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One speaker’s stance on gender identity is causing controversy around an upcoming environmental conference at the UO. Among its keynote speakers, the 32nd annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) Feb. 27 to March 2 will feature radical feminist Lierre Keith of Deep Green Resistance (DGR). A heated debate on PIELC’s Facebook event page (http://wkly.ws/1on) about Keith’s position that people who are transgender aren’t really the gender with which they identify has generated hundreds of comments.

Greater Goods is closing after 23 years in Eugene. Joan Kleban is retiring and she has been a good friend to EW and a consistent advertiser all these years. We wish her well and expect she will continue to be a positive force in our community. We also appreciate her dedication to offering fair trade, hand-made products and folk art from around the world. Fair trade goods promote social and environmental sustainability, rare qualities in developing countries and even here at home.

City Club of Eugene will look at “Working Together on the BEST Outcomes for Kids” at its luncheon at noon Friday, Feb. 7, at the Downtown Athletic Club third floor ballroom, 999 Willamette. Speakers include Raquel Gwynn, Sharon Tabor and Randy Bernstein from School District 4J and Peter Chavannes of the city. $5 for nonmembers. 

Rod Coronado believes that the best thing he’s ever accomplished for animal rights was when he played an instrumental role in sinking two Icelandic whaling ships through Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which uses direct action to protect marine habitat and wildlife. Now, the animal rights activist and ex-convict is going on his “Hungry like the Wolf 2014” tour and will be making a stop here in Eugene on Feb. 2. 

Basketball player Spencer Coleman has traveled a rough road, but the star senior forward is relishing the second chance Northwest Christian University has given him. Coleman has led the Beacons to a 12-9 record thus far and is now seeking to become exemplary off the court as well.

Rebecca Rubin participated in removing dogs from a California testing facility and in releasing wild horses from an Oregon BLM facility where the mustangs were held before some were auctioned for slaughter. Rubin also aided in burning down that BLM facility and another wild horse facility in Litchfield, Calif., according to a government sentencing memo. From her 2006 indictment for what the U.S. government has labeled “eco-terrorism” until 2012 when she turned herself in, Rubin was a fugitive. On Jan. 27, Eugene federal judge Ann Aiken sentenced Rubin to five years in prison.

Pacific lingcod isn’t really a cod, but its white, flakey cod-like meat is popular with chefs. In 1999, lingcod and seven other groundfish species were declared overfished, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries implemented catch restrictions. By 2005, stocks of lingcod were declared rebuilt several years ahead of schedule, according to Ted Morton of Pew Charitable Trusts.

• Walton Hylomorphia, LLC, 343-4167, plans to spray 175 acres near the Siuslaw River and Walton on slopes greater than 65 percent with Glyphosate, Triclopyr Amine and/or Triclopyr Ester. See ODF notice 2013-781-00412-C, call State Forester Jim Hall in Florence at 997-8713 with questions. 

• Rosboro LLC, 746-8411, plans to hack and squirt 23 acres near Hula Creek, a tributary of Lake Creek, with Garlon 4. See ODF notice 2014-781-00104, call State Forester Tim Meehan at 726-3588 with questions.

One of Patchy Sanders’s founding members, Ian Van Ornum, is a former UO student known for his past activism, particularly for being Tased at a peaceful anti-pesticide rally he helped organize in 2008. Van Ornum was unable to discuss the status of his appeal for his conviction for resisting arrest, but in December 2013 the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that he could continue to pursue his appeal. Van Ornum was lying on the ground when he was Tased.

Lane County recently notified Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) of high pollution levels in effluent discharged from the Glenwood Central Receiving Station to Glenwood Slough during November. Total suspended solids (TSS) and copper levels exceeded the applicable benchmark at three outfalls, while zinc exceeded the benchmark at two outfalls, and lead exceeded at one outfall. The highest TSS sample was over 11 times the benchmark, with the highest copper level at over nine times the benchmark, and zinc at over five times the benchmark.

In the 2012-2013 school year, five instances of sexual harassment, including assault, were reported to the University of Oregon and released in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (aka the Clery Act). But this number does not include the number of instances that go unreported. 

Horus the Avenger of White Rabbit Radio sends out his minions to spread “the Mantra,” proclaiming, “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white” and other derivations of the racist message. While racist rabbits sending minions might sound like some sort of internet hoax, marchers in Springfield’s Jan. 20 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration encountered one of the propagators of the Mantra, Jimmy Marr.

Sponsors, Inc. is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 pm Thursday, Jan. 30, at its new Bothy Cottage/RISE (Reunite in a Supportive Environment) home. The five-bedroom, 3,200-sq.-ft. house is the first of its kind in Oregon and unique nationally. Its mission is to help mothers who are returning home from prison. Services include parenting classes, cognitive behavioral therapy, drug treatment and more. RSVP to tdejohn@sponsorsinc.org or call 505-5687. 

• “The Role of Transit in Our Community Vision” is the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Jan. 31, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 10th and Willamette. Speakers include Larry Banks of PIVOT Architecture, Claire Syrett of Lane Coalition for Healthy and Active Youth and Julie Daniel of BRING Recycling. Moderated by Rob Zako of Better Eugene-Springfield Transit. $5 for nonmembers. See cityclubofeugene.org. The program will be recorded to air at 6:30 pm Monday, Feb. 3, on KLCC, 89.7 FM.

They’re pretty, they’re loud and they can be dangerous. The Eugene City Council has been discussing changes to fireworks rules for more than a decade, but when the council called for the Jan. 27 work session on the topic after a fireworks-induced blaze destroyed a home in July, the discussion pointed to problems getting worse.

Cultural background can affect legal decisions in the courtroom. Alison Dundes Renteln, a professor of political science and anthropology at the University of Southern California will be speaking on minority rights and cultural bias in the courtroom in her talk “The Right to Culture as a Human Right: Religious Liberty, Gender Violence and the Cultural Defense,” at the UO Jan. 29. 

Author and social activist Harsha Walia is best known for co-founding the Vancouver chapter of the movement No One Is Illegal, a network of anti-racist groups that campaign for and represent non-resident immigrants. Her book explores immigrant rights movements through an international look at capitalism, labor exploitation, settler colonialism, state building and racialized empire. In it, she offers strategies for social movement organizers to develop strong communities whose ultimate goal is liberation.

More than 40 percent of people who are transgender have attempted suicide, and about 80 percent have considered it. The attempt rate is 1.6 percent for the general population, and mental health experts say ongoing discrimination is one contributor to the large disparity. On Monday, Jan. 27, the Eugene City Council is scheduled to vote on amending the city code and adding gender identity to the definition of sexual orientation. The amendment applies to protections against discrimination in areas such as employment, housing and public accommodation.

All the Whos down in Whoville are hoping the city of Eugene’s heart grows a couple sizes very soon. The city has posted notices that the site of the homeless protest camp at Hilyard and Broadway is no longer open for public use and it will “clear and clean the site,” according to a press release that went out to the media before the campers themselves were notified, a move Alley Valkyrie of the Nightingale Public Advocacy Collective called “disrespectful and dehumanizing.”

Rental owners in Eugene can take advantage of EWEB’s renewed zero-interest loans and rebates for ductless heat pumps and other upgrades. A lot of older rental units have electric ceiling heat, baseboard heat or wall units that suck a lot of juice. Renters usually get stuck with the high EWEB bills, but we know some rental owners who approached their tenants and asked them if they would be willing to pay more rent in exchange for cheaper, better heat and air conditioning. The deal can pencil out well and add property value.

 • A film screening of Ocean Frontiers will begin about 5:45 pm Thursday, Jan. 23, at the UO School of Law, Room 175. Mayor Kitty Piercy will introduce the film and a panel of local experts will discuss the film at about 7 pm, followed by a reception. Live music, beer, wine and refreshments are planned. $5 suggested donation. See ocean-frontiers.org for more information.

Sen. Jeff Merkley surprised Eugene City Councilor George Brown by picking Brown’s The Kiva grocery store downtown to hold a press conference Jan. 10 about big national issues of fair wages and extending unemployment benefits.

A cloud of suspicion around the departure of former administrator Liane Richardson still hangs over Lane County government, in part because the full details of the investigation into her unauthorized changes to her payroll have never been released. On Jan. 13, former Lane County Commissioner Bill Fleenor filed an open records lawsuit over the report by USO Consulting. The outside investigation was commissioned by the county and released with 29 pages blacked out. Fleenor, the R-G and EW were among those who made public records requests for copies of the report.