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Eugene plays host to endless wine tastings and brew fests — now it’s time for distilleries to take the spotlight. The Hard Times Distillery Expo, featuring 17 Oregon distillers, takes place Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Hult Center. 

Oregon native bees now have a special day of their own. Gov. Kate Brown, at the urging of local nonprofit Beyond Toxics, has declared Aug. 15, 2015, as Oregon Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day. 

People should care about the welfare of bees, says Beyond Toxics Executive Director Lisa Arkin. Without bees, crops would have to be pollinated by hand, she says.

After working on The Beer Bible for nearly two years, author and beer writer Jeff Alworth says he gained a newfound appreciation for all kinds of beers, not just his old favorites.

“I had definite preferences before I started the book, but by the time I finished, it felt like they were my children, and I loved them equally,” he says, laughing. 

Alworth is visiting Eugene on Aug. 15 to promote The Beer Bible, a dizzyingly comprehensive guide to all things beer. 

Eleven youths from Oregon have joined with 10 other kids from across the country and with future generations of children to file a lawsuit that attorney Julia Olson says will challenge the U.S. government and ask the federal court system to make a decision as important as Brown v. Board of Education (racial equality) or Obergefell v. Hodges (marriage equality).

The next general meeting of the Eugene/Springfield NAACP is 11 am, Aug. 15, at 101 W. 10th, 2nd floor, room 209. Get involved and find out how you can help move the conversation forward. Special guest: Our Oregon and the Better Oregon Coalition.

In Afghanistan

• 2,355 U.S. troops killed (2,355 last month)

• 20,071 U.S. troops wounded in action (20,071)

• 1,599 U.S. contractors killed (1,599)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $709.4 billion cost of war ($707.3 billion)

• $283.8 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($282.9 million)


Against ISIS

• $5.4 billion cost of military action ($5.1 billion)

• $2.2 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($2 million)

Oregon Department of Transportation is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 for herbicide application information.

M Three Timber Co., 767-3785, plans to hire Western Helicopter Services, Inc., 503-538-9469, to spray 74.4 acres, 1 unit north of Cottage Grove-Lorane Rd and 1 unit near Muslin Creek with Chopper Gen2, Accord Concentrate, Oust Extra, Induce and/or Compadre. See ODF notification 2015-781-11328, call Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.

A herd of five starving horses on the outskirts of Grants Pass in rural Josephine County, Oregon were saved when a couple women passing by saw the animals, with their ribs and spines protruding, took pictures and posted them to social media on July 26.

As a child, Gustavo Balderas attended school in the tiny rural town of Nyssa in Eastern Oregon. Balderas’ parents did not speak English, but his kindergarten teacher reached out to them, he says, in an act of kindness that he has always remembered. “She connected to my mom and dad and made them feel welcome,” he says. “She really stands out to me as impacting my decision to go into education.”

The state Legislature on June 6 passed a bill creating a dedicated LGBT coordinator in the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). The bill puts the state in alignment with national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) directives that have, in the past two years, sought to be inclusive and supportive of LGBT identities.

This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the fight to protect Warner Creek from a salvage-logging project that the Forest Service sought to institute after an arsonist lit up 9,000 acres in the Willamette National Forest. The forest was torched in 1991, and the arson was followed by several years of activism to keep the spotted owl habitat from being logged.

Hedin Brugh, one of three protesters charged with trespassing during a Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep (SLEEPS) protest at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza in 2013, had his charge dismissed by the city of Eugene on July 24. 

The private Italian spying firm Hacking Team was itself recently hacked and some of its internal documents, invoices, emails and customer lists were made public — the information can be found on WikiLeaks. According to Wired not only has the FBI used Hacking Team’s wares, “many of the other governments who bought the same software are repressive regimes, such as Sudan and Bahrain.” 

Trash continues to pile up along the Willamette River this summer, mostly from homeless campers but also from local residents recreating on the river and careless anglers. Action is being taken, but it appears to be mostly by volunteers, and more help is needed.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments through 5 pm on Friday, Aug. 7 on an application from Cory Hatfield for Clean Water Act permitting of discharges of construction-related stormwater pollution from Hatfield Estates, located at Van Duyn and Coburg Bottom Loop in Coburg. Visit goo.gl/Yp4iAK for info on commenting.

How can Eugene retain the talented young professionals graduating from the University of Oregon instead of losing them to Seattle or San Francisco? That’s the question of the night at an upcoming TAD Talk in August, where speakers have five minutes to sell their idea.  

Need a job? New Register-Guard Editor and Publisher N. Christian Anderson appears to be taking his time hiring a new administrative team. The R-G is still running ads for a chief financial officer and an executive assistant. Competitive compensation is promised but if you accept a job offer you will need to whiz in a cup. We assume Anderson had to do the same when he was hired. Let’s not think about that too much.

Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration events continue this week. An annual gathering calling for action “to help ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again” will be from 6:30 pm until dusk Thursday, Aug. 6, near the Alton Baker duck pond. The free event begins with a pot luck and will include speakers, drumming by Eugene Taiko, traditional Japanese Obon dancing and music by the Yujin Gakuen Children’s Peace Choir. Call CALC at 485-1755.

• A panel discussion on “Interfaith Perspectives: The Weight of the Encyclical’s Call” at 7 pm Thursday, July 30, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 13th and Chambers. Sponsored by Interfaith Prayer Services International of Eugene. Panelists include Rabbi Jonathan Seidel (moderator), Rabbi Ruhi Sophia, Mel Bankoff and Father Thomas Yurchak. Free.

When a ship from Royal Dutch Shell oil company sailed into Portland the morning of July 25 to repair damages sustained while breaking ice in the Aleutian Islands, environmental activists with the #sHellNo movement were there to greet it.

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for often inaccurate herbicide application information. I-5 was recently sprayed.

• Joanna Lovera, 206-8827, plans to hire Oregon Forest Management Services to spray 46.6 acres south of Fox Hollow Road near Murdoch Road with Glyphos X-TRA, Polaris SP, Oust Extra and Opensight. See ODF notification 2015-781-09139, call Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments through 5 pm Tuesday, Aug. 4 on an application from Hayden Homes for Clean Water Act permitting of discharges of construction-related stormwater pollution from Phase 1 of Rolling Meadows, a 39-lot residential development located at 10th Avenue and Oklea Drive in Junction City. Visit goo.gl/Yp4iAK for info on commenting.

Americans tend to have our heads in the sand when it comes to climate change, but we are not alone in the world. Even in Norway, where snows are coming two months later, and where there is no organized and well-funded disinformation campaign, most Norwegians just shrug and go about their business. What’s going on?