News Briefs: Social Enviro Speakers on UO Campus | WOW Hall Trees Slated for Removal | Reconsider Riverfront | It's Rope Not Dope | EEA Picks Board Faves | Complete the Cycle | Chemical Trespass | Activist Alert | Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule | War Dead | Lighten Up |
Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
Tax Facts Revealed
Opponents claims are misleading
Social Enviro Speakers on UO Campus | WOW Hall Trees Slated for Removal | Reconsider Riverfront | It's Rope Not Dope | EEA Picks Board Faves | Complete the Cycle | Chemical Trespass | Activist Alert | Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule | War Dead | Lighten Up
SOCIAL, ENIVRO SPEAKERS ON UO CAMPUS
Renowned women in the fields of journalism and philosophy will be rounding out UOs academic year with guest lectures on campus about ethics, social justice and the environment.
Kathleen Dean Moore, OSU philosophy and environmental ethics professor, essayist and author, will present "Ethics and Climate Change: What Do We Owe the Future?” 7:30 pm Monday, May 9, in 282 Lillis Hall.
Moore is the final speaker in the Oregon Humanities Centers 2010-11 "Sustenance” series. Moore "came to the UO in 2003 to speak, and was one of the most profound and wonderful speakers we ever had. It seemed appropriate to round out our series with someone local, someone from Oregon,” said Julia Heydon, associate director for the Oregon Humanities Center.
Moore is well known for her writings on cultural and spiritual connections to nature including the books, The Pine Island Paradox, Holdfast, and Riverwalking: Reflections on Moving Water. Her recent work, a volume of essays co-edited with Michael P. Nelson, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, is a collection of essays from more than 80 visionary leaders presenting a case for moral responsibility to the planet surrounding climate change and environmental degradation. A book sale and signing will follow her talk.
Later in the week, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and best-selling author Sheryl WuDunn will present her lecture, "Half the Sky: The Greatest Unexploited Resource in the World Today Isnt Oil or Gold or Wind. Its Women,” 7 pm Wednesday, May 11, in the EMU Ballroom.
WuDunn is co-author of three best-selling books, the most recent, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide with Nicholas D. Kristof. The book inspired Womens Opportunity Worldwide, which facilitates networking, collaborative fundraising, outreach and education to nonprofit organizations and individuals in the Willamette Valley, www.womensopportunityworldwide.org
WuDunns talk is funded by the Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties series; presented by UOs Center for the Study of Women in Society, the events focus on womens rights and hope to inspire activism.
"There are many nonprofits in the area interested in the issues that WuDunn will present, and we think this is a great way to start the conversation on womens liberation,” said CSWS director Carol Stabile. Both events are free and open to the public. ã Heather Cyrus
WOW HALL TREES SLATED FOR REMOVAL
Eugene is known for its big, leafy urban forest as well as for the brouhahas that arise when the trees begin to fall. Recently, two bigleaf maple trees planted in the early 20th century on Lincoln Street near the WOW Hall were placed on the chopping block.
Jon Pincus of the WOW Hall facilities committee said in an email to EW, "Many people in Eugene have been uncomfortable with the rate at which large street trees have been cut down by the urban forester in the last few years.”
These large trees provide shade to help the WOW Hall keep energy use and cost to a minimum. Without these trees, Pincus is concerned about how much more energy the venue will be forced to use in the warmer months. Each tree is approximately 40 inches in diameter and 70 feet tall.
According to a Feb. 9 study by Matt Rivers, city staff inspector, there were several signs of death and decay: open cavities, small depressions, several dead branches in the upper canopy as well as two different kinds of fungus.
The report said the trees had fruiting bodies of Ganodderma Spp., a wood decaying fungus, and mushrooms of the Armillaria shoestring root rot fungus on and near the base of the trees. According to Mark Snyder, Eugenes urban forester, both of these fungus types are a concern because they eat away at the heartwood, sapwood and roots of the tree. Resistograph tests showed that only about half of the wood in both trees is structurally sound, the report said.
One of the trees (the fourth tree north of the intersection at West 8th Avenue on Lincoln Street) earned a rating of nine on the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) scale of three to 12; 12 is the most hazardous. The other (fifth tree north of the intersection) earned a rating of 10.
Currently, the WOW Hall committee is taking quotes for a consulting certified arborist in order to gain a second opinion on the trees within the next few days. Pincus is asking the date of removal to be pushed back to get this additional expert opinion.
"We wont know if the trees are unsafe and irreparable until we have an independent assessment done,” Pincus said. Getting the assessment has been complicated because Pincus said it appears some local arborists have already seen the report, which might bias the findings.
Snyder, who approved the report of the WOW Hall trees on April 20, said that the main issue is safety. Although it is difficult to predict where or if the trees may fall, according to Snyder, there are possible targets in almost every direction, including the WOW Hall, buildings across the street, the parking lot, streets and sidewalks.
"We recently gained an opportunity to witness a test of the trees strength during the recent very strong wind storm here in Eugene,” Pincus said. He said the trees showed no signs of stress and did not drop any branches.
Plans for replacing the trees are in the making, "However, these trees will start at 2 to 3 inches in width and require special protective measures installed to give them an opportunity to survive. It will be several decades before they provide significant shading for the WOW Hall,” Pincus said.
Pincus said the WOW Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and these trees "are called out in the nomination document.” He encourages those concerned to contact city staff and ask for time to allow for for the independent evaluation of the trees.
For background information on urban tree removal in Eugene, check out the previous EW story at http://wkly.ws/124
ã Chelsea Fryhoff and Heather Cyrus
Connecting Eugene is "cautiously optimistic” about UO President Richard Larivieres May 2 announcement that the school will look into an alternative location for the proposed Oregon Research Institute (ORI) and Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) building, according to Paul Cziko, a member of the student and community based group.
Connecting Eugene has long advocated the site at 1700 Millrace Drive, among others, as an alternative location for the ORI/EPIC project that would allow the riverfront to remain free of the planned parking lot and office building. The site is "an appropriate place for this building,” Cziko said.
Under Larivieres recommendation, the parties involved in the development would continue planning for the controversial existing riverfront site while simultaneously examining the feasibility of the Millrace location, according to the UOs press release, which said developer Trammell Crow Company has been asked to examine the second parcel.
Connecting Eugene has also advocated for a more up-to-date master plan for the UO, one that is more ecologically, public and people oriented, said Cziko. The current master plan for development that called for the ORI/EPIC riverfront construction is over 20 years old. This is something that was also addressed in the schools press release, which included this quote from Rich Linton, vice president for research and graduate studies: "Beyond this project, the university will launch a master planning process to help address future facilities needs for UOs expanding role in catalyzing innovation and its ties to economic development.”
The new direction from Lariviere may have come from "concern voiced by community members, students and faculty,” Cziko said. Both student and faculty senates have voted in support of Connecting Eugenes efforts to update the master plan and rethink the proposed building and parking lot on the riverfront. Though encouraged by Larivieres statement, Cziko says the UO has not withdrawn its permits for the riverfront site, nor has Connecting Eugene backed down on its case before the Land Use Board of Appeals.
ã Camilla Mortensen
ITS ROPE NOT DOPE
Celebrate Hemp History Week with an all day, family-friendly celebration from 11 am to 11 pm Friday, May 6, at Cozmic Pizza. But leave those pipes at home, because this is an educational event, sponsored by Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industry Association, geared towards those who are unaware of the benefits of industrial hemp.
"When people hear the word •hemp, they immediately think marijuana,” said Michael Moore, aka Papa Hemp, organizer of the event. Most people, he said, dont know the difference.
The celebration is parsed into three stages: the history of hemp, current issues regarding industrial hemp and the future of hemp, and how hemp can help save the planet.
Currently, the U.S. is the only industrialized country in which the growth and production of hemp is still illegal, though hemp growth and production was legalized in Oregon by the state Legislature in 2009. But in order to gain a profit, farmers need to gain DEA approval and obtain a tax stamp.
"People and farmers have applied for a tax stamp many times over the years, but their applications never get filed. The DEA never responds,” said Moore.
Moore says the federal prohibition is ridiculous because this biodegradable and renewable resource has been put to many positive uses. And its not even a good high. "Youd have to roll a joint the size of a telephone poll to get high on industrial hemp,” Moore says.
Among the events speakers is David Seber, who initially brought the industrial hemp bill to the state Legislature. In addition, there will be cooking demonstrations and video presentations, all highlighting the agricultural, industrial and commercial benefits of hemp.
Throughout the day there will be displays of agricultural and industrial hemp products, as well as free samples of hemp products for event goers and participants. Samples will include hemp ice cream, milk, butter, shelled hemp seeds, lip balm, lotion, shampoo, shirts, bags and more. Cozmic Pizza will serve hemp beer and pizza.
At 5 pm, organizers will hold a hemp fashion show with support from Greater Goods and Sweet Potato Pie, showcasing various hemp fashions for adults and children. To round out this educational event, musical acts including Michael Reed and Friends, a psychedelic jam band, and Maca Ray will start playing at 9 pm.
For information check out hemphistoryweek.com or contact Cozmic Pizza at 338-9333; free before 5 pm, then a $5 suggested donation. ®®Chelsea Fryhoff
EEA PICKS BOARD FAVES
The Eugene Education Association (EEA) has endorsed several candidates in the upcoming local school board elections after inviting each of the candidates to meet and answer questions. Two candidates, Mark Callahan and Sherry Callahan, declined to be interviewed.
In the contested Eugene School District4J races the EEA is recommending Alicia Hays for Postion 1 and Mary Walston for Postion 7. The EEA is undecided in Position 4, where incumbent Craig Smith is being challenged by Natasha Hennings, Mark Callahan and Linda Hamilton.
In theBethel School Districtthe EEA is recommending Todd Lipkin for Position 4, the open race.
"The EEA believes each of these candidates has the right combination of experience and public school advocacy that will make each of them a strong and effective school board member,” says Lisa Fragala of the EEA. ã Ted Taylor
COMPLETE THE CYCLE
Jeff Willensky of Eugene has found a way to put the recycling in cycling.
Bothered by throwing away old tires and tubes from his environmentally friendly transit mode of choice, Willensky said he found for a better way to "Complete the Cycle” with recycling.
He started asking local bike shops to set aside worn out tubes and tires. Then he found a local company, the Tire Factory, that was willing to take the bike tires/tubes for a fee and send them to Portland along with their auto and truck tires for recycling. RB recycling in McMinnville grinds the tires and makes rubber products including mats and recreational surfaces.
According to Willensky, at least six bike shops, some of which may ask for a small donation or fee, participate in the recycling effort: Arriving By Bike, Blue Heron, Collins, Life Cycle, Simple Cycles, and Wheelworks.
Willenski said he also plans to collect bike tires and tubes from 1 to 5 pm Saturday, May 21, in the parking lot of Wheelworks at 11th and Lawrence. ã Alan Pittman
(A version of this story first appeared at Eugenecycles.com)
Day Owen, his family and neighbors have been saying for years that the toxic herbicides sprayed on nearby private forestlands drift onto their homes, farms and bodies and make them sick (see EW cover story, 2/28/2008). Owen says their concerns have been met with an "absolute denial that we are really sick and being chemically trespassed upon.” So Owen and other pesticide opponents came to the April 27 meeting of the Oregon Board of Forestry with proof.
Urine from Owen and 20 other Triangle Lake area residents, many of whom are members of the forestland dwelling group the Pitchfork Rebellion, all showed the herbicides 2,4-D and atrazine in the baselines samples taken in a doctors office in winter, before the spraying season. Owen says residents who were within one mile of a spray were asked to provide a second sample within 24 hours of possible exposure. Owen was one of those, and his urine showed a 31 percent increase in 2,4-D and a 129 percent increase in atrazine, according to tests done by Dana Barr of Emory Universitys Environmental and Occupational Health Department. Barr, speaking to the board over the phone, said recent studies indicate that these chemicals linger in the body, stored in fat, longer than previously realized.
Studies on atrazine have shown exposure can lead to impaired immune function and increased infection in aquatic wildlife; in studies on rats it interferes with hormone function and in studies on salamanders atrazine has been shown to act synergistically with other chemicals to increase their toxic effects by impairing the immune system. The chemical 2,4-D, an ingredient in Agent Orange, has been linked to cancer.
Triangle Lake area complaints about the pesticide exposure have gone unheard by the Pesticide Analytical and Response Center of the Oregon Division of Agricultures Pesticide Division, Owen said. He said the exposure investigations ought to go through the Public Health Division so that there is no conflict of interest given that pesticide research funding mainly comes from the agricultural and chemical companies themselves.
The Pitchfork Rebellion also has a petition with the EPA calling for buffers around homes, farms and schools and a study on pesticide drift in the Highway 36 area.
Owen said the Board of Forestrys response to the news of the pesticide in the bodies of the forestland dwellers was "the same old baloney.” He adds, "Even with proof we are still David fighting Goliath.”
He says 20 schoolchildren from Triangle Lake School will be tested next for atrazine and 2,4-D. That, he says, will be "harder for the state of Oregon to ignore.”
"They have to give a damn about school kids. Dont they?” he asked.
ã Camilla Mortensen
« A grand opening and ribbon cutting at the Seneca Jones biomass incinerator is planned for 10 am Thursday, May 5, at the plant off Hwy. 99 in northwest Eugene. Protesters are expected to hold signs along the highway. Carpooling will be from Putters Pizza in the Gilbert Shopping Center on Hwy. 99. Find the protesters Facebook page at http://wkly.ws/125
« Colin Goddard, survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre, is on a national tour and will speak and show a video Living for 32 at 7 pm Thursday, May 5, at PLC 180 on the UO campus. Sponsored by the Survival Center. Goddard will also speak and show the video for free at 8:30 pm Monday, May 9, the Bijou Theater. Goddard survived four bullets in the school shooting and went on to join the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. His documentary shows how easy it is for anyone to buy a gun without identification or a background check.
« Tax Fairness Oregon is sponsoring a town hall on the Oregon state budget at 7 pm Thursday, May 5, at LCCs Forum, Building 17, rooms 308-309. "Unless we act now, precious taxpayer dollars will go to tax breaks for the wealthiest Oregonians,” say organizers. Panelists include Sens. Beyer, Edwards and Prozanski, and Reps. Barnhart, Beyer, Buckley, Holvey, Hoyle and Nathanson.
« Ken Niles of the Oregon Department of Energy will speak on Northwest nuclear waste disposal at City Club of Eugene at 11:50 am Friday, May 6, at the Hilton 12th floor ballroom. See www.cityclubofeugene.org
« Willamette Resources & Educational Network (WREN) will host a free public citizen scientist "Wetland Monitoring and Data Collection Day” from 9 am to 1 pm Saturday, May 7. Ages 16+ and RSVP by May 5. Meet at the Red House of the Wetland Partnership Office at 751 S. Danebo Ave.
« The 12th annual Million Mom March to Prevent Gun Violence will begin at 2 pm Sunday, May 8, Mothers Day, at the EWEB Plaza fountain. Speeches will be followed at 2:30 pm by a march along the bike path to Owen Rose Garden for pie and music. Virginia Tech survivor Colin Goddard will join the event, which will also honor Eugene police officer Chris Kilcullen who was shot and killed by a handgun during a traffic stop April 22. Mayor Kitty Piercy is expected to speak, along with Hillary Johnson of Strong Schools, Strong Eugene.
« The iMatter March organized by youth across the country to demand government action on global warming will include Eugene on Mothers Day. Spencer Butte Middle School is organizing the local march with support from at least five other schools. The march will be from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm Sunday, May 8, beginning at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, 125 East Eighth Ave. and ending at the U.S. Courthouse.Marchers are invited to join the Million Mom March nearby at EWEB Plaza.
« Local sustainability activist Jan Spencer is bringing his West Coast speaking tour home with a local tour titled "Creating A Safer, More Secure and Healthier Neighborhood.” A half-day seminar will be from 1 to 5 pm Saturday, May 7, at the Unitarian Church, 477 E. 40th Ave. Next will be free talks at 7 pm Tuesday, May 10, at the United Lutheran Church, 2230 Washington St.; and at 7 pm Wednesday, May 18 at Temple Beth Israel, 1175 E. 29th Ave. Call Spencer at 686-6761 or see the full schedule is at www.suburbanpermaculture.org
«A free "Evening for the Elliott” starts at 5 pm on May 10 at Cozmic Pizza (8th and Charnelton) when Cascadia Wildlands presents slides and a discussion of threats to the Elliott State Forest and ways for community members to plug in.
« Afghan-American author Tamin Ansary will lecture at 7:30 pm Thursday, May 12, at LCCs Center for Meeting and Learning, Building 19, main campus. Free and open to the public. Ansary will talk about his personal history, contrasting life in a highly conservative Islamic society to that in post-modern U.S. and explore such topics as the burqa and the position of women in Islamic society.
LANE AREA HERBICIDE SPRAY SCHEDULE
« ODOT: highway spraying in District 5 (Lane County) was delayed, now to begin May 2, depending on weather (web search for Notices/ODOT/2011). Call District 5 at 744-8080 or (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. ODOT spraying has already started in other parts of Oregon.
Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers: 342-8332, www.forestlanddwellers.org
« 1,560 U.S. troops killed* (1,525)
« 11,110 U.S. troops wounded in action (11,032)
« 763 U.S. contractors killed (763)
« $400.6 billion cost of war ($398.5 billion)
« $113.9 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($113.3 million)
« 4,421 U.S. troops killed (4,421)
« 31,931 U.S. troops wounded in action (31,931)
« 185 U.S. military suicides (updates NA)
« 1,537 U.S. contractors killed (1,537)
« 109,895 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (109,794)
« $788 billion cost of war $786.7 billion)
« $224.2 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($223.7 million)
Through May 2, 2011; sources: icasualties.org; defense.gov, U.S. Dept. of Labor
* highest estimate; source: iraqbodycount.org; based on confirmed media reports; other groups calculate Iraqi civilian deaths as high as 655,000 (Lancet survey, 2006) to 1.2 million (Opinion Research Business survey, 2008)
I dont need to see President Obamas birth certificate to believe hes a U.S. citizen. But I would like to see his voter registration card. Sometimes Im not sure hes a Democrat. ã Rafael Aldave, Eugene
« The memorial service April 29 for slain Eugene police officer Chris Kilcullen drove 6,000 people to tears. Even the toughest Eugene cops and most cynical reporters choked when looking at the officers young daughters. The service had some testimony that could make a Eugene liberal wince ã the homophobic nicknames for the officer, the long comparison of Kilcullen to Jesus Christ, the digs at citizens for ever criticizing any officer, not a word about gun control, the powerful ceremonial militarism. But what shone through bright and clear in this rare public look behind the blue line was Kilcullens humanity. He really was a good guy ã a goofy, gregarious regular fellow who loved heavy metal, cheap burritos and bike riding ã but also an extraordinary man who saved lives. Anyone whos seen a senseless vehicle accident scene littered with crumpled and blood-choking children knows that we would wreak even worse havoc on each other without diligent traffic cops. Chris Kilcullen truly was one of Eugenes finest. Rest in peace, Officer Kilcullen.
« Ballots and Voters Pamphlets have quietly landed in our mailboxes and they are easy to ignore. In fact, the Tea Party crowd would love to see a low turnout in the May 17 Special Election. But its time to stand up for public education.
The debate over the school income tax measure is full of irony and twists. Conservatives on the Eugene City Council originally demanded that the tax apply equally to everyone, even the lowest wage-earners in town. The measures tax rates were adjusted to exclude low-income households but now conservatives are complaining that the measure would unfairly tax both the middle-class and the lowest wage-earners in town. The anti-tax "Citizens for Jobs and Schools” folks are also saying the tax would eliminate jobs and kill businesses ã huh? By laying off more than 100 teachers and all the jobs their salaries support? Not logical.
The campaigns have also had their share of fireworks and hair-yanking. A lawsuit, since pulled, was filed against Mark Callahan for making Mayor Kitty Piercy sound like she was against the tax, and Callahan has gone ballistic in defense of his deceptive quote in the Voters Pamphlet. And several novice school board candidates were left out of the city Voters Pamphlet because they heard the county wasnt doing a Voters Pamphlet. Ouch.
« Push-polling is one of the most deceptive tactics known in campaigning. We got a recorded survey call at home last week asking how we are going to vote on the income tax for schools. Seemed like a simple poll, but after we pushed 1 for yes, the recorded voice asked something to the effect of, "Do you think its fair that the city wants to tax you but cant tell you how the tax will be collected or how it will be spent? If you think this is fair, press 1.” Similar misleading questions and false statements followed. Another robo-call was from Jennifer Solomon inviting us to join a live chat about the tax. We listened for a while, but only heard anti-government, anti-public school rants from screened callers, and Solomon urging them on, saying, "You are absolutely right!”
« Now that we finally got Osama bin Laden after 10 years of randomly invading countries, we should at long last declare victory and bring the troops home. The successful focused strike on bin Laden should bring the war against the "terrorism” noun back to reality. If we could do this kind of focused police action in a country harboring the murderer without invading now, why didnt we do it a decade ago, saving countless hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars? If we dont bring the troops home now, many in this country and abroad will rightly wonder what the hell we are fighting for. Is this just about keeping military spending and politicians intact by fighting a perpetual war that creates more and more enemies to fight? It clearly was for George W. Bush, who famously said he was "truly not that concerned” about finding bin Laden and exploited the 9/11 tragedy to attack Iraq. Obama should quickly seize this moment of national unity and pride, declare a real "mission accomplished” and end the senseless, endless waste of mountains of money and rivers of blood in Iraq and Afghanistan.
« We featured grafted tomatoes on the cover of our Digs home and garden issue March 3 and now we hear Log House Plants grafted "Mighty Mato” will be making its debut appearance at the Oregon Plant Fair 2011, along with other Northwest specialty plants. The big event is from 9 am to 2 pm Saturday, May 7, at the picnic shelters in Alton Baker Park. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the OSU Lane County Extension Service Master Gardeners program.
« Images of costumes still sinking in from recent days:hats looking like they were glued ontoheads at the royal wedding; football uniforms of camouflage fabric to honor the troops; highest police polish, even white gloves, to shine at the terribly sadservice; white turban and flowing robes, blackest beard, finally, farewell.
« A petition is making its way around Facebook and the internet that starts off "Support the restaurant at King Estate Winery and local farmers” and has garnered almost 3,000 signatures. But the issue is not that simple. The petition is in support of two bills in the Legislature that would allow the "winery and restaurant to co-exist,” rather than go through a "lengthy and ongoing appeal process.” But is this really an issue of the big bad government beating up on local farmers? The laws in question here actually protect farmland from development and the appeal process arose after King Estate fell behind in applying for the proper permits (and paying land use fees to our cash-strapped county). HB 3280 and SB 829 have passed in the Oregon House and Senate. We love a good glass of wine and a delicious organic meal as much as anyone else, so lets hope that if these bills pass into law, they keep the specific language that protects the farmers and farmland that supply King Estate with the organic foods it sells.
SLANT includes short opinion pieces, observations and rumor-chasing notes compiled by the EW staff. Heard any good rumors lately? Contact Ted Taylor at 484-0519, editor at eugeneweekly dot com