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News Briefs

Giustina Land and Timber Company, 345-2301, plans to hire Western Helicopter, 503-538-9469, to aerially spread urea fertilizer pellets on 3 units totaling 454.6 acres near Jones Creek and Hall Road and near Goldson Road off of Hwy. 36. See ODF notification 2016-781-00296; call Robin Biesecker at 998-2283 with questions. 

A slew of events in Lane County will honor Martin Luther King Jr., the week of Jan. 18, including several marches, a talk by a leading black journalist and the release of a report on the Oregon Legislature and racial equity.

On Jan. 18, the MLK holiday, the Lane County chapter of the NAACP will host a march to honor the life of the civil rights leader beginning 9 am outside the north gate of Autzen Stadium, according to the chapter’s president, Eric Richardson. 

They sleep in cells, monitored by guards. Some of them are serving life sentences for their crimes. But when they are working with Curt Tofteland, the founding producing director of Shakespeare Behind Bars, they are actors. On Jan. 19, Tofteland will speak at the University of Oregon about his 20 years of experience guiding prison inmates, in Kentucky and Michigan, to perform the works of Shakespeare. 

If and when the track and field’s international governing body, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), brings its world championships to Eugene in 2021, it will be the biggest track event Hayward Field has ever seen. 

A female dog euthanized in late December at 1st Avenue Shelter is the subject of some online uproar. City of Eugene Animal Services and 1st Avenue Shelter say the pregnant dog had a bite record and repeatedly demonstrated aggressive behavior, while advocacy group No Kill Lane County maintains that the dog could have been rehabilitated. 

Molly Monette, animal welfare supervisor with City of Eugene Animal Services, says a Eugene citizen picked up the stray boxer on Nov. 20. While in that person’s custody, the dog escaped from her enclosure.

A manufacturer is forming a lawsuit against Eugene’s voter-approved Toxics Right-to-Know (TRK) program because he is upset about paying an annual $2,000 fee. Advocates for the program say the community TRK law is a key element in making public health decisions. 

Vanilla ISIS, Y’all Quaeda, YeeHawdists, terrorists, militants, militia — whatever you call them, and whether you fear them or laugh at them, the band of mainly out-of-state, armed and anti-government protesters who have taken over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Oregon’s east side have drawn almost nonstop attention since their siege of the remote bird sanctuary began Jan. 3.

Instead of reaching for a glass of champagne this New Year, grab a hard cider and toast to Oregon’s booming hard cider industry. Recent changes in federal legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Sen. Ron Wyden, have smoothed the process for craft cider makers by broadening definitions of hard cider and easing off taxes.

These changes are especially relevant to Oregon, says Lee Larsen, CEO of 2 Towns Ciderhouse in Corvallis, because Oregon has around 6 percent of the market share for hard cider, while the national average is 1 percent.

A joint grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) was awarded to the Oregon State University Libraries and CALYX Press. The two organizations were awarded more than $96,000 through the Humanities Open Book program. The grant will go towards the digitization and hosting of feminist literature that is out of print and making it available in free e-books. 

CALYX is a Corvallis-based publication and press supporting women’s creative works. 

A patch of forest near Dexter, Oregon, was auctioned off at 10 am Thursday, Dec. 17. That patch, called the John’s Last Stand timber sale by the Bureau of Land Management, is near popular hiking trails and the Hardesty Mountain Roadless Area and is just a little more than 20 miles southeast of Eugene.

According to the BLM’s sale proposal, John’s Last Stand is being sold as a “regeneration harvest.” Conservation group Oregon Wild says the proposal calls for leaving only six to eight trees an acre — essentially a clearcut. 

A grassroots petition for a Lane County public homeless shelter is in circulation, and as of Dec. 23 it has accrued 680 signatures. The petition is one among several other significant public initiatives in the past two months targeting the homeless crisis in Eugene and Lane County.

While schools around Lane County celebrated Computer Science Education Week earlier this month, students at Gateways High School in Springfield were tackling a different science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) issue — how to help the unhoused.

N. Christian Anderson III was listed as the editor and publisher of The Register-Guard on the paper’s masthead Thursday, Dec. 17, but by the next day, his name was gone. 

Sources at the R-G tell EW that an email went out on Dec. 17 informing staffers that Anderson is no longer editor and publisher of the paper. Anderson started at the R-G June 1 after leaving The Oregonian, which he had led for the past five years. The O is Oregon’s largest daily paper, and the R-G is the third largest daily in the state by print circulation.

The local nonprofit Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology (CREATE!) received a Gender Just Climate Solutions Award recognition from the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris. 

CREATE! was founded by Barry Wheeler in 2008; he’s been working with the poor and displaced in Sub-Saharan Africa for the past 30 years. Wheeler has also taught international community development, sustainable development and project planning at the UO.

At First Place Kids Early Childhood program in south Eugene, Eileen Chanti works with young children who don’t have homes. Chanti, the program’s director, says that the unhoused children of Lane County are “the most vulnerable population in our community.” 

Due to a recent loss in funding, the First Place Kids Early Childhood program is losing one of its two staff members this week, reducing resources for unhoused families who often can’t meet the mandatory enrollment requirements of other early childhood programs.

The city of Eugene has cited the $42 million construction project of the future Roosevelt Middle School on East 24th Avenue for failing to prevent stormwater on the site from flowing into the adjacent wetlands of Amazon Creek. 

Recent heavy rains have caused rust and diesel-filled water to drain into a grove of trees growing in the wetlands and potentially Amazon Creek, 50 yards from where Hyland Construction is working on the 15-acre site. 

Update: For coverage of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce endorsement vote, see our blog's "The story behind the chamber of commerce vote to privatize Kesey Square."

Some readers call us Eugene Weedly thanks to our pot ads, so it’s no surprise EW has gotten calls from other media wondering if a recent U.S. Postal Service (USPS) notice about pot advertisements will affect the paper. 

On Nov. 27, the Portland district of the USPS gave the Chinook Observer, a small coastal newspaper in Longview, Washington, a warning that if a “mailpiece” contains ads for marijuana, it is “nonmailable.” The Observer is published by EO Media Group, which also publishes papers in Oregon. 

There’s a growing list of names for downtown Eugene’s houseless population, and the word “travelers” is the latest description. The houseless and their advocates say that identifying the unhoused as travelers is a distraction from the real problem. 

“I think that’s the denial that every community has,” says Sue Sierralupe, Occupy Medical clinic manager, “that these are strangers.” 

The rolling hills of the King Estate vineyards and winery south of Eugene on Territorial Road have become a magnet for birds of all kinds, from migrating songbirds to raptors, that breed, rest and feed on its sprawling acres, but some birds have been crashing into the big windows at the pavilion building. 

Students at UO rallied Nov. 30 in response to the backlash aimed at Syrian refugees. More than four million Syrians, three-quarters of them women and children according to the U.N., are fleeing civil war in that country. 

In the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130, at least 24 U.S. governors have said they would refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to resettle refugees, citing security concerns. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown was not one of them. 

Chef Brendan Mahaney sold his popular Eugene restaurant, Belly, to new owners in September, but he already has plans to open another place. 

“I’m dreaming of a casual, New Orleans-style restaurant,” he says.

Contrary to rumors, Mahaney says his choice to sell Belly was “bittersweet,” but not made for any dramatic reason. 

The Kesey Square saga continues: The city of Eugene announced it will issue a “request for expression of interest” (RFEI) for the Kesey Square parcel at Willamette and Broadway, but has not put out an actual decision to sell the square to a public process.

In an email to Mayor Kitty Piercy and the City Council sent Nov. 18, Assistant City Manager Sarah Medary says that city staff is currently “drafting a request for expression of interest, which will more formally ask if there is other viable private interest in redeveloping the parcel.”

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy signed on to a West Coast-wide petition Nov. 21 that calls for politicians to halt all new adoption of fossil fuel infrastructure. Using the political momentum behind the Portland City Council’s landmark Nov. 12 vote to ban any new fossil fuel infrastructure in that city, the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (SEEN) is hitting up mayors in Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver B.C. and other cities from California to Canada sign the petition.