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In western Lane County, Seneca Jones (541) 689-1011 will be hacking and squirting hardwood trees between Crow and Doane Roads near Coyote Creek about a mile from Crow Elementary School. About 28 acres in sections 21 and 28 of Township 18 South Range 5 West are to be treated with Polaris. Notice 2012-781-00028.

 

From bare breasts to ninjas with sidewalk chalk, Occupy Eugene’s camp might be gone, but its spirit lives on. And it’s not just the Occupiers who have an issue with income disparity and want to do something about it; a new group, “Empowering the 99%,” has formed, inspired by the issues raised by Occupy Wall Street.

Under a new state law, Oregonians can send their children to any public school that has space to take them, even outside their school district. Eugene 4J public school choice information meetings begin this week.

 

Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson says, “I get up every morning and say ‘I’m glad I’m a Lane County Commissioner and I get to help people,’” and that’s one of the many reasons he is seeking re-election.

 

The coal trains that might be heading through Eugene have hit at least one obstacle, and it’s a wet one. In order to export coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG), both controversial fossil fuels, the Port of Coos Bay needs to dredge and deepen its channel.

 

The 2009 arrest of Josh Schlossberg as he protested Umpqua Bank was carried out with excessive force, a federal jury ruled Monday. An earlier ruling confirmed that EPD Sgt. Bill Solesbee violated Schlossberg’s civil rights by viewing the contents of Schlossberg’s video camera without a warrant after the arrest. Schlossberg was never formally charged in the incident.

Brian Obie’s Inn at the 5th didn’t open as planned in mid-January, but the boutique hotel and conference center at Fifth Street Public Market is looking at welcoming its first guests Wednesday, Feb. 1. The hotel already has 1,000 room nights booked for 2012 and lots of queries about weddings and executive retreats, says Heidi Albertson of the inn. The official dedication will likely be in late February, and we are curious to see what VIPs show up. Check www.innat5th.com

Discover Downtown Springfield will be holding a networking reception to update the public on the progress of downtown Springfield from 5:30 to 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 26, at Devote 30, 126 4th Street, Springfield. Contact Neil Obringer at NEDCO, neil@nedcocdc.org

 

Emails to the Eugene City Council available under the Oregon Public Records and Meetings laws shine a light on the holiday uproar within the city of Eugene caused by Occupy Eugene (OE) protests.

It’s like vampires, only different. Instead of drinking blood, giving your blood will get you a drink of Hop Valley beer.

Lane Blood Center and Springfield’s Hop Valley Brewing Co. have teamed up once again this winter for their third “Give a Pint. Get a Pint” promotion, which wraps up Jan. 17 in the brewery’s parking lot.

In the “Great Recession,” Eugene is doing better than the nation, the state or the county. Why?

Mayor Kitty Piercy noted in her State of the City address last week that while local unemployment numbers are still “way too high,” Eugene’s 10.5 percent rate is slightly better than the nation at 10.8 percent, the state at 12.7 percent and the county at 12.8 percent. 

Sports reporters have long been blasted for pursuing homerism that roots for the home team rather than journalism. So it’s interesting to look at the alternative realities of a Register-Guard v. Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel Rose Bowl match up of next day coverage.

The two papers’ reporters largely covered the game-ending spike by watching on TV like everyone else.

Parvin Butte neighbors who have been fighting the destruction of the scenic butte that sits in the middle of rural Dexter had a day in court Jan. 5 when Lost Creek Rock products, owned by Greg Demers and Norman and Melvin McDougal, came before Lane County Hearings Official Gary Darnielle to appeal the fines they have accrued mining Parvin without a site review.

It’s difficult to say what’s a more difficult proposition — helping save the spotted owl or holding a seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners. Either way it’s a lot about the timber industry and all about politics. Longtime forest advocate Andy Stahl says that having made a career of “speaking truth to power” in dealing with federal forest issues, he’s ready to take on Lane County. 

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy delivered a sober assessment of the State of the City last week in an address at the Hult Center. 

“I’d like to be here tonight telling you that things will be much in better in 2012,” Piercy said. “But, in truth, the uncertain financial forecast continues to impact every government and every household. No matter what I read or who I listen to, the news isn’t very good.”

Internationally noted urban planner and sustainability author Timothy Beatley of the University of Virginia will be speaking on “Envisioning Biophilic Cities” at 5:30 pm Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Fenton Hall, Room 110 on the UO campus. The free lecture will be preceded  by the screening of Beatley’s documentary The Nature of Cities at 5:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 12, also in Fenton Hall. 

• Remodeling is finally under way at the old Bene’s Pizza building at 18th near Chambers, managed by Evans, Elder & Brown (EEB) commercial real estate. We hear from a reliable source that a yogurt shop is going in, but what yogurt shop? The folks at EEB are still mum on the new tenant so we asked around. It’s not Prince Pückler’s and it’s not Vanilla Jill’s. Maybe somebody new?

• A free panel discussion on “Revisiting The Stranger Next Door: Reflections on Sexual Politics and Human Dignity in the New Millennium” will be at 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 12, at the UO Knight Law Center, Room 110, at 15th and Agate. Panelists include Arlene Stein of Rutgers, Kelly Weigel of the Western States Center and Marcy Westerling of the Rural Organizing Project.

Many of the nation’s Fortune 500 companies, including Intel, Oregon’s largest private employer, have paid little or no state income taxes in recent years despite reporting large profits to their shareholders, according to a report released in late December by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ).

No Bike Lanes for Hazardous Willamette

A draft “Concept Plan for South Willamette” by city planning staff has left out one of the top safety priorities for the city’s bike plan — bike lanes on Willamette Street. 

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” is not the U.S. Post Office’s official creed, though most people think it is. And it turns out that it’s not the weather that could stop the mail from coming — or coming on time — it’s finances. 

Thinning Harms Flighty Rodents

Oregonians may not know it, but our state’s forests are riddled with wide-eyed, nocturnal, gliding mammals. The northern flying squirrel serves many ecological functions in Pacific Northwest forests, and is considered to be a “keystone species.” It is a vital part of the diet of the endangered species listed northern spotted owl, and a new study shows that flying squirrels are negatively affected by commercial thinning of timber.

Thanks to Oregon’s wandering wolf, California saw its first Canis lupus in the state since 1924. The young gray wolf known as OR-7, but now renamed “Journey” thanks to conservation group Oregon Wild’s naming contest, was confirmed in the Golden State via his GPS tracking collar on Dec. 29. 

According to Sean Stevens of Oregon Wild, “I’d be hard pressed to think of a more famous or accomplished wolf than OR-7.”

Holiday Market vendors we talked to reported the best sales they’ve seen in recent years, and that was confirmed by Kim Still, manager of market promotions at Holiday Market and Saturday Market. Still tells us the reasons for the bump is sales are many, but the general consensus in that the economy is looking better and more people are now aware of how important it is to support the local economy.