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A measure advocating for ranked choice voting in Benton County may just breathe new life into the Democratic process for the county’s elections.

Measure 2-100 moves to bring ranked choice voting, also known as instant-runoff voting, to local elections for the positions of sheriff and county commissioner.

It never ends.

Eugene Public Works maintenance worker Matt Chaney shows me his smartphone. The small screen displays a special email account where he gets notes from concerned Eugeneans who report new outcroppings of graffiti with the Lane Council of Governments online reporting center.

Many of those participating in a Stop Hate! rally in Springfield Sept. 29 were greeted by a loudspeaker blaring from the roof of the home of well-known racist and anti-Semite Jimmy Marr. Marr was blasting a speech proclaiming the wonders of hate. He was arrested for disorderly conduct in the second degree. 

Oxbow Timber 1, 541-679-3322, plans to hire RRC Forestry Roseburg Resources, 541-679-3311, to aerially apply urea fertilizer to 2,655.2 acres south of Veneta and west of Lorane in Lane and Douglas counties near the North Sister, South Sister, Panther, Wolf, Jeff, Pheasant, Shaw, Sweden, Fish and Beaver creeks and the Smith River. See ODF notification 2016-781-11215, call Dan Menk at 541-935-2283 with questions.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fined Shola Adeniji (doing business as Shola’s Quality Plus Cleaners, located on Bailey Hill Road in Eugene) $525 on Sept. 19 for failing to submit an annual report for 2015 to DEQ.

Heritage Distilling Co. (HDC) is celebrating the grand opening of its brand new Eugene facility 5 pm Friday, Oct. 7, at 110 Madison Street with a ribbon cutting, pipes and drums, blessing of the stills and samples of HDC’s products. 

• Mia Moran, the international bestselling author of Plan Simple Meals gives a talk 6:30 pm Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Eugene Waldorf School, 1350 McLean Blvd. The school says, “Moran will help simplify and demystify what ‘good food’ means today. She will share some gems of how to create the space to make good food and even the time to eat it. She will share several tools working with a regular rhythm to make mealtimes manageable at home — tools that work with middle school aged children too.” $10 suggested donation.

Across most of the country, Oct. 10 is Columbus Day — celebrating Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of America. But in Eugene and some other cities, including Seattle and Berkeley, we now celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 

A few weeks ago, Bicycling magazine released a list of the 50 best bike cities in the U.S. — Eugene placed 18th. In its write up extolling Eugene’s biking street cred, the magazine praised Eugene’s plan to add a new transportation program called “bike share” in 2017.

On Friday, Sept. 23, dozens of gun-rights advocates rallied at the Oregon State Capitol, bringing with them not just an arsenal of guns but also an effigy of Gov. Kate Brown that was hung and burned on the steps of the Capitol. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Pacific Sea Food Co. Inc. (doing business as Pacific Shrimp, Inc.) a pre-enforcement notice on Sept. 6 for violating its Clean Water Act permit by discharging pollution to Yaquina Bay in Newport in excess of permit limits in June. DEQ fined Pacific Sea Food $17,800 in October 2015 for similar violations at multiple facilities in Newport; however, it appears that DEQ entered into a settlement with Pacific Sea Food that allowed Pacific Sea Food to pay just $3,560 of that fine.   

•  A fundraiser for Emily Semple, candidate for Ward 1 Eugene City Councilor, is at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette Street. The event will be from 5:30 to 8:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 29. “There will be good talk and good music,” organizers say.

While Measure 97, the tax on big corporations to help bolster Oregon’s struggling schools, seniors and health care has gotten the most press, Paige Richardson of the Outdoor School for All campaign wants to draw people’s attention to another education bill on the November ballot: Measure 99, which would create a separate fund, financed through Oregon Lottery Economic Development Fund and administered by Oregon State University (OSU), to provide Outdoor School programs statewide.  

Although a written decision in the civil suit filed by former Register-Guard entertainment writer and reporter Serena Markstrom Nugent has yet to be filed almost three weeks after the case was dismissed, issues from the case continue to arise. 

In the wake of the trial, Markstrom Nugent’s fellow entertainment writer and the paper’s Eugene Newspaper Guild union co-president Randi Bjornstad has also been fired. 

Long associated with attempts to alleviate urban blight, urban renewal in Eugene has turned its sights upon technology, and the city is implementing a high-speed fiber network downtown.

Urban renewal has been seen as a tool for good and as a tool for destruction. Here in Eugene urban renewal money helped construct the Lane Community College (LCC) Downtown Campus that has been seen as a lynchpin in downtown revitalization.

• Eric Richardson, the president of the local NAACP, invites the community to “A Love Supreme,” sponsored in part by Oregon Humanities. The presentation and forum that follows will be an examination of African legacies and the black diaspora. The event starts with a light meal from 5:30-6:30 pm Sept 23, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Eugene on 13th and Chambers. The forum following Richardson’s presentation will allow for questions and discussion.

Mrs. Thompson’s Herbs, Gifts & Folklore is an herbal apothecary and Celtic import retailer located in downtown Eugene at 347 W. 5th Avenue. Clinical herbalist Heather Nic an Fhleisdeir founded the apothecary in 1994, the apothecary says in a press release, and she is preparing to have her 22nd anniversary celebration and grand reopening 3-6 pm Thursday, Sept. 22. Live music, door prizes and refreshments will be provided. According to Mrs.

Get ready, beer-loving Eugene: The Lane Events Center will host the first Big Tree Beer & Cider Festival this weekend, Sept. 16 and 17.

“Beer is king in this town,” says Rachel Bivens, marketing manager for the Lane Events Center. According to Bivens, the events center worked in tandem with its new beverage provider to create the new event.

Numbers published by the Oregon Department of Education last week show that across Lane County, some parents and students continue to choose “opting out” of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, a standardized test introduced to Oregon public schools last year. 

In Eugene School District 4J, 12.3 percent, or 1,121 students, did not participate in the math portion of the test. The number of opt-outs has remained relatively steady from last year.

The Oregon Electric Railway first arrived in Eugene in 1912, but its historical significance today remains relevant to the area — and especially to the city’s African-American residents.

The Lane County Historical Museum is hosting an exhibit about the arrival of railroads to Eugene and the employment opportunities for African-Americans that came with it. “Rails Through Eugene: A Black History Connection” was put together by the Oregon Black Pioneers, a nonprofit group based in Salem that focuses on bringing Oregon’s black history to light. 

Standing still. Using the bathroom. Sleeping. These are things we all do and, in fact, all things we do to survive. But laws in some cities, including Eugene, penalize people for trying to meet their basic needs. 

Local advocates for the unhoused are teaming up with representatives from the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) to pass a Homeless Bill of Rights in three states, including Oregon. Paul Boden of WRAP will take part in a Sept. 22 forum discussing the Oregon Homeless Bill of Rights and Right to Rest legislation.

Roseburg Resources (541-679-3311) is planning to hand spray 178.3 acres west of Territorial/south of Gillespie Corners. Herbicide mixture is aminopyralid, metsulfuron methyl, clopyralid, flumioxazin, glyphosate, hexazinone, imazapyr, indaziflam, sulfometuron methyl and triclopyr with amine and ester. Chemical carriers are Forest Crop Oil, W.E.B. Oil, petroleum oil, emulsifier and water. Chemical additives brush and basal oil, Conquer, crop oil concentrate, forest crop oil, MSO Concentrate and Super Spread MSO. Start date Sept. 20. Local Roseburg forester is Dave Cramsey (541-935-2507).

• David Oaks, founder of Mind Freedom International, tells us there will be a “family-friendly gathering and unscripted show at Kesey Square” 4 to 7 pm Saturday, Sept. 17, to celebrate Ken Kesey’s birthday and 5th anniversary of the start of Occupy. Bring drums. Open mic. Sponsored by the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment. FREE.

Just months into his new gig as Eugene Water & Electric Board’s general manager, Frank Lawson brings outside experience and insider knowledge to the state’s largest publicly owned utility. With EWEB’s recent controversies, it’s a challenging management task, one that Lawson seems confident he’s up for. 

“I have experience in sales, in marketing, in finance, in engineering, in operations,” Lawson says. “I’ve also worked in a variety of different types of organizations, ranging from 80 to 80,000 people.”