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News Briefs

It’s not pot! That’s one of the main messages behind Hemp History Week, says Eugene hemp activist Michael Moore, better known as Papa Hemp. Eugeneans will gather for a free educational event from noon to 10 pm Saturday, June 8, at 267 Van Buren St. across from Ninkasi, and learn more about the plant that can’t get you high.

With thick fur and paws that work like snowshoes, the Canada lynx is a cat specialized for hunting in the snow. Already decimated by habitat destruction and overhunting, lynx are now facing the added danger of climate change, which may diminish their snowy habitats. 

The Eugene Metro Football Club (EMFC) Azul took on and defeated the Bend Timbers by a score of 4-1 in front of 700 patrons packed in bleachers above the South Eugene High School soccer field. In this season-opening game, fans and head coach Jürgen Ruckaberle got their first peek of Gaia Mastrovincenzo, a touted forward and midfielder from the prestigious Serie A’s Riviera di Romagna in Italy, who stood out in leading her new team to victory.

It’s been more than half a century since packs of gray wolves wandered the rim of Crater Lake and the Three Sisters Wilderness, but conservationists say that their howls may soon be heard again in those areas, once they disperse into western Oregon. Due to a recent settlement between several conservation organizations, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, wolves are now granted increased protection by Oregon law, easing their transition as they recover their population.

Eugene and deserts sound like an unlikely combination, but the USDA lists four Eugene food deserts, census tracts that contain a high percentage of low-income people living in areas with low access to fresh, healthy food. For a year, students from the UO Architecture School’s Digital Media Collective (DMC) studied public use of private space and accessibility of healthy food throughout the city, and their final project is the fabrication of food shelving that’s adaptable enough for “pop-up” markets.

UO architecture students aren’t just taking classes and making floor plans, they’re using their degree-earning time to rebuild a house — with a special focus on the marriage of design and sustainability. The Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Living (CASL, sounds like “castle”), at 1801 Moss St., is re-creating and adding onto the house where it’s based, while inviting the local residents inside to brainstorm about their own projects.

After some delays and years of planning, the curtain is rising on the newest theater downtown — the Bijou Metro. Saturday, June 1, the art house cinema will open to the public with screenings of the Japanese anime film From Up On Poppy Hill, The Angels’ Share (a whiskey flick), The Rep (a movie about indie cinemas with an appearance by the Bijou’s owner-booker Ed Schiessl) and a midnight showing of a cult classic (TBD).

It came to a grand total of $550,000 to bring the Dalai Lama to Portland in May, but what it cost to bring him to Eugene is not yet known. His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, spent most of his Oregon visit in Portland, with a stop in Eugene for his May 10 lecture, “The Path to Peace and Happiness in the Global Society.” 

UO spokesman Phil Weiler says the UO has not yet done a final accounting of the Eugene event, with some big-ticket expenditures still coming in, but that the UO’s “expectation from the beginning was that expenses would exceed revenues.”

• Walton Hylomorphia plans to ground spray 175 acres near the Siuslaw River with Glyphosate, Triclopyr Ester and Glyphosate Amine.

• ODOT spring spraying plan: the week of May 13, the Veneta section including 126 west of Eugene, Hwy. 36 and Territorial Highway; the week of May 20, the Florence section of Hwys. 126 West, 36 and 101. Spraying began at the beginning of May, call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 (Lane County area) at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. 

Last week, Oregon DEQ assessed civil penalties against Prize Properties and Bennett’s Drain Savers, both of which DEQ sent pre-enforcement notices to in March (EW 3/28, goo.gl/jEZwT; EW 5/2, goo.gl/gz1FR). DEQ assessed a penalty of $15,417 against Eugene-based Bennett’s Drain Savers for performing sewage disposal services without a license and surety bond, including disposal at Heard Farms on Airport Road in Eugene.

Although city parks are generally considered open to the public, Tamara Barnes of No Kill Lane County alleges that two officers from the Eugene Police Department (EPD) told her and three others to leave Alton Baker Park at Greenhill Humane Society’s Bark in the Park benefit on May 19, raising the question of whether a permit holder for an event can have protesters removed from an otherwise public area.

“I feel very strongly that if we don’t stop GMOs it will be the end of humanity,” says Lizzy Cwynar. She had never organized a protest before, but her concerns over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) led her to organize Eugene’s part of the worldwide March Against Monsanto. Eugene police estimate that about 2,500 people participated in the May 25 event. At least two million people are said to have participated in marches nationwide.

UO’s decades-old urban farm program didn’t sprout overnight, but the university’s various farm projects are now growing fast. In addition to the 1.5 acre Urban Farm north of Franklin Boulevard, it added sites on Columbia and Moss Streets in 2012. The Service-Learning Program started a farm at Edison Elementary School in the Fairmount neighborhood.

Oregonians would rather protect water, forests, fish and wildlife on their federal forestlands than cut them down for money for the timber economy and local governments. That’s the gist of a recent bipartisan statewide poll of likely voters in western Oregon by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Eugene’s path toward a sustainable budget will probably be a bumpy road, filled with all the suspense and comedy of a summer blockbuster. Since the city service fee went down in flames on Election Day, Eugene’s budget process is going to get interesting. 

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Move, grow or stagnate. That’s the choice the bustling Lane County Farmers Market has been looking at for years. Its members vetoed a big July 2013 move to the Fifth Street Public Market, but they approved a couple of smaller experiments. When the Thursday market opens June 6, it will move from Amazon Park to Fifth Street Public Market. The Farmers Market is also negotiating to close one block of 8th Avenue during the Saturday market.

• Walton Hylomorphia plans to ground spray 175 acres near the Siuslaw River with Glyphosate, Triclopyr Ester, and Glyphosate Amine.

• ODOT spring spraying plan: the week of May 13, the Veneta section including 126 west of Eugene, Hwy. 36 and Territorial Highway; the week of May 20, the Florence section of Hwys. 126 West, 36 and 101. Spraying began at the beginning of May, call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 (Lane County area) at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. 

Oregon’s Sen. Jeff Merkley has joined the march against Monsanto, in the U.S. Senate anyway. While Eugeneans plan their May 25 rally against chemical giant Monsanto here in Lane County, Merkley has taken a stand against loopholes and secret provisions aiding the biotech company in Congress. He has introduced an amendment to the Senate farm bill that would override a provision that has become known as the Monsanto Protection Act.

“They confirmed that we were indeed unwillingly exposed to pesticides,” says Day Owen of Triangle Lake. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released the Public Health Assessment Report on the Highway 36 Exposure Investigation on May 9. The report is open for public comment until July 9 and the state is hosting a meeting on the issue on May 28.

Oregon DEQ followed up on its Feb .19 warning letter to Georgia-Pacific Chemicals (EW 3/14, goo.gl/cFGEq) regarding discharge of phenols pollution to waters of the state with a civil penalty of $3,600 on May 13. DEQ sent Premier RV Resorts LLC a warning letter on April 24 for violating the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) removal requirement in its Clean Water Act permit in March. The RV facility where this violation occurred is located east of I-5 near Exit 199.

Washington and Colorado may have legalized marijuana first, but Oregon’s marijuana policy reform advocates are striving to ensure that the Beaver State is a close third in bud states. At press time, activists were planning to file two legalization initiatives Wednesday, May 22.

Jaron Lanier is known as “the father of virtual reality.” Smithsonian Magazine calls him “the spy who came in from the cold 2.0” for his criticisms of the digital world that he helped create. Lanier is coming to Lane Community College May 23 and 24 to speak as part of the school’s “Reading Together” effort that creates cross-campus conversations over books in common.

East Lane Commissioner Faye Stewart may be facing a lot of opposition in the 2014 election and Kevin Matthews is the latest progressive to enter the fray. He joins former EWEB commissioner Joanne Ernst and Jose Ortal in indicating interest in Stewart’s largely rural commission seat.