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The Oregon Department of Agriculture is forging ahead with its plan to expand planting canola in the Willamette Valley, and canola, also known as rapeseed, opponents are fighting the weed-like plant fiercely. They say not only does canola risk the livelihoods of vegetable seed growers, but also canola is so easily dispersed that conventional (nonorganic) canola is often contaminated by genetically modified (GMO) crops. 

National Honeybee Week has local bee enthusiasts abuzz with activity, canvassing neighborhoods, celebrating bees and asking the city of Eugene to stop using pesticides in public parks and other spaces. “We want to educate and empower ourselves to protect the bees because our government is refusing to do so, and that’s at the federal, state and local levels,” Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics says.

Drive down Highway 99 through Goshen and you won’t see much: the Land o’ Goshen Tavern, some homes, some cattails and a couple mill sites. It’s a little unclear what the big deal about Goshen is and why some people from Lane County are pushing hard and fast to have the unincorporated town outside Eugene’s urban growth boundary (UGB) rezoned and revamped into an industrial park. 

Sizzle Pie, the award-winning gourmet pizza restaurant with two locations in Portland, is rumored to be opening a third restaurant in downtown Eugene. On their website, sizzlepie.com, they write, “We respect the classics, though we’ve added some unique twists. One of our signature pies features a base of locally made Aardvark habanero sauce blended with classic marinara.” Anybody hungry?

• Rep. Peter DeFazio will host town hall meetings at 5:15 pm Thursday, Aug. 16, at Eugene City Council Chambers, 777 Pearl St., followed by 7 pm at Springfield City Council Chambers, 225 5th St. Later this month DeFazio will be in Cottage Grove, Drain, Albany and Corvallis. See http://defazio.house.gov

In Afghanistan

2,067 U.S. troops killed* (2,054)

17,095 U.S. troops wounded in action (16,944)

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

12,793 civilians killed (12,793)

$554.3 billion cost of war 

($551.9 billion)

$163.7 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($163 million)

 

In Iraq

Contracts show that Lane County paid thousands of dollars in 2011 to Wildlife Services, a federal agency that reports show killed almost 60,000 animals in Oregon over a 10-year period through trapping, snaring and poisons. It is unclear whether Lane County has signed a new contract with the agency in the new budget year, according to Commissioner Pete Sorenson.

Canola. It sounds so harmless. Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed in Philomath says that the name comes from “Canadian oil,” and the moniker was devised after Canadian scientists took a plant called rapeseed and modified it to make it lower in erucic acid and thus a little more edible for animals and humans. Canola is causing a controversy among those who support local foods as well as spurring allegations about biofuels producers and suppliers such as Eugene’s SeQuential Biofuels.

People who are homeless need a legal place to sleep — and cities benefit from providing that space. That’s the premise of Opportunity Village Eugene (OVE), which is proposing a community similar to those in Portland and Seattle.

One of our intrepid summer interns took her camera and notepad to the streets of Eugene last week and asked people, “If you could compete in one Olympic event, what would it be and why?”

• Weyerhaeuser, 988-7502, is hiring Oregon Forest Management Services, 520-5941, to ground spray 81 acres near Ritchie Creek with Polaris SP, Forestry Garlon XRT, Capstone and/or Polaris AC. See ODF notice 2012-771-00610.

• Weyerhaeuser, 746-4600, plans to ground spray nine acres near Norris Creek with Polaris SP, Polaris AC, Accord XRT, Sulfomet XP, Metcel VMF, Sulfomet Extra, Transline, MSO and/or non-ionic surfactant. See ODF notice 2012-781-00575.

Hawthorne Deli at 153 E. Broadway has been vacant for a while and we hear a new restaurant, Bon Mi, has opened in the space featuring Vietnamese and French-style cooking. The owner is Yoon Shil and we notice the place is already very busy with the lunch sandwich crowd.

A new outdoor market for artisans and farmers opened Aug. 4 at Irvington Grange on Irvington Drive in Santa Clara. The market will be open from 10 am to 4 pm on the first Saturday of the month through October, according to organizer Sarah Sabri. Email irvingmarket@gmail.com or call (503) 515-2490.

• The annual Eugene/Springfield Pride Celebration will be from noon to 7 pm Saturday, Aug. 11, at Alton Baker Park. Entertainment includes Wetsock, Spin Cycle Squares, Richard Mills, Champagne GaGa and the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Emerald Empire. The event is free but a $5 donation will be asked to help cover expenses. A “Rhapsody Under the Stars” annual coronation event is coming up Aug. 17-19 at Valley River Inn. See Facebook at http://wkly.ws/1c0

Timber Town growls and belches mostly outside of Tree Town’s collective consciousness. Conscious of it or not, we find our air is fouled by biomass burners, wood and paper processing gases and log treatment vapors.

Logging on Oregon’s O&C lands has been a source of controversy for years, with some arguing that the trees should be cut to generate funding for Lane and other historically timber-based counties, and others saying the days of chopping down the ecosystem to pay for county services need to end.

Cougar Mountain Farm is holding its seventh annual farm benefit, the Tayberry Jam, Aug. 3-5, to help fund advancements toward the farm’s development of a sustainable living center to further empower what has become its very own sustainable living movement. 

• Seneca Jones, 461-6245, is hiring Western Helicopter, (503) 538-9469, to aerially apply Glyphosate, Imazapyr, Metsulfuron Methyl with additives Methylated Seed Oil, Syl-Tac and/or Sylgard 309 on 47 acres near Coyote Creek and the same chemicals on 67 and 116 acres near Camas Swale. See ODF notice 2012-781-00547.

• Weyerhaeuser, 746-2511, plans to ground spray 42 acres near Parsons Creek with a long list of chemicals. See ODF notice 2012-771-00593.

The “little blue school” has been empty for 10 years. The community of Noti, 16 miles west of Eugene in the foothills of the Coast Range, saw the historic building close down in June 2002 due to budget shortfalls. But this year, it’s opening back up, according to Leontine Winters Krohn, president of the Noti Community Center. The school’s inaugural fundraiser is a production of Cinderella by Ballet Fantastique accompanied by live ’60s music from singing duo Shelley and Cal and their band at 2:30 pm Saturday, Aug. 4.

Clearcuts, thinning, retention, regeneration … forestry jargon aplenty was flying on July 29 when nearly 30 people gathered to tour the Long Tom forest 20 miles west of Eugene, and to see some of these forest management terms actually applied within the same landscape.

Have some pasta and honor a soldier: The nonprofit Honor Flight of Oregon is putting on an “all-you-can-eat spaghetti feed” Sunday to raise money to send World War II veterans from Lane, Lincoln, Benton and Linn counties to see war memorials in Washington, D.C., before the soldiers pass on. In 2011, the average age of a WWII vet was 92. 

For about a century the Tour de France has showcased some the best scenery France has to offer as cyclists battle through small villages, pastures and mountains. This year Lane County is hosting its very own inaugural Tour de Lane Aug. 3-5 with rides kicking off from Richardson Park in Junction City. This non-competitive cycling festival will provide participants with a number of rides of varying lengths and difficulty.

Cornucopia’s Maize Lounge at 13th and Oak closed down without notice this past weekend and all future music gigs were canceled. Moving trucks were seen outside Monday morning, hauling off furniture and equipment for storage in a rented warehouse. Maize offered food, a full bar and a stage for live music. We hear a big hike coming in lease payments was behind the decision; Cornucopia’s other two restaurants are doing fine. Alison Albrecht and Nils Stark are owners of the business, but not the old building, which used to be a Cadillac dealership.

Bunnies being dumped out of a trailer, a rabbit being flung through the air and rows of screaming children bearing down on a cluster of bunnies paralyzed with fear:  Red Barn Rabbit Rescue documented this and more at the “animal scramble” at the July 13-14 Cottage Grove Rodeo (see our blog post July 16). Animal advocates are seeking to put an end to this annual event that they say is cruel and irresponsible.