In this year’s November general election, Oregon voters could be asked to ratify (or not) a new law that would effectively end the Oregon Liqour Control Commission’s role and “privatize” sale of distilled spirits (aka hard liquor). That is, assuming that at least one of eight petitions filed by a group calling itself Oregonians for Competition can garner the required number of voter signatures (87,000) to gain a spot on the ballot. The petitions are backed by the Northwest Grocery Association and agents of various large grocers, acting as petitioners.
While other states, such as California, have introduced bee protection bills, Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics says she thinks Oregon is the first state to take some kind of decisive action at the state level. The city of Eugene is also looking to take further action on bee-killing pesticides.
House Bill 4139 passed in the Oregon House earlier in February, and on Feb. 24 it passed in the Senate, “showing amazing bipartisan support for protecting the bees,” according to Arkin.
The fate of the Beverly property and the Amazon Creek headwaters it contains is still up in the air, thanks to the Eugene City Council’s motion to table the issue in a Feb. 19 work session. The property is near Spencer Butte in the south hills.
The city of Eugene’s Revenue Team is sifting through potential strategies to suggest revenue increases to the Budget Committee for the city’s General Fund, in light of the $3 million deficit the city faces for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Their goal is to recommend revenue strategies that will generate significant revenue, be acceptable to the community and can be implemented by FY16.
City Councilor and Revenue Team member Claire Syrett says the team aims for its recommendations to equally affect businesses, property owners and people using city services.
Dozens of people were turned away from the Bascom-Tykeson room at the Eugene Public Library Feb. 23. The room had reached its full capacity of 106 people well before Walidah Imarisha’s 2 pm talk “Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon? A Hidden History.” Several people watched through the windows from Broadway.
Imarisha, a professor in Portland State University’s Black Studies department, has been touring Oregon for three years giving the talk, with 12 stops this February in honor of Black History Month.
Cascade Raptor Center on Fox Hollow Road took a big hit in the recent snow and ice storm, says Louise Shimmel of the center. She says volunteers wore hard hats as they were feeding the birds and checking on them amid crashing branches and even falling trees. The birds survived despite damage to their aviaries, though a couple of traumatized owls and a kite needed to come inside for the weekend. A supply shed was damaged, along with the mouse barn and a car. The center was closed for two weeks and is now fundraising to help pay for the damage and lost revenue.
• Grupo Latino de Acción Directa is planning a community meeting with Springfield Police Chief Timothy Doney and Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 27, at St. Alice Catholic Church, 1520 F St. in Springfield. Topics may include “engaging and working with underrepresented communities” and “goal setting for cultural proficiency.” Contact Phil Carrasco, 337-6391.
“Who’s going to pay for the arts?” artist Jerry Ross asked at a Feb. 12 meeting at the Eugene Public Library. That was the question of the hour at the meeting hosted by the Arts & Business Alliance of Eugene (ABAE) and the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts (DIVA).
A Lane County land-use case, which was first filed in 2011, alleging that the county regularly exceeds deadlines is not yet resolved. Advocacy group LandWatch Lane County is frustrated with the amount of time it is taking to get a final order on the case from the state Department of Land Conservation and Development.
• Seneca Jones Timber Company, 461-6245, plans to aerially spray herbicides including Atrazine and 2,4-D on 50 acres near Coyote Creek. See ODF notice 2014-781-00181, call State Forester Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.
• Seneca Jones Timber Company, 461-6245, plans to spray herbicides including glyphosate and 2,4-D along 38 miles of Seneca roads throughout Lane County. See ODF notice 2014-781-00201, call ODF at 935-2283 with questions.
Lane United FC hasn’t pieced together its roster, but the soccer club already has high expectations — and not just on the field. The newest member of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League signed a three-year deal with Springfield’s Willamalane Parks and Recreation District as its venue, but the Northwest Division’s latest under-23 competitor plans to go USL-Pro as soon as it has a more permanent pitch to call home.
Eugene’s Police Commission is hoping to improve the police department’s “professional police contacts” policy, which says in its draft version, “This policy states unequivocally that bias-based profiling by the Eugene Police Department will not be tolerated.”
City Councilor Greg Evans, who is African American, says he believes he has been affected by racial profiling in Eugene.
“I’ve been stopped in this community — between the time I was 28 and 45 years old — 43 times with only two citations,” Evans says.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) followed up on the pre-enforcement notice that it sent to Pacific Recycling, LLC in November (EW 1/9, goo.gl/QO7Z1t) with a civil penalty of $2,400 on Feb. 3. DEQ formally cited Pacific Recycling for failing to dispose of hazardous waste at a permitted site, failing to determine if hazardous waste had to be treated prior to land disposal and offering hazardous waste for transport without a hazardous waste manifest.
On Feb. 12, the Associated Students of the University of Oregon voted in favor of a resolution “condemning the discriminatory views and practices of Lierre Keith and Deep Green Resistance.”
The issue was brought forth because people in the LGBTQ community and allies felt unsafe having Keith come to campus to speak at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference due to her alleged transphobic views, according to the authors of the resolution.
SheerID has grown to 21 employees and has moved from 1175 Charnelton to a larger building at 2451 Willamette St. The now vacant Charnelton building was previously occupied by the nonprofit Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics. SheerID specializes in verifying valid customers for businesses, nonprofits and other organizations that do targeted marketing. The business grew out of concern for fake IDs and coupons being used for discounts and special offers by military vets, students, alumni, etc. The company has seen major growth since launching in early 2013.
Concepts of a new Eugene City Hall don’t look much like the old building, city councilors saw at a Feb. 10 work session. Architecture firm Rowell Brokaw presented configurations of a small building, with a council chamber similar to the existing one, facing 8th Avenue near its intersection with Pearl.
Doug & Linda Carnine, 485-3781, plan to hire Larry Kimer, 206-7187, to ground spray 200 acres near Spencer Creek with Element 4, triclopyr. See ODF notice 2014-781-00159, call State Forester Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.
Drive over the Santiam Pass to Bend from Eugene and as you drop down off the mountains you will see the big old-growth ponderosa pines that forest activist Tim Lillebo loved and worked to save. Lillebo, 61, died Feb. 9 after going out to shovel snow near his Eastern Oregon home, and he leaves behind a legacy of saving the wilderness and using collaboration to do it, according to his fellow staffers at conservation group Oregon Wild.
Comments on the stormwater pollution control plan for Natron Wood Products LLC’s facility in Jasper are due to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by 5 pm on Feb. 10. Visit goo.gl/ScwdH to see stormwater the plan and goo.gl/iMDQb to comment. Comments to DEQ regarding the erosion and sediment control plan for Phase 3 of Willamalane’s Sports Park on South 32nd Street in Springfield are due by 5 pm on Feb. 11. Visit goo.gl/Yp4iAK for information on how to make arrangements to view the plan and comment.
Using science and creative writing, OSU’s “Transformation without Apocalypse” symposium will discuss different ways mankind can improve its relationship with the planet. The Spring Creek Project will host the symposium this weekend in Corvallis.
Lane County finally released a far less blacked-out copy of the investigation into changes Liane Richardson made to increase her take-home pay, but many, particularly the County Commission candidates in the upcoming May primary, still have more unanswered questions.
Less than three weeks are remaining of the 30-day reprieve given by the Eugene City Council on Jan. 30, and the campers at Whoville persevered through a storm that shut down schools, public buildings and stores.
The 30 to 35 residents periodically cleared snow from the tops of their tents and the walkways between them.
“I’m loving it,” Whoville camper Megan Ludwig says. “It’s not easy, but I come out every hour and my tent’s not doing too bad. So I’m loving it.”
A dispute has been brewing for years over a proposal to install four historic street lamps in front of the Woodmen of the World Hall, aka the nonprofit Community Center for the Performing Arts on West 8th Avenue. The WOW Hall is willing to cover the costs of installation, retrofitting, maintenance and electricity, but Eugene Public Works is balking, saying the old lights conflict with the city’s efforts to upgrade street lighting citywide. Eugene has about 10,000 streetlights.
The annual KLCC Microbrew Festival carried on at the Fairgrounds last weekend despite the snow and ice, and “this was the first time we’ve had ever had people arrive by ski, sled and snowshoes,” says Cheryl Crumbley of KLCC. She says proceeds were down about 50 percent due to the weather, but only six out of 65 breweries didn’t make it. “For the attendees, this year’s brewfest was excellent because the music was great and the crowds were small (no lines).” The low attendance was “a big blow,” but Crumbley says there are no plans for a make-up event.