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News Briefs

When it comes to helping the needful and underprivileged, social welfare only seems to take us so far. Band-Aid policies that grant assistance help those who require a leg up, but dependence is not independence, no matter how well intentioned. Human beings want to be engaged, and this is where Carolyn Hodge’s Forward Foundation takes assistance one step further.

An uneasy peace between authorities and homeless activists was threatened Sept. 11, as a series of incidents unfolded downtown and elsewhere.

• Giustina Land & Timber Co., 345-2301, plans to hire Western Helicopter Services, Inc. (503) 538-9469, to spray 125 acres near Crow, Norris and Coyote Creeks with Glyphosate, Imazapyr, Aminopyralid, Metsulfuron Methyl and/or Sulfometuron Methyl. See ODF notification 2013-781-00697 for more information.

Those ubiquitous blue-shirted Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) volunteers have been hard at work this summer. Since July, activists hoping to achieve marriage equality and overturn Oregon’s ban on gay marriage have gathered 80,764 signatures (of the 116,284 necessary to qualify) for the November 2014 ballot. Eugeneans can get involved from 2 to 4 pm Sunday, Sept. 22, at BRO’s annual garden party fundraiser at a private residence.

It appears that the city of Eugene has completed its annual review of stormwater monitoring from the 76 local facilities that discharge industrial stormwater to local waterways pursuant to the statewide Clean Water Act industrial stormwater permit. The city oversees compliance at these facilities under an agreement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Sweet Potato Pie has been selling clothes, hemp products and local glass art for the last 16 years. Now the future of the store is uncertain as the lease for that location ends on Oct. 31 and the neighboring business, Addictive Behaviors, expands into the space.

“I have a limited amount of time to make a very serious decision,” says Elizabeth Thompson, owner of the store.

The Oregon Republican Party might have elected climate change-denier and urine-sampler Art Robinson to be its chair, but these days most Oregonians understand that manmade climate change is changing our planet. Groups in Portland and Corvallis will be hosting anti-climate change “Draw the Line: Stop Keystone XL” events on Sept. 21, and in Eugene there will be a “Pancakes not Pipelines” fundraising breakfast. 

Once home to Occupy Eugene and soon to be the location of the covered “WJ Skatepark and Urban Plaza,” Washington-Jefferson Park will also be the location of a new 24-hour bathroom. Sanitary bathroom access, like a safe place to sleep, has been called a human right by homeless advocates. 

When Gordon Armstrong walks downtown in Eugene, not everybody greets him and pats him on the back. He’s gangly, walks with a stagger and a shuffle, and people who don’t know him might think he’s intoxicated, homeless, maybe dangerous. But he reminds people that he’s “a human being.”

In his first year as head coach of Northwest Christian University men’s basketball team, Luke Jackson is determined to turn a struggling program, which won nine of 30 games last season, into a winner. In recruiting, the former Oregon Ducks star and former professional basketball player looked to larger programs for talent and tried to keep Oregonians in state. His fame helped to persuade former Oregon Ducks and other transfers from Division I schools to come aboard.

• Giustina Land & Timber Co., 345-2301, plans to hire Northwest Reforestation Services LLC, 554-0489 to aerial spray 201 acres near Doak, Rebel and Coyote Creeks with Glyphosate, Imazapyr, Triclopyr Amine and/or Triclopyr Ester. See ODF, 935-2283, notification 2013-781-00811 for more information.

Proposed changes to Eugene zoning, designed to preside over secondary dwelling units (SDUs) built next to existing homes, detached structures such as garages and lots accessed through alleys, brought neighbors to the city’s Planning Commission public hearing Tuesday. A coalition of 45 neighborhood association board members and leaders brought a memorandum of suggested changes to the code amendments designed to prevent too many changes in neighborhood character and livability. Others protested some of the changes were too restrictive on building small structures.

The city of Eugene sent “request for corrective action” letters to States Veneer and Tyree Oil in August for failing to submit industrial stormwater discharge reports to the city for 2012-2013 industrial stormwater discharges from their facilities. Both facilities submitted the required reports after receiving the city’s letters. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent a warning letter to Marjorie Smith of Corvallis on Sept. 3 for operating the septic system at Crooked Creek Mobile Home Park in Alsea without a discharge permit.

Maybe it’s the diaries of Lewis and Clark, or perhaps it’s Woody Guthrie’s folk song “Roll On, Columbia, Roll On” that makes us think of the Columbia River as a uniquely American waterway, but the river actually begins in the Canadian Rockies. The Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada has managed the river’s flows since 1964, and the time is nearing to reassess that treaty. 

If you wanted to exercise your right to free speech this week on Lane County property then you would have found that the Free Speech Plaza was shut down. No problem. The county provided a 71-by-73-foot square in a gravel parking lot off 6th Avenue for free speech use from 6 am to 11 pm from Sept. 6 to 10. 

Jean Stacey of SLEEPS, Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep, filed Oregon State Bar complaints against County Counsel Stephen Dingle and former county administrator Liane Richardson in regard to testimony they gave Aug. 19 in the cases against Alley Valkyrie and 21 SLEEPS protesters in the Free Speech Plaza that were later dismissed. The Lane County Commission is currently discussing making changes to the “free speech area” of the Wayne Morse Terrace, as the county is now calling it.

As kids gear up for another school year, sex education probably isn’t the first thing on everyone’s minds, but perhaps Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards’ upcoming visit to Eugene can serve as a reminder that learning about sex in an informative, helpful way is still an integral part of our school system. Richards has served as president of Planned Parenthood since 2006, and in that time, she has worked to promote sex education and maintain access to preventive care throughout health care system upheavals. 

Congressman Peter DeFazio said he doesn’t think it is a good idea to “lob cruise missiles for an unspecified objective” when it comes to dealing with the question of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war. Speaking at a press conference Aug. 30, DeFazio argued that congressional war powers have been eroded. President Barack Obama is now seeking congressional approval to attack Syria, without a United Nations mandate. 

Eugene’s street community lost one of its own when Philip James Williams — affectionately known by many as Pip — died Aug. 4 of a heroin overdose. He was 25.

An evening memorial service and public celebration of life was held Aug. 28 at  Kesey Square in downtown Eugene, where upwards of 100 people gathered to share remembrances. Over a public address system set up on the red bricks, friends, family and members of the city’s transient population spoke with emotion into a single microphone, sharing their recollections and grief.

The Oregon University System’s bargaining with staff is coming down to the wire, with classified staff union SEIU 503 scheduled to vote on strike authorization Sept. 9-11, in advance of a Sept. 13-14 bargaining session. Classified staff includes non-teaching and non-administrative staff from janitors to computer programmers. Union leaders say that OUS isn’t debating important work-related topics because the National Labor Relations Act doesn’t require some issues to be discussed.

Eugene Celebration Parade photos.

The eighth time’s a charm? The UO’s faculty union, United Academics at the University of Oregon (UAUO), enters its eighth scheduled bargaining session of the summer Thursday, Aug. 29. “We’ve made a lot of progress in a lot of areas, but we’ve got a few sticking points, as far as salary, faculty-shared governance and more job security for non-tenure track faculty,” says Ron Bramhall, a senior business instructor on the UAUO bargaining team.

More than two million acres of public forests, a checkered history, and federal and state laws confusingly mixed with county funding means that the current O&C lands logging proposal can be hard to wrap your mind around. About 150 people came to the downtown Eugene Public Library Aug. 26 to try to understand the “DeFazio bill,” or as it is more properly known, the O&C Trust, Conservation and Jobs Act.

It was around 2 am when nature called for Stacie Brumley. The Safeway had been closed for an hour, but the public restroom at Junction City’s Laurel Park was a stone’s throw away. That’s where, on June 19, Junction City police cited Brumley, a homeless artist, for a curfew violation.