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Free joints, lines around the block, medical marijuana express lanes — the first day of October will surely be a day of celebration for many and, perhaps, a headache for others. 

Oct. 1 marks another milestone for cannabis legalization in the state of Oregon: Medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to legally sell limited amounts of pot to recreational users — customers without an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) card — who are over the age of 21 with valid proof of age.

Light streams through large glass windows to fall on each carefully salvaged piece of wood in Jess Pollack’s beautiful remodeled home. Pollack, a humble self-described contractor with an appreciation for the arts, turned an odd ’60s home into a work of modern whimsical art in a 14-year labor of love. 

A year and a half after journalist Serena Markstrom was fired by The Register-Guard, she has filed a lawsuit against the newspaper where she had worked for more than a decade.

Fred Taylor finished Washington High School and left his native Portland in 1946 to major in journalism at the University of Oregon. He worked in the news bureau and wrote for the Oregon Daily Emerald, rising to be co-sports editor.

But the dean of the journalism school told him that he would never make it in the field of journalism. He should get out of it.

Fred ignored him. That harsh advice to a college kid may have been just what G. Frederick Taylor needed to drive him into becoming what many colleagues have called “the best newsman in America” in his time.

A herd of five starving horses on the outskirts of Grants Pass in rural Josephine County, Oregon were saved when a couple women passing by saw the animals, with their ribs and spines protruding, took pictures and posted them to social media on July 26.

As a child, Gustavo Balderas attended school in the tiny rural town of Nyssa in Eastern Oregon. Balderas’ parents did not speak English, but his kindergarten teacher reached out to them, he says, in an act of kindness that he has always remembered. “She connected to my mom and dad and made them feel welcome,” he says. “She really stands out to me as impacting my decision to go into education.”

The state Legislature on June 6 passed a bill creating a dedicated LGBT coordinator in the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). The bill puts the state in alignment with national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) directives that have, in the past two years, sought to be inclusive and supportive of LGBT identities.

“She deserved a better ending,” Bev Smith said, standing not far from the still-smoldering remains of Civic Stadium’s once towering grandstand. 

Smith is the executive director of Kidsports and part of Eugene Civic Alliance, the group that came together to save and restore Eugene’s historic 1938 wooden baseball stadium. 

“Louder boys, louder! You have to believe we can win! Let ’em know you believe it out there in the outfield!” my dad called out over the crowd, encouraging my brothers and me as the summer evening light faded over the Willamette Valley.

As the sun disappeared, the old-style electric bulbs over Civic Stadium’s field would surge on, offering a flash of hope for the Emeralds that there was still a bit of game to be played. 

Three years ago, local music business veterans Mike Hergenreter and Danny Kime shared a vision — a music hall with a hi-tech twist. Come early May, that dream will be a reality. The future of live music has come to Eugene. Hi Fi Music Hall will open as a new 700-person capacity venue with two stages, two bars, a restaurant and a patio at 44 E. 7th Ave., the former space of Dusk night club and Rock ‘n’ Rodeo. Zeppelin tribute act Zepparella will play the inaugural show May 8.

You’re at a party; you see a guy who is all over a drunk young woman — giving her even more drinks, perhaps in hopes of having sex with her later. What do you do? 

On Thanksgiving Day 2014, a truck from California came to Bartels Packing west of Eugene carrying 35 organic cattle. Kandi Bartels, executive vice president of Bartels, which produces grass-fed natural and organic beef, says the paperwork from the driver stated there were two bulls and 33 cows in the shipment. 

It will cost New York almost $20 billion to prepare the city for the impacts of climate change coming our way, according to Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Right now, the default is the taxpayer,” he says. “Why should only taxpayers pick up the cost for increasing climate change damages? What is the responsibility of companies making dangerous products?”

Sen. Floyd Prozanski is quick to explain that he is not working on gun control legislation. He is working on “gun safety” legislation. As a gun owner himself, Prozanski says he is confident the law he is proposing will benefit all Oregonians.

While her previous position as Oregon’s secretary of state typically did not put her in the environmental spotlight, Oregon’s new Governor Kate Brown is no stranger to green agendas or protests. In summer of 2012, members of Cascadia Earth First! and Eugene’s own Cascadia Forest Defenders locked themselves together at Brown’s office at the state Capitol to call attention to logging in the Elliott State Forest.

Next time you sign a lease for a rental house or apartment, you may notice a new section on the form: a medical marijuana agreement. Similar to a pet agreement that details the terms and conditions associated with allowing an animal, a medical marijuana agreement spells out the who, what and when of using or growing medical marijuana on a rental property — if the landlord allows it at all.

Oregon has long had the goal of reducing carbon emissions, and in 2011, an Oregon Administrative Rule declared that by 2020, we should emit 10 percent less than we did in 1990. That milestone is right around the corner, and state legislators and climate activists are legitimately concerned that we are not going to make it.

Biggie the pitbull was scheduled to be euthanized at Los Angeles County’s Carson Animal Shelter on Dec. 13. He was so shy that no one was interested in adopting him, and the shelter was out of room. But, instead of being put to sleep that day, he was picked up, fed a hamburger and driven to Oregon thanks to a network of animal rescues, animal lovers and people who provide foster homes for pets in need. 

In mid-November, Darla Clark began getting frantic calls about Dani, a young Tennessee Walker horse in Lane County who was so emaciated that her spine and ribs protruded through her muddy black hair. Clark, who runs Strawberry Mountain Rescue and Rehab, says people who called Lane County Animal Services about the horse were told an officer couldn’t make it out until after the holidays. 

When Pastor Erin A. Martin first arrived at Wesley United Methodist in 2006 to fill a part-time staff role, she says the congregation was aging and in “self-preservation mode.”

“They were more worried about keeping the lights on and filling the pews and not necessarily looking outside of themselves,” Martin says. “What I’ve tried to do in my leadership is to help them understand that they’re not dead yet; God isn’t finished with us yet, and in many ways we’re coming back to life by serving those outside of ourselves.” 

His calm, measured tones discussing coal mine safety or preventable grain silo deaths can make the heart of any news geek with an NPR tote bag go pitter-pat. National Public Radio listeners have heard Howard Berkes’ voice on Morning EditionAll Things Considered and Weekend Edition and will hear that voice in the coming weeks when his latest investigation into mine safety hits the airwaves. 

Scientist Tyrone Hayes reels off the list of effects on amphibians, rats and humans that he and other researchers have linked to the chemical atrazine. They include breast cancer, prostate cancer, decreased sperm counts, impaired fertility, a reduction in masculine features as well as abortion in pregnant rats exposed to the chemical, to name a few. 

An “ultra mega” coal-fired power plant is proposed for the coastal state of Tamil Nadu in India, on the shores of the Cheyyur Lagoon. The plant would churn out 4,000 megawatts of power and 25 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW), which is aiding communities in India in their fight against the plant and 11 other ultra mega coal proposals. 

On their first ever trip to the United States, prominent Russian literary figures Ivan Akhmetev and Tatiana Neshumova will present a series of lectures at the University of Oregon, starting Friday, Oct. 3. Here’s a taste of what they have to share. For more details see our What’s Happening Calendar.