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The Whiteaker Community Council (WCC) got a surprise at its annual elections meeting Wednesday, April 9, when upward of 80 residents of Eugene’s hippest district packed into the small room at the Whiteaker School to air concerns about a proposed noise ordinance.

The Easter Bunny is bouncy, fuzzy and lays eggs. Bunnicula, the vampire, vegetable-sucking rabbit, is reserved, misunderstood and has razor sharp fangs. While both of these sets of characteristics are (almost) all true, real rabbits are made up of a complex combination of the two, something that the holiday Easter Bunny character glosses over.

• Florence police chief candidates will be available for an informal public “meet and greet” from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Thursday, April 17, at the Florence Events Center on Quince Street.

Fifty-five bias-related incidents were reported to Eugene’s Equity and Human Rights Center (EHRC) in 2013 — an increase of four reports from last year. Equity and Human Rights Analyst Lindsey Foltz says a lot of bias-related activity is unreported, in part because of a lack of trust of the government or police. 

Local schools continue to struggle with insufficient funding, and two Lane County school districts, Fern Ridge and Pleasant Hill, filed bond measures that will appear on the May Primary ballot to help pay for improvements to property and facilities that school officials say are greatly needed — one school is basically providing federally assisted school lunches out of a gym concession stand.

The city of Eugene sent a “request for corrective action” letter to Gibson Steel Fab, Inc. last month for various Clean Water Act violations, citing Gibson for deficiencies in employee education and monthly inspections, storing several hazardous materials without secondary containment and failing to contain overspray from painting operations so as to prevent it from coming into contact with stormwater.

The city of Eugene paid 60 staff members to shut down the Whoville homeless camp on the corner of Broadway and Hilyard streets April 4 — a move that campers and homeless rights advocates say put many of the Whoville residents back on the streets alone.

“They’ve taken old, they’ve taken veterans, they’ve taken everybody who has a problem, said ‘You have to go,’ instead of giving them a place to sleep at night and giving them some sort of peace of mind,” Whoville camper Jacob Baird says.

What’s happening with the LUCiA development on Friendly Street? Construction on the second row of townhouses is expected to wrap up by June 1 and one of the units has already been sold, says Mel Bankoff, who is in partnership with architect Jan Fillinger of studio-e architecture and  project manager Teri Reifer (see our 2013 story at wkly.ws/1q3). Bankoff says he plans to have open houses in mid-April. The third phase of residential development will begin in June with a completion target of March 2015.

• “Building Equity and Inclusion at the UO and Beyond” is the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, April 11, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette. Speaker is Yvette Alex-Assensoh, VP for equity and inclusion at UO. See CityClubofEugene.org.

Almost 13 years after starting at Eugene’s local daily paper, The Register-Guard, reporter Serena Markstrom Nugent was fired while on pregnancy disability leave from the paper where she had worked since college. Another employee cleaned out Markstrom Nugent’s desk for her, and she was told she could pick up her belongings in the reception area. “It felt like getting punched in the stomach,” Markstrom Nugent says. About 30 current and former employees and supporters gathered to say goodbye in the rain on the sidewalk outside the R-G’s offices on Chad Drive March 27 with signs of support and balloons.

• Weyerhaeuser, 744-4600, plans to backpack spray 8 acres near Norris Creek with Velpar L, Velpar DF, Transline and/or Forestry Garlon XRT with additives methylated seed oil and/or non-ionic surfactant. See ODF notice 2014-781-00306, call Stewardship Forester Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.

Kevin Sullivan

 et al.

Thanks to a disagreement over Robert’s Rules of Order, the Lane County Republicans have recently acquired new leadership in the form of chair, vice-chair and secretary to fill the seats of Paul Barnett, Bill Young and Kristy Cooper, who have all resigned. This split happened as the races heat up for three Lane County Commission seats in the May primary.

The city of Eugene sent “request for corrective action” letters to three Eugene businesses, A&K Development Company, Oregon Ice Cream Company and Oregon Tread Rubber Company, in late February for various Clean Water Act violations.

“Here we go again. Big money moves into a neighborhood and excavates 40 feet into the ground near the river,” Wende Hitchcock says in exasperation. She says a gravel site along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River near Delight Valley Road has applied to the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) to expand its operations, including excavation and asphalt production. Hitchcock and other neighbors fear impacts to the rural community from noise and trucks to possible affects on wildlife and water.

Unhoused Eugeneans will speak at a panel during an April 7 event that the Eugene Human Rights Commission’s (HRC) Homelessness Work Group hopes will help deconstruct stereotypes people commonly apply to the homeless.

Six people who currently reside at Whoville, Opportunity Village Eugene and the city-approved rest stop at the intersection of Garfield and Roosevelt Streets will respond to a prompt and then answer questions from the audience. 

Sustainable Cottage Grove and the Oregon Food Bank are holding a community event called FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions, Together) from 10 am to 4 pm Saturday, April 5, at the Cottage Grove Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs. The event focuses on promoting and supporting local food systems.

• A Eugene Police Commission public forum will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at the Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave. The commission will take comments on professional police stops policy and bias-based policing. Call 682-5852 or email carter.r.hawley@ci.eugene.or.us.

350.org Climate Activists are holding their first general monthly chapter meeting at 7 pm Thursday, April 3, at First United Methodist Church, 13th and Olive. Email 350eug@riseup.net for find them on Facebook.

On Oct. 16, 2013 John Burns says a private timber helicopter dripped poison onto him, his land, his neighbors and their water supply. He started coughing and his sinuses ran for hours. Neighbors reported their dogs getting sick and even dying, a horse went blind and the local fire chief had to go to the emergency room. Five months later, the more than 30 people of the Cedar Valley area outside Gold Beach who reported symptoms from asthma to nose bleeds still don’t know what was in the chemical mix that hit the rural community.

Policies currently in place in Lane County would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks only 3 percent by 2035 — 17 percent less than the state goal of 20 percent — according to an evaluation completed in February by the Central Lane Scenario Planning Team.

The city of Eugene has more than 43 miles of alleys threaded between homes and businesses; some are paved, some gravel and some are grassy and overgrown. Where some people might see dreary and even dangerous passageways, Jeff Luers and the Eugene Green Alley Project see a chance to turn Eugene’s often potholed back alleys into environmental, walkable and even wildlife-friendly corridors. On March 31 you can “rally for the alley” at a Ninkasi Pints for a Cause fundraiser. 

Step aside, Keystone XL pipeline: Oregon is advancing toward acquiring a new fossil fuel pipeline of its own, after the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Coos Bay received a conditional export license from the U.S. Department of Energy on March 24. 

Joanie Kleban tells us Greater Goods will be ending its regular hours after Saturday, March 29, and will be open off and on during April. Kleban is retiring after 23 years and is selling off her extensive inventory of hand-crafted, fair-trade goods from around the world. The store is on High Street across from Fifth Street Public Market. What’s next?