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News Briefs

April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

As Eugene city leaders floundered last week in relocating the former residents of the Whoville homeless camp, an anonymous benefactor took up the issue, offering a $400,000 donation to establish a sanctuary on private property.

The pledge came as a direct response to, among general grievances, the unyielding position of City Manager Jon Ruiz and others willing to leave the destitute in limbo. “I wanted to step up,” the donor tells EW, “because I saw the city making an attempt to push these people out. They’re citizens, not strangers.”

April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

Sombath Somphone is “one of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s most respected civil society figures,” according  to a December 2013 press statement from Secretary of State John Kerry on the one year anniversary of Sombath’s disappearance. Sombath was kidnapped from a police checkpoint in Laos and has not been heard from since. Sombath’s wife, Ng Shui-Meng, will be speaking about her husband’s disappearance and the challenges to free speech and human rights in Laos and in the rest of Southeast Asia while in Eugene on Monday, April 21.

April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

• M Three Timber Company, LLC, 767-3785, plans to spray Accord XRT and Element 3A on their timberlands countywide in Lane County. See ODF notice 2014-781-00342, call Stewardship Forester Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions. 

• Giustina Resources, 485-1500, plans to hire Strata Forestry, Inc., 726-0845, to spray glyphosate, hexazinone and/or sulfometuron methyl on 71 acres near Dexter Lake tributaries. See ODF notice 2014-771-00336, call Stewardship Forester Marvin Vetter at 726-3588 with questions. 


April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality sent San Mateo-based J.H. Baxter & Co. a warning letter on March 31 for various hazardous waste law violations discovered by DEQ during an unannounced inspection on March 25 at Baxter’s wood treatment facility in Eugene’s Trainsong neighborhood. Violations included failure to label hazardous waste, failure to conduct required hazardous waste inspections, failure to provide up-to-date contingency plans to first responders and failure to clean up spills.

April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

The Whiteaker Community Council (WCC) got a surprise at its annual elections meeting Wednesday, April 9, when upward of 80 residents of Eugene’s hippest district packed into the small room at the Whiteaker School to air concerns about a proposed noise ordinance.

April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

Three could be Oregon cannabis lovers’ lucky number: That is the potential number of ballot measures heading for the November 2014 election, which could make Oregon the third state in the nation to legalize marijuana.

Anthony Johnson, who worked on the campaign that legalized marijuana in Washington, is campaign manager for New Approach Oregon’s Control, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act of 2014, aka Initiative Petition 53. IP 53 would allow adults to possess up to 8 ounces and four plants, and it sets tax at $35 an ounce. It would task the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) with regulating marijuana commerce.

Three could be Oregon cannabis lovers’ lucky number: That is the potential number of ballot measures heading for the November 2014 election, which could make Oregon the third state in the nation to legalize marijuana.

April 17, 2014 01:00 AM

The Easter Bunny is bouncy, fuzzy and lays eggs. Bunnicula, the vampire, vegetable-sucking rabbit, is reserved, misunderstood and has razor sharp fangs. While both of these sets of characteristics are (almost) all true, real rabbits are made up of a complex combination of the two, something that the holiday Easter Bunny character glosses over.

April 11, 2014 11:42 AM

Swanson Brothers Lumber Company Inc., 935-2231, plans to hire Nick’s Timber Services, Inc., (503) 876-8220, to spray 38 acres near the headwaters of the Long Tom River with Clopyralid, Glyphosate, Hexazinone, anti-foam and dye. See ODF notice 2014-781-00333, call Stewardship Forester Robin L. Biesecker at 935-2283 with questions.

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

• “Building Equity and Inclusion at the UO and Beyond” is the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, April 11, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette. Speaker is Yvette Alex-Assensoh, VP for equity and inclusion at UO. See CityClubofEugene.org.

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

Fifty-five bias-related incidents were reported to Eugene’s Equity and Human Rights Center (EHRC) in 2013 — an increase of four reports from last year. Equity and Human Rights Analyst Lindsey Foltz says a lot of bias-related activity is unreported, in part because of a lack of trust of the government or police. 

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

What’s happening with the LUCiA development on Friendly Street? Construction on the second row of townhouses is expected to wrap up by June 1 and one of the units has already been sold, says Mel Bankoff, who is in partnership with architect Jan Fillinger of studio-e architecture and  project manager Teri Reifer (see our 2013 story at wkly.ws/1q3). Bankoff says he plans to have open houses in mid-April. The third phase of residential development will begin in June with a completion target of March 2015.

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

Local schools continue to struggle with insufficient funding, and two Lane County school districts, Fern Ridge and Pleasant Hill, filed bond measures that will appear on the May Primary ballot to help pay for improvements to property and facilities that school officials say are greatly needed — one school is basically providing federally assisted school lunches out of a gym concession stand.

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

The city of Eugene sent a “request for corrective action” letter to Gibson Steel Fab, Inc. last month for various Clean Water Act violations, citing Gibson for deficiencies in employee education and monthly inspections, storing several hazardous materials without secondary containment and failing to contain overspray from painting operations so as to prevent it from coming into contact with stormwater.

April 10, 2014 01:00 AM

The city of Eugene paid 60 staff members to shut down the Whoville homeless camp on the corner of Broadway and Hilyard streets April 4 — a move that campers and homeless rights advocates say put many of the Whoville residents back on the streets alone.

“They’ve taken old, they’ve taken veterans, they’ve taken everybody who has a problem, said ‘You have to go,’ instead of giving them a place to sleep at night and giving them some sort of peace of mind,” Whoville camper Jacob Baird says.

April 3, 2014 01:00 AM

• A Eugene Police Commission public forum will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at the Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave. The commission will take comments on professional police stops policy and bias-based policing. Call 682-5852 or email carter.r.hawley@ci.eugene.or.us.

350.org Climate Activists are holding their first general monthly chapter meeting at 7 pm Thursday, April 3, at First United Methodist Church, 13th and Olive. Email 350eug@riseup.net for find them on Facebook.

April 3, 2014 01:00 AM

Sustainable Cottage Grove and the Oregon Food Bank are holding a community event called FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions, Together) from 10 am to 4 pm Saturday, April 5, at the Cottage Grove Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs. The event focuses on promoting and supporting local food systems.

April 3, 2014 01:00 AM

• Weyerhaeuser, 744-4600, plans to backpack spray 8 acres near Norris Creek with Velpar L, Velpar DF, Transline and/or Forestry Garlon XRT with additives methylated seed oil and/or non-ionic surfactant. See ODF notice 2014-781-00306, call Stewardship Forester Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.

April 3, 2014 01:00 AM
#MUTLIPLE#

Thanks to a disagreement over Robert’s Rules of Order, the Lane County Republicans have recently acquired new leadership in the form of chair, vice-chair and secretary to fill the seats of Paul Barnett, Bill Young and Kristy Cooper, who have all resigned. This split happened as the races heat up for three Lane County Commission seats in the May primary.

April 3, 2014 01:00 AM

The city of Eugene sent “request for corrective action” letters to three Eugene businesses, A&K Development Company, Oregon Ice Cream Company and Oregon Tread Rubber Company, in late February for various Clean Water Act violations.

April 3, 2014 01:00 AM

Almost 13 years after starting at Eugene’s local daily paper, The Register-Guard, reporter Serena Markstrom Nugent was fired while on pregnancy disability leave from the paper where she had worked since college. Another employee cleaned out Markstrom Nugent’s desk for her, and she was told she could pick up her belongings in the reception area. “It felt like getting punched in the stomach,” Markstrom Nugent says. About 30 current and former employees and supporters gathered to say goodbye in the rain on the sidewalk outside the R-G’s offices on Chad Drive March 27 with signs of support and balloons.

Almost 13 years after starting at Eugene’s local daily paper, The Register-Guard, reporter Serena Markstrom Nugent was fired while on pregnancy disability leave from the paper where she had worked since college. Another employee cleaned out Markstrom Nugent’s desk for her, and she was told she could pick up her belongings in the reception area. “It felt like getting punched in the stomach,” Markstrom Nugent says.

April 3, 2014 01:00 AM

“Here we go again. Big money moves into a neighborhood and excavates 40 feet into the ground near the river,” Wende Hitchcock says in exasperation. She says a gravel site along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River near Delight Valley Road has applied to the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) to expand its operations, including excavation and asphalt production. Hitchcock and other neighbors fear impacts to the rural community from noise and trucks to possible affects on wildlife and water.

April 3, 2014 01:00 AM

Unhoused Eugeneans will speak at a panel during an April 7 event that the Eugene Human Rights Commission’s (HRC) Homelessness Work Group hopes will help deconstruct stereotypes people commonly apply to the homeless.

Six people who currently reside at Whoville, Opportunity Village Eugene and the city-approved rest stop at the intersection of Garfield and Roosevelt Streets will respond to a prompt and then answer questions from the audience. 

March 27, 2014 01:00 AM

• Lane County is gathering public input on proposed rules for outdoor events on county property. A second informal “listening session” is planned for 3 to 7 pm Thursday, March 27, at the Lane County Customer Service Center, 3050 N. Delta Hwy. in Eugene. See wkly.ws/1pg for more information and to take an online survey.

March 27, 2014 01:00 AM

Joanie Kleban tells us Greater Goods will be ending its regular hours after Saturday, March 29, and will be open off and on during April. Kleban is retiring after 23 years and is selling off her extensive inventory of hand-crafted, fair-trade goods from around the world. The store is on High Street across from Fifth Street Public Market. What’s next?