Bring up the topic of Kesey Square and the importance of downtown open public space with city of Eugene officials and you can expect the conversation to be steered to the Park Blocks.
Kesey Square has problems, city employees say, including issues of design, the preponderance of “travelers” dominating the space, the simple fact that it’s flat and that people just don’t want to be there.
The projected cost of Eugene’s new City Hall has now risen after city councilors requested that city staff look into boosting the new four-story structure’s ability to withstand a severe earthquake.
“We asked the city manager to investigate looking into that standard. He said, ‘Yeah, but it’ll cost more,’” said Councilor Alan Zelenka in an interview with EW. The conversation on altering City Hall’s structure took place at the last City Council meeting in December, he says.
Giustina Land and Timber Company, 345-2301, plans to hire Western Helicopter, 503-538-9469, to aerially spread urea fertilizer pellets on 3 units totaling 454.6 acres near Jones Creek and Hall Road and near Goldson Road off of Hwy. 36. See ODF notification 2016-781-00296; call Robin Biesecker at 998-2283 with questions.
A slew of events in Lane County will honor Martin Luther King Jr., the week of Jan. 18, including several marches, a talk by a leading black journalist and the release of a report on the Oregon Legislature and racial equity.
On Jan. 18, the MLK holiday, the Lane County chapter of the NAACP will host a march to honor the life of the civil rights leader beginning 9 am outside the north gate of Autzen Stadium, according to the chapter’s president, Eric Richardson.
They sleep in cells, monitored by guards. Some of them are serving life sentences for their crimes. But when they are working with Curt Tofteland, the founding producing director of Shakespeare Behind Bars, they are actors. On Jan. 19, Tofteland will speak at the University of Oregon about his 20 years of experience guiding prison inmates, in Kentucky and Michigan, to perform the works of Shakespeare.
If and when the track and field’s international governing body, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), brings its world championships to Eugene in 2021, it will be the biggest track event Hayward Field has ever seen.
• What’s the buzz with the Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing (OMC) project? “We’re still moving forward,” says Will Dixon, the local architect for the controversial project off River Road next to the Willamette River bikepath. “We received re-approval of our tentative PUD application back in October,” Dixon says. “No surprise, the opposition has appealed this once again to LUBA. On Nov. 12 we re-applied our final PUD application.
• 350 Eugene is having a New Year’s gathering from 7 to 9 pm Thursday, Jan. 14, at the First United Methodist Church, 1367 Olive Street. The agenda includes an expert panel on Oregon’s Healthy Climate Bill and updates on climate campaigns.
An urban promenade, balconies, sloped roofs, trellises, tables and chairs on the street.
Those features were all promised in Capstone Collegiate Communities’ application for a Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) submitted to the city of Eugene on Jan. 24, 2012. City Manager Jon Ruiz recommended the application to the City Council, which voted to approve Capstone for the exemption, allowing developers to pay no taxes on the new structure for 10 years — or the equivalent of a $16-million tax break.
A female dog euthanized in late December at 1st Avenue Shelter is the subject of some online uproar. City of Eugene Animal Services and 1st Avenue Shelter say the pregnant dog had a bite record and repeatedly demonstrated aggressive behavior, while advocacy group No Kill Lane County maintains that the dog could have been rehabilitated.
Molly Monette, animal welfare supervisor with City of Eugene Animal Services, says a Eugene citizen picked up the stray boxer on Nov. 20. While in that person’s custody, the dog escaped from her enclosure.
A manufacturer is forming a lawsuit against Eugene’s voter-approved Toxics Right-to-Know (TRK) program because he is upset about paying an annual $2,000 fee. Advocates for the program say the community TRK law is a key element in making public health decisions.
Vanilla ISIS, Y’all Quaeda, YeeHawdists, terrorists, militants, militia — whatever you call them, and whether you fear them or laugh at them, the band of mainly out-of-state, armed and anti-government protesters who have taken over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Oregon’s east side have drawn almost nonstop attention since their siege of the remote bird sanctuary began Jan. 3.
We wrote about changes afoot at Wings Seminars in this column Dec. 10 and we’ve since heard from Wings founder Kris King that the company is for sale following a personal tragedy. “My son died a year ago and I realized I work too much. Working 28 days a month is not the smartest thing,” she says. “I have two offers and three more are coming in.” Finding the right new owner may be a challenge, she says. The new owner “needs to be ethically aligned … I’m not just selling a business.
• The political film Merchants of Doubt will be shown at 6 pm Thursday, Jan. 7, at Bijou Art Cinemas on 13th Avenue. The film looks at the secretive group of pundits-for-hire who dispute the science of climate change and toxic chemicals.
In July of 2014, Eugene became the first city in the country to require carbon neutrality, fossil fuel-use reductions and the development of a carbon budget based on the best available science when it passed a Climate Recovery Ordinance pushed for by the nonprofit Our Children’s Trust and many of Eugene’s youth.
More than a year later, some Eugeneans are starting to wonder if this landmark city law is getting implemented the way it should by city staff, and if it’s moving at the right speed. Matt McRae, a climate and energy analyst with the city of Eugene, says the city is on track to meet its targets.
Instead of reaching for a glass of champagne this New Year, grab a hard cider and toast to Oregon’s booming hard cider industry. Recent changes in federal legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Sen. Ron Wyden, have smoothed the process for craft cider makers by broadening definitions of hard cider and easing off taxes.
These changes are especially relevant to Oregon, says Lee Larsen, CEO of 2 Towns Ciderhouse in Corvallis, because Oregon has around 6 percent of the market share for hard cider, while the national average is 1 percent.
A joint grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) was awarded to the Oregon State University Libraries and CALYX Press. The two organizations were awarded more than $96,000 through the Humanities Open Book program. The grant will go towards the digitization and hosting of feminist literature that is out of print and making it available in free e-books.
CALYX is a Corvallis-based publication and press supporting women’s creative works.
• The annual State of the County address will be at 11 am Monday, Jan. 4, at Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave. County officials will talk about what has been accomplished in 2015 and plans and challenges for 2016.
• Native-American author, activist, musician and actor John Trudell died Dec. 8 and a gathering in his memory will be from 6 to 9 pm Tuesday, Dec. 29, at the LCC Longhouse on the main campus. Trudell often visited Eugene, spoke about justice and human rights, and met with friends from around the state. A potluck dinner will be followed by the showing of the documentary Trudell. The event will wrap up with drumming, singing and memory-sharing. Call 687-1023 for more information.
Some of us donate tangibly. We give food, clothing, warm socks. The evidence of this has been in the EW front office the last couple weeks as community members have dropped off donations of jackets, sweaters, blankets and more for the White Bird Clinic. We’ve already taken several truckloads of donations over to the clinic.
Some of us donate time. Nonprofits such as FOOD for Lane County (foodforlanecounty.org) or Occupy Medical are propelled by hundreds and often thousands of hours logged by volunteers.
And some of us at the end of the year donate our hard-earned cash. Not only do the groups around Lane County desperately need the money to keep fighting their good fights, donating also gives you a tax write-off. Win-win. Every year we provide a list of organizations we’ve noticed doing good work in the community — or around the world — for you to give to. Feel free to suggest more!
It’s almost Christmas, and Anthony Palmer is in his living room dressed as Spider-Man.
Palmer says he usually dresses as Batman, but tonight he was told that the family he’s visiting is a “Marvel family” (Batman is DC Comics). Palmer and his mother, Renee Borello, call their act “Batman and Alfred” because she drives and he delivers the gifts in costume.
This is the third year the mother-son duo have picked five families having a tough time and delivered Christmas gifts with Palmer in superhero garb.
A patch of forest near Dexter, Oregon, was auctioned off at 10 am Thursday, Dec. 17. That patch, called the John’s Last Stand timber sale by the Bureau of Land Management, is near popular hiking trails and the Hardesty Mountain Roadless Area and is just a little more than 20 miles southeast of Eugene.
According to the BLM’s sale proposal, John’s Last Stand is being sold as a “regeneration harvest.” Conservation group Oregon Wild says the proposal calls for leaving only six to eight trees an acre — essentially a clearcut.
A grassroots petition for a Lane County public homeless shelter is in circulation, and as of Dec. 23 it has accrued 680 signatures. The petition is one among several other significant public initiatives in the past two months targeting the homeless crisis in Eugene and Lane County.
While schools around Lane County celebrated Computer Science Education Week earlier this month, students at Gateways High School in Springfield were tackling a different science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) issue — how to help the unhoused.
N. Christian Anderson III was listed as the editor and publisher of The Register-Guard on the paper’s masthead Thursday, Dec. 17, but by the next day, his name was gone.
Sources at the R-G tell EW that an email went out on Dec. 17 informing staffers that Anderson is no longer editor and publisher of the paper. Anderson started at the R-G June 1 after leaving The Oregonian, which he had led for the past five years. The O is Oregon’s largest daily paper, and the R-G is the third largest daily in the state by print circulation.