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News Briefs

Lane County is plowing ahead with its plans to develop the rural industrial area of Goshen, which lies just south of Eugene. The county calls its plan to develop Goshen “GREAT” — the Goshen Region Employment and Transition plan — but land-use and environmental advocates have serious doubts about its greatness, and LandWatch Lane County has a case about Goshen before the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).

• USFS plans to spray riparian weeds in Sweet Home and along Middle Fork Willamette and McKenzie rivers for false brome and yellow archangel with Aquamaster by backpack and Japanese knotweed by injection with Imazapyr. USFS would like comments regarding alternatives by Jan. 31. The environmental assessment is expected to be completed for public review in April 2014. Contact USFS office in Springfield for more information.

It’s one thing to get ousted from office, but quite another when the ousting is based on false statements. That’s what recently recalled Lowell City Councilor Pam Bryant alleges in her Jan. 7 lawsuit against Kenneth Hern and Nancy Garratt, two members of the Recall for Lowell’s Future Committee that sought to remove her from office. 

In a time when government secrecy is becoming both more prominent and more criticized, it’s no longer hard to believe that Congress would “fast track” a vote on a secret document devised by international corporations. 

The Sierra Club, Columbia Riverkeeper and several other conservation groups sued BNSF Railway Company last summer after finding what they call “substantial amounts of coal in and along several Washington waterways near BNSF rail lines.” On Jan. 3 the groups celebrated the most recent development in the Clean Water Act case when the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington denied a motion to dismiss, allowing it to go forward.

Karen Litfin, a University of Washington professor of political science, spent a year traveling and researching her book, Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community. Litfin, along with Deni Ruggeri of the UO’s landscape architecture program and Anita Van Asperdt, a local landscape architect, will be discussing “Ecovillages and Ecodistricts: Solutions for Climate Change” at the UO Jan. 13.

Tom Bowerman of PolicyInteractive is hoping that research from the 2013 Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey will help stir a cultural conversation. Bowerman founded PolicyInteractive in order to understand general public opinions about global climate change and how it may influence our future, but the OVB survey also addressed education, conservation, health, crime, public transportation, economic development and taxes. Bowerman, along with Adam Davis of DHM Research, will be discussing the survey and its findings at the Jan. 10 City Club of Eugene meeting. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Pacific Recycling, Inc. a pre-enforcement notice on Nov. 27 for multiple hazardous waste law violations at its facility on Cross Street in Eugene (off Roosevelt Boulevard). According to DEQ documents, Pacific Recycling recently acquired land on which J.H.

Students: If you think homework and tests are the albatross around your neck, just wait for student loans to come due. To make that as painless as possible, LCC is holding its 15th annual “How to Pay for College ... In One Day!” Saturday, Jan. 11. The event is free and open to all.

While Whovillians say their informal survey showed business support for the homeless protest camp, some nearby business owners say that since the camp moved in, disturbances are up. Angie Rush, a manager at The Mission Mexican Restaurant, says that since Whoville set up, it has lost a significant portion of its college student business, one of its main customer bases.

Health care insurance has long been confusing, and the troubled rollout of Cover Oregon hasn’t clarified much. But Jan. 10, the Oregon Microenterprise Network (OMEN) will visit NEDCO offices in Springfield to listen to small business owners and help answer questions about buying health care for employees.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Dec. 20 their intent to find that the State of Oregon has failed to submit an approvable coastal nonpoint pollution control program (required by the federal Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990). The agencies specifically propose to find Oregon’s program deficient with regard to new development, onsite sewage disposal, and forestry. Public comments on the proposed finding are being accepted through March 20.

After staying at a small, makeshift camp at Franklin Park for more than eight months, one group of homeless people’s luck ran out two days before Christmas. City workers picked up the people’s belongings to take to storage, and in the process two tents were destroyed. 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership sounds like a conspiracy theory. The TPP talks about a trade deal that will govern 40 percent of U.S. imports and exports as well as affect copyrights, pharmaceuticals and more. The talks are being conducted in secret, and only a few portions of the agreement and memos about it have been leaked. Congressman Peter DeFazio says he vehemently opposes the TPP.

In May 2008 Ian Van Ornum was Tasered by a Eugene police officer while prostrate on the ground. On Dec. 27, 2013, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that he could continue to pursue his appeal of his conviction for resisting arrest. The appeals court can either not take action, which would leave Van Ornum’s conviction standing, or decide to send the case back to trial court.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Predator Defense and other wildlife advocates have long protested what they say are lax trapping laws in Oregon. A Dec. 15 incident in which a man’s leg was broken in a beaver trap, in conjunction with a press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife saying “dog owners share in the responsibility to keep their pets safe during trapping seasons,” has strengthened HSUS’s resolve to make ODFW tighten its trapping regulations. 

“Why do they treat people as if they are the problem?” asks Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics. She says residents of Gold Beach and Cedar Valley in Curry County who have been experiencing health problems from an Oct. 16 aerial spray of pesticides are being treated as it they, not the spraying of toxics, are the problem. 

Eugene’s City Hall, shuttered since August 2012 due to the loss of steam heat and earthquake concerns, is up for a new historic designation that could help protect it. On Dec. 22, Otto Poticha, a local architect and leader in the fight to save the building, submitted an application to give the building a City of Eugene Historic Property Designation. 

• Roseburg Resources Company (541) 935-2507, plans to ground spray glyphosate, imazapyr, triclopyr amine and/or triclopyr ester on noxious weeds on its forest lands in townships 18S 06W, 18S 08W and 19S 06W, a countywide notification. See ODF notice 2013-781-00163-C.

• Roseburg Resources plans to aerial and ground spray atrazine, clopyralid, hexazinone, metsulfuron methyl, sulfometuron methyl, glyphosate, imazapyr, non-ionic surfactant, triclopyr amine and/or triclopyr ester on 57 acres near Sturtevant and Wolf Creeks. See ODF notice 2013-781-00163-C.

They don’t look like much to the unknowing eye, but the 12 cottages at UO’s Columbia Terrace Houses have a history that experts say dates back to WWII. That history marks big changes for Oregon, and that’s why preservation advocates say they shouldn’t be torn down or moved to make way for UO Housing’s new central kitchen.

“We kind of think of WWII as having happened in Europe,” says George Kramer, who wrote a book about Camp White and WWII. “People don’t understand how much Oregon changed as a result of WWII.”

As the Eugene City Council’s winter break progresses, Whoville campers are focusing on their relationships with businesses around the camp to show that giving homeless people a place to rest can improve things for everyone. Whoville is one of several protest camps seeking a legal place for homeless people to sleep.

The megaload of oil extraction equipment heading through Eastern Oregon to the tar sands of Canada hit another snag when climate justice activists blockaded the road in two places east and west of John Day as part of a series of protests against the nearly one-million-pound shipment. Twelve of the 16 people arrested on Dec. 16 were members of Eugene-based Cascadia Forest Defenders. 

In a November EW Viewpoint, Congressman Peter DeFazio brought up a talking point he’s mentioned almost every time he discussed his controversial O&C trust plan: cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that he says could affect what happens to the publicly owned O&C forests. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Springfield-based Mid Valley Metal Recycling a letter on Dec. 9 for failing to submit stormwater monitoring results for 2012-13 for its facility on South A Street in Springfield, which has a DEQ-issued Clean Water Act permit to discharge pollution to the Springfield Millrace. DEQ also sent a letter to David L. Penegor on Dec. 11 for solid waste, waste tire, used oil and spill violations at a site on Brabham Road in Pleasant Hill near Highway 58.