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Labor unions have for years been pitted against conservationists in a jobs-versus-the-environment conflict. But now, a greater threat to the planet has paired members of the rival movements in a fight against a greater evil: global climate change. 

Two law briefs that attorney Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center says could affect whether constitutional rights in Eugene and across the U.S. are  “silently but significantly” being eroded and “swept under the radar screen” were filed in courts this past week. The briefs involve participants from Occupy Eugene and SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) and preexisting cases that deal with the First Amendment right to protest and assemble in what Regan calls “our revered public forums.”

Thanks to a federal law enacted in 2005, Eugene gets about 40 blasts of a 96- to 110-decibel horn each time a train passes through town, according to Whitey Lueck. Lueck is an instructor in the UO’s Department of Landscape Architecture who has been involved over the years in trying to implement a “quiet zone” for Eugene’s 10 crossings to protect the ears of city dwellers. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality sent San Mateo-based J.H. Baxter & Co. a warning letter on March 31 for various hazardous waste law violations discovered by DEQ during an unannounced inspection on March 25 at Baxter’s wood treatment facility in Eugene’s Trainsong neighborhood. Violations included failure to label hazardous waste, failure to conduct required hazardous waste inspections, failure to provide up-to-date contingency plans to first responders and failure to clean up spills.

The Lane County Jail announced on April 21 that it will no longer hold inmates on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers without a warrant or a court order. This is in response to an April 11 federal court ruling that Clackamas County violated a woman’s Fourth Amendment rights by holding her in jail for 19 hours after her case was settled in order to let federal immigration agents begin investigating her residency status. 

TEDxUOregon returned April 19 for its second year of speakers, student speakers and performances at the UO’s Beall Concert Hall.

New affordable, childbirth education classes will be offered weekly starting this Sunday, April 27, at River Road Parks & Recreation in response to a change in the way PeaceHealth at RiverBend is offering its classes. The River Road classes, taught by Lillian Shoupe, will focus on relaxation, confronting preconceived cultural ideas of birth, a deeper understanding of anatomy and physiology and building positive affirmation for the process they’re going through.

• Big development plans are brewing for Glenwood and huge tax breaks and concessions have been demanded by developers. But why shortchange our schools, public services and infrastructure in order to entice for-profit developers? Glenwood has an attractive riverfront and central location. It will evolve and develop just fine without tax breaks and subsidies.

Family physician Alison Erde, M.D., has practiced medicine in Springfield for 12 years and is now relocating her solo Prevention Plus Clinic practice to south Eugene to be closer to home. The clinic is now at 3225 Willamette, Suite 1. She tells us she trained at UCLA and completed a women’s health fellowship. “I am something of an anachronism,” she says. “I have a holistic approach to wellness.” Her “special interests” are in menopause, mood issues, sports medicine and preventive health care.

• A free program on “Visual Justice: Democratized Video as Evidence” will be at 5 pm Thursday, April 24, in 110 Knight Law Center on the UO campus. The event features UO Law School alumna Kelly Matheson, senior attorney for Witness, an international human rights organization that specializes in using video to support change in human rights practice, policy and law.

I’m looking at two memos that I wrote in July of 1991 when I worked for Congressman Peter DeFazio as a natural resource policy advisor. The memos were written on two consecutive days to reflect two meetings, one with the timber industry and the other with the environmental community. Earlier that year, all timber harvests on federal forests were halted by a federal court injunction. Thousands of jobs were at risk and the economies for many rural communities were in limbo. The two meetings were to determine if any form of compromise legislation was possible and what level of support we could expect from either side in the controversy.

“Until last August, this was disused horse pasture.” Forest Weaver, Sean Ferrigno and I are standing at one end of a rectangular field. It’s mostly rough grass, but snaking mounds of soil wind over the mid-section, ready for planting. One is already planted with blueberries, and nearby are grape vines and some young fruit trees. A former client of Weaver’s (he was in the construction business) offered him the use of this land as a base for Garden Starters, the business Weaver and Ferrigno founded last year to help individuals and organizations convert underutilized land into a productive source of food.

American “classical” music often finds a more welcome reception in choral concerts than in orchestra halls. Maybe it has something to do with the enormous popularity of choral music; nearly 30 million Americans — a tenth of the population — sing at least occasionally in a choir of some kind, whether it’s in school or church, amateur or professional. Maybe that’s why American folk and choral music sometimes seem like kissing cousins.

Bombadil’s quirky 2013 release Metrics of Affection defies expectations from the start — sounding more like British Invasion pop from the ’60s than contemporary indie rock from North Carolina. Album tracks “Angeline” and “Learning to Let Go” recall the Ray and Dave Davies songwriting partnership of The Kinks.

Lynx reminds me of a general — marshaling her beats, strings, digital bleeps and waves like orchestrated forces to create a united front. Or perhaps a captain is more apt. Her latest album, Light Up Your Lantern, sways like a ship in unknown waters on tracks like “Southern Skies,” leaving the listener a little woozy but eager for what lays ahead.

If you are going to create a monopoly on beverage sales at the UO, Bigfoot is the right name for the company to run it.

Portland’s own Hillstomp has found a way to blend Northwestern sense of place with the sludge and balm of a Louisiana swamp. The duo’s new album, titled Portland, Ore., out now on Fluff & Gravy Records, is a 10-track work that ebbs and flows, jives and stomps and howls, riots and then takes a nap. It begins with a rather heavy twosome — “Santa Fe Line” and “Life I Want” — that showcases the band’s ever-growing ability to find beauty in mosquito-bitten disarray.

HOMELESS ANSWERS

Seldom does anyone get up in the morning and say, “I think I am going to sleep on the sidewalk, lose all my possessions over and over again, beg for money and listen to people shout obscene things at me.” 

Here are some answers given to me when I interviewed some of our homeless population. With the exception of the few mentally ill homeless I talked with, all that would talk with me have had past or current drug and alcohol problems.

That Puck! What an imp, what a funnin’ fool. Should any wee hint of the grave or the dour threaten to shank the shambolic ether of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, rest assured that frolicsome Puck, aka Robin Goodfellow, servant to Oberon (King of the Faeries), will hop to and eradicate all frowns with a sly spree of herkimer-jerkimer and utter tomfoolery. Nay, Puck ─ as the sprightly stand-in for Shakespeare’s bumptious side ─ will have none of our earnestness. Life, after all, is but a dream.

My son is 19, but due to some physical and social disabilities (mostly unseen), his emotional maturity level is closer to 14, though he is quite intelligent. After a lifetime of therapists, specialized education, and other interventions, he is now a freshman in college far from home. His dad and I are paying for his tuition, room and board, and books. He was expected to use his summer job earnings for personal expenses.

Remember when Jude Law was pretty? Go back and watch Existenz, or A.I. or Gattaca, when he was often blonde and proper, and always a little bit cold. Then watch Dom Hemingway, in which he is, in so many ways, the opposite: earthy and sweaty and living it up. His hair sweeps back from a sharply pointed hairline, dyed dark brown and never clean; he’s carrying just enough extra weight (by movie-star standards) that his clothes bunch and puff in the wrong places, like real-person clothes. 

This year, Cinema Pacific packs quite an international punch, with a focus on films from Chile and Taiwan and a slew of interactive events, EW spoke to Festival Director Richard Herskowitz to find out what not to miss. Here are some of the highlights:

From the Cuthbert Amphitheater to WOW Hall to The Shedd, and even Wednesday nights at Max’s Tavern or impromptu nights at Tiny Tavern, Eugene offers multiple stages and shows. But the audience has spoken: People want to see live music that established venues aren’t always able to offer, featuring artists of varying levels of popularity and financial pull. A few scrappy individuals are bringing that music to our ears.

Regular folks who work at salons, radio stations and grocery stores are opting to offer their own homes as venues, booking shows themselves rather than relying on local establishments. Churches in Eugene even have a history of hosting shows such as Holly Near, booked by Meyer, whose hit concert filled the Unitarian Universalist Church last Valentine’s Day. And new venues like The Boreal are filling their all-ages shows to capacity. With independent spaces catering to various genres of music from punk rock to folk, Eugeneans have had the opportunity to catch Mickey Hart, Bruce Cockburn, Holly Near, La Luz, Peter Case, Tony Trischka, King Tuff, White Mystery and Diarrhea Planet — all outside the walls of a commerical venue.