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The University of Oregon took swift action to address unsafe levels of lead in its drinking water after it found lead-tainted fixtures in its dorms, office buildings and off-campus properties in June 2016. While officials found fixtures in newer buildings with almost no lead in the system, they also found fixtures with initial lead levels 48 times above the federal legal limits. 

A slow-motion collision between art and cultural politics led the Oregon Country Fair this week to cancel the planned installation of a 36-foot-tall Native-inspired carved story pole at its 280-acre site in Veneta.

Giustina Land & Timber, 541-345-2301, plans to hire Northwest Reforestation Services LLC, 541-520-6215, to ground spray 55.3 acres near Lookout Point Lake with glyphosate, triclopyr with ester and Crop Oil Concentrate. See ODF notification 2017-771-04978, call Tim Meehan at 541-726-3588 with questions.

The fight over the initiative process in Lane County took a new turn last month.

Judge Karsten Rasmussen, presiding judge of the Lane County Circuit Court, offered wins to both the progressive organization Community Rights Lane County and to retired Eugene attorney Stan Long in the battle over how — or whether — the county places initiatives on the ballot for voters to decide on future county ordinances. 

A South Eugene high school student found homosexual slurs graffitied on one of the school’s gender-inclusive restrooms. An African-American man, whose car had symbols indicating his race and military rank, found his driver’s side mirror broken and a crack in his windshield. A local nonprofit found a swastika painted on its glass window, accompanied by swear words disparaging the victim of the hate crime.

For Southern Benton County resident Garrick Balsly, concern about his water supply and the health of his land started nearly five years ago when his widowed neighbor received a postcard in the mail.

Giustina Land & Timber, 541-345-2301, plans to hire Northwest Reforestation Services, 541-520-6215, to ground spray 48.9 acres south of Hamm Road with hexazinone, clopyralid, sulfometuron methyl and Crop Oil Concentrate. See ODF notification 2017-781-04828, call Brian Peterson at 541-935-2283 with questions.

• A second, smaller cohousing project is forming downtown while the more ambitious Oakleigh Meadow project off River Road continues, despite legal delays. Eugene Cohousing Downtown will have 15 to 20 adult housing condos, plus ground-floor parking and commercial spaces, and will not be seeking planning variances or applying for city tax breaks. The site is a mostly vacant lot on the west side of Lincoln Street between Broadway and 10th Avenue, next to Lincoln Terrace.

Virtually no protections are in place to safeguard watersheds and streams — both sources of drinking water in Oregon — from being contaminated by herbicides, says Jason Gonzales of Oregon Wild. This is just one of the pressing issues that environmental protection bills in Oregon’s 2017 Legislative session aim to address. 

Walk into a Eugene dispensary to purchase one of their house-rolled joints and ask the clerk what brand of rolling paper they used. More likely than not, your joint will have been spun up using RAW brand rolling papers. 

An April 17 public hearing on a proposed 20-year transportation plan for Eugene drew a crowd of more than 50 citizens concerned about problems ranging from a dangerous highway interchange to carbon emissions. 

Getting into the marijuana business shouldn’t be just about making a quick buck, according to legendary punk rocker and entertainer Henry Rollins. He says getting into the legal weed economy should be instead about bucking a system of racial injustice.

The Black Flag and Rollins Band frontman is coming to Eugene as the keynote speaker for the fourth annual Oregon Marijuana Business Conference (OMBC) on April 28.

John Burns could feel the spray on his body from a helicopter applying a mixture of pesticides to a nearby clearcut. He describes the well-publicized October 2013 incident as nothing less than an attack on himself and his property. 

Landowners in Oregon like Burns, who have had their health, property or water supply damaged by pesticide spraying, are left with limited options to hold the sprayers accountable under state laws that protect agricultural and forestry industries over people.

To those who feared for their safety while passing those napping pit bulls on the sidewalks of downtown Eugene, fear no more: Dogs have been banned downtown.

The ordinance that many decry as an effort to force homeless people out of the area and that a lawyer argues raises “constitutional issues” over disparate treatment went into effect Monday, April 10. 

Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and federal civil rights laws, American women earn on average approximately 80 cents on the dollar compared to men — the gap widens for African American women who earn 63 cents and Hispanic women who earn 54 cents, according to a U.S. Senate news release. 

• Giustina Resources, 541-485-1500, plans to hire Strata Forestry, 541-726-0845, to ground spray 48.7 acres on three units south of Dexter Lake with hexazinone, sulfometuron methyl and High-Light Blue. See ODF notification 2017-771-03690, call Tim Meehan at 541-726-3588 with questions.

• April is Jazz Appreciation Month (shouldn’t that be every month?) and the Willamette Jazz Society is celebrating. The nonprofit has been providing the Eugene area with live music since 2005 at the The Jazz Station, 124 W. Broadway. The all-ages concert venue includes an art gallery and community gathering space. The society also promotes jazz appreciation through outreach and scholarship programs for middle school through college. See thejazzstation.org for more information.

• Oregonians for Science and Reason is offering a three-part workshop to help attendees develop a more critical eye towards social media content and current news. OSR says that the classes are designed to arm you with skills to identify fallacies in reasoning, recognize fake news, fact-check information, find reliable sources and improve communication skills. The classes run 11 am to 2:30 pm Saturday April 15, April 29 and May 13 at the Amazon Community Center, multipurpose room, 2700 Hilyard Street in Eugene.

Heron Mendez is nearly 70 years old. He thinks. He’s not sure. But what he does know is that he’s been boxing since he was 5 years old. And boxing is all that he knows.  

The Hult Center’s much-loved blackberry curtain says goodbye on April 8 in its last formal bow. After hanging in the Silva Concert Hall for 35 years, the hand-printed curtain, which depicts a cloudy Oregon sky over blackberry bushes, is due to be replaced because of wear and water damage.

In June 2007 Daniel McGowan was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role in two environmentally motivated arsons. The feds labeled him a terrorist for his part in the Earth Liberation Front’s eco-sabotage, and Judge Ann Aiken, who sentenced McGowan and his fellow participants in what the FBI called “Operation Backfire,” applied a “terrorism enhancement” to his sentence in a hearing at the federal courthouse in Eugene.  

From Highway 99, the Oregon State Hospital’s Junction City campus looks like a grounded Boeing C-17. Located on the border of the city limits, the gray building stands alone at the end of a newly constructed road in the center of a field. 

In an honest effort to address safety concerns and to spruce up downtown Eugene, a city center littered with empty buildings and unsightly student housing, Eugene City Council voted 6 to 2 to ban dogs from strolling along and occupying city blocks. The ban does not apply to dogs of the gentry with downtown addresses.