• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

News Features

General Lee is no bigger than a burrito.

The couple-week-old pit mix — named for the flame red Dodge Charger in the ’80s TV series The Dukes of Hazzard — peeks out from behind the zipper of Annamay Bertholf’s jacket.

Bertholf’s friend, who prefers to remain nameless, just sold his iPod to scrape together enough cash to pay for the pit bull pup’s parvovirus shot this morning. Lee yawns himself awake and passes back out.

It’s a no-brainer for Springfield Councilor and Lane County Sheriff’s deputy Joe Pishioneri that the Springfield Police Department should purchase a police-armored Suburban.

“It’s nothing but a rolling [ballistic] vest,” Pishioneri said of the armored vehicle during the Feb. 6 Springfield City Council meeting.  

Nonviolent direct action”: This bit of political jargon might sound like some kind of anarchist crap, but it’s probably what you’ve been doing since the inauguration if you’re newly politically active. 

Those rallies you’ve attended, phone calls to senators, and petitions you’ve signed are all non-violent direct actions — actions taken by a group with the aim of revealing a problem, highlighting an alternative or demonstrating a solution to an issue. On Feb. 4, 350 Eugene put on a daylong series of training sessions attended by about 150 people to introduce new activists to the frontlines of making change. 

With a spate of hateful graffiti in the Whiteaker and anti-immigrant rhetoric on the national level, Lane County’s timing in establishing its Equity and Access Advisory Board is fortuitous.

Marijuana is a crutch on which many were hoping to lean for the next four years.

That alone explains why our bronzed chief executive might be looking to snatch it away. Why else would President Donald J. Trump select unabashed marijuana-phobe Jeff Sessions to run the Department of Justice?

From Nazi swastikas on Old Nick’s Pub to fliers proclaiming “Diversity is white genocide” on cars, Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood was plastered with hate in the early hours of Feb. 4, and many in the area are up in arms. Some in the Whit are discussing doing their own policing.

In 1994, Oregonians voted to ban the use of dogs to hunt cougars and bears. In legislative sessions following the passage of that ballot measure, however, lawmakers have introduced bills aiming to dismantle and weaken Measure 18. 

What, we wondered, will happen around here exactly if the Trump regime manages — as he promised in January — to abolish the 62-year-old National Endowment for the Arts? Oregon — and Lane County — will lose a bunch of money.

Lynne Fessenden is stepping down from her decade-long position as the executive director of the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, a nonprofit focused on developing a sustainable food system in Lane County. But she says her passion for educating the community about local foods is still as strong as ever. “It’s been ten years, and that’s long enough,” she says. 

Lack of funding in recent years has led to cracked pavement, aging playground equipment that needs to be replaced and other maintenance needs in Eugene’s parks. City parks officials plan to bring this issue before the City Council as soon as March.

On Jan. 21, a sea of pink pussyhats and vibrant signs promoting women’s rights and denouncing President Donald Trump swelled across the nation. Cries of “We need a leader! Not a creepy tweeter!” and “This is what Democracy looks like” echoed in the streets as the Women’s March surged beyond expectations. 

As Eugene’s downtown continues to thrive, it’s easy to forget that only a couple years ago the urban core was widely regarded as lacking a sense of place. It was a downtown without being a downtown center. 

More recently, Eugene has been a city and a downtown without a City Hall, ever since the City Council approved demolishing its central public building in 2014.

Seventeen states, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, still pay the federal minimum wage of $2.13 per hour to workers who receive more than $30 in tips per month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Saru Jayaraman, a professor at the University of California at Berkley, will address food industry wage inequality and what’s happening more broadly within the economy in a Jan. 23 talk “Food First: Justice, Security, and Sovereignty” at the University of Oregon.

In a 2007 interview about her Ward 7 Eugene City Council seat, Andrea Ortiz told EW that something she treasured about Eugene was this: “We put such a high value on humans, how we live our lives, the quality of education and the environment.”

Ortiz, who was born May 4, 1957, in Riverside, California, died Jan. 20 of bronchitis that turned into pneumonia. As the outpouring on social media shows, her fellow humans put a high value on the former city councilor and longtime community activist.

Look around and see signs of political burnout, in more than just eyes red and raw from excessive newsfeed scrolling. Listen and hear it in voices: nervous laughter, talk of fascism and edgy jokes about leaving the country.

And all this is amongst folks who arguably have the least to lose with the election of Donald Trump. 

For less comfortable Americans, this malaise — this Trump Funk, if you will — is more like abject terror, a genuine nervous exhaustion. A quick Google search produces a sea of how-to articles about dealing with post-election anxiety. 

Eight days without power, seven broken aviaries, two weeks closed to visitors and dozens of damaged trees: It sounds like a bad take on the 12 days of Christmas. 

Facing extensive damages after the Dec. 14 ice storm, the Cascades Raptor Center sent out a plea to its many donors: “We’ve been through the ringer. We need your help.” 

Multiple nonprofits, including unions and immigrants rights groups, are traveling to Salem on Jan. 14 to participate in the United for Immigrants Rights Rally. Set a week prior to the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration, the march intends to address anti-immigration sentiments, and the organizations are vowing to stand united against President-elect Trump’s discriminatory agenda. 

Four sea turtles have been reported along the Oregon and Washington coast since November after becoming stranded in frigid Pacific Northwest waters. Unfortunately none of the turtles survived, according to Laura Todd, the Newport field office supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Todd says that the past few winters have been record years for strandings of sea turtles, in particular for the vulnerable olive ridley species. 

If your New Year’s resolution involves quitting your current job, you can now consider an array of jobs within Oregon’s budding recreational marijuana industry. But before you can land that career you’ve only ever dreamed about surrounded by the skunky scent of weed, you must pass a multiple choice test, a background check and then fork over $100 in order to secure a Marijuana Worker Permit from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).

Outgoing Eugene City Councilor George Brown is not a politician; he’s a city government nerd, a bespectacled wonk. Not in the wide-eyed, soaked-in-sunny-positivity vein of Leslie Knope (of Parks and Recreation fame), but in a gruff, pragmatic, detail-oriented fashion. 

After eight years on the council, the Wichita native (he’s lived in Eugene since 1970) has a basement-full of papers in his home from completed, bygone or stalled city projects. There’s a waist-high tower of documents pertaining to Civic Stadium alone, which he describes as “nostalgic” after the historic venue burned down. 

Political leaders leave legacies — Eugene’s first woman mayor Ruth Bascom is remembered as the “bicycling mayor” after establishing bike and pedestrian paths around town during her tenure from 1993-96. 

As now-former mayor Kitty Piercy winds down her stint from January 2005 to January 2017 as Eugene’s second-longest serving mayor, many have wondered what her legacy will be.

Christmas-Jesus: A religious message on a banner downtown has stirred controversy this holiday season, with more than 140 comments and replies blowing up a post on outgoing Mayor Kitty Piercy’s official Facebook page.

The sign in question reads, “CHRISTMAS Attend a Church of Your Choice” and “JESUS Celebrate His Birth.” Since the banner is stretched across the public street of 8th Avenue, some citizens argue that it’s in violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.

An immense old oak tree crushed Kaye Parsons’  garage roof during December’s record-breaking ice storm in Eugene that knocked out power to thousands. 

Parsons can show you the enormous tilted stump of the tree, which also smashed through her wood fence on a hilly part of West 29th Avenue in the Friendly Street neighborhood. Piles of chopped branches from hundreds of fallen trees are stacked in many front yards of this venerable Eugene neighborhood. 

When you stumble out of a downtown bar next weekend, you may stumble right into a waiting taxi.

Over the Dec. 16 weekend the Eugene Police Department began a program that sets up two taxi staging areas downtown in an attempt to cut down on drunk driving and increase public safety.