Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments through 5 pm on Thursday, Dec. 5, concerning the proposed purchase and reuse of the former Elmira Store & Gas Station. According to DEQ, “Petroleum contamination from gasoline and diesel storage has been observed on the property since at least 1998.” Aside from the removal of underground storage tank systems and fuel dispensers in 1999 and some excavation, little cleanup has been completed. Green Energy Alternatives Research proposes to purchase and redevelop the site as a nonprofit community center.
Attempts to move megaloads of Canadian tar sands extraction equipment are being met with strong resistance in Eastern Oregon. On Dec. 1, two opponents of the loads locked themselves to the transport vehicles, while still more of the more than 50 protesters from anti-climate change groups 350.org and Rising Tide as well as Oregon tribes “held down a ceremonial line” in front of the truck, according to Kayla Godowa Tufti, a Eugene resident and Warm Springs tribe member who participated in the action. On Dec.
City Club of Eugene is getting a new venue starting with its Jan. 10 meeting. We wrote about a City Club survey of its members in this column back on Sept. 19, and one of the preliminary top three favorites for a meeting place was the Downtown Athletic Club. Looks like the DAC beat out the Hilton and LCC Downtown Campus in the final selection, offering a “wider set of food options and price points, as well as a lower guarantee for the club,” according to the club’s website.
• Local citizens concerned about the global climate crisis will gather at 12:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, 1401 Willamette St., to give the Chamber a Golden Ostrich trophy, in recognition of the Chamber’s support for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its blockade of progress on addressing the climate crisis. Call 484-9167 for more information.
Turkey may be November’s big flavor, but the slow food movement hopes Eugeneans find another flavor to relish: the Lower Salmon River squash. On Terra Madre Day Dec. 10, Slow Food Eugene and Open Oak Farm will celebrate the Northwest cultivar and learn about the Ark of Taste, a global project dedicated to saving some of the thousands of heritage foods that globalization and monoculture crops are endangering. The 6:30 pm potluck will be held at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St.
The city of Eugene and LTD are competing for ConnectOregon V transportation grants that would create a bike share program and construct three bicycle-pedestrian bridges in West Eugene over Amazon Creek. ConnectOregon is a lottery bond-funded initiative that supports air, rail, marine, transit and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
Fall is in full swing, which means there are piles of leaves accumulating all around the city — in yards, on sidewalks and, unfortunately, in piles that congest bike lanes. Bicyclists are at risk when traveling over slippery piles or swerving into lanes of vehicular travel to avoid the piles. Property owners are liable for any damage resulting from improper leaf placement.
Sites of former meth labs are known for their toxicity, but the risk doesn’t end with labs. The Oregon Health Authority says that homes once occupied by heavy meth users can be contaminated, too, and must be cleaned carefully.
Big Oil is looming. The Keystone XL pipeline project, a massive 1,179 mile crude-oil pipeline that would run through the middle of the U.S., is currently on the forefront of the environmental radar as the country waits to hear whether the U.S. State Department will recommend its approval by the president. On Nov.
This long Thanksgiving weekend, those of us who are capable of leaving the house (or actually have a house) might look at alternatives to the retail mania that grips our nation. If you feel compelled to shop, Holiday Market with all its delights will be open at the Fairgrounds and it’s a marvelous place to hang out even if you’re broke. Fifth Street Public Market is hosting “Small Business Saturday” for the third year in a row Nov. 30. All the shops there are locally owned and operated, as are hundreds of small businesses around town.
• The next Eugene Musicians Collective event will be from 5 to 8 pm Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Vets Club downstairs, featuring Dreamdog and The Dennis Smith Project. No cover, all ages, sliding scale. The event is a benefit for Casey Wright and Womenspace. See womenspace.org or find Eugene Musicians Collective on Facebook.
How has recent growth been shaping Eugene’s neighborhoods? It’s hard to know without data, and the city no longer provides reporting of residential building permits issued by year — let alone by type and neighborhood.
Can small sea birds save a forest? Conservation groups like Cascadia Wildlands hope so. Next month the State Land Board decides whether or not to dispose of three parcels of the Elliott State Forest by selling to private buyers, which include interested parties from the timber industry. In a Nov. 10 letter, Cascadia Wildlands and other conservation groups asked the State Land Board, which includes Gov.
In the midst of the city’s budget crisis, the Library Journal rated Eugene Public Library a three-star library. The journal looks per capita at circulation, visits, program attendance and public internet terminal use and ranks libraries across the U.S according to their budget class. By the Library Journal’s metrics, a three-star rating equates to being in the top 3 percent of a library’s budget class in terms of cost-effectiveness.
On Nov. 17 a mural sprung up on the side of Arriving by Bike on 27th Avenue and Willamette. Far from graffiti, this work speaks to the civic engagement that a group of Eugene youth been involved in the last three months.
A group of students ranging in age from 8 to 18, with the support of local nonprofit Our Children’s Trust, have attended every Eugene City Council meeting since Sept. 23 to present their argument for solidifying law on climate change in the city. On Nov. 11 the group submitted a Climate Recovery Ordinance for the council to consider.
On Nov. 24 massive loads of tar sands equipment — some as long as a football field — will hit the roads of rural Eastern Oregon, traveling from Umatilla through the small towns of Prairie City and John Day to Homedale, Idaho. Activists, Native Americans, rural dwellers and more have been fighting the so-called megaload shipments for three years now in Idaho and Montana, and now the fight has come to Oregon.
Last year at the West Coast College Open in Monterey, Calif., the UO Disc Golf Club didn’t win a match, finishing dead last in the tournament. This time around, it was a different story for a program that not long ago was struggling for its survival. Paul Fraser and Cory Higdon both joined in February and have watched the roster quadruple in size. They were part of a teamwide effort to not only win a match but also win the Open. Despite being deep and talented, that they had this much success took them by surprise.
Over the past couple years there have been cuts in Lane County’s budget to the animal shelter, cuts in funding for Womenspace and cuts to other groups that provide aid to women, children and others in need, while at the same time the Lane County administrator who was making more than $150,000 a year was seeking to have her salary raised. If these county financial issues have raised your ire, now is the time to do something about it and weigh in.
For-profit banks are losing billions as more and more people discover not-for-profit credit unions which often offer better savings and loan rates, and fewer of those fees that irritate bank customers. Bankers, naturally, have big clout in Congress and regulations are being proposed that would require credit unions to pay the same taxes as for-profit banks. Several of our local credit unions are joining to educate their members and the public about the issues.
• Robert Anderson, professor of law and director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington, will present “A Problem-Prone Promise: Recurring Issues in Fulfilling the Federal Trust Responsibility to Indian Nations” at 5 pm Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Knight Law Center, Room 110.
“Oregon is a hotbed of auditing,” says Michael Eglinski, a performance auditor from Kansas. But Eugene, Oregon’s second-largest city, doesn’t have a performance auditor. For years, Eugeneans have tried to evaluate whether the city is big enough, and its operations complex enough, to warrant a performance auditor.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and its use of indefinite detention of U.S. citizens has brought liberals and conservatives together across the country. Lane County commissioners Faye Stewart, a conservative, and Pete Sorenson, a progressive, were able to agree on the issue at a recent meeting.
“When you are working with people, you make relationships; when they are on TV they are faceless,” says Oxford humanitarian ethics scholar Hugo Slim. When he was working with Save the Children doing relief work during the famine in the Horn of Africa in the 1980s, he says he never broke down while surrounded by thin and dying people. But when he returned to England and watched the famous Band Aid music video with a slow motion image of a skinny child from a refugee camp in Korem, Ethiopia where he had once worked, “Then I cried, watching it.”