What's happening with the Courthouse Garden property? Just added today to the Eugene City Council work session agenda for noon Wednesday, Oct. 31, is a an "Urban Renewal Agency Work Session: Disposition of Real Property," and we hear from a city planner that's it's about the Courthouse Garden site. We have not been able to confirm whether or not Northwest Community Credit Union will be asking for a waiver of system development charges on what could be a $10 million project. NCCU wants to buy the 1.8 acres for a new headquarters building and bank. The council meets at the Eugene Public Library downtown.
The Seattle jazz group Hardcoretet will be performing at 7 pm Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Jazz Station, 124 W. Broadway. $7 cover, all ages.
Regarding last night’s presidential candidates debate, Daphne Wysham, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, said today: "The Arctic is melting to record lows, extreme weather is increasing, grain reserves are at record lows threatening millions with hunger should there be another bad grain harvest next year, but there was NO mention of climate change in the presidential debates. It was just who could shout 'drill, baby, drill!' the loudest, with President Obama throwing in a token reference to solar and wind.
"On the surface, the candidates appear to hold different positions on climate change: Obama has insisted that 'climate change is not a hoax,' while Romney has mocked the president’s promises 'to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.' Yet both candidates have made clear — either in coded language or in outright support — that they will allow the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from Canada to the U.S. to proceed with little impediment, ignoring warnings from NASA’s top climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, that if the Canadian tar sands are fully exploited, 'it is game over for Earth’s climate.'"
See "Six Global Issues The Foreign Policy Debates Won't Touch,” at http://wkly.ws/1de
This evening after the presidential debates, Ramon Ramirez of PCUN, Oregon's Farmworker Union, will speak on the topic of “Worker Justice and Wage Theft in Oregon.”
Ramirez will speak at a free bilingual event from 7:30 to 9 pm Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Temple Beth Israel, corner of University Street and East 29th Avenue in Eugene.
Event sponsors are Temple Beth Israel, Beyond Toxics, ESSN, Lane County Immigration Integration Network, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics and the UO Labor Education Research Center.
Ramirez is the president of PCUN and “struggled alongside Cesar Chavez in the California grape strikes of the 1960s and 1970s,” say organizers. “He has a deep history in the workers justice movement in the Pacific Northwest.”
The event notice email goes on to say:
“The ethics of social justice, cooperation and human dignity form the framework for learning about the widespread and illegal practice of not paying workers for their work. Oregonians are coming together to call for fair and sustainable agriculture policies.
“Wage theft is the widespread and illegal practice of refusing to pay workers for all or part of their work. Wage theft happens with employers pay less than the minimum wage, don't pay overtime, steal tips, require employees to work ‘off the clock,’ or fail to pay at all.
“In a recent five-year period, over 8,000 wage claims were filed with Oregon's state labor bureau, totaling $24.5 million. This represents only a fraction of the actual incidents of wage theft —thousands more go unreported. In a national study, two-thirds of low-wage workers reported having been victims of wage theft in the last week!
“This widespread problem often flies under the radar — but has a huge impact on the workers who don't get paid, as well as on other workers whose standards are undermined, honest employers who have to compete with scofflaws, communities robbed of local spending, and taxpayers who have to make up for the taxes that can't be collected on unpaid wages.”
Hundreds of patients who rely on medical marijuana, and their supporters, will hold rallies today (Sept. 20) at Obama campaign offices and elsewhere in at least 15 cities in eight states across the country. In Eugene the rally will be at noon in front of the U.S. Courthouse at 405 E. 8th Ave.
The rallies are “an effort to draw attention to the Obama administration's aggressive efforts to shut down legal medical marijuana grow sites and dispensaries, obstructing the passage of laws that would regulate such activity,” according to organizers who include Jim Greig locally. A rally is planned today at the nation's Capitol, and demonstrations organized by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) are planned in the Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.
Greig can be contacted by phone at 654-0011.
Former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury has officially endorsed Measure 80 on the November ballot that would replace Oregon’s system of marijuana prohibition with a taxation-and-regulation model that would allow adults 21 and older to purchase cannabis at state-licensed stores only.
"Our nation’s war on drugs has really been, for decades now, a war on Americans of color and our poorest, most vulnerable citizens, and the ban on agricultural hemp has been the collateral damage," says Bradbury in a press release Sept. 19 from Roy Kaufmann at Yes on 80.
Bradbury served 14 years in the Oregon Legislature before serving two terms as Oregon’s secretary of state. "I urge my fellow Oregonians to vote yes on Measure 80, which is an historic opportunity to show our fellow Americans a way to end the failed drug war, begin a new, sensible approach to marijuana, and restore hemp to our farmers and hi-tech entrepreneurs for biofuel, textiles, and advanced manufacturing,” he says.
Oregon is already among the nation’s biggest importers of hemp. But, under the current set of marijuana and hemp laws, hemp-product companies in Oregon are forced to import their raw hemp oil and fiber from countries like China, which makes those Oregon-made products less cost-competitive, says Kaufmann. Measure 80 would allow Oregon farmers to grow hemp to be sold to Oregon’s hemp food, biofuel, and textile companies, which would keep money in our economy and create many living-wage jobs around the state.
“When we repeal marijuana prohibition, we remove the number one barrier to re-introducing agricultural hemp into our sustainable economy,” says Yes on 80 chief petitioner Paul Stanford. “With one simple act of voting yes on 80, Oregon voters can end the drug war, regulate marijuana responsibly, and restore hemp for farmers and small business.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: Looks like there have been some delays. He is expected to hold a press conference at 9 am Wednesday at the Lane County Elections Office, 275 W. 10th Ave. in Eugene. Not sure about his Corvallis plans at this point. Call (916) 320-6430 for updates.
Seth Woolley of Portland is in Newport today and will be making a Corvallis stop in his statewide campaign bike tour at about noon Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the Pacific Green Party’s campaign office at SE 3rd St. and Bridgeway Avenue. The public is invited to attend.
Woolley, the Pacific Green Party's candidate for secretary of state, is intending to visit every county in Oregon to meet with voters, elected officials, and the press in the course of the 30-day journey. He expects his trip from Newport to take about four hours.
Woolley is campaigning on a platform that seeks to promote healthier native forests, real election reform, and better, transparent auditing.