• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

News Features

Dolly Parton is a national treasure. 

The country singer released her first album 50 years ago. Since then, Parton has starred in movies and been nominated for two Academy Awards, both nominations in the Best Original Song category — one for the hit “9 to 5.” 

Her accolades don’t stop there. Parton has also earned Emmy and Tony nominations; she’s a National Medal of the Arts recipient and one of the most successful country singers of all time. 

President Donald Trump’s tax plan is not unlike his tweets: short, lacking depth and full of bravado. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden doesn’t mince words when he talks about the proposal. He calls it a scam and a “middle-class con job.” 

The senator has been speaking out against the Trump tax overhaul at town halls on a recent swing through Oregon. 

On a typically gray late-summer day in Eugene, Marissa Zarate, executive director of Huerto de la Familia (“The Family Garden”), took Eugene Weekly on a tour of the organization’s garden wedged between Churchill High School and Kennedy Middle School.

The garden, which provides plots and materials free of charge for 40 families, is bursting with tomatillos, chiles and corn, all ready for harvest.

On Sunday, Oct. 1, a few dozen women, men and children assembled at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza for a vigil honoring victims and survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). Hosted by Womenspace, a Eugene nonprofit that helps victims of domestic violence, the vigil was the beginning of several events that will be held throughout October to bring attention to Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

After years of debate, protests and nationwide conversations, the University of Oregon has implemented a new policy for reporting gender or sexual discrimination and violence against students.

According to the new policy, the changes are intended to encourage conversations and reporting by students, and make all employees part of the solution to prohibited conduct — such as gender discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence — by giving employees different responsibilities when supporting students who come forward. 

More than 80 people stood at the intersection of Oregon Avenue and the I-5 exit in Creswell on Monday, Oct. 2, calling on drivers to “Say no to One Gro.” The protesters were referencing an upcoming ballot initiative in the small town — one that has “the friendly city” divided about its future.

Community Rights Lane County and the Freedom From Aerial Herbicide Alliance handed over about 15,000 signatures calling for the ban of aerial herbicide spraying by timber corporations to the Lane County Clerk’s Office on Friday, Sept. 29.

A Springfield-based group is pushing back against the Trump administration’s review of national monuments. Friends of the Douglas-fir National Monument is working to propose a new national monument in Oregon. The proposal comes on the heels of Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke submitting a list of 27 national monuments designated since 1996 to be reviewed. 

The University of Oregon athletic department, like many athletic departments in the country, has a “courtesy car” program, in which it provides its employees free cars to drive for personal use. The program, in theory, should be free to the department, because the cars are provided by local auto dealerships as gift-in-kind, and the employees using them pay for the insurance. 

“You wouldn’t layoff a teacher and make them reapply every year,” says Emily Miller, an expanded practice dental hygienist for Lane County Public Health.

Miller provides dental screenings throughout the county for infants, preschoolers and elementary students as an employee of Lane County. Because she has a license beyond a normal dental hygiene degree, she practices without the supervision of a dentist. But as a part-time employee, contracted to work 1,040 hours a year, she must reapply each year for the same job she has held for the past decade.

There are 418 tech companies registered in Lane County, and many of them are hiring, according to Allison Weatherly, the event coordinator for Technology Association of Oregon (TAO). She says most of these tech companies are looking to shop local when they’re hiring, so several programs are setting up Lane County high school students to train for these jobs.

Driving up 30th, you may have noticed a massive gash in the forest next to Lane Community College. The clearcut adjacent to LCC may soon be home to McMansions, thanks to a few well-known land profiteers who operate in the area: the McDougal brothers. But LandWatch Lane County has filed an appeal to fight the planned development there.

Lane County has announced plans for a housing complex for the homeless adjacent to the Lane County Behavioral Health building near Autzen Stadium. The plans follow a “housing first” model, and while Lane County has done housing first on a small scale, according to the county’s human services manager Steve Manela, the new 50-unit complex would be the largest effort yet. 

Despite the sunny weather on a Thursday morning, Scobert Gardens Park on 4th and Van Buren is mostly empty. On one of the first smoke-free days from the wildfires burning across Oregon, there is more garbage in the park than anything else.

Walking through downtown last week was like trying to breathe underwater. The heavy smoke stung the eyes and turned even a casual stroll into intense exercise for the lungs. The streets were quiet — most citizens were hiding indoors to stay away from the polluted air.

When Miya Longsworth ran away from a dangerous foster situation in California at only 16 years old, she ended up on the streets of Eugene. She did her best to manage high school while couch surfing, but spent her junior year burdened by homelessness. 

At that same time, September of 2015, Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz was working with community members to rethink how the city was handling the issue of youth homelessness. “We decided to focus on generating a movement and a new expectation for our community,” Ruiz says, “rather than just creating another organization on the landscape of the problem.”

Both Oregon’s U.S. senators pushed back hard and fast against yesterday’s move by the Trump Administration, all but accusing the White House of a power play involving nepotism and patronage. 

Gov. Kate Brown and several local lawmakers gathered Aug. 29 in Eugene’s Alton Baker Park to address a crowd about the passage of the transportation package — House Bill 2017. It’s the first time in the state’s history that funding will be dedicated to statewide public transportation; one aspect of the bill focuses on electric cars.

Representatives from Nightingale Health Sanctuary met Aug. 29 with the Southeast Neighbors Board to discuss turning the one car camp in South Eugene into a full-functioning rest stop to provide shelter for the homeless.

A descendant of Eugene Skinner — the founder of the city of Eugene — is seeking to prevent the proposed land swap for a new Eugene City Hall and Lane County courthouse, on the grounds that such a trade would violate the legal requirements placed on the land when it was donated to the county.

Although racist, xenophobic and gender-motivated incidents are not new in Eugene, these acts of aggression have more than doubled over those reported during the same period in 2016, according to data from the city’s Office of Equity and Human Rights. 

The city of Eugene is aiming to complete construction for a park and other riverfront redevelopment by 2021. The future park is part of the city’s Riverfront Urban Renewal District, which includes 16 acres of riverfront property sold by the Eugene Water and Electric Board to the city for $5.75 million in 2016.

Starting in the early ’90s, Gary Hale and his wife, Jan Wroncy, who died in 2016, tracked herbicide sprays in Lane County. Concerns about herbicides travelling via waterways or drifting onto their property led the family to research potential spray sites and subscribe to a mail-in, pay-for-information system run by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).

Longtime co-owners of Eugene favorites Belly and Belly Taqueria, Brendan and Ann Marie Mahaney plan to move to Portland in early 2018 to ponder new avenues and do a little more yoga.