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News Briefs

January 21, 2016 12:00 AM

Math gets a bad rap, says Gina Graham, owner of Eugene tutoring service Math Is Magic! “We have in our nation a predisposition to think math is yucky,” she says. “I think that’s a problem.”

The nation’s relationship with math grew even more complex with the onset of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). When the state of Oregon adopted CCSS in 2010, parents and students in Eugene School District 4J and other districts saw an internal shake-up as districts shifted from older, more direct methods of teaching to newer techniques in math instruction that fulfill learning requirements outlined by the Common Core. 

Math gets a bad rap, says Gina Graham, owner of Eugene tutoring service Math Is Magic! “We have in our nation a predisposition to think math is yucky,” she says. “I think that’s a problem.”

January 21, 2016 12:00 AM

In Afghanistan

• 2,349 U.S. troops killed (2,349 last month)

• 20,071 U.S. troops wounded in action (20,071)

• 1,629 U.S. contractors killed (1,616)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $725.3 billion cost of war ($722.1 billion)

• $290.1 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($288.8 million)

 

Against ISIS

• $7.9 billion cost of military action ($7.4 billion last month)

• $3.1 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($2.9 million)

January 14, 2016 12:00 AM

350 Eugene is having a New Year’s gathering from 7 to 9 pm Thursday, Jan. 14, at the First United Methodist Church, 1367 Olive Street. The agenda includes an expert panel on Oregon’s Healthy Climate Bill and updates on climate campaigns. 

January 14, 2016 12:00 AM

• What’s the buzz with the Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing (OMC) project? “We’re still moving forward,” says Will Dixon, the local architect for the controversial project off River Road next to the Willamette River bikepath. “We received re-approval of our tentative PUD application back in October,” Dixon says. “No surprise, the opposition has appealed this once again to LUBA. On Nov. 12 we re-applied our final PUD application.

January 14, 2016 12:00 AM

The projected cost of Eugene’s new City Hall has now risen after city councilors requested that city staff look into boosting the new four-story structure’s ability to withstand a severe earthquake. 

“We asked the city manager to investigate looking into that standard. He said, ‘Yeah, but it’ll cost more,’” said Councilor Alan Zelenka in an interview with EW. The conversation on altering City Hall’s structure took place at the last City Council meeting in December, he says.  

January 14, 2016 12:00 AM

I had to see this thing, this occupation, in person. Another 1970s Sagebrush Rebellion being staged at Oregon’s bird sanctuary, this sacred site? Really? Our oldest American refuge, so precious it was designated as such before America even had a National Park Service? Why? Who are these guys? Why Malheur of all places? WTF?

I called my former colleague, Senate Republican leader Ted Ferrioli, who represents Harney County, to get his take. And I called Cliff Bentz, the current state rep from Ontario.

I had to see this thing, this occupation, in person. Another 1970s Sagebrush Rebellion being staged at Oregon’s bird sanctuary, this sacred site? Really? Our oldest American refuge, so precious it was designated as such before America even had a National Park Service? Why? Who are these guys? Why Malheur of all places? WTF?

January 14, 2016 12:00 AM

Giustina Land and Timber Company, 345-2301, plans to hire Western Helicopter, 503-538-9469, to aerially spread urea fertilizer pellets on 3 units totaling 454.6 acres near Jones Creek and Hall Road and near Goldson Road off of Hwy. 36. See ODF notification 2016-781-00296; call Robin Biesecker at 998-2283 with questions. 

January 14, 2016 12:00 AM

A slew of events in Lane County will honor Martin Luther King Jr., the week of Jan. 18, including several marches, a talk by a leading black journalist and the release of a report on the Oregon Legislature and racial equity.

On Jan. 18, the MLK holiday, the Lane County chapter of the NAACP will host a march to honor the life of the civil rights leader beginning 9 am outside the north gate of Autzen Stadium, according to the chapter’s president, Eric Richardson. 

January 14, 2016 12:00 AM

They sleep in cells, monitored by guards. Some of them are serving life sentences for their crimes. But when they are working with Curt Tofteland, the founding producing director of Shakespeare Behind Bars, they are actors. On Jan. 19, Tofteland will speak at the University of Oregon about his 20 years of experience guiding prison inmates, in Kentucky and Michigan, to perform the works of Shakespeare. 

January 14, 2016 12:00 AM

If and when the track and field’s international governing body, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), brings its world championships to Eugene in 2021, it will be the biggest track event Hayward Field has ever seen. 

January 14, 2016 12:00 AM

Bring up the topic of Kesey Square and the importance of downtown open public space with city of Eugene officials and you can expect the conversation to be steered to the Park Blocks. 

Kesey Square has problems, city employees say, including issues of design, the preponderance of “travelers” dominating the space, the simple fact that it’s flat and that people just don’t want to be there. 

The southeast corner of the Park Blocks

January 7, 2016 12:00 AM

• The political film Merchants of Doubt will be shown at 6 pm Thursday, Jan. 7, at Bijou Art Cinemas on 13th Avenue. The film looks at the secretive group of pundits-for-hire who dispute the science of climate change and toxic chemicals. 

January 7, 2016 12:00 AM

A female dog euthanized in late December at 1st Avenue Shelter is the subject of some online uproar. City of Eugene Animal Services and 1st Avenue Shelter say the pregnant dog had a bite record and repeatedly demonstrated aggressive behavior, while advocacy group No Kill Lane County maintains that the dog could have been rehabilitated. 

Molly Monette, animal welfare supervisor with City of Eugene Animal Services, says a Eugene citizen picked up the stray boxer on Nov. 20. While in that person’s custody, the dog escaped from her enclosure.

January 7, 2016 12:00 AM

We wrote about changes afoot at Wings Seminars in this column Dec. 10 and we’ve since heard from Wings founder Kris King that the company is for sale following a personal tragedy. “My son died a year ago and I realized I work too much. Working 28 days a month is not the smartest thing,” she says. “I have two offers and three more are coming in.” Finding the right new owner may be a challenge, she says. The new owner “needs to be ethically aligned … I’m not just selling a business.

January 7, 2016 12:00 AM

A manufacturer is forming a lawsuit against Eugene’s voter-approved Toxics Right-to-Know (TRK) program because he is upset about paying an annual $2,000 fee. Advocates for the program say the community TRK law is a key element in making public health decisions. 

January 7, 2016 12:00 AM

Vanilla ISIS, Y’all Quaeda, YeeHawdists, terrorists, militants, militia — whatever you call them, and whether you fear them or laugh at them, the band of mainly out-of-state, armed and anti-government protesters who have taken over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Oregon’s east side have drawn almost nonstop attention since their siege of the remote bird sanctuary began Jan. 3.

January 7, 2016 12:00 AM

An urban promenade, balconies, sloped roofs, trellises, tables and chairs on the street.

Those features were all promised in Capstone Collegiate Communities’ application for a Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) submitted to the city of Eugene on Jan. 24, 2012. City Manager Jon Ruiz recommended the application to the City Council, which voted to approve Capstone for the exemption, allowing developers to pay no taxes on the new structure for 10 years — or the equivalent of a $16-million tax break. 

An urban promenade, balconies, sloped roofs, trellises, tables and chairs on the street.

Those features were all promised in Capstone Collegiate Communities’ application for a Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) submitted to the city of Eugene on Jan. 24, 2012. City Manager Jon Ruiz recommended the application to the City Council, which voted to approve Capstone for the exemption, allowing developers to pay no taxes on the new structure for 10 years — or the equivalent of a $16-million tax break. 

December 31, 2015 12:00 AM

• The annual State of the County address will be at 11 am Monday, Jan. 4, at Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave. County officials will talk about what has been accomplished in 2015 and plans and challenges for 2016.

December 31, 2015 12:00 AM

Instead of reaching for a glass of champagne this New Year, grab a hard cider and toast to Oregon’s booming hard cider industry. Recent changes in federal legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Sen. Ron Wyden, have smoothed the process for craft cider makers by broadening definitions of hard cider and easing off taxes.

These changes are especially relevant to Oregon, says Lee Larsen, CEO of 2 Towns Ciderhouse in Corvallis, because Oregon has around 6 percent of the market share for hard cider, while the national average is 1 percent.

December 31, 2015 12:00 AM

In July of 2014, Eugene became the first city in the country to require carbon neutrality, fossil fuel-use reductions and the development of a carbon budget based on the best available science when it passed a Climate Recovery Ordinance pushed for by the nonprofit Our Children’s Trust and many of Eugene’s youth.

More than a year later, some Eugeneans are starting to wonder if this landmark city law is getting implemented the way it should by city staff, and if it’s moving at the right speed. Matt McRae, a climate and energy analyst with the city of Eugene, says the city is on track to meet its targets.

In July of 2014, Eugene became the first city in the country to require carbon neutrality, fossil fuel-use reductions and the development of a carbon budget based on the best available science when it passed a Climate Recovery Ordinance pushed for by the nonprofit Our Children’s Trust and many of Eugene’s youth.

December 31, 2015 12:00 AM

A joint grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) was awarded to the Oregon State University Libraries and CALYX Press. The two organizations were awarded more than $96,000 through the Humanities Open Book program. The grant will go towards the digitization and hosting of feminist literature that is out of print and making it available in free e-books. 

CALYX is a Corvallis-based publication and press supporting women’s creative works. 

December 24, 2015 12:00 AM

• Native-American author, activist, musician and actor John Trudell died Dec. 8 and a gathering in his memory will be from 6 to 9 pm Tuesday, Dec. 29, at the LCC Longhouse on the main campus. Trudell often visited Eugene, spoke about justice and human rights, and met with friends from around the state. A potluck dinner will be followed by the showing of the documentary Trudell. The event will wrap up with drumming, singing and memory-sharing. Call 687-1023 for more information. 

December 24, 2015 12:00 AM

A patch of forest near Dexter, Oregon, was auctioned off at 10 am Thursday, Dec. 17. That patch, called the John’s Last Stand timber sale by the Bureau of Land Management, is near popular hiking trails and the Hardesty Mountain Roadless Area and is just a little more than 20 miles southeast of Eugene.

According to the BLM’s sale proposal, John’s Last Stand is being sold as a “regeneration harvest.” Conservation group Oregon Wild says the proposal calls for leaving only six to eight trees an acre — essentially a clearcut. 

December 24, 2015 12:00 AM

A grassroots petition for a Lane County public homeless shelter is in circulation, and as of Dec. 23 it has accrued 680 signatures. The petition is one among several other significant public initiatives in the past two months targeting the homeless crisis in Eugene and Lane County.