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During the first presidential debate Oct. 3, when Mitt Romney professed to “love Big Bird” yet said he would “stop the subsidy to PBS,” he triggered an immediate internet outcry, one that prompted former Eugenean and political activist Sam Chapman to start a fundraising campaign for the Sesame Street character. Chapman’s campaign swiftly made national headlines with mentions in papers such as USA Today.

In celebration of final local approval of West Eugene EmX, a party to celebrate and thank everyone who has worked to support EmX is being planned for 5:30 to 7 pm Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Broadway Commerce Center, 44 W. Broadway. Mayor Kitty Piercy, LTD Board Chair Greg Evans and other local leaders are expected to attend. RSVP to rsvp@emxyes.org

Gov. John Kitzhaber has entered the federal forests and county funding fray by proposing a forest panel made up of environmentalists, county officials and timber interests. The panel, which is based on the proposed DeFazio-Walden-Schrader forest legislation, is tasked with coming up with a plan for using federal Bureau of Land Management O&C forests to fund payments to cash-strapped Oregon counties.

You’ve probably never seen a streaked horned lark — a little bird with feather tufts on its head that call to mind the horns of a teeny-tiny buffalo — because they are only about 6 to 8 inches long and there are only about 1,600 of them left in the world. But some of the few little yellowish and brown birds that remain live in the Willamette Valley and they have a liking for airports. The streaked horned lark and a fellow prairie species, the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, have been proposed by the U.S.

The UO is honoring the life and work of music professor and former dean of the School of Music and Dance Anne Dhu McLucas, who died Sept. 8. Plans are proceeding on the second of a two-part symposium on “Oral Traditions, Old and New” Oct. 19 and 20. 

The October portion of the symposium will be dedicated to McLucas, with musicians and scholars from across the U.S. and abroad presenting their work in her memory. The theme of the symposium was chosen to honor her 2010 monograph, the “The Musical Ear: Oral Tradition in the USA.”

Marketplace@Sprout!, an indoor, year-round evolution of the Springfield Farmers Market, opens for the first time with a celebration from 3 to 7 pm Friday, Oct. 19, at 418 A St. in downtown Springfield, the old First Christian Church. NEDCO purchased the building in 2011 with support from the city of Springfield and various groups and foundations. The market will be open every Friday and the facility will also have a commercial kitchen and serve as a small business incubator. See sproutfoodhub.org or call 345-7106. 

• How can we achieve net-zero water in buildings? A presentation and round table discussion on the “Water Petal of the Living Building Challenge” will be from 5 to 8 pm Thursday, Oct. 18t, at Gerlinger Lounge on the UO campus. Discussion will focus on three case studies: a single family home, a multi-family building and commercial building. Free, but space is limited. RSVP to Scott Stolarczyk at 342-8077 or email eugene@cascadiagbc.org

In Afghanistan

• 2,128 U.S. troops killed* (2,109)

• 17,737 U.S. troops wounded in action (17,568)

• 1,263 U.S. contractors killed (1,173)

• 12,793 civilians killed (12,793)

• $575.2 billion cost of war ($566.8 billion)

• $169.9 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($167.4 million)

 

In Iraq

Despite the controversy surrounding coal trains running through Eugene and Lane County, the Board of Lane County Commissioners had scheduled a vote in support of coal trains and the Coos Bay Bulk Terminal for Oct. 3 with no public input. After outcry against the resolution arose, Commission Chair Sid Leiken suggested the vote be moved to Oct. 17. The commission will take public comments at that time, and also at its Oct. 16 vote in Florence.

Oregon’s vivid landscapes will hit the big screen at the Living River Film Festival, a three-day event presented by the McKenzie River Trust. The festival, which begins Oct. 12 and includes 11 films with guest appearances by the filmmakers, provides the public with an opportunity to connect to MRT’s conservation goals. 

“We purchase land in order to protect critical fish and wildlife habitat,” says Liz Lawrence, operations manager for MRT. “Basically, we’re in the conservation real estate business.”

A free dental clinic for extractions only is coming up Saturday, Oct. 26, for people who are uninsured, low income, have a tooth that needs to be removed, and have not had recent dental care. Patients need to have a phone number where they can be reached to confirm appointments.

The event is being organized by the Occupy Eugene Medical Clinic in cooperation with St. Vincent de Paul. Dentists can work on only one quadrant at a time so only one upper or lower jaw, left or right side, can be treated at this clinic. A limit of 20 people can be treated.

At a City Council meeting Monday Oct. 8, the downtown exclusion zone, which allows people charged with certain crimes to be excluded from downtown Eugene prior to conviction, transformed into a different beast — one that activists and the homeless hope will turn on itself.

Toxic tar sands oil has not been in the news lately in the Northwest, but a blockade against the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that would carry the crude from Canada to the Gulf Coast of the U.S. has drawn Eugene-based activists down to Texas to oppose the pipeline’s construction. Ben Jones, a member of the Cascadia Forest Defenders who is in east Texas with the Tar Sands Blockade, calls the Keystone XL is one of the largest and most destructive infrastructure projects in the world.

Good news for the downtown lunch crowd. Noisette Pastry Kitchen opened Oct. 4 in the former Broadway Market space at the corner of Broadway and Charnelton downtown. We hear the eatery had such a successful opening weekend they “ran out of everything” and had to close early Sunday. Owner is Tobi Sovak, a former pastry chef at King Estate in Lorane and Marché restaurant in Eugene. The new restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and light dinners. Phone number is 654-5257. Find customer comments on Noisette’s Facebook page.

• The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be at 2 pm Sunday, Oct. 14, at Alton Baker Park. Registration begins at 1 pm. See http://wkly.ws/1d8 for more information or to donate.

In Afghanistan

• 2,128 U.S. troops killed* (2,109)

• 17,684 U.S. troops wounded in action (17,568)

• 1,263 U.S. contractors killed (1,173)

• 12,793 civilians killed (12,793)

• $573.4 billion cost of war ($566.8 billion)

• $169.3 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($167.4 million)

 

In Iraq

The foreclosure crisis has created a buzz nationwide, but another consequence of the subprime mortgage crisis is getting some attention from Oregon’s Sen. Jeff Merkley: underwater mortgages.

Robert Kuttner, economist and co-founder of The American Prospect, says the magazine was founded “deliberately to be a strong liberal voice,” and he adds, “I think the role of magazine like ours is to put forward ideas, to put forward a perspective on the election but to do so consistent with accuracy.”

Well water that students were drinking at Triangle Lake Charter School, located outside of Eugene, contained the pesticide imazapyr, according to a sample sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for testing in April 2011. Now a study by the USDA in the spring of 2012 of 22 Oregon rural schools using wells shows that one other Eugene-area school and two Corvallis-area schools had pesticides in their water. The Triangle Lake school was also tested and had imazapyr in the water again.

The Cascade mountains of the Willamette National Forest are a popular summer tour for people from all over the state and beyond, well known for great hiking and biking trails in particular — but along Hwy 126, the small town of Blue River is getting less traffic stopping in than it should, says a man who’s trying to change that. 

Transforming Goshen, a small, unincorporated town south of Eugene off I-5 and Hwy 58, was designated as a specific goal for 2012 by the Lane County Board of Commissioners in this year’s State of the County Address, and now Goshen has been declared a “Regionally Significant Industrial Area” (RSI) by the Oregon Economic Revitalization and Review Council. 

You might have noticed there’ve been a lot of really big, kind of scary, brown spiders running around lately. It’s not your arachnophobia making you paranoid; late summer into fall is mating season for the arachnids. 

• A new Organizing for America (OFA) field office for Oregon opened Sept. 30 at 115 W. 6th Ave. Eugene. “The office will allow supporters to come together with their friends and neighbors to discuss the critical issues at stake in this election and work together to reelect President Obama and other Democrats,” reads a statement from the national OFA offices.  Call 525-9387 for information on voter outreach and canvassing. 

Lane County’s parks suffer from off-season vandalism, and homeless people who are currently prohibited from sleeping in their RVs or campers in Eugene need a legal place to sleep. The Lane County Parks Advisory Committee, the Homeless Coalition and St. Vincent de Paul think they might have found a way to reduce both problems.

Beginning around Thanksgiving, or by the holidays at the latest, the Lane County Parks Division will experiment with using homeless people who own RVs or campers as hosts in parks with hookups for power, water and septic systems.