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• The Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meets at 5:30 pm Thursday, June 12, at the Atrium Building, 99 W. 10th Ave. On the agenda is the Franklin Boulevard update, Better Eugene-Springfield Transit, priority bike lanes, Master Plan revisions and other business.

• The Eugene Police Commission meets at 5:30 pm Thursday, June 12, at EPD headquarters, 300 Country Club Rd. Kilcullen Room. Public comments will be taken, and on the agenda is a discussion of emerging technologies.

Kevin Sullivan

 et al.

The Common Core approacheth: Starting with the 2014-2015 school year, Oregon public schools will do away with the old OAKS (Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) testing and usher in the Smarter Balanced Assessment, a new standardized test that evaluates student performance by Common Core standards. But with its ties to corporations and its rushed implementation in Oregon, Smarter Balanced is not winning over everyone.

Eugene City Councilor Greg Evans has introduced a downtown smoking ban for the City Council’s discussion. He says the ban is aimed at making downtown more desirable for business and recreation.

 “In downtown areas across the country you have cadres of folks who congregate not necessarily because they’re there to do the right thing, but because they’re there to hang out and do things that are illegal,” Evans says.

A ban on smoking downtown would decrease aggressive behavior and illegal activities such as drug use and dealing, Evans says.

ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwys. I-5, 58, 99, 101, 105, 126 and Territorial were sprayed recently. 

• Weyerhaeuser Company, 744-4684, plans to hire Mountainside Spray, 756-1193, to spray 2700 feet of roadsides near Hawley Creek with glyphosate, methylated seed oil and/or triclopyr. See ODF notice 2014-771-00460, call Marvin Vetter at 726-3588 with questions. 

It’s rafting season on Oregon’s rivers, and the last thing water enthusiasts want to see is a dark smear of effluent in the river as they drift by. Travis Williams saw just that — a dark patch of pollutants in the Willamette River — as he paddled past the outflow for Cascade Pacific Pulp in Halsey, south of Corvallis, in May.

As hiking and, for horse lovers, trail-riding season begins, Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah (FBPMP) has improved trails at the Howard Buford Recreation Area for humans and habitat. FBPMP has finished work on the north trail network in the park, including parts of trails 3, 4, 7 and 17. The group added materials to the trails in order to withstand use from horses and hikers, and redirected some trails. 

The West Eugene EmX expansion is moving forward, despite vocal opposition and efforts to derail it. With this in mind, the nonprofit Better Eugene-Springfield Transit (BEST)  is holding a public forum to “share diverse views on why transit is, or isn’t important to our community” from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Tuesday, June 10, at the LCC Downtown Center, Room 105.

Nancy Chi Cantalupo of Georgetown Law School will speak on “Encouraging Innovation to Prevent and Intervene in Campus Sexual Violence” at 6 pm Thursday, June 5, at the UO Law School, Room 142. Free and open to the public.

Keegan Keppner sits in a green plastic lawn chair with “Whoville” scrawled on it in Sharpie, the O written as a peace sign and surrounded by hearts and asterisks as if it was decorated by an adoring fan. Keegan’s knees are jammed up in his black sweatshirt and he shifts around to evade the chilliness of the spring evening. Cars roar past the temporary encampment on 8th and Mill. 

Oregon is “the hub, for whatever reason, of the for-profit fire industry,” writes journalist and South Eugene High School grad McKenzie Funk in his book Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming (Penguin Press, 2014, $27.95). Funk writes not simply of how we are preparing for a warmer planet, but rather he focuses on those who see the melt, drought and deluge of climate change as a market opportunity. Funk will speak at 6 pm Thursday, June 5, at the Eugene Public Library, free. 

On May 27 the Eugene Police Department brought the City Council a proposal to close Kesey Square between 11 pm and 6 am, a move that some say is targeting the homeless population. Kesey Square, aka Broadway Plaza, is a city-deemed performance space that sits on the corner of Broadway and Willamette, home to the bronze statue of Ken Kesey. The City Council has not scheduled a vote.

Civil Liberties Defense Center attorney Lauren Regan says the proposal to close the public square is repugnant in the face of the human rights image touted by the city of Eugene.

The current fight against GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in Lane County is one small battle in a larger war, according to Thomas Linzey, the executive director of the legal nonprofit group the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

Marbled murrelets have been observed in the East Hakki timber sale in the Elliott State Forest, according to the Coast Range Forest Watch, a group of citizen scientists that regularly surveys for the threatened sea birds that fly many miles in from the ocean to nest in the Elliott.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality sent International Paper a warning letter on May 16 following a line break at International Paper’s Springfield facility, which resulted in discharge of treated process water into Irving Slough. According to DEQ’s letter, the discharge violated Oregon environmental law, and this violation is classified as “serious.” DEQ determined that the violation was beyond International Paper’s reasonable control, and therefore chose not to assess a penalty.

The Oregon Legislature last summer approved $3.75 million in seed funding for the South Willamette Valley Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network. RAIN’s goal is economic development for our region, which is slowly making the transition from a dependence on natural resources to a knowledge-based economy. RAIN is intended to help researchers at UO and OSU spin off private companies, provide mentors and create workspaces for tech start-ups.

• Oregon author and fish biologist Jim Lichatowich will speak at 6 pm Thursday, May 29, at Cozmic, 199 W. 8th Ave. He will read from and discuss his new book Salmon, People, and Place: A Biologist’s Search for Salmon Recovery. This event is free and sponsored by the Western Environmental Law Center. Call 255-0209.

Anna V. Smith

 et al.

Hayley Oakland 22, UO student 

Have you been following the UO rape investigation?

Yes.

Do you think the UO is handling the investigation well? What about the police and the district attorney?

 “We still have a long ways to go,” says Tad Shannon, Eugene Education Association president after last week’s bargaining session between the EEA and Eugene School District 4J and EEA. Shannon says the session brought the groups closer to agreement, with a closed budget gap and 3.7 percent wage increase for about 60 percent of teachers, but refinements to the proposed contract, including a section that lists added health insurance benefits to teachers as a last priority, left teachers not yet ready to sign.

ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Highways I-5, 36, 58, 99, 101, 105, 126 and Beltline were sprayed recently.

• Rosboro LLC, 746-8411 plans to hire Dole Land Management Inc. to spray 211 acres near Quartz Creek and McKenzie River tributaries with imazapyr. See ODF notices 2014-771-00413 and 2014-771-00414, call Tim Meehan at 726-3588 with questions.

Some neighborhood leaders are saying that the city of Eugene has not included neighborhoods enough in decisions about new property tax exemption rules for housing developments of five or more units, aka the MUPTE (Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption) program.

MUPTE is aimed at increasing the amount of multi-unit housing in order to prepare for projected population growth and it exempts developers from paying property taxes for up to 10 years. The program was suspended last year so the Eugene City Council can revise the eligibility requirements. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently sent Hollingsworth & Vose Fiber Company a pre-enforcement notice following an inspection of Hollingsworth’s Corvallis facility, which is classified as a large-quantity generator of hazardous waste. DEQ’s letter cites Hollingsworth for failing to close containers of hazardous waste, failing to develop and execute weekly inspections of hazardous waste storage containers and failing to cleanup spills.

The recent rape investigation at the University of Oregon has not only triggered a spate of articles about the issue locally and across the nation, it’s also triggering requests for emails, contracts and other information from UO staff who might be involved in the investigation or its handling. As a state institution the UO, like other government entities, is subject to Oregon’s Public Records Law.

If you’re driving south into Eugene from I-105, look east to the foot of Skinner Butte and you may just see a rainbow. Stripes of color framing a mural shoot upward from Lincoln Alley, which, as of May 9, was still an impenetrable knot of blackberry bushes scattered with broken glass and garbage. By May 12, however, the strip of land housed a blue picnic table, a community mural and garden beds filled with the seeds of sunflowers, irises, lemon balm, Jerusalem artichoke, raspberries, bleeding heart and other plants. This is the Secret Garden of the Commons.

Kush MMD and Reign Inc. have opened a state-licensed and regulated medical marijuana facility (MFF) and wellness center at 221 W. 10th Ave. in downtown Eugene. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house was held May 12. The business has a provisional MMF license and “will wait until receiving the official state registration from the state before engaging in cannabis commerce,” says General Manager Lisa Della Croce.