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EW! A Blog.

July 25, 2012 12:18 PM

The Oregon Dental Association makes brushing cool. Or umm, tries to. Or something. 

 

H/T to Willamette Week for this gem.
 
I kept waiting fearfully for an ice cream truck to zoom by and send one of the kids reeling. Sugar and rap don't mix.
 

(Apparently he wasn't really dancing to "Teach Me How to Dougie," but that's the version that went viral. He survived and got a rap video of his own.)

July 23, 2012 02:05 PM

The Eugene City Council decided to wait until after its summer break to weigh on on coal trains, but the Coos Bay World does't think Eugene should have an opinion at all on the issue. 

In an editoral published July 18, the World says Eugene should keep its "big nose" out of coal exports and "butt out" of the global energy and climate change issue. 

 

Our view: The Eugene City Council has no business dictating international energy markets.

Riddle: What's the difference between God and the Eugene City Council?

Answer: God doesn't think he's the Eugene City Council.

Eugene has yearned for decades to dictate national energy policy. In 1986, it declared itself a 'Nuclear Free Zone." Now the council is talking about using health and safety laws to block coal trains' passage through town.

This kind of self-important pushiness is why America's founders put Congress in charge of interstate commerce. When every provincial politician can regulate trade, we all starve.

Admittedly, coal trains are a serious issue. If Coos Bay builds a coal terminal, enormous chains of rail cars will haul Asia-bound Wyoming coal through many Western communities. Opponents warn of air pollution, black lung and derailments, caused by coal dust falling from train cars.

Regulators and railroads, answering market demand, are attacking these problems. A sticky spray called a 'surfacant" reportedly reduces dust emissions by 85 percent. Covered cars may be better still.

But never mind. Eugene's real objection to coal trains isn't coal dust. It's global climate change. Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy told The Register-Guard, '... we live in global society and the effects of our decisions are felt far beyond our borders."

That's true. But what gives Eugene the right to decide what Wyoming will mine and what Asia will burn?

Moreover, the morality of coal exports is not as simple as it may sound. Ask:

If Asia can't get North American fuel, what will it burn instead?

How might fuel exports affect America's balance of trade?

How about U.S. economic strength and strategic alliances?

How does affordable energy affect health and quality of life in developing nations?

These are big questions for federal regulators, Congress and the free market. The Eugene City Council should butt out.

What does give Eugene the right? Coal train opponents argue it's that the trains will be going through town, past farms and through wild areas. 

July 23, 2012 12:55 PM

It's a sarcastic, musical how-to ride the bus video. The UO needs one of these. 

"These are not the rides you are looking for."

Also the "Bohemian Rhapsody" spoof kicks in around 5:40.

July 18, 2012 05:14 PM

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has weighed in on county payments under the Secure Rural Schools Act. What did it find?

We need more clarity.

Shocking, I know.

This report focuses on Title III of Secure Rural Schools, which "authorizes the use of a portion of the payments for certain purposes related to wildland fire and emergency services on federal lands."

 

If Congress chooses to extend Title III beyond 2012, it should consider making explicit which types of 
expenditures are and are not allowable. GAO also recommends that the agencies issue regulations or clear guidance specifying the types of  allowable county uses of Title III funds. In commenting on a draft of this report,  the Forest Service and Interior  generally agreed with GAO’s findings  and recommendations.
July 16, 2012 05:26 PM

Warning, there's some throwing of bunnies and and it looks like a rabbit gets stepped on.

The video of the Cottage Grove "Animal Scramble" is accompanied by this statement by Red Barn Rabbit Rescue.

Last year it was brought to our attention that the Cottage Grove Rodeo had an event called the Animal Scramble. This event uses specifically bred baby rabbits and roosters as bait for children to chase, catch and keep. At the time we were still struggling financially and had not quite gotten to the point where we felt we had the experience to weigh in on the subject and take a stand. Then a couple months ago the Humane Society of Cottage Grove asked us to help them provide education and get safer, more rabbit friendly conditions brought to the event. After doing research and watching a video we have decided that there cannot be any possible way to make this event rabbit friendly. In addition, it is clear to us that breeding over 50 rabbits for the event is grossly irresponsible and does nothing to help the disheartening rabbit overpopulation. Therefore we wrote to the Cottage Grove Riding club asking them to discontinue this event. We conceded that it may be difficult to stop this year's Scramble but that they should stop all future Scrambles as they are not the responsible thing to do concerning the rabbit.

We feel we should just be able to stop at the breeding but feel inclined to also point out that the event puts these animals in what is arguably the most terrifying situation a rabbit could be in. We have also heard stories about rabbits running under the trucks and trailers tires. Finally, more than likely the majority of the kids getting these rabbits have absolutely no idea how to take care of one properly.

We know where we stand and have expressed ourselves to the CG Riding Club. They declined to reply either verbally or in writing. Therefore we are asking that you watch a video or attend the Animal Scramble on Saturday night and let the CG Riding Club know what your feelings are toward the event. We have attached the letters that were sent to the Club by our rescue. With any luck we can convince the Club to do the right thing and remove this event from future Rodeos.

Looks like the Cottage Grove Rodeo, put on by the Cottage Grove Riding Club, took place this past weekend.

July 13, 2012 05:29 PM

An email from the city of Eugene today announced that the planned City Council vote on the coal trains resolution has been postponed until September. 

The Eugene City Council goes on summer break from July 26 until Sept. 6.

Yesterday coal train opponents held a peaceful demonstration at the Union Pacific 150th celebration on July 12. You can read more about it in the RG story if you scroll alllllll the way to the bottom. 

This week the Western Organization of Resource Councils released a study showing that coal trains could clog up already congested lines in the Northwest, increase the costs for taxpayers to fix problems with the rail system and increase rail rates for other freight. And then there's that toxics coal dust … 

The study estimates 3.7 over 1-mile long trains would go through Eugene to Coos Bay each day.

Find out more at the Coal Hard Truth forum on Monday, July 16 at the Eugene Public Library.

July 11, 2012 11:56 PM

An email alert from Oregon Wild tonight warns that 1.5 million acres of public lands logging might get pushed through the Farm Bill by Rep. Kurt Scrader tonight. The email is below:

Oregon Wild has just learned that tonight *Rep. Kurt Schrader will offer a stealth rider to the Farm Bill currently being debated in Congress that would open up 1.5 million acres of public lands to clear-cut logging.* The rider drops the limited Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers protections promised in previous legislation, and provides no public notice or hearings. Call Rep. Schrader right now to voice your opposition to this surprise attack on Oregon's forests. Washington, DC office: (202) 225-5711 Salem office: (503) 588-9100. http://www.oregonwild.org/oregon_forests/old_growth_protection/westside-... ]">Recall that earlier this year Reps. Schrader, DeFazio, and Walden unveiled so-called "logging trust" legislation.

Their bill proposed to transfer 1.5 million acres of publicly-owned Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in western Oregon into a logging trust. These lands would be exempt from strong federal environmental rules that protect endangered species and clean water, and instead be managed under the weak Oregon Forest Practices Act. The plan would open the lands to greatly expanded clear-cut logging. Backers of the bill argued that the environmental damage it would cause would be offset by linking it to Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers designations for special places like the Wild Rogue and Molalla River.

 

UPDATE: Oregon Wild says that thanks to public outcry the "stealth rider" was rejected.

July 10, 2012 09:43 AM

The spoofs on Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me, Maybe" have begun, from rescue dogs wearing tags with their ID numbers on them — what's cuter than a little dog saying "Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, here's my (ID) number. Adopt me maybe?" (FYI Greenhill and the shelter formerly known as LCAS have some cuties that need homes). 

 

Well, Cookie Monster might give the pups and kitties a run for their money.

"Hey, me just met you, and this is crazy, you got cookie, share it, maybe?" Only Cookie and the folks at Sesame Street could make a rhyme with snickerdoodle.

And duly noted, Sesame Street isn't just spoofing "Call Me, Maybe," It's spoofing the Jimmy Fallon instruments you would find in an elementary school classroom version.

July 5, 2012 10:24 PM

Lane County Commissioner Faye Stewart was interviewed this morning by conservative radio talk show host Bill Lundun on KPNW. He got a little snarky about fellow commissioner Rob Handy. http://m.soundcloud.com/bill-lundun-kpnw-news/fstewart

July 2, 2012 07:21 PM

Lane County is facing an open meetings lawsuit. Marianne Dugan, attorney for Rob Handy, filed a suit on his behalf June 29. At issue is the May 3 "emergency meeting" that was held without 24 hour's notice by Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Faye Stewart, the conservative majority on the Lane County Board of Commissioners who are named in the suit.

Under Oregon law if a meeting is held without the 24 hours notice, the reason for this must be stated in the minutes. No minutes have been published and the video of the meeting does not include a statement justifying the short notice. (Warning the county videos don't work on most Macs.)

More on the suit in this week's EW, and for background, take a look at our previous stories on the issue, North Eugene Commish Race Gone WildCounty Stymies Public Records Request,  Big Money for Public Records and Conservatives Got Advance Meeting Notice

July 2, 2012 02:44 PM

July 4 fireworks are known for scaring pups. If you lose your dog or find a stray this week the Greenhill/Lane County Animal Services transition may have you confused. Greenhill Humane Society started running the LCAS shelter as of July 1, and it appears that lost and found animals will be on the Greenhill website.

The city of Eugene has posted a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on its website. Head's up it's a pdf.

Eugene Police Department tells us you can call the animal services’ direct line 24/7 at 541-687-4060 to report: a found animal, lost pet, animal at large or animal abuse.

Lane County tells us that if you lose a pet in the city of Eugene, “Typically, people should call the City of Eugene’s hotline 541-687-4060.”A secondary source of information could be Greenhill (541-689-1503) or the Greenhill Humane Society website http://www.green-hill.org, the county says.

Similarly, people within the City of Springfield should call 541-726-3634 for Springfield’s Animal Control Office and then check Greenhill.

Lane County Animal Services will not have an animal welfare officer on duty, July 4, we are told, but Lane County tells us word is that Eugene will have two officers on duty. People will be able to leave a message on the Lane County message line at 541-682-3645.  Lane County residents can also check with Greenhill to see if their animal has been admitted to the shelter.

And the Greenhill site repeats the info and gives a couple more numbers: 

 

If you have lost or found a pet, you should also immediately contact your local animal control office to file a lost pet report.

Contact information is listed below.

• Cottage Grove - Humane Society of Cottage Grove: (541-942-3130) 
• Eugene - Eugene Animal Services: (541-687-4060) 
• Unincorporated Lane County - Lane County Animal Services: (541-682-3645) 
• Springfield - Springfield Animal Control/Police Dept.: 344 A Street (541-726-3634)
• Veneta - Veneta Animal Control/City Hall: 88184 8th street (541-935-2191)

June 29, 2012 11:59 AM

As promised in this week's New Briefs, here's the full text of Greenhill Executive Director Cary Lieberman's answers to EW's questions about the Lane County Animal Services/Greenhill Human Society Transition.

My understanding is that the county commission votes today (6/25) on the Greenhill contract with LCAS? Would Greenhill takeover July 1? 

I believe that the county commissioners voted yesterday to give permission to public works staff to enter into a contract when one is drafted.  We had our first contract meeting with Lane County today.  Everyone is still hopeful for a smooth transition on July 1st, but we still don’t have a contract drafted with Lane County.

How is the transition going? Will LCAS volunteers undergo Greenhill training? How much (if any) overlap will there be in things like running foster/volunteer programs? 

We are still in contract talks and working out details about the transition with all of the jurisdictions.  There is a lot to figure out. 

Greenhill’s goal is to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for the animals, and one thing that we have started, even without a contract in place is to begin meeting with the volunteers who have been helping the animals at LCAS.  We know that we will need everyone’s support and there are people eager to help.  We hope that the current LCAS volunteers will continue to volunteer.  Over time, we will wrap them into our training program, but because of the timing we won’t make that a pre-requisite to continue their volunteer activities.  Greenhill currently has two full-time employees who manage our volunteer and foster programs, and all staff are trained to work closely with volunteers.  We don’t anticipate the need to expand volunteer program management staff.

On if kittens with ringworm are being put down:

We have successfully treated many ringworm cases, and unfortunately there were some that we were not able to treat.  Ringworm is a challenging disease.  On one hand, it is often treatable if the animal is in a home environment and is otherwise healthy.  In a shelter environment, which is often more stressful and may be populated with a number of animals with compromised health, it spreads easily and is often considered untreatable in that environment.  At Greenhill, we look at it on a case-by-case basis.  In dogs, we generally consider it treatable.  For cats, it depends in large part on whether a foster home is available, and/or if there are other immune system or other serious concurrent disease concerns which would complicate treatment and make it less likely to be successful.

This disease in particular is one that we, and many shelters are trying to overcome.  Most recently, in 2010 the Dane County Humane Society in Madison, Wisconsin opened a 2,000 square foot, $400,000 ringworm treatment facility.  Until that time, they had a treatment program that was very similar to our own and relied in large part on foster families. http://www.maddiesfund.org/Resource_Library/Beating_Ringworm_in_Shelter_Cats.html We are hopeful that someday this community will support a similar construction project.

Is there a document with everything laid out about the Greenhill LCAS issue?

I know that the City of Eugene is working on a FAQ document regarding the transition and we are working on that with them.  I do not know if Lane County is working on something similar at this time.

June 29, 2012 03:32 PM

The Whimmers tried awfully hard to get a photo in before our Calendar deadline. Didn't make it, but the picture's cool, so on the blog we go!

(Hey local bands, send pics! We LIKE using cool, high res photos of you in the paper, send them to music@eugeneweekly.com)

The Whimmers: Friday June 29th. 10 pm at Luckey's. Over 21. 5 dollars at the door with special guests Stiff Peaks.

June 27, 2012 02:57 PM

This just in from Congressman Peter DeFazio's office as Lane County Jail reports it's releasing inmates due to budget cuts:

 

 

NEWS

FROM U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

PETER DeFAZIO

Fourth Congressional District, Oregon                                                                    June 27, 2012

Contact: Jen Gilbreath—(202) 225-6416                                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

*VIDEO AVAILABLE*

DEFAZIO ANNOUNCES ONE-YEAR EXTENSION OF COUNTY PAYMENTS

Provides rural Oregon counties with needed breathing room

 WASHINGTON, DC –Today, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced that a temporary one-year extension of vital Secure Rural Schools Payments will be included in a final surface transportation conference bill. DeFazio has been involved in the joint House-Senate negotiations over a two-year surface transportation bill and successfully fought to include the temporary extension of county payments for Oregon counties.

“Recent county budget cuts have forced painful layoffs, eliminated jail beds releasing inmates early, and limited county sheriff’s ability to respond to rural emergencies. This temporary extension will provide much needed breathing room for forested communities in Oregon that are quickly approaching financial disaster.

“Ultimately our counties and rural communities need a long term solution – and this extension gives us the time we need to pass comprehensive federal legislation.  I have proposed a bipartisan agreement with Rep. Walden and Rep. Schrader that can break us out of the decades-long logjam on federal forest policy, put Oregonians back to work, improve forest health, and disentangle the health of rural counties from unpredictable federal support payments. We will continue to work with the House Resources Committee to move this long-term solution for Oregon forested communities,” DeFazio said.

The one-year extension designates just under $100 million for schools, roads, and law enforcement in failing rural counties in Oregon for the next fiscal year. 

BACKGROUND

In March, the Senate attached a one-year extension of Secure Rural Schools funding for forested counties nationwide to its two-year transportation bill (S 1813), Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).  On April 18th, the House passed the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II (H.R. 4348).  This 90-day extension of the surface transportation programs through September 30, 2012, is the legislative vehicle the House used to conference with the Senate.  

Last fall, DeFazio, Walden, and Schrader worked with stakeholders to reach a bipartisan agreement on a long-term plan for the O&C counties. Since then, they’ve been working with the House Resources Committee to integrate the provisions of their proposal into larger committee legislation. Currently, House Resources is working out the details of the larger bill. A discussion draft was posted to the member’s websites in February where constituents can send feedback and suggest changes to the draft.

See DeFazio video statement pt 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZP30cysmCY

DeFazio video statement pt 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hrc6lEjFBk