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News Briefs

December 31, 2014 01:00 AM

We understand why private investors are motivated to build student-housing complexes. College enrollment is predicted to grow and the projects pencil out as profitable even if they are not filled to capacity, particularly if tax breaks are involved. Once built and operating, they can be sold to other big-time investors to cover costs and pocket a few million bucks. But what we don’t understand is why they are designed to accommodate only single students for the life of the building, say 40 to 50 years.

December 31, 2014 01:00 AM

Oregon’s salmon might be moving toward Alaska at a rate of about 30 kilometers (19 miles) a decade, according to a study in the January 2015 issue of Progress in Oceanography. “Marine life is being affected by changes in ocean conditions resulting from changes in climate and chemistry triggered by combustion of fossil fuels,” the study says.

This news comes as Oregon continues to debate the oil trains, coal export and liquified natural gas (LNG) pipeline and export facilities that are jockeying for position throughout the state.

December 31, 2014 01:00 AM

According to our web hits and downloads, the most-read story in EW this year was a story about the other paper in town … The Register-Guard. More precisely, it was our story “Reporter Fired for Checking Email?” about the termination of popular reporter Serena Markstrom Nugent while she was out on pregnancy disability leave. 

That article not only was the most read on our website — it also generated a lot of national attention, with mentions on the journo news site Romenesko and a tweet by NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik. 

December 31, 2014 01:00 AM

M Three Timber Company, 767-3785, plans pre-harvest hack and squirt, spraying Polaris AC on 31 acres near an unknown fish-bearing stream off of Lynx Hollow Road. See ODF notification 2014-781-08761 or call Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.

December 24, 2014 01:00 AM

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) may sound like a sci-fi TV show, but they’re actually the name of Oregon’s new science standards for public schools, passed earlier this year. Is Eugene School District 4J ready for them? Well, not yet. Not even close.

December 24, 2014 01:00 AM

Where would Jesus eat? Many local restaurants will be closed Christmas Day. Among the businesses that will be open is Agate Alley Bistro & Bar at 1461 E. 19th Ave., but only from 5 to 10 pm so the staff can have Christmas morning off. If you are planning on dining out anywhere Christmas Day, we recommend calling ahead and leaving big tips. Going to the coast? We once showed up late and ravenous for a Christmas buffet at a fancy hotel near Depot Bay and found only scraps of salmon and halibut, but plenty of mystery meat, soggy broccoli and cold potatoes.

December 24, 2014 01:00 AM

When Pastor Erin A. Martin first arrived at Wesley United Methodist in 2006 to fill a part-time staff role, she says the congregation was aging and in “self-preservation mode.”

“They were more worried about keeping the lights on and filling the pews and not necessarily looking outside of themselves,” Martin says. “What I’ve tried to do in my leadership is to help them understand that they’re not dead yet; God isn’t finished with us yet, and in many ways we’re coming back to life by serving those outside of ourselves.” 

When Pastor Erin A. Martin first arrived at Wesley United Methodist in 2006 to fill a part-time staff role, she says the congregation was aging and in “self-preservation mode.”

December 24, 2014 01:00 AM

Late in the summer of 2013, Lane County closed a protest camp in the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza leading to one of many recent debates on the nature of free speech and whether a government agency can shut it down. 

In a Dec. 15 ruling on a motion to dismiss, Municipal Court Judge Karen Stenard writes that the closure in this instance was not unconstitutional under Oregon law. She writes there were “legitimate health and safety concerns.” Activists disputed those concerns at the time of the closure and in the months afterward.

December 24, 2014 01:00 AM

Local group Predator Defense has devoted a large part of its 25-year existence to putting an end to Wildlife Services, a federal agency that traps and poisons predators. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows Wildlife Services killed more than 4 million animals in 2013. Recently Predator Defense’s documentary, Exposed: USDA’s Secret War on Wildlife, which delves into the federal agency Wildlife Services, won high praise from noted primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall, who writes, “I hope it will be watched by millions.”

December 24, 2014 01:00 AM

“We’ve been pretty busy these last couple days,” says Mindy Beer, who created Pay It Forward Cottage Grove a year ago with her daughter, Jennifer Neil. As Christmas approaches and the weather has turned colder, people have turned to Pay It Forward to give and receive everything from baby formula to refurbished bicycles.

December 24, 2014 01:00 AM

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Lane County a warning letter last month for low pH levels in water pollution discharged from Short Mountain Landfill. Low pH means discharges are acidic, and low pH was observed in both initial and follow-up sampling. 

December 18, 2014 01:00 AM

The Human Rights Commission Homelessness Work Group meets at noon Thursday, Dec. 18, at the Atrium Building, 99 W. 10th Ave. On the agenda is the Homeless Bill of Rights and a forum on child homelessness. Call 682-5177 or email michael.j.kinnison@ci.eugene.or.us.

December 18, 2014 01:00 AM

Alice Doyle of Log House Plants in Cottage Grove has been working for the past five years with Dutch and American horticultural researchers to refine and market a “Ketchup ’n’ Fries” grafted plant that grows potatoes underground and tomatoes above ground. Potatoes and tomatoes are related, and the first such graft was recorded in the early 1900s by Luther Burbank. The local Territorial Seed Company will have a national exclusive to sell mail-order plants and “I’m sure they‘ll see quite a bit of action,” Doyle says.

December 18, 2014 01:00 AM

To some river-lovers it’s the scariest place in Eugene: a longtime homeless camp along the Willamette River strewn with soggy mattresses and moldy rugs, used needles, bike parts, food packaging, wet books, even an old TV set. Trash and worse from campers have been collecting for years between the railroad tracks and the river, and a cleanup project is about to begin now that the camp has been abandoned (see photos on our website). 

December 18, 2014 01:00 AM

On Dec. 16 Lane County commissioners discussed whether to question federal law and pass an ordinance that challenges two controversial sections of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

The NDAA, a sweeping defense bill that sets the budget for the military, dates back to the post-9/11 period and is renewed every year by Congress. The controversial sections of the bill include provisions to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism. The current version of the $585 billion NDAA passed the Senate Dec. 12.

December 18, 2014 01:00 AM

Viewed from the little parking lot off West 11th, As You Like It looks like any artsy boutique in town; a wall of windows covered with delicate black-lace curtains reveal warm wood floors and beams and display shelves sparkling with treasures. The space is a far cry from the windowless shops around Eugene, but make no mistake, this is a sex store, or rather an “eco-conscious, green, gender-inclusive sex toy shop.”

December 18, 2014 01:00 AM

Longtime Native American rights advocate Alfred Leo Smith died Nov. 19. Smith was from Chiloquin, was a member of the Klamath Tribe and was known in Native communities throughout the Northwest. He died shortly after celebrating his 95th birthday in Eugene. 

He’s remembered as a “loving husband, friend, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and fearless warrior,” says his wife of 34 years, Jane Farrell, in a statement sent to his supporters. “He will be missed and remembered for generations to come.”

December 18, 2014 01:00 AM

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has once again found Pacific Recycling to be in violation of the Clean Water Act at its facility on Cross Street (near Roosevelt Boulevard) in Eugene (see EW 6/19, goo.gl/0Icqbj regarding a $327,686 fine assessed against Pacific Recycling in June). DEQ sent Pacific Recycling a warning letter in November for “failing to adequately stabilize or cover soil stockpiles.”  The stockpiles contain soil contaminated with wood treatment agents from neighboring J.H.

December 18, 2014 01:00 AM

In Afghanistan

• 2,356 U.S. troops killed (2,351 last month)

• 20,060 U.S. troops wounded in action (20,040)

• 1,559 U.S. contractors killed (1,559)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $770.2 billion cost of war ($763.1 billion)

• $303.4 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($300.6 million)

 

Against ISIS

• $1.4 billion cost of military action ($1.2 billion)

• $564,706 cost to Eugene taxpayers ($478,795)

December 18, 2014 01:00 AM

A decision on the future of Eugene’s Multiple-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) program has been delayed by the Eugene City Council until Jan. 26, since Councilor Claire Syrett could not make the Dec. 8 meeting. MUPTE has come under heavy criticism by citizens and some council members for giving big tax breaks to out-of-state developers for housing projects that might have been built even without the subsidies. The latest council action regarding MUPTE will focus on creating a review process.

December 11, 2014 01:21 AM
#MUTLIPLE#

As we go to press, the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) and the UO have announced a tentative agreement after an overnight mediation session Dec. 10 in which the UO agreed to create a seven-member committee to oversee a Graduate Student Assistance Fund that allows graduate students to take sick or parental leave, according to a statement from the GTFF. 

December 11, 2014 01:00 AM

Late last month, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium estimated that nationally, only 33 percent of 11th grade students who took the math portion of the Smarter Balanced field test last spring, which Oregon students will take in 2015, were considered proficient or advanced, with the remaining 67 percent needing additional support to meet the standards. And for students with disabilities, the future is even murkier when it comes to addressing their particular needs. 

December 11, 2014 01:00 AM

Beyond Toxics is planning its annual winter event, this year called “Cozy Up With Beyond Toxics,” from 5 to 7:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 11, at 1192 Lawrence St. A video premier will be part of the festivities. See beyondtoxics.org. 

• The Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet at 5:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Atrium Building Sloat Conference Room, 99 West 10th Ave. Contact Lee Shoemaker at 682-5471 or email lee.shoemaker@ci.eugene.or.us.

December 11, 2014 01:00 AM

Tiny Tavern in the Whiteaker was shut down by Lane County health inspectors Dec. 5 for health code violations, according to the Eugene Brewery District website. The bar at 394 Blair Blvd. scored 67 points out of 100 and “according to regulations, any score of 70 or less will require the business to close its doors until corrections and a re-inspection can be made,” says the website. Jeff Malos owns the building and is rumored to be looking to sell it. Back in our Sept. 25 Biz Beat, we wrote about the bar closing when manager Jeff Peck left to open Old Nick’s Pub.