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“We all live downstream,” says River Road resident Carleen Reilly. She’s worried that Lane County’s efforts to take control of the “urbanizable” land around Eugene and Springfield will result in increased air and water pollution. 

Reilly was among a number of residents who spoke about their concerns over the proposed changes to the Metro Plan at the March 13 joint meeting of the Lane County commissioners and the city councils and mayors of Eugene and Springfield. 

• We used “Cirque du Eugene” as a headline and in homage to Cirque du Soleil for our story March 8 on Kaleidoscope: Cirque-Curious, an event at Bounce Gymnastics March 10. We’ve since heard that a different event is actually called Circque de Eugene, and it’s put on for the second year in a row by Fusion Friendly, a group of avant garde bellydancers. Circque de Eugene will be at 8 pm Friday, March 30, at Cozmic Pizza, 199 W. 8th Ave. $5, all ages. Find Fusion Friendly on Facebook or email fusionfriendlyevents@gmail.com

They eat horses don’t they? Well, not so much in the U.S., but Hermiston, Ore., could become the location of a new horse slaughter plant that would export meat to countries such as France and Japan that see nothing wrong with eating Mr. Ed.

Local horse rescuer Darla Clark of Strawberry Mountain Mustangs outside of Roseburg says while the humane aspect of horse slaughter has gotten the most attention, environmental and economic aspects need to be considered too.

Lorane area: Fruit Growers Supply, (541) 345-0996, plans to hire Oregon Forest Management Services to ground spray using Foresters and Garlon XRT with MSO on 33 acres in Township 20S, Range 04W Section 7 in the Lorane area. Concerns include proximity to King Estate Winery, Lorane Elementary School and Hawley Creek, home to threatened turtles. See ODF notice 2012-781-00174.

Deer, raccoons and even pet dogs have suffered and died in traps set for predators in Oregon, and conservation and animal rights groups want that to change. According to Brooks Fahy, the executive director of Eugene-based Predator Defense, “Oregon is behind other states on a lot of issues, and the current regulations on trapping show very little concern for the non-consumptive use of wildlife.” 

Occupy Eugene (OE) is welcoming spring with a new print and online newsletter and more public events. An open house and volunteer fair will be from 2 to 4 pm Saturday, March 24, at OE’s headquarters, Occupy Eugene V (OEV) 1274 W. 7th. 

“We are excited to welcome the community to come and meet us and find out what we are up to and where we are headed,” says Larry Leverone of OE. “A dozen or more of our committees and working groups will be on hand with literature and newsletters.”

For years the rural residents of Triangle Lake have been trying to stop poisonous pesticide sprays from contaminating their houses, farms and bodies. After a study by Dana Barr of Emory University found pesticides in the urine of 44 people in the area, it seemed like the concerns and health issues of the Pitchfork Rebellion and other Triangle Lake groups would be at last be taken seriously. 

Back in this column March 1 we wrote about Eugene dentist Josephine Stokes, DDS opening her new practice in mid-March, called Pearly Whites of Eugene. She tells us the opening has been delayed a bit, but she’s able to take calls and schedule appointments. “I have also worked out with my dental neighbors that if I have an emergency, I do have a place to be able to see them,” she says. “I have been practicing in Eugene for 10 years and it was time to start my own practice.

• A community forum on Envision Eugene and the city manager’s recommendations will be from 6 to 8 pm Thursday, March 22, at North Eugene High School. See envisioneugene.org for more information and an online survey.

Sometimes you wind up in places you didn’t know you were going.

Portland and Eugene are nationally ranked as cycle-friendly towns, but there is more to boast about than the many urban bike lanes. Oregon is the only state in the nation with designated scenic bikeways. The two most recent additions start in Cottage Grove and Bend, bringing the state total to eight.

“We’re only looking for the best of the best bike rides in all of Oregon and these two made that cut,” says Alexandra Phillips, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department bicycle recreation coordinator. 

A southern Oregon community’s effort to protect forestland has become a race against the chainsaw. The Williams Community Forest Project (WCFP) is working to purchase a locally vital 320-acre tract of forestland where clearcutting has started, in order to preserve it as a “community forest.” 

The two Lane County commissioner races heading for the May primary have narrowed their fields. Conservative City Councilor Mike Clark dropped out of the North Eugene race against current Commissioner Rob Handy Feb. 28, and on March 1 political newcomer Kieran Walsh gave way in the contest for the South Eugene seat held by Pete Sorenson. 

Moving more than a thousand students to the intersection of three Eugene neighborhoods creates a lot of stakeholders. That’s why different organizations have joined together to form the Eugene Community Advisory Team (Eugene CAT) to examine the proposed Capstone project, which would bring 1,200 students into a downtown complex at 13th and Olive by fall 2014.

Weyerhaeuser (744-4684) plans ground and aerial spraying on at least 753 acres in areas including Mohawk River tributaries, Ritchie Creek on the McKenzie at Leaburg, Crow Creek, Farman Creek, Kelly Creek, Horton, Lorane, Michaels Creek and Owens Creek.

Lane County’s green credentials haven’t just slipped lower under the current conservative board majority, they’ve disappeared altogether.   

In 2010 the Lane County commissioners voted to protect the environment 10 out of 12 times, according to the Oregon League of Conservation Voters Environmental Scorecard.

In 2011 under a new, conservative county majority there were not enough votes on the environment to score the Lane County commissioners at all, the OLCV says. The Eugene City Council was also impossible to score, according to the OLCV.

Attempts to turn rural Parvin Butte into a gravel mine have turned the once peaceful hill and the town around it into a morass of legal and political controversy. In the latest twist, the decision to allow mining on Parvin Butte in Dexter without a site review was reconsidered by the Lane County hearings official on March 6, resulting in a partial victory for the Parvin Butte neighbors.

Despite the concerns of local animal advocates, Eugene and Lane County continue to work to transition to a “new model” for animal services. There are two upcoming “community input sessions” the public can attend to voice worries over the impending demise of Lane County Animal Services (LCAS).

Envision Eugene’s two-year process will wrap up over the next couple of months and City Manager Jon Ruiz will present his recommendations to the City Council after we go to press this week, drawing criticism from community members who are concerned that the manager’s secret analysis will short-circuit the public process. Adding to the concern is the manager’s canceling of a Tuesday morning meeting with the 70-member Community Resource Group (CRG) to preview his recommendations before they go to the council.

The Divine Cupcake, a Eugene local organic bakery and café, is celebrating its second anniversary by offering a free cupcake to all store visitors on Saturday, March 17. The store will be open from 10 am to 10 pm and is located at 1680 W. 11th Ave.  

• MoveOn is planning a Save Our Homes Rally at noon Thursday, March 15, at Broadway and Oak in Eugene, calling for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce mortgages to fair market value. This part of a national rally to reduce foreclosures.

THE PERSONAL PRICE OF CARE

Taking care of a loved one — or someone else’s loved one — is a virtuous thing, and that’s something that Eugeneans of all stripes can agree on. So why are caretakers so frequently economically penalized for their work?

Economist Nancy Folbre’s keynote speech March 8, “Women’s Gains, Mothers’ Losses: Capitalism and the Care Penalty,” will address aspects of something called the care penalty.

What will happen when a natural disaster shuts down our bridges, highways and rail lines and prevents the distribution of food to local stores? “Reality is, every community has about three days food supply available in grocery stores to feed itself,” says Deb McGee, who describes herself as a “Peaceful Valley subsistence farmer” in rural Eugene. “It is also true that 90 percent of what we eat could be grown locally if we chose to eat seasonally.”

Animal advocates want to know why Lane County isn’t considering trimming salaries over $90,000 instead of cutting much-needed services. Budget cuts at the city of Eugene and at Lane County have led to a proposal that Lane County Animal Services be ended and a new plan put in its place. But no new plan has been drafted, and who and what would take over dealing with the area’s homeless pets from LCAS is unclear.