Springfield City Councilor Dave Ralston, who caused controversy in 2006 when he made comments about Hispanic people trying to take over the U.S. Southwest and again in 2011 when he said ignorant things about Centro LatinoAmericano, was arrested around 2:30 am Sunday, Feb. 10, and charged with DUII for driving under the influence of alcohol and another unidentified substance.
Ralston told the RG that his blood-alcohol content was "well under" the legal limit, and he accused the Springfield police of entrapment for following him out of the Whiskey River Ranch parking lot. Ralston has served as the Springfield City Council's Ward 4 councilor since 2000.
Despite extensive objections from Oregon's vegetable seed growers who fear canola, aka rapeseed, will contaminate their crops, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has approved "some canola production in the Willamette Valley." The press release is below.
ODA adopts Willamette Valley canola control area rule
February 7, 2013... The Oregon Department of Agriculture has adopted an administrative rule that allows for some canola production in the Willamette Valley while continuing to protect specialty seed crop production. Under the rule, a majority of specialty seed production remains in a rapeseed exclusion zone in which canola is not allowed to be grown.
“Following the extensive amount of public comments received, we have made modifications to what was proposed in order to give greater assurance that our specialty seed growers in the Willamette Valley are not harmed by canola production,” says ODA Director Katy Coba. “At the same time, we feel it’s important to give some producers an opportunity to grow canola under the restrictions and safeguards put in place by this rule.”
The administrative rule establishes the Willamette Valley protected district, which includes portions of Lane, Linn, Benton, Marion, Polk, Clackamas, Yamhill, Washington, Multnomah, and Columbia counties. The protected district will have two zones. The first is a fully protected zone of more than 1.9 million acres that prohibits the growing of canola and contains the highest concentration of specialty seed growers in the valley. The second zone of about 1.7 million acres, located outside the exclusion zone, allows the growing of canola but production is limited to a maximum annual total of 2,500 acres. Producers desiring to grow canola are required to apply for a contract with ODA that contains specific requirements for managing the crop. The rule also establishes a minimum field size of 25 acres for canola.
In general, ODA’s rule limits how much canola can be grown in the Willamette Valley, where it can be grown, and requires significant management practices for production by controlling inadvertent spread of canola seed. It is important to note that the cap of 2,500 acres is a small fraction– just 0.13 percent– of the approximately 1.9 million acres of farmable land in the valley.
The rule and its new boundaries go into effect immediately. ODA will award contracts for canola planting by September 1 of each year for requests received before July 15. Each contract will describe the responsibilities and obligations of the producer.
Four and half year old Fela Colbert has gone missing, and her father, Steve, is desperately trying to find out what happened. Colbert says when he went to pick Fela up from her mother, Deanna Lane, at the end of January at their weekly exchange location — the Eugene downtown public library — neither Fela nor her mother was there.
Colbert says the fact that Fela's mother has custody has made it difficult for him to get help from law enforcement in tracking his daughter down. He says he is worried not just about his daughter, but about Lane. When he went to their house to find them, he says the landlord told him Lane had walked away with just a suitcase and left all her other belongings behind. She told the landlord she was moving because she felt threatened. Colbert says it's not just that his daughter is missing, with her mother gone too, it's a "missing persons problem."
"It's a child, " he says, "If there's a 4 1/2-year-old girl missing, you do everything you can to find her." And he says under the agreements made through the courts, Lane is supposed to give 30 days notice if she moves, and Colbert the same, "even if you are just moving into the house next door."
The Lane County Cultural Coalition will host Eugene-Springfield metro area grant-writing workshops for their Cultural Opportunity Grants. A workshop is offered at 10:30 am Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Florence Library. The workshops are done in a small, roundtable formats and cater to individual artists. However, non-profits and for-profit organizations can also apply for these grants, ranging from $500 to $2,500, that "support access, awareness and education for programs and projects related to arts, heritage and humanities."
Grant applications are due by 5 pm Monday, April 15. For grant guidelines, applications and workshop updates, visit laneculture.net.
Need a free social and creative outlet? Every First Wednesday, Corvallis’ Majestic Theatre hosts “Drink & Draw,” a social drawing night with cheap drinks and snacks. The Drawing Board, a local art supply shop, will provide art supplies. Guests are welcome to bring their own art supplies as well. Who knows, a drink may be the only thing standing between you and your next masterpiece. It worked for Toulouse Lautrec. Remember, friends do let friends drink and draw – just make sure friends also have a safe ride home.
“Drink & Draw” nights go 7:30 to 10:30 pm at the Majestic Theatre, 115 SW 2nd St., Corvallis.
"He's like you know what, I've come to realize I'm Jesus Christ and I can do anything I want to."
"I grabbed the hatchet and I was like smash, smash, SMASH."
The PG&E worker is going to be ok; he has a broken leg. The driver is in jail, charged with attempted murder. Not sure where the hitchhiker wound up, but if he makes his way to Eugene (chances are good) then I say someone should buy him a drink.
Local artist Mark Rogers has an uncanny way of painting the mundane in a fantastical and macabre light. His show The New Ending opens tonight at Jameson's tonight - part of the First Friday ArtWalk. Check out EW's Feb. 7 issue for an artist profile.
One hell of a concert is slated for the Matt Knight Arena March 4. Headlining is Passion Pit, the indie-rock band whose album Gossamer was on many-a-top-ten list for 2012. Then there's Matt and Kim whose single "Daylight" was one of the songs of the summer in 2009. They also released Lightening in 2012. But there's one more gem on the bill: the the punchy, intoxicatingly fun Icona Pop. The DJ and synthpop duo hails from Sweden and their song "I Love It" was just featured in the Jan. 27 Girls episode "Bad Friend."
The recent fights over access to downtown Eugene's traditional public forums — the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza and the federal building plaza — are headed for the courts to debate the constitutionality of telling protesters that their free speech is limited to certain hours of the day. Tuesday marked a skirmish in the battle as activist Alley Valkyrie again tested the bounds of the exclusion order put on her by County Administrator Liane Richardson and County Counsel Stephen Dingle that is intended to keep her out of county buildings after she was charged (not convicted) of trespass for staying in the Free Speech Plaza after it was closed.
Mayor Kitty Piercy has told Valkyrie and county staff that Valkyrie can come to city meetings, but in emails back and forth with Valkyrie, Dingle has maintained that she will be arrested if she enters the building without written permission and an escort. In an email written after Valkyrie attended a "name-clearing hearing" for former county attorney Marc Kardell, Dingle wrote:
I want to make sure that you understand that your presence at the Marc Kardell name clearing hearing did not result in your arrest for trespass because of a miscommunication. Specifically, I want to make sure that you understand this is not a waiver of the previously imposed exclusion order. I have now had the opportunity to check with the City of Eugene regarding the assertions you made in your last email and I learned nothing that would change the County’s position. If you are present in the Public Service Building or Harris Hall for County functions without specific written permission from either the County Administrative Officer or County Counsel you will be subject to arrest.
Lane County does not have the resources to provide an escort. You may continue to enter the PSB or Harris Hall for city-related business as outlined in my earlier email.
In a return email, Valkyrie pointed out the irony of the county not having the resources for an escort while at the same time proposing giving Dingle a "huge" raise (the proposd 14 percent raise that has been declined for now would have taken Dingle's salary from $145,995 to $166,400).
On Jan. 29, Valkyrie attended a County Commission meeting to give public comment.
Filmed by Joe Tyndall, edited by Dustin Ross
After the public comment period ends, commissioners can respond to the commenters. Commissioner Faye Stewart responded to a constiuent who had concerns over a flooded roadway and to Dexter resident Pam Driscoll who discussed mining at Parvin Butte, the firing of Kardell, and concerns about the county's participation in the Association of O&C Counties and its recent problematic use of "executive session." Commissioner Pat Farr commented briefly on the the AOCC issue.
Commissioner Pete Sorenson addressed Valkyrie's remarks and said that "Every government in our country has a responsibility to allow people who want to peaceably assemble and speak to do that" and that it was a protected right under the state and federal constitutions. He said it was important for elected officials to respect the right of people to speak out.
Commissioner Jay Bozievich told Valkyrie, "We did recognize who you were and allowed you to stay and speak because we don't want to limit your rights," adding, " That is not the intent of the order." Then he gave the example of the state Legislature and said, "There are time, place, manner, restrictions to some free speech to allow goverment functions to continue," and said Valkyrie can address the board when she wishes to in the future.
To see the full remarks go here and click on the Jan. 29 HACSA meeting.
A salary of $175,656 for embattled County Administrator Liane Richardson and $166,400 for County Counsel-to-be Stephen Dingle (his contract has not been voted on). Those are the salaries on the table for Richardson and Dingle if proposed raises go through, according to The Register-Guard in a story Jan. 24. Materials related to the upcoming votes are available here on the county's website.
That's about $40,000 in raises at a time when the county is strapped for cash, irate readers point out on the R-G's page and in Letters to the Editor EW is already receiving. Ironically the Lane County Board of Commissioner's vote on the raise is the same day as a public hearing on a possible public safety tax, according to the agenda.
Those interested in making comments to the county, either about the proposed raises or about the public safety proposal should attend the County Commissioners' meeting during the 1:30 pm public comment period and the 5:30 pm public safety hearing, also on Tuesday Jan. 29, at Harris Hall. For more details, see the agenda. No idea if the commission is interested in more creative cookie-baking.