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• Remodeling is finally under way at the old Bene’s Pizza building at 18th near Chambers, managed by Evans, Elder & Brown (EEB) commercial real estate. We hear from a reliable source that a yogurt shop is going in, but what yogurt shop? The folks at EEB are still mum on the new tenant so we asked around. It’s not Prince Pückler’s and it’s not Vanilla Jill’s. Maybe somebody new?

• A free panel discussion on “Revisiting The Stranger Next Door: Reflections on Sexual Politics and Human Dignity in the New Millennium” will be at 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 12, at the UO Knight Law Center, Room 110, at 15th and Agate. Panelists include Arlene Stein of Rutgers, Kelly Weigel of the Western States Center and Marcy Westerling of the Rural Organizing Project.

Many of the nation’s Fortune 500 companies, including Intel, Oregon’s largest private employer, have paid little or no state income taxes in recent years despite reporting large profits to their shareholders, according to a report released in late December by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ).

No Bike Lanes for Hazardous Willamette

A draft “Concept Plan for South Willamette” by city planning staff has left out one of the top safety priorities for the city’s bike plan — bike lanes on Willamette Street. 

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” is not the U.S. Post Office’s official creed, though most people think it is. And it turns out that it’s not the weather that could stop the mail from coming — or coming on time — it’s finances. 

Thinning Harms Flighty Rodents

Oregonians may not know it, but our state’s forests are riddled with wide-eyed, nocturnal, gliding mammals. The northern flying squirrel serves many ecological functions in Pacific Northwest forests, and is considered to be a “keystone species.” It is a vital part of the diet of the endangered species listed northern spotted owl, and a new study shows that flying squirrels are negatively affected by commercial thinning of timber.

Thanks to Oregon’s wandering wolf, California saw its first Canis lupus in the state since 1924. The young gray wolf known as OR-7, but now renamed “Journey” thanks to conservation group Oregon Wild’s naming contest, was confirmed in the Golden State via his GPS tracking collar on Dec. 29. 

According to Sean Stevens of Oregon Wild, “I’d be hard pressed to think of a more famous or accomplished wolf than OR-7.”

Holiday Market vendors we talked to reported the best sales they’ve seen in recent years, and that was confirmed by Kim Still, manager of market promotions at Holiday Market and Saturday Market. Still tells us the reasons for the bump is sales are many, but the general consensus in that the economy is looking better and more people are now aware of how important it is to support the local economy.