• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

News Articles

If you hadn’t heard about the Cascadia Subduction Zone mega earthquake before now, the recent New Yorker article titled “The Really Big One” has probably popped up on your social media feed enough times to draw your attention.

Some people have known for decades about the predicted 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami threatening to devastate the Oregon Coast and beyond. 

A fenced-in parking lot complete with stripes on the gravel has appeared at the site of the leveled City Hall downtown, leading passers-by to wonder what’s going on. Turns out the parking will not be for the public or even the architects and engineers working on plans for the new City Hall.

“We had a request from the Federal Courthouse to accommodate overflow parking for jurors for two weeks,” says city spokesperson Laura Hammond. City Code 9.5800 “allows up to two weeks of temporary parking three times per year,” she says.

“Business has been booming,” says Jody Maddox, who owns Wags Dog Emporium off Coburg Road. This is no surprise, based on the $58.51 billion the American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimates Americans spent on their pets in 2014. 

Oregon happens to be near the top of the list for pet-owning states and ranks fourth overall, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation’s 2012 survey numbers, and those high ownership numbers seems to have translated to good business for pet-related industries operating in Eugene and Oregon in general.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments through 5 pm  Tuesday, July 28, on two proposed Clean Water Act permit modifications for Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products and Cascade Pacific Pulp, which both discharge pollution to the Willamette River via the same outfall near Halsey. The proposed modifications involve the relocation of the outfall approximately 1,300 feet downstream, and a decrease in the size of the “mixing zone” for the discharges.

Many Eugene downtown businesses will be open for the first Sunday Streets celebration from noon to 4 pm July 26. Streets will be blocked off from car traffic from the Park Blocks to Kesey Square and all the way down Broadway to Monroe Park. Participants can enjoy a relaxing bike ride, skate or stroll through a cornucopia of food, music, fitness classes and bike demos.

• The NAACP national convention was earlier in July, and City Club of Eugene will have a report at noon Friday, July 24, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette Street. Speakers will include Eric Richardson, president of the local NAACP, and members of the Eugene-Springfield faith and social justice communities. $5 for non-members.

Eugene 350’s Summer Meetup will be from 7 to 8:30 pm Thursday, July 16, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street. On the agenda is campaign organizing and arts projects, including giant banners and “Puppets for Climate Change.” Actions are being planned leading up to the U.N. climate talks in Paris. Email 350eugene@riseup.net or call 343-5091.

As fire season heats up in Oregon and across the West, debates over logging and forestry are staying hot in Congress. The House just passed HR 2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015, and Congressman Peter DeFazio is one of the Democrats who voted in favor of the bill.

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for often inaccurate herbicide application information. Highways recently sprayed include I-5, 36, 99 and Beltline.

If Jacob Burris, an eighth grader at Shasta Middle School, and his parents hadn’t followed up on a high blood pressure reading at a routine checkup, doctors may never have detected the life-threatening heart condition that sent the 13-year-old to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland last year. 

Now, because of his time at Doernbecher, Jacob is designing his own shoe at Nike as part of a fundraiser for the children’s hospital.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments through 5 pm on Tuesday, July 21, on the proposed “biosolids” management plan for Premier RV Resorts. (“Biosolids” is a term for treated sewage sludge.) Premier RV Resorts is located near Coburg, southeast of exit 199 on I-5. The plan includes requirements for spreading biosolids on farm land south of the RV resort. Visit goo.gl/ott3SM for more information on commenting.

The Veterans Safe Spot, one of three “rest stops” managed by Community Supported Shelters (CSS), is moving from its current location at Chambers and Northwest Expressway to a 7.5-acre Eugene Mission property off West 1st Avenue. Ron Siever, a veteran at the safe spot, says he and other veterans are concerned about the new rules required to move onto Mission property, which include total sobriety, abstinence from drugs and no pets.

Paying for community college may get a little easier now that Senate Bill 81 has passed in the Oregon Legislature, but community college officials say it’s more of a step in the right direction than a miracle cure for students’ financial woes. While this bill, called a “last dollar” program, provides assistance in the form of filling in tuition gaps that other grants leave, heftier legislation in the form of a “first dollar” program is needed for community college tuition to truly be “free.”

Last week we wrote about Barnhart Associates selling its historic building on East 14th Avenue to Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide and moving out. We’ve since learned from Jim Barnhart, one of the real estate agency’s founders, that the business has dissolved and the agents have scattered, nine going to Equinox Real Estate, and owner David Holland is now a commercial broker with Evans, Elder & Brown.

In Afghanistan

• 2,355 U.S. troops killed (2,355 last month)

• 20,071 U.S. troops wounded in action (20,071)

• 1,599 U.S. contractors killed (1,592)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $707.3 billion cost of war ($704.7 billion)

• $282.9 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($281.9 million)

 

Against ISIS

• $5.1 billion cost of military action ($4.7 billion)

• $2 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($1.9 million)

The loss of Civic Stadium to a fast-burning fire June 29 is tragic to those who tried to save it and to those who have rich memories of the historic stadium. But, as Eugene Springfield Fire Operations Deputy Chief Joe Zaludek pointed out at a recent press conference, no one was injured in the fire or fighting it, which he called “amazing” for an incident of this magnitude. 

• Oregon Department of Transportation is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for often inaccurate herbicide application information. Highways recently sprayed include I-5, 36, 105, 126, Beltline and Territorial.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fined Arclin U.S.A. $5,200 last month for illegally discharging pollution to waters of the state early last year from its formaldehyde and formaldehyde-based resin manufacturing facility near 28th and Main in Springfield. Arclin’s discharges were low-pH and high in biochemical oxygen demand, with BOD levels as high as 203 percent of the limit in Arclin’s Clean Water Act permit.

The Fourth of July weekend’s shake and bake of high temperatures and a small earthquake may have caused some short-term fear and consternation, but both events are linked to longer-term causes.

On July 2, temperatures at the Eugene airport were a record setting 101 degrees, and temperatures hovered in the 90s through much of the holiday weekend. Then, many of those who managed to sleep late despite the heat were woken at 8:42 am July 4 by a 4.2 magnitude earthquake centered 9 miles east-northeast of Springfield.

Oregon’s seven public universities enter a new era this July: No more Oregon University System, no more Board of Higher Education and no more OUS chancellor. 

Instead Oregon state universities will be run by their own independent governing boards, as pioneered by the University of Oregon, Portland State and Oregon State University. Senate Bill 80, passed by both houses (not yet signed by governor as of this writing) will legally abolish the OUS.  

What’s going on with Barnhart Associates Real Estate? We hear the Barnhart office building at 186 E. 14th Ave. has been sold to Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) and will be vacated soon, but the office phone goes unanswered and email queries are not being returned. The agency still has listings and is still advertising. Owners are Jim and Nancy Barnhart and David Holland, who became a full partner in 2004. The historic building, called the Soults-Westfall Duplex, is an elaborate bungalow dating to around 1915.

350 Eugene’s summer gathering will be from 7 to 8:45 pm Thursday, July 16, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St. “Hang out with fellow climate activists and jump into action-planning leading up to U.N. Climate Talks in Paris, and on to big actions next spring,”  organizers say. Email 350eug@riseup.net to get on the email list or call 343-5091. 

“She deserved a better ending,” Bev Smith said, standing not far from the still-smoldering remains of Civic Stadium’s once towering grandstand. 

Smith is the executive director of Kidsports and part of Eugene Civic Alliance, the group that came together to save and restore Eugene’s historic 1938 wooden baseball stadium.