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On April 16, the Portland-based Women’s Foundation of Oregon will arrive in Eugene to listen to local women and girls as part of a statewide tour. The “Listen to Her” tour gives women all around Oregon a chance to share their concerns about pressing issues that affect their lives, including pay equity and living wage jobs, childcare and domestic violence. 

The stories shared on April 16 will be recorded, with permission from participants, and outlined in a Women’s Foundation of Oregon report that will name issues important to female Oregonians. 

 • Café Soriah at 384 W. 13th Ave. has expanded into the former dress shop next door, adding another dining room with 40 more seats. Owner Ib Hamide tells us Soriah plans to open for lunch Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays starting April 13,  from 11:30 am to 2 pm. The lunch menu will bring back much of what  Hamide served at Casablanca when it was in the 5th Street Public Market, he says, including falafel, shawarma, tabbouleh, hummus “as well as a few interesting and popular additions to complement the Mediterranean menu.” 

• A discussion on “Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon? A Hidden History Conversation Project” will be from 6:30 to 8:30 pm Friday, April 8, at the Cottage Grove Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs Ave. Speakers include PSU adjunct professor and author Walidah Imarisha. Sponsored by Cottage Grove Blackberry Pie Society, the Cottage Grove Library, the Rural Organizing Project and Oregon Humanities. Email blackberrypie@gmail.com for more information.

 • Saturday Market and Farmers Market will open their seasons Saturday, April 2, at the Park Blocks downtown. This hub of community activity will feature artisans, chefs, musicians and community members gathering to celebrate art, life and veggies in the southern Willamette Valley. Saturday Market will be open 33 Saturdays, more than 400 artisans will sell more than $1.5 million worth of handcrafted wares, nearly 500 local musicians will play on the stage and around the market, and 15 food booths will draw hungry crowds.

• The Cottage Grove Blackberry Pie Society will host Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp and Cottage Grove Interim Police Chief Scott Shepherd from 6:30 to 8 pm Thursday, March 31, in the Reception Room at the Cottage Grove Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs, Cottage Grove. Free and open to the public. Email blackberrypie@gmail.com for more information. 

“Millions of unwanted animals are euthanized every year in this country” as the result of pet overpopulation, says Misha English, a board member for Stop Pet Overpopulation Today (SPOT). Since 1997, SPOT has provided spay and neuter financial assistance for low and no income Lane County residents. 

On April 9, Amazon Park Animal Clinic will present SPOT’s Roaring ’20s Casino Night and Silent Auction at The Shedd.

• ODOT will soon be spraying roadsides. Call Jim Gamble at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwy. 101 north of Dunes City and Florence was recently sprayed. 

• Rosboro LLC, 736-2100, plans to spray their roadsides in Lane County with triclopyr, aminopyralid, glyphosate, metsulfuron methyl, Dyne-Amic, Induce, Syl-Tac and/or R-11, See ODF notification 2016-781-03793, call Dan Menk at 935-2283 with questions.

$1.2 million. That’s how much money Oregon won’t receive this year from two federal agencies due to its failure to protect water quality from logging in coastal watersheds.

According to Nina Bell of Northwest Environmental Advocates, “the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have said for 18 years that Oregon’s logging practices create dangerous levels of water pollution and harm fish.” 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a civil penalty of $6,400 against BJB Milling & Lumber, LLC on March 22 for BJB’s failure to follow through on a commitment to construct a bioswale to address elevated levels of total suspended solids (TSS) in stormwater discharged from its Eugene facility. BJB identified an alternative means of addressing TSS levels toward the end of last year. BJB’s Eugene facility is located at 101 Iowa Street, and BJB is owned by Jolly Investments, LLC (which is operated by Springfield accountant James Youel).

Attention, dinosaur fans: Paleontologist Jack Horner says it might be possible to make a living dinosaur, and he’s coming to Eugene April 6 to explain how it’s done as part of a University of Oregon seminar series on “de-extinction.”

The side channels of the upper McKenzie River near the town of Blue River are “magical,” Joe Moll says, draped in mosses and lined with massive cottonwoods. The channels are home to spawning spring Chinook and hungry bull trout. 

The recent acquisition of these lands, known as McKenzie Camp, near Finn Rock Boat Launch, is one of the many reasons to celebrate at McKenzie River Trust’s fifth annual “McKenzie Memories” event April 1, says Moll, MRT’s executive director. 

According to Oregon’s Quality Education Model, Oregon is shortchanging its schools by about $2 billion every two years. On March 29, a panel of education funding experts will convene at the University of Oregon to discuss “Solving Oregon’s K-12 Funding Crisis: Where We’ve Been and Solutions for the Future.”

After moss samples showing heavy metal hot spots near Portland art glass companies drew attention to the possible dangers associated with colored glass manufacturing, anxious local citizens called the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency to see if they had anything to worry about. 

• The Jazz Station at 124 W. Broadway has a jazzy new neon marquee that makes the all-ages music venue easier to find downtown. The sign was built by Neal Conner of Neon Latitudes with funding by a Lane County Cultural Coalition grant with matching funds from the nonprofit Willamette Jazz Society. Rich and Marilyn Linton, the current WJS president and his spouse, contributed financially to the project as well as providing oversight. The Jazz Station, a project of WJS, promotes touring musicians and bands, local talent and youth performers and provides rehearsal space.

• A weekly “Food Not Fences” community lunch series will begin at noon Thursday, March 24, at the newly constructed fences at Washington Jefferson Park on 1st and Jefferson. Organized by Badass Freedom Fighters and Humanity First, the gatherings are in solidarity with “our unhoused community members and in search for solutions.” Email ourhumanityfirst@gmail.com or cryswebb1975@gmail.com.

While Oregon’s drippy March has us all feeling a little soggy, water isn’t as widely available as it seems.

A panel at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon earlier this month explored the privatization of water and how it has limited accessibility to this vital resource.

While Oregon’s drippy March has us all feeling a little soggy, water isn’t as widely available as it seems.

A panel at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon earlier this month explored the privatization of water and how it has limited accessibility to this vital resource.

Eugene Parks and Open Space has begun installing a series of fences — called under bridge security fencing — beneath the Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge in the park of the same name. Advocates for the unhoused say the funds could better be used aiding the homeless, not barring them from shelter.

March 30 marks one year from the day Brian Babb was shot and killed by a Eugene police officer while having a mental health crisis. His family is celebrating his life and reminding the public that they are still working to create a federal bill that would prevent similar deaths in the future in a March 30 event at the Vet’s Club. 

On March 15, Gov. Kate Brown signed HB 4040 into law and effectively shut down a lawsuit that seeks to protect Oregon’s wolves.

Wolf advocates at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) earlier this month lamented the Oregon Legislature’s decision to pass HB 4040, a bill that both ratifies the decision to delist wolves from the state’s endangered species list and prevents environmental groups from pursuing their lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), which voted to delist wolves last November.

As owner of GNG Fitness in Eugene, Via McGriff adheres to the belief that a gym workout should mean more than simply pumping up your pecs or trimming an inch off your waistline.

McGriff, who played volleyball in college and on semi-pro teams overseas, says that fitness is not only physical but mental and spiritual as well, and to this end she started up the Holiday Give Back Challenge, a holistic routine that taps a contestant’s “mental ability to maintain or make it through the tough days.”

• Travelers to the coast may have noticed that Alpha-Bit Café in Mapleton closed in mid-February following a farewell sale. Old photos are still being posted on the Alpha-Bit and Alpha Farm Facebook pages. So what happened? The café and bookstore support the Alpha Farm Intentional Community in Deadwood and hundreds of people have worked there over the decades.

• “Working Together to Build a Better Bethel” is the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, March 18, at the UO Downtown Baker Center, 975 High Street. Speakers include Greg Evans, Ethan Nelson, Debi Farr, Colt Gill and Clayton Walker. $5 for non-members. See cityclubofeugene.org. 

In Afghanistan

• 2,349 U.S. troops killed (2,349 last month)

• 20,071 U.S. troops wounded in action (20,071)

• 1,629 U.S. contractors killed (1,629)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $730.8 billion cost of war ($728.2 billion)

• $292.4 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($291.3 million)

 

Against ISIS

• $8.7 billion cost of military action ($8.3 billion last month)

• $3.5 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($3.3 million)