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News Briefs

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Eugene-based Bennett’s Drain Savers a pre-enforcement notice on March 29 for performing sewage disposal services without a current license 697 times between Nov. 16, 2009, and March 6, 2013. DEQ sent Goshen Forest Products a warning letter on April 15 for failing to submit a 2011-2012 industrial stormwater monitoring report.

p>The Winnemum Wintu have been fighting for years to bring their native salmon back, and local filmmaker Will Doolittle will be premiering his documentary film, Dancing Salmon Home, about the tribe and their efforts on May 3 at Bijou Cinemas. The event will also feature the short film Ceremony is Not a Crime and a Q&A with Doolittle and Chief Caleen Sisk. 

Drones bomb people in Pakistan. They make “targeted attacks” in Yemen. A recent piece on “Drone Strikes and the Boston Marathon Bombing” on The Atlantic’s website argues that drone strikes have “probably made this kind of terrorism — home-grown terrorism, committed by longtime residents of America — more likely.”

Demand is increasing for Occupy Medical’s free downtown health care, and the group needs more volunteers and donations. Occupy Medical’s mobile unit — that distinct red and white bus you see parked downtown at the Park Blocks on Sundays from noon until 4 pm — served 49 patients on April 21, according to Clinic Manager Sue Sierralupe. Occupy Medical serves patients for free, regardless of income or insurance. 

Eugene voters have been told critical services are on the chopping block if Eugene’s proposed city services fee fails the May 21 ballot, including some of Eugene’s most popular: one of two CAHOOTS vans, funding for the Buckley House sobering station, funding for library services and the Sheldon Pool, a fire crew in the Whiteaker neighborhood and the Looking Glass Station 7. But is it true? Fee supporters and opponents disagree on whether the services will be cut if the fee is voted down.

Rosboro LLC, 746-8411, now plans to spray a total of 900 acres on its forest roadsides throughout Lane County with Garlon 4 and Glyphosate. See ODF notices 2013-781-00324 and 2013-771-00333.

Giustina, 345-2301, plans to hire Northwest Reforestation, 554-0489, to ground spray Atrazine, Clopyralid, Hexazinone, Sulfometuron Methyl and/or Triclopyr Ester on a total of 219 acres near Preacher, Camas Swale, Coyote, Hawley and Doak creeks, also on 57 acres near Little Sand Creek. See ODF notices 2013-781-00321 and 2013-730-00485.

Eugene’s Multiple-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) has stirred up a lot of controversy for awarding tax breaks to downtown developers. Critics say the current ordinance and process don’t adequately ensure that the projects the 10-year tax exemptions incentivize are what the public needs. Now MUPTE could undergo a complete overhaul, if an April 22 City Council work session is any indication.

Comments to Oregon DEQ regarding five local facilities’ industrial stormwater pollution control plans are due by 5 pm April 25. These facilities are: Gary Foglio Trucking (Florence), Oregon Industrial Lumber Products (Springfield), Rosboro Vaughn Complex (Veneta), Seneca Noti (Noti), and SierraPine (Springfield). Visit goo.gl/ScwdH to see stormwater plans, and goo.gl/iMDQb to comment.

Tackling the enormous problem of sexual violence begins with breaking its surrounding silence, and this year’s 34th annual Take Back the Night (TBTN) aims to do just that in a rally, march and speak-out event beginning 6 pm Thursday, April 25.

More than 60 parents, teachers and students met April 18 to discuss the common schedule coming to all 4J high schools. Organized by a group called 4J Parents Supporting Public Schools, the meeting brought together people from all four high schools, who expressed frustration with both the 4J School Board’s mandate and the process leading up to it.

A mixing zone is a spot where pollution enters into a river, and it’s legal for it to be there. These mixing zones exist throughout the Willamette River, and last fall, Travis Williams of Willamette Riverkeeper found himself floating over a dark, murky patch of water in the Willamette near Halsey. That murky water has led to a settlement between Cascade Pacific Pulp and Willamette Riverkeeper. However, the question over whether Cascade should have to post a sign letting river-users know about its mixing zone will be decided by a federal magistrate judge in Eugene.

With less than five weeks until Eugene voters decide whether to approve a city service fee, a committee is beginning to work on the fee’s low-income threshold, and its collection method is still up in the air.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been causing controversy nationally and locally, and those who are fighting the specter of genetically modified canola in the Willamette Valley as well as the dominance of chemical companies such as Monsanto will be bringing their call to action to EWEB’s Earth Day celebration April 20 and on the 21st.

Nothing goes together like nudity and nature, but there’s a limited number of places one can enjoy the outdoors au natural in Lane County. The recent shutdown of access to Glass Bar Island, one of Lane County’s traditionally nude beaches, has some questioning if the closure is targeting an already stigmatized group out of discomfort with the idea of nude gay people, while supporters say the proposed restoration project benefits humans and nature. Previous dumping brings more complications to the issue.

The 4J School Board expanded public comment time at the April 10 meeting as part of its pledge to hold more feedback sessions with community members. Over about 90 minutes, comments touched on the district’s move to a common high school schedule, changes in the way health clinics operate and proposed cuts to library services.

Neighborhood advocate Paul Conte has filed a notice of intent to petition the Land Conservation and Development Commission for an enforcement order related to the city of Eugene’s planning processes.

Recent layoffs and walkouts at the popular downtown bar John Henry’s have people asking several questions: Is the new management getting rid of the old John Henry’s? Will John Henry’s change its name? Will G.L.A.M. Nights continue?

Watch out for that bottom part of the food chain: Honeybee colonies have been on the decline since the mid-2000s due to a problem known as “colony collapse disorder” or CCD. Local beekeepers say that this winter — a time when both traditional and CCD die-offs tend to occur — was particularly bad within the city of Eugene, and that’s likely due to the rise in garden pesticides containing neonicotinoids that threaten important agricultural pollinators like honeybees.

In 2007, when 10 Earth Liberation Front eco-saboteurs were sentenced in federal court in Eugene for their ecologically motivated arsons, their attorneys fought a “terrorism enhancement” label. They argued it should be saved for “the most dangerous types of offenses that threaten the fabric of our society,” not people who went out of their way to make sure animals and humans were not harmed through their actions.

The Downtown Public Safety Committee met Monday, April 8, and weighed alternatives to the downtown exclusion zone, which is deemed unconstitutional and discriminatory by opponents and is set to expire in November 2013. The exclusion zone is one part of the Downtown Public Safety Zone strategy, which also includes more popular measures like CAHOOTS vans and increased bike patrols downtown. The panel also looked at various issues from safety houses for the homeless to the banning of dogs downtown. 

Almost a year after he began to fight misconduct charges he said were timed to be revealed just before the May 2012 election, former Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy’s public meetings, public records and federal lawsuits continue to make their way through the legal system. 

• Rosboro LLC, 746-8411, plans to spray about 500 acres its forest roadsides throughout Lane County with Garlon 4 and Glyphosate and Methylated Seed Oil. See ODF notice 2013-781-00324.

• ODOT has begun spring spraying. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 (Lane County area) at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection agency has finalized its order against Tyree Oil, Inc. for Clean Water Act violations (EW 2/14, http://goo.gl/FLqrs). 

Oregon DEQ sent CPM Development Corporation a warning letter March 13 for failure to collect required water quality monitoring data at its Eugene Sand & Gravel facility on Coburg Road along the north bank of the McKenzie River. Failure to collect such data is classified as a serious violation of Oregon environmental law.

A broad coalition of peace, justice and labor activists are organizing a series of actions on tax day, April 15, calling on Congress to redirect war dollars to fund education, job creation, universal health care and other vital services. Activists are also demanding the U.S. Postal Service keep open the Gateway Processing Facility in Springfield and rural post offices open.