• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

News Briefs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a public notice on Monday, Feb. 11, concerning a proposed penalty against Tyree Oil, Inc. under the Clean Water Act. EPA alleges that Tyree Oil violated the Clean Water Act by failing to prepare and implement adequate spill prevention, containment and countermeasures (SPCC) plans at Eugene and North Bend facilities. EPA also alleges that approximately seven barrels of oil discharged from an above-ground storage tank at Tyree Oil’s facility on West 1st Avenue in Whiteaker on Jan.

Buy a CD and save some salmon. Artist4Action’s latest effort to solve environmental problems through creative collaboration is Songs for the River, and the CD features an array of songs from local favorite David Jacobs-Strain’s “Ocean or a Teardrop” to songs by national stars Jackson Browne, Ani Di Franco, Don Henley and more. 

The roster of speakers for the UO’s Social Justice Real Justice (SJRJ) conference reads like an all-star cast of activists, journalists and thinkers. From national luminaries, including Cornell West and Winona LaDuke, to activists fomenting change on a local level such as Eugene’s Michael Carrigan and Jason “Pleado” Wellman, the Feb. 14-17 conference is loaded with issues, causes and ideas. 

A panel made up of cash-strapped county leaders, timber executives and environmentalists couldn’t reach consensus on dealing with logging on 2.6 million acres of western Oregon’s federal forestland, but it drew up some options to send to Congress anyway.

“The governor tried to spin the report that he sent to Congress as the findings of the panel,” says Steve Pedery of Oregon Wild, calling the proposal “a summary of the bad ideas that have been put out over the last several years.” 

Most Eugeneans know that climate change is happening, but acting on that knowledge is a little trickier. On Feb. 10, the Climate Change Mitigation and Preparation meeting at Cozmic will feature a series of short talks followed by roundtable discussions that focus primarily on action.

“The truth is that educating is huge, but people are dying for action,” says Pam Driscoll, a facilitator and speaker for the meeting. “We have all the information. Now we need to act on it.”

Saturday, Feb. 9, at Cozmic will be a “PowerBlast” of nine bands donating their time for the “Feel the Warmth” fundraiser hosted by the Egan Warming Center, a center started in 2008 to provide homeless people in Lane County shelter on the area’s coldest nights from November through March when temperatures dip below 30 degrees.

Cops who can’t see through car windows could have drivers seeing red. Oregon law requires at least 35 percent of light to pass through vehicle windows, and dealerships are legally required to sell cars that meet that standard, even used cars that come from somewhere else. But sometimes vehicles slip through the cracks.

Many indigenous cultures may have disappeared, but Wade Davis is out to make sure we still learn and appreciate all there is to know about them. The National Geographic explorer in-residence, who has spent most of his life immersed in ancient worlds, will speak at 7:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 182 Lillis Hall on the UO campus. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Margaret Hedrick a warning letter Jan. 16 for a “sizeable release” of what appeared to be used oil to the ground at 1700 Highway 99 N. in Eugene (a little south of Highway 99 and Bethel Drive). According to DEQ’s letter, “used oil can contain cancer-causing agents, metal contaminants and organic compounds that can impact soil, stormwater and surface waters as well as filter into the groundwater supply when discharged onto the land surface.

Almost $3 million to hand over public records seems like a lot of money to former Lane County commissioner Rob Handy and his attorney Marianne Dugan. Handy is suing the county, alleging that it didn’t turn over documents related to a meeting and letter in which he was accused of ethics violations. Coos County Circuit Court Judge Richard Barron heard arguments and testimony Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 at the Lane County Circuit Court. 

Health Care for All Oregon’s Eugene chapter will be joining others from 62 statewide organizations Monday, Feb. 4, for a kick-off rally for universal health care in Salem on the first day of the 2013 legislative session. 

Government agencies like to release bad news on Fridays and sneak bad rules in over the Christmas holidays, the wisdom goes, because there’s less of a chance that anyone will notice on the weekend or on a week off. County Administrator Liane Richardson appears to have made significant changes about access to the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza in Lane County’s Administrative Procedures Manual (APM) at the beginning of the Christmas holidays. 

The Eugene Disc Golf Club (EDGC) and local disc golfers and fans are gathering at 7:45 am Saturday, Feb. 2, at Dexter State Park east of Eugene for the second annual Ice Bowl. 

Animal lovers and supporters of humane treatment alike will gather in Salem on Feb. 12 for Humane Lobby Day, where they can learn about five new bills, among others, that will affect the welfare of animals. 

“It’s a great opportunity for people who care about animals to let their voices be heard,” says Scott Beckstead, Oregon senior director with The Humane Society of the United States. “Although we’re a state with a proud tradition of promoting animal welfare, we have these antiquated laws.”

Neighborhood associations: not full of criminals. That was the finding of a city of Eugene investigation into whether three neighborhood associations tried to extort money from a local developer.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Robert Saltsgaver, Jr. a warning letter on Dec. 17 for significant violations of Oregon environmental law stemming from illegal disposal of an estimated 4,800 to 6,600 waste tires and construction and demolition debris at 31841 Cedar Creek Road, Cottage Grove.  The letter notes that such illegal disposal can lead to contamination of soil, surface water, and groundwater, and requests corrective actions.

Eugene City Council is scheduled to vote Jan. 28 on new penalties for unruly partiers, but some Eugeneans say those fines aren’t so fine. The proposed social host ordinance would lower the number of attendees required to deem a party “unruly” and make landlords liable for police response costs after the fourth offense.

A door-to-door census collects U.S. demographic info, but if you don’t have a door you don’t count. On Jan. 30 there will be a street count, which means every homeless person found on the streets as well as in shelters will be accounted for. Unsheltered people will be asked to fill out a form detailing where they are staying and how long they have been homeless, while also providing other information about their current state. 

Marc Kardell didn’t look like a fight-the-power kind of guy at his “name-clearing hearing” in the Lane County commissioners’ offices on Jan. 18; he looked like the proper, grey-haired attorney and public servant he is, or rather, since being fired by Lane County last May, was. 

Fiscal cliff, debt ceiling, recession. The words out of Washington are gloomy and confusing, but Jared Bernstein, who has been chief economist and economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class and a member of President Obama’s economic team, says when he comes to give a talk in Eugene on Jan. 28, he comes “with a message of hope for the future” and that he is also here to listen and help clarify the economic news out of the nation’s capital. 

As salmon populations continue to decline on the West Coast, policy makers and government officials argue over ways to prevent extinction. But according to Caleen Sisk, spiritual leader and tribal chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe in Northern California, the salmon can’t wait much longer. 

Friends of Michael David Rister, who was better known downtown as Sweet Pea, want to know who the assailants were that they say attacked him. Sweet Pea, a homeless street artist, was often seen outside the Circle K and Pita Pit in Eugene. Friends are working on a memorial celebration for him, and they also say they want justice for him in his death. 

The ninth annual All Comer’s Meet hosted by the Disciples of Dirt mountain bike club will begin at 9:45 am Sunday, Jan. 20, at Whypass near Lorane. This is the DOD’s largest annual event and has steadily grown each year. 

“Attendance last year, verified by signed wavers, was 149 people but estimates were closer to 165, even with snow on the ground that day,” says Shawn Litson, spokesperson for DOD. This is a free event and open to all. 

Eugene might want to update its slogan: “A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors — and Beer.” Claim 52 Brewing, a west Eugene craft brewery that began first and third Friday dock sales in November, is adding a European-style flavor (among others) to the local offerings.