On Saturday, Oct. 12, Eugeneans can take part in another international March Against Monsanto, a worldwide event to raise awareness of the controversy surrounding genetically modified foods and seeds. The event is particularly telling in light of the recent passing of Senate Bill 863 in Oregon during the recent special session of the Legislature. That law means the state rather than local governments regulate local agriculture.
Comments on stormwater pollution control plans for three Eugene Sand & Gravel facilities (one on Coburg Road and two on North Delta Highway in Eugene) and Knife River Corporation — Northwest’s Harrisburg facility are due to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by 5 pm Oct. 18. Eugene Sand & Gravel is an assumed business name of Eugene Sand Construction, Inc. and Spokane-based CPM Development Corporation. Visit http://goo.gl/ScwdH to see stormwater plans, and http://goo.gl/DvYGCn to comment.
Though the investigation into former county administrator Liane Richardson’s violation of county policy was released weeks ago, and Lane County has signed an agreement with the controversial former employee mutually agreeing not to sue, the county contretemps is far from over. Questions linger over what information was blacked out in the report on Richardson’s pay alterations.
The tax package called the “Grand Bargain” that squeaked through the Oregon Legislature last week was blasted by the Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP), the state’s leading progressive think tank, as fiscally irresponsible.
The package suffers from “three major flaws,” reads a statement from Chuck Sheketoff, executive director of OCPP. “Revenue shrinks after the current budget period, it’s mainly a tax cut for some of Oregon’s wealthiest 1 percent, and it won’t create any jobs, despite what its proponents claim.”
There’s a rich and rocky story beneath Willamette Street. Historical streetcar tracks and basalt paving stones exposed during repaving delayed heavy construction for a week and a half while the city sought an archaeological excavation permit to remove them, and the incident has city staff thinking about a new approach to digging up Eugene’s buried tracks. Eugene’s transportation history includes both electric and horse-drawn trolleys, which ran until 1927.
• Giustina Land and Timber, 345-2301, plans to hire Western helicopter Services, Inc., (503) 538-9469, to aerially spray 44 acres in Township 21S, Range 05W, Sections 16 and 21 with Glyphosate, Imazapyr, Sulfometuron Methyl and/or Triclopyr. See ODF notification 2013-730-01153 for more information.
• ODOT is now doing fall roadside spraying. They plan to spray most of Highway 36 soon. You may reach District 5 offices at 744-8080 or call their automated information line at (888) 996-8080 for more information.
As summer comes to a close and classes are back in full swing, the Lane County chapter of the NAACP will be holding an open house to introduce NAACP staff and volunteers and promote their youth programs. The event will take place at noon Saturday, Oct. 5, on the second floor of the downtown LCC building, 101 W. 10th Ave.
Sheri Moore got involved in politics because of her commitment to lifelong education. Currently a Springfield city councilor in Ward 3, she will be running for the Springfield position on the Lane County Commission in the upcoming 2014 election, presumably against incumbent Sid Leiken.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a civil penalty of $6,676 against PeaceHealth on Sept. 26 for operating an unpermitted underground storage tank and failing to upgrade it with corrosion protection at Peace Harbor Medical Center in Florence. PeaceHealth has owned and operated the underground storage tank since at least 1989 and failed to upgrade it with required corrosion protection by December 1998.
The Eugene Education Association (EEA) has rejected endorsement of School District 4J’s federal “Race to the Top” grant application, citing “grave concerns over increased workload for teachers and specialists and because of inadequate time given to analyze the 170-page application,” according to a statement emailed Oct. 1 to EEA members from EEA President Tad Shannon.
It will be a hut of a weekend Oct. 5-6, with Opportunity Village Eugene’s grand opening celebration 1 to 4 pm Saturday and Community Supported Shelters’ Conestoga fundraiser kick-off event Sunday. Neighborhood advocate Paul Conte will match up to $5,000 with money from the legal settlement with Capstone and its swanky new student housing project at 13th and Olive.
Local food and agriculture are a big deal in Lane County, but proposed legislation in Salem could take away communities’ rights to regulate those very things. Senate Bill 633 would prohibit local governments from making laws about seeds and their products, leaving a broad swath of traditionally local rules in the hands of the state. The bill, which didn’t advance in the regular session, has been reintroduced as a bargaining chip in complex negotiations about tax increases and cuts to PERS.
With a self-proclaimed political lean that’s “more progressive than most Democrats,” Sandi Mann decided to put her name in the hopper for Lane County commissioner, District 2, because of “erroneous and uneducated decisions” made by the incumbent, Sid Leiken.
The Oregon Land Company, long associated with controversial developers and loggers Greg Demers and Norman and Melvin McDougal, has been using the logo of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) on its website without permission.
After Carolyn Knox lost her 38-year-old son to brain cancer, the grief of losing a child consumed her. She couldn’t stop questioning: Why did this happen? Where did he go? As time passed, Knox recognized that her thoughts on death weren’t going anywhere, and she needed to find a way to address them.
When it comes to helping the needful and underprivileged, social welfare only seems to take us so far. Band-Aid policies that grant assistance help those who require a leg up, but dependence is not independence, no matter how well intentioned. Human beings want to be engaged, and this is where Carolyn Hodge’s Forward Foundation takes assistance one step further.
• Giustina Land & Timber Co., 345-2301, plans to hire Western Helicopter Services, Inc. (503) 538-9469, to spray 125 acres near Crow, Norris and Coyote Creeks with Glyphosate, Imazapyr, Aminopyralid, Metsulfuron Methyl and/or Sulfometuron Methyl. See ODF notification 2013-781-00697 for more information.
Those ubiquitous blue-shirted Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) volunteers have been hard at work this summer. Since July, activists hoping to achieve marriage equality and overturn Oregon’s ban on gay marriage have gathered 80,764 signatures (of the 116,284 necessary to qualify) for the November 2014 ballot. Eugeneans can get involved from 2 to 4 pm Sunday, Sept. 22, at BRO’s annual garden party fundraiser at a private residence.
It appears that the city of Eugene has completed its annual review of stormwater monitoring from the 76 local facilities that discharge industrial stormwater to local waterways pursuant to the statewide Clean Water Act industrial stormwater permit. The city oversees compliance at these facilities under an agreement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Sweet Potato Pie has been selling clothes, hemp products and local glass art for the last 16 years. Now the future of the store is uncertain as the lease for that location ends on Oct. 31 and the neighboring business, Addictive Behaviors, expands into the space.
“I have a limited amount of time to make a very serious decision,” says Elizabeth Thompson, owner of the store.
The Oregon Republican Party might have elected climate change-denier and urine-sampler Art Robinson to be its chair, but these days most Oregonians understand that manmade climate change is changing our planet. Groups in Portland and Corvallis will be hosting anti-climate change “Draw the Line: Stop Keystone XL” events on Sept. 21, and in Eugene there will be a “Pancakes not Pipelines” fundraising breakfast.
Once home to Occupy Eugene and soon to be the location of the covered “WJ Skatepark and Urban Plaza,” Washington-Jefferson Park will also be the location of a new 24-hour bathroom. Sanitary bathroom access, like a safe place to sleep, has been called a human right by homeless advocates.
When Gordon Armstrong walks downtown in Eugene, not everybody greets him and pats him on the back. He’s gangly, walks with a stagger and a shuffle, and people who don’t know him might think he’s intoxicated, homeless, maybe dangerous. But he reminds people that he’s “a human being.”
In his first year as head coach of Northwest Christian University men’s basketball team, Luke Jackson is determined to turn a struggling program, which won nine of 30 games last season, into a winner. In recruiting, the former Oregon Ducks star and former professional basketball player looked to larger programs for talent and tried to keep Oregonians in state. His fame helped to persuade former Oregon Ducks and other transfers from Division I schools to come aboard.