Every four years around presidential election time, the Electoral College gets attention for a few weeks, then fades into the fog of obscurity for four more years. But who are Oregon’s seven electors, how did they become electors and what do they do?
President Obama’s victory this week does not automatically make him president for four years, but it kicks off a long and formal process that leads up to his inauguration at noon Jan. 20, 2013. Seven electors will (ideally) represent us and cast their votes for Obama and Biden in Salem Dec. 17.
That’s Cool New & Used is a new retail shop at 1000 Bertelsen Road, Suite 3, in Eugene. The locally owned and operated store offers antiques, gift items, video games, housewares, used furnishings and collectables. They also do repairs and refinishing. Call 343-3642 for hours or find the store on Facebook. A website in under construction.
The lush and productive Courthouse Garden east of the U.S. Courthouse in Eugene has garnered national attention as an innovative collaboration between the city of Eugene, the University of Oregon, local businesses and the judicial system, but it may get bulldozed and paved over if a local credit union or another private business buys the 1.9 acres of city-owned property.
More changes may be afoot for the local animal welfare services scene. After city and county funding cuts led to the jettisoning of the Lane County Animal Services (LCAS) program in favor of Greenhill Humane Society running the shelter and splitting up the welfare officers by city and county in July of this year, questions abound as to whether or not the LCAS Advisory Committee may be next on the chopping block.
While many Eugeneans have already settled on voting for Democrats or Republicans in the Nov. 6 election, other parties are on the ballot, and third parties are actively registering new voters. According to the Oregon Blue Book, about 26 percent of Oregon voters were registered with third parties or are unaffiliated with a party.
As evidenced by the infamous anti-Islam video that attracted a whirlwind of attention after it was alleged to have been linked to the Benghazi embassy riots in September, religion continues to remain a touchy subject these days. For Saba Mahmood, a professor of anthropology at UC-Berkeley, it’s a topic that she hopes to understand more clearly through her studies of religious issues in Egypt.
People in their late teens and early 20s don’t have the best track record when it comes to voting. That’s why around election time, voter registration volunteers show up on college campuses, encouraging students to fill out their registration cards. The registration deadline has passed, but now it’s up to students to follow through and vote.
Just days before Hurricane Sandy smacked into the East Coast, turning New York City streets into waterways, a tsunami advisory was issued for the West Coast from Alaska into California, as well as Hawaii, as a result of an 7.7 earthquake off the coast of British Columbia. These water disasters, or near disasters — the tsunami was in the end rather small — call to mind the 2011 Japanese quake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear plant dangers that arose.
Eugene police are once again coordinating the collection of warm clothing, boots and other various winter weather items to be distributed to community service agencies that help the homeless community stay warm this winter.
Officer Randy Ellis has spearheaded the collection for the past several years and last year West University Neighborhood residents Don and Anne Dezarn pledged to match up to $2,500 of funds collected after seeing the success of previous years and the impact on this vulnerable population.
Two Eugene businesses, Cousin Jack’s Pasty Company and Vanilla Jill’s, have teamed up to create “Jack & Jill’s Courtyard” located on 3rd and Blair across from the back of Ninkasi in the Whiteaker. We hear it’s a great food destination with meat and vegetable pasties available from Cousin Jack’s cart and frozen yogurt, ice cream, vegan treats, soups, salads and more available at Vanilla Jill’s.
• Opportunity Village Eugene is looking for warehouse space to store building materials and “construct pieces of tiny houses to be assembled on the site when we get one.” Email Finn Po at email@example.com
Developers have tried repeatedly to turn the steep-sloped land into houses. Each application has been defeated, but the developers keep trying. The Nobles have started the Be Noble Foundation in order to save the Beverly property and turn it into a permanent part of Eugene’s parks and open spaces.
Capstone’s student housing project not yet under construction at 13th and Olive has hit a legal snag, losing an Oct. 11 Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) ruling to neighborhood advocate Paul Conte on the city’s vacation (termination of public right to use the street) of West 12th Avenue between Olive and Willamette.
Oregon is facing the prospect of coal trains rumbling through the state bringing coal, and coal dust and increased diesel fumes, thanks to several proposals for coal export terminals along the coast and Columbia River. Gov. John Kitzhaber and Sen. Jeff Merkley have requested an extensive federal environmental review of the effects of exporting coal to Asia, having it burned there and blowing back to the Northwest. Local governments have attempted to weigh in on the coal issue as well.
With the next City Council decision on the downtown exclusion zone — which allows banning people from the downtown core prior to conviction of a crime — a year away, civil liberties activists already seeking the data they need to fight the zone. But on Oct. 17, Eugene Police Department records manager Joan Quaempts denied the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) request for a public records fee waiver for documents related to past exclusions, quoting a $2,284 fee for the records. EW was a party in the request.
A free dental clinic for extractions only is coming up Friday, Oct. 26, for people who are uninsured, low income, have a tooth that needs to be removed, and have not had recent dental care. Patients need to have a phone number where they can be reached to confirm appointments.
The event is being organized by the Occupy Eugene Medical Clinic in cooperation with St. Vincent de Paul. Dentists can work on only one quadrant at a time so only one upper or lower jaw, left or right side, can be treated at this clinic. A limit of 20 people can be treated.
Congressman Peter DeFazio’s campaign is calling a $1 million lawsuit filed by Tea Party challenger Art Robinson in Josephine County “meritless.” The Robinson campaign also sent out an email to supporters that insinuates that Lane County engaged in voter fraud in the 2010 election, which Robinson lost to DeFazio.
Robinson’s campaign did not respond to a request to confirm its allegations. It also did not send a copy of the suit to DeFazio’s campaign before issuing its press release.
Catholic nun, death penalty foe and restorative justice advocate Sister Helen Prejean has returned to Oregon for the fifth time. While in Oregon she visited the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem to teach a creative writing workshop through the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which brings college and incarcerated students together in university courses held in correctional facilities, and visited the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility for women in Wilsonville. Sister Helen Prejean will speak on “Envisioning a Compassionate America” on Oct. 25 at the UO.
The state of Oregon is known for many things, and near the top of its list is the bike riding culture and the reliance by much of the population on local, organic foods. Two women are about to set out on a long journey to combine the two, hoping to spread the importance of both across the country through what they call the Food Cycles Bicycle Tour.
The Community Veterinary Center, a new nonprofit low-cost clinic, has opened in Eugene to meet the needs of household pets owned by low-income residents of Lane County. Services are by appointment only and all new clients must provide documentation of income to qualify for the services. The center is located at 470 Hwy. 99 N. in Eugene. Hours of operation are Mondays from 2 to 6 pm and Thursdays from 10 am to 1:30 pm. Phone for information and appointments is 636-3324.
• Eugene City Council Ward 2 candidates Betty Taylor and Juan Carlos Valle will be at a candidate’s forum hosted by the Friendly Area Neighbors at 7 pm Thursday, Oct. 25, at Washington Park Center, 2025 Washington St.