Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Margaret Hedrick a warning letter Jan. 16 for a “sizeable release” of what appeared to be used oil to the ground at 1700 Highway 99 N. in Eugene (a little south of Highway 99 and Bethel Drive). According to DEQ’s letter, “used oil can contain cancer-causing agents, metal contaminants and organic compounds that can impact soil, stormwater and surface waters as well as filter into the groundwater supply when discharged onto the land surface.
Almost $3 million to hand over public records seems like a lot of money to former Lane County commissioner Rob Handy and his attorney Marianne Dugan. Handy is suing the county, alleging that it didn’t turn over documents related to a meeting and letter in which he was accused of ethics violations. Coos County Circuit Court Judge Richard Barron heard arguments and testimony Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 at the Lane County Circuit Court.
A new business, Flower Power Self Defense for Girls, opens Feb. 16 with three beginning level classes to be held at 412 W. 17th Ave. Founder and director is Tonya Valadez who has a master’s degree in special education and eight years of teaching and training in self defense. Classes will be geared for ages 5 to 12. Valadez can be reached at email@example.com or call 606-3541.
• “Neighbors Without Addresses” is a photo project of Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) completed with the assistance of Springfield Shelter Rights Alliance (SSRA). The exhibit is modeled on CALC’s three existing traveling photo exhibits and community and families. The photos will be displayed during the 2nd Friday Art Walk from 5 to 7 pm Friday, Feb. 8, at Springfield City Hall, 225 5th St. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Racism is a permanent, entrenched feature of American life. That was the thrust of a course taught by Derrick Bell, one of founders of critical race theory, while Ian Haney-López was a student at Harvard.
Health Care for All Oregon’s Eugene chapter will be joining others from 62 statewide organizations Monday, Feb. 4, for a kick-off rally for universal health care in Salem on the first day of the 2013 legislative session.
Government agencies like to release bad news on Fridays and sneak bad rules in over the Christmas holidays, the wisdom goes, because there’s less of a chance that anyone will notice on the weekend or on a week off. County Administrator Liane Richardson appears to have made significant changes about access to the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza in Lane County’s Administrative Procedures Manual (APM) at the beginning of the Christmas holidays.
Animal lovers and supporters of humane treatment alike will gather in Salem on Feb. 12 for Humane Lobby Day, where they can learn about five new bills, among others, that will affect the welfare of animals.
“It’s a great opportunity for people who care about animals to let their voices be heard,” says Scott Beckstead, Oregon senior director with The Humane Society of the United States. “Although we’re a state with a proud tradition of promoting animal welfare, we have these antiquated laws.”
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Robert Saltsgaver, Jr. a warning letter on Dec. 17 for significant violations of Oregon environmental law stemming from illegal disposal of an estimated 4,800 to 6,600 waste tires and construction and demolition debris at 31841 Cedar Creek Road, Cottage Grove. The letter notes that such illegal disposal can lead to contamination of soil, surface water, and groundwater, and requests corrective actions.
Biz Beat has been running nearly every week for more than a year now. It’s a humble effort to give some attention to small businesses, nonprofits and the people behind them who are vitally important to our community but don’t always get media attention. Our thanks to the many people who have sent us suggestions. Keep ’em coming.
• A meeting with the LaurelRidge PUD planning consultant is planned for 6 pm Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Comfort Suites Hotel at the I-5 Glenwood interchange. This meeting is to view the current development plans for the 126 acres southwest of Laurel Hill Valley adjacent to 30th Avenue near Spring Boulevard.
Does the Constitution have a curfew? Local activists say free speech doesn’t stop at 11 pm, but Lane County has designated the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza as closed to free speech and other activities after hours. In Bethlehem there was no room at the inn for the mother of Jesus, and in Eugene there’s no room for free speech at the Free Speech Plaza.
Eugene City Council is scheduled to vote Jan. 28 on new penalties for unruly partiers, but some Eugeneans say those fines aren’t so fine. The proposed social host ordinance would lower the number of attendees required to deem a party “unruly” and make landlords liable for police response costs after the fourth offense.
A door-to-door census collects U.S. demographic info, but if you don’t have a door you don’t count. On Jan. 30 there will be a street count, which means every homeless person found on the streets as well as in shelters will be accounted for. Unsheltered people will be asked to fill out a form detailing where they are staying and how long they have been homeless, while also providing other information about their current state.
Marc Kardell didn’t look like a fight-the-power kind of guy at his “name-clearing hearing” in the Lane County commissioners’ offices on Jan. 18; he looked like the proper, grey-haired attorney and public servant he is, or rather, since being fired by Lane County last May, was.
Fiscal cliff, debt ceiling, recession. The words out of Washington are gloomy and confusing, but Jared Bernstein, who has been chief economist and economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class and a member of President Obama’s economic team, says when he comes to give a talk in Eugene on Jan. 28, he comes “with a message of hope for the future” and that he is also here to listen and help clarify the economic news out of the nation’s capital.
As salmon populations continue to decline on the West Coast, policy makers and government officials argue over ways to prevent extinction. But according to Caleen Sisk, spiritual leader and tribal chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe in Northern California, the salmon can’t wait much longer.
Friends of Michael David Rister, who was better known downtown as Sweet Pea, want to know who the assailants were that they say attacked him. Sweet Pea, a homeless street artist, was often seen outside the Circle K and Pita Pit in Eugene. Friends are working on a memorial celebration for him, and they also say they want justice for him in his death.
• A community discussion on “Gun Violence: Let’s Talk Solutions” will be at 6:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 24, at the First Christian Church, 1166 Oak St. in Eugene. Panelists include Sen. Floyd Prozanski, Mayor Kitty Piercy and Craig Opperman, CEO of Looking Glass Youth & Family Services. Sponsored by the Democratic Party of Lane County, MotherPAC and CALC. Free, but donations accepted. Call 486-0960 for more information.
The ninth annual All Comer’s Meet hosted by the Disciples of Dirt mountain bike club will begin at 9:45 am Sunday, Jan. 20, at Whypass near Lorane. This is the DOD’s largest annual event and has steadily grown each year.
“Attendance last year, verified by signed wavers, was 149 people but estimates were closer to 165, even with snow on the ground that day,” says Shawn Litson, spokesperson for DOD. This is a free event and open to all.