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News Briefs

The International Day of Solidarity with Eco-Prisoners is June 11, and in Eugene the event will be marked with a circus of sorts at the Wayne Morse U.S. Courthouse. Last year the day was celebrated in 30 cities around the world, according to Eugene’s Civil Liberties Defense Center. Organizers say there will be jugglers, fire-breathers, stilts, music, clowns and other performers.

Is arranging an emergency meeting through serial emails and phone calls a violation of the open meetings law under the ruling by Judge Michael Gillespie? Recently released emails show the Lane County Commission’s conservative majority decided to have a meeting to vote on an issue with less than 24 hours’ notice. They did not contact progressive Commissioners Pete Sorenson and Rob Handy until less than an hour’ and half before the 9 am meeting on May 3. 

• ODOT has sprayed the following highways in the Eugene-Springfield area in the last two weeks: Belt Line, 99, I-5, 126, I-105. Other highways may be sprayed. For more information call (888) 996-8080.

• Rosboro LLC, (541) 746-8411, plans to spray Garlon 4 and glyphosate on 500 acres of roadsides near the McKenzie River and the following tributaries: Doris Creek, Ennis Creek, Quartz Creek and Sugar Creek. See ODF notice 2012-771-00433.

Lane County’s budget misery has only just begun. The county’s budget committee approved the proposed budget in May, and the cuts kick in at the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, with cuts already taking place.

Though much of the media furor has been over issues such as cuts to the jail and the sheriff’s office, the cuts are hitting the public services designed to keep people out of jail and healthy just as hard. And local AFSCME union representative Jim Steiner says some of the cuts may cost more money than they save. 

Last August a Gresham family’s border collie named Maggie was caught and killed in a lethal trap set 45 feet from her backyard. A husky named Bella chewed off her own foot after being caught in an unmarked trap in the Boise National Forest. 

If you’re headed through the Whiteaker on June 10, there’s a good chance you’ll run into masked and caped avengers sweeping through to pick up trash. 

This Sunday will be the fifth annual Whiteaker Clean Up and Community Celebration, an idea generated by Wayde Love. “It started out with me being on the community council and just wanting to make a really fun, cool clean-up,” he says. 

Oregon’s mustangs and their trainers are in Hines this weekend, as part of an adoption event that includes more than 500 animals in an exhibition of trained horses that, a mere three months earlier, were completely raw and utterly wild. 

As Lane County prepares to turn running its animal shelter over to a nonprofit agency — Greenhill Humane Society submitted the only proposal — local animal advocates remain concerned about keeping the county’s focus on saving, not euthanizing, adoptable animals.

 When it comes to euthanizing dogs and cats, “there needs to be an oversight committee and people from various rescues involved with that oversight committee,” Lisa Warnes of Save the Pets says. 

Commissioner Rob Handy and his attorney Marianne Dugan have been told it will cost them $3 million to get the public records they have asked for from Lane County, Dugan says. She has filed a suit on Handy’s behalf in Lane County Circuit Court seeking an order compelling the county both to release the documents and to compensate for the costs and legal fees.

The certainty of a 1,200-student housing development at 13th and Olive is growing more questionable. Neighborhood advocate Paul Conte filed a second appeal of the proposed development by Capstone, an Alabama-based student housing developer, May 29.

What runs and jumps and yells and plays all over? A human child, of course. Bev Smith, executive director of Kidsports and former UO women’s basketball coach, will speak at 6 pm Thursday, May 31, at the downtown library about physical literacy, the social values of team sports and Kidsports.

Pot smoked other issues as the hot topic in the May 15 Oregon attorney general primary race, in a sign that Oregon voters don’t see enforcement of marijuana prohibition as a law enforcement priority. It’s continuing as an issue thanks to petition drives asking voters to put legalizing pot on Oregon’s November ballot.

A land use appeal will put Capstone’s money where its mouth is. Neighborhood advocate Paul Conte filed an appeal May 23 that could test the time and architectural constraints that Capstone, an Alabama-based student housing developer, has claimed its downtown 1,200-student housing project depends on.

The appeal contests the “vacation” of 12th Alley, which would mean that the city would no longer claim ownership of what is currently part of a bike route. Capstone has said it plans to dedicate the former alley space to bike and pedestrian through-traffic.

While Lane County’s administrator and conservative board majority moved quickly to release the public records that may have contributed to progressive Commissioner Rob Handy’s defeat in last week’s primary election, the county is dragging its feet on releasing public records relating to the “emergency meeting” it held as well other information surrounding the case.

An Athabascan woman holds up a blood-red salmon in a village on the Alaska Peninsula. With a gentle tug, she slides the fish’s skin off like sludge. The salmon, a major part of the village’s diet, had been overcome by Ichthyophonus hoferi, the microscopic parasite that is proliferating in Alaska’s warming rivers and tributaries.

• ODOT District 5 plans to spray Hwy. 99 between Eugene and Junction City, I-5, Beltline and I-105 shoulders and ramps and connecting highways such as Hwy. 99 South, Cloverdale and the lower end of Hwy. 58. Call (888) 996-8080 for more detailed information.

• ODF, 935-2283, is hiring Nick’s Timber Service, (503) 910-1120) to ground spray state forestry roadsides on their land throughout Lane County. Chemicals include Element 4, Element 3A, Oust XP and Forester’s with Agri-Dex surfactant. See notice 2012-781-00363.

Lane County’s Board of Commissioners’ already conservative majority will be strengthened by one more when Pat Farr takes Commissioner Rob Handy’s seat in January, but Farr and the commission might not be feeling so lucky to be in control as they deal with not only massive budget problems, but also internal strife.

There will be no animals at this Saturday’s Bingo Beach Dance Party, the second-annual celebration of the Willamette Animal Guild (WAG), “just party animals!” says Vanessa Wells-Horner, outreach coordinator at WAG. She is hoping to get lots of tails wagging out on the dance floor as the nonprofit celebrates the more than 20,000 spay and neuter surgeries it has performed on pets and feral animals since January 2008. 

Summer is near and in Oregon that means it’s treesit season. And apparently it’s flagpole-sitting season, too. Last week a Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) activist was arrested after hanging a protest banner from a flagpole at the state capitol in Salem. And with the warmer weather, Occupy Eugene is not only protesting but also occupying again. They’re at the old Federal Courthouse with a permit in hand. 

A lone maple tree remains near the 5th Street Public Market and the new boutique Inn at the 5th. But not for long. Cutting Eugene’s urban forest has long been a sore point in town, and once the orange signs were posted warning of the tree’s fate, people began to question why this tree has to go.

In Eugene, the Maude Kerns Art Center is hosting a one-week exhibit of poetry and photographs, “Silent Witness: Parvin Butte,” calling attention to the destruction of scenic Parvin Butte by developers. Out in Dexter, the mining of the butte continues, and in county and agency offices the question of just what to do about the butte lingers. 

If you want to enjoy an inordinate amount of wildflower-frenzy this weekend, Mount Pisgah is the place to be for the Wildflower Festival Sunday, May 20. Not only can you look forward to a languishing in a splendor of earth-borne colors in peak petal form, you may also wish to wander the native plants sale or sniff out the food vendors while taking in a different bands’ set-list at the top of every hour starting from 10 am and ending with marimba beats at 4 pm. Parking will be free but a $5 donation from those over 12 will be asked at the entry. 

GMO-Free Oregon wants you to know the dangers of genetically modified crops pose to the food supply and to local farms. The group is launching local and state efforts to stop GMOs from contaminating organic crops and making their way further into the foods Oregonians eat.

On May 30 Oregon Right to Know will present  “What You Need to Know about GMOs in your Food and Farms” at the UO. Oregon Right to Know is a 2012 ballot initiative for labeling GMO foods.

The UO’s Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) will be continuing next fall with follow-up work on various projects under way in Springfield, Salem and possibly Gresham. The combination will fund the program for another year, says Robert Liberty, executive director of the Sustainable Cities Initiative that oversees the SCYP. This will be the first year the program has not had a single city focus.