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Maybe it’s the diaries of Lewis and Clark, or perhaps it’s Woody Guthrie’s folk song “Roll On, Columbia, Roll On” that makes us think of the Columbia River as a uniquely American waterway, but the river actually begins in the Canadian Rockies. The Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada has managed the river’s flows since 1964, and the time is nearing to reassess that treaty. 

If you wanted to exercise your right to free speech this week on Lane County property then you would have found that the Free Speech Plaza was shut down. No problem. The county provided a 71-by-73-foot square in a gravel parking lot off 6th Avenue for free speech use from 6 am to 11 pm from Sept. 6 to 10. 

Student housing projects are rising all over Eugene, despite predictions of a “higher education bubble” about to pop, and now we hear a major student complex is being contemplated for five acres of commercial-zoned land outside the Springfield city limits on the west end of Glenwood. The property near the Glenwood Boulevard junction is right on an EmX stop along Franklin Boulevard, an easy ride to UO, LCC and NCU. The property also fronts the Willamette River.

• Another O&C forestry forum is planned for 6 pm Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Cottage Grove Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs Ave. in Cottage Grove. The forum follows a similar event that was standing-room-only at the downtown Eugene Public Library Aug. 26. Speakers in Cottage Grove will include Francis Eatherington of Cascadia Wildlands, Doug Heiken of Oregon Wild and Ernie Niemi of ECONorthwest. Camilla Mortensen of Eugene Weekly will moderate.

In Afghanistan

• 2,267 U.S. troops killed (2,265 last week)

• 19,250 U.S. troops wounded in action (19,200)

• 1,389 U.S. contractors killed (1,389)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $657 billion cost of war ($655.2 billion)

• $271.7 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($270.9 million)

 

In Iraq

• 4,422 U.S. troops killed, 31,928 wounded

• 1,599 U.S. contractors killed (1,599)

• 125,380 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (125,359)

Curious about how other people live “greener” lives? Need a little inspiration for your next home project, whether spendy or cheap? What about group living? Aging in place? And what the heck is a vertical wind turbine?

Eugene has had many home and garden tours over the years, focusing on solar power or sustainable buildings or pretty homes with beautiful gardens, but the big one that keeps coming back is the BRING Home and Garden Tour. It promises to be even more interesting and diverse this year, and it’s all happening this Sunday, Sept. 8. 

Jean Stacey of SLEEPS, Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep, filed Oregon State Bar complaints against County Counsel Stephen Dingle and former county administrator Liane Richardson in regard to testimony they gave Aug. 19 in the cases against Alley Valkyrie and 21 SLEEPS protesters in the Free Speech Plaza that were later dismissed. The Lane County Commission is currently discussing making changes to the “free speech area” of the Wayne Morse Terrace, as the county is now calling it.

As kids gear up for another school year, sex education probably isn’t the first thing on everyone’s minds, but perhaps Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards’ upcoming visit to Eugene can serve as a reminder that learning about sex in an informative, helpful way is still an integral part of our school system. Richards has served as president of Planned Parenthood since 2006, and in that time, she has worked to promote sex education and maintain access to preventive care throughout health care system upheavals. 

Congressman Peter DeFazio said he doesn’t think it is a good idea to “lob cruise missiles for an unspecified objective” when it comes to dealing with the question of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war. Speaking at a press conference Aug. 30, DeFazio argued that congressional war powers have been eroded. President Barack Obama is now seeking congressional approval to attack Syria, without a United Nations mandate. 

Eugene’s street community lost one of its own when Philip James Williams — affectionately known by many as Pip — died Aug. 4 of a heroin overdose. He was 25.

An evening memorial service and public celebration of life was held Aug. 28 at  Kesey Square in downtown Eugene, where upwards of 100 people gathered to share remembrances. Over a public address system set up on the red bricks, friends, family and members of the city’s transient population spoke with emotion into a single microphone, sharing their recollections and grief.

The Oregon University System’s bargaining with staff is coming down to the wire, with classified staff union SEIU 503 scheduled to vote on strike authorization Sept. 9-11, in advance of a Sept. 13-14 bargaining session. Classified staff includes non-teaching and non-administrative staff from janitors to computer programmers. Union leaders say that OUS isn’t debating important work-related topics because the National Labor Relations Act doesn’t require some issues to be discussed.

• Bijou Metro is holding over the documentary Dancing Salmon Home with showings at 2 and 6 pm through Thursday, Sept. 5. The film by Will Doolittle describes the Winnemem Wintu Tribe’s efforts to restore ancestral salmon that went extinct but were successfully transplanted to New Zealand. Email ruth2341@msn.com for more information or Google the film title to see a trailer. 

Eugene Celebration Parade photos.

The eighth time’s a charm? The UO’s faculty union, United Academics at the University of Oregon (UAUO), enters its eighth scheduled bargaining session of the summer Thursday, Aug. 29. “We’ve made a lot of progress in a lot of areas, but we’ve got a few sticking points, as far as salary, faculty-shared governance and more job security for non-tenure track faculty,” says Ron Bramhall, a senior business instructor on the UAUO bargaining team.

More than two million acres of public forests, a checkered history, and federal and state laws confusingly mixed with county funding means that the current O&C lands logging proposal can be hard to wrap your mind around. About 150 people came to the downtown Eugene Public Library Aug. 26 to try to understand the “DeFazio bill,” or as it is more properly known, the O&C Trust, Conservation and Jobs Act.

It was around 2 am when nature called for Stacie Brumley. The Safeway had been closed for an hour, but the public restroom at Junction City’s Laurel Park was a stone’s throw away. That’s where, on June 19, Junction City police cited Brumley, a homeless artist, for a curfew violation.

The trendy bottled water you’re drinking is often just tap water in disguise. In the case of a young company here in Eugene, it’s actually out-of-state tap water. Emerald Valley H2O is marketing an “eco-friendly” brand of bottled water that uses plastic bottles made from 100 percent recycled materials, with some of its water sourced from Southern California municipal water.

A new project is on the way to open a LGBTIQ community center in Lane County. The original Q, the nonprofit Queer Resource for Social Change, closed its doors in December 2009.

Since the community center closed in 2009, Q has been hosting an online community resource that highlights cultural events focusing on building community for LGBTIQ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning). Q has been using art as a way to create a safe space in the world for trans people since 1997.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent a notice of noncompliance to Cascade Pacific Pulp LLC on July 19 for a hazardous waste violation at its Halsey facility, specifically for storing waste without a permit. Comments on stormwater plans for Schnitzer Steel, BJB Milling & Lumber, Ideal Steel and Seneca Sawmill Company are due to DEQ by 5 pm Sept. 5. Visit goo.gl/ScwdH to see stormwater plans, and goo.gl/iMDQb to comment.

Although many of the animals that come through Greenhill Humane Society and 1st Avenue Shelter are expected to be adopted relatively soon after they have been attended to, some have a much more murky future. 

Emma is one of those cases.

“She was found in Junction City and brought to the 1st Avenue Shelter on May 28. She was extremely neglected and malnourished,” says Sasha Elliott, communications manager of Greenhill Humane Society. In a case like Emma’s, hand feeding was necessary, which helped her gain 20 pounds. 

RIDE (Rides for Intoxicated Drivers of Eugene) is a nonprofit hoping to begin local service this winter. “It is our mission to keep our community’s children safe by reducing drunk driving on our streets,” says CEO Jonathan Russell. RIDE will provide sober drivers to chauffeur intoxicated patrons home in their own vehicles. Chase drivers will follow behind and pick up the RIDE driver once the patron has arrived safely home. Russell says RIDE is “still in the funding stages” using Indiegogo. Perks are available for those who donate at various levels.

• Lane County Central Labor Council will hold its Labor Day Picnic from noon to 4 pm Monday, Sept. 2, at Jack B. Lively Memorial Park in Springfield, 6100 Thurston Rd., behind SPLASH. Show up for good food and to support the working class. Email essn@efn.org for more information.

In Afghanistan

• 2,262 U.S. troops killed (2,258 last week)

• 19,181 U.S. troops wounded in action (19,141)

• 1,389 U.S. contractors killed (1,389)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $653.1 billion cost of war ($651.1 billion)

• $195.9 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($195.3 million)

 

In Iraq

• 4,422 U.S. troops killed, 31,928 wounded

• 1,599 U.S. contractors killed (1,599)

• 125,296 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (125,049)

A train disaster can stem from something as small as a leak — chlorine gas can be fatal when inhaled — or as massive as an ethanol or crude-oil fed fire. An environmental disaster can stem from something as simple as a train derailment or as complex as the massive amounts of fossil fuels and hazardous materials that are turning Oregon into an energy-industry gateway.