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The first public debate on the proposal to establish an Office of Independent City Auditor did not go well for the opposition. 

Oregon is in the path of the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse with Eugene just on the fringe of the area that will experience totality. If you live in Corvallis you can take off your solar shades once the eclipse is total, but in Eugene, though it will get darker, you will need to wear those special specs while staring at the sun.

There’s a trendy new lunch spot for those who live and work downtown, and the creator behind it is just 24 years old. Poke Stop serves poke bowls, a sort of “Hawaiian fish salad,” according to creative mind and manager Jina Choi. 

As the temperatures climb over 100 degrees in Lane County, the science continues to mount proving that man-made climate change is a growing catastrophe worldwide. And as the Trump administration reduces and even stops work at the federal level to slow the course of global warming, youth and local governments are using the courts to try to stem the tide of fossil fuel induced disaster. 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is honoring local entrepreneur Wendy Strgar with a “Compassionate Business” award for her company Good Clean Love, which makes organic personal lubricant and other intimacy products.

In a small café just off I-5 that proprietors hope to convert into a weed dispensary, a marijuana company’s leaders met with a few citizens of Creswell last week in an attempt to change hearts and minds — and a city ordinance — about the pot industry.

Funding a summit for Eugene’s marginalized communities is among the many goals for the city in the recently published “Marginalized Voices in Eugene” report by the Eugene Human Rights Commission. 

Volunteers are “well on our way” to collecting 10,000 signatures to put an Office of Independent City Auditor on the Eugene ballot next May, according to David Monk, one of the chief petitioners along with Bonny McCornack and George Brown.

A meeting at the Eugene Weekly office on July 12 brought together city and county politicians and bureaucrats to discuss the future of downtown Eugene. A land swap approved by both the Lane County Board of Commissioners and Eugene City Council may soon transform the park blocks downtown. Lane County will buy the property of the previous city hall for $4 million, and Eugene will buy the butterfly lot for $1.88 million — finally creating a home for a new city hall.

Former Eugene mayor Kitty Piercy and her husband, David Piercy, went on a trip to Cuba earlier this year. After nearly a century of United States presidents refusing to respect Cuba, President Obama’s visit there during his second term signified a less hostile relationship between the countries, allowing for tourism to resume. Piercy recounts her experience as “a little taste,” because at the time of her trip you had to be accompanied by a guide in order to be in the country. 

Before holding his 54th town hall meeting of the year, Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden sat down with Eugene Weekly to answer questions about single-payer health care, the status of the Russia investigation and the Trump administration. Last week, Wyden joined Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Peter DeFazio in a rally outside the federal courthouse in Eugene to oppose the proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the Senate version of TrumpCare.

Chance Dewitt is sowing grass seed on a farm outside his hometown of Lebanon, Oregon. But this isn’t where he makes a living. After a week at home, he’ll be flying back to Elko, Nevada, and working 12-hour shifts for two weeks straight mining gold amidst the arid sagebrush landscape there.

“This shouldn’t have taken so long because this is a pressing issue,” Phil Carrasco says. “People are feeling the fear and pressure right now, they’re missing appointments at Health and Human Services.”

For immigrant rights advocates like Carrasco, who has been one of the leaders in the campaign for sanctuary in Lane County, the expected July 11 vote by the Board of Commissioners on sanctuary measures has been a long time coming.

Voters will see more precise and inclusive language in the initiative petition, Voters Pamphlet and ballot measure to create an Office of Independent City Auditor for Eugene, thanks to a July 3 court decision. 

The judge’s ruling followed court arguments June 29, which in turn were followed by multiple revisions by the opposing attorneys.

On June 26, the city of Eugene’s 2017-2018 proposed budget, presented by City Manager John Ruiz, was adopted by Eugene City Council. Before approving the budget, the City Council amended the budget to include $1 million to fund a homeless shelter from a settlement the city received from Comcast. 

Colton Evans of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) says it might be easier to define the organization by what it is against rather than what it’s for. “We’re anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist — and anti-capitalist, of course,” he says over drinks on Friday, June 30 at The Paddock. 

 

Eugene Police Department has implemented a mandatory, department-wide $750,000 body camera program for all on-duty officers, but critics wonder if the new program will prevent police misconduct.

In 2015, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill allowing pharmacists to provide consultation and to dispense birth control to women who do not have a prescription. Sponsored by Rep. Knute Buehler, a Republican physician from Bend, the bill was signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown and took effect Jan. 1, 2016.

On a rainy day three days after Christmas in 2015, Douglas County Animal Control Deputy Lee Bartholomew came to the property of Venita McBride in Lookingglass, Oregon, about nine miles southwest of Roseburg. By the end of the day a local veterinarian would euthanize two horses and take five more away.

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has requested that a prescription opioid be removed from the market. 

On June 8, the FDA announced in a press release that for reformulated Opana ER — a time released semi-synthetic opioid — risks outweigh its benefits. 

Across a lush brook with tumbling miniature waterfalls and past about a quarter mile of trail-less forest there’s a hand painted canvas sign in a large Douglas fir tree that reads: “Logging cancelled due to climate emergency!”

“A ‘gleaner’ is traditionally someone who collects leftover crops after they have been commercially harvested, or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest,” says Brandy Collier, president of the local chapter of the Eugene Area Gleaners. 

On May 30, Lincoln County passed ballot measure 21-177, a measure banning the aerial spraying of pesticides, making it the first county in the nation to do so. A group in Lane County is looking to enact a similar ban.