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Watch out for that bottom part of the food chain: Honeybee colonies have been on the decline since the mid-2000s due to a problem known as “colony collapse disorder” or CCD. Local beekeepers say that this winter — a time when both traditional and CCD die-offs tend to occur — was particularly bad within the city of Eugene, and that’s likely due to the rise in garden pesticides containing neonicotinoids that threaten important agricultural pollinators like honeybees.

In 2007, when 10 Earth Liberation Front eco-saboteurs were sentenced in federal court in Eugene for their ecologically motivated arsons, their attorneys fought a “terrorism enhancement” label. They argued it should be saved for “the most dangerous types of offenses that threaten the fabric of our society,” not people who went out of their way to make sure animals and humans were not harmed through their actions.

The Downtown Public Safety Committee met Monday, April 8, and weighed alternatives to the downtown exclusion zone, which is deemed unconstitutional and discriminatory by opponents and is set to expire in November 2013. The exclusion zone is one part of the Downtown Public Safety Zone strategy, which also includes more popular measures like CAHOOTS vans and increased bike patrols downtown. The panel also looked at various issues from safety houses for the homeless to the banning of dogs downtown. 

Almost a year after he began to fight misconduct charges he said were timed to be revealed just before the May 2012 election, former Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy’s public meetings, public records and federal lawsuits continue to make their way through the legal system. 

• Rosboro LLC, 746-8411, plans to spray about 500 acres its forest roadsides throughout Lane County with Garlon 4 and Glyphosate and Methylated Seed Oil. See ODF notice 2013-781-00324.

• ODOT has begun spring spraying. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 (Lane County area) at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection agency has finalized its order against Tyree Oil, Inc. for Clean Water Act violations (EW 2/14, http://goo.gl/FLqrs). 

Oregon DEQ sent CPM Development Corporation a warning letter March 13 for failure to collect required water quality monitoring data at its Eugene Sand & Gravel facility on Coburg Road along the north bank of the McKenzie River. Failure to collect such data is classified as a serious violation of Oregon environmental law.

A broad coalition of peace, justice and labor activists are organizing a series of actions on tax day, April 15, calling on Congress to redirect war dollars to fund education, job creation, universal health care and other vital services. Activists are also demanding the U.S. Postal Service keep open the Gateway Processing Facility in Springfield and rural post offices open.

Citing local, state and federal codes, activist Alley Valkyrie says the early morning April 5 arrests by the Eugene Police Department of four men and four women, ranging in age from 18 to 38 years old, for camping under an overpass did not follow official policy, and were also a violation of human rights. 

Progressive former city councilor Bonny Bettman McCornack walks into a meeting of Glenn Beck fans — it sounds like there’s a punch line coming, but at the meeting of 9.12 Project Lane County April 9, when Bettman McCornack presented her position against the proposed city fee on the May ballot, there was an air of agreement in the Izzy’s Pizza banquet room.

• Glorybee’s 38th annual Bee Weekend is April 12-13 at the Factory Store, 29548 B Airport Road in Eugene, right off Highway 99. The free two-day event centers on beekeeping practices, demonstrations and activities such as honey tasting and children’s contests and crafts. Check out glorybeefoods.com or call 689-0913.

In Afghanistan

• 2,186 U.S. troops killed* (2,184)

• 18,360 U.S. troops wounded in action (18,360)

• 1,353 U.S. contractors killed (1,316)

• 12,793 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $628.4 billion cost of war ($626.2 billion)

• $188 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($183 million)

 

In Iraq

Union Pacific Railroad’s tracks run through Eugene’s Whiteaker and other neighborhoods, and that means when UP sprays pesticides for “vegetation control” in a 12-foot swath on either side of the tracks, people, pets and nearby gardens are affected. 

Four writers with Oregon roots will be discussing their work and reading excerpts at 5:30 pm on Saturday, April 6, when the Oregon Writer’s Collective (OWC) presents “Native Sons: an evening of Oregon poetry and prose,” at Tsunami Books. 

Horses were roped around their legs and neck and thrown to the ground from a gallop in a practice called horse tripping at a May 2012 rodeo in Jordan Valley, Ore. A graphic video of the events from the Big Loop Rodeo was posted on YouTube shortly after and an outcry against the practice began. Now, horse lovers have asked the Oregon Legislature to ban the practice, and SB 835 that would end horse tripping, while prohibiting treating rodeos less favorably than other events, has been introduced.

“They [abortions] really mess you up down there so you can never have children.” “Using a condom does not protect you from AIDS or pregnancy.” “The increase in abortions worldwide has caused a sharp increase in breast cancer.”

Nancy Hughes and the nonprofit StoveTeam International will be recognized at the White House April 5. Hughes has been selected as a Rotary Champion of Change, one of 12 people nationwide honored for having “dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others.” StoveTeam provides efficient, inexpensive stores for low-income people around the world, saving fuel and reducing burn injuries and smoke inhalation illnesses. See stoveteam.org and several stories in the EW archives.

• The second Lane Latin@ Leadership Forum focusing on “Latinos and the Education System” will be from 6 to 8:30 pm Thursday, April 4, at District 4J headquarters, 200 N. Monroe in Eugene. Panelists include Carmen Urbina, Juan Cuadros, Edward M. Olivos, Michael Sámano and Anselmo Villanueva. For more information, email Phil Carrasco at carrasco.philipanthony@gmail.com

In Afghanistan

• 2,184 U.S. troops killed* (2,183)

• 18,360 U.S. troops wounded in action (18,348)

• 1,316 U.S. contractors killed (1,316)

• 12,793 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $626.2 billion cost of war ($624.1 billion)

• $183 million cost to Eugene taxpayers (updates NA)

 

In Iraq

In fiscal year 2013 (which began July 1, 2012), the city of Eugene’s budget was a whopping 408 pages — without its glossary and definition of acronyms. Citizens and advocacy groups who want to comb through the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget prior to voting on the proposed city service fee will have to consume the budget, decipher it and get their messages out in three weeks or less, and that’s to converse with voters who might remain undecided until the last minute.

The grand public opening of the new Disc Golf Course at Alton Baker Park has been set for Monday, April 1, following the finale of the Willamette Valley Winter Series of disc golf tournaments to be held on the course Saturday, March 30.

Visiting Honduran Jesuit priest Father Ismael Moreno Coto, known as Padre Melo, will speak about the violence and corruption in Honduras and Latin America at 7 pm Tuesday, April 2, at the Friends Meeting House, 2274 Onyx St. in Eugene. 

Between tuition equity and local school budget cuts, Latinos will have a lot to talk about at the second Lane Latin@ Leadership Forum: “Latin@s and the Education System” on April 4. (The @ symbol is a gender-inclusive way to write “Latino.”) Organizer Phillip Carrasco says that the forum will include a couple of potential questions, but the format will emphasize an open dialogue between five panelists and the audience. 

Attention, fans of downtown Olive Street’s businesses and organizations: It’s time to re-route your paths for the next six months. The city is closing Olive Street between 12th and 13th avenues for the construction of Capstone’s student housing project from approximately April 1 until phase one is completed in September.