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News Briefs

July 7, 2016 12:00 AM

Oregon Department of Transportation is spraying roadsides. Call 503-986-3010 to talk with a vegetation management coordinator or call 1-888-996-8080 for recent herbicide application information. Hwy. 36 was recently sprayed.

July 7, 2016 12:00 AM

Roo Vandegrift studies fungi. He recently received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and, like hundreds of other scientists, he is in need of money to fund his research.

Roo Vandegrift studies fungi. He recently received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and, like hundreds of other scientists, he is in need of money to fund his research.

Scientists usually apply for federal grants, but in Vandegrift’s case, he created a Kickstarter campaign for his research on fungi and climate change in Central America.

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

• More than 4 million acres of Oregon’s forests have been converted into single-species tree plantations, enviro-justice group Beyond Toxics tells EW. Those plantations are helicopter sprayed with herbicides affecting our drinking water, salmon and health. Climate change means our forests, both public and private plantations, are more at risk for fire and drought.

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say “there is no known safe level of lead in a child’s blood.” Effects of lead poisoning include developmental delays, memory loss and brain damage.

The discovery of lead in drinking water in Portland public schools so soon after the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, ignited alarm in schools across the state of Oregon, including those in Lane County. 

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on May 27 sent a warning letter to Jason and Rachel Shannon of Veneta for illegally discharging sewage to the ground at their property on East Bolton Road in Veneta. DEQ’s letter requested that the Shannons take steps to prevent additional illegal discharges, cordon off the affected area “to prevent human and animal contact,” and disinfect the affected area.

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

Crisis workers in Eugene say they are still seeing repeat cases of severely mentally ill people being discharged back to the community by the jail and PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District’s emergency room, despite a 2015 Oregon bill that changed the language describing how people can be committed to a state mental institution.

That’s because House Bill 3347 didn’t really usher in any new legislation, according to Andrea Williams, one of two civil commitment investigators for Lane County Behavioral Health Services.

“In my experience, it’s not really going to change anything for us as far as how we process holds that come through the hospital. That provision has always been there. They’ve just changed the language of it,” Williams says.

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Crisis workers in Eugene say they are still seeing repeat cases of severely mentally ill people being discharged back to the community by the jail and PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District’s emergency room, despite a 2015 Oregon bill that changed the language describing how people can be committed to a state mental institution.

That’s because House Bill 3347 didn’t really usher in any new legislation, according to Andrea Williams, one of two civil commitment investigators for Lane County Behavioral Health Services.

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

Wendy Wheeler-Coltrane first had the idea to form a local philanthropy group five years ago. A busy schedule and lack of contacts held her back until last year, when Wheeler-Coltrane and Jean Lee began working to found the Eugene-Springfield chapter of 100+ Women Who Care (100+WWC), a group of women who donate to local charities that provide a service for the community. 

June 23, 2016 12:00 AM

Kim Nelson, Oregon State University, will talk about the ecology of marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus)and the effect of forest landscape patterns and predators on their survival. Her presentation, “Marbled Murrelets, Landscapes and Predators” is 7-9 pm Thursday, June 23, in room 184 at the UO School of Law.

June 23, 2016 12:00 AM

MRG Foundation, once known as the McKenzie River Gathering, began on the banks on the river for which the foundation was named, says the group’s communications manager Alison Wandschneider. 

Founders Leslie Brocklebank and her husband Charles Gray came into an inheritance of about $500,000, Wandschneider says, and brought a group of activists and philanthropists together to figure out how the money could have the deepest impact on the root causes of social inequity and environmental degradation.

MRG Foundation, once known as the McKenzie River Gathering, began on the banks on the river for which the foundation was named, says the group’s communications manager Alison Wandschneider. 

Founders Leslie Brocklebank and her husband Charles Gray came into an inheritance of about $500,000, Wandschneider says, and brought a group of activists and philanthropists together to figure out how the money could have the deepest impact on the root causes of social inequity and environmental degradation.

June 23, 2016 12:00 AM

When Kate Sullivan got the postcard last month notifying her of a proposal to place a cell phone tower at the church near her Jefferson Westside Neighborhood home, she was concerned. 

“It’s going to be in our backyard,” she remembers thinking.

When Kate Sullivan got the postcard last month notifying her of a proposal to place a cell phone tower at the church near her Jefferson Westside Neighborhood home, she was concerned. 

“It’s going to be in our backyard,” she remembers thinking.

June 23, 2016 12:00 AM

Oregon Department of Transportation is spraying roadsides. Call 503-986-3010 to talk with a vegetation management coordinator or call 1-888-996-8080 for recent herbicide application information. Hwy. 36 was recently sprayed.

Weyerhaeuser Company, 746-2511, plans to hire Northwest Reforestation Services LLC, 554-0489, to backpack foliar spray and hack and squirt 932.1 acres west of Marcola Road with aminopyralid, metsulfuron methyl, sulfometuron methyl, glyphosate, imazapyr, Hi-Light Blue and/or MSO Concentrate. See ODF notification 2016-771-07490, call Brian Dally at 541-726-3588 with questions.

June 23, 2016 12:00 AM

The McKenzie River is more than just a line on the map. It is a living river, constantly shifting and forming the surrounding land, creating a dynamic habitat for hundreds of native species. Sitting atop this vibrant river is Green Island, home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the Willamette Valley.

The McKenzie River Trust is hosting its 8th annual Living River Celebration from 7 am to 5 pm Saturday, June 25, on Green Island.

McKenzie River Trust (MRT) is a nonprofit land trust that works to protect and conserve thousands of acres of land in Western Oregon.

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

• Between 4 and 6 pm on June 19, the Peace and Dignity Indigenous Runners will be stopping in Eugene at the Lane Community College Longhouse. “Peace and Dignity Journeys are spiritual runs that embody the prophecy of the Eagle and Condor,” according to information from local organizers.

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

In December of 2015, Eileen Chanti’s preschool program for unhoused children, First Place Kids, looked in danger of closing. The program had recently lost a staff member, and Chanti only had six months to find funding before she ran out of money.

In December of 2015, Eileen Chanti’s preschool program for unhoused children, First Place Kids, looked in danger of closing. The program had recently lost a staff member, and Chanti only had six months to find funding before she ran out of money.

Since then, Chanti says, an outpouring of donations from the Eugene community has saved First Place Kids from having to close. 

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

Orlando has a welcoming LGBTQIA community, but so does Eugene. 

Local John O’Malley made this point while addressing a small crowd and TV crews Sunday, June 12, outside The Wayward Lamb — a dedicated queer space and bar in downtown Eugene.

Orlando has a welcoming LGBTQIA community, but so does Eugene. 

Local John O’Malley made this point while addressing a small crowd and TV crews Sunday, June 12, outside The Wayward Lamb — a dedicated queer space and bar in downtown Eugene.

“It affects all of us,” said O’Malley, the Lamb’s marketing manager who also helped found the bar. “It happened in Orlando; it could happen anywhere.”

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fined Junction City $1,000 last week for discharging elevated levels of ammonia to Flat Creek from its wastewater treatment plant in December, January, February and April. The city’s discharges take place pursuant to an expired Clean Water Act permit issued by DEQ in 2007.

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

There’s no question that the crisis of the unhoused, the homeless, people on the street — however we want to designate those in need — has reached a critical moment in Eugene and Lane County.

And when it comes to the unhoused, kids and teens are the most vulnerable.

There’s no question that the crisis of the unhoused, the homeless, people on the street — however we want to designate those in need — has reached a critical moment in Eugene and Lane County.

And when it comes to the unhoused, kids and teens are the most vulnerable.

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

A Junction City biogas plant that’s already received millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies is now more than $325,000 behind on its property tax bill and is fighting Lane County in court over making good on what it owes.

JC-Biomethane opened its plant in 2013 with the promise it would generate electricity to power homes by burning off gases from food wastes. The plant is the first in Oregon to use wastes from businesses and restaurants to generate power, according to records and interviews.

A Junction City biogas plant that’s already received millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies is now more than $325,000 behind on its property tax bill and is fighting Lane County in court over making good on what it owes.

JC-Biomethane opened its plant in 2013 with the promise it would generate electricity to power homes by burning off gases from food wastes. The plant is the first in Oregon to use wastes from businesses and restaurants to generate power, according to records and interviews.

June 9, 2016 12:00 AM

Vaxxed: From Cover Up To Catastrophe will be playing at the David Minor Theater starting June 10. According to the movie’s description, “Vaxxed is an investigation into how the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the government agency charged with protecting the health of American citizens, concealed and destroyed data in their 2004 study that showed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

June 9, 2016 12:00 AM

Good Food Easy/Sweetwater Farm will be opening a farm stand at the Creswell Bakery at 182 S. 2nd Street in Creswell beginning 10 am to 2 pm Saturday, June 11, then ongoing each Saturday throughout the summer. Erica Trappe of Good Food Easy says, “We are a major supplier of produce to the bakery, so now customers will be able to purchase the same fresh local ingredients they enjoy on the bakery menu.”

June 9, 2016 12:00 AM

Oregon Department of Transportation is spraying roadsides. Call 503-986-3010 to talk with a vegetation management coordinator or call 1-888-996-8080 for recent herbicide application information. Hwys. 36, 101 and 126 were recently sprayed.

June 9, 2016 12:00 AM

John Belcher has a simple dream: to walk down his street to a neighborhood natural foods market and buy cheese.

Belcher, co-chair of the River Road Community organization, is working with members of the River Road neighborhood and building owner Lutfi Thabet to bring a much-needed grocery store to an area of Eugene with few options in terms of healthy, fresh produce.

John Belcher has a simple dream: to walk down his street to a neighborhood natural foods market and buy cheese.

Belcher, co-chair of the River Road Community organization, is working with members of the River Road neighborhood and building owner Lutfi Thabet to bring a much-needed grocery store to an area of Eugene with few options in terms of healthy, fresh produce.

June 9, 2016 12:00 AM

Back in 2013, EW did a public records request to find out how much oil was rolling through Eugene on railroad tanker cars. The request was swiftly denied by Oregon’s Attorney General’s office citing a post 9/11 security exemption. After all, if terrorists were to find out how much explosive Bakken crude was rolling through town, what would they do with that knowledge?

Back in 2013, EW did a public records request to find out how much oil was rolling through Eugene on railroad tanker cars. The request was swiftly denied by Oregon’s Attorney General’s office citing a post 9/11 security exemption. After all, if terrorists were to find out how much explosive Bakken crude was rolling through town, what would they do with that knowledge?

June 9, 2016 12:00 AM

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fined Pacific Recycling, Inc. $12,374 last week for Clean Water Act violations at its Eugene metal recycling facility (located at 3300 Cross Street). Pacific Recycling has a history of environmental violations (and associated fines) at this facility (see goo.gl/kkGA0D), and this most recent fine is for failure to monitor its stormwater discharges during the first half of 2015.