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News Briefs

July 11, 2013 01:00 AM

Organized opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 is rolling into Lane County. People Against the NDAA (PANDA) question the act’s authority to undermine basic rights in cases of suspected terrorism, with two subsections in the 2012 NDAA allowing for indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens without trial. The law affirms the 9/11-era Authorization for Use of Military Force that granted the president enhanced powers against suspected terrorists until the “end of hostilities” in the “War on Terror.”

July 11, 2013 01:00 AM

The Eugene Police Department’s longstanding policy of requiring officers to destroy their written notes after creating an incident report has changed. The new policy defines investigative notes — written and electronic — as public records and requires their retention for a minimum of two years. EPD did not respond to inquiries about whether defendants will be given the notes as routine evidence or will be required to request them as public records.

July 11, 2013 01:00 AM

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a penalty of $2,400 against Bear Mountain Forest Products on July 3 for violating the Clean Air Act permit for its wood pellet manufacturing facility in Brownsville in September. Bear Mountain violated the opacity limit in its permit; opacity is an indicator for particulate emissions, which can contribute to respiratory distress, affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health problems such as decreased lung function, irregular heartbeat and chronic bronchitis.

July 11, 2013 01:00 AM

Small animals shouldn’t be given away as prizes, according to Heather Crippen of Red Barn Rabbit Rescue (RBRR), who has been working along with her daughter to stop bunnies from being chased and caught at the Cottage Grove Rodeo. RBRR has also been working on developing an ordinance that would stop bunnies, chickens and other small animals from being the trophies at giveaways and contests. Crippen brought the idea before the Lane County Animal Services Advisory Committee on July 8 and is also considering city and statewide regulations. 

July 11, 2013 01:00 AM

Seneca Sustainable Energy, the biomass burning plant, is applying to increase the particulate pollution that it is emitting into the air of west Eugene by 3 tons. The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency is hosting an informational meeting about the requested air quality permit alteration July 17 and asking for public comment. Ironically the agency says that “ultimately, if a facility meets all legal requirements, LRAPA will issue the facility’s modified air quality permit.” So while the agency will take public comment, the comments won’t stop the permit from being approved.

Seneca Sustainable Energy, the biomass burning plant, is applying to increase the particulate pollution that it is emitting into the air of west Eugene by 3 tons. The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency is hosting an informational meeting about the requested air quality permit alteration July 17 and asking for public comment.

July 3, 2013 01:00 AM

• Civil libertarian Raymond Brown, a recently retired educator with the Bethel School District, will be celebrating Independence Day in period costume, reciting the Declaration of Independence by heart at 1, 3 and 5 pm July 4 at the top of Skinner Butte. He will also be flying 25 full-sized flags atop the butte.

July 3, 2013 01:00 AM

Art and the Vineyard will feature local wineries and dozens of other small businesses in a summer celebration that begins 11 am July 4 and continues through Saturday, July 6. Weather should be a little cooler and we encourage everyone to turn out and experience this unique outdoor gathering of artists, musicians and other performers, authors, chefs, brewers and vintners in Alton Baker Park. The event by the river is also a fundraiser for the Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene’s oldest nonprofit community center for the visual arts. 

July 3, 2013 01:00 AM

Lane County enviros and liberal politicos want Congressman Peter DeFazio to know that they aren’t pleased with his green credentials lately. They have signed on to a letter to Nancy Pelosi endorsing Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) as the next ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. About 200 environmental and conservation groups from across the country signed the letter.

July 3, 2013 01:00 AM

• Weyerhaeuser, 744-4600, plans to aerial and ground spray Accord XRT II, Polaris SP and/or Sulfomet Extra with additives Induce, Foam Buster, MSO and/or Metcel on 67 acres near the Long Tom River. See ODF notification 2013-781-00600 for more information.

ODOT is spraying roadsides along state highways, call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 (Lane County area) at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. 

July 3, 2013 01:00 AM

The Pacific Northwest is being hit with another fossil fuel threat: oil trains. Oregon and Washington have been faced with megaloads of tar sands equipment, liquefied natural gas pipelines and terminals, coal trains and now what conservationists are calling oil pipelines on wheels. Dan Serres, conservation director for Columbia Riverkeeper, says the trains are already under way here in Oregon carrying fracked crude oil from the Bakken oil field of North Dakota. A Sightline Institute report says that there’s nothing to stop the trains from being used to ship Canadian tar sands oil through the Northwest as well as the fracked oil.

July 3, 2013 01:00 AM

While climate change poses a threat in the immediate future to Chinook salmon and other Oregon endangered species, UO paleontology instructor Edward Davis says it’s also important to think about climate change on a much larger time scale, on the order of millions of years. On July 9, Davis will speak at the Eugene Public Library about his work on evolutionary hotspots, areas of habitat where conditions are right for new species to form, and why these areas need protection.

July 3, 2013 01:00 AM

In Afghanistan

• 2,241 U.S. troops killed (2,238 last week)

• 18,851 U.S. troops wounded in action (18,795)

• 1,353 U.S. contractors killed (1,353)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $638.9 billion cost of war ($637.4 billion)

• $191.7 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($191.2 million)

 

In Iraq

June 27, 2013 01:00 AM

Health Care for All Oregon’s Eugene chapter will host the statewide annual meeting of its coalition from 10 am to 3 pm Friday, June 28, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St. The gathering of HCAO’s 80 member organizations, along with delegates from labor unions, health care providers and other groups, is open to the public. The Eugene chapter will later meet from 7 to 9 pm Tuesday, July 2, at EWEB, 500 E.

June 27, 2013 01:00 AM

What’s a “benefit company?” The Oregon Senate has approved a new designation for businesses to register as corporations committed to sustainability. Companies will need to meet certain social and environmental performance guidelines. HB 2296A has passed both houses of the Legislature and is expected to be signed by Gov. Kitzhaber, but the rules and regulations are still to be worked out. 

June 27, 2013 01:00 AM

Medical marijuana patients too sick or inexperienced to grow their own cannabis might have new options. House Bill 3460 passed 31-27 in the Oregon House June 24, and the Senate was gearing up to vote as EW went to press June 26.

June 27, 2013 01:00 AM

Hang onto your cash, bus riders. While the bus routes to the Oregon Country Fair have always been free, this year the entire LTD system will cost nothing for the duration of Fair, which runs July 12-14.

“It’s the first time that anybody’s bought out the entire system,” says LTD spokesperson Andy Vobora. The Fair, which has long emphasized sustainability and public transit, paid $32,370 to sponsor all of LTD’s routes during the three-day event.

June 27, 2013 01:00 AM

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a penalty of $15,600 against Christopher John Bartels on June 20 for illegally discharging wastewater from his meat processing and packing facility to ditches flowing to wetlands on two occasions in 2011. The facility is located on Central Road, south of Perkins Peninsula Park. According to DEQ, Bartels has made significant improvements to his wastewater treatment and disposal system since the 2011 violations.

June 27, 2013 01:00 AM

Though the Oregon Legislature is still tied up in session, Oregon dogs will no longer be tied up on short leashes or for long periods of time, thanks to an anti-dog-tethering bill. That’s just one of several animal-oriented bills that came up this session. Animal advocates are cheering the ones that have passed (and cheering some that died) and expect some more good news for the beasties to come through before the session ends.

June 27, 2013 01:00 AM

Children can enjoy free lunches through the Summer Food Service Program, a federally funded nutrition program open to all kids ages 1-18. In addition to lunch, some sites also offer breakfast and snacks to accompany a day of activities.

June 27, 2013 01:00 AM

Successes in Native American forestry, despite huge financial challenges, are proving a model for future stewardship, according to the Indian Forestry Management Assessment Team (IFMAT).

“The tribes have been here for thousands of years,” says George Smith, executive director of Oregon’s Coquille Tribe. “They have a direct connection to the land and the long-term consequences of its management.”

June 20, 2013 01:00 AM

• Basic Rights Oregon will combine eating and equality in its annual Bites for Rights fundraiser. On Thursday, June 20, eat at Cornbread Café, The Divine Cupcake, Poppi’s Anatolia, Sweet Life Patisserie and Whirled Pies Pizzeria in Eugene or Interzone, Les Caves Bier & Kitchen or Squirrel’s Tavern in Corvallis to show your support.

• Walk, bike or ride the bus Thursday, June 20, for Dump the Pump Day. Who knows, you might just get addicted.

June 20, 2013 01:00 AM

Delta Sand & Gravel and Babb Construction are the target of a class action lawsuit by four former employees on behalf of themselves and other current and former employees, according to attorney Alan Leiman of the Eugene law firm Leiman & Johnson, LLC. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene, alleges violations of overtime provisions and other Oregon labor laws. The complaint seeks damages in excess of $3.5 million.

June 20, 2013 01:00 AM

The White Castle pilot project is an unusual kind of logging proposal and it’s led to an unusual forest defender vs. forest scientist dynamic. When forestry professor Norm Johnson of OSU, who created the project along with Jerry Franklin of the University of Washington, found out that the Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) had taken to the trees last week to stop the proposed logging, he decided he would head out to the site near Roseburg and talk to the protesters.

June 20, 2013 01:00 AM

Gold mining and all its negative environmental effects have made their way to the waterways of Lane County. River guide Frank Armendariz was out walking his dog early in May in an open section of Armitage Park when he says he saw a Jeep parked inside a portion of the park still locked behind gates and a man digging away at the riverbank. Gold mining in southern Oregon has led not just to the degradation of rivers but also to shootings and legal battles, but, until now, it has not been much of an issue on the McKenzie River.