We hear the Old McKenzie Highway has been plowed all the way, one lane, to allow bikes and pedestrians. Check http://wkly.ws/1gj for updates and news on when the road will be open for motor vehicles.
The voter registration deadline for the May 21 Special Election is Tuesday, April 30. People who are not registered to vote in any Oregon county may register online at www.oregonvotes no later than 11:59 pm Tuesday, April 30. The online option is available only to those with a valid Oregon driver’s license, DMV-issued identification card, or learner’s permit.
Other registration options are to submit a voter registration form to the Elections Office by 4 pm Tuesday, or mail a voter registration card to the Elections Office with a postmark no later than Tuesday, April 30.
New voters who will turn 18 on or before the May 21 Election Day may register by the April 30 deadline and receive a ballot, even if they are still 17 on the deadline date.
For any questions on voter registration and elections in Oregon, go to: www.lanecounty.org/elections/or call Lane County Elections at 682-4234.
A press release from Oregon House Democrats today, April 25:
Today the Oregon House of Representatives passed legislation that would give local governments more power to prevent vacant foreclosed homes from becoming neighborhood eyesores.
More than half of all foreclosed homes in Oregon are vacant, but current law does not assign responsibility for the upkeep of these abandoned properties. This situation has created problems for neighborhoods throughout the state as eyesore properties introduce criminal activity and harm property values.
House Bill 2662A prohibits property owners from neglecting foreclosed properties, requires property owners to post notice of who to contact in case of problems, and allows local governments to fine property owners if a nuisance arises that the owner does not address.
Rep. Lew Frederick (D–Portland) has been working for years on legislation to help neighborhoods deal with blighted properties and empty, foreclosed homes.
“I’m proud of my colleagues for supporting legislation that will help neighborhoods address this very real problem,” Frederick said. “Squatters have turned some properties into drug labs, or camped in the structures allowing garbage to accumulate. This bill gives neighbors and municipalities a very basic tool for controlling the local effects.”
In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis, the usual remedies to deal with problem properties are no longer working, he said. HB 2662A takes a step in the right direction by prohibiting owners from neglecting empty properties.
“Eyesore properties impact communities of any size, and any density,” House Majority Leader Val Hoyle (D–Eugene) said. “I’m pleased that the House voted to give neighbors a simple tool to deal with one aspect of the fallout from the problems created by the great recession.”
One lane is open from the east side for bikes and hikers up to the lava beds and summit. Check for updates and get on ODOT's alet list at
Activists gathered at the Eugene downtown post office on Tax Day April 15 “to challenge militarism and to call for the re-ordering of federal spending from supporting war to meeting human and environmental needs,” says Penny Poll organizer Michael Carrigan of Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC).
People were provided the opportunity to voice how they would spend their tax dollars when they took part in the annual Penny Poll. Participants were handed 10 pennies that they deposited in jars representing a five-category breakdown of the federal budget. A counting of pennies indicate 54 percent support for human resources, 24 percent for physical resources, 12 percent for general government, 3 percent for military and 7 percent for paying down the federal debt.
“The results are similar to past years,” Carrigan says. “If Eugene residents ran the federal government, things would be significantly different — their tax dollars would be funding social and environmental programs and not endless war.”
Just heard folk icon Richie Havens died this morning, April 22, of a heart attack. He was 72. He retired from the concert circuit three years ago after a long career that began as the opening performance at Woodstock. A public memorial will be planned for sometime later. RIP.
The watchdog group Think Progress is reporting that the highly profitable Regal Entertainment Group, which includes Regal Cinemas, is cutting non-salaried shift workers to 30 hours a week to avoid mandatory health insurance under Obamacare next year. See http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/04/17/1878481/regal-theater-obamaca...
Oregon statesman Lynn Lundquist died today.