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News Briefs

In western Lane County, Weyerhaeuser (541) 744-4684 plans to aerially spray Atrazine 4L, Transline, Velpar DF, Sulfomet XP and 2,4-D Ester with Foam Buster on 51 acres about 1-1/2 miles south of Cottage Grove near a tributary of Wallace Creek. Notice 2012-771-00156.

You might have noticed a chemical spill, a man foaming at the mouth and folks in hazmat suits if you were driving down Hwy. 99 by the Georgia-Pacific Eugene Resin Plant on the cold snowy morning of Feb. 29. 

Two farmers and a priest walk into a bar and … oh wait, is that how the joke goes? Springfield’s Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) is hatching Sprout!, which is no joke — it’s a food hub that will be housed in the former First Christian Church on 4th and A streets.

NEDCO Assistant Director Sarai Johnson says the hub will have three main components: a year-round farmers market, a central kitchen that can accommodate up to five businesses at once, and an expansion of NEDCO’s Hatch business incubator program.

The problems with cheap plastic bags don’t end with environmental ramifications, according to Environment Oregon’s Sarah Higginbotham, and that’s why businesses and members of the recycling industry are joining environmentalists to support a Eugene ban on plastic grocery bags. The City Council voted unanimously (with Councilor Mike Clark absent) on Feb. 27 to draft a plastic bag ban ordinance.

The top of Parvin Butte, which sits in the middle of the rural community of Dexter, is now almost completely leveled, according to neighbor Arlen Markus. 

But the Dexter/Lost Valley community 20 miles outside Eugene has hope that residents won’t be woken up at 8 am in the morning by the sounds of their scenic butte being ripped and torn into gravel by Lost Creek Rock Products: Lane County has asked Hearings Official Gary Darnielle to reconsider his Feb. 14 ruling that gravel mining could continue at the butte. The hearings official is a neutral party.

The city of Eugene and Lane County are planning to do away with Lane County Animal Services (LCAS), sparking an outcry from local advocates for dogs, cats and other pets, who worry this could bring the county back to the days when thousands of stray pets were killed each year.

Lane County, Eugene and Springfield are forming an interagency task team to explore and develop a new model of service delivery for animal services, the county says.

OSU has “deactivated” the snares it put around its sheep farm after Eugene-based Predator Defense and OSU neighbors protested the lethal traps that they say have caught and killed everything from raccoons to coyotes to a baby fawn.

Neighbors say traps have been within 200 feet of at least one home, and well within the range of children, dogs and cats. 

The snares, which were set by the USDA’s Wildlife Services, “wantonly destroy predators and target anything coming through that fence,” according to Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense.

Most Eugeneans probably assume that human trafficking is an international phenomenon, plaguing far-off nations like India and Thailand. This is decidedly not the case. Trafficking is an issue that affects the U.S., and prostitution and servitude in Oregon is on the rise. In order to raise awareness for this pressing human rights issue, and as part of its annual International Women’s Day Forum, the Zonta Club of Eugene-Springfield is holding a luncheon and panel on sex trafficking 11:30 am Thursday, March 8.

Congressman Peter DeFazio’s long-awaited forest plan has gone public, but the bill is under fire from conservation groups, and it’s questionable whether the controversial proposal that aims get funding for Lane and other cash-strapped counties will go anywhere at all. 

When Steven Michael Todd crouched down to speak to a friend this fall, he didn’t intend to commit a crime, and he certainly wasn’t trying to attract the cops’ attention. But that action, next to a wall by Lazar’s Bazar, led to Todd being served with an order excluding him from downtown for 90 days.

On Valentine’s Day Lane County Hearings Official Gary Darnielle ruled that Greg Demers and the McDougal Bros.’ Lost Creek Rock Products can go ahead and mine Parvin Butte, despite possible negative effects on the rural community that surrounds the butte.

It’s not every day that a majority of Eugene’s City Council, Stephen Colbert, Oregon Country Fair and Occupy Eugene have a cause in common. But the far-reaching, unpopular Supreme Court decision on Citizens United has given those concerned about the future of democracy a reason to come together.

Last week the council voted 6-1 to call for a resolution supporting an amendment to the Constitution that would clarify that corporations aren’t people. This week democracy activists are holding People United: More than a March, at 11 am Feb. 25 at the Free Speech Plaza.

Eugene’s Gay/Straight Alliance student leaders will be special guests at a meeting that will discuss equal rights for the gay, lesbian and transgender community in Oregon — and the students are excited about the chance to gain insight from statewide activists.

While the fight rages on against the massive Keystone XL pipeline that would bring tar sands oil from Canada through the U.S. to processing facilities, small groups in the Northwest and the Rockies celebrate a victory in their fight against the machinery that feeds the controversial tar sands.

Hooking up is a pretty basic human need. For some the only criterion for “getting primal” is a warm body and a heartbeat. For others it gets a little bit stickier.  

Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski said that the primal human needs are food, sex and shelter. But for some, food choices have an effect on their love lives, and we don’t mean that whole garlic breath makes for bad kissing problem.

Every year producers and distributors of biofuel cross their fingers and wonder whether an extension of a federal subsidy of biofuels will pass, and this year they drew the short straw. 

The Federal Excise Tax Credit (FET) on biofuels expired in January. The FET was created in the late 1990s to incentivize the use of biofuels — it provided a wholesale level subsidy on biofuels. Without this funding, the biofuel industry, including the biofuel industry in Oregon, is scrambling to maintain stable prices for its products. 

As Lane County crosses its fingers in hope that Congress will renew federal county funding before massive budget cuts hit county services from the jail to animal control, sparks flew at the Feb. 8 commissioner meeting over proposals to make both real and “symbolic” budget cuts.

Back in 2008 Beyond Toxics (then Oregon Toxics Alliance) did research on the dangers of using toxic pesticides on school grounds. The organization tracked issues such as how many schools had to be evacuated and how many kids were sent home sick from toxic exposures. As a result in 2009 the Oregon Legislature passed a bill that ensures Oregon private and public schools K-12 as well as community colleges must first look to nonchemical means of controlling pests. This new policy starts in July, but schools and government agencies are getting ready for the transition now. 

The shores of Triangle Lake are surrounded by clearcuts that have been sprayed with toxic pesticides. On Saturday, Feb. 11, almost 100 people came out to the rural community to speak out against this chemical trespass, according to pesticide rally participant Day Owen of the Pitchfork Rebellion.

Nothing says love like a good protest. Conveniently enough the most recent State Land Board (SLB) meeting took place on Valentine’s Day and more than 60 protesters showed up in Salem with cards and cakes to let the SLB know that the Cascadia Forest Defenders and other conservationists want state forests to be better mananged. 

West Eugene EmX might have a bigger effect on your sex toy habit than on most West 11th businesses.

As LTD’s West Eugene EmX Extension continues its early planning stages, real estate analyst Richard Duncan presented to City Council this week an overview of effects the bus rapid transit project would likely have on properties on the route, along with suggestions of how to minimize effects on properties and avoid code issues.

Chemical trespass is what the rural residents of Triangle Lake say they experience when a timber company sprays toxic pesticides that drift onto their properties, often affecting the health of those living there, their gardens and drinking water.

There will be two rallies against chemical trespass on Feb. 11. In Lane County, the rally will start at noon on the shores of Triangle Lake on Highway 36. The other rally starts at 10 am in another heavily sprayed and clearcut area, Lake Selmac, along Highway 199 near Selma in Josephine County.

During the wee hours of the morning on Feb. 10, members of Cascadia Forest Defenders used dead Christmas trees to block the driveway of the governor’s mansion in Salem. 

Occupy Eugene is tired of all the talk about the state of America’s health care system and is taking action by treating those in need of medical care for free and connecting them with other community services.

On Sunday, Feb. 5, at the corner of 7th and Pearl, OE organizers set up a medical tent outside the old Federal Building with doctors and nurses available for basic medical treatment, and the group has a long-term plan to continue on every Sunday.