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A study published this month involving Eugene grade school students supports what every chocolate lover already knows: Don’t take away the chocolate milk. 

In 2011, 11 4J elementary schools participated in a study that evaluated the effects of removing chocolate milk as a beverage choice from school lunches. After two months of chocolate milk-bereft lunches, total daily milk sales went down about 10 percent, and children threw away 29.4 percent more milk, meaning that more kids picked up the regular milk but decided not to drink it. 

Pete Sorenson

 et al.

We were talking several times over the past few months about the U.S. government's spying on the German leaders and on how most Americans associate their country with freedom. Commissioner Sorenson visited our sister county, St. Wendel in the Saarland (a German state in southwest Germany) in 2006. Because of this relationship Sorenson has some familiarity with Germans and their public policy. The German side of this relationship has also responded: our German local government counterpart visited Lane County in 2009. President Obama, who held a rally in Berlin in 2008 while campaigning for the presidency, was, in 2008 and 2009 very popular in Germany, both among leaders and the German people.

We decided that we have unique perspectives on this national relationship. So, we collaborated on this short article about spying on the American people and spying by the U.S. government on Germany's leaders.

When David Evans checked his mail on March 22, what he found made him want to shout from the rooftops. “We have it! We have it finally!” Evans recalls thinking, adding, “When it finally arrived in the mail I had this really unusual sensation of having this wonderful secret that only I knew.” 

Well, the secret is out. The Oregon Health Authority approved his application for Emerald City Medicinal (ECM), making Evans the first proud owner to legally operate a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Eugene. 

“I couldn’t believe how stupid I was,” writes comedian Moshe Kasher in his new memoir Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16 (allusions to the Salinger teen-angst classic fully intended). Kasher brings his act to WOW Hall April 17.

Bethany Sherman, a 32-year-old software analyst in Eugene, never pictured herself on the forefront of developing safe marijuana practices. But when her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year, she delved into researching treatment options. “My research turned up that cannabis can be an effective treatment for MS,” Sherman says. The primary components of marijuana with medicinal properties, THC, CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol), have pain-relief, anti-spasmodic/anti-convulsant and neuro-protectant properties. “That’s very powerful to an MS patient,” Sherman says. 

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week.

1935 Oregon passes the Uniform State Narcotic Act, criminalizing cannabis

1936 Reefer Madness, cult classic anti-pot propaganda film, premieres

1937 U.S. Congress passes “Marihuana” Tax Act, “effectively criminalizing marijuana” nationwide

1952 The Boggs Act requires mandatory prison sentencing for cannabis possession offenses 

1968 The Grateful Dead play first Eugene show at Erb Memorial Union

Three could be Oregon cannabis lovers’ lucky number: That is the potential number of ballot measures heading for the November 2014 election, which could make Oregon the third state in the nation to legalize marijuana.

Anthony Johnson, who worked on the campaign that legalized marijuana in Washington, is campaign manager for New Approach Oregon’s Control, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act of 2014, aka Initiative Petition 53. IP 53 would allow adults to possess up to 8 ounces and four plants, and it sets tax at $35 an ounce. It would task the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) with regulating marijuana commerce.

Alex Notman

 et al.

With the potential high for another ballot measure this November to legalize recreational cannabis use, EW thought it time to take to the streets to ask the people what they think. What did we learn? In our tiny, unscientific random sampling downtown of Eugeneans actually willing to talk about pot on record, the overwhelming response was in favor of legalization. However, that was pretty much the only thing people agreed on. The devil is in the details and those details still need some major hashing out, but there’s no better time to start hashing than the present.

Achoo! Uh oh, your hamburger was totally just attacked by a snot-rocket! Thankfully, 48 companies in the Eugene area see the benefits of not having sick staff serve food. Paid sick leave, which gives workers the ability to stay home sick without losing financial stability, could be granted to workers within the city limits of Eugene as soon as January 2015. 

As Eugene city leaders floundered last week in relocating the former residents of the Whoville homeless camp, an anonymous benefactor took up the issue, offering a $400,000 donation to establish a sanctuary on private property.

The pledge came as a direct response to, among general grievances, the unyielding position of City Manager Jon Ruiz and others willing to leave the destitute in limbo. “I wanted to step up,” the donor tells EW, “because I saw the city making an attempt to push these people out. They’re citizens, not strangers.”

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Fast-forward to 2014, when President Barack Obama signed a Farm Bill into law that relaxed some of the restrictions on growing the crop most likely to have been found on a Deadhead. Michelle Obama won’t be growing hemp in her White House Garden any time soon, but the bill allows research institutions and state departments of agriculture to grow hemp in states where pro-hemp legislation has already been enacted. Oregon is one of those states. 

Sombath Somphone is “one of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s most respected civil society figures,” according  to a December 2013 press statement from Secretary of State John Kerry on the one year anniversary of Sombath’s disappearance. Sombath was kidnapped from a police checkpoint in Laos and has not been heard from since. Sombath’s wife, Ng Shui-Meng, will be speaking about her husband’s disappearance and the challenges to free speech and human rights in Laos and in the rest of Southeast Asia while in Eugene on Monday, April 21.

• M Three Timber Company, LLC, 767-3785, plans to spray Accord XRT and Element 3A on their timberlands countywide in Lane County. See ODF notice 2014-781-00342, call Stewardship Forester Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions. 

• Giustina Resources, 485-1500, plans to hire Strata Forestry, Inc., 726-0845, to spray glyphosate, hexazinone and/or sulfometuron methyl on 71 acres near Dexter Lake tributaries. See ODF notice 2014-771-00336, call Stewardship Forester Marvin Vetter at 726-3588 with questions. 


Oregon Department of Environmental Quality sent San Mateo-based J.H. Baxter & Co. a warning letter on March 31 for various hazardous waste law violations discovered by DEQ during an unannounced inspection on March 25 at Baxter’s wood treatment facility in Eugene’s Trainsong neighborhood. Violations included failure to label hazardous waste, failure to conduct required hazardous waste inspections, failure to provide up-to-date contingency plans to first responders and failure to clean up spills.

The Whiteaker Community Council (WCC) got a surprise at its annual elections meeting Wednesday, April 9, when upward of 80 residents of Eugene’s hippest district packed into the small room at the Whiteaker School to air concerns about a proposed noise ordinance.

The Easter Bunny is bouncy, fuzzy and lays eggs. Bunnicula, the vampire, vegetable-sucking rabbit, is reserved, misunderstood and has razor sharp fangs. While both of these sets of characteristics are (almost) all true, real rabbits are made up of a complex combination of the two, something that the holiday Easter Bunny character glosses over.

Everyone’s heard of drinking games; they’re old news, man. In this hiptastic new time, with dispensary lines around the corner and even squares lighting up, weed steps closer and closer to social acceptability with each passing year. 

If you don’t know who Doug Benson is by now, you very well may not be smoking enough weed. The standup comedian (Gateway Doug), actor (The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled) and podcast veteran (Doug Loves Movies, Getting Doug with High) has made Eugene a regular stop four years running for his 4/21 show at WOW Hall. EW caught up with the green funnyman to talk shop, pot, podcasts and more.

• Oregon’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage passed in 2004 and since then we’ve seen a steady shift in public attitudes on gay rights. On April 23, a federal judge will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Oregon and Basic Rights Oregon. If the plaintiffs prevail, Oregon’s obsolete ban will be struck down. The legal arguments for upholding the ban have withered under scrutiny in other states and we hope the Oregon court will agree.

• Florence police chief candidates will be available for an informal public “meet and greet” from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Thursday, April 17, at the Florence Events Center on Quince Street.

There are signs everywhere that the modern dream of hyper-individualism, unlimited growth and consumption, is coming to an end. Its pathologies are overwhelming our future. To maintain this dream, we are told by our nation’s military leaders to expect perpetual war for at least three generations. To maintain this dream, our governments are increasingly controlled by corporations which are given constitutional rights at the same time that the rights of natural people are restricted and denied.

Parents want to trust the schools where they send their children. Teachers, like myself, want to trust the learning criteria set before us by the state. And I believe most of us want to trust our government to make the best decisions possible for the children of our nation. The problem in trusting the newly implemented Common Core Standards and Assessments is that there are too many unanswered questions for it to feel safe on any of these levels. By themselves, standards are great and teachers strive to reach them. Unfortunately, many problems are introduced when working with the standards and assessments contained in the Common Core. Here are three questions that come to mind about Common Core in our schools.

If you made it to Austin-based no-fi folk act Shakey Graves’ last Eugene show, congratulations — the line stretched around the block, and Sam Bond’s quickly reached capacity.