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Summer food means fun, right? Barbeques, picnics, leisurely dinners in the outdoors. But for many in our community — those struggling with food insecurity issues — summer can mean a long spell with little or no support. Fortunately, a network of vital local community programs helps to fill the need. 

Oregon’s four NAACP branch presidents were in Salem Monday, June 12, to announce the release of the organization’s “Oregon Environmental Justice” report and to support several bills before the end of the state’s 2017 regular legislative session. 

With three recently passed bills, Oregon is cracking down on animal abuse and neglect. The bills, two of which were carried by Eugene senators, touch on everything from animal forfeiture to cock fighting.

Summer is the high season for Karen Roth, child nutrition programs manager with FOOD for Lane County.

“We have such a need,” Roth says. “Fifty-three percent of Lane County’s children and youth are eligible for the National School Lunch Program.” 

On Monday, May 8, the Eugene Police Department issued a news release asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who walked into the Eugene Islamic Center and “threaten[ed] to kill attendees.” The following day, EPD arrested Chad Everett Russell after a dispute was reported in Monroe Park. 

In 2012, journalist John Hockenberry took the TED stage and talked about living life with intent. In his talk, “We Are All Designers,” he recalled his favorite design moment: While he was covering the collapse of Zaire, amid the failure of the banks, looting and bullets flying overhead, someone began shouting at Hockenberry. It was another man in a wheelchair, and he wanted to compare his wheels to Hockenberry’s. 

Years later, Hockenberry installed flashy caster wheels to the front of his wheelchair, which he has used since a car accident when he was 19, and said he wished he could have shown them to the man in Zaire.

More than one of every four people ticketed or arrested by Eugene police for minor crimes last year were homeless or lacked a permanent address, according to Eugene Weekly’s analysis of city court records. 

The court records also reveal that more than one-third of the minor cases involved people who lacked a permanent place to live at some time in the past three years. 

For our story on arrests and citations of homeless people for minor crimes, we used a database from the Eugene Municipal Court. The Municipal Court handles violations and misdemeanors within the city of Eugene. More serious charges are filed in Lane County Circuit Court.

Solar or hydroelectric? Veneta or Cottage Grove? Seniors or youth? Either way, a massive grant for renewable energy is going to an organization with a worthy cause. 

Eugene residents who are seeking a ballot initiative to create an independent performance auditor for the city filed a petition with the Circuit Court May 17. They say the city’s proposed ballot language is “biased” and “fails to sufficiently, concisely or fairly describe the initiative.” 

Three times last February, Eugene police officers found Rod Adams, a 60-year-old homeless man, lying in a sleeping bag downtown in the middle of the night. They arrested, handcuffed and took him to Lane County Jail each time, where he stayed for three total days on trespassing charges. 

On Nov. 11, 2016, nine people told police they witnessed an incident at Hi-Fi Music Hall in which a man raped an intoxicated woman while another man assisted him. Neither man was prosecuted with sexual assault charges and neither received a jail sentence for the alleged rape.

As you turn onto Gimpl Hill Road from Bailey Hill Road, you exit the more densely populated neighborhoods surrounding Churchill High School and Kennedy Middle School. After a few tight turns on the road that runs through wooded hillsides you are greeted with a sharp contrast: on one side you see an opulent landscaped drive with stonework and a wrought iron fence; on the other side of the road, homemade signs implore you in black marker to: “SAVE Your WELL” and “STOP The Vineyards at Gimpl Hill.”

If Eugene’s City Council passes the new transportation system plan (TSP), newer, safer bike paths could be built across the city. To add to Eugene’s bike-ability, plans are already in motion to install a bike-share program in Eugene.

Robert Wilson has been homeless off and on for 25 years, with none but a small dog to keep him company and keep away the demons of PTSD and anxiety that haunt him.

A veteran who served in the Army in the ’80s, Wilson, 54, is a short man with bright, worried eyes and a friendly, if nervous, demeanor. “I couldn’t be outside or talk to strangers without her,” he says of his Chihuahua, Chica. The dog is dressed as a cowboy, shivering slightly inside his coat.

The nonprofit Eugene Police Foundation has been under development for the past year, says John Brown, a Eugene commercial real estate appraiser who is EPF’s board president. The foundation makes its official start Thursday, May 18.

Jessica Campbell of the Rural Organizing Project spoke to a packed room at Temple Beth Israel on Saturday, May 15, about the many layers of white supremacy and the rise and resistance of white nationalist movements in Oregon. 

On that same day a white nationalist group passed out fliers around Eugene advertising for a website called True Cascadia. 

Philosophy instructor Jeffrey Borrowdale has taught at Lane Community College for 17 years. In one month, though, his position as the school’s only full-time philosophy instructor may be cut to save money.

LCC has a $10.6 million budget deficit for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Servando Lomeli Ramirez came to the U.S. illegally in 1991 when he was 16. He has been living in an average house on an average street in Creswell, a home decorated with family pictures and motivational sayings on the wall.

But the 43-year-old millworker’s life is no longer average.

Lomeli is now being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Tacoma, Washington. He faces deportation for illegal reentry after a crime he says he didn’t commit and that is no longer on his record. 

The election of President Donald Trump and the appointments he’s made since taking office have a silver lining: People are stepping up in ways large and small. They are marching, rallying and running for office. School boards might seem like a minor public office, but a good K-12 education is foundational to the growth of our state and this country.

You may have noticed Max and Julia’s Eugene Word Fill floating around Eugene. This free little puzzler is a local version of Mad Libs, a game first invented in 1958 — where a list of words blindly chosen by one player is filled into the blank spots in the story by the other player to create funky, humorous sentences. 

The University of Oregon took swift action to address unsafe levels of lead in its drinking water after it found lead-tainted fixtures in its dorms, office buildings and off-campus properties in June 2016. While officials found fixtures in newer buildings with almost no lead in the system, they also found fixtures with initial lead levels 48 times above the federal legal limits. 

A slow-motion collision between art and cultural politics led the Oregon Country Fair this week to cancel the planned installation of a 36-foot-tall Native-inspired carved story pole at its 280-acre site in Veneta.

The fight over the initiative process in Lane County took a new turn last month.

Judge Karsten Rasmussen, presiding judge of the Lane County Circuit Court, offered wins to both the progressive organization Community Rights Lane County and to retired Eugene attorney Stan Long in the battle over how — or whether — the county places initiatives on the ballot for voters to decide on future county ordinances.