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As summer comes to a close and classes are back in full swing, the Lane County chapter of the NAACP will be holding an open house to introduce NAACP staff and volunteers and promote their youth programs. The event will take place at noon Saturday, Oct. 5, on the second floor of the downtown LCC building, 101 W. 10th Ave.

Sheri Moore got involved in politics because of her commitment to lifelong education. Currently a Springfield city councilor in Ward 3, she will be running for the Springfield position on the Lane County Commission in the upcoming 2014 election, presumably against incumbent Sid Leiken. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a civil penalty of $6,676 against PeaceHealth on Sept. 26 for operating an unpermitted underground storage tank and failing to upgrade it with corrosion protection at Peace Harbor Medical Center in Florence. PeaceHealth has owned and operated the underground storage tank since at least 1989 and failed to upgrade it with required corrosion protection by December 1998. 

The Eugene Education Association (EEA) has rejected endorsement of School District 4J’s federal “Race to the Top” grant application, citing “grave concerns over increased workload for teachers and specialists and because of inadequate time given to analyze the 170-page application,” according to a statement emailed Oct. 1 to EEA members from EEA President Tad Shannon.

It will be a hut of a weekend Oct. 5-6, with Opportunity Village Eugene’s grand opening celebration 1 to 4 pm Saturday and Community Supported Shelters’ Conestoga fundraiser kick-off event Sunday. Neighborhood advocate Paul Conte will match up to $5,000 with money from the legal settlement with Capstone and its swanky new student housing project at 13th and Olive.

Capstone has finished its first phase of construction and now has 380 residents, mostly students, but Capstone leases individual rooms and does not require that residents be students. Residents can request who will be their roommates. Phase II will take another year and when completed, the Capstone project, named 13th & Olive, will house about 1,300 people and sport another big parking garage. We wrote in our Aug. 29 issue about complaints we’ve heard about that big ugly concrete wall at Capstone.

• “Digital Privacy and the NSA” is the topic of City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Oct. 4, at the LCC Downtown Center street level meeting room. Speaker is Seth Wooley, senior software engineer at deCarta, Inc. and an expert on database security. Open to public; $5 for nonmembers.  

Local food and agriculture are a big deal in Lane County, but proposed legislation in Salem could take away communities’ rights to regulate those very things. Senate Bill 633 would prohibit local governments from making laws about seeds and their products, leaving a broad swath of traditionally local rules in the hands of the state. The bill, which didn’t advance in the regular session, has been reintroduced as a bargaining chip in complex negotiations about tax increases and cuts to PERS.

With a self-proclaimed political lean that’s “more progressive than most Democrats,” Sandi Mann decided to put her name in the hopper for Lane County commissioner, District 2, because of “erroneous and uneducated decisions” made by the incumbent, Sid Leiken.

“I feel like I can make a difference,” Mann says. 

The Oregon Land Company, long associated with controversial developers and loggers Greg Demers and Norman and Melvin McDougal, has been using the logo of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) on its website without permission. 

The 41st annual Corvallis Fall Festival is this weekend, Sept. 28-29, at Central Park featuring free live music, arts, food, a street dance and a 5/10K run. Many local nonprofits will have booths. Among them, the Corvallis Community Children’s Centers will be holding a silent auction in support of Little Free Libraries, a community movement that offers free books housed in colorful small containers. See corvallischildcare.org and corvallisfallfestival.org.

• The BLM will hold a “public scoping meeting” to discuss the Middle McKenzie Project near Vida at 6 pm Thursday, Sept. 26, at the McKenzie Fire and Rescue Building at 42870 McKenzie Hwy. in Leaburg. Comments can also be emailed by Oct. 17 to blm.or.eu.mail@blm.gov or mailed to the BLM Headquarters, 3106 Pierce Parkway, Suite E, Springfield, 97477.

Overlaying the woodland camouflage pattern on her T-shirt, thin pink lines swirl together into a scene of butterflies hovering over cowering riot police and flames rising in the background. Ariel Howland, a recent graduate of the University of Oregon’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS), has some major beefs with the establishment — patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, racism, ableism, etc.

After Carolyn Knox lost her 38-year-old son to brain cancer, the grief of losing a child consumed her. She couldn’t stop questioning: Why did this happen? Where did he go? As time passed, Knox recognized that her thoughts on death weren’t going anywhere, and she needed to find a way to address them.

When it comes to helping the needful and underprivileged, social welfare only seems to take us so far. Band-Aid policies that grant assistance help those who require a leg up, but dependence is not independence, no matter how well intentioned. Human beings want to be engaged, and this is where Carolyn Hodge’s Forward Foundation takes assistance one step further.

An uneasy peace between authorities and homeless activists was threatened Sept. 11, as a series of incidents unfolded downtown and elsewhere.

• Giustina Land & Timber Co., 345-2301, plans to hire Western Helicopter Services, Inc. (503) 538-9469, to spray 125 acres near Crow, Norris and Coyote Creeks with Glyphosate, Imazapyr, Aminopyralid, Metsulfuron Methyl and/or Sulfometuron Methyl. See ODF notification 2013-781-00697 for more information.

Those ubiquitous blue-shirted Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) volunteers have been hard at work this summer. Since July, activists hoping to achieve marriage equality and overturn Oregon’s ban on gay marriage have gathered 80,764 signatures (of the 116,284 necessary to qualify) for the November 2014 ballot. Eugeneans can get involved from 2 to 4 pm Sunday, Sept. 22, at BRO’s annual garden party fundraiser at a private residence.

It appears that the city of Eugene has completed its annual review of stormwater monitoring from the 76 local facilities that discharge industrial stormwater to local waterways pursuant to the statewide Clean Water Act industrial stormwater permit. The city oversees compliance at these facilities under an agreement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Sweet Potato Pie has been selling clothes, hemp products and local glass art for the last 16 years. Now the future of the store is uncertain as the lease for that location ends on Oct. 31 and the neighboring business, Addictive Behaviors, expands into the space.

“I have a limited amount of time to make a very serious decision,” says Elizabeth Thompson, owner of the store.

The Oregon Republican Party might have elected climate change-denier and urine-sampler Art Robinson to be its chair, but these days most Oregonians understand that manmade climate change is changing our planet. Groups in Portland and Corvallis will be hosting anti-climate change “Draw the Line: Stop Keystone XL” events on Sept. 21, and in Eugene there will be a “Pancakes not Pipelines” fundraising breakfast. 

Rebates for ductless heat pumps are being offered by local utilitiy EPUD. EPUD announced last week that its rebates for ductless heat pumps have been raised from $1,000 to $1,500 for a limited time, and for the first time, $350 rebates are being offered on heat pump water heaters through Oct. 31. EWEB is no longer offering rebates on ductless heat pumps for both homeowners and landlords, but the incentives are expected to return later this year, says Lance Robertson, spokesperson for EWEB. “We will also be offering zero-interest loans, up to $4,000,” he says.

• The Many Rivers Group Sierra Club is planning a program on the topic “On the Road to Wilderness” from 7 to 9 pm Thursday, Sept. 19, at the The Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St. Contact sally.nunn@oregon.sierraclub.org

“I’m concerned that we leave as many species on this planet as possible for the next generation,” says longtime forestry professor Brenda McComb, or W.C. McComb — the name under which her academic work was long published.