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• Native-American author, activist, musician and actor John Trudell died Dec. 8 and a gathering in his memory will be from 6 to 9 pm Tuesday, Dec. 29, at the LCC Longhouse on the main campus. Trudell often visited Eugene, spoke about justice and human rights, and met with friends from around the state. A potluck dinner will be followed by the showing of the documentary Trudell. The event will wrap up with drumming, singing and memory-sharing. Call 687-1023 for more information. 

Some of us donate tangibly. We give food, clothing, warm socks. The evidence of this has been in the EW front office the last couple weeks as community members have dropped off donations of jackets, sweaters, blankets and more for the White Bird Clinic. We’ve already taken several truckloads of donations over to the clinic.

Some of us donate time. Nonprofits such as FOOD for Lane County (foodforlanecounty.org) or Occupy Medical are propelled by hundreds and often thousands of hours logged by volunteers. 

And some of us at the end of the year donate our hard-earned cash. Not only do the groups around Lane County desperately need the money to keep fighting their good fights, donating also gives you a tax write-off. Win-win. Every year we provide a list of organizations we’ve noticed doing good work in the community — or around the world — for you to give to. Feel free to suggest more!

It’s almost Christmas, and Anthony Palmer is in his living room dressed as Spider-Man. 

Palmer says he usually dresses as Batman, but tonight he was told that the family he’s visiting is a “Marvel family” (Batman is DC Comics). Palmer and his mother, Renee Borello, call their act “Batman and Alfred” because she drives and he delivers the gifts in costume.

This is the third year the mother-son duo have picked five families having a tough time and delivered Christmas gifts with Palmer in superhero garb.

A patch of forest near Dexter, Oregon, was auctioned off at 10 am Thursday, Dec. 17. That patch, called the John’s Last Stand timber sale by the Bureau of Land Management, is near popular hiking trails and the Hardesty Mountain Roadless Area and is just a little more than 20 miles southeast of Eugene.

According to the BLM’s sale proposal, John’s Last Stand is being sold as a “regeneration harvest.” Conservation group Oregon Wild says the proposal calls for leaving only six to eight trees an acre — essentially a clearcut. 

A grassroots petition for a Lane County public homeless shelter is in circulation, and as of Dec. 23 it has accrued 680 signatures. The petition is one among several other significant public initiatives in the past two months targeting the homeless crisis in Eugene and Lane County.

While schools around Lane County celebrated Computer Science Education Week earlier this month, students at Gateways High School in Springfield were tackling a different science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) issue — how to help the unhoused.

N. Christian Anderson III was listed as the editor and publisher of The Register-Guard on the paper’s masthead Thursday, Dec. 17, but by the next day, his name was gone. 

Sources at the R-G tell EW that an email went out on Dec. 17 informing staffers that Anderson is no longer editor and publisher of the paper. Anderson started at the R-G June 1 after leaving The Oregonian, which he had led for the past five years. The O is Oregon’s largest daily paper, and the R-G is the third largest daily in the state by print circulation.

The local nonprofit Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology (CREATE!) received a Gender Just Climate Solutions Award recognition from the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris. 

CREATE! was founded by Barry Wheeler in 2008; he’s been working with the poor and displaced in Sub-Saharan Africa for the past 30 years. Wheeler has also taught international community development, sustainable development and project planning at the UO.

At First Place Kids Early Childhood program in south Eugene, Eileen Chanti works with young children who don’t have homes. Chanti, the program’s director, says that the unhoused children of Lane County are “the most vulnerable population in our community.” 

Due to a recent loss in funding, the First Place Kids Early Childhood program is losing one of its two staff members this week, reducing resources for unhoused families who often can’t meet the mandatory enrollment requirements of other early childhood programs.

The city of Eugene has cited the $42 million construction project of the future Roosevelt Middle School on East 24th Avenue for failing to prevent stormwater on the site from flowing into the adjacent wetlands of Amazon Creek. 

Recent heavy rains have caused rust and diesel-filled water to drain into a grove of trees growing in the wetlands and potentially Amazon Creek, 50 yards from where Hyland Construction is working on the 15-acre site. 

Cowbucker is a new hat business celebrating its grand opening from noon to 6 pm Thursday, Dec. 17, at 222 E. 11th Ave., the former site of Creative Minds Alternative School. This will be the first permanent retail outlet for the business that started with an office in March, followed by a warehouse. Cowbucker offers two styles of hats at this time, including a cowboy/trucker hat, and hats for schools, breweries and states. Three UO MBA students started the business.

Kesey Square will be the replacement program at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Dec. 18, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette Street. (UO President Michael Schill canceled his scheduled talk Dec. 11.) The title of the program is “Distinctive, Creative and Active Uses for Broadway Plaza,” and speakers include landscape architect David Dougherty and Brittany Quick-Warner of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. Other informed advocates on different sides of the issue have been invited to join the discussion. See cityclubofeugene.org. $5 for non-members.

In Afghanistan

• 2,349 U.S. troops killed (2,349 last month)

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

• 1,616 U.S. contractors killed (1,616)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $722.1 billion cost of war ($719.5 billion)

• $288.8 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($286.4 million)

 

Against ISIS

• $7.4 billion cost of military action ($7 billion last month)

• $2.9 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($2.6 million)

Update: For coverage of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce endorsement vote, see our blog's "The story behind the chamber of commerce vote to privatize Kesey Square."

Some readers call us Eugene Weedly thanks to our pot ads, so it’s no surprise EW has gotten calls from other media wondering if a recent U.S. Postal Service (USPS) notice about pot advertisements will affect the paper. 

On Nov. 27, the Portland district of the USPS gave the Chinook Observer, a small coastal newspaper in Longview, Washington, a warning that if a “mailpiece” contains ads for marijuana, it is “nonmailable.” The Observer is published by EO Media Group, which also publishes papers in Oregon. 

There’s a growing list of names for downtown Eugene’s houseless population, and the word “travelers” is the latest description. The houseless and their advocates say that identifying the unhoused as travelers is a distraction from the real problem. 

“I think that’s the denial that every community has,” says Sue Sierralupe, Occupy Medical clinic manager, “that these are strangers.” 

It appears WINGS Seminars, based in Eugene and facilitating personal development seminars and related training for more than 25 years, will be shutting down soon, or evolving. Founder and President Kris King has not made a formal statement, but she has used social media to tell her community that she conducted her last Personal Effectiveness Seminar (PES) in Sacramento in late November. King and her office manager did not respond to an EW request for comment by press time. 

The Eugene Sustainability Commission Climate Change Committee will meet at 2 pm Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Atrium Building, Room 250, 99 W. 10th Ave.
Call 682-5017 or email babe.osullivan@ci.eugene.or.us.

• The Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet at 5:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Atrium Building, Sloat Room, 99 W. 10th Ave. Call 682-5471 or email lee.shoemaker@ci.eugene.or.us.

As the debate about Kesey Square’s future heats up, voices in favor of keeping the space public downtown are coming to the forefront, from a business on the square to community meetings sprouting up. The outcry was prompted by a proposal City Manager Jon Ruiz passed on to the Eugene City Council this fall from private developers who want to purchase Kesey Square and build apartments in its place, with retail on the ground floor.

The rolling hills of the King Estate vineyards and winery south of Eugene on Territorial Road have become a magnet for birds of all kinds, from migrating songbirds to raptors, that breed, rest and feed on its sprawling acres, but some birds have been crashing into the big windows at the pavilion building. 

Students at UO rallied Nov. 30 in response to the backlash aimed at Syrian refugees. More than four million Syrians, three-quarters of them women and children according to the U.N., are fleeing civil war in that country. 

In the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130, at least 24 U.S. governors have said they would refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to resettle refugees, citing security concerns. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown was not one of them. 

• One of the pleasures of the holidays in Eugene is our chance to visit the studios and homes of talented artists. That includes potter Faith Rahill whose holiday studio sale runs from 5 to 8 pm Friday, Dec. 4, at 2581 Monroe Street; potter Ken Stanhardt whose home studio sale is from 5 to 8 pm Friday, Dec. 4, at 55 W. 27th Ave.; jeweler Hannah Goldrich and painter Mike Pease who open the Pease home for their annual show and sale from 11 am to 4 pm Saturday, Dec. 5, at 768 W. 10th Ave.; plus so many others listed in our Calendar. Enjoy.

The challenges facing bees is the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Dec. 4, at the Downtown Athletic Club. Speakers include Ramesh Sagili of OSU, Aimee Code of the Xerces Society for Invetebrate Conservation, and Jen Hornaday of Healthy Bees = Healthy Gardens. $5 for non-members. The following week, Dec. 11, City Club will hold its annual “Gifts to the City” program with various speakers. See cityclubofeuegene.org.

Chef Brendan Mahaney sold his popular Eugene restaurant, Belly, to new owners in September, but he already has plans to open another place. 

“I’m dreaming of a casual, New Orleans-style restaurant,” he says.

Contrary to rumors, Mahaney says his choice to sell Belly was “bittersweet,” but not made for any dramatic reason.