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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.

• Oregon Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) will host a discussion about four teen activists and writers who have captured the group’s attention. The free gathering will be at 7 pm Thursday, May 22, at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St. Call 683-1350 or visit oregonwand.org.

In Afghanistan

• 2,320 U.S. troops killed (2,314 last month)

• 19,765 U.S. troops wounded in action (19,701)

• 1,510 U.S. contractors killed (1,510)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $718.6 billion cost of war ($712 billion)

• $297.1 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($294.4 million)

 

In Iraq

• 4,423 U.S. troops killed, 31,941 wounded

• 1,607 U.S. contractors killed (1,605)

• 137,533 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (136,608)

This story contains details of an alleged sexual assault that may be triggering to some readers and rape survivors. EW uses the word “alleges” not to indicate doubt in the survivor but as a legal term for when no charges have been proven in a court of law.

More than 550 people will come to Eugene from across the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands and Japan to learn about community building, according to city neighborhood planner and conference planner Rene Kane. The conference comes to town as Eugene neighborhood leaders fret over proposed funding cuts to eighborhood services. Eugene will host the Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) conference May 21 to 24.

Food carts will soon be a regular fixture on the streets of downtown Springfield. Local nonprofit Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) has been working with city staff to create a food cart program in hopes it will encourage downtown revitalization.

“There are a lot of examples around the country of the way that these programs have injected a new life into the community,” says Dave Johnson, NEDCO food hub operations supervisor.

Thursday, May 15, is the last day to safely mail in ballots for the Oregon May Primary, which is Tuesday, May 20. After Thursday, drop off ballots at any of the white ballot boxes around town or on campus. Deadline is 8 pm Tuesday. Postmarks don’t count. 

 

Statewide Offices

U.S. Senator (Democrat) — Jeff Merkley

Merkley has two challengers in the primary, William Bryk and Pavel Goberman. Merkley is a rising star in the Senate and a strong voice for economic justice and health care reform.

 

Aprovecho Sustainability Education Center wants to teach you how to make soap, manage cattle and learn other permaculture-related activities for little cost. Aprovecho began giving workshops this spring on a gift economy basis — the nonprofit education center will teach you permaculture and in return ask that you give back in some way through donating, sharing a skill that you know or even simply bringing a friend. Workshops are held every Sunday. Aprovecho, which was started more than 30 years ago, is on 40 acres of land outside Cottage Grove. 

The city of Eugene recently sent Cascade Plating & Machine a “request for corrective action” letter requesting stabilization of a sizable area at the facility on Cross Street, just off Roosevelt Boulevard.

The University of Oregon community has erupted in the past weeks with outrage over the sexual assault case involving three male student-athletes and a young woman. Students have protested at Johnson Hall, holding signs reading “We demand justice” and “I live in a rape culture,” while chanting “Survivors over sports.” The chant refers to what protesters say is the school’s mishandling of the case by allowing three basketball players to continue playing during March Madness while the sexual assault investigation was already under way.   

 Two Eugene law firms have filed a class action lawsuit against the owners of the Little Big Burger chain claiming the company does not pay employees for earned overtime wages. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene by Leiman & Johnson, LLC, and Andrew Lewinter, PC, and seeks an unspecified amount in actual damages, liquidated damages, penalties, interest, punitive damages and attorney fees. One of the plaintiffs is Logan Vance, the former manager of the Eugene location at 1404 Orchard St. near campus.

• State Rep. John Lively will be the speaker at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, May 16, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette. Lively will provide an update on the Lane Metro Partnership and the future of economic development in Lane County. See cityclubofeugene.org. City Club will not have a regular program May 23, but a special program on “Making Great Cities” with Carol Coletta will be at 5 pm May 22. RSVP at rsvp@dxoregon.org.

Now that the Great Recession has officially ended, the pie is getting bigger, according to David Cay Johnston, but the bottom 90 percent is getting less pie. Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, has written a trilogy of books on financial inequities and has been teaching a course on “Property and Tax from Ancient Athens to America” at Syracuse University since retiring from The New York Times in 2008. Johnston will be speaking about “How Inequality Affects You” at the City Club of Eugene on May 9.

Eugene City Council reallocated $150,000 to the city’s Emergency and Minor Home Repairs (EMHR) program, which assists low-income homeowners and tenants with emergency and accessibility-related home repairs. The program experienced a higher demand than usual for repair assistance this winter, according to City Grants Manager Michael Wisth, and had exhausted its funding for fiscal year 2014. Funds were taken from the city’s microenterprise development program.

City Manager Jon Ruiz’s recommended city budget for Eugene’s coming fiscal year closes a $2.5 million gap with one-time funding from the city’s reserve fund and reductions to parks maintenance, downtown library hours and recreation services. It also calls for a one-time contribution of $200,000 to the nonprofit group TrackTown USA.

Students, faculty and staff at the University of Oregon have the right to conduct controversial scholarship and teaching or hold contentious public positions, according to the University Senate, a body made up of faculty, students and staff that is a partner in the shared governance of the UO. 

In early April the senate body unanimously passed an Academic Freedom Policy. Professor Michael Dreiling, the president of the UO’s newly formed union, United Academics, says that this policy would help to unlock “the greatest potential” that the UO has to offer.

• Little Lake Logging and Const. Inc., 927-3339, plans to spray Tordon RTU (triclopyr ester) on 30 acres near Little Lake Creek. See ODF notice 2014-781-00486, call Robin L. Biesecker at 935-2283 with questions.

• USR Company LLC, Rosboro LLC, 746-8411, and High Mountain Investment Group, 746-8411, plan to hire Dole Land Management Inc. to spray their roadsides throughout Benton County with imazapyr and/or triclopyr. See ODF notices 2014-551-00183, 2014-551-00184 and 2014-551-00185, call Bill Mahr at 929-3266 with questions.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a $7,800 penalty against the Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission (MWMC) last week for causing pollution of waters of the state in February. MWMC operates the Eugene-Springfield wastewater collection and treatment system, including the treatment plant on River Avenue and the “biosolids management facility” on Awbrey Lane. On Feb.

In addition to the historic trolley tracks unearthed every so often on Willamette Street, Eugene is bursting with historically significant elements that are out in the open, like the dry stone retaining wall on the north side of Skinner Butte built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps. 

Lady Jangchup Palmo reacted in a unique way the moment she was diagnosed with cancer. “Her first response was laughter, joy,” says Jigme Rinpoche, her son.

A couple of big plant sales are happening Saturday, May 10, just in time for Mother’s Day giving. The eighth annual Oregon Plant Fair will be from 9 am to 2 pm at the Alton Baker Park shelters, sponsored by Avid Gardeners Eugene District Garden Clubs and a benefit for the Master Gardener Extension Program. The 23rd annual Hardy Plant Sale will be from 9 am to 2 pm indoors at the Fairgrounds, a benefit for the nonprofit Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group. 

• A protest in response to a sexual assault case allegedly involving UO basketball players is being planned at noon Thursday, May 8, on the lawn behind Hendricks Hall on campus. Organized by the UO Coalition to End Sexual Violence, http://wkly.ws/1qv.

• The Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Thursday, May 8, at the Sloat Conference Room at the Atrium Building, 99 W. 10th Ave.