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Valentine’s Day finds Basic Rights Oregon and Oregon United for Marriage pushing for same-sex marriage legislation. Events are happening all over Oregon on Feb. 14, including a gathering from 4 to 6 pm at Temple Beth Israel, 1175 E. 29th Ave. In Corvallis the event will be the same time at First United Methodist Church, 1165 NW Monroe Ave. Google Oregon United for Marriage for details and registration.

Most Eugeneans know that climate change is happening, but acting on that knowledge is a little trickier. On Feb. 10, the Climate Change Mitigation and Preparation meeting at Cozmic will feature a series of short talks followed by roundtable discussions that focus primarily on action.

“The truth is that educating is huge, but people are dying for action,” says Pam Driscoll, a facilitator and speaker for the meeting. “We have all the information. Now we need to act on it.”

Saturday, Feb. 9, at Cozmic will be a “PowerBlast” of nine bands donating their time for the “Feel the Warmth” fundraiser hosted by the Egan Warming Center, a center started in 2008 to provide homeless people in Lane County shelter on the area’s coldest nights from November through March when temperatures dip below 30 degrees.

Cops who can’t see through car windows could have drivers seeing red. Oregon law requires at least 35 percent of light to pass through vehicle windows, and dealerships are legally required to sell cars that meet that standard, even used cars that come from somewhere else. But sometimes vehicles slip through the cracks.

Many indigenous cultures may have disappeared, but Wade Davis is out to make sure we still learn and appreciate all there is to know about them. The National Geographic explorer in-residence, who has spent most of his life immersed in ancient worlds, will speak at 7:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 182 Lillis Hall on the UO campus. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Margaret Hedrick a warning letter Jan. 16 for a “sizeable release” of what appeared to be used oil to the ground at 1700 Highway 99 N. in Eugene (a little south of Highway 99 and Bethel Drive). According to DEQ’s letter, “used oil can contain cancer-causing agents, metal contaminants and organic compounds that can impact soil, stormwater and surface waters as well as filter into the groundwater supply when discharged onto the land surface.

Almost $3 million to hand over public records seems like a lot of money to former Lane County commissioner Rob Handy and his attorney Marianne Dugan. Handy is suing the county, alleging that it didn’t turn over documents related to a meeting and letter in which he was accused of ethics violations. Coos County Circuit Court Judge Richard Barron heard arguments and testimony Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 at the Lane County Circuit Court. 

A new business, Flower Power Self Defense for Girls, opens Feb. 16 with three beginning level classes to be held at 412 W. 17th Ave. Founder and director is Tonya Valadez who has a master’s degree in special education and eight years of teaching and training in self defense. Classes will be geared for ages 5 to 12. Valadez can be reached at sdforgirls@gmail.com or call 606-3541.

• “Neighbors Without Addresses” is a photo project of Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) completed with the assistance of Springfield Shelter Rights Alliance (SSRA). The exhibit is modeled on CALC’s three existing traveling photo exhibits and community and families. The photos will be displayed during the 2nd Friday Art Walk from 5 to 7 pm Friday, Feb. 8, at Springfield City Hall, 225 5th St. Email joanna.safercalc@gmail.com for more information. 

In Afghanistan

• 2,168 U.S. troops killed* (2,168)

• 18,230 U.S. troops wounded in action (18,215)

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

• 12,793 civilians killed (12,793)

• $609.6 billion cost of war ($607.1 billion)

• $180 million cost to Eugene taxpayers 

   ($179.3 million)

 

In Iraq

Racism is a permanent, entrenched feature of American life. That was the thrust of a course taught by Derrick Bell, one of founders of critical race theory, while Ian Haney-López was a student at Harvard. 

Health Care for All Oregon’s Eugene chapter will be joining others from 62 statewide organizations Monday, Feb. 4, for a kick-off rally for universal health care in Salem on the first day of the 2013 legislative session. 

Government agencies like to release bad news on Fridays and sneak bad rules in over the Christmas holidays, the wisdom goes, because there’s less of a chance that anyone will notice on the weekend or on a week off. County Administrator Liane Richardson appears to have made significant changes about access to the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza in Lane County’s Administrative Procedures Manual (APM) at the beginning of the Christmas holidays. 

The Eugene Disc Golf Club (EDGC) and local disc golfers and fans are gathering at 7:45 am Saturday, Feb. 2, at Dexter State Park east of Eugene for the second annual Ice Bowl. 

Animal lovers and supporters of humane treatment alike will gather in Salem on Feb. 12 for Humane Lobby Day, where they can learn about five new bills, among others, that will affect the welfare of animals. 

“It’s a great opportunity for people who care about animals to let their voices be heard,” says Scott Beckstead, Oregon senior director with The Humane Society of the United States. “Although we’re a state with a proud tradition of promoting animal welfare, we have these antiquated laws.”

Neighborhood associations: not full of criminals. That was the finding of a city of Eugene investigation into whether three neighborhood associations tried to extort money from a local developer.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Robert Saltsgaver, Jr. a warning letter on Dec. 17 for significant violations of Oregon environmental law stemming from illegal disposal of an estimated 4,800 to 6,600 waste tires and construction and demolition debris at 31841 Cedar Creek Road, Cottage Grove.  The letter notes that such illegal disposal can lead to contamination of soil, surface water, and groundwater, and requests corrective actions.

Biz Beat has been running nearly every week for more than a year now. It’s a humble effort to give some attention to small businesses, nonprofits and the people behind them who are vitally important to our community but don’t always get media attention. Our thanks to the many people who have sent us suggestions. Keep ’em coming.

• A meeting with the LaurelRidge PUD planning consultant is planned for 6 pm Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Comfort Suites Hotel at the I-5 Glenwood interchange. This meeting is to view the current development plans for the 126 acres southwest of Laurel Hill Valley adjacent to 30th Avenue near Spring Boulevard.

In Afghanistan

• 2,168 U.S. troops killed* (2,167)

• 18,215 U.S. troops wounded in action (18,201)

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

• 12,793 civilians killed (12,793)

• $607.1 billion cost of war ($605 billion)

• $179.3 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($178.6 million)

 

In Iraq

Does the Constitution have a curfew? Local activists say free speech doesn’t stop at 11 pm, but Lane County has designated the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza as closed to free speech and other activities after hours. In Bethlehem there was no room at the inn for the mother of Jesus, and in Eugene there’s no room for free speech at the Free Speech Plaza. 

Eugene City Council is scheduled to vote Jan. 28 on new penalties for unruly partiers, but some Eugeneans say those fines aren’t so fine. The proposed social host ordinance would lower the number of attendees required to deem a party “unruly” and make landlords liable for police response costs after the fourth offense.

A door-to-door census collects U.S. demographic info, but if you don’t have a door you don’t count. On Jan. 30 there will be a street count, which means every homeless person found on the streets as well as in shelters will be accounted for. Unsheltered people will be asked to fill out a form detailing where they are staying and how long they have been homeless, while also providing other information about their current state. 

Marc Kardell didn’t look like a fight-the-power kind of guy at his “name-clearing hearing” in the Lane County commissioners’ offices on Jan. 18; he looked like the proper, grey-haired attorney and public servant he is, or rather, since being fired by Lane County last May, was.