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• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwys. I-5, 99, 101, 105, 126, Territorial, Beltline and Hwy. 36 from Hwy. 99 to 1 mile east of Blachly were sprayed recently; ODOT may spray the rest of Hwy. 36 soon.

In the wake of police shootings across the country, several bills regarding police body cameras were proposed in this year’s Oregon legislative session. Only one major bill is left, focusing on the issue of the body cams and public records. 

Rep. Lew Frederick (D-Portland) started with a bill mandating that every law enforcement agency in the state equip its officers with body cameras. It quickly became clear that would be financially impossible for many counties and rural areas in Oregon. 

In 1998, Brenda Tracy reported to the police that she was sexually assaulted — gang-raped — by four men, two of them Oregon State football players. More than 16 years after the ordeal, Tracy is speaking out and working to change Oregon laws dealing with campus sexual assault. 

The University of Oregon Intercollegiate Athletics Committee is sponsoring a talk by Tracy on Thursday, May 14.

• As of May 12, only about 15 percent of voters have turned in ballots for the May 19 Special Election, which is surprising. We figured the Lane County vehicle registration fee and recent controversies on the 4J School Board would crank up interest in this election. But it’s not too late to get those ballots dropped off at one of those handy white ballot boxes around town. Procrastination appears to be an exclusively human frailty.

We’re hearing some grumbles about the Glenwood Refinement Project and some residents and businesses that might be affected or even displaced. One drawing of the new Franklin Boulevard Project through Glenwood shows four roundabouts within 1 mile, requiring widening in several places that would take out entire buildings and business frontage. The new Planned Parenthood building could lose part of its setback from the street.

Wolf Night: A benefit for Cascadia Wildlands’ work to restore wolves in the Cascades, will begin at 9 pm Friday, May 15, at Luckey’s Club, 933 Olive St. Suggested donation of $5 to $500.

When someone asked me to help her design a grazing garden, my first thought was, “Wow, I’ve never done that.” But I quickly realized that I have my own grazing garden at home. I didn’t design it for that purpose, but it’s rare for me to go into the garden without nibbling on something. My friend’s request put me on the spot, though: How would I define and plan a grazing garden?

“I learned to read at age 4,” says Isabelle Rogers, who entered first grade at Oak Hill School a year later. She skipped kindergarten and eighth grade on her way to high school graduation from Oak Hill this year at age 16. Rogers started writing stories when she was 7. She won a Glitterary Award from the Young Writer’s Association the next year for her story “If It Rained Down Soda.” “I liked to write,” she says. “My parents encouraged me. I still bounce ideas off my parents.” 

During the last six regular sessions of the Oregon Legislature, I have had the honor and privilege of serving with Marla Rae and Jon Chandler — two of the most profanely funny bipartisan lobbyists in the business — as a judge in the Golden Gobbler Awards honoring the worst bills introduced each session. This party has been around forever, hosted by Pamela Jones, Mark Nelson and his lobby firm, Public Affairs Counsel, at their beautiful home on the Willamette. Mark invites legislators, staff and lobbyists, and the price of admission is a sense of humor and a bill that should not be. Four frozen rock Cornish game hens and a frozen turkey were the prizes. And yes, the lobbyists have to report themselves to the Oregon Ethics Commission.

Fresh-faced musician and visual artist Elspeth Summers plays psychedelic folk, modern Americana and country music. Her voice is feisty and youthful while also conveying a road-hard-and-put-away-wet wisdom and weariness. 

Shortly after a Eugene School Board member declared at a recent meeting, "We deeply regret [the] appearance of a lack of transparency" [in the past], the board went into a nonpublic session to discuss whether to dismiss a moot lawsuit against the local paper. Would someone send a dictionary over to the board?

To the casual observer it might appear that, in 2015, every metal band in the known world is a doom metal band. To be fair, fans of the genre might share a similar impression. Doom is undergoing something of a revival, finally becoming as huge now as the Black Sabbaths and Saint Vituses (Vitae?) that spawned it. 

A LITTLE NOW, OR MORE LATER

Please join me in voting “yes” on Lane County’s vehicle registration fee. It is needed, fair and Lane County’s only practical option.

“I am a physical storyteller,” performer Bill Bowers says. “I am interested in the study of ‘How would you say something if you couldn’t use words?’” Bowers visits Lane Community College this week for a residency that includes a free workshop for the public May 27 and a performance of Bowers’ critically acclaimed Beyond Words May 30.

My wife is one of those women who need manual stimulation of her clit during sex to climax. Before meeting her, I had several long-term girlfriends, and not one needed to do this in order to climax. Before we got married, I explained that I wanted to explore and push the boundaries, and she promised me that would happen. But she has no fantasies, kinks, or fetishes, and she’s not into any of the things I’ve proposed.

My pal/sidekick Mole always tells me the truth. One day last week, he leaned into me and, in a soothing voice, said, “Sleut’” — he calls me Sleuth, it’s an honor and I dig it — “youse gots a tulip jones.”

Film has a long and fairly distinguished history of satirizing the insidious allure of televised celebrity — Being There, King of Comedy and To Die For come immediately to mind — and yet few films to date have captured the way our newly acquired addiction to selfies and social media is elevating narcissism to a collective pathology.

May is the month of peak flowering in the southern Willamette Valley. Riparian galleries, oak woodlands and grassy hillsides are awash in a glorious array of nature’s prize beauties. This season is celebrated every year at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum with a spectacular wildflower show. The Wildflower Festival is May 17, as always the first Sunday after Mother’s Day. Music, food and crafts are all available. As part of the festival activities, I will lead a nature walk and give a talk about fringecup, Tellima grandiflora, the Flower of the Year.

In ancient times, a traditional Roman town often had two major streets: the cardo and the decumanus. Where those two streets intersected, Romans built a forum or public space that marked the intersection as significant. In Eugene, says UO professor of architecture James Tice, Willamette Street is the cardo, and Broadway is the decumanus.

Ballots arrived in Lane County mailboxes this week for the May 19 special elections. If you didn’t get your ballot, call Lane County Elections at 682-4234 or visit lanecounty.org/elections. Completed ballots need to be at the elections office or in white ballot boxes around town and campus by 8 pm Tuesday, May 19.

Below are our endorsements in selected races and money measures. Find additional information in your Voters’ Pamphlet.

 

Lane ESD Director Position 7 (at large) 

— Linda Hamilton

ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call 1-888-996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwys. I-5, 58, 99, 101, 105, 126, Territorial and Beltline were sprayed recently. ODOT also plans to spray the entire length of Hwy. 36 soon. 

State legislators in Salem are moving forward with bills to protect animals living in Oregon. Many of the new laws would give law enforcement officers additional means to make sure existing laws against animal cruelty are obeyed. 

As the weather heats up, the issue of dogs being left in hot cars heats up too. The “dogs in cars bill,” as its sponsor Sen. Tim Knopp (R-Bend) calls it, is moving forward in the Legislature. SB 614 would allow law enforcement officers to break into a vehicle to save an animal.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a civil penalty in the amount of $7,634 to the Coos County Solid Waste Department on April 30 for repeated discharges of turbid water to Storey Creek and Joe Ney Slough from the construction and demolition landfill it operates near Charleston. DEQ issued an enforcement action of some kind back in January to Arclin U.S.A. concerning its Springfield facility that Oregon Clean Water Action Project requested a copy of from DEQ on April 17.