Biz Beat 12-24-2014

Where would Jesus eat? Many local restaurants will be closed Christmas Day. Among the businesses that will be open is Agate Alley Bistro & Bar at 1461 E. 19th Ave., but only from 5 to 10 pm so the staff can have Christmas morning off. If you are planning on dining out anywhere Christmas Day, we recommend calling ahead and leaving big tips. Going to the coast? We once showed up late and ravenous for a Christmas buffet at a fancy hotel near Depot Bay and found only scraps of salmon and halibut, but plenty of mystery meat, soggy broccoli and cold potatoes. Filled our bellies after a hard afternoon of winter beachcombing in the wind and rain. 

Speaking of the coast, City Lights Cinemas, the newly remodeled four-screen movie theater in Florence, celebrated its grand opening Dec. 18-21. The theater actually opened last August at 1930 Hwy. 101, the old Florence Cinemas theater, but now features all new digital projection and sound as well as other major upgrades, according to owner Michael Falter. City Lights is now serving beer and wine as well as locally made menu items, and includes an art gallery. Contact for more information.

The nonprofit Beyond Toxics is planning to expand its organizing capacity in rural and urban communities around the state in 2015, according to Executive Director Lisa Arkin. The expansion is “to protect low-income and minority residents from disproportionate exposure to pollution,” she says. “The organization has published research showing higher rates of asthma in environmental justice neighborhoods in west Eugene, and acute poisoning from pesticide sprays in rural communities.” Joel Iboa has been hired to head up the Beyond Toxics’ Environmental Justice Outreach Program. “Joel brings a deep desire to organize youth and Latino families around environmental health and social justice issues,” Arkin says.

FOOD for Lane County reports the Letter Carriers Food Drive in Eugene and Springfield brought in 121,000 pounds of canned and packaged food, 63,000 pounds Dec. 6 and 58,000 pounds Dec. 13. “Our two-Saturday goal for the entire county was 130,000 pounds, so it looks very promising that we have exceeded the goal,” says Dawn Marie Woodward of FFLC. “Rural areas typically account for 10,000 to 15,000 pounds during this drive.”

We hear the nonprofit Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) has a vacancy coming up for an administration and development coordinator, a 40-hour-per-week position. Interviews will be scheduled on Jan. 21 and 22.  Find the job description at

STiLE (Skill Training for an Independent Living Experience) is a division of KindTree — Autism Rocks and provides group skills training to adults on the autism spectrum and others with developmental disabilities. The organization is registering for its winter term classes that begin Jan. 5. Volunteer training is also planned for January. See or call 521-7208.