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“Overall in the environmental community, women in the field are increasing, but it’s traditionally dominated by men,” Chandra LeGue says. “There have been lots of great women ecowarriors, and there have always been a few standout women in the field.”

LeGue has been with conservation group Oregon Wild for 10 years, focusing mostly on conservation of public forestlands, “and I do that through participating in the public process,” she says. According to LeGue, this involves working with federal agencies to promote a vision of how federal forests should be managed. Luckily that also involves leading public hikes out into public lands, which means she can leave Oregon Wild’s small Lincoln Street office and get out into the forests she loves. 

Raquel Hecht laughs at the fact that she has not one but two full-time jobs. She’s an immigration attorney, has been practicing law for almost 21 years in Eugene and is a founding partner of Hecht & Norman LLP, a law firm with offices in Eugene, Salem, Medford and Bend. 

But more recently, Hecht has been focusing on the growth of Grupo Latino de Acción Directa (GLAD), a community gathering of Latino members and allies that is dedicated to mentorship and engagement. The group organizes educational forums and opportunities to learn about topics relevant to immigration, education, labor and the law. 

Patricia Cortez started volunteering in 1997 at Amigos, an organization that assists Latino families arriving in the U.S. after experiencing political violence and torture. Since then, not only has Cortez held every position within the organization, she created Juventud Faceta, a leadership program for Latino youth.

Not many people can say their business’ name was used for a nationwide campaign headed by the first lady, but Denise Thomas-Morrow, owner of Let’s Move Fitness and CEO of nonprofit Healthy Moves, knows that feeling all too well. When she first heard that Michelle Obama named her child fitness program “Let’s Move,” she could hardly believe it. 

“Who would have known back in 1988 [when Thomas-Morrow started her business] that the First Lady wanted to use my business name for her national campaign?” Thomas-Morrow says. “You don’t really want to go against the president and his wife, so instead I thought we could try to get involved with their cause.”

Other schools may get more recognition for science, but the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific organization, is UO chemistry professor Geri Richmond. She’s also on the National Science Board, which governs the largest science funding organization in the U.S., the National Science Foundation. 

Showing the importance of scientific exploration and then landing funding for that exploration are big challenges, Richmond says. If 10 to 20 percent of funded experiments prove worthwhile, she says, that’s a huge success, but there’s no way to tell which studies will yield valuable results. “I don’t believe that the federal government should be funding everything out there that somebody has a curiosity about,” she adds, “but I believe that we have the structure in place to be able to evaluate what the best curiosities are to explore.”

One day, a patient with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and depression walked into a doctor’s clinic in Milwaukee, Wis. Due to the limited time they had for the appointment, the doctor told the patient they could only treat one of the afflictions during that visit. The patient chose to tackle the weight issue, completely ignoring all of the other problems. For Dr. Leigh Saint-Louis, that was the moment she knew she could never practice medicine this way again. 

For five years, the doctor who usually goes simply as “Dr. Leigh” has provided a private practice to about 400 patients, and she’s done it her way. She charges $79 per visit, no matter the length, the reason or the insurance that you have. With no receptionist or nurses, Saint-Louis fosters an intimate relationship with her patients. She gives out her number and her email regularly to better communicate with people she treats. 

Kelsey Juliana and Olivia Chernaik are suing Gov. John Kitzhaber and the state of Oregon under the Public Trust Doctrine, and their climate change case came before the Oregon Court of Appeals in January.

On a dark wintry day in 1942, Hope Pressman crossed Prince Lucien Campbell Memorial Courtyard in the rain toward a lone light shining from the otherwise shadowy UO art museum. The museum, which later became the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, was only open to serious researchers for one hour a week due to a lack of funds. But as a senior studying Chinese history, Pressman needed a book. She made her way to that lone light hanging above the desk of Gertrude Bass Warner, whose library of Asian history and art was housed in the museum. Pressman found the book, quickly scribbled some notes and left. 

Lots of people have opinions on city budget shortfalls, school funding crises, parent education challenges and the problems facing at-risk youth. Laura Illig has been hard at work tackling all these problems.

As chair of the city of Eugene Budget Committee, chair of the Yes for 4J Schools campaign for the successful 2013 bond measure, the fundraising chair of the Democratic Party of Lane County and a board member of Parenting Now and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Lane County, Illig is, to say the least, deeply involved in local civic and political life. And that’s on top of running her business-consulting firm, Corinthian Consulting.

Now is a fascinating time to be a woman. Despite the hurdles — like the persistent $0.23 hourly gender wage gap and a record number of legislative attacks on reproductive rights in 2013 — women are more visible than ever, in no small part because of the information age. Change begins at home: We at EW believe that recognizing the women in our community is a vital part of battling gender discrimination. Here are just some of the local women who have left their mark.

Oregon has its fair share of invasive species, such as nutria brought into the state for fur in the 1880s, and red-eared sliders, turtles that compete with our native western pond and painted turtles. Moving species from one place to another can wreak havoc on native ecosystems, but as climate change pushes species to extinction, conservationists have posed the idea of assisted migration, moving a species from its native range to a better-suited territory that more closely matches its ideal climate. 

The Eugene Police Auditor’s office received 400 complaints last year — the most the office has received since it opened. Police Auditor Mark Gissiner attributes the rise partially to low capacity at Lane County Jail and the District Attorney’s office no longer pursuing certain cases, including drug charges.

“So some people feel because it’s not pursued, there’s no evidence and therefore they have a point that the officer did not have probable cause,” Gissiner says.

Chelsea Gerlach was sent to prison in 2007 for her participation in ecologically motivated sabotage with the Earth Liberation Front. Gerlach is now out of prison and on probation, and she is returning to Eugene to guest DJ “Chance to Dance,” an ecstatic dance at the WOW Hall March 22 that will raise money for Gerlach’s 3-year-old nephew Malachi, who has cerebral palsy.

Last weekend a cougar was shot in the head and killed in Eugene after being captured and put in a cage. The 2-year-old cougar killed three chickens and two goats named Justin Timberlake and Rufio near Hendricks Park, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. ODFW reports that another young male cougar was trapped and killed March 17 and a trap has been set for a third cougar. These latest cougar captures mark the trend of increased cougar killings in Oregon, says Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense.

• Giustina Land and Timber Co., 345-2301, plans to hire Western Helicopter Services Inc., (503) 538-9469, to aerially spray herbicides including Atrazine, 2,4-D, Clopyralid, Hexazinone, Sulfometuron Methyl and Triclpopyr Amine on 69 acres near tributaries of South Fork Ferguson Creek, Owens Creek and the Long Tom River. See ODF notice 2014-781-00273, call State Forester Robin L. Biesecker at 935-2283 with questions.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a penalty of $7,608 against Michael Brown of Oakland, Ore., on March 4 for sewage-related violations at Saginaw Mobile Home Park north of Cottage Grove. DEQ has expressed “particular concern” due to Brown’s “prior history of discharging partially treated sewage onto the ground” and noted that the treatment system at this site “may be causing harm to public health or the environment.” DEQ sent Brown a “warning letter with opportunity to correct” back in November following a DEQ visit to the site in late October.

Representatives from Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer rights advocacy group, held a March 2 panel at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. The pair of presenters focused on the history of big money in politics and the potential of even more dollars being spent to stop the climate change movement. 

• We hear from the UO Coalition to End Sexual Violence that the UO has “terminated” the campus coordinator position provided by Sexual Assault Support Services, but the UO tells us that’s not exactly the case.

Rhymes with aw-shucks, but since many of you have asked me what a new City Hall on the North Park Block might look like and what would happen to the existing council chamber and mural, I propose something like this. The Council Chamber building, as it turns out, has its own separate structure and is movable. It would need to be moved nearby anyway under the present 8th Avenue scheme, and I think it would have a much more striking, important and symbolic public presence if located on Oak Street (see map) across from the County Courthouse. 

Core Campus is planning to open its 512-bed, 183-unit student luxury housing project in August 2015, but will “The Hub” at 515 E. Broadway be able to compete with the glut of cheaper student housing already being built, particularly at a time when college enrollment is dropping? At other Core projects, monthly rent for studios runs about $1,000 and five-bedroom apartments go for about $3,000. Penthouse units and those with their own hot tubs are more.

Joe Walacki and Borden Beck will speak and show slides on “High Desert Wildlands” at the meeting of the Many Rivers Group of the Sierra Club from 5:30 to 7 pm Thursday, March 20, at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St. The club is currently working to protect the Owyhee Canyonlands and other endangered desert areas.

In Afghanistan

• 2,312 U.S. troops killed (2,310 last month)

• 19,673 U.S. troops wounded in action (19,656)

• 1,481 U.S. contractors killed (1,481)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $703.2 billion cost of war ($699.1 billion)

• $290.8 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($289 million)

 

In Iraq

• 4,423 U.S. troops killed, 31,941 wounded

• 1,605 U.S. contractors killed (1,605)

• 135,459 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (134,734)

Gardeners! Maybe it’s time to take a fresh look at corn. We are not talking about sweet corn here, nor the notorious modern field corn that gives us corn syrup, ethanol and animal feed — and most of which is genetically modified. 

The singing voice that comes out of Eugene musician Corwin Bolt is disarming: There are elements of Bob Dylan there, in the nasally delivery that registers passion in flat insistences and breathy hidey-holes; some Woody Guthrie, like a spike driven into a rail tie, hard-hewn and proud; a little Steve Earle, John Prine, Townes Van Zandt and not a small bit of the late Vic Chesnutt, a beautiful croak quenched by kerosene and gargled through the gravel of hard times.