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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. 

• Noted New York author and journalist Thai Jones, who has strong family ties to Eugene, will be reading from his new book, More Powerful Than Dynamite, at 7 pm Thursday, May 31, at Tsunami Books, 25th and Willamette. Jones is the son of former members of the Weather Underground and his family went into hiding for 10 years following an accidental bomb explosion in 1970 in Greenwich Village. His book is about anarchy, corporate greed and the violent protests of 1914, which have close parallels to the Occupy Wall Street movement of today.

In Afghanistan

1,965 U.S. troops killed* (1,961)

15,950 U.S. troops wounded in action (15,858)

1,131 U.S. contractors killed (1,131)

12,793 civilians killed (12,793)

$529.8 billion cost of war 

($528.6 billion)

$156.4 million cost to Eugene taxpayers 

($156.1 million)

 

In Iraq

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.

The Willamette Angel Conference competition at the Downtown Athletic Club May 10 awarded a $200,000 investment prize to Cascade Prodrug Inc., a Eugene-based drug development company using technology licensed from UO. Other finalists included Amorphyx of Corvallis and Vizme of Eugene. A combination of cash and consulting services valued at $7,000 also went to Coyle Design, a Corvallis company that makes hand-crafted wood and cork bicycle helmets. See eugenechamber.com for more information.

• Volunteers are needed for the AIDS Walk at 9 am Saturday, May 19, at Alton Baker Park, sponsored by HIV Alliance. Call 342-5088, ext. 116 or email volccord@hivalliance.org or info@aidswalkeugene.org or visit www.aidswalkeugene.org to register or donate.

• The Whiteaker Community Garage Sale is from 9 am to 3 pm Sunday, May 20, throughout the neighborhood and CALC is one of the groups participating. Call 485-1755 to donate good used items.

“My passion and love is hunting hounds,” Mike Martell says. He spent 42 years as a houndsman chasing “bears, cougars, everything.”

Homeowners lose their dwellings when banks foreclose on them through shady practices, but groups studying Oregon foreclosures say local governments — and the services they provide — are losing out, too. 

North Eugene Commissioner Rob Handy is suing opponent Pat Farr. He alleges Farr is sending out false statements to voters and using false statements in his polls through the Lindholm Company.

 A colorful mailer that recently landed in voters’ mailboxes courtesy of a PAC supporting Farr’s bid for the seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners accuses Handy of everything from being “named in a sexual discrimination lawsuit that cost taxpayers $244,000 dollars” to costing the county $1 million.

About six horses with chunks of their coats missing and protruding ribs were surrendered by their Springfield owner to neighbors after repeated complaints were filed against her to Lane County Animal Services (LCAS). LCAS and the Lane County Sheriffs Office are facing county budget cuts, and local equines might be falling through the cracks.

The complaints of alleged neglect by Rose Buckholtz have been an ongoing ordeal, according to LCAS Supervisor Rick Hammel. 

Here are our selected picks for the May 15 primary. We have not included uncontested races. See our endorsement write-ups and stories last week for more information. Ballots can be mailed in by May 10 or dropped off at white ballot boxes around town up until 8 pm Tuesday, May 15.

U.S. House of Representatives

Peter DeFazio (D)

Oregon Secretary of State 

Kate Brown (D)

Oregon Attorney General 

Dwight Holton (D)

The controversial Goose Project might have its day in court. Local environmental groups Oregon Wild and Cascadia Wildlands are suing to stop the timber sale, charging that the Forest Service failed to properly analyze the impact of 2,100 acres of logging to areas around waterways and endangered species habitat. The dispute centers on a 17,421-acre project area around McKenzie Bridge. The Western Environmental Law Center filed suit on behalf of the conservation groups.

A delegation of nine city officials will visit Eugene from Kathmandu, Nepal, May 13-17. The problems of Kathmandu are “a microcosmic view of what the entire planet is going to be facing before we know it,” says Dennis Ramsey, president of Eugene’s Kathmandu Sister City Association.

The visiting delegation will include the mayor of Kathmandu, its city planner and the director of Kathmandu’s environmental program. A photo exhibit featuring Kathmandu at New Zone Gallery on Monday, May 14, is also part of the visit. 

The race for the North Eugene seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners has become a brawl, with revelations of drunk driving and allegations of wrongdoing flying right and left.

An “emergency meeting” last week, attended only by the commission’s conservative majority and County Administrator Liane Richardson, resulted in a swift vote to release to the media information related to allegations against incumbent Commissioner Rob Handy. Handy calls the allegations a “smear tactic.”

Phone banking, canvassing and other activities in support of progressive candidates are being organized by the Oregon League of Conservation voters. Canvassing and calling for Rob Handy, Pete Sorenson, Kitty Piercy and Betty Taylor will continue until the election. “Enviro phones” for Handy will be from 5:30 to 8:30 pm Thursday, May 10, and from 4 to 7 pm Sunday, May 13. Email ashley@olcv.org or call 968-8269 for details and to sign up. 

Lost Creek Rock Products has begun blasting at Parvin Butte, and neighbors say the noise is frightening people and their pets. The once-wooded land has been logged and the butte, which gives a scenic backdrop to boaters on the nearby Dexter Lake reservoir, is slated to be razed. 

Neighbor Pete Helzer tells of a neighbor’s dog that was so scared by the blasting noise that it ran through two fences before it could be stopped. He says destroying the butte harms not only the rural community but its history, as well as the water and environment.

In Eugene’s rainy spring, Save Civic is an umbrella — for two smaller Civic groups, that is. The movement to save the old wooden stadium, formerly home of the Ems, has refined itself into Friends of Civic Stadium, centered on historic preservation, and Civic Stadium Sports and Entertainment, focused on business and future activities.

Timber barons can speculate on trees, land barons can speculate on selling properties but the West is not supposed to have water barons. It’s illegal under Western water law to speculate on water. An Oregon administrative law judge has ruled a private company would be speculating on the waters of the McKenzie River if granted its application for 22 million gallons of water a day out of the river. 

On April 27, the judge recommended to Oregon’s Water Resources Department that Willamette Water Company’s water right application be denied. 

Ted Taylor

 et al.

County Commission candidate Pat Farr, running against incumbent Commissioner Rob Handy, has raised about $91,000 so far, averaging $1,000 per donation. Lindholm Company, a consulting and polling firm where Farr worked until taking a leave, has donated a total of $4,060 in cash and in-kind services. Wildish Sand and Gravel Co. donated $5,000, followed by $3,000 from Delta Sand and Gravel and $2,500 from Hamilton Construction in Springfield. Also donating $2,500 each were Rosboro Lumber, Murphy Hardwood Plywood Division and John R. Murphy.