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News Articles

• Freres Lumber, Inc., (503) 859-2121, plans to hack and squirt 160 acres near Swartz Creek in the Coast Range with Imazapyr. See ODF 935-2283 notification 2013-781-00610 for more information.

• ODOT is spraying roadsides along state highways: call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information.

Seneca Sustainable Energy, the biomass burning plant, is applying to increase the particulate pollution that it is emitting into the air of west Eugene by 3 tons. The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency is hosting an informational meeting about the requested air quality permit alteration July 17 and asking for public comment. Ironically the agency says that “ultimately, if a facility meets all legal requirements, LRAPA will issue the facility’s modified air quality permit.” So while the agency will take public comment, the comments won’t stop the permit from being approved.

Willamette Street, one of Eugene’s most collision-prone roadways, will get a makeover in 2018. The city’s community meetings to consider reengineering the street to work better have been packed to the brim. When the Eugene City Council considers alternatives later this summer or in early fall, it will choose from three options: the four-lane street’s current configuration; three lanes, including a center turn lane, and bike lanes in both directions; and three lanes with wider sidewalks.

Organized opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 is rolling into Lane County. People Against the NDAA (PANDA) question the act’s authority to undermine basic rights in cases of suspected terrorism, with two subsections in the 2012 NDAA allowing for indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens without trial. The law affirms the 9/11-era Authorization for Use of Military Force that granted the president enhanced powers against suspected terrorists until the “end of hostilities” in the “War on Terror.”

The Eugene Police Department’s longstanding policy of requiring officers to destroy their written notes after creating an incident report has changed. The new policy defines investigative notes — written and electronic — as public records and requires their retention for a minimum of two years. EPD did not respond to inquiries about whether defendants will be given the notes as routine evidence or will be required to request them as public records.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a penalty of $2,400 against Bear Mountain Forest Products on July 3 for violating the Clean Air Act permit for its wood pellet manufacturing facility in Brownsville in September. Bear Mountain violated the opacity limit in its permit; opacity is an indicator for particulate emissions, which can contribute to respiratory distress, affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health problems such as decreased lung function, irregular heartbeat and chronic bronchitis.

Small animals shouldn’t be given away as prizes, according to Heather Crippen of Red Barn Rabbit Rescue (RBRR), who has been working along with her daughter to stop bunnies from being chased and caught at the Cottage Grove Rodeo. RBRR has also been working on developing an ordinance that would stop bunnies, chickens and other small animals from being the trophies at giveaways and contests. Crippen brought the idea before the Lane County Animal Services Advisory Committee on July 8 and is also considering city and statewide regulations. 

Food and farm rights in Lane County are the focus of a citizens’ initiative petition filed July 10 at the Lane County Elections Office. The filing launches the Support Local Food Rights campaign, which, if successful, will be “the first food rights for residents and farmers to be established in Oregon,” according to chief petitioner Lynn Bowers. Ann Kneeland is the attorney for the campaign and can be reached at 255-0272 or annbkneeland@yahoo.com.

Chuck Sheketoff, executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, will speak at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, July 12, at the Hilton’s O’Neil Room on the lobby level. Sheketoff will talk about how well Oregon’s economy has been performing and will look at how our economic growth, unemployment rate and worker productivity compare with other states. $5 for nonmembers. See cityclubofeugene.org.

Lane County enviros and liberal politicos want Congressman Peter DeFazio to know that they aren’t pleased with his green credentials lately. They have signed on to a letter to Nancy Pelosi endorsing Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) as the next ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. About 200 environmental and conservation groups from across the country signed the letter.

• Weyerhaeuser, 744-4600, plans to aerial and ground spray Accord XRT II, Polaris SP and/or Sulfomet Extra with additives Induce, Foam Buster, MSO and/or Metcel on 67 acres near the Long Tom River. See ODF notification 2013-781-00600 for more information.

ODOT is spraying roadsides along state highways, call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 (Lane County area) at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. 

The Pacific Northwest is being hit with another fossil fuel threat: oil trains. Oregon and Washington have been faced with megaloads of tar sands equipment, liquefied natural gas pipelines and terminals, coal trains and now what conservationists are calling oil pipelines on wheels. Dan Serres, conservation director for Columbia Riverkeeper, says the trains are already under way here in Oregon carrying fracked crude oil from the Bakken oil field of North Dakota. A Sightline Institute report says that there’s nothing to stop the trains from being used to ship Canadian tar sands oil through the Northwest as well as the fracked oil.

While climate change poses a threat in the immediate future to Chinook salmon and other Oregon endangered species, UO paleontology instructor Edward Davis says it’s also important to think about climate change on a much larger time scale, on the order of millions of years. On July 9, Davis will speak at the Eugene Public Library about his work on evolutionary hotspots, areas of habitat where conditions are right for new species to form, and why these areas need protection.

Art and the Vineyard will feature local wineries and dozens of other small businesses in a summer celebration that begins 11 am July 4 and continues through Saturday, July 6. Weather should be a little cooler and we encourage everyone to turn out and experience this unique outdoor gathering of artists, musicians and other performers, authors, chefs, brewers and vintners in Alton Baker Park. The event by the river is also a fundraiser for the Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene’s oldest nonprofit community center for the visual arts. 

• Civil libertarian Raymond Brown, a recently retired educator with the Bethel School District, will be celebrating Independence Day in period costume, reciting the Declaration of Independence by heart at 1, 3 and 5 pm July 4 at the top of Skinner Butte. He will also be flying 25 full-sized flags atop the butte.

In Afghanistan

• 2,241 U.S. troops killed (2,238 last week)

• 18,851 U.S. troops wounded in action (18,795)

• 1,353 U.S. contractors killed (1,353)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $638.9 billion cost of war ($637.4 billion)

• $191.7 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($191.2 million)

 

In Iraq

Medical marijuana patients too sick or inexperienced to grow their own cannabis might have new options. House Bill 3460 passed 31-27 in the Oregon House June 24, and the Senate was gearing up to vote as EW went to press June 26.

Hang onto your cash, bus riders. While the bus routes to the Oregon Country Fair have always been free, this year the entire LTD system will cost nothing for the duration of Fair, which runs July 12-14.

“It’s the first time that anybody’s bought out the entire system,” says LTD spokesperson Andy Vobora. The Fair, which has long emphasized sustainability and public transit, paid $32,370 to sponsor all of LTD’s routes during the three-day event.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a penalty of $15,600 against Christopher John Bartels on June 20 for illegally discharging wastewater from his meat processing and packing facility to ditches flowing to wetlands on two occasions in 2011. The facility is located on Central Road, south of Perkins Peninsula Park. According to DEQ, Bartels has made significant improvements to his wastewater treatment and disposal system since the 2011 violations.

Though the Oregon Legislature is still tied up in session, Oregon dogs will no longer be tied up on short leashes or for long periods of time, thanks to an anti-dog-tethering bill. That’s just one of several animal-oriented bills that came up this session. Animal advocates are cheering the ones that have passed (and cheering some that died) and expect some more good news for the beasties to come through before the session ends.

Children can enjoy free lunches through the Summer Food Service Program, a federally funded nutrition program open to all kids ages 1-18. In addition to lunch, some sites also offer breakfast and snacks to accompany a day of activities.

Successes in Native American forestry, despite huge financial challenges, are proving a model for future stewardship, according to the Indian Forestry Management Assessment Team (IFMAT).

“The tribes have been here for thousands of years,” says George Smith, executive director of Oregon’s Coquille Tribe. “They have a direct connection to the land and the long-term consequences of its management.”

What’s a “benefit company?” The Oregon Senate has approved a new designation for businesses to register as corporations committed to sustainability. Companies will need to meet certain social and environmental performance guidelines. HB 2296A has passed both houses of the Legislature and is expected to be signed by Gov. Kitzhaber, but the rules and regulations are still to be worked out. 

Health Care for All Oregon’s Eugene chapter will host the statewide annual meeting of its coalition from 10 am to 3 pm Friday, June 28, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St. The gathering of HCAO’s 80 member organizations, along with delegates from labor unions, health care providers and other groups, is open to the public. The Eugene chapter will later meet from 7 to 9 pm Tuesday, July 2, at EWEB, 500 E.