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Thirty miles northeast of Eugene, tucked amid trees and fields like a memory of some simpler time, sits the historic city of Brownsville. This quaint town is made up of roughly 40 streets over 1.34 square miles of land. A few of these roads extend beyond Brownsville’s center and out into true Willamette Valley countryside. The commerce that dots Main Street is not exactly bustling, but does not fall short where patronage is concerned. The folks here know one another; they exude a sense of camaraderie, of tolerance, of knowingness that cities far on the horizon sprawl thin and fade with the tides of consumer demand. Those cities’ fates lie in the hands of capitalist fluctuations, and they will be remembered as such.

On the surface, the event at Maurie Jacobs Park last week seemed just like any other of the myriad of summer celebrations in Eugene. Dancing, eating and laughing, people socialized and greeted onlookers with a smile. Some perused a variety of booths at the back of the park, while others sang near the stage on the hill. But at Supernatural Fest, according to Mark and Victoria Bowling’s website USAforChrist.com, “It is a regular occurrence in Mark and Victoria’s meetings to experience the supernatural healing power of God. The lame walk. The deaf hear. The blind see.” 

Seneca Sustainable Energy, the biomass burning plant, is applying to increase the particulate pollution that it is emitting into the air of west Eugene by 3 tons. The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency is hosting an informational meeting about the requested air quality permit alteration July 17 and asking for public comment. Ironically the agency says that “ultimately, if a facility meets all legal requirements, LRAPA will issue the facility’s modified air quality permit.” So while the agency will take public comment, the comments won’t stop the permit from being approved.

A revolution is brewing in the Whiteaker — again. Not an Anarchist Cookbook, WTO riots kind of revolution, or even a foodie revolution, but an underground art explosion that has found a nucleus at Cornerstone Glass, a glass art studio, gallery and shop. The muse? Functional glass art, or in its most recognizable form, the pipe.

As Eugene School District 4J works to meet a June deadline to comply with a corrective order regarding gifted education issued by the Oregon Department of Education, a second complaint has been filed against the district, according to the parent who filed the complaints and the education department.

It all seemed so easy to businessman Steven Chapman — an avid hunter, he wanted to influence the Oregon Legislature on its hunting bills. The deer and elk herds in Oregon are too small, Chapman said, and wanted to do something about it. It takes millions of dollars in California to influence legislation, according to Chapman, but only thousands in Oregon. 

At more than 400 pages, deciphering a city budget can be like trying to decode DNA. That’s why Eugene needs an independent auditor to examine it, figure out where and how much money the city could save and make it more sustainable, according to city councilors past and present and a former Eugene budget clerk.

Wikipedia is not a valid source when you’re writing academic papers, or newspaper articles, but it is a source of controversy when it comes to women writers. Recently author Amanda Filipacchi was on Wikipedia when she noticed the category “American Novelists” was losing the women that had been listed on it. The women were being moved to a subcategory, “American Women Novelists,” as if they were a genre, like crime fiction, not writers on par with men.

Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is no stranger to Oregon. In fact, he once taught a six-week summer course at Portland State University. Gandhi returns to Oregon on Feb. 21, when he will give a talk called, “Lessons from My Grandfather.”

Racism is a permanent, entrenched feature of American life. That was the thrust of a course taught by Derrick Bell, one of founders of critical race theory, while Ian Haney-López was a student at Harvard. 

Does the Constitution have a curfew? Local activists say free speech doesn’t stop at 11 pm, but Lane County has designated the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza as closed to free speech and other activities after hours. In Bethlehem there was no room at the inn for the mother of Jesus, and in Eugene there’s no room for free speech at the Free Speech Plaza. 

Jordan Creek runs through the Mattson family’s land at Polyrock Ranch. The creek is located in the out in the open hills of southwest Eugene, in the Coyote Creek sub-basin of the Long Tom Watershed. The creek is symbolic of the Rivers to Ridges (R2R) partnership, a collaboration of public and private entities working together to acquire and manage natural open spaces in and around Eugene.

Greenhouse gas emissions are still increasing: Yearly increases were 2.7 percent in the 1990s, 3.5 percent between 2000 and 2007, and 5.6 percent between 2009 and 2010. But nothing effective is being done to reduce them. There are multiple reasons for that:

The recent tragic Sandy Hook school shooting has called attention not only to gun control, but also to how the U.S. deals with young people who are behaviorally or mentally challenged. One controversial method that some Eugene 4J schools are using to deal with students in its behavioral programs is to put them in seclusion rooms. 

The lush and productive Courthouse Garden east of the U.S. Courthouse in Eugene has garnered national attention as an innovative collaboration between the city of Eugene, the University of Oregon, local businesses and the judicial system, but it may get bulldozed and paved over if a local credit union or another private business buys the 1.9 acres of city-owned property.

Developers have tried repeatedly to turn the steep-sloped land into houses. Each application has been defeated, but the developers keep trying. The Nobles have started the Be Noble Foundation in order to save the Beverly property and turn it into a permanent part of Eugene’s parks and open spaces.

Here are our selected picks in contested races and issues.

The foreclosure crisis has created a buzz nationwide, but another consequence of the subprime mortgage crisis is getting some attention from Oregon’s Sen. Jeff Merkley: underwater mortgages.

Robert Kuttner, economist and co-founder of The American Prospect, says the magazine was founded “deliberately to be a strong liberal voice,” and he adds, “I think the role of magazine like ours is to put forward ideas, to put forward a perspective on the election but to do so consistent with accuracy.”

One of our intrepid summer interns took her camera and notepad to the streets of Eugene last week and asked people, “If you could compete in one Olympic event, what would it be and why?”

Timber Town growls and belches mostly outside of Tree Town’s collective consciousness. Conscious of it or not, we find our air is fouled by biomass burners, wood and paper processing gases and log treatment vapors.

“I had a 2-year-old son, and I was concerned. I became one of those parents who worries about these vaccinations.”

Catherine Clinton, a local naturopathic doctor, is just one of countless parents who’ve experienced misgivings related to the risks associated with vaccinations — and with forgoing those vaccinations — particularly in regard to immunizing infants and children against preventable diseases.

“My passion and love is hunting hounds,” Mike Martell says. He spent 42 years as a houndsman chasing “bears, cougars, everything.”

It’s a barfing-puppy-sounding acronym, and the prospect of either granting or not granting the MUPTE — Multiple Unit Property Tax Exemption — to the proposed private 1,200-student housing complex at 13th and Olive makes a lot of people sick for a number of reasons.