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News Briefs

March 12, 2015 01:00 AM

Organizers with the Oregon Community Rights Network (OCRN) have launched a campaign to put a constitutional amendment on the Oregon ballot in November 2016 that will affirm the right to local self-government and potentially reframe how environmental debates play out. 

The amendment would protect the right of local governments to pass ordinances — even if they conflict with the interests of corporations — and ensure that these ordinances are legally binding. 

March 12, 2015 01:00 AM

We hear changes are afoot at BRING Recycling as Executive Director Julie Daniel and Director of Communications and Development Sonja Snyder are both planning to retire in May. Ephraim Payne recently took over as director of outreach and communications when Shirley Perez West left. Daniel has been with BRING for 19 years and is credited with spearheading the $3.2 million capital campaign that created the new Planet Improvement Center in Glenwood. She also launched the RE:think Business program and the annual Home and Garden Tour.

March 12, 2015 01:00 AM

Motorcyclists may see some new laws on the books after this legislative session, including ones that would let them filter through traffic jams and pass through some red lights. BikePAC of Oregon — the main motorcycle lobby group in the state — has been working hard to persuade legislators to take up a few motorcyclist issues. 

March 12, 2015 01:00 AM

Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood is an eclectic blend of houses, businesses and industrial complexes, “a mixed-use neighborhood,” as Ninkasi CEO Nikos Ridge puts it. This mix can bring unwelcome noise to Whiteaker residents: Shouts and music from the booming nightlife scene on Blair Boulevard make their way in to households or, in Ninkasi’s case, industrial noise from its new brewing facility.

March 12, 2015 01:00 AM

When a society uses mass incarceration as a means of control, we know it has social impacts, but a panel on “The Ecology of a Police State” at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) March 6 explored how prisons also impact the environment.

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

It will cost New York almost $20 billion to prepare the city for the impacts of climate change coming our way, according to Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Right now, the default is the taxpayer,” he says. “Why should only taxpayers pick up the cost for increasing climate change damages? What is the responsibility of companies making dangerous products?”

It will cost New York almost $20 billion to prepare the city for the impacts of climate change coming our way, according to Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Right now, the default is the taxpayer,” he says. “Why should only taxpayers pick up the cost for increasing climate change damages? What is the responsibility of companies making dangerous products?”

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

• The Metropolitan Policy Committee meets from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm Thursday, March 5, at Springfield City Hall Library, 225 Fifth St. Scenario planning is on the agenda. Contact Paul Thompson, 682-4405.

• Author David Barsamian, founder of Alternative Radio, will speak at 1 pm Thursday, March 5, at Building 17, Room 309, on the main LCC campus. His topic is “Media and Democracy.”

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

Sen. Floyd Prozanski is quick to explain that he is not working on gun control legislation. He is working on “gun safety” legislation. As a gun owner himself, Prozanski says he is confident the law he is proposing will benefit all Oregonians.

Sen. Floyd Prozanski is quick to explain that he is not working on gun control legislation. He is working on “gun safety” legislation. As a gun owner himself, Prozanski says he is confident the law he is proposing will benefit all Oregonians.  

The bill has not been introduced as of press time and so has not yet been assigned a number.

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

Might be too late to reserve a seat, but we see the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a “Chamber 101” lunch at noon Thursday, March 5, in the Chamber’s conference room on Willamette Street. Pre-registration (free) is required and it appears the presentation is geared to new members. Everything is political in Eugene, and we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the participants raise political issues, such as why the U.S. Chamber has actively campaigned against reducing carbon pollution. 

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

Eugene’s six community garden sites, from Amazon Park to the Whit, brighten local neighborhoods with colorful bursts of tomatoes and chard. It takes a network of volunteers, nonprofits and city staff to keep the garden plots up and running. 

Last year, however, the city of Eugene reorganized its staffing and cut the staff time of the community gardens manager in half, from .5 full-time equivalent (FTE) to .25 FTE.

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

• Weyerhaeuser, 744-4600, plans to ground and aerial spray 6 acres located 1 mile southeast of Cottage Grove near Taylor Butte with Accord Concentrate, Atrazine 4L, Weedone LV6 EC, Velpar DF, Oust XP, Oust Extra, DMA4 IVM, Transline and/or Sulfomet XP. See ODF notification 2015-771-03472, call Tim Meehan at 726-3588 with questions.

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

Pacific Recycling has been fined yet again for environmental violations, this time involving asbestos. (For a listing of past appearances in this space go to goo.gl/fNr376.) The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a civil penalty of $32,000 against Eugene-based Pacific Recycling on February 3 for asbestos violations associated with an abatement project at a facility in Independence, Oregon, owned by CPM Development Corporation. DEQ assessed a separate penalty of $10,400 against CPM.

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

“I’ve gotten better and better in the role of watchdog,” says Commissioner Pete Sorenson of his decision to run again for his long-time South Eugene seat on Lane County’s Board of Commissioners in the May 2016 primary. 

The election might be more than a year away, but Sorenson has already begun lining up endorsements, from local politicians — Mayor Kitty Piercy — to legislators in Salem — Rep. Phil Barnhart. 

February 26, 2015 01:00 AM

• A public meeting on the 2015 Eugene Trails Plan will be at 6 pm Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Eugene Public Works Parks and Open Space facility, 1820 Roosevelt Blvd. Email philip.s.richardson@ci.eugene.or.us or call 682-4906 for more information.

Janet Range, who supervises education programs at three immigrant detention centers in Portland, will join a discussion about “The Children Who Came Across the Border” at 7 pm Thursday, Feb. 26, at First United Methodist Church, 13th and Olive. 

February 26, 2015 01:00 AM

Oregon state legislators are worried that their constituents don’t know enough about state government. 

There are three bills proposed in the current 2015 session to improve civics education in Oregon: HB 2977, HB 2955 and SB 484. Each has a different angle, but all stem from the same general feeling: Kids graduating today don’t know enough about the legislative process to understand that they have a stake in the system. 

February 26, 2015 01:00 AM

A representative from a local advocacy group has filed a formal request with the Lane County District Attorney’s Office seeking the release of records from Greenhill Humane Society. 

At issue is whether Greenhill — a private nonprofit that runs its own shelter but also receives public funds from the county to administer the First Avenue Shelter — is subject to Oregon’s public records laws regarding the work it does at First Avenue. 

Greenhill took over the management of FAS from the county in 2012.

February 26, 2015 01:00 AM

While her previous position as Oregon’s secretary of state typically did not put her in the environmental spotlight, Oregon’s new Governor Kate Brown is no stranger to green agendas or protests. In summer of 2012, members of Cascadia Earth First! and Eugene’s own Cascadia Forest Defenders locked themselves together at Brown’s office at the state Capitol to call attention to logging in the Elliott State Forest.

While her previous position as Oregon’s secretary of state typically did not put her in the environmental spotlight, Oregon’s new Governor Kate Brown is no stranger to green agendas or protests. In summer of 2012, members of Cascadia Earth First! and Eugene’s own Cascadia Forest Defenders locked themselves together at Brown’s office at the state Capitol to call attention to logging in the Elliott State Forest.

February 26, 2015 01:00 AM

It’s school board election season, and board positions are opening up at Lane Community College and Eugene School District 4J. Two candidates, one for LCC and one for 4J, are ready to fill soon-to-be-empty spots, running on platforms of affordability, equity, transparency and more.

February 26, 2015 01:00 AM

The latest brewery to bubble up in the Willamette Valley is getting ready to take off, and you can help make it happen. Old Growth Ales recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 for equipment, truck upgrades, licensing fees, marketing and other expenses. The end goal: to make locally sourced botanic and medicinal ales commercially available. 

February 19, 2015 01:00 AM

Margaret Robertson, sustainability instructor at LCC and author of the textbook Sustainability Principles and Practice will lecture at 5:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 19, at LCC’s Downtown Campus, 101 W. 10th Ave. 

February 19, 2015 01:00 AM

In 2003, a Lane County Animal Regulation Advisory Task Force Report said that the animal shelter shared by Lane County, Eugene and Springfield was in need of a “thorough overhaul or a complete replacement” and 60 more kennels. Instead, First Avenue Shelter, which is home to the area’s strays and now run by Greenhill Humane Society, has the same 30 kennels it has had since the 1970s and is stretched beyond its capacity, according to longtime shelter volunteer Misha English. 

February 19, 2015 01:00 AM

Oregon might be seen as a green and healthy state, but its laws protecting people, pets and lands from the chemicals drifting from aerial herbicide sprays are weaker than the laws in Idaho, Washington and California. Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics hopes a new bill introduced into the Oregon Legislature Feb. 10 could change that. 

February 19, 2015 01:00 AM

For the first two weeks of the legislative session in Salem, Sen. Chris Edwards (D-Eugene) has focused all his attention on passing the clean fuels bill. But he also has several bills to foster a healthier environment for Oregonians in the works.

The next “big” bill Edwards says he’ll be working on is the Children’s Toxics bill (SB 478). He started work on the bill back in 2013, but he says supporters were unable to get it passed because not all Democrats voted for it. He says after several iterations, it is “a better bill now.”

February 19, 2015 01:00 AM

Cybersecurity is a quickly growing field and we see the Oregon State University College of Engineering has collaborated with Intel Security to offer a course at OSU called “Defense Against the Dark Art.” The class of 45 students filled up almost immediately after it was announced. The class will be videotaped and there are plans to make it available in the future to other universities.