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News Briefs

Data from area K-12 schools show an achievement gap between Native American students and other populations, but for the first time in nearly 20 years, Oregon has a full-time Indian education specialist working at the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to improve Native American education around the state. 

The past few years have seen downtown Eugene grow livelier, and it’s about to get brighter, too. A plan is under way to light the streets to make them prettier during the dark winter months. It is expected to be in full effect for the upcoming holiday season. Behind this plan is Downtown Eugene, Inc., a private nonprofit association of business and property owners in the area. 

Regulations from recent legislation, HB 3460, are still being written, but a new medical marijuana facility is already open in Eugene. The law directs the Oregon Health Authority to establish a registration system for medical marijuana facilities. Emerald City Medicinal Delivery Service is accepting excess cannabis from Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) licensed growers on consignment and dispensing it at its facility or delivering it to OMMP patients. It also conducts educational outreach for senior care homes. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has followed up on the warning letter it sent to Vivian Rooke of Scott Township, Penn., on July 9 (EW 8/1, goo.gl/b9TTLo) concerning Rooke’s failure to have a legal septic system at property owned by Rooke at 81251 Lost Creek Road in Dexter. DEQ’s July warning letter followed three separate Lane County letters over the course of the last year to which the county did not receive any replies.  EQ’s most recent action took the form of a pre-enforcement notice sent to Rooke on Oct.

The UO plans to introduce mandatory, online workplace harassment prevention training for its faculty, staff and GTFs in the next week. The two-part training includes a section by United Educators, the UO’s insurance company for issues of harassment and discrimination cases, and training developed by UO itself. It includes comprehension exercises interspersed in both parts.

The West Eugene Wetlands area is one of the many places around town where the wild abuts the urban, and managing domestic animals overlaps with native species. EWEB’s Roosevelt Operations Center (aka the ROC) was designed amid about 14 acres of restored wetlands, and wild creatures have moved back in, including raptors and skunks. But according to Becky Long, EWEB is not doing a good job with the feral cat population that has also moved into the ROC.

• Seneca Jones Timber Company, 689-1011, plans to hire Oregon Forest Management Services, 520-5941, to hack and squirt 54 acres near Douglas Creek with Polaris AC. See ODF notification 2013-781-00911 for more information.

• ODOT is now doing fall roadside spraying in Lane County. You may reach District 5 offices at (541) 744-8080 or call their automated information line at (888) 996-8080 for more information.

Recently, a group of local performers from G.L.A.M. Night and their friends from out of town were turned away after asking to try on dresses at Epris in the Gateway Mall.

“I’ve never had an issue like this before,” says Reyes Rivera, aka Rhea Della Vera of G.L.A.M. Night. 

G.L.A.M. (Gays, Lesbians and More) is a well-known Eugene dance party with drag queens, DJs, performances and go-go dancers. It was previously held at John Henry’s and more recently at Diablo’s Downtown Lounge.

Just over three weeks ago, Eugene welcomed two international students who will spend the next two years studying at Lane Community College; Yaara Tal, 22, is Israeli and Deema Yusuf, 18, is Palestinian. Both young women are dedicated to the prospect of peace and are graduates of Creativity for Peace, a nonprofit organization whose vision is to prepare young Israeli and Palestinian women to pave the way for peace in their communities and across borders. These two grew up on opposite sides of a conflict that has been ongoing since before the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. 

Sprout!, the food hub located in downtown Springfield, has a year-round farmers market, but Sprout! is much more than even that. And that’s reason to celebrate: Its one-year anniversary party will begin at 3 pm Friday, Oct. 18, at 4th and A. St., and the celebration is expected to continue deep into the night. 

Craftsmen are unloading long wooden planks from a metallic teardrop trailer as Ken Mac watches from opposite Grant Street. “I could sleep in something like that,” he says of the trailer, “but I’d have to have a job first.”

Sometimes the indigenous students on the UO campus can feel a little invisible. Less than one percent of UO students are officially listed as American Indian or Alaska Native, and while the federal government celebrates Columbus Day — a holiday students like Ada Ball of the Native American Student Union (NASU) find offensive — Native Americans and their contributions aren’t widely recognized. 

Freres Timber Inc. (503) 859-2111 plans to hire Rue Forest Contracting (503) 829-4150 to hack and squirt 37 acres near Upper Lake Creek with Imazapyr. See ODF notification 2013-781-00903 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.

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.