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The problems with the DOT-111 tank railcars that exploded and killed 47 and destroyed the downtown core of the Canadian town of Lac-Mégantic have been known since 1991, according to Congressman Peter DeFazio, yet the federal government still hasn’t pushed to fix them.

• Union Pacific plans to spray railroad tracks running through Eugene this week.

• Oregon Department of Transportation is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call 1-888-996-8080 for herbicide application information. Highways I-5 and 99 through Eugene were sprayed recently.

What’s the environmental impact of your bud? 

A March 6 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference panel at the UO law school explored illegal marijuana grows in Northern California, home to the Redwoods and Mt. Shasta, and their negative impacts on water and wildlife, including coho salmon and Pacific fishers.

Panelist Thomas Wheeler, program and legal coordinator for the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), explained that trespass grows in California’s Humboldt County often consist of thousands of plants on private or national forest land. 

• We left the City Club of Eugene’s excellent debate on March 13 about manmade microwave radiation’s impact on human health undecided. Dr. Davison Soper, UO physics professor, and Dr. Paul Dart, MD, left us thinking that the science is not there on either side, although both expressed strong views. Soper was not concerned about wifi, cell towers and smart meters impacting human health. Dart definitely was. More science, please.

If you were in Lane County in the mid-‘60s and mid-‘70s and actively opposing the war on Vietnam during those years, Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) wants to hear from you. As Vietnam-related anniversaries approach, including the 40th anniversary of the April 30 end of the war, CALC — which began as Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam — is planning a series of activities. Email at vietnampeaceCALC@gmail.com for more info.

In Afghanistan

• 2,356 U.S. troops killed (2,356 last month)

• 20,067 U.S. troops wounded in action (20,066)

• 1,582 U.S. contractors killed (1,582)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $792.7 billion cost of war ($785.8 billion)

• $317.1 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($314.3 million)

 

Against ISIS

• $2.1 billion cost of military action ($1.9 billion)

• $849,200 cost to Eugene taxpayers ($760,000)

Farm girl Mia Nelson grew up outside of Glencoe, Minnesota, where her dad managed the local Green Giant packing plant. “The world’s largest corn-packing plant,” she says. “I worked there summers.” After two years at Rice University in Houston, she transferred to Oregon State to study biochemistry. “I wanted to be a vet,” she says, “but I quit school to work for the Green Tortoise bus company.” GT had a shop in Lowell, where buses were converted for cross-country touring.

The fubar scenario in Salem’s Capitol last week began with Governor Brown’s support of the low-carbon fuel standard, SB 324 and the Republican reaction. The Oregonian, the R-G and Republican legislators immediately blew up an overdue transportation infrastructure plan, a plan that likely would have resulted in the only significant bipartisan accomplishment of this session, all because Kate chose to sign SB 324.  

Nihilism and depression have long been compatriots. Dwelling together in the darkness, they lay entangled, drawing from one another, separate, yet not inseparable. It is apt, then, that the stars would align for California’s experimental two-piece Wreck & Reference to cross paths with Portland goth-rock duo Muscle & Marrow. It is beyond fortunate, and a gift to the sullen, that both bands will occupy the same space on the same night while on their own respective tours.

Bad Religion has been busting establishment chops since 1979. The band returns to Eugene in support of 2013’s studio record True North. Bentley says in addition to touring, Bad Religion has started writing a new record.

In the fog-ridden murkiness of Cascadia, one can easily forget that not all metal is black metal. Shattering our illusions of “all-grim everything” comes the brilliantly crisp technical metal of Archspire from Vancouver, B.C. 

One easy way to keep rap lovers happy is to introduce them to an emerging emcee with fast flow and a sharp, cutting vocabulary. Futuristic, born in Illinois and based in Arizona, is just that.

The seventh-annual NW10 Festival returns this week with a handful of 10-minute plays premiering at Oregon Contemporary Theatre.

The year is 1928, the last gasp of the good times before the crash of the Great Depression. Fringe is flying, bathtub gin is flowing and Queenie and her man Burrs are in a bad romance.

PRICE ON POLLUTION

In response to the article on 3-5 “A Case for the Climate: PIELC panels ask whether corporations pay for climate change,” I agree with the PIELC panelists who said no they don’t and yes they should! It’s time for corporations to pay for or otherwise reduce their carbon pollution! Currently, the prices of gasoline, electricity and fuels in general include none of the long-term costs associated with climate change or even the near-term health costs. But they could include these costs. 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum captured our country’s imagination when it debuted on Broadway in 1962. A young Stephen Sondheim wowed audiences with an interesting score, providing a teaser to his masterful later works. The book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart is based on Plautus’ Roman comedies, resulting in a goofy, sometimes brainy farce that manages to reflect a deep respect for the humor of antiquity.

I’m a straight guy in my 30s dating a woman in her mid-20s. We’ve been together for a year, and I’m crazy about her. In love, even. She’s gorgeous, sweet, kind, loving, and very sexual. She’s perfect. In her late teens and early 20s, she had a wild sex life. She attended sex parties, had loads of NSA hookups, sexted with random guys she met online, etc. She revealed this to me slowly and carefully out of fear that I’d look down on her, but what she didn’t know is that I have an intense cuckold interest.

Still Alice wastes absolutely no time. Based on the novel by Lisa Genova, the movie gives you its purpose in the title; it’s an empathetic, compassionate movie about a woman desperate to remain herself, to be the person she’s created, in the face of early onset Alzheimer’s. 

Lately, press releases from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission are a deluge of marijuana updates. In February, however, the commission announced that 2014 was a record-breaking year for spirits sales, raking in $531.6 million. Of that total, $68 million came from products distilled in Oregon. 

Why lock people up?

Informed by the frequent press releases from the sheriff’s office, local media began to describe Lane County Jail as a “revolving door” and underfunded to the point that it regularly released even Measure 11 offenders — those who commit serious violent or sex-related crimes — for lack of holding capacity. 

By a margin of 14 percent, Lane County voters approved a five-year levy to double the number of beds at the jail.

Organizers with the Oregon Community Rights Network (OCRN) have launched a campaign to put a constitutional amendment on the Oregon ballot in November 2016 that will affirm the right to local self-government and potentially reframe how environmental debates play out. 

The amendment would protect the right of local governments to pass ordinances — even if they conflict with the interests of corporations — and ensure that these ordinances are legally binding. 

Motorcyclists may see some new laws on the books after this legislative session, including ones that would let them filter through traffic jams and pass through some red lights. BikePAC of Oregon — the main motorcycle lobby group in the state — has been working hard to persuade legislators to take up a few motorcyclist issues. 

Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood is an eclectic blend of houses, businesses and industrial complexes, “a mixed-use neighborhood,” as Ninkasi CEO Nikos Ridge puts it. This mix can bring unwelcome noise to Whiteaker residents: Shouts and music from the booming nightlife scene on Blair Boulevard make their way in to households or, in Ninkasi’s case, industrial noise from its new brewing facility.

When a society uses mass incarceration as a means of control, we know it has social impacts, but a panel on “The Ecology of a Police State” at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) March 6 explored how prisons also impact the environment.