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Richard Hunt was very rarely seen without a smile in the Eugene Weekly offices or when out on the roads and sidewalks restocking and repairing the paper’s little red boxes. 

When news of Richard’s death the day after Thanksgiving began to circulate through the office, the words “kind,” “gentle,” “caring” and “humorous” followed closely behind.

Public calls for service from the police have increased 36 percent in the past three years in Eugene, but staffing levels at the Eugene Police Department have not risen to match the growing needs of the community, EPD Police Chief Pete Kerns says.

The chief wants money for more police officers and options such as Community Court, while critics say money would be better spent addressing the problems of homelessness.

The Eugene City Council delayed on a motion to create an appointed independent office of the city auditor after a Monday, Nov. 20, work session that also included a presentation by the mayor’s performance auditor study group.

Redefining Women in Tech (RWIT) is a nonprofit in Eugene that connects women with the communities and resources they need to thrive in tech careers. Lauren Jerome is a mentor-in-residence with RAIN Eugene (Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network) and co-founder of Mindbox Studios, a software and web development studio in Eugene. 

On an early February morning, Rod Adams was lying in a sleeping bag under an awning in downtown Eugene when a security guard woke him up.

Adams, 61, had been sleeping on private property. The security guard asked him to leave. Adams said “OK,” got up and left.

The security guard notified Eugene police officer Bo Rankin of the encounter. Five days later, Rankin issued Adams a citation for trespassing.

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County (SVDP) has received a $2 million donation to build a home for homeless teen boys — the largest single donation it has ever been given.

Modern sewing machines are usually made from plastic and end up in the landfill. But old-school vintage machines are made from metal, and, like the clothing they stitch, they are designed to be repaired. Stagecoach Road Vintage Sewing Machines brings its collection of restored sewing machines dating from the 1900s to 1970s for display and for sale Saturday, Nov. 18, in Eugene. 

The leadership of a local sustainable business network changed this month in a dramatic meeting that some now-former members are calling a coup. GreenLane Sustainable Business Network is an organization meant to connect businesses that are trying to become more sustainable and give them resources and information that may help them on that path. 

On Nov. 10, several veterans, high school students and advocacy groups showed up at Junction City High School for a town hall hosted by Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. It was the senator’s 78th town hall of the year, and he began by recognizing veterans who had served from the Korean War to post-Sept. 11 veterans. 

Topics included whistle-blower protection, moving the presidential election away from the Electoral College and single-payer health care. Members from Health Care for All Oregon wore red T-shirts, and some wore hospital gowns calling attention to the shortfalls of health care coverage under the current system. 

Would you buy a ticket to a concert without knowing who was going to perform?

Marlo Vercauteren is betting you would, and so far she’s turned out to be right. Vercauteren, a 25-year-old electrical engineer in Eugene, has signed up with three partners as a local agent for Sofar Sounds, an international network dedicated to the idea that people will show up to hear live music — without knowing who the acts are — so long as they know that the music will be good and the concert vibe will be intimate, friendly and respectful.

An official document just obtained by Eugene Weekly from the University of Oregon shows that Oregon Bach Festival artistic director Matthew Halls was fired on Aug. 24 while under investigation for alleged discrimination against women and a person of color.

The six-page document was received late in the day Tuesday, Nov. 14, following a public records request EW made in September.

A new law in Oregon takes great steps for protecting the elderly from abuse and mismanagement in the state’s 530-some licensed care facilities.

House Bill 3359, signed by Gov. Kate Brown in August, increases civil penalties for elder abuse by 400 to 500 percent. It also institutes a fine, capped at $1,000, for facilities that fail to report their own abuses. 

South Eugene High School senior Noshin Rahman is a reporter for the school’s newspaper, The Axe. Rahman plans to attend college next year and is part of the Career and Technical Education Journalism program. Although undecided about her career path, she says she credits the journalism CTE program for equipping her with essential career skills. 

Rahman was among the students, school board members, educators and Eugene tech companies Gov. Kate Brown met with Nov. 1 in a South Eugene High classroom to learn more about the impacts of CTE.

Formed in 2008, Eugene Urgent Care has grown from one clinic near the University of Oregon to nine offices across Lane County. In the wake of this fast rise, a conflict arose about whether to unionize. 

On Aug. 19, the workers at Lane County Urgent Care clinics voted to unionize for collective bargaining power in a 72-70 count. The National Labor Relations Board must certify this referendum.

A Eugene homeless man is trying to convince a judge to dismiss three trespassing charges he received after Eugene police arrested him late at night for sleeping on public property.

Rod Adams, the 61-year-old defendant, and his lawyer, Joe Connelly, argue that his arrests violate the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution and involve the broader issue of criminalization of homelessness.

A grassroots group of citizens and land use advocates continues to fight a quarry planned for a butte just on the edges of Oakridge. Save TV Butte is up against Ed King of King Estate Winery, who is an investor in the Old Hazeldell Quarry project.

Save TV Butte and one of its members, Kathy Pokorny, have filed a petition for review with Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals.

With the help of a few volunteers and support from the city, one community member started a biweekly trash cleanup project at Alton Baker Park.

“I’ve said it many times, I’m not a protester or an activist,” project organizer Kathy Walker says. But she has made significant efforts to start a dialogue between the city and its unprotected, unhoused citizens.

Chad Anderson was tired of being the victim of break-ins. He moved from Eugene, where his property was broken into five times, to Springfield, where it hasn’t happened once. 

“If you call the police in Eugene, they aren’t going to come unless it’s life threatening,” Anderson says. “The Eugene police are underfunded, so they are stretched too thin.”

Eugene charter amendment: Yes

20-274 Eugene Amends Charter: Election to fill vacant Mayor or Councilor position

This amendment cleans up confusing language. Go for it. We like clarity in government.

Eugene street bond: Yes

20-275 Eugene Bonds to Fix Streets, Fund Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects

You know what voters hate? Potholes. You know what we like? Bicycles. Vote yes. 

Creswell weed measure: No

The last of seven public meetings to discuss Eugene’s search for a new police chief will be held 6 pm Oct. 26 at the University of Oregon’s Ford Alumni Center. The city is seeking community input and says it will use feedback to finalize the job description and to make a hiring decision.

The new chief will replace Police Chief Pete Kerns, who has announced he will retire from the department at the end of the year and go to work at St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County.

Suspended high in the canopy over the Willamette National Forest on a platform, an activist sits, putting his life on the line. The rope holding him in the air is connected to an anchor — a box full of concrete and two vehicles that form a blockade on the timber road.

If any part of this intricate set-up is moved, the activist could plummet to his death.

On Oct. 4 the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was granting $1.7 million to Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to help with projects and programs that reduce water pollution. In the press release, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt says the “EPA is making investments like this grant to help empower states who know best how to protect resources, and grow their economy while solving real environmental problems in local communities.”

So far in 2017, 496 people in the United States have died in instances of fatal domestic violence involving guns. 

An average of 20,000 phone calls are made every day to domestic violence hotlines, and each year 10 million individuals “are abused by an intimate partner,” according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The nonprofit also says “twenty percent of women in the United States have been raped.”

Dolly Parton is a national treasure. 

The country singer released her first album 50 years ago. Since then, Parton has starred in movies and been nominated for two Academy Awards, both nominations in the Best Original Song category — one for the hit “9 to 5.” 

Her accolades don’t stop there. Parton has also earned Emmy and Tony nominations; she’s a National Medal of the Arts recipient and one of the most successful country singers of all time.