It’s no big secret that Oregon’s farmer population is aging. On the other hand, increasing demand for locally produced food provides opportunities for a new generation of sustainably minded growers to develop successful farms — if they can get financing, that is.
The Social Justice Real Justice conference at the UO Feb. 14-17 and the culminating rally against fossil fuels on the last day of the gathering opened the doors to people who may not have thought in the past that they had a seat at the table, says Caleen Sisk, chief of the Winnemum Wintu and a speaker at the SJRJ conference.
The conference brought local activists and those new to activism together with internationally recognized thinkers and activists such as Cornell West and Winona LaDuke as well as well known voices of the alternative media.
A majority of South Eugene High School teachers sent a letter to the 4J School Board Feb. 19 asking the board to reconsider implementing the 3x5 schedule at all high schools next year. Several teachers were expected to raise these concerns at the Feb. 20 board meeting.
At least one teacher from International High School (IHS) also planned to speak at the meeting after a dozen IHS teachers signed a letter to the board outlining concerns about the schedule.
The Trapper Timber Sale in the Willamette National Forest just won’t go away, Josh Laughlin of Cascadia Wildlands says. “This is a like a low-grade horror movie where the zombie keeps coming back from the grave.”
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is taking comments on the old-growth logging proposal’s latest iteration, which reduces the cutting from 149 acres to 44 acres and the proposed acres to be burned from 92 to 36, according to a press release from McKenzie River Ranger District.
The Lane County Board of Commissioners voted on Feb. 12 to send a proposed jail tax to the voters in May. The vote was 4-1, with progressive Commissioner Pete Sorenson as the lone “no” vote and conservative Commissioners Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich, Pat Farr and Faye Stewart voting in favor.
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that about 25 percent of women and 7.6 percent of men were raped or physically assaulted by a current or former partner or date at some point in their lives. Groups like Womenspace, Sexual Assault Support Services and the Domestic Violence Clinic provide survivors of domestic violence with different forms of support to help them pick up the pieces, but survivors seeking a more private place to look for help have had a little more trouble.
Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is no stranger to Oregon. In fact, he once taught a six-week summer course at Portland State University. Gandhi returns to Oregon on Feb. 21, when he will give a talk at LCC called, “Lessons from My Grandfather.”
When Gandhi was 12, he moved in with his grandfather and lived with him for about 18 months. During that time, he directly witnessed the famous life principles of nonviolence that his grandfather demonstrated in day-to-day life, and the experience deeply impacted his own life choices.
The UO just became a dash more cosmopolitan. Internationally renowned architect and designer Volkan Alkanoglu recently installed “SubDivision,” a site-specific sculpture installation spanning three floors in the atrium of Fenton Hall, home of the math department and math library.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a public notice on Monday, Feb. 11, concerning a proposed penalty against Tyree Oil, Inc. under the Clean Water Act. EPA alleges that Tyree Oil violated the Clean Water Act by failing to prepare and implement adequate spill prevention, containment and countermeasures (SPCC) plans at Eugene and North Bend facilities. EPA also alleges that approximately seven barrels of oil discharged from an above-ground storage tank at Tyree Oil’s facility on West 1st Avenue in Whiteaker on Jan.
Buy a CD and save some salmon. Artist4Action’s latest effort to solve environmental problems through creative collaboration is Songs for the River, and the CD features an array of songs from local favorite David Jacobs-Strain’s “Ocean or a Teardrop” to songs by national stars Jackson Browne, Ani Di Franco, Don Henley and more.
The roster of speakers for the UO’s Social Justice Real Justice (SJRJ) conference reads like an all-star cast of activists, journalists and thinkers. From national luminaries, including Cornell West and Winona LaDuke, to activists fomenting change on a local level such as Eugene’s Michael Carrigan and Jason “Pleado” Wellman, the Feb. 14-17 conference is loaded with issues, causes and ideas.
A panel made up of cash-strapped county leaders, timber executives and environmentalists couldn’t reach consensus on dealing with logging on 2.6 million acres of western Oregon’s federal forestland, but it drew up some options to send to Congress anyway.
“The governor tried to spin the report that he sent to Congress as the findings of the panel,” says Steve Pedery of Oregon Wild, calling the proposal “a summary of the bad ideas that have been put out over the last several years.”
Most Eugeneans know that climate change is happening, but acting on that knowledge is a little trickier. On Feb. 10, the Climate Change Mitigation and Preparation meeting at Cozmic will feature a series of short talks followed by roundtable discussions that focus primarily on action.
“The truth is that educating is huge, but people are dying for action,” says Pam Driscoll, a facilitator and speaker for the meeting. “We have all the information. Now we need to act on it.”
Saturday, Feb. 9, at Cozmic will be a “PowerBlast” of nine bands donating their time for the “Feel the Warmth” fundraiser hosted by the Egan Warming Center, a center started in 2008 to provide homeless people in Lane County shelter on the area’s coldest nights from November through March when temperatures dip below 30 degrees.
Cops who can’t see through car windows could have drivers seeing red. Oregon law requires at least 35 percent of light to pass through vehicle windows, and dealerships are legally required to sell cars that meet that standard, even used cars that come from somewhere else. But sometimes vehicles slip through the cracks.
Many indigenous cultures may have disappeared, but Wade Davis is out to make sure we still learn and appreciate all there is to know about them. The National Geographic explorer in-residence, who has spent most of his life immersed in ancient worlds, will speak at 7:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 182 Lillis Hall on the UO campus.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Margaret Hedrick a warning letter Jan. 16 for a “sizeable release” of what appeared to be used oil to the ground at 1700 Highway 99 N. in Eugene (a little south of Highway 99 and Bethel Drive). According to DEQ’s letter, “used oil can contain cancer-causing agents, metal contaminants and organic compounds that can impact soil, stormwater and surface waters as well as filter into the groundwater supply when discharged onto the land surface.
Almost $3 million to hand over public records seems like a lot of money to former Lane County commissioner Rob Handy and his attorney Marianne Dugan. Handy is suing the county, alleging that it didn’t turn over documents related to a meeting and letter in which he was accused of ethics violations. Coos County Circuit Court Judge Richard Barron heard arguments and testimony Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 at the Lane County Circuit Court.
Health Care for All Oregon’s Eugene chapter will be joining others from 62 statewide organizations Monday, Feb. 4, for a kick-off rally for universal health care in Salem on the first day of the 2013 legislative session.
Government agencies like to release bad news on Fridays and sneak bad rules in over the Christmas holidays, the wisdom goes, because there’s less of a chance that anyone will notice on the weekend or on a week off. County Administrator Liane Richardson appears to have made significant changes about access to the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza in Lane County’s Administrative Procedures Manual (APM) at the beginning of the Christmas holidays.
Animal lovers and supporters of humane treatment alike will gather in Salem on Feb. 12 for Humane Lobby Day, where they can learn about five new bills, among others, that will affect the welfare of animals.
“It’s a great opportunity for people who care about animals to let their voices be heard,” says Scott Beckstead, Oregon senior director with The Humane Society of the United States. “Although we’re a state with a proud tradition of promoting animal welfare, we have these antiquated laws.”
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Robert Saltsgaver, Jr. a warning letter on Dec. 17 for significant violations of Oregon environmental law stemming from illegal disposal of an estimated 4,800 to 6,600 waste tires and construction and demolition debris at 31841 Cedar Creek Road, Cottage Grove. The letter notes that such illegal disposal can lead to contamination of soil, surface water, and groundwater, and requests corrective actions.
Eugene City Council is scheduled to vote Jan. 28 on new penalties for unruly partiers, but some Eugeneans say those fines aren’t so fine. The proposed social host ordinance would lower the number of attendees required to deem a party “unruly” and make landlords liable for police response costs after the fourth offense.