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Eugene city councilors are feeling a little out of the loop when it comes to the construction of the new City Hall and their future offices there. Or lack of offices, as the case may be. Recently more than half the City Council questioned City Manager Jon Ruiz on the latest developments with the public building under construction that they were not aware of.

On Feb. 12 the Eugene tech community plans to address the topic of downtown livability in Eugene with a giant computer programming event called a hackathon. The tech frenzy starts Friday at the Downtown Athletic Club, where Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) will host Hack for a Cause.  

Joshua Purvis, the events coordinator for TAO, explains that local members of the tech community will work in teams to develop and produce ideas and concepts concerning downtown livability in Eugene “with a vision for implementation.”

• M Three Timber Company, 767-3785, plans to aerial and ground spray 66 acres near Muslin Creek with 2,4-D, atrazine, hexazinone, sulfometuron methyl, clopyralid and/or Induce. See ODF notification 2016-781-01311, call Brian Peterson at 953-2283 with questions. 

Marijuana: controlled substance or religious sacrament? 

In December 2015, the Portland branch of the United States Postal Service (USPS) seized a 5-ounce package of marijuana mailed from Eugene by Joy Graves — the leader of the Cottage Grove branch of Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC) — who says it was intended to help an ailing ONAC member in Ohio.

On the corner of Lawrence Street sits a tiny white building that houses feisty nonprofit Beyond Toxics, which has advocated for environmental and social justice reforms in the state of Oregon since 2001 — you might remember it as Oregon Toxics Alliance. 

On Feb. 5, Beyond Toxics will celebrate its 15th anniversary at Capitello Wine Bar in downtown Eugene, as well as introduce a state ballot petition banning aerial chemical sprays.

The American media has been paying a lot of attention to the clown car that makes up the pool of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. And on the Democratic side, the media has finally noticed that Bernie Sanders is making inroads into what many thought was a surefire Hillary Clinton ticket.

But lately, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein says, there’s been a little more oxygen in the room, and the media and American public have realized that Stein and the Greens have something to say.

Nadia Raza’s lawsuit against Lane Community College, filed Jan. 21, alleges that the administration failed to protect the tenured instructor from an aggressive student felon and stalker. 

Raza’s 19-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene by attorney Jennifer Middleton, is not the first attempt to get the LCC administration to adopt immediate measures to better protect its staff from sexual advances and physical threats from students. 

[Update: This article has been edited to include information about a petition to Save Kesey Square.]

Before the Eugene City Council meeting Jan. 25, the chants and drums of the Save Kesey Square rally could be heard from the nearby Harris Hall, growing louder as more than 100 protesters walked from Kesey Square to the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza while a council work session was in progress.

Until last year, Eugene School District 4J did not have a policy in place to specifically protect transgender and gender non-conforming students. 

When 4J school psychologist Brianna Stiller was developing 4J’s gender policy, which the 4J School Board passed in the spring of 2015, district lawyers told her that since 4J already had anti-harassment policies in place, it didn’t need a gender policy.

“I told them, ‘You’re missing the point,’” Stiller says.

On Dec. 15, the Lane County Board of Commissioners quietly voted on an ordinance that made an already ambiguous policy about who has the right to be on county property even more problematic.

Under Chapter 6 of the Lane County Code, “a duly authorized officer,” who could be a board member, the county administrator or “any person delegated the authority to control county property” by those people — and the delegation of authority does need not be in writing — can trespass someone from county property. 

[Update: This story has been edited Jan. 22 to include a response from the city of Eugene]

Slow down. That’s the message citizens of Eugene are emailing to City Manager Jon Ruiz, Mayor Kitty Piercy and the Eugene City Council about Kesey Square and its potential development into an apartment building by a local group, which could happen as soon as this spring.

Jan. 15 was the deadline for submission of RFEIs (requests for expression of interest) for Kesey Square.

KLCC public radio in Eugene is no longer running Alternative Radio, a weekly program that has run for 30 years. The hour-long program slot at 7 pm Tuesday has been filled by Reveal, investigative reports from the Center for Public Integrity, Public Radio Exchange and partner public radio stations around the country. KLCC is now a partner station with opportunities to give Eugene-area stories national exposure. Reveal is free for KLCC, as was Alternative Radio.

Seneca Jones Timber Company LLC, 689-1011, plans to spray roadsides near Siuslaw River Road, Crow Creek, Douglas Creek, Sheffler Road, Doane and Crow Roads, Simonsen Road, Farman Creek and Camas Swale Creek near Weiss Road. See ODF notifications 2016-781-00876, 00877, 00879, 00880, 00881 and 2016-781-00882, call Brian Peterson or Robin Biesecker at 998-2283 with questions. 

The projected cost of Eugene’s new City Hall has now risen after city councilors requested that city staff look into boosting the new four-story structure’s ability to withstand a severe earthquake. 

“We asked the city manager to investigate looking into that standard. He said, ‘Yeah, but it’ll cost more,’” said Councilor Alan Zelenka in an interview with EW. The conversation on altering City Hall’s structure took place at the last City Council meeting in December, he says.  

Giustina Land and Timber Company, 345-2301, plans to hire Western Helicopter, 503-538-9469, to aerially spread urea fertilizer pellets on 3 units totaling 454.6 acres near Jones Creek and Hall Road and near Goldson Road off of Hwy. 36. See ODF notification 2016-781-00296; call Robin Biesecker at 998-2283 with questions. 

A slew of events in Lane County will honor Martin Luther King Jr., the week of Jan. 18, including several marches, a talk by a leading black journalist and the release of a report on the Oregon Legislature and racial equity.

On Jan. 18, the MLK holiday, the Lane County chapter of the NAACP will host a march to honor the life of the civil rights leader beginning 9 am outside the north gate of Autzen Stadium, according to the chapter’s president, Eric Richardson. 

They sleep in cells, monitored by guards. Some of them are serving life sentences for their crimes. But when they are working with Curt Tofteland, the founding producing director of Shakespeare Behind Bars, they are actors. On Jan. 19, Tofteland will speak at the University of Oregon about his 20 years of experience guiding prison inmates, in Kentucky and Michigan, to perform the works of Shakespeare. 

If and when the track and field’s international governing body, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), brings its world championships to Eugene in 2021, it will be the biggest track event Hayward Field has ever seen. 

A female dog euthanized in late December at 1st Avenue Shelter is the subject of some online uproar. City of Eugene Animal Services and 1st Avenue Shelter say the pregnant dog had a bite record and repeatedly demonstrated aggressive behavior, while advocacy group No Kill Lane County maintains that the dog could have been rehabilitated. 

Molly Monette, animal welfare supervisor with City of Eugene Animal Services, says a Eugene citizen picked up the stray boxer on Nov. 20. While in that person’s custody, the dog escaped from her enclosure.

A manufacturer is forming a lawsuit against Eugene’s voter-approved Toxics Right-to-Know (TRK) program because he is upset about paying an annual $2,000 fee. Advocates for the program say the community TRK law is a key element in making public health decisions. 

Vanilla ISIS, Y’all Quaeda, YeeHawdists, terrorists, militants, militia — whatever you call them, and whether you fear them or laugh at them, the band of mainly out-of-state, armed and anti-government protesters who have taken over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Oregon’s east side have drawn almost nonstop attention since their siege of the remote bird sanctuary began Jan. 3.

Instead of reaching for a glass of champagne this New Year, grab a hard cider and toast to Oregon’s booming hard cider industry. Recent changes in federal legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Sen. Ron Wyden, have smoothed the process for craft cider makers by broadening definitions of hard cider and easing off taxes.

These changes are especially relevant to Oregon, says Lee Larsen, CEO of 2 Towns Ciderhouse in Corvallis, because Oregon has around 6 percent of the market share for hard cider, while the national average is 1 percent.

A joint grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) was awarded to the Oregon State University Libraries and CALYX Press. The two organizations were awarded more than $96,000 through the Humanities Open Book program. The grant will go towards the digitization and hosting of feminist literature that is out of print and making it available in free e-books. 

CALYX is a Corvallis-based publication and press supporting women’s creative works.