Maintenance Mayhem

Eugene's parks need new funding to keep them running

It’s 1938 in Eugene, and Spencer Butte is in danger. If Eugeneans can’t raise $7,000, Spencer Butte and its iconic trees will be on the chopping block for the logging industry.  Peeling through archived newspaper articles, Heather Kliever, curator of education and registrar at Lane County Historical Society, reads aloud descriptions of a daunting fate for the prominent Eugene landmark.  Continue reading 

Journey Through 4J

Brianna Stiller shaped the school district’s progressive LGBTQA policies, all while transitioning herself

Brianna Stiller

For most, a morning ritual consists of brushing one’s teeth, eating breakfast, maybe a cup of coffee or two and, of course, getting dressed before heading out the door. But imagine not being able to put on clothing that expresses who you  really are.  For Dr. Brianna Stiller, age 61, a transgender woman and coordinator for positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) in the Eugene 4J School District, it wasn’t until she was 53 when she decided to publicly dress as a woman. Continue reading 

A Day in the Park

Eugene volunteer Becky Riley works for chemical-free parks

Becky Riley helps maintain trails in Rasor Park

On a blazing hot spring afternoon, Becky Riley lifts her foot in the air and stomps it against her shovel, grabbing a pile of dirt with her gloved hands as she gently combs through a sea of soil, wriggling with earthworms.  Riley stands in the middle of a mowed, grass walkway at the north end of Rasor Park off River Road, where she’s getting ready to go head-to-head with a legion of poison oak plants. The 58-year-old has spent the past two years of her life removing poison oak by hand from the grassy field as an alternative to chemical spray.  Continue reading 

‘Shiloh IPA’ Memorializes Conservationist

At Sky High Brewing in Corvallis a beer called Shiloh IPA is nearly always sold out. Perhaps its popularity stems from its namesake, Shiloh Sundstrom, a native of Deadwood, Oregon, student and conservationist who was killed in a hit-and-run last November. Charges were not filed in the case. Sky High Brewing in Corvallis created Shiloh IPA in Sundstrom’s honor. Continue reading 

Event Joins Native American, Jewish Cultures

“We are walking on the blood of Native Americans everywhere we go in the western United States,” says Rabbi Jonathan Seidel, a religion instructor at Lane Community College. “We need to be conscious of that.”  On May 15, the Oregon Jewish Culture Project will sponsor a Jewish and Native American storytelling and discussion event at LCC’s Longhouse.  One might question what connects the two cultures. Seidel explains that both Jews and Native Americans share the value of storytelling and experiences with social injustice.  Continue reading 

At Your Command

Local inventor creates a showering device that lets you control water flow

Erol Chandler's Shower Commander

Anywhere from 2.5 to 4 gallons of water per minute flow from a standard showerhead, says local inventor Erol Chandler. That’s a lot of water circling down the drain. This past November, Chandler, who makes   artisan lamps locally and is a former science teacher, began engineering his most recent invention: the Shower Commander.  Shower Commander is a foot-operated device designed to control when a person turns water on or off while showering, such as when shaving or when using less water due to budgetary or conservation reasons. Continue reading 

BLM Plan Under Fire

On April 12, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) publicly released its proposed plan to increase timber harvest and environmental protections in Western Oregon forests. The plan claims to strike a balance between timber interests and protecting wildlife, but local environmental groups have called BLM’s new plan and “balanced approach” into question.  The proposed BLM “Resource Management Plan” will include a 37-percent increase in timber harvest, according to Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild and Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center. Continue reading