Cash-strapped School Districts to Pay for Lead Testing

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.  Continue reading 

Community Supports Unhoused Kids

First Place Kids is a preschool program for unhoused children

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.  Continue reading 

Natural Foods Store Planned For River Road Neighborhood

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. Continue reading 

Report Forecasts Pros And Cons Of Proposed Business Tax

Initiative Petition 28 is either a savior for Oregon schools or a doomsday tax that will ruin Oregon’s economy, depending on what you’ve read. As it turns out, it’s not so simple. IP 28 is a proposed “gross receipts” tax — a tax on a corporation’s sales without deducting costs and expenses — on businesses making $25 million or more in Oregon sales. It would generate $3 billion per year, and the petition to get it on the ballot asks that the money be used for education, health care and senior services. Continue reading 

The Tastes of Summer

Eat, drink and be merry with new food-centric gatherings

Da Nang Vietnamese Eatery joins the fleet at Eugene Food Truck Fest June 18

The tastes of summer beckon — this year, two brand-new foodie shindigs splash onto the scene. Look forward to a season’s worth of eating, drinking and living it up. And the best part is, you don’t even have to trek to Portland. First comes the Eugene Food Truck Fest, a delicious gathering invented by the Eugene Mission to raise awareness of homelessness during the summer months, when thoughts of shelter and housing tend to fade as the warm weather rolls in.  Continue reading 

Bethel Superintendent Tapped For State Education Innovation

Earlier this year, Gov. Kate Brown sat down with Bethel School District Superintendent Colt Gill and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: She asked him to join the effort to raise Oregon’s flagging graduation rate — one of the lowest in the country at 74 percent — by becoming Oregon’s first education innovation officer. After 10 years as superintendent of Bethel, Gill will leave that job behind for this newly created position at the state level and “find out what can help turn our graduation situation in Oregon around,” he says.  Continue reading 

Surf’s up

Elijah Mack shares the latest news in river surfing

Elijah Mack

River surfer and barber Elijah Mack has big dreams for Eugene.  In 2004, EW ran a cover story on Mack — he talked about his difficult past, his love for river surfing and the potential for an outdoor wave park in Eugene. Mack, who is moving back to Eugene this summer from Portland, still wants to see a wave park in Eugene for surfers. In the past 14 years, river surfing and whitewater parks have taken off across the nation.  Continue reading 

Journey to the Sea

The dream of a trail from Corvallis to the coast

Hikers traverse a portion of the C2C trail

Denise Nervik leans back in her chair and smiles as she recalls hiking Bald Hill in 1993, when she first moved to Corvallis. “I was walking up in my boots and found that I was sinking into the muck up to the boot tops,” she says. “I said to myself, ‘Now I know what I’m going to do here in Corvallis! I’m going to work on trails.’” Her prediction was right: With fellow volunteers, Nervik has worked for the past 14 years to organize and build the Corvallis to the Sea (C2C) hiking trail.  Continue reading