At First Place Kids Early Childhood program in south Eugene, Eileen Chanti works with young children who don’t have homes. Chanti, the program’s director, says that the unhoused children of Lane County are “the most vulnerable population in our community.”
Due to a recent loss in funding, the First Place Kids Early Childhood program is losing one of its two staff members this week, reducing resources for unhoused families who often can’t meet the mandatory enrollment requirements of other early childhood programs.
The city of Eugene has cited the $42 million construction project of the future Roosevelt Middle School on East 24th Avenue for failing to prevent stormwater on the site from flowing into the adjacent wetlands of Amazon Creek.
Recent heavy rains have caused rust and diesel-filled water to drain into a grove of trees growing in the wetlands and potentially Amazon Creek, 50 yards from where Hyland Construction is working on the 15-acre site.
Cowbucker is a new hat business celebrating its grand opening from noon to 6 pm Thursday, Dec. 17, at 222 E. 11th Ave., the former site of Creative Minds Alternative School. This will be the first permanent retail outlet for the business that started with an office in March, followed by a warehouse. Cowbucker offers two styles of hats at this time, including a cowboy/trucker hat, and hats for schools, breweries and states. Three UO MBA students started the business.
• Kesey Square will be the replacement program at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Dec. 18, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette Street. (UO President Michael Schill canceled his scheduled talk Dec. 11.) The title of the program is “Distinctive, Creative and Active Uses for Broadway Plaza,” and speakers include landscape architect David Dougherty and Brittany Quick-Warner of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. Other informed advocates on different sides of the issue have been invited to join the discussion. See cityclubofeugene.org. $5 for non-members.
Some readers call us Eugene Weedly thanks to our pot ads, so it’s no surprise EW has gotten calls from other media wondering if a recent U.S. Postal Service (USPS) notice about pot advertisements will affect the paper.
On Nov. 27, the Portland district of the USPS gave the Chinook Observer, a small coastal newspaper in Longview, Washington, a warning that if a “mailpiece” contains ads for marijuana, it is “nonmailable.” The Observer is published by EO Media Group, which also publishes papers in Oregon.
There’s a growing list of names for downtown Eugene’s houseless population, and the word “travelers” is the latest description. The houseless and their advocates say that identifying the unhoused as travelers is a distraction from the real problem.
“I think that’s the denial that every community has,” says Sue Sierralupe, Occupy Medical clinic manager, “that these are strangers.”
It appears WINGS Seminars, based in Eugene and facilitating personal development seminars and related training for more than 25 years, will be shutting down soon, or evolving. Founder and President Kris King has not made a formal statement, but she has used social media to tell her community that she conducted her last Personal Effectiveness Seminar (PES) in Sacramento in late November. King and her office manager did not respond to an EW request for comment by press time.
The Eugene Sustainability Commission Climate Change Committee will meet at 2 pm Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Atrium Building, Room 250, 99 W. 10th Ave.
Call 682-5017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet at 5:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Atrium Building, Sloat Room, 99 W. 10th Ave. Call 682-5471 or email email@example.com.
As the debate about Kesey Square’s future heats up, voices in favor of keeping the space public downtown are coming to the forefront, from a business on the square to community meetings sprouting up. The outcry was prompted by a proposal City Manager Jon Ruiz passed on to the Eugene City Council this fall from private developers who want to purchase Kesey Square and build apartments in its place, with retail on the ground floor.
The rolling hills of the King Estate vineyards and winery south of Eugene on Territorial Road have become a magnet for birds of all kinds, from migrating songbirds to raptors, that breed, rest and feed on its sprawling acres, but some birds have been crashing into the big windows at the pavilion building.
Students at UO rallied Nov. 30 in response to the backlash aimed at Syrian refugees. More than four million Syrians, three-quarters of them women and children according to the U.N., are fleeing civil war in that country.
In the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130, at least 24 U.S. governors have said they would refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to resettle refugees, citing security concerns. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown was not one of them.
• One of the pleasures of the holidays in Eugene is our chance to visit the studios and homes of talented artists. That includes potter Faith Rahill whose holiday studio sale runs from 5 to 8 pm Friday, Dec. 4, at 2581 Monroe Street; potter Ken Stanhardt whose home studio sale is from 5 to 8 pm Friday, Dec. 4, at 55 W. 27th Ave.; jeweler Hannah Goldrich and painter Mike Pease who open the Pease home for their annual show and sale from 11 am to 4 pm Saturday, Dec. 5, at 768 W. 10th Ave.; plus so many others listed in our Calendar. Enjoy.
• The challenges facing bees is the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Dec. 4, at the Downtown Athletic Club. Speakers include Ramesh Sagili of OSU, Aimee Code of the Xerces Society for Invetebrate Conservation, and Jen Hornaday of Healthy Bees = Healthy Gardens. $5 for non-members. The following week, Dec. 11, City Club will hold its annual “Gifts to the City” program with various speakers. See cityclubofeuegene.org.
The Kesey Square saga continues: The city of Eugene announced it will issue a “request for expression of interest” (RFEI) for the Kesey Square parcel at Willamette and Broadway, but has not put out an actual decision to sell the square to a public process.
In an email to Mayor Kitty Piercy and the City Council sent Nov. 18, Assistant City Manager Sarah Medary says that city staff is currently “drafting a request for expression of interest, which will more formally ask if there is other viable private interest in redeveloping the parcel.”
Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy signed on to a West Coast-wide petition Nov. 21 that calls for politicians to halt all new adoption of fossil fuel infrastructure. Using the political momentum behind the Portland City Council’s landmark Nov. 12 vote to ban any new fossil fuel infrastructure in that city, the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (SEEN) is hitting up mayors in Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver B.C. and other cities from California to Canada sign the petition.
After all the anticipatory hubbub over the Young American’s for Liberty Nov. 20 Liberty Poker Night at UO’s Erb Memorial Union — during which the YAL’s local chapter was denied event funding by the UO student government — the tournament itself was a surprisingly tame event. Among the predominantly male crowd, not a single protester appeared.
A member of a homeless family that includes a three-month-old baby, says they were ordered out of their illegally parked family van by Eugene police officers on a cold night Nov. 19, and told their van would be towed.
• The Global People’s Climate March is happening around the world and the local event begins at 2 pm Saturday, Nov. 28 at the corner of 7th and Pearl, then at 2:20 will be a family-friendly march over Ferry Street Bridge or the DeFazio Footbridge to Alton Baker Park. Participants are asked to wear yellow. Organizer Mary DeMocker says that around 3 pm, “we’ll make a video for world leaders and Gov. Kate Brown of hundreds of us transitioning from a huge oil drip formation to a giant living sun.” The gathering is in anticipation of the U.N.
Since the day Brian Babb was shot by a member of the Eugene Police Department, the veteran’s family has questioned the events and policies that led to Babb’s death.
However, Eugene’s police auditor Mark Gissiner says a flawed report by the Lane County Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team (IDFIT) means the family still doesn’t have closure, and indicates to Gissiner that the way deadly force investigations are handled in Lane County needs a number of improvements.
Downtown merchants in Eugene are getting a head start on the holidays with a number of events before Thanksgiving, including a tree-lighting ceremony and entertainment from 5:15 to 6:30 pm Friday, Nov. 20, on the east Park Blocks. Many downtown shops will remain open until 8 pm.
About 1,400 wild horses are currently being gathered (aka rounded up) via helicopter from Oregon’s public lands in an area known as Beaty’s Butte on Oregon’s east side. Wild horse advocates are questioning the management of the area and what will ultimately happen to the mustangs once they have been removed from the range.
The Center for Public Integrity recently gave the state of Oregon a grade of “F” in its 2015 State Integrity Investigation, which is a “a comprehensive assessment of state government accountability and transparency done in partnership with Global Integrity.” Oregon also received an “F” on the public access to information component of its overall integrity grade, which is consistent with the “F” given to Oregon by the National Freedom of Information Coalition for lack of transparency.