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Noted herbalist Rosemary Gladstar will be offering a free lecture at 7 pm Friday, Aug. 9, at Mount Pisgah Arboretum, following a free educational plant walk at 5 pm. Mountain Rose Herbs is hosting the event and will provide organic tea. Profits from the sale of event merchandise, DVDs, books and other products will be donated to United Plant Savers, a nonprofit that protects native medicinal plants in the U.S. and Canada. This is the first in a series of events as part of the Free Herbalism Project. See freeherbalismproject.com or mountainroseherbs.com.

Sen. Jeff Merkley will be the speaker at a special free meeting of the City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Aug. 9, at the UO Law School, Room 110 on campus. The event is co-sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center, Oregon College Democrats and the League of Women Voters. The deadline for ordering lunch has passed. Metered parking is available on Agate Street and 15th Avenue. See cityclubofeugene.org.

In Afghanistan

• 2,254 U.S. troops killed (2,251 last week)

• 19,080 U.S. troops wounded in action (19,032)

• 1,389 U.S. contractors killed (1,389)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $647.9 billion cost of war ($646.1 billion)

• $194.4 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($193.8 million)

 

In Iraq

• 4,422 U.S. troops killed, 31,928 wounded

• 1,599 U.S. contractors killed (1,599)

• 124,640 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (124,217)

Is your bug spray getting into the Willamette River? According to sampling done by the Long Tom Watershed Council (LTWC) over the past two years, some of the most frequently found pesticides in Amazon Creek are DEET, a chemical used in insect repellent sprays like OFF!, and diuran, an herbicide that interferes with photosynthesis. At a LTWC public meeting on July 24, Kevin Masterson of the DEQ and Jason Schmidt of the LTWC presented the results of the sampling and discussed the potential and largely unstudied danger of mixing multiple chemicals in creek water.

Despite fears that the pattern of attacks on progressive Lane County commissioners from the right over the last several years would scare good people away from politics, possible progressive candidates are already starting to explore running for the West Lane (Jay Bozievich) and East Lane (Faye Stewart) commission seats. Dawn Lesley, a soon-to-be graduate of the 2013 class of Emerge Oregon, a training program for Democratic women, is exploring a run against Bozievich for 2014.

Recent allegations that County Administrator Liane Richardson was asking employees to alter how she added money to her paycheck in a way not authorized by her employment contract came to light thanks to a county employee whistleblower, backed by the AFSCME union. An “outside investigation” was launched into this incident, overseen by County Counsel Stephen Dingle, but county documents appear to indicate Richardson should have been aware that what she was doing was improper. 

The Eugene City Council has extended the suspension of the controversial Multiple-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) for a second time, which means it might not grant more tax breaks for as long as a year. MUPTE allows City Council to grant 10-year property tax waivers to housing developers in the downtown area. It has come under increasing public scrutiny since granting large property tax waivers to student housing companies Capstone and Core Campus. Under the new suspension ordinance, MUPTE could remain dormant until July 31, 2014.

“What do people like to see in police policies?” asks Kaitlyn Lange, former Eugene Police Commission chair. She says this question, and trying to allow for more flexibility and greater efficiency, led to recent changes in the commission’s work plan, which alterations the commission’s focus from reviewing policy to examining issues it has determined the community is most interested in. City Council approved the plan July 22. “We’re trying to get away from wordsmithing policies and really get at the meat of what concerns people,” she says. 

Comments to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding industrial stormwater pollution control plans for two B & R Auto Wrecking facilities (one in Albany and one in Corvallis) are due by 5 pm on August 9. Visit goo.gl/ScwdH to see stormwater plans, and goo.gl/iMDQb to comment. It should be noted that while DEQ is required to respond in writing to comments on stormwater plans, it recently came to light that DEQ considers mere written acknowledgement of receipt of comments to fulfill this requirement, which appears to violate the intent of the law.

Sponsors’ women’s program has not only hired a new director, but it is also about to get a third house specifically designed for women with children. Sponsors aims at reducing recidivism by providing services to help men and women transition back into the community from jail and prison.

A tour of Eugene bicycle industries is being planned as part of this weekend’s Blackberry bRamble celebration. The tour begins from 9 am to noon Friday, Aug. 2, at Rolf Prima, 150 Shelton McMurphy Blvd., followed by noon to 2 pm at Bike Friday, 3364 W. 11th Ave., followed by 2 to 4 pm at Co-Motion, 4765 Pacific Ave. Rides and celebration events continue all weekend. Email hughes97405@gmail.com or see eugenegears.org/bramble.

• The Eugene Sustainability Commission will meet at 4 pm Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Eugene Public Library downtown. Babe O’Sullivan is the contact at 682-5017.

In Afghanistan

• 2,251 U.S. troops killed (2,246 last week)

• 19,032 U.S. troops wounded in action (19,005)

• 1,389 U.S. contractors killed (1,389)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $646.1 billion cost of war ($644.4 billion)

• $193.8 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($193.3 million)

 

In Iraq

• 4,422 U.S. troops killed, 31,927 wounded

• 1,599 U.S. contractors killed (1,599)

• 124,217 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (124,049)

Kayaks and canoes blocking fossil fuel shipments going down the Columbia River, women and transgender activists climbing trees and studying decolonization: Summer is when activism heats up in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s just in time because Oregon is facing climate-affecting threats from all sides such as logging in native forests and shipments of oil and coal. Summer Heat: Columbia River Climate Action takes place July 27 in Vancouver, Wash., and the Trans and Womyn’s Action Camp is taking place July 24-28 in the forests outside Oakridge. 

Last week Eugene Jeans owner and local bluegrass musician Tim Long finally received some good news: Because of his Gleevec medication regimen, the gastrointestinal stromal tumor he was diagnosed with in April has shrunk about 40 percent, from the size of a large orange to the size of a tennis ball.

County Administrator Liane Richardson appears to be eroding the confidence of Lane County citizens again. Her efforts earlier this year to increase her pay from $152,345 to $175,656, an increase of more than 15 percent, caused public outcry at a time when the county is strapped for cash. Questions have arisen about whether Richardson may have finagled an increase in the money she was getting after all, despite the outcry and despite saying she would say no to an immediate raise.

The opening date of Opportunity Village Eugene (OVE), Eugene’s pilot project for a safe, sustainable community for homeless people, is fast approaching, and a series of fundraisers begins 6 pm Sunday, July 28, with “Keys for the Village,” a piano and keyboard concert featuring Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago.

Comments to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding industrial stormwater pollution control plans for the following Lane County facilities are due by 5 pm on July 29: Eugene Airport, Goshen Forest Products, Lane County Central Receiving Station, Pacific Rim Manufacturing (Jasper) Rosboro (Springfield), Short Mountain Landfill, Starfire Lumber (Cottage Grove), Sundance Lumber (Springfield) and Swanson Bros. Lumber (Noti). Visit goo.gl/ScwdH to see stormwater plans, and goo.gl/iMDQb to comment.

Activists have again pitched their tents to protest the lack of places homeless people can sleep, this time in the West Eugene Wetlands. In early July, the Bureau of Land Management began clearing camps of homeless people from the wetlands. SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) is camping at a site near Danebo and Pacific in solidarity with those who have nowhere else to go.

The Oregon Legislature has approved and funded $3.75 million for the new South Willamette Valley Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN), a broad initiative that “taps into the research and educational expertise of academia and aggressively moves it toward private economic growth,” says Sen. Lee Beyer. RAIN will involve collaboration between UO, OSU and the cities of Eugene, Springfield, Albany and Corvallis.

• The next Breakfast at the Bridges will be from 7 to 9:30 am Friday, July 26, at the DeFazio Bridge, sponsored by Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life. Free bagels and coffee, bike safety checks, etc. See commutechallenge.org for more information. 

On the surface, the event at Maurie Jacobs Park last week seemed just like any other of the myriad of summer celebrations in Eugene. Dancing, eating and laughing, people socialized and greeted onlookers with a smile. Some perused a variety of booths at the back of the park, while others sang near the stage on the hill. But at Supernatural Fest, according to Mark and Victoria Bowling’s website USAforChrist.com, “It is a regular occurrence in Mark and Victoria’s meetings to experience the supernatural healing power of God. The lame walk. The deaf hear. The blind see.” 

An Oregon Government Ethics Commission investigator recommended in a 32-page report that the commission dismiss an ethics complaint against former Lane County commissioner Rob Handy. After debate, the six members of the ethics commission present at the July 12 meeting did not reach the four votes needed to either move forward with or dismiss the complaint. As the Handy case statutorily expired July 17, this ends a chapter in what some see as a vendetta against Handy and other progressive politicians.