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Though the investigation into former county administrator Liane Richardson’s violation of county policy was released weeks ago, and Lane County has signed an agreement with the controversial former employee mutually agreeing not to sue, the county contretemps is far from over. Questions linger over what information was blacked out in the report on Richardson’s pay alterations.

The tax package called the “Grand Bargain” that squeaked through the Oregon Legislature last week was blasted by the Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP), the state’s leading progressive think tank, as fiscally irresponsible.

The package suffers from “three major flaws,” reads a statement from Chuck Sheketoff, executive director of OCPP. “Revenue shrinks after the current budget period, it’s mainly a tax cut for some of Oregon’s wealthiest 1 percent, and it won’t create any jobs, despite what its proponents claim.”

We hear Level Up Arcade is expanding into the back of its building at 13th and Oak, space previously occupied by the old Maize Lounge, and this back part will be open in about two weeks with pool tables, more games and a stage for performance. Yep, Eugene is getting a new live music venue. See www.leveluparcade.com.

Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah is having its annual meeting and celebration starting at 6 pm Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Vet’s Club, 1626 Willamette St. Speaker will be Scott Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, will speak on “Pollinators and Pisgah.” See bufordpark.org. 

Rep. Peter DeFazio says the plan for more than 2 million acres of Oregon’s O&C forestlands (named for the Oregon and California Railroad) that he devised with fellow Democrat Rep. Kurt Schrader and Republican Rep. Greg Walden solves 30 years of gridlock over logging in Oregon’s federal forests. The bill proposes to divide the forestlands between a conservation trust and timber trust. 

There’s a rich and rocky story beneath Willamette Street. Historical streetcar tracks and basalt paving stones exposed during repaving delayed heavy construction for a week and a half while the city sought an archaeological excavation permit to remove them, and the incident has city staff thinking about a new approach to digging up Eugene’s buried tracks. Eugene’s transportation history includes both electric and horse-drawn trolleys, which ran until 1927.

• Giustina Land and Timber, 345-2301, plans to hire Western helicopter Services, Inc., (503) 538-9469, to aerially spray 44 acres in Township 21S, Range 05W, Sections 16 and 21 with Glyphosate, Imazapyr, Sulfometuron Methyl and/or Triclopyr. See ODF notification 2013-730-01153 for more information.

• ODOT is now doing fall roadside spraying. They plan to spray most of Highway 36 soon. You may reach District 5 offices at 744-8080 or call their automated information line at (888) 996-8080 for more information.

As summer comes to a close and classes are back in full swing, the Lane County chapter of the NAACP will be holding an open house to introduce NAACP staff and volunteers and promote their youth programs. The event will take place at noon Saturday, Oct. 5, on the second floor of the downtown LCC building, 101 W. 10th Ave.

Sheri Moore got involved in politics because of her commitment to lifelong education. Currently a Springfield city councilor in Ward 3, she will be running for the Springfield position on the Lane County Commission in the upcoming 2014 election, presumably against incumbent Sid Leiken. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a civil penalty of $6,676 against PeaceHealth on Sept. 26 for operating an unpermitted underground storage tank and failing to upgrade it with corrosion protection at Peace Harbor Medical Center in Florence. PeaceHealth has owned and operated the underground storage tank since at least 1989 and failed to upgrade it with required corrosion protection by December 1998. 

The Eugene Education Association (EEA) has rejected endorsement of School District 4J’s federal “Race to the Top” grant application, citing “grave concerns over increased workload for teachers and specialists and because of inadequate time given to analyze the 170-page application,” according to a statement emailed Oct. 1 to EEA members from EEA President Tad Shannon.

It will be a hut of a weekend Oct. 5-6, with Opportunity Village Eugene’s grand opening celebration 1 to 4 pm Saturday and Community Supported Shelters’ Conestoga fundraiser kick-off event Sunday. Neighborhood advocate Paul Conte will match up to $5,000 with money from the legal settlement with Capstone and its swanky new student housing project at 13th and Olive.

Capstone has finished its first phase of construction and now has 380 residents, mostly students, but Capstone leases individual rooms and does not require that residents be students. Residents can request who will be their roommates. Phase II will take another year and when completed, the Capstone project, named 13th & Olive, will house about 1,300 people and sport another big parking garage. We wrote in our Aug. 29 issue about complaints we’ve heard about that big ugly concrete wall at Capstone.

• “Digital Privacy and the NSA” is the topic of City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Oct. 4, at the LCC Downtown Center street level meeting room. Speaker is Seth Wooley, senior software engineer at deCarta, Inc. and an expert on database security. Open to public; $5 for nonmembers.  

Local food and agriculture are a big deal in Lane County, but proposed legislation in Salem could take away communities’ rights to regulate those very things. Senate Bill 633 would prohibit local governments from making laws about seeds and their products, leaving a broad swath of traditionally local rules in the hands of the state. The bill, which didn’t advance in the regular session, has been reintroduced as a bargaining chip in complex negotiations about tax increases and cuts to PERS.

With a self-proclaimed political lean that’s “more progressive than most Democrats,” Sandi Mann decided to put her name in the hopper for Lane County commissioner, District 2, because of “erroneous and uneducated decisions” made by the incumbent, Sid Leiken.

“I feel like I can make a difference,” Mann says. 

The Oregon Land Company, long associated with controversial developers and loggers Greg Demers and Norman and Melvin McDougal, has been using the logo of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) on its website without permission. 

The 41st annual Corvallis Fall Festival is this weekend, Sept. 28-29, at Central Park featuring free live music, arts, food, a street dance and a 5/10K run. Many local nonprofits will have booths. Among them, the Corvallis Community Children’s Centers will be holding a silent auction in support of Little Free Libraries, a community movement that offers free books housed in colorful small containers. See corvallischildcare.org and corvallisfallfestival.org.

• The BLM will hold a “public scoping meeting” to discuss the Middle McKenzie Project near Vida at 6 pm Thursday, Sept. 26, at the McKenzie Fire and Rescue Building at 42870 McKenzie Hwy. in Leaburg. Comments can also be emailed by Oct. 17 to blm.or.eu.mail@blm.gov or mailed to the BLM Headquarters, 3106 Pierce Parkway, Suite E, Springfield, 97477.

Overlaying the woodland camouflage pattern on her T-shirt, thin pink lines swirl together into a scene of butterflies hovering over cowering riot police and flames rising in the background. Ariel Howland, a recent graduate of the University of Oregon’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS), has some major beefs with the establishment — patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, racism, ableism, etc.

After Carolyn Knox lost her 38-year-old son to brain cancer, the grief of losing a child consumed her. She couldn’t stop questioning: Why did this happen? Where did he go? As time passed, Knox recognized that her thoughts on death weren’t going anywhere, and she needed to find a way to address them.

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.