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A legislative committee came to Lane County July 20 to hear from ordinary Oregonians about their daily transportation needs. Whether you drive a car, ride the bus, bicycle, walk, use a mobility device, telecommute or a combination of the above, what’s your story? What problems do you experience getting from place to place? What transportation investments would make it better?

Oregon Department of Transportation is spraying roadsides. Call 503-986-3010 to talk with a vegetation management coordinator or call 1-888-996-8080 for recent herbicide application information. Hwys. I-5, 36, 105 and 126 were recently sprayed.

• The nonprofit Community Veterinary Center on Hwy 99 in Eugene provides low-cost veterinary services for 1,500 animals each year whose families are low-income. The clinic, which opened in 2012, mainly focuses on animals in Lane County. CVC has a special capital campaign to raise money to add a sterile surgery because currently clients needing such surgery are sent to private veterinarians, and CVC must then raise additional money to help its clients with that.

The only thing certain about Eugene City Hall right now is that the city doesn’t have one. What the city does have are some ideas about how a new City Hall can be integrated into planning the land swap with Lane County.

The old City Hall building was torn down last year, and the price for building a new one is mounting. After the latest bid came in from McKenzie Commercial Contractors for $18.2 million, about $3 million more than anticipated — bringing the total cost up to around $28 million factoring in design and demolition — the Eugene City Council voted 7-1 to reject the bid at a July 18 meeting.

Toxins are everywhere. In Portland, the discovery and subsequent cover-up of high levels of lead in the drinking water of public schools led to Portland Superintendent Carole Smith’s resignation July 18.

Here in Lane County, school districts are in the midst of testing drinking fountains and faucets for elevated levels of lead.

A month after the oil train fire in Mosier along the Columbia River, activist groups such as 350 Eugene are upset with the government’s lack of progress and accountability for oil train accidents. 

In 2008, Congress passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act, which called for stricter railroad safety regulations to be implemented by the end of 2015. The new regulations have not been met and the deadline has been extended to 2018. 

Oregon Department of Transportation is spraying roadsides. Call 503-986-3010 to talk with a vegetation management coordinator or call 1-888-996-8080 for recent herbicide application information. Hwys. I-5, 36, 99, 105 and 126 were recently sprayed.

• There will be a peaceful “Rally for Black Lives” 5 pm Thursday, July 21, in front of Lane County Correctional Facilities at 101 W. 5th Avenue in Eugene, Community Alliance of Lane County tells EW. The rally is followed by a march to Kesey Square.

Delegates from Lane County are preparing to head to the Democratic National Convention July 25-28 in Philadelphia, where the party will officially nominate its presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2016 election. It is also where the Democratic Party adopts its official platform.

A Harrisburg business owner is providing jet boat tours of the Willamette River from a perspective only a local could provide.

Mike Hurd is the owner of Scenic Jet Boat Tours and Hurd’s Hardware and Custom Machinery in Harrisburg, just 30 minutes north of Eugene.

Roughly 67,000 wild horses roam the public lands of the western United States, and around 4,000 of them are in Oregon. 

The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) considers the current population to be more than double the healthy level for the land and has suppressed the population for decades. Many mustang advocacy groups strongly oppose the BLM’s methods and motives for population control and believe that the agency gives preferential treatment to livestock.

Oregon Department of Transportation is spraying roadsides. Call 503-986-3010 to talk with a Vegetation Management Coordinator or call 1-888-996-8080 for recent herbicide application information. Highways I-5, 36 and 99 were recently sprayed.

Cadore Timber, 485-1500, plans to hire Strata Forestry Inc., 541-726-0845, to hack into hardwood trees and squirt imazapyr into the cuts, which kills the unwanted trees, on 28.2 acres near Noisy Creek. See ODF notification 2016-771-08420. Call Tim Meehan at 541-726-3588 with questions.

• Some of the people from the Downtown Eugene Cohousing Group (that got crushed in the real estate bust a few years ago) have gotten back together, Martin Henner tells EW.  They are trying to put together a group to develop a downtown senior cohousing community. Things are in the formative stage and they are recruiting members. For  more info, email: eugenecohousingdowntown@gmail.com.

The McKenzie River is home to a diverse collection of wildlife and is also the source of Eugene’s drinking water. The 90-mile tributary of the Willamette is home to fish like rainbow trout, spring Chinook and mountain whitefish. Unfortunately, the wildlife, as well as anyone else drinking the water, shares the river with beer cans, mattresses and televisions among other waste that has been dumped into the McKenzie.

On June 28, the Lane County Board of Commissioners discussed giving themselves the power to block certain citizen-powered ballot measures the board deems not of  “county concern” before those measures are voted on.

While the furor over the proposed sale of Kesey Square has died down, those who love public spaces have not forgotten that the corner of Broadway and Willamette Street is not officially safe from future development. 

Roo Vandegrift studies fungi. He recently received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and, like hundreds of other scientists, he is in need of money to fund his research.

Oregon Department of Transportation is spraying roadsides. Call 503-986-3010 to talk with a vegetation management coordinator or call 1-888-996-8080 for recent herbicide application information. Hwy. 36 was recently sprayed.

• Hollis Shostrom and his company Perpetual Motion Design have a fundraiser at gofundme.com/pmdeugene. Shostrom says he is raising money for the design of innovative new wheelchairs including the construction of his own chair. Email pmdeugene@gmail.com for more info.

• After Yi Shen Market and Restaurant on West 11th Avenue suffered repeated incidences of vandalism, friends of restaurant owner Phung Hsieh launched a Go Fund Me page to raise money so that she can purchase security cameras. With a goal of $4,000, the fundraiser has brought in $9,373 to help Hsieh, but the vandalism has continued at Yi Shen and other Asian restaurants in the area, including LZ Chinese Dish, Jade Palace and Lotus Garden.

Crisis workers in Eugene say they are still seeing repeat cases of severely mentally ill people being discharged back to the community by the jail and PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District’s emergency room, despite a 2015 Oregon bill that changed the language describing how people can be committed to a state mental institution.

That’s because House Bill 3347 didn’t really usher in any new legislation, according to Andrea Williams, one of two civil commitment investigators for Lane County Behavioral Health Services.

“In my experience, it’s not really going to change anything for us as far as how we process holds that come through the hospital. That provision has always been there. They’ve just changed the language of it,” Williams says.

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Wendy Wheeler-Coltrane first had the idea to form a local philanthropy group five years ago. A busy schedule and lack of contacts held her back until last year, when Wheeler-Coltrane and Jean Lee began working to found the Eugene-Springfield chapter of 100+ Women Who Care (100+WWC), a group of women who donate to local charities that provide a service for the community. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say “there is no known safe level of lead in a child’s blood.” Effects of lead poisoning include developmental delays, memory loss and brain damage.

The discovery of lead in drinking water in Portland public schools so soon after the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, ignited alarm in schools across the state of Oregon, including those in Lane County. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on May 27 sent a warning letter to Jason and Rachel Shannon of Veneta for illegally discharging sewage to the ground at their property on East Bolton Road in Veneta. DEQ’s letter requested that the Shannons take steps to prevent additional illegal discharges, cordon off the affected area “to prevent human and animal contact,” and disinfect the affected area.