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Matthew Robinson says, “The main reason I’m running is to promote more honesty in politics,” but that seems disingenuous to those who question his last-minute entry into the May Democratic congressional primary against Rep. Peter DeFazio.

His father, Tea Party darling and Republican congressional candidate Art Robinson, is running again this year against DeFazio, and according to an email he sent to supporters, he did not ask his son to engage in a head-to-head with DeFazio for the Democratic primary.

GloryBee Foods will host its annual Bee Weekend April 13-14 at its new location, 29548 B. Airport Road. This community event is “packed with beekeeping education, distribution of pre-ordered packages of live bees, honey sampling and additional activities.” Dick Turanski, founder and beekeeper, will demonstrate bees installation into hives. Friday demo times are 9:30 and 11 am, 12:30, 2, 3:30 and 5 pm, and Saturday at 8:30, 10 and 11 am. The store will be open until 12:30 pm Saturday.

• Local organizations are hosting community meetings to share current information and science on marine debris left by the Japanese tsunami in 2011 from federal, state, and local experts. Lane County events will be at 6 pm Thursday, April 12, at Newport City Hall, 169 SW Coast Hwy; at 10 am Friday, April 13, at the Florence Fire Station, 2625 Hwy. 101; and at 3 pm Saturday, April 14, at the EWEB Training Center, 500 E. 4th Ave. in Eugene. Contact rachael@solv.org

The political season is upon us, and for many of us the task at hand is to insist that President Obama find his voice.

Luminare Press is a new business that provides affordable services for authors who are interested in indie (or self) publishing, including book editing and design, e-publishing, printing, distribution and marketing. “We bridge the gap between writing a manuscript and making a book,” says owner Patricia Marshall, who has a background in magazine publishing, editing and creative nonfiction. See www.luminarepress.com or call 554-7574.

Eugene City Council and mayoral candidates, both opposed and unopposed, will appear at City Club of Eugene at 11:50 am Friday, April 6, at the Hilton Vistas Ballroom, 12th floor. 

Invited are Mayor Kitty Piercy and her two opponents in the May 15 primary, Kevin Prociw and Jon Walrod. Ward 1 Councilor George Brown is unchallenged. Ward 2 Councilor Betty Taylor is invited, along with her opponents Jim Ray and Juan Carlos Valle. Ward 3 Councilor Andrea Ortiz and Ward 8 Councilor Chris Pryor are both unopposed.

While Eugene braces itself for possible coal trains and their choking dust, citizens of other states are already well aware of the high costs of coal to the environment and to human health. 

The Port of Coos Bay’s coal export proposal that would require open-car coal trains over a mile long chugging through Lane County may have hit a snag. It will cost millions of dollars to repair the Coos Bay Rail Link, the railroad track that goes from Eugene to Coos Bay, enough to carry the loads of coal.

Eugene’s environmental groups are not necessarily known for reaching out into the Latino community, but Beyond Toxics is looking to change that. The group is organizing a series of forums, panels and discussions on how toxic pollution affects the West Eugene community that runs April 11-13. Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics says events will include the academic and the experiential. “It will be a trip into environmental justice from all different angles,” Arkin says.

Fallen trees and branches are splattered all over Lane County thanks to the March snowstorm and rains, but more trees are on the way, via bicycle. Friends of Trees is planning on putting nearly 100 trees in the ground this Arbor Day, April 7.

The Friends of Trees event is a collaboration with the city of Eugene and Jefferson Westside neighbors as well as EWEB and Northwest Natural. After meeting at Jefferson Park, teams will be sent out to plant at the park and around the nearby neighborhood. There will also be some going into the ground near the Lane County Fairgrounds. 

Near Creswell, Gabrielson Logging, (541) 514-8353, has been hired by Rolland Richards, (541) 895-4470, to spray Garlon 4, Triclopyr Ester on 20 acres in Section 19 of Township 19 South, Range 03 West, in a site prep operation. See ODF notice 2012-781-00219.

The chemical atrazine can turn a boy frog into a girl frog. It’s a pesticide commonly used in forestry that’s been found in the urine of residents of Triangle Lake, a rural community in the Coast Range west of Eugene. Residents have been trying for years to put an end to the aerial sprays that they say drift on to the farms and homes, as well as manual pesticide applications that can affect drinking water. 

Perhaps one day the question posed by physicist Robert Socolow, “What would we do if we took climate change seriously?” will seem as absurd and archaic as “What would we do if we took the idea the planets revolved around the sun seriously?” For now Socolow, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University, has a lot of work to do.

• An Envision Eugene community forum organized by Downtown/Westside neighborhoods will be from 6 to 8 pm Thursday, April 5, at the Hult Center Studio downstairs. Email terri.l.harding@ci.eugene.or.us or call 682-5635. The next forums will be at the same time April 10 at Sheldon Community Center, and April 12 at South Eugene High School. 

• West University Neighbors general meeting will be at 7 pm Thursday, April 5, at Central Presbyterian, 555 E. 15th Ave. 

 

City Manager Jon Ruiz rolled out his summary version of Eugene’s growth plan for the next 20 years at a Eugene City Council work session March 14.

Put your money where your local shelter is — because Lane County and the city of Eugene are not. They have been citing budget cuts and chopping funding to Lane County Animal Services (LCAS) and proposing instead an as-of-yet to be determined new way of dealing with the area’s homeless pets.

Has TV regressed in its portrayal of the working woman? With TV’s spring lineup kicking off, there may be hope for contemporary portrayals of working women on TV. So where do Murphy Brown, Roseanne and Murder She Wrote fit into this picture?

One result of LTD’s public opinion survey on the proposed EmX extension to West 11th Avenue was about as surprising to the bus agency as spring rain in Eugene. Other responses were more informative.

The least surprising result to LTD, according to Director of Planning and Development Tom Schwetz, was that Eugeneans are split about 50-50 on whether they support or oppose the bus rapid transit extension. “What we were interested in was why,” Schwetz told EW.

Next time you start to reach for a can of pesticide to get rid of ants or weeds, think of the children — and how Oregon’s public schools are managing their pests.

Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) Environmental Health Associate Aimee Code says that Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can actually be defined in many ways, but she likes to approach it by calling it an attempt to get rid of pests while using the bare minimum of pesticides.

“Hump smarter, save the snail darter,” Zygmunt Plater read off a package of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Endangered Species Condoms, which were given out to attendees of the UO’s Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in early March. 

The questionably witty rhyme got the packed audience laughing in the EMU ballroom on the afternoon of March 3 for the keynote speakers of the day. The subject at hand was a case near and dear to Plater, who is a faculty member at Boston College Law School. 

Eugene doesn’t have to let dirty coal trains come through town wafting lung-clogging dust in their wake, according to a coalition of environmental and environmental justice groups. Beyond Toxics, No Coal Eugene and the UO’s Climate Justice League have teamed up to craft a ballot measure that would buck federal and state law to stand up against Big Coal.

The proposed November ballot measure “creates a city ordinance that empowers the local authorities to stop coal trains from coming through Eugene,” says Zach Stark-MacMillan of No Coal Eugene. 

The nonprofit Helios Resource Network now has matching grant money available for nonprofits and emerging groups planning to become nonprofit, according to Helios President Cary Thompson. The small-grant program focuses on sustainable action and education in Lane County. For more information see heliosnetwork.org/grantinfo.htm or call 636-0465.

• The Opportunity Eugene Task Force on Homelessness will be meeting at 9:30 am Friday, March 30, at Lane County Health and Human Services, 151 West 7th Ave., Room 258. Contact is Michael Wisth, 682-5540 or michael.c.wisth@ci.eugene.or.us

• The SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup will be from 10 am to 1 pm Saturday, March 31. Volunteers are encouraged to register at www.solv.org, or call (503) 844-9571 ext. 332.

In Afghanistan

•  1,905 U.S. troops killed* (1,902)

• 15,488 U.S. troops wounded in action (15,480)

• 1095 U.S. contractors killed (1095)

• $513.6 billion cost of war ($511.5 billion)

• $151.7 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($151 million)

In Iraq

“We all live downstream,” says River Road resident Carleen Reilly. She’s worried that Lane County’s efforts to take control of the “urbanizable” land around Eugene and Springfield will result in increased air and water pollution. 

Reilly was among a number of residents who spoke about their concerns over the proposed changes to the Metro Plan at the March 13 joint meeting of the Lane County commissioners and the city councils and mayors of Eugene and Springfield.