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News Briefs

April 13, 2017 01:00 AM

To those who feared for their safety while passing those napping pit bulls on the sidewalks of downtown Eugene, fear no more: Dogs have been banned downtown.

The ordinance that many decry as an effort to force homeless people out of the area and that a lawyer argues raises “constitutional issues” over disparate treatment went into effect Monday, April 10. 

To those who feared for their safety while passing those napping pit bulls on the sidewalks of downtown Eugene, fear no more: Dogs have been banned downtown.

The ordinance that many decry as an effort to force homeless people out of the area and that a lawyer argues raises “constitutional issues” over disparate treatment went into effect Monday, April 10. 

For the next six months, having a dog in the area between Eighth and 11th avenues and Oak and Lincoln streets could result in a $100 fine.

April 13, 2017 01:00 AM

Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and federal civil rights laws, American women earn on average approximately 80 cents on the dollar compared to men — the gap widens for African American women who earn 63 cents and Hispanic women who earn 54 cents, according to a U.S. Senate news release. 

Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and federal civil rights laws, American women earn on average approximately 80 cents on the dollar compared to men — the gap widens for African American women who earn 63 cents and Hispanic women who earn 54 cents, according to a U.S. Senate news release. 

New legislation introduced in both Congress and in the Oregon Legislature aims to close loopholes, bolstering current laws, and would introduce new protections for workers who take legal action against their employers. 

April 6, 2017 01:00 AM

Heron Mendez is nearly 70 years old. He thinks. He’s not sure. But what he does know is that he’s been boxing since he was 5 years old. And boxing is all that he knows.  

Heron Mendez is nearly 70 years old. He thinks. He’s not sure. But what he does know is that he’s been boxing since he was 5 years old. And boxing is all that he knows.  

Mendez was a professional boxer until, he says, a drunk driver took it away. That’s when he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Mendez, alongside Allen Seghetti, is head coach at the Mendez Boxing Club, located at 2140 Main Street, Springfield’s only boxing gym. 

April 6, 2017 01:00 AM

The Hult Center’s much-loved blackberry curtain says goodbye on April 8 in its last formal bow. After hanging in the Silva Concert Hall for 35 years, the hand-printed curtain, which depicts a cloudy Oregon sky over blackberry bushes, is due to be replaced because of wear and water damage.

The Hult Center’s much-loved blackberry curtain says goodbye on April 8 in its last formal bow. After hanging in the Silva Concert Hall for 35 years, the hand-printed curtain, which depicts a cloudy Oregon sky over blackberry bushes, is due to be replaced because of wear and water damage.

The city still doesn’t know what’s going to happen to the curtain after it’s taken down.

Sarah-Kate Sharkey, resource development and communications manager for the city of Eugene, said the curtain “is very much an institution at the Hult Center and a very beloved piece.” 

April 6, 2017 01:00 AM

In June 2007 Daniel McGowan was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role in two environmentally motivated arsons. The feds labeled him a terrorist for his part in the Earth Liberation Front’s eco-sabotage, and Judge Ann Aiken, who sentenced McGowan and his fellow participants in what the FBI called “Operation Backfire,” applied a “terrorism enhancement” to his sentence in a hearing at the federal courthouse in Eugene.  

In June 2007 Daniel McGowan was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role in two environmentally motivated arsons. The feds labeled him a terrorist for his part in the Earth Liberation Front’s eco-sabotage, and Judge Ann Aiken, who sentenced McGowan and his fellow participants in what the FBI called “Operation Backfire,” applied a “terrorism enhancement” to his sentence in a hearing at the federal courthouse in Eugene.  

April 6, 2017 01:00 AM

From Highway 99, the Oregon State Hospital’s Junction City campus looks like a grounded Boeing C-17. Located on the border of the city limits, the gray building stands alone at the end of a newly constructed road in the center of a field. 

From Highway 99, the Oregon State Hospital’s Junction City campus looks like a grounded Boeing C-17. Located on the border of the city limits, the gray building stands alone at the end of a newly constructed road in the center of a field. 

This local campus of the Oregon State Hospital opened in March 2015. It employs 357 people and has served 247 individuals, a population that cannot be treated by mental health services in the community.

April 1, 2017 01:00 AM

In an honest effort to address safety concerns and to spruce up downtown Eugene, a city center littered with empty buildings and unsightly student housing, Eugene City Council voted 6 to 2 to ban dogs from strolling along and occupying city blocks. The ban does not apply to dogs of the gentry with downtown addresses.

In an honest effort to address safety concerns and to spruce up downtown Eugene, a city center littered with empty buildings and unsightly student housing, Eugene City Council voted 6 to 2 to ban dogs from strolling along and occupying city blocks. The ban does not apply to dogs of the gentry with downtown addresses.

As six council members struggle to overcome the burden and hardship of complaints aired by their constituents, we offer useful suggestions to help them sleep more soundly at night: 

April 1, 2017 01:00 AM

Did it all start on November 8? Or was it January 20?

Whenever it happened, there have been gallons of tears flowing around town the last couple months. Here are some of the best places we know of to weep in public:

Did it all start on November 8? Or was it January 20?

Whenever it happened, there have been gallons of tears flowing around town the last couple months. Here are some of the best places we know of to weep in public:

 

April 1, 2017 01:00 AM

Physicists at the University of Oregon have discovered a small rip in the space-time continuum that may have resulted in a wormhole opening just above the stage of McDonald Theatre, a venerated music venue in Eugene.

 

Physicists at the University of Oregon have discovered a small rip in the space-time continuum that may have resulted in a wormhole opening just above the stage of McDonald Theatre, a venerated music venue in Eugene.

March 30, 2017 01:00 AM

A large calendar sits on Bonny McCornack’s dinner table. She looks at it, expecting a long process ahead for submitting a ballot measure to the city of Eugene. McCornack says she’s not sure whether the ballot title — to be written by the city attorney — will need to be appealed, which could hold off this measure’s appearance on a ballot or even force it to appear on a low-voter-turnout election. 

A large calendar sits on Bonny McCornack’s dinner table. She looks at it, expecting a long process ahead for submitting a ballot measure to the city of Eugene. McCornack says she’s not sure whether the ballot title — to be written by the city attorney — will need to be appealed, which could hold off this measure’s appearance on a ballot or even force it to appear on a low-voter-turnout election. 

She worries because this, she says, is a ballot measure the city of Eugene doesn’t want passed. 

March 30, 2017 01:00 AM

In the coming months, all eleven of Douglas County’s public libraries will close due to severe county budget shortfalls brought on by the loss of federal timber revenue.

In the coming months, all eleven of Douglas County’s public libraries will close due to severe county budget shortfalls brought on by the loss of federal timber revenue.

The county is facing a devastating budgetary crisis that will continue for the foreseeable future, with most non-vital services being cut. Even the sheriff’s department may face a cut of two-thirds.

The ten smaller libraries throughout the county will shut down operations April 1, and the Roseburg Library will close May 31.

March 30, 2017 01:00 AM

Beneath Eugene’s Washington Jefferson Bridge, a swath of park stretches from Sixth to First avenues. On a sunny March day, every pillar is occupied — some with tarps, blankets and shopping carts, and some with makeshift shelters constructed from clothing, towels and fabrics. Most people blanketed below these temporary refuges are asleep at 2 pm. 

Beneath Eugene’s Washington Jefferson Bridge, a swath of park stretches from Sixth to First avenues. On a sunny March day, every pillar is occupied — some with tarps, blankets and shopping carts, and some with makeshift shelters constructed from clothing, towels and fabrics. Most people blanketed below these temporary refuges are asleep at 2 pm. 

“No Camping” is spray-painted in block letters high above the ground on some pillars.

March 23, 2017 01:00 AM

Ten Douglas County library branches will close on April 1, and Roseburg’s main branch library will close May 31. Douglas County Commissioners have asked for specific input on governing source, funding streams and other library system operating issues. Public comment is needed on long-term solutions to the library system’s funding crisis. Whether you can or can’t attend the hearing, submit comments by email (commissioners@co.douglas.or.us leif@co.douglas.or.us) or snail mail (DC Commissioners, Courthouse, Room 217, 1036 S.E.

March 23, 2017 01:00 AM

• The growing popularity of tiny houses is leading Keith Schneider of Eugene’s Bohemian Cottages to expand from construction into all-day, do-it-yourself seminars locally and across the nation. Schneider and his crew have built or remodeled about 35 custom-crafted tiny dwellings over the past eight years, most 200 square feet or smaller.

March 23, 2017 01:00 AM

According to the city of Eugene, roughly 3,000 people in the community have no home to return to on any given night, and many others are on the brink of becoming homeless.

Yet for the past four years, the city has poured money, time and energy into designing a new City Hall that has yet to come to fruition, while the unhoused continue spending their nights on the streets.  

According to the city of Eugene, roughly 3,000 people in the community have no home to return to on any given night, and many others are on the brink of becoming homeless.

Yet for the past four years, the city has poured money, time and energy into designing a new City Hall that has yet to come to fruition, while the unhoused continue spending their nights on the streets.  

March 23, 2017 01:00 AM

Giustina Land & Timber Co, 541-345-2301, plans to hire Northwest Reforestation Services LLC, 541-520-6215, to ground spray 54.2 acres on three units south of Fox Hollow Road; 162.1 acres on three units near Camas Swale; 50.6 acres near Bennett Creek; and 5.1 acres near Jones Creek with clopyralid, sulfometuron methyl, atrazine, hexazinone, Forest Crop Oil and/or Crop Oil Concentrate. See ODF notifications 2017-781-02786 and 2017-781-02857, call Brian Peterson at 541-935-2283 with questions.

March 23, 2017 01:00 AM

Air quality concerns — after revelations about Portland’s glass factories — bee die-offs and longtime worries about the dangers of aerial sprays, are hopefully being addressed via bills introduced into Oregon’s Legislature this session. 

Air quality concerns — after revelations about Portland’s glass factories — bee die-offs and longtime worries about the dangers of aerial sprays, are hopefully being addressed via bills introduced into Oregon’s Legislature this session. 

Lisa Arkin of Eugene-based Beyond Toxics says House Bill 2669, the Community Toxics Reporting Act, would make it possible for cities and counties across Oregon to have programs similar to Eugene’s Toxics Right-to-Know law. The law lets Eugene collect and publicize data on air and water pollution.

March 23, 2017 01:00 AM

After nearly six months of discussion, Springfield will join dozens of cities nationwide, including Eugene, to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday of October. 

After nearly six months of discussion, Springfield will join dozens of cities nationwide, including Eugene, to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday of October. 

Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg issued a proclamation at the beginning of the March 20 City Council meeting to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The wording commits the city to protecting the dignity of all people who live and work in Springfield and aims to uphold the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. 

March 23, 2017 01:00 AM

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent VISCO, Inc., a warning letter on March 10 for Clean Water Act violations at its Awbrey Lane facility. DEQ inspected VISCO’s facility on Feb. 9 and observed that VISCO was failing to clean up sand blasting material, leaving it exposed to precipitation and therefore vulnerable to ending up in local waterways.

March 16, 2017 01:00 AM

House Bill 2921 would repeal Oregon’s sanctuary state law and mandate that Oregon law enforcement agencies assist in federal immigration enforcement. The bill would also prohibit cities and counties from establishing sanctuary protections. 

But Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican from Independence, who is one of the bill’s chief sponsors, says he doesn’t expect HB 2921 to receive a hearing, instead Nearing is working on a petition to make the repeal a ballot measure to put before the voters in 2018.

House Bill 2921 would repeal Oregon’s sanctuary state law and mandate that Oregon law enforcement agencies assist in federal immigration enforcement. The bill would also prohibit cities and counties from establishing sanctuary protections. 

March 16, 2017 01:00 AM

Join 350 Eugene Thursday, March 16, for a spring membership potluck and meet-up at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street. Bring food to share at 6 pm. At 7 pm the meet-up will include “campaign updates, work group news, action break outs, music and more,” according to organizer Betzi Hitz, as well as recruit people to help plan the April 29  “March for a Climate of Safety” in Eugene. Go to world.350.org/eugene for more info.

March 16, 2017 01:00 AM

Indivisible Eugene is playing defense against the Trump administration. The local chapter of a grassroots effort of politically active individuals looks to pressure Oregon’s political representatives in Congress to continue their opposition against the new president. 

Indivisible Eugene is playing defense against the Trump administration. The local chapter of a grassroots effort of politically active individuals looks to pressure Oregon’s political representatives in Congress to continue their opposition against the new president.