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News Briefs

Is a small, speedy potato-shaped seabird the new spotted owl? If it wasn’t already clear before: Clearcutting on hundreds of acres of coastal old-growth forests that are habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet is definitely at a standstill, this time thanks to a Nov. 19 ruling by federal Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene. 

Michael Hogan has stepped down after 39 years as a judge in federal courts, and the $100,000-plus privately funded retirement bash planned in his honor has been downsized at his request. The change in plans also follows a story in Willamette Week Nov. 21 that quotes Portland attorney Michael Esler saying “The ostentatiousness makes us lawyers look even worse than we already look.”

Tsunami Books will be home to readings by local writers and poets “committed to narrative and lyrical art” at 7 pm Sunday, Dec. 2, according to Michael Copperman, one of the event’s nine writers who graduated from the UO’s MFA program in creative writing. The readings, in honor of the departure of poet and fellow MFA grad Michelle Penaloza, mark the inaugural gathering of the Oregon Writers Collective. 

Eco-saboteur Daniel McGowan, the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary film If a Tree Falls, will be released from the secretive prison where he has been held for the past several years on Dec. 11. The Civil Liberties Defense Center, which has worked to expose and oppose the Communications Management Units where McGowan was held, is sponsoring a fundraising event at Cozmic Friday, Nov. 23, support to help McGowan after he is released.

The news that clearcutting would be suspended on 914 acres of the Elliott State Forest came to logging opponents through a September memo that was posted on the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) website, Josh Laughlin of Cascadia Wildlands says. He says this was welcome news for an endangered sea bird that nests in Oregon’s coastal old-growth forests. Cascadia Wildlands and other groups filed a suit in federal court in July to try protect the threatened marbled murrelet and its habitat, and that suit has led to the temporary cease in clearcutting.

Finding a tree to hug is an easy task in arboreal Eugene, and Friends of Trees aims to make it even easier by adding to the urban forest. The group’s next planting opportunity to is Dec. 1 at Washington Park. Volunteers will break into teams and plant street and yard trees in several south Eugene neighborhoods. The event begins at 9 am.

Two Occupy Eugene protesters got cold and in trouble for calling attention to homeless people who are cold and in trouble. The activists received citations for criminal trespass in the second degree around 1:30 am Monday after scaling the chain-link fence that blocks off Eugene’s City Hall. The Occupiers were protesting the city’s lack of action in providing homeless people with a safe place to sleep during the winter.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) records indicate that Junction City has now paid the water pollution penalty mentioned in Nov. 15’s Pollution Update.

The City of Eugene’s Stormwater Annual Report is now online, and public comments are being accepted until 5 pm on Nov. 30.  Go to wkly.ws/1e4

In 1990 President George H.W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” The irony is that this falls around the same time as Columbus Day, marking the “discovery of America” and beginning of colonization.

Protesters in Texas have put up treesits and locked themselves to machinery to stop the Keystone XL pipeline; thousands of activists gathered around the White House Nov. 18 to call on President Obama to reject the controversial tar sands conduit; and here in Eugene, as part of a week of solidarity actions, local activists faced high winds and rain to voice their concerns about tar sands oil. 

Amy Schneider

 et al.

A downpour of rain and a lack of media attention did nothing to stop a group of protesters from picketing at 7th and Pearl in downtown Eugene on Saturday, Nov. 16. Members of the Tea Party-related Lane County 9-12 Project and other conservative groups say it’s the lack of local media attention that has led them to protest local media. 

The activists decked out in rain jackets and umbrellas gathered to express their dissatisfaction with the media’s coverage of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. 

If your soul is feeling like a frozen sea within you, Franz Kafka would recommend you read a book to serve as an axe for the ice — and Eugene-based nonprofit Books to the People wants to be there with a carefully selected collection of axes for you to choose from at no cost to you. 

Heidy Hollister, a former Lane County Animal Services veterinary technician who then went on to work for Greenhill Humane Society after it took over the LCAS shelter, has filed a $700,000 suit against Greenhill that says she was subject to “unwarranted criticism and reprimands” and her contract terminated after she complained “that many of the animals were injured, sick and diseased and defendant [Greenhill] did not provide them with adequate or any medication or hygienic care to relieve their pain and suffering.”

In early September, DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) assessed a penalty of $1,500 against SFPP, L.P. for Clean Water Act violations at its bulk petroleum facility at 1765 Prairie Rd. (just south of Lane Forest Products and north of Maxwell Road). The violations consisted of multiple oil and grease limit violations, and multiple failure-to-monitor violations. The Prairie Road facility is the southern terminus of a 114-mile pipeline from Portland, and has a storage capacity in excess of 700,000 barrels.

$3 if you wear all black and $6 if you don’t will get you admission to the benefit show for grand jury resistors at the Lorax on Alder Street on Nov. 9. Grand juries are used in federal court cases to determine whether there is “probable cause” to believe that an individual has committed a crime and should be put on trial.

It’s difficult to read about Haiti without feeling heartbroken. The Caribbean country caught the world’s attention nearly three years ago when an earthquake killed thousands and left over a million Haitians homeless.

Haiti has suffered greatly from deforestation, with 98 percent of its original tree cover destroyed. Rife with mudslides, floods and soil erosion, the country is an environmental disaster in need of a hero. That’s where Chavannes Jean-Baptiste comes in.

It’s been a particularly bad academic year thus far in terms of sexual violence on and around campus. In the past month, three sexual assaults were reported to the UO Police Department alone, and sexual assault prevention advocates say that’s consistent with the “red zone,” the first six weeks of fall term when a high rate of sexual violence is reported. On Nov.

“We know beyond a shadow of a doubt humans have affected the composition of the atmosphere and almost beyond a shadow of a doubt that global warming is related to that,” says Philip Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI). In this election season, climate change didn’t come up until after the presidential debates, but superstorm Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath meant the topic hit the headlines before the election was over.

Every four years around presidential election time, the Electoral College gets attention for a few weeks, then fades into the fog of obscurity for four more years. But who are Oregon’s seven electors, how did they become electors and what do they do?

President Obama’s victory this week does not automatically make him president for four years, but it kicks off a long and formal process that leads up to his inauguration at noon Jan. 20, 2013. Seven electors will (ideally) represent us and cast their votes for Obama and Biden in Salem Dec. 17.

More changes may be afoot for the local animal welfare services scene. After city and county funding cuts led to the jettisoning of the Lane County Animal Services (LCAS) program in favor of Greenhill Humane Society running the shelter and splitting up the welfare officers by city and county in July of this year, questions abound as to whether or not the LCAS Advisory Committee may be next on the chopping block. 

While many Eugeneans have already settled on voting for Democrats or Republicans in the Nov. 6 election, other parties are on the ballot, and third parties are actively registering new voters. According to the Oregon Blue Book, about 26 percent of Oregon voters were registered with third parties or are unaffiliated with a party.

As evidenced by the infamous anti-Islam video that attracted a whirlwind of attention after it was alleged to have been linked to the Benghazi embassy riots in September, religion continues to remain a touchy subject these days. For Saba Mahmood, a professor of anthropology at UC-Berkeley, it’s a topic that she hopes to understand more clearly through her studies of religious issues in Egypt.

People in their late teens and early 20s don’t have the best track record when it comes to voting. That’s why around election time, voter registration volunteers show up on college campuses, encouraging students to fill out their registration cards. The registration deadline has passed, but now it’s up to students to follow through and vote. 

Just days before Hurricane Sandy smacked into the East Coast, turning New York City streets into waterways, a tsunami advisory was issued for the West Coast from Alaska into California, as well as Hawaii, as a result of an 7.7 earthquake off the coast of British Columbia. These water disasters, or near disasters — the tsunami was in the end rather small — call to mind the 2011 Japanese quake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear plant dangers that arose.