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Celebrants at the 25th annual Eugene-Springfield Pride Festival braved the hot temperatures Saturday, Aug. 13, at Alton Baker Park

Local attorney Michael Arnold was the guest speaker at the monthly 9-12 Project Lane County meeting discussing constitutional law Aug. 9. 

Arnold is known for his high-profile cases such as defending mixed martial artist Gerald Strebendt in his murder trial and briefly becoming Ammon Bundy’s attorney after traveling to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during its occupation earlier this year. 

A blistering report by the U.S. Justice Department finds that “the Baltimore Police Department for years has hounded black residents who make up most of the city’s population, systematically stopping, searching and arresting them, often with little provocation or rationale,” The New York Times reports.

“The ultimate con artist,” “the master of impersonations.” In Eugene? 

The Downtown Athletic Club sent out an email Aug. 2, saying it had severed its relationship with general manager Carlo DiMaria, who “intentionally misstated experience on his resume.”

Grouping couches together, chilling racks of beer, lighting coals for the grill. These aren’t preparations for the neighborhood potluck. They’re what some people have done to get comfortable for playing hours of Pokémon Go on a downtown street corner.

While some stores are seeing an increase in foot traffic, that hasn’t translated into a similar increase in profitable business. 

On a bright weekday morning, 12 students fill out a downtown Eugene classroom as an excited buzz of conversation fills the space, and University of Oregon psychology professor Holly Arrow leads the class in a discussion about facts, opinion and confusion between the two.

Bob Emmons looks like he wants to spit.

Standing on sun-scorched grass in Scobert Gardens Park, Emmons is hardly able to endure the blighted landscape, littered with empty beer cans, cigarette packs and pizza boxes. Shoeless daysleepers stretch out flat in swaying blots of shade. Summer breezes tumbleweed a plastic grocery bag across the dusty lawn and leave it at his feet. 

Now that Measure 97, formerly Initiative Petition 28, has officially qualified for the November ballot, opponents are rallying the troops to fight the tax on corporate sales by raking in donations from corporations, with more than $5 million in contributions already.

The Elliott State Forest is for sale for exactly $220.8 million. That amount, not a dollar more, not a dollar less, will get you approximately 82,500 acres of forest that includes coastal old growth trees and designated critical species habitat.

“People are comfortable with racism here,” Jamie Clark tells EW. Clark moved to Eugene from Texas in part to escape racism and now finds herself in the middle of a firestorm after a racist Facebook comment attributed to Festival of Eugene organizer Krysta Albert made the rounds on social media.

As the Democratic National Convention meets in Pennsylvania July 25-28, the Philadelphia Inquirer predicted 35,000 to 50,000 protesters would descend upon its city. Eugene-based CodePink activist Jennefer Harper traveled to the DNC as an EW freelancer to report upon events. CodePink is a women-led grassroots organization that includes in its focus working to end U.S. wars and militarism and supporting peace and human rights initiatives. Delegate Julie Fahey went to the DNC to cast her vote for Hillary Clinton.

A legislative committee came to Lane County July 20 to hear from ordinary Oregonians about their daily transportation needs. Whether you drive a car, ride the bus, bicycle, walk, use a mobility device, telecommute or a combination of the above, what’s your story? What problems do you experience getting from place to place? What transportation investments would make it better?

The only thing certain about Eugene City Hall right now is that the city doesn’t have one. What the city does have are some ideas about how a new City Hall can be integrated into planning the land swap with Lane County.

The old City Hall building was torn down last year, and the price for building a new one is mounting. After the latest bid came in from McKenzie Commercial Contractors for $18.2 million, about $3 million more than anticipated — bringing the total cost up to around $28 million factoring in design and demolition — the Eugene City Council voted 7-1 to reject the bid at a July 18 meeting.

Toxins are everywhere. In Portland, the discovery and subsequent cover-up of high levels of lead in the drinking water of public schools led to Portland Superintendent Carole Smith’s resignation July 18.

Here in Lane County, school districts are in the midst of testing drinking fountains and faucets for elevated levels of lead.

A month after the oil train fire in Mosier along the Columbia River, activist groups such as 350 Eugene are upset with the government’s lack of progress and accountability for oil train accidents. 

In 2008, Congress passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act, which called for stricter railroad safety regulations to be implemented by the end of 2015. The new regulations have not been met and the deadline has been extended to 2018. 

Delegates from Lane County are preparing to head to the Democratic National Convention July 25-28 in Philadelphia, where the party will officially nominate its presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2016 election. It is also where the Democratic Party adopts its official platform.

A Harrisburg business owner is providing jet boat tours of the Willamette River from a perspective only a local could provide.

Mike Hurd is the owner of Scenic Jet Boat Tours and Hurd’s Hardware and Custom Machinery in Harrisburg, just 30 minutes north of Eugene.

Roughly 67,000 wild horses roam the public lands of the western United States, and around 4,000 of them are in Oregon. 

The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) considers the current population to be more than double the healthy level for the land and has suppressed the population for decades. Many mustang advocacy groups strongly oppose the BLM’s methods and motives for population control and believe that the agency gives preferential treatment to livestock.

The McKenzie River is home to a diverse collection of wildlife and is also the source of Eugene’s drinking water. The 90-mile tributary of the Willamette is home to fish like rainbow trout, spring Chinook and mountain whitefish. Unfortunately, the wildlife, as well as anyone else drinking the water, shares the river with beer cans, mattresses and televisions among other waste that has been dumped into the McKenzie.

On June 28, the Lane County Board of Commissioners discussed giving themselves the power to block certain citizen-powered ballot measures the board deems not of  “county concern” before those measures are voted on.

While the furor over the proposed sale of Kesey Square has died down, those who love public spaces have not forgotten that the corner of Broadway and Willamette Street is not officially safe from future development. 

Roo Vandegrift studies fungi. He recently received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and, like hundreds of other scientists, he is in need of money to fund his research.

Crisis workers in Eugene say they are still seeing repeat cases of severely mentally ill people being discharged back to the community by the jail and PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District’s emergency room, despite a 2015 Oregon bill that changed the language describing how people can be committed to a state mental institution.

That’s because House Bill 3347 didn’t really usher in any new legislation, according to Andrea Williams, one of two civil commitment investigators for Lane County Behavioral Health Services.

“In my experience, it’s not really going to change anything for us as far as how we process holds that come through the hospital. That provision has always been there. They’ve just changed the language of it,” Williams says.

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Wendy Wheeler-Coltrane first had the idea to form a local philanthropy group five years ago. A busy schedule and lack of contacts held her back until last year, when Wheeler-Coltrane and Jean Lee began working to found the Eugene-Springfield chapter of 100+ Women Who Care (100+WWC), a group of women who donate to local charities that provide a service for the community.