• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

News Features

Congressman Peter DeFazio got a rousing reception Feb. 25 at Lane Community College, with attendees chanting “Thank you! Thank you!” when he entered the gymnasium. The standing-room-only crowd of more than 2,000 repeatedly voiced its appreciation for DeFazio’s vociferous opposition to the Trump Administration and its chaotic, backward agenda.

The community forum was followed by a health care rally with Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Oregon has been home to standoffs over public lands during the past few decades. Armed militias carried out the takeovers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016, the Sugar Pine Mine in 2015 and the headgate standoff during the Klamath water crisis in 2001, says Steve Pedery of Oregon Wild.

“These militia groups are homegrown — this isn’t something that was imported to Oregon from somewhere else.” 

Advocates for the Elliott State Forest had high hopes in February when Gov. Kate Brown released her plan to keep the state forest in public hands. But that optimism was dashed when newly elected Democratic State Treasurer Tobias Read voted with Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson to go ahead with a sale proposal to Lone Rock Resources.

The Elliott is a coastal rainforest and home to the marbled murrelet, a threatened seabird species. It is also tied to the Common School Fund, which provides money for K-12 school children. 

Local marijuana retailers have been waiting close to a year for the city of Eugene to adopt an ordinance requiring a 1,000-foot buffer between dispensaries. 

Eugene remains the only major municipality in the state that has yet to adopt a buffer, and while City Council is deliberating the issue, corporate-owned dispensaries with out-of-state money are flooding into the market, and local businesses say they are being displaced.

Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden entered a crowded Lane Community College gymnasium Feb. 19 with the statement that “no topic is off limits.” He was met with loud applause and cheering from the packed town hall meeting. 

An estimated 1,500 people showed up at LCC on Sunday afternoon. Since the inauguration, thousands of people in the Eugene community have shown up to protests, marches and activism workshops to denounce recent actions taken by President Donald Trump.

Carl Segerstrom

 et al.

Many of Oregon’s biggest polluters are allowed to pour wastes into the state’s rivers and streams using outdated permits. 

The state agency responsible for protecting Oregon’s waters, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), has allowed 75 percent of large industrial and municipal plants to discharge wastes despite having expired permits. Some permits haven’t been updated for more than two decades, agency documents show.

Threats to the environment, immigration raids, attacks on Planned Parenthood. The Muslim ban, attacks on people of color and LGBTQ. Businesses in Eugene targeted with Nazi graffiti. Locally and across the nation, the Trump administration’s first 100 days have been marked with anger and dissent. 

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.