest increase since 1996, says Kerry Delf, 4J associate director for communications.
4J Superintendent Gustavo Balderas says the increase is partly due to the onset of full-day kindergarten, which started districtwide for the first time this year. Some new students are also transfers, he says.
• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwys. I-5, 99 and 126 were recently sprayed. Hwy. 36 will be sprayed soon.
• Weyerhaeuser Company, 746-2511, plans to aerially spread urea fertilizer pellets on 1,877 acres south of the McKenzie River near Ritchie Creek, Haagen Creek and other tributaries. See ODF notification 2015-771-13224, call Brian Dally at 726-3588 with questions.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently visited Bright Oak Meat Company’s Marcola Road facility in response to a complaint of “a strong and pervasive odor” originating from the facility. Odor no longer appeared to be an issue by the time of DEQ’s visit, and the company attributed the problem to animal viscera not having been transported off-site by a waste hauler. DEQ asked to see waste and wastewater monitoring records during its visit and discovered that Bright Oak was not conducting required monitoring, in violation of Oregon law.
The seventh annual Great Willamette Clean Up Saturday, Oct. 3, saw a record turnout of 400 volunteers in Lane County to haul truckloads of trash, tires and abandoned household and camping items from the river shallows, riparian areas and islands. Another 400 volunteers were involved along the Willamette in other counties all the way to Scappoose Bay north of Portland. Kayaks, canoes and drift boats provided access to areas not accessible by foot.
Oregon’s 2016 big-game hunting regulations will be on the agenda when the Fish and Wildlife Commission meets in Florence Oct. 8 and 9.
Specifically the commission will discuss opening up target areas where “cougar numbers will be proactively reduced in response to established criteria” for cougar conflicts with humans, livestock or other game animals such as mule deer.
As the city of Roseburg and the community around Umpqua Community College try to process and recover from the Oct. 1 mass shooting that killed nine people and injured nine more, Oregon and the nation are seeking answers for why the shooter, who also died, would bring six guns to campus and seek to murder his writing class.
ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwys. I-5, 99 and 126 were recently sprayed. According to an Oct. 1 notification, ODOT plans to spray Hwy. 36 from Junction City to Mapleton including near schools, beginning Oct. 15. This will be the fourth time this year Hwy. 36 will be sprayed.
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).
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.
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.
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.
As school starts up next week, coordinators of the 4J Middle School Mentor Program are looking for volunteers to spend 30 minutes once a week with at-risk students.
Lucy McWhorter, a mentor to middle school students in Eugene School District 4J, says she was amazed to observe that only 30 minutes a week of mentoring can lead to greater confidence in middle school students.