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News Briefs

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.

Citing local, state and federal codes, activist Alley Valkyrie says the early morning April 5 arrests by the Eugene Police Department of four men and four women, ranging in age from 18 to 38 years old, for camping under an overpass did not follow official policy, and were also a violation of human rights. 

Progressive former city councilor Bonny Bettman McCornack walks into a meeting of Glenn Beck fans — it sounds like there’s a punch line coming, but at the meeting of 9.12 Project Lane County April 9, when Bettman McCornack presented her position against the proposed city fee on the May ballot, there was an air of agreement in the Izzy’s Pizza banquet room.

Union Pacific Railroad’s tracks run through Eugene’s Whiteaker and other neighborhoods, and that means when UP sprays pesticides for “vegetation control” in a 12-foot swath on either side of the tracks, people, pets and nearby gardens are affected. 

Four writers with Oregon roots will be discussing their work and reading excerpts at 5:30 pm on Saturday, April 6, when the Oregon Writer’s Collective (OWC) presents “Native Sons: an evening of Oregon poetry and prose,” at Tsunami Books. 

Horses were roped around their legs and neck and thrown to the ground from a gallop in a practice called horse tripping at a May 2012 rodeo in Jordan Valley, Ore. A graphic video of the events from the Big Loop Rodeo was posted on YouTube shortly after and an outcry against the practice began. Now, horse lovers have asked the Oregon Legislature to ban the practice, and SB 835 that would end horse tripping, while prohibiting treating rodeos less favorably than other events, has been introduced.

“They [abortions] really mess you up down there so you can never have children.” “Using a condom does not protect you from AIDS or pregnancy.” “The increase in abortions worldwide has caused a sharp increase in breast cancer.”

In fiscal year 2013 (which began July 1, 2012), the city of Eugene’s budget was a whopping 408 pages — without its glossary and definition of acronyms. Citizens and advocacy groups who want to comb through the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget prior to voting on the proposed city service fee will have to consume the budget, decipher it and get their messages out in three weeks or less, and that’s to converse with voters who might remain undecided until the last minute.

The grand public opening of the new Disc Golf Course at Alton Baker Park has been set for Monday, April 1, following the finale of the Willamette Valley Winter Series of disc golf tournaments to be held on the course Saturday, March 30.

Visiting Honduran Jesuit priest Father Ismael Moreno Coto, known as Padre Melo, will speak about the violence and corruption in Honduras and Latin America at 7 pm Tuesday, April 2, at the Friends Meeting House, 2274 Onyx St. in Eugene. 

Between tuition equity and local school budget cuts, Latinos will have a lot to talk about at the second Lane Latin@ Leadership Forum: “Latin@s and the Education System” on April 4. (The @ symbol is a gender-inclusive way to write “Latino.”) Organizer Phillip Carrasco says that the forum will include a couple of potential questions, but the format will emphasize an open dialogue between five panelists and the audience. 

Attention, fans of downtown Olive Street’s businesses and organizations: It’s time to re-route your paths for the next six months. The city is closing Olive Street between 12th and 13th avenues for the construction of Capstone’s student housing project from approximately April 1 until phase one is completed in September.

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.

The 4J School Board heard more public testimony March 20 both in support of and in opposition to the district’s move to a common high school schedule, and against cuts to health and library programs. And the board’s chair proposed holding more feedback sessions with teachers and community members.

City Hall may be fenced-off, padlocked and dormant, but seven proposals in response to the city’s request for proposals (RFP) from architects show that the process of redesigning and rebuilding the award-winning structure has begun. City Manager Jon Ruiz will announce finalists March 29 and is expected to select the winning firm (or firms) by April 12, after evaluating the applications on a points scale with city staff.

The City of Eugene has referred Pacific Recycling to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for enforcement regarding violations at its facility on Cross Street near Roosevelt Boulevard. The referral concerns two different Clean Water Act violations. First, Pacific Recycling has failed to submit a plan to the city regarding how it will reduce high pollution levels in stormwater discharges from the site. The city has sent Pacific Recycling three separate letters since November 2012 seeking such a plan, to no avail.

While former commissioner Rob Handy might have a lost a battle in the fight for better public records disclosure from Lane County government, he feels that he made some headway in the war. He said in a press statement that the goal of his suit “was to shine a light on the arbitrary nature in which Lane County” responds to public records requests, and with this goal in mind, Handy says the suit was a success. 

Some city leaders are asking voters to approve a city service fee on the ballot in May, but others are saying “not so fast” — the sacrificial services on the chopping block don’t have to be the first cut.

Eugene’s 4J School Board agreed last week to convene a work session this week to address issues that have arisen over moving all district high schools to a common 3x5 schedule. The proposal to address the schedule change came after the Eugene Education Association (EEA) asked the board to postpone the move, citing opposition by a majority of high school teachers, and more than two dozen parents, teachers and students spoke against the change at a packed meeting. The board also addressed the latest budget shortfall projections and proposed cuts to services in a number of programs.

The recent announcement that two foreign investors have pulled out of the International Port of Coos Bay’s coal export proposal doesn’t mean the coal train plans have been entirely derailed. The announcement leads to even more questions, says Bob Ferris, executive director of Cascadia Wildlands, one of several Lane County groups working to stop the fossil fuel exports. 

Claiming support from both liberals and conservatives, a small group of Eugene citizens has organized a Political Action Committee (PAC) to campaign against Ballot Measure 20-211, the proposed fees for city residences and business that will be on the ballot in May. 

Citizens for Truth, Justice, and the American Way (CiTJAW) has a website at votenocityfee.org and the PAC directors are Bonny Bettman McCornack and Paul Nicholson, both former city councilors. David Monk is the treasurer.

Although only 46 wolves live in Oregon, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently recommended the removal of gray wolves from the protection of the Endangered Species Act in the lower 48 states.