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Parvin Butte is still standing. Shorn of most of its trees and blasted by heavy equipment, the Dexter landmark lingers in the background as summer visitors play on Dexter Lake. The Dexter/Lost Valley neighbors are still fighting to save the butte from McDougal brothers and developer Greg Demers, whose company Lost Creek Rock Products (LCRP), has been decimating it. The latest skirmish took place in front of Lane County Hearings Official Gary Darnielle on July 12.

When it comes to cockroaches in the cafeteria and mice in the classroom, Aimee Code says, “There is risky pesticide use occurring in our schools.” Code is an environmental health associate of the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP). “The fact that we want to institutionalize caution makes perfect sense to me,” she says.

Democratic Party of Lane County Secretary Andrew Becker and Steven Coatsworth, the national committeeman for the Young Oregon Democrats of America (YODA), have been elected, along with others, to represent Oregon at the Democratic National Convention starting Sept. 3 in Charlotte, N.C. 

We hear Lorraine Kerwood, founder of NextStep Recycling and involved in computer refurbishing and recycling since 1999, is retiring as executive director of NextStep and passing the torch to John Barnum. Kerwood has a long history in Lane County working on environmental and social justice issues, and is the recipient of many community awards. 

A free screening of Bag It!, a documentary on plastic bags, will be at 7:30 pm Thursday, July 19, at Cozmic, 199 W. 8th Ave. in Eugene. Sponsored by OLCV, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club and Environment Oregon. Plastic bags will be on the agenda of a work session of the Eugene City Council Monday, July 23, and a draft ordinance can be read at www.Eugene-or.gov

In Afghanistan

• 2,031 U.S. troops killed* (2,021)

• 16,781 U.S. troops wounded in action (16,687)

• 1,173 U.S. contractors killed (1,173)

• 12,793 civilians killed (12,793)

• $546.8 billion cost of war ($545.1 billion)

• $161.5 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($161.1 million)


In Iraq

A July 7 downtown Eugene rally against aerial spraying of pesticides drew more than 800 people, according to Day Owen, founder of Pitchfork Rebellion. The group, which Owen describes as “a forest dwellers’ support group consisting of people concerned about aerial spraying of pesticides near our homes,” said it is celebrating having conducted the largest anti-pesticide rally in the history of Oregon. 

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the ongoing controversies related to the proposed 1,200-student Capstone housing project. Since the Eugene City Council approved a 10-year property tax break in May, the project has been slapped with three appeals, continued pressure regarding construction standards from nearby residents and now the lack of a sale or ownership of the property on which half the project would be built.

Coos Bay is one of six Northwest ports vying to export coal to Asia. Thanks to its position on the railroad system, Eugene is one of the many cities in Oregon and Washington facing mile-and-a-half-long coal trains chugging through town, leaving coal dust and diesel fumes in their wake. The coal train issue has been the topic of a recent Eugene City Club debate, will be the subject of a City Council vote and will be the center of a “Coal Hard Truth” forum on July 16, as well as a peaceful protest July 12.

Commissioner Rob Handy remains locked out of his county office with “as far as we know no legal basis,” according to his attorney Lauren Regan.

Regan says Handy is still going out and meeting with constituents despite not having access to his county office but “excluding a popular liberal commissioner in this way is problematic.”

Fellow Commissioner Faye Stewart excoriated Handy for not being around the office on the July 5 Morning Wakeup Call on KPNW, a conservative radio station (wkly.ws/1bk). 

Shannon Finnell

 et al.

The federal government’s General Services Administration delivered a letter to Occupy Eugene on July 10 denying the group’s permit application to remain at the old Federal Courthouse on 7th Avenue. The group was given until 3 pm July 11 to leave the site. In response, the Occupiers handed the feds an eviction notice of their own.

In Afghanistan

• 2,021 U.S. troops killed* (2,017)

• 16,687 U.S. troops wounded in action (16,584)

• 1,173 U.S. contractors killed (1,131)

• 12,793 civilians killed (12,793)

• $545.1 billion cost of war ($542.5 billion)

• $161.1 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($160.2 million)


In Iraq

• Springfield’s Clean Water Gardens Program, which encourages homeowners to install rain gardens, naturescapes, pervious surfaces and rainwater harvesting systems in their landscapes, will be on display from 10 am to 4 pm Friday, July 13, at Roger’s Gardens, 1792 N. 42nd St. in Springfield. For more info, call 726-3695.

If you want to see modern-day “horse whisperer” Buck Brannaman help horses with people problems, then head up to Corvallis July 6-9 for a four-day horsemanship clinic. Brannaman, long known in the equine community for his way with horses, came to greater fame last year when the documentary movie Buck about his life and work was released to critical acclaim. 

Free lunches for children and youth ages 2 to 18 have begun at 67 sites throughout Lane County, thanks to the Federal Summer Food Service Program and FOOD for Lane County (FLC). No documents are required to participate. 

Most sites serve meals each weekday between noon and 1 pm during the nine weeks when schools are not in session. A list of sites can be found at www.foodforlanecounty.org or call 343-2822. 

ODOT is spraying highways in the Lane County area. For more information call 1-888-996-8080.

• West Lane ODF, 935-2283, has hired Nick’s Timber Services (503) 910-1120 to ground spray 10 miles of roadsides on ODF land in western Lane County with Element 3A, Element 4, Oust XP, Forester’s Accord Concentrate, Agri-Dex and/or Herbimax. See ODF notice 2012-781-00363.

 The question of whether Lane County Commissioners Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Faye Stewart violated open meetings law with a May 3 emergency meeting that did not provide 24 hours notice is now in the hands of the Oregon courts.

Shannon Finnell

 et al.

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. But what do you do when life hands you pesticides in your urine? You fight. And when the Environmental Protection Agency attempts to delay regulations protecting salmon from pesticides, you take that agency to court.

Health Care for All Oregon has responded to the Supreme Court decision on Obama’s Affordable Care Act, welcoming the survival of the legislation’s consumer protections, but saying the ACA “remains inadequate” and helps entrench insurance industry profits.

A new cohousing development called Oakleigh Meadow is forming with a group of about a dozen local households. The 2.7-acre site will be off River Road near Riverfront Park and the bike path, on land owned by David Adee and Joan Connolly. Other founding members include Pen Sand, Jim O’Connor and Jen Carroll. The sustainable housing project will include 16 to 24 units and a common house for shared activities such as meals and recreation.

Coal trains through Eugene and coal exports from Coos Bay will be the program at City Club of Eugene at 11:50 am Friday, July 6, at the Hilton 12th Floor Ballroom. A resolution banning coal trains will be on the agenda of the Eugene City Council Monday evening, July 9.

Despite vocal worries from animal advocates, Lane County commissioners voted 3-2 to award a contract to run the animal services shelter to Greenhill Humane Society. However, there is no actual contract yet, something that concerned Commissioners Pete Sorenson and Rob Handy, who dissented on the vote.

Watch out, medical marijuana opponents, teen drug use isn’t your scapegoat anymore.

The June 23 plane crash that killed four “family members” of the Oregon Country Fair has left the organization “broken-hearted” and “profoundly affected,” General Manager Charlie Ruff said at a June 25 press conference held at OFC headquarters.

“We’re going to have an amazing celebration of life and remembrance,” Ruff said, noting that grief counselors from Eugene’s White Bird Clinic were already circulating among members and volunteers in the Country Fair community.