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June 19, 2012 01:29 PM

The Corvallis City Council took a stand against ocean pollution this week, becoming the second city in Oregon to approve a comprehensive ban on plastic bags. A second reading and final vote are still required to secure the ordinance, but all city councilors are on record in support of the bill, which they voted 8-1 to enact at Monday’s meeting.

 

“City Councilors should be applauded for their leadership,” says Sarah Higginbotham, Environment Oregon’s state director in a press release. “Last night took us one step closer to a big victory for our oceans and for the Corvallis community, who came together to reduce the wasteful disposable plastic that pollutes our environment.”

 

Environment Oregon, along with the Mary’s Peak Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Surfrider Foundation testified in support of the ordinance. The coalition of organizations worked to bring together businesses, citizens, and organizations around the issue.

 

More than 2,400 citizens signed petitions in favor of the ban, along with 60 supportive businesses including the Northwest Grocery Association.

 

The city also made history by becoming the first in Oregon to include a required pass-through cost on paper bags of five cents, a policy that has been shown to encourage consumers to switch to reusable bags.

 

The lone dissention represented one councilor’s desire to strengthen the stated intent of the ordinance on the record, though he is in full support of the ban. Because the vote was not unanimous, the councilor will have the opportunity to make additional statements for the record when it comes up for a second reading at the council’s July 2 meeting.

June 13, 2012 12:19 PM

From the San Francisco Bay Guardian editorial page:

Could lowering the speed limit help us reach our biking goal by 2020?

It's going to be hard to reach San Francisco's official bike transportation goal, which calls for 20 percent of all vehicle trips to be taken by bicycle by 2020. Everyone in town knows that; everyone at City Hall and in the biking community agrees that some profound and radical steps would need to be taken to increase bike trips by more than 500 percent in just eight years.

It starts with safety — you're not getting anywhere near that number of people on light, two-wheeled vehicles unless, as international bicycling advocate Gil Peñalosa recently told San Franciscans, people between the ages of eight and 80 feel safe riding on the city streets.

At the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's 20th Annual Golden Wheel Awards, Peñalosa — executive director of 8-80 Cities, a nonprofit that promotes creation of cycling infrastructure that is safe and inviting — laid out a prescription for designing cities around pedestrians and bicyclists (he sees riding a bike as " just a more efficient way of walking.") Peñalosa laid out an agenda for achieving that goal — one that includes a step San Francisco can start taking immediately: Cut vehicle speeds on all city streets to no more than 20 miles an hour.

Even if that were only done in residential areas, it would have a huge impact, and not just on bicyclists. Peñalosa cited statistics showing that only about 5 percent of pedestrians hit by cars driving 20 mph will die — but the fatality rate shoots up to 80 percent when the vehicles are traveling 40 mph.

If there are some streets where it's impractical to have such a low speed limit, it's imperative to have bike lanes that are separated from cars by physical barriers.

San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency director, Ed Reiskin, told us after Penalosa's speech that the notion of reducing speed limits made sense: "The logic is unquestioned that slowing speeds reduces the risk of fatality."

But the city, it turns out, doesn't have the power to unilaterally lower speed limits: State law requires speed limits to be set based on formulas determined by median vehicle speeds. That seems awfully old-fashioned and out of touch with modern urban transportation policy, which increasingly emphasizes bikes, pedestrians, and transit, and city officials ought to be asking the state Legislature to review those rules and give more latitude to cities that want to control traffic speed.

In the meantime, Reskin argues that a lot can be done by redesigning streets, using bulb-outs and barriers to discourage speeding. That's fine, and part of the city's future bike-lane policy should start with traffic-calming measures (Berkeley, to the chagrin of many nonlocal drivers, has done a great job making residential streets into bike-friendly places where cars can't travel very fast).

Peñalosa had some other great ideas; he noted that cities such as Guadalajara, Mexico require developers to give free bikes away with each home, a program that has put 102,000 more bikes on the streets. That's a cheap and easy concept — except that so much of the new housing in the city is so expensive, and comes with so much parking, that it's hard to believe the millionaires who are moving into these units will be motivated by a free bicycle.

But the notion of working with Sacramento to slow down car traffic makes tremendous sense — and that ought to be one of the transportation priorities of Mayor Ed Lee's administration.

June 11, 2012 11:58 AM

No coal demonstration is being planned in Portland Aug. 18. Contact richard@goodgrowthnw.org for updates and to get on the mailing list.

June 6, 2012 11:52 AM

June 6, 2012 10:31 AM

Dr. Richard Jackson will be speaking at the Eugene Public Library June 19. A reception will be at 5 pm and his lecture will be at 5:45.

June 6, 2012 08:33 AM

The Emerald City Roller Girls are hosting their final bout of the 2012 season at 6 pm Saturday, June 9, at the Lane Events Center. This year’s season championship is a rematch from last year pitting the three-time defending champion Andromedolls (3-1) against the Church of Sk8in (2-2). This bout to determine the winner of the Big Emerald trophy is preceded by a match between the Snake Pit Derby Dames of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Emerald City’s third-place finisher Flat Track Furies. Proceeds from the bout will go to help maintain the Cascade Raptor Center.

 

The June 9 event will be the third time the Andromedolls and Church of Sk8in have met this year in an always exciting rivalry. In the first bout in March, the Andromedolls won in the final seconds 103-99 before a sell-out crowd at the Lane Events Center. The ‘Dolls were also victorious 85-66 in a bout closed to the public earlier this month.

 

In the opening bout, the Snake Pit Derby Dames, who have never played an Emerald City team, are skating against the home-town Flat Track Furies. The Furies ended the ‘Dolls’ three-year winning streak earlier this season. Snake Pit is blossoming in its third year of skating.

 

The first 200 fans through the door Saturday night get free Emerald City Roller Girls seat cushions. Doors open at 5 pm. Action starts at 6. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, and free for children 5 and under. VIP seating is available for $17.

 

Tickets are at Emerald City Skates, The Redoux Parlour and Ninkasi Tasting Room or on-line at Brown Paper Tickets. Ninkasi beer will be on tap. Fans can stick around after the bout to meet their favorite derby girl.

 

For more info visit emeraldcityrollergirls.com

(Thanks to James Brains for providing this information.)

May 31, 2012 04:13 PM

April 3, 2012 02:17 PM

Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy's re-election campaign got the attention of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters this week as one of Oregon's "critical" races.

http://wkly.ws/18j

April 2, 2012 03:53 PM

Oregon Wild is putting on “an evening celebrating everything you love about Waldo Lake” from 6 to 8 pm Wednesday, April 4, at Agate Alley Laboratory restaurant, 2645 Willamette St. in Eugene.

The event is leading up to a public meeting by the Oregon State Marine Board at 6 pm Tuesday, April 10, at the Willamalane Center, 250 S. 32nd St. in Springfield. Written comments can be emailed to osmb.rulemaking@state.or.us or by snail mail to June LeTarte, Rules Coordinator, 435 Commercial St. NE, Suite 400, Salem 97309.

Comments on the Waldo float plane ban can be emailed to the Oregon Aviation Board at aviation.mail@state.or.us or mailed to the Department of Aviation at 3040 25th St. SE Salem ?97302-1125. See http://wkly.ws/185 for individual Aviation Board members’ email addresses and phone numbers.

See www.oregonwild.org for more information.

March 29, 2012 11:34 AM

March 28, 2012 12:04 PM

City Club of Eugene’s program this week will be “Unfinished Business: The EmX in West Eugene,” and will begin at 11:50 am Friday, March 30, at the Hilton, 12th floor.

A final decision is nearing this summer on whether or not the EmX bus rapid transit line should be extended through west Eugene. A moderated discussion will include those in support and those opposed.

Members may attend the meeting at no charge; guests and non-members pay $5. Lunch is $16 for non-members.

Selected past City Club meetings can be found on Community Access Television (Channel 23 on cable), Channel 29, or on YouTube by visiting http://tinyurl.com/32gqp9d or by going to www.youtube.com and searching for City Club of Eugene.

March 26, 2012 11:31 AM

Occupy Eugene and other local groups are planning a protest gathering from 4 to 6 pm today, March 26, in front of the old Federal Building at 7th and Pearl, in honor of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black youth who was killed in Florida recently by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Martin was wearing a hoodie at the time.

"Wear your hoodie, bring a sign, come stand together in solidarity for true justice," says one organizer.

March 15, 2012 12:03 PM

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters released its preliminary endorsements March 11 on selected state and county races in the May primary. More endorsements from the OLCV are expected. OLCV bases its endorsements on questionnaires sent to candidates and also on candidates' voting records on contested environmental issues.

In state legislative races, OLCV has endorsed Reps. Paul Holvey, Phil Barnhart, John Lively, Nancy Nathanson and Val Hoyle.

In Lane County Commission races, OLCV has endorsed Pete Sorenson and Rob Handy.

In city of Eugene races, OLCV has endorsed Mayor Kitty Piercy and Councilors Betty Taylor and Andrea Oriz.

Find updated endorsements at http://www.olcv.org/node/6121

According to the website:

"OLCV's endorsement is critical information voters can use to decide which candidates to trust. The vast majority of voters simply don’t have time do in-depth research on the candidates — OLCV does that important work for you."

"OLCV has a solid track record of winning close races, whether we’re working to elect candidates to vacant seats or to replace an anti-environment incumbent with pro-environment candidates."