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July 11, 2012 10:56 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 08:43 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 9, 2012 11:36 AM

PCRM reports that new, reportedly healthy kids meals that fast food joints are rolling out are just ... not so healthy.

Click through to see the other worst offenders.

July 9, 2012 02:04 PM

Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson is holding a town hall meeting this week to discuss Lane County’s future and the tough issue of taxes. The meeting will run from 6:30 to 8 pm Tuesday, July 10, at Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave. in Eugene. 

 

Sorenson has asked a panel of speakers to address issues related to Lane County and taxation: Anette Spickard, Lane County tax assessor; Jason Gettel, policy analyst for the Oregon Center for Public Policy; and Dave Rosenfeld, executive director of the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG).

 

Sorenson says Gettel and Rosenfeld “will be talking about Oregon’s income tax system and how it can be improved and made more fair.”

 

Sorenson can be reached at Pete.Sorenson@co.lane.or.us or call  606-9173.

July 9, 2012 03:11 PM

Jim Evangelista is organizing an ambitious event in the Whiteaker Tuesday, July 10, and needs some help.

July 6, 2012 02:28 PM


 Supporters and organizers of Initiative 9, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA), submitted 165,000 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office this morning, and more signatures are expected to be turned in later today, the deadline for initiatives to qualify for Oregon’s November ballot.

 

“With nearly double the signatures needed, we’re confident we’ll qualify for the ballot and we’re excited to start reaching out to common-sense Oregon voters across the state,” says chief petitioner Paul Stanford in a press release.

 

The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act would regulate cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older, with sales through state-licensed stores only and 90 percent of the tax revenue would go to the state’s general fund. The measure would also approve and help kick-start an agricultural hemp industry in Oregon, say supporters.

 

“Taxing and regulating cannabis and agricultural hemp will create thousands of Oregon jobs, from agricultural jobs in hard-hit rural counties to manufacturing and engineering jobs in big cities and small towns. With countless applications in fiber, medicine, biofuel, food and consumer health products, hemp is a natural fit for Oregon world-leading sustainability economy,” reads the press release.

 

“A regulated hemp and marijuana industry in Oregon is about jobs, it’s about economic development,” says Jeff Anderson of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555, which recently endorsed the Cannabis Tax Act. “We need to stop wasting time and allow Oregon’s entrepreneurs to create living-wage jobs. The time is now.”

July 6, 2012 12:11 PM

The EPD  has started to release its exclusion zone requests to the media as they occur, and we're compiling them on the blog for those interested. This is the second we've received.

 

Around 9:00 p.m. on June 29, a police sergeant was bicycling through the park blocks when he noticed a subject smoking marijuana. The suspect, when contacted by the sergeant provided a name that officers later learned was false. The subject was arrested for violation of City of Eugene park rules (possession of less than an ounce of marijuana) and placed in the county jail.  Jail personnel learned his true identity and found that warrants had been issued for his arrest for Possession of Less than an Ounce of Marijuana, and Delivery of Marijuana within 1000 Feet of a School.  The subject was also in possession of a syringe and exhibited symptoms of recent heroin use.

The subject has an extensive local record that includes arrests and citations for possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, criminal trespass, consumption of alcohol on unlicensed premises, Failure to Appear, unlawful delivery of marijuana to a juvenile, theft, harassment and disorderly conduct. He is a white male, age 26, no address.

July 6, 2012 02:53 PM

And we've got another one. Exclusion case summary requests that EPD released before this are here and here.

 

 

The evening of June 14 a visitor from Washington State was walking through the Park Blocks with his two daughters when he witnessed an unprovoked assault and reported it to police.  The defendant, a 29 year old man who is 6’8” tall and who weighs 270 pounds, was sitting on a park bench while another adult man walked into the area of the park.  The defendant yelled and cursed at the second man who did not respond but continued walking.  The visitor watched as the defendant stood and attacked the second subject.  The defendant knocked the victim to the ground, punching and kicking him as he fell.  The victim fled and could not be located by responding officers.

Officers spoke with witnesses and identified the defendant who officers learned was in the park in violation of a park exclusion.

The defendant has previous arrests for Criminal Trespass, Theft, Menacing and Violation of Park Rules.

The subject has been arrested a number of times in Eugene.  He is a white male, age 29, no residential address.

July 5, 2012 09:24 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 3, 2012 11:43 AM

The Institute for Public Accuracy, which is in part based in Eugene with David Zupan, sent out quotes from climate change experts today under the heading,  "Media Miss the Forest for the Burning Trees."

 

Neil deMause is a Brooklyn-based journalist who has written extensively about climate change coverage, including the article "The Fires This Time: In coverage of extreme weather, media downplay climate change." See http://wkly.ws/1bg

 

deMause said today: "Despite overwhelming evidence that climate change is causing dramatic changes in weather patterns — from increasingly deadly heat waves and wildfires to hurricanes and tornadoes — media coverage has bent over backwards to avoid making the connection between extreme weather events and the warming climate. Instead, reporters have largely hidden behind the truism that there's no way to say that any given event was caused by climate change. Yes, in the same way that it's hard to show that any given person wouldn't have gotten cancer without smoking cigarettes -- but that doesn't mean that journalists should avoid reporting that smoking kills."

 

Joe Romm is a senior fellow at American Progress, edits Climate Progress and holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT. He recently wrote the piece "Hell And High Water Strikes, Media Miss the Forest for the Burning Trees." See http://wkly.ws/1bf

 

Romm said today: "It is a basic conclusion of climate science that as the average temperature gets warmer, heat waves — which are extremes on top of the average — will get more intense. For the same reason, heat waves will last longer and cover a larger region. Recent research further links Arctic warming, and especially the loss of Arctic ice, to more extreme, prolonged weather events 'such as drought, flooding, cold spells and heat waves.'

 

   "Since droughts are made more intense by higher temperatures, which dry out the soil, and by earlier snowmelt, more intense droughts have long been predicted to occur as the planet warms. Since wildfires are worsened by drought and heat waves and earlier snowmelt, longer wildfire seasons and more intense firestorms has been another basic prediction.

 

   "We also know that as we warm the oceans, we end up with more water vapor in the atmosphere — 4 percent more than was in the atmosphere just a few decades ago. That is why another basic prediction of climate science has been more intense deluges and floods.

 

   "Scientists have already begun to document stronger heatwaves, worsening drought, longer widlfire seasons, and more intense downpours. Global warming has 'juiced' the climate, as if it were on steroids. The question is not whether you can blame a specific weather event on global warming. As Dr. Kevin Trenberth, former head of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research told the New York Times, 'It’s not the right question to ask if this storm or that storm is due to global warming, or is it natural variability. Nowadays, there’s always an element of both.'"

July 3, 2012 01:02 PM

July 3, 2012 02:36 PM

Juan Carlos Valle, candidate seeking to unseat Betty Taylor on the Eugene City Council in a November run-off, announced at noon today his support for the West Eugene EmX bus rapid transit system extension.

 

The announcement follows a request from EW June 29 asking both candidates to outline their reasons for supporting or not supporting the EmX extension. Councilor Taylor, who represents Ward 2, has yet to announce how she intends to vote when the issue comes before this council this fall or winter, but she is rumored to be leaning toward a “yes” vote.

 

“Our community has had a need for a robust and comprehensive Transportation Plan and vision,” Valle said today. “We need to consider what we need now and what we will need 20 years from now. … I support the inititative of the EmX as it can be a great step in the right direction.”

 

Valle went on to say EmX is a “necessary component of the vision we need to have for our families and our community and I encourage the leaders from all sectors to support this vision.”

July 2, 2012 06:21 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