• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

News Articles

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a $7,800 penalty against the Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission (MWMC) last week for causing pollution of waters of the state in February. MWMC operates the Eugene-Springfield wastewater collection and treatment system, including the treatment plant on River Avenue and the “biosolids management facility” on Awbrey Lane. On Feb.

In addition to the historic trolley tracks unearthed every so often on Willamette Street, Eugene is bursting with historically significant elements that are out in the open, like the dry stone retaining wall on the north side of Skinner Butte built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps. 

Lady Jangchup Palmo reacted in a unique way the moment she was diagnosed with cancer. “Her first response was laughter, joy,” says Jigme Rinpoche, her son.

A couple of big plant sales are happening Saturday, May 10, just in time for Mother’s Day giving. The eighth annual Oregon Plant Fair will be from 9 am to 2 pm at the Alton Baker Park shelters, sponsored by Avid Gardeners Eugene District Garden Clubs and a benefit for the Master Gardener Extension Program. The 23rd annual Hardy Plant Sale will be from 9 am to 2 pm indoors at the Fairgrounds, a benefit for the nonprofit Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group. 

• A protest in response to a sexual assault case allegedly involving UO basketball players is being planned at noon Thursday, May 8, on the lawn behind Hendricks Hall on campus. Organized by the UO Coalition to End Sexual Violence, http://wkly.ws/1qv.

• The Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Thursday, May 8, at the Sloat Conference Room at the Atrium Building, 99 W. 10th Ave.  

The Lane County Board of Commissioners voted on April 22 to give County Counsel Stephen Dingle a raise via a step advancement after what commissioners say was a positive review in a closed executive session. Dingle’s salary was at $145,995 a year, according to his contract. His move to what the board order calls “the next step on the salary schedule for Program Manager, D82, which is Step 8,” puts his salary at $152,630.

Dental coverage and living wages are not something people think about if they already have them. But when a worker doesn’t have one, or in the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) of the University of Oregon’s case, either, this can lead to not only health problems, but also to friction when it comes to contract negotiations.

The UO GTFF 3544 held a rally Friday, April 25, outside Johnson Hall to spread awareness about what the union says is the administration’s lack of ability to meet with the GTFF and provide fair negotiations. 

• Rosboro LLC, 746-8411, plans to hire Dole Land Management, Inc. to spray 500 acres of roadsides on their timberlands throughout Lane County with imazapyr and/or triclopyr. See ODF notice 2014-781-00453, call 935-2283 with questions. 

• ODOT has begun spring spraying. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Highways I-5, 58, 99, 101, 126 and Beltline were sprayed recently and Highway 36 may be sprayed Wednesday.

The Whiteaker neighborhood underwent something of a Velvet Revolution April 23 as residents of Eugene’s artsy neighborhood elected a total of 13 new members to the Whiteaker Community Council (WCC), including incoming chairman Sam Hahn and secretary David Nickles, author of the recent Whiteaker Manifesto.

County Commissioner Pete Sorenson is calling for Lane County to return to being a little more open and available. He sent an email to the county’s agenda team, which determines what items will be dealt with at County Commission meetings, that starts, “I remember a time when the Republican Central Committee, the Democratic Party of Lane County and many other groups would routinely use Harris Hall as a gathering place.

Whole Foods has its eyeballs on Eugene again, but no $8 million taxpayer-subsidized parking garage will be attached this time to get folks riled up. The Texas-based corporation tried to build at the same location just south of Ferry Street Bridge in 2006. We noted then that the chain averages $537,000 in sales per store each week. Even half that sales volume in Eugene would have an impact on established local stores, but Safeway, Albertson’s and Trader Joe’s are also chain stores, and the Natural Grocers chain is building on the north side of the bridge at the old Red Lion site.

• Springfield City Club will hold a county commissioner candidates forum at 11:45 am Thursday, May 1, at Willamalane Center, 250 S. 32nd St. Candidates from the East Lane and Springfield districts have been invited. The club meets every first and third Thursday. See springfieldcityclub.org.

The nonprofit Better Eugene Springfield Transit (BEST) will host a meeting May 14, during which they will hear concerns from Lane County human services providers about the community’s public transit needs. Laurie Trieger on the BEST board of directors says she anticipates the conversation will be about transportation needs of low-income individuals.

The American dream of suburbia is running out of road —at least according to Benjamin Ross, a Maryland-based author and transit activist. He will tackle this issue and more when he comes to town to speak on May 4, exactly two days after his latest book, Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism, hits the shelves.

“The suburban value system that people used to assume was a superior way of living has reached a dead end,” says Ross. “It’s no longer a status symbol to have a lawn and a car.”

Labor unions have for years been pitted against conservationists in a jobs-versus-the-environment conflict. But now, a greater threat to the planet has paired members of the rival movements in a fight against a greater evil: global climate change. 

Two law briefs that attorney Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center says could affect whether constitutional rights in Eugene and across the U.S. are  “silently but significantly” being eroded and “swept under the radar screen” were filed in courts this past week. The briefs involve participants from Occupy Eugene and SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) and preexisting cases that deal with the First Amendment right to protest and assemble in what Regan calls “our revered public forums.”

Thanks to a federal law enacted in 2005, Eugene gets about 40 blasts of a 96- to 110-decibel horn each time a train passes through town, according to Whitey Lueck. Lueck is an instructor in the UO’s Department of Landscape Architecture who has been involved over the years in trying to implement a “quiet zone” for Eugene’s 10 crossings to protect the ears of city dwellers. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality sent San Mateo-based J.H. Baxter & Co. a warning letter on March 31 for various hazardous waste law violations discovered by DEQ during an unannounced inspection on March 25 at Baxter’s wood treatment facility in Eugene’s Trainsong neighborhood. Violations included failure to label hazardous waste, failure to conduct required hazardous waste inspections, failure to provide up-to-date contingency plans to first responders and failure to clean up spills.

The Lane County Jail announced on April 21 that it will no longer hold inmates on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers without a warrant or a court order. This is in response to an April 11 federal court ruling that Clackamas County violated a woman’s Fourth Amendment rights by holding her in jail for 19 hours after her case was settled in order to let federal immigration agents begin investigating her residency status. 

TEDxUOregon returned April 19 for its second year of speakers, student speakers and performances at the UO’s Beall Concert Hall.

New affordable, childbirth education classes will be offered weekly starting this Sunday, April 27, at River Road Parks & Recreation in response to a change in the way PeaceHealth at RiverBend is offering its classes. The River Road classes, taught by Lillian Shoupe, will focus on relaxation, confronting preconceived cultural ideas of birth, a deeper understanding of anatomy and physiology and building positive affirmation for the process they’re going through.

Family physician Alison Erde, M.D., has practiced medicine in Springfield for 12 years and is now relocating her solo Prevention Plus Clinic practice to south Eugene to be closer to home. The clinic is now at 3225 Willamette, Suite 1. She tells us she trained at UCLA and completed a women’s health fellowship. “I am something of an anachronism,” she says. “I have a holistic approach to wellness.” Her “special interests” are in menopause, mood issues, sports medicine and preventive health care.

• A free program on “Visual Justice: Democratized Video as Evidence” will be at 5 pm Thursday, April 24, in 110 Knight Law Center on the UO campus. The event features UO Law School alumna Kelly Matheson, senior attorney for Witness, an international human rights organization that specializes in using video to support change in human rights practice, policy and law.