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July 6, 2012 03:28 PM


 Supporters and organizers of Initiative 9, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA), submitted 165,000 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office this morning, and more signatures are expected to be turned in later today, the deadline for initiatives to qualify for Oregon’s November ballot.

 

“With nearly double the signatures needed, we’re confident we’ll qualify for the ballot and we’re excited to start reaching out to common-sense Oregon voters across the state,” says chief petitioner Paul Stanford in a press release.

 

The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act would regulate cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older, with sales through state-licensed stores only and 90 percent of the tax revenue would go to the state’s general fund. The measure would also approve and help kick-start an agricultural hemp industry in Oregon, say supporters.

 

“Taxing and regulating cannabis and agricultural hemp will create thousands of Oregon jobs, from agricultural jobs in hard-hit rural counties to manufacturing and engineering jobs in big cities and small towns. With countless applications in fiber, medicine, biofuel, food and consumer health products, hemp is a natural fit for Oregon world-leading sustainability economy,” reads the press release.

 

“A regulated hemp and marijuana industry in Oregon is about jobs, it’s about economic development,” says Jeff Anderson of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555, which recently endorsed the Cannabis Tax Act. “We need to stop wasting time and allow Oregon’s entrepreneurs to create living-wage jobs. The time is now.”

July 6, 2012 01:11 PM

The EPD  has started to release its exclusion zone requests to the media as they occur, and we're compiling them on the blog for those interested. This is the second we've received.

 

Around 9:00 p.m. on June 29, a police sergeant was bicycling through the park blocks when he noticed a subject smoking marijuana. The suspect, when contacted by the sergeant provided a name that officers later learned was false. The subject was arrested for violation of City of Eugene park rules (possession of less than an ounce of marijuana) and placed in the county jail.  Jail personnel learned his true identity and found that warrants had been issued for his arrest for Possession of Less than an Ounce of Marijuana, and Delivery of Marijuana within 1000 Feet of a School.  The subject was also in possession of a syringe and exhibited symptoms of recent heroin use.

The subject has an extensive local record that includes arrests and citations for possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, criminal trespass, consumption of alcohol on unlicensed premises, Failure to Appear, unlawful delivery of marijuana to a juvenile, theft, harassment and disorderly conduct. He is a white male, age 26, no address.

July 6, 2012 03:53 PM

And we've got another one. Exclusion case summary requests that EPD released before this are here and here.

 

 

The evening of June 14 a visitor from Washington State was walking through the Park Blocks with his two daughters when he witnessed an unprovoked assault and reported it to police.  The defendant, a 29 year old man who is 6’8” tall and who weighs 270 pounds, was sitting on a park bench while another adult man walked into the area of the park.  The defendant yelled and cursed at the second man who did not respond but continued walking.  The visitor watched as the defendant stood and attacked the second subject.  The defendant knocked the victim to the ground, punching and kicking him as he fell.  The victim fled and could not be located by responding officers.

Officers spoke with witnesses and identified the defendant who officers learned was in the park in violation of a park exclusion.

The defendant has previous arrests for Criminal Trespass, Theft, Menacing and Violation of Park Rules.

The subject has been arrested a number of times in Eugene.  He is a white male, age 29, no residential address.

July 5, 2012 10:24 PM

Lane County Commissioner Faye Stewart was interviewed this morning by conservative radio talk show host Bill Lundun on KPNW. He got a little snarky about fellow commissioner Rob Handy. http://m.soundcloud.com/bill-lundun-kpnw-news/fstewart

July 3, 2012 12:43 PM

The Institute for Public Accuracy, which is in part based in Eugene with David Zupan, sent out quotes from climate change experts today under the heading,  "Media Miss the Forest for the Burning Trees."

 

Neil deMause is a Brooklyn-based journalist who has written extensively about climate change coverage, including the article "The Fires This Time: In coverage of extreme weather, media downplay climate change." See http://wkly.ws/1bg

 

deMause said today: "Despite overwhelming evidence that climate change is causing dramatic changes in weather patterns — from increasingly deadly heat waves and wildfires to hurricanes and tornadoes — media coverage has bent over backwards to avoid making the connection between extreme weather events and the warming climate. Instead, reporters have largely hidden behind the truism that there's no way to say that any given event was caused by climate change. Yes, in the same way that it's hard to show that any given person wouldn't have gotten cancer without smoking cigarettes -- but that doesn't mean that journalists should avoid reporting that smoking kills."

 

Joe Romm is a senior fellow at American Progress, edits Climate Progress and holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT. He recently wrote the piece "Hell And High Water Strikes, Media Miss the Forest for the Burning Trees." See http://wkly.ws/1bf

 

Romm said today: "It is a basic conclusion of climate science that as the average temperature gets warmer, heat waves — which are extremes on top of the average — will get more intense. For the same reason, heat waves will last longer and cover a larger region. Recent research further links Arctic warming, and especially the loss of Arctic ice, to more extreme, prolonged weather events 'such as drought, flooding, cold spells and heat waves.'

 

   "Since droughts are made more intense by higher temperatures, which dry out the soil, and by earlier snowmelt, more intense droughts have long been predicted to occur as the planet warms. Since wildfires are worsened by drought and heat waves and earlier snowmelt, longer wildfire seasons and more intense firestorms has been another basic prediction.

 

   "We also know that as we warm the oceans, we end up with more water vapor in the atmosphere — 4 percent more than was in the atmosphere just a few decades ago. That is why another basic prediction of climate science has been more intense deluges and floods.

 

   "Scientists have already begun to document stronger heatwaves, worsening drought, longer widlfire seasons, and more intense downpours. Global warming has 'juiced' the climate, as if it were on steroids. The question is not whether you can blame a specific weather event on global warming. As Dr. Kevin Trenberth, former head of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research told the New York Times, 'It’s not the right question to ask if this storm or that storm is due to global warming, or is it natural variability. Nowadays, there’s always an element of both.'"

July 3, 2012 02:02 PM

July 3, 2012 03:36 PM

Juan Carlos Valle, candidate seeking to unseat Betty Taylor on the Eugene City Council in a November run-off, announced at noon today his support for the West Eugene EmX bus rapid transit system extension.

 

The announcement follows a request from EW June 29 asking both candidates to outline their reasons for supporting or not supporting the EmX extension. Councilor Taylor, who represents Ward 2, has yet to announce how she intends to vote when the issue comes before this council this fall or winter, but she is rumored to be leaning toward a “yes” vote.

 

“Our community has had a need for a robust and comprehensive Transportation Plan and vision,” Valle said today. “We need to consider what we need now and what we will need 20 years from now. … I support the inititative of the EmX as it can be a great step in the right direction.”

 

Valle went on to say EmX is a “necessary component of the vision we need to have for our families and our community and I encourage the leaders from all sectors to support this vision.”

July 2, 2012 07:21 PM

Lane County is facing an open meetings lawsuit. Marianne Dugan, attorney for Rob Handy, filed a suit on his behalf June 29. At issue is the May 3 "emergency meeting" that was held without 24 hour's notice by Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Faye Stewart, the conservative majority on the Lane County Board of Commissioners who are named in the suit.

Under Oregon law if a meeting is held without the 24 hours notice, the reason for this must be stated in the minutes. No minutes have been published and the video of the meeting does not include a statement justifying the short notice. (Warning the county videos don't work on most Macs.)

More on the suit in this week's EW, and for background, take a look at our previous stories on the issue, North Eugene Commish Race Gone WildCounty Stymies Public Records Request,  Big Money for Public Records and Conservatives Got Advance Meeting Notice

July 2, 2012 02:44 PM

July 4 fireworks are known for scaring pups. If you lose your dog or find a stray this week the Greenhill/Lane County Animal Services transition may have you confused. Greenhill Humane Society started running the LCAS shelter as of July 1, and it appears that lost and found animals will be on the Greenhill website.

The city of Eugene has posted a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on its website. Head's up it's a pdf.

Eugene Police Department tells us you can call the animal services’ direct line 24/7 at 541-687-4060 to report: a found animal, lost pet, animal at large or animal abuse.

Lane County tells us that if you lose a pet in the city of Eugene, “Typically, people should call the City of Eugene’s hotline 541-687-4060.”A secondary source of information could be Greenhill (541-689-1503) or the Greenhill Humane Society website http://www.green-hill.org, the county says.

Similarly, people within the City of Springfield should call 541-726-3634 for Springfield’s Animal Control Office and then check Greenhill.

Lane County Animal Services will not have an animal welfare officer on duty, July 4, we are told, but Lane County tells us word is that Eugene will have two officers on duty. People will be able to leave a message on the Lane County message line at 541-682-3645.  Lane County residents can also check with Greenhill to see if their animal has been admitted to the shelter.

And the Greenhill site repeats the info and gives a couple more numbers: 

 

If you have lost or found a pet, you should also immediately contact your local animal control office to file a lost pet report.

Contact information is listed below.

• Cottage Grove - Humane Society of Cottage Grove: (541-942-3130) 
• Eugene - Eugene Animal Services: (541-687-4060) 
• Unincorporated Lane County - Lane County Animal Services: (541-682-3645) 
• Springfield - Springfield Animal Control/Police Dept.: 344 A Street (541-726-3634)
• Veneta - Veneta Animal Control/City Hall: 88184 8th street (541-935-2191)

June 29, 2012 11:49 AM

We just solved a mystery.

It's summer, and semen is in the air — or at least it smells that way, and probably not for the first time at the southwest corner of downtown Eugene. This time (luckily), it's just a tree. 

According to The Frisky, that scent of semen has a lot of people wondering WHAT that smell is,  and the author conducted a survey of the literature (Google!).

It’s sort of amusing how most of the formal web entries on the tree don’t mention the stank, although it’s earned its own definition in the urban dictionary: “semen tree.” If you’re still befuddled, here’s how one urban dictionary user suggests you can use it in a sentence: “Oh, great. The google parking lot is encircled with semen trees.”

Watch out for this guy:

Edit: I forgot mention that it's the callery pear tree. Details, details.

June 29, 2012 11:59 AM

As promised in this week's New Briefs, here's the full text of Greenhill Executive Director Cary Lieberman's answers to EW's questions about the Lane County Animal Services/Greenhill Human Society Transition.

My understanding is that the county commission votes today (6/25) on the Greenhill contract with LCAS? Would Greenhill takeover July 1? 

I believe that the county commissioners voted yesterday to give permission to public works staff to enter into a contract when one is drafted.  We had our first contract meeting with Lane County today.  Everyone is still hopeful for a smooth transition on July 1st, but we still don’t have a contract drafted with Lane County.

How is the transition going? Will LCAS volunteers undergo Greenhill training? How much (if any) overlap will there be in things like running foster/volunteer programs? 

We are still in contract talks and working out details about the transition with all of the jurisdictions.  There is a lot to figure out. 

Greenhill’s goal is to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for the animals, and one thing that we have started, even without a contract in place is to begin meeting with the volunteers who have been helping the animals at LCAS.  We know that we will need everyone’s support and there are people eager to help.  We hope that the current LCAS volunteers will continue to volunteer.  Over time, we will wrap them into our training program, but because of the timing we won’t make that a pre-requisite to continue their volunteer activities.  Greenhill currently has two full-time employees who manage our volunteer and foster programs, and all staff are trained to work closely with volunteers.  We don’t anticipate the need to expand volunteer program management staff.

On if kittens with ringworm are being put down:

We have successfully treated many ringworm cases, and unfortunately there were some that we were not able to treat.  Ringworm is a challenging disease.  On one hand, it is often treatable if the animal is in a home environment and is otherwise healthy.  In a shelter environment, which is often more stressful and may be populated with a number of animals with compromised health, it spreads easily and is often considered untreatable in that environment.  At Greenhill, we look at it on a case-by-case basis.  In dogs, we generally consider it treatable.  For cats, it depends in large part on whether a foster home is available, and/or if there are other immune system or other serious concurrent disease concerns which would complicate treatment and make it less likely to be successful.

This disease in particular is one that we, and many shelters are trying to overcome.  Most recently, in 2010 the Dane County Humane Society in Madison, Wisconsin opened a 2,000 square foot, $400,000 ringworm treatment facility.  Until that time, they had a treatment program that was very similar to our own and relied in large part on foster families. http://www.maddiesfund.org/Resource_Library/Beating_Ringworm_in_Shelter_Cats.html We are hopeful that someday this community will support a similar construction project.

Is there a document with everything laid out about the Greenhill LCAS issue?

I know that the City of Eugene is working on a FAQ document regarding the transition and we are working on that with them.  I do not know if Lane County is working on something similar at this time.

June 29, 2012 03:32 PM

The Whimmers tried awfully hard to get a photo in before our Calendar deadline. Didn't make it, but the picture's cool, so on the blog we go!

(Hey local bands, send pics! We LIKE using cool, high res photos of you in the paper, send them to music@eugeneweekly.com)

The Whimmers: Friday June 29th. 10 pm at Luckey's. Over 21. 5 dollars at the door with special guests Stiff Peaks.

June 27, 2012 02:57 PM

This just in from Congressman Peter DeFazio's office as Lane County Jail reports it's releasing inmates due to budget cuts:

 

 

NEWS

FROM U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

PETER DeFAZIO

Fourth Congressional District, Oregon                                                                    June 27, 2012

Contact: Jen Gilbreath—(202) 225-6416                                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

*VIDEO AVAILABLE*

DEFAZIO ANNOUNCES ONE-YEAR EXTENSION OF COUNTY PAYMENTS

Provides rural Oregon counties with needed breathing room

 WASHINGTON, DC –Today, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced that a temporary one-year extension of vital Secure Rural Schools Payments will be included in a final surface transportation conference bill. DeFazio has been involved in the joint House-Senate negotiations over a two-year surface transportation bill and successfully fought to include the temporary extension of county payments for Oregon counties.

“Recent county budget cuts have forced painful layoffs, eliminated jail beds releasing inmates early, and limited county sheriff’s ability to respond to rural emergencies. This temporary extension will provide much needed breathing room for forested communities in Oregon that are quickly approaching financial disaster.

“Ultimately our counties and rural communities need a long term solution – and this extension gives us the time we need to pass comprehensive federal legislation.  I have proposed a bipartisan agreement with Rep. Walden and Rep. Schrader that can break us out of the decades-long logjam on federal forest policy, put Oregonians back to work, improve forest health, and disentangle the health of rural counties from unpredictable federal support payments. We will continue to work with the House Resources Committee to move this long-term solution for Oregon forested communities,” DeFazio said.

The one-year extension designates just under $100 million for schools, roads, and law enforcement in failing rural counties in Oregon for the next fiscal year. 

BACKGROUND

In March, the Senate attached a one-year extension of Secure Rural Schools funding for forested counties nationwide to its two-year transportation bill (S 1813), Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).  On April 18th, the House passed the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II (H.R. 4348).  This 90-day extension of the surface transportation programs through September 30, 2012, is the legislative vehicle the House used to conference with the Senate.  

Last fall, DeFazio, Walden, and Schrader worked with stakeholders to reach a bipartisan agreement on a long-term plan for the O&C counties. Since then, they’ve been working with the House Resources Committee to integrate the provisions of their proposal into larger committee legislation. Currently, House Resources is working out the details of the larger bill. A discussion draft was posted to the member’s websites in February where constituents can send feedback and suggest changes to the draft.

See DeFazio video statement pt 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZP30cysmCY

DeFazio video statement pt 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hrc6lEjFBk