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News Briefs

August 1, 2013 01:00 AM

A tour of Eugene bicycle industries is being planned as part of this weekend’s Blackberry bRamble celebration. The tour begins from 9 am to noon Friday, Aug. 2, at Rolf Prima, 150 Shelton McMurphy Blvd., followed by noon to 2 pm at Bike Friday, 3364 W. 11th Ave., followed by 2 to 4 pm at Co-Motion, 4765 Pacific Ave. Rides and celebration events continue all weekend. Email hughes97405@gmail.com or see eugenegears.org/bramble.

August 1, 2013 01:00 AM

Despite fears that the pattern of attacks on progressive Lane County commissioners from the right over the last several years would scare good people away from politics, possible progressive candidates are already starting to explore running for the West Lane (Jay Bozievich) and East Lane (Faye Stewart) commission seats. Dawn Lesley, a soon-to-be graduate of the 2013 class of Emerge Oregon, a training program for Democratic women, is exploring a run against Bozievich for 2014.

August 1, 2013 01:00 AM

Recent allegations that County Administrator Liane Richardson was asking employees to alter how she added money to her paycheck in a way not authorized by her employment contract came to light thanks to a county employee whistleblower, backed by the AFSCME union. An “outside investigation” was launched into this incident, overseen by County Counsel Stephen Dingle, but county documents appear to indicate Richardson should have been aware that what she was doing was improper. 

August 1, 2013 01:00 AM

The Eugene City Council has extended the suspension of the controversial Multiple-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) for a second time, which means it might not grant more tax breaks for as long as a year. MUPTE allows City Council to grant 10-year property tax waivers to housing developers in the downtown area. It has come under increasing public scrutiny since granting large property tax waivers to student housing companies Capstone and Core Campus. Under the new suspension ordinance, MUPTE could remain dormant until July 31, 2014.

August 1, 2013 01:00 AM

“What do people like to see in police policies?” asks Kaitlyn Lange, former Eugene Police Commission chair. She says this question, and trying to allow for more flexibility and greater efficiency, led to recent changes in the commission’s work plan, which alterations the commission’s focus from reviewing policy to examining issues it has determined the community is most interested in. City Council approved the plan July 22. “We’re trying to get away from wordsmithing policies and really get at the meat of what concerns people,” she says. 

August 1, 2013 01:00 AM

Comments to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding industrial stormwater pollution control plans for two B & R Auto Wrecking facilities (one in Albany and one in Corvallis) are due by 5 pm on August 9. Visit goo.gl/ScwdH to see stormwater plans, and goo.gl/iMDQb to comment. It should be noted that while DEQ is required to respond in writing to comments on stormwater plans, it recently came to light that DEQ considers mere written acknowledgement of receipt of comments to fulfill this requirement, which appears to violate the intent of the law.

August 1, 2013 01:00 AM

Sponsors’ women’s program has not only hired a new director, but it is also about to get a third house specifically designed for women with children. Sponsors aims at reducing recidivism by providing services to help men and women transition back into the community from jail and prison.

August 1, 2013 01:00 AM

In Afghanistan

• 2,251 U.S. troops killed (2,246 last week)

• 19,032 U.S. troops wounded in action (19,005)

• 1,389 U.S. contractors killed (1,389)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $646.1 billion cost of war ($644.4 billion)

• $193.8 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($193.3 million)

 

In Iraq

• 4,422 U.S. troops killed, 31,927 wounded

• 1,599 U.S. contractors killed (1,599)

• 124,217 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (124,049)

July 25, 2013 01:00 AM

• The next Breakfast at the Bridges will be from 7 to 9:30 am Friday, July 26, at the DeFazio Bridge, sponsored by Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life. Free bagels and coffee, bike safety checks, etc. See commutechallenge.org for more information. 

July 25, 2013 01:00 AM

The Oregon Legislature has approved and funded $3.75 million for the new South Willamette Valley Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN), a broad initiative that “taps into the research and educational expertise of academia and aggressively moves it toward private economic growth,” says Sen. Lee Beyer. RAIN will involve collaboration between UO, OSU and the cities of Eugene, Springfield, Albany and Corvallis.

July 25, 2013 01:00 AM

Kayaks and canoes blocking fossil fuel shipments going down the Columbia River, women and transgender activists climbing trees and studying decolonization: Summer is when activism heats up in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s just in time because Oregon is facing climate-affecting threats from all sides such as logging in native forests and shipments of oil and coal. Summer Heat: Columbia River Climate Action takes place July 27 in Vancouver, Wash., and the Trans and Womyn’s Action Camp is taking place July 24-28 in the forests outside Oakridge. 

July 25, 2013 01:00 AM

While the conservative Lane County commissioners are still prone to supporting controversial timber and mining efforts, work continues to bring other businesses to the area. As part of its economic development efforts, the county announced it has hired Springfield legislator John Lively as Oregon economic development specialist. The commissioners also voted July 23 to give $200,000 in video lottery dollars to local business efforts and $100,000 to Canadian company Apel. Waiting in the wings are projects such as “Project Squeeze,” which is slated for $230,000 in funds.

July 25, 2013 01:00 AM

Last week Eugene Jeans owner and local bluegrass musician Tim Long finally received some good news: Because of his Gleevec medication regimen, the gastrointestinal stromal tumor he was diagnosed with in April has shrunk about 40 percent, from the size of a large orange to the size of a tennis ball.

July 25, 2013 01:00 AM

County Administrator Liane Richardson appears to be eroding the confidence of Lane County citizens again. Her efforts earlier this year to increase her pay from $152,345 to $175,656, an increase of more than 15 percent, caused public outcry at a time when the county is strapped for cash. Questions have arisen about whether Richardson may have finagled an increase in the money she was getting after all, despite the outcry and despite saying she would say no to an immediate raise.

July 25, 2013 01:00 AM

The opening date of Opportunity Village Eugene (OVE), Eugene’s pilot project for a safe, sustainable community for homeless people, is fast approaching, and a series of fundraisers begins 6 pm Sunday, July 28, with “Keys for the Village,” a piano and keyboard concert featuring Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago.

July 25, 2013 01:00 AM

Comments to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding industrial stormwater pollution control plans for the following Lane County facilities are due by 5 pm on July 29: Eugene Airport, Goshen Forest Products, Lane County Central Receiving Station, Pacific Rim Manufacturing (Jasper) Rosboro (Springfield), Short Mountain Landfill, Starfire Lumber (Cottage Grove), Sundance Lumber (Springfield) and Swanson Bros. Lumber (Noti). Visit goo.gl/ScwdH to see stormwater plans, and goo.gl/iMDQb to comment.

July 25, 2013 01:00 AM

Activists have again pitched their tents to protest the lack of places homeless people can sleep, this time in the West Eugene Wetlands. In early July, the Bureau of Land Management began clearing camps of homeless people from the wetlands. SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) is camping at a site near Danebo and Pacific in solidarity with those who have nowhere else to go.

July 18, 2013 01:00 AM

• The award-winning documentary Roadmap to Apartheid by filmmakers Ana Nogueira, a white South African, and Eron Davidson, a Jewish American-Israeli, narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, will be shown at 7 pm Thursday, July 18, at Cozmic, 199 W. 8th Ave. Sponsored by Al-Nakba Awareness Project. 

July 18, 2013 01:00 AM

The nonprofit Emerald Empire Hempfest is back for its 11th year for three days beginning Friday, July 19, at Maurie Jacobs Park in Eugene, across the footbridge from Valley River Center. The alcohol- and drug-free festival features live music, food booths, educational exhibits, a hemp fashion show and new product demonstrations. This year’s theme is “The Walls of Cannabis Prohibition are Coming Down.” Volunteers are still needed. Call Dan Koozer at 517-0957 or see EmeraldEmpireHempfest.com.

July 18, 2013 01:00 AM

On the surface, the event at Maurie Jacobs Park last week seemed just like any other of the myriad of summer celebrations in Eugene. Dancing, eating and laughing, people socialized and greeted onlookers with a smile. Some perused a variety of booths at the back of the park, while others sang near the stage on the hill. But at Supernatural Fest, according to Mark and Victoria Bowling’s website USAforChrist.com, “It is a regular occurrence in Mark and Victoria’s meetings to experience the supernatural healing power of God. The lame walk. The deaf hear. The blind see.” 

On the surface, the event at Maurie Jacobs Park last week seemed just like any other of the myriad of summer celebrations in Eugene. Dancing, eating and laughing, people socialized and greeted onlookers with a smile. Some perused a variety of booths at the back of the park, while others sang near the stage on the hill.

July 18, 2013 01:00 AM

An Oregon Government Ethics Commission investigator recommended in a 32-page report that the commission dismiss an ethics complaint against former Lane County commissioner Rob Handy. After debate, the six members of the ethics commission present at the July 12 meeting did not reach the four votes needed to either move forward with or dismiss the complaint. As the Handy case statutorily expired July 17, this ends a chapter in what some see as a vendetta against Handy and other progressive politicians.

July 18, 2013 01:00 AM

The local fight against genetically modified crops is on. Citizens’ group Support Local Food Rights (SLFR) submitted a local food system ordinance to the Lane County clerk. The initiative would ban the planting of genetically modified (GM) crops and establish the right to a local food system.

Opponents of GM crops are concerned with a host of issues: increased pesticide use, the lack of a long-term study of their safety for consumption and unwanted cross-pollination ruining local organic crops and causing unintentional patent infringement. 

July 18, 2013 01:00 AM

Comments to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding industrial stormwater pollution control plans for the following Linn County facilities are due by 5 pm on July 25 (facilities are located in Albany unless otherwise noted): Absorbent Technologies (two Albany locations), Albany-Lebanon Sanitation, Bear Mountain Forest Products (Brownsville), Dave Hunter Manufacturing, Decorative Bark Products (Lyons), Eagle Veneer (Harrisburg), Entek International (Lebanon), Frank Lumber (Lyons), Freres Lumber (two locations in Lyons, one i

July 18, 2013 01:00 AM

Two cases in Eugene Municipal Court this week revolved around protest, poop and constitutional free speech rights. Judge Karen Stenard heard testimony in a motion-to-dismiss hearing July 15 about two protests in the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza that involved the arrests of 21 people in one protest and activist Alley Valkyrie in another. Both were related to the group SLEEPS, which set up tents in the plaza to call attention to the plight of the homeless. The cases were heard on the same day as they subpoenaed the same witnesses.