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News Briefs

March 27, 2014 01:00 AM

Policies currently in place in Lane County would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks only 3 percent by 2035 — 17 percent less than the state goal of 20 percent — according to an evaluation completed in February by the Central Lane Scenario Planning Team.

March 27, 2014 01:00 AM

The city of Eugene has more than 43 miles of alleys threaded between homes and businesses; some are paved, some gravel and some are grassy and overgrown. Where some people might see dreary and even dangerous passageways, Jeff Luers and the Eugene Green Alley Project see a chance to turn Eugene’s often potholed back alleys into environmental, walkable and even wildlife-friendly corridors. On March 31 you can “rally for the alley” at a Ninkasi Pints for a Cause fundraiser. 

March 27, 2014 01:00 AM

Step aside, Keystone XL pipeline: Oregon is advancing toward acquiring a new fossil fuel pipeline of its own, after the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Coos Bay received a conditional export license from the U.S. Department of Energy on March 24. 

March 20, 2014 01:00 AM

Joe Walacki and Borden Beck will speak and show slides on “High Desert Wildlands” at the meeting of the Many Rivers Group of the Sierra Club from 5:30 to 7 pm Thursday, March 20, at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St. The club is currently working to protect the Owyhee Canyonlands and other endangered desert areas.

March 20, 2014 01:00 AM

Oregon has its fair share of invasive species, such as nutria brought into the state for fur in the 1880s, and red-eared sliders, turtles that compete with our native western pond and painted turtles. Moving species from one place to another can wreak havoc on native ecosystems, but as climate change pushes species to extinction, conservationists have posed the idea of assisted migration, moving a species from its native range to a better-suited territory that more closely matches its ideal climate. 

March 20, 2014 01:00 AM

Core Campus is planning to open its 512-bed, 183-unit student luxury housing project in August 2015, but will “The Hub” at 515 E. Broadway be able to compete with the glut of cheaper student housing already being built, particularly at a time when college enrollment is dropping? At other Core projects, monthly rent for studios runs about $1,000 and five-bedroom apartments go for about $3,000. Penthouse units and those with their own hot tubs are more.

March 20, 2014 01:00 AM

The Eugene Police Auditor’s office received 400 complaints last year — the most the office has received since it opened. Police Auditor Mark Gissiner attributes the rise partially to low capacity at Lane County Jail and the District Attorney’s office no longer pursuing certain cases, including drug charges.

“So some people feel because it’s not pursued, there’s no evidence and therefore they have a point that the officer did not have probable cause,” Gissiner says.

March 20, 2014 01:00 AM

Chelsea Gerlach was sent to prison in 2007 for her participation in ecologically motivated sabotage with the Earth Liberation Front. Gerlach is now out of prison and on probation, and she is returning to Eugene to guest DJ “Chance to Dance,” an ecstatic dance at the WOW Hall March 22 that will raise money for Gerlach’s 3-year-old nephew Malachi, who has cerebral palsy.

March 20, 2014 01:00 AM

Last weekend a cougar was shot in the head and killed in Eugene after being captured and put in a cage. The 2-year-old cougar killed three chickens and two goats named Justin Timberlake and Rufio near Hendricks Park, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. ODFW reports that another young male cougar was trapped and killed March 17 and a trap has been set for a third cougar. These latest cougar captures mark the trend of increased cougar killings in Oregon, says Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense.

March 20, 2014 01:00 AM

• Giustina Land and Timber Co., 345-2301, plans to hire Western Helicopter Services Inc., (503) 538-9469, to aerially spray herbicides including Atrazine, 2,4-D, Clopyralid, Hexazinone, Sulfometuron Methyl and Triclpopyr Amine on 69 acres near tributaries of South Fork Ferguson Creek, Owens Creek and the Long Tom River. See ODF notice 2014-781-00273, call State Forester Robin L. Biesecker at 935-2283 with questions.

March 20, 2014 01:00 AM

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a penalty of $7,608 against Michael Brown of Oakland, Ore., on March 4 for sewage-related violations at Saginaw Mobile Home Park north of Cottage Grove. DEQ has expressed “particular concern” due to Brown’s “prior history of discharging partially treated sewage onto the ground” and noted that the treatment system at this site “may be causing harm to public health or the environment.” DEQ sent Brown a “warning letter with opportunity to correct” back in November following a DEQ visit to the site in late October.

March 20, 2014 01:00 AM

Representatives from Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer rights advocacy group, held a March 2 panel at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. The pair of presenters focused on the history of big money in politics and the potential of even more dollars being spent to stop the climate change movement. 

March 20, 2014 01:00 AM

In Afghanistan

• 2,312 U.S. troops killed (2,310 last month)

• 19,673 U.S. troops wounded in action (19,656)

• 1,481 U.S. contractors killed (1,481)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $703.2 billion cost of war ($699.1 billion)

• $290.8 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($289 million)

 

In Iraq

• 4,423 U.S. troops killed, 31,941 wounded

• 1,605 U.S. contractors killed (1,605)

• 135,459 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (134,734)

March 13, 2014 01:00 AM

Last week in this column we wrote about a late-night flight coming into Eugene Feb. 23 that was diverted to Portland. It took a few tries before we found someone to talk to at the Eugene Airport, but it appears we talked to a fellow who was ill-informed. The flight did not arrive after midnight so the tower was still open, there actually was a malfunction of the Automated Surface Observing System at the airport. ASOS is owned and operated by the Federal Aviation Administration, not the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

March 13, 2014 01:00 AM

Though speculating on water is illegal, WaterWatch of Oregon says Willamette Water Company was looking to do just that back in 2008 when it applied for a permit to withdraw 22 million gallons per day from the McKenzie River. On March 7, the Oregon Water Resources Department (WRD) issued a final order denying the Willamette Water Co.’s controversial application to control a large amount of the McKenzie’s water.

March 13, 2014 01:00 AM

The Alder Street Advocates neighborhood group is planning a transportation-themed mural to be painted on the street surface of Alder Street between 19th and 24th avenues. The design and painting of the mural will happen through the collaborative efforts of people who live in the neighborhood. 

Grant applicant Allen Hancock says the applicants have gone door to door and found 50 people who are interested in participating. “Not only because they want to create some art and make the street beautiful, but because they want to meet their neighbors,” he says.

March 13, 2014 01:00 AM

Under Oregon law a nuclear power plant can’t be constructed in this state until there is a safe, permanent way to deal with nuclear waste, and even then, citizens reserve the right to vote on whether a plant can be built, according to Chuck Johnson of Oregon and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. While Oregon does not have a commercial nuclear reactor, Johnson is concerned with the Columbia Generating Station (CGS), a Washington nuclear power plant just across the Columbia River from Oregon.

March 13, 2014 01:00 AM

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently sent PeaceHealth a warning letter for hazardous waste law violations discovered by DEQ during an unannounced inspection last month at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield. The facility is classified as a “small quantity generator” of hazardous waste because it generates between 220 and 2,000 pounds of hazardous waste per month.

March 13, 2014 01:00 AM

The Eugene Police Department’s Civilian Review Board (CRB) has reviewed two cases that were filed with the Eugene Police Auditor’s office in the past nine months regarding allegations of officers unlawfully frisking African-American women. 

On Feb. 11 the CRB discussed a case in which a male officer patted down a female while her car was being impounded for not having insurance. Police Auditor Mark Gissiner says pat-down searches can only be performed if the officer has reasonable suspicion that the person is armed and dangerous or if he or she is being taken into custody.

March 12, 2014 10:15 PM

A “Hunger Banquet” educational fundraiser is planned for 6 to 8 pm Thursday, March 13, at Unitarian Universalist Church at 13th and Chambers. Sponsored by OSPIRG, ShelterCare and others. All donations will go to the Rainy Day Food Pantry at LCC. Call Zack Wright of OSPIRG at 255-5364.

March 6, 2014 01:00 AM

• The Eugene Budget Committee is meeting three times in March at Harris Hall in the Lane County Service Building. The second meeting will be at 5:30 pm Thursday, March 6, and the third will be at 6 pm Tuesday, March 11. The meetings follow the city manager’s recommendations for balancing the FY 2015 General Fund that were presented to the Budget Committee Feb. 26. Additional meetings will be planned for April. See eugene-or.gov/budget.

March 6, 2014 01:00 AM

We heard a late-night flight coming into Eugene Sunday, Feb. 23, was unable to land and was diverted to Portland. Grumpy Eugene passengers had to rent cars and make the early morning drive home. The pilot told passengers that he was unable to get ground wind speed information from the Eugene tower and so he could not land. What happened? We checked with Eugene Airport officials and learned that all pilots have discretion when it comes to safety and it appears some malfunction occured with the FAA equipment, which was quickly repaired. 

March 6, 2014 01:00 AM

Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz has recommended cutting $250,000 from Human Services discretionary funding as part of balancing the city budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1. These cuts would manifest as “reductions in support to local nonprofit agencies such as Looking Glass, St. Vincent de Paul, Womenspace, Lane ShelterCare and a myriad of others,” according to Human Services Commission (HSC) Chair Pat Farr.

March 6, 2014 01:00 AM

Just as LGBTQ activists are celebrating Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s decision to not defend Oregon’s gay marriage ban and celebrating Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of that state’s anti-gay discrimination bill, along comes the reminder that the Oregon Family Council wants to throw a little cold water on the gey celebration.

More precisely, OFC is the primary sponsor of an initiative that wants to dampen any future gay weddings in Oregon by allowing businesses to refuse “supporting same-sex ceremonies in violation of deeply held religious beliefs.”