News Roundup

Land for housing better defined

If Eugene develops as it has in the past, it would need to add land about equal in size to a combined Alton Baker and Spencer Butte park to accommodate single-family homes during the next 20 years. But Eugene’s leaders appear to be leaning toward a new growth course, hoping …

For more click to continue on to

City Technique Stinks Up Cottage Grove Neighborhood

By Gia Vang


COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — Residents are used to the occasional country smells, but neighbors say this is not a barnyard smell.


It’s worse, much worse, and it’s even making some people sick.


“The stench is unbearable for some of these residents, their daily routines ruined by a strong odor seeping into their neighborhood from less than a mile away,” said Les Moore.


If you could smell it, you might refer to it this way:


“Sickening, nauseating,” said Ted Maki.


Inside the shelter at Cottage Grove’s Wastewater Treatment Plant are biosolids, or what had been human feces.


And to get rid of it, city crews take it to a field to use it as fertilizer.


The only problem is that field is close to dozens of homes.


“It was so acrid that I had a severe headache. Never have a bad headache.  And I was that close to throwing up,” Moore said.


The smell is so repulsive neighbors are putting on masks to do yard work, but that solution isn’t always successful.


“Then the wind shifts, and it is up the canyon here and then it blast us again,” Moore said.


Neighbors want the dump site moved, but the city says it would take years for another agreement to happen like the one it has with current site owner Hendrickson Well Drilling.


Staffers also say it can only be done during dry months so they can’t dump the biosolids more than once a year.


“Because of that, we’re holding it for a year and we’re getting a larger volume and we’re getting that bacteria growth that’s starting in the bottom of the pile,” said City of Cottage Grove City Manager Richard Meyers.


The city admits it is working out the kinks of its revamped treatment center.  In the meantime, it is using techniques to minimize the odor.


Cottage Grove managers say it will take about a week to get the sludge all into the field, and then it’s up to Mother Nature to take over until the smell goes away.

For more click to continue on to

Lane County Will Help Oakridge Through Deficit

By Stacia Kalinoski


LANE COUNTY, Ore. — The city of Oakridge will get financial help from Lane County to avoid bankruptcy.


County commissioners said Wednesday they will work with a local bank to fund a tax-anticipation note to keep Oakridge afloat until property tax revenue arrives this fall.


The paperwork won’t be finalized until August 17, but in this case Siuslaw Bank would loan the city $500,000.


Lane County won’t be liable if things don’t work out.


Instead, the deal would leave Siuslaw Bank on the hook.


But all the county commissioners made it very clear they’re not happy about the decision to bail Oakridge City Administrator Gordon Zimmerman and Oakridge out, especially considering the fact that Oakridge residents at the meeting asked the commissioners not to help.


But the board chair says he feels a responsibility to step in because if the board doesn’t, Oakridge would have to file for bankruptcy and wouldn’t have money for police and ambulance services.


“What if a month from now you need an ambulance, fire department,” said Faye Stewart, Lane County Commissioners’ Chair.


The loan will only get Oakridge through until December.


Zimmerman says that’s enough time for him to complete the audits, which are two years behind, and for him to make $150,000 in cuts.


He has already laid off eight people.  


In the meantime, an accountant is coming in the next week to do an internal audit of Oakridge’s books.

For more click to continue on to

No More Bananas in 2015?

EUGENE, Ore. — What would you do without bananas?


Bananas as we know them could be no more by 2015, unless scientists find a cure for a fungus afflicting the crops.


Bananas are the cheapest fruit in the produce section, but that could all change if a new strain of bananas is not found.


The fungus has already wiped out most of the plants in Asia and Africa.


But the infection has yet to spread to South America, where most of the bananas sold in the U.S. grow, explaining the static price of bananas over the past year.


“We have had the same price, 54 cents a pound. That is actually dropped from the previous price about a year and a half ago or so,” said Fred Meyer Food Manager Steve Barclay.


But plant biologists say the spreading of the disease is inevitable, and banana lovers might have to look to other fruits.


You can tell if the bananas are infected if they’re purple striped.

For more click to continue on to

Lots of sunshine and warming temperatures through Saturday, then add in more clouds and cooler temperatures starting Sunday.


Here is my weekly weather quiz question.  What is “chionophobia?” Please remember to post your answer as a comment by clicking on “no comments /comments” in the upper right hand portion of this page under the caption, then add your comment. The first person to post the correct answer will win a week of free personalized  weather forecasts tailored to your needs. The answer has to be a comment to win. An email answer will not count. Good luck.


Advisories: NONE AT THIS TIME.


An upper level trough of low pressure is rolling across the Pacific Northwest. As it continues East our temperatures will start to rise. A high pressure ridge will help bring back the sunshine and warm us up again. Another low pressure trough and a weak cold front will move in by the end of the the weekend for another round of clouds and cooling Sunday and Monday.


Here are your detailed forecasts.**



Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly clear tonight, partly cloudy in the AM, mostly sunny Thursday, partly cloudy Thursday night and Friday AM, mostly sunny in the afternoon, mostly clear Friday night, mostly sunny Saturday, then partly cloudy Saturday night lows 50-54 highs 80-85. Partly cloudy Sunday through Wednesday highs 82-75 lows near 53. (seasonal averages high 83 low 52)


The Pollen forecast for the Eugene/Springfield Area is for weeds and trees to be Low, and Grass to be Moderate. Mold will be Moderate.The grass pollen season is pretty much over. (Provided by Allergy and Asthma Research Group)



Forecast for the Umpqua Basin including Roseburg: Mostly clear tonight, partly cloudy Thursday AM, sunny Thursday through through Saturday night lows 54-59 cooling to 55 Saturday night highs 85-90. Mostly sunny Sunday, partly cloudy Sunday night and Monday, mostly clear Monday night, mostly sunny Tuesday, then partly cloudy Tuesday night and Wednesday highs 90-80 lows 56-52. (seasonal averages high 87 low 55)


Forecast for the South Oregon Coast including Coos Bay and North Bend: Mostly clear this evening, partly cloudy late tonight and Thursday AM, sunny Thursday afternoon,  mostly clear in the evening, then partly cloudy Thursday night and Friday AM, mostly sunny in the afternoon, mostly clear in the evening, partly cloudy Friday night and Saturday AM, sunny Saturday afternoon, then partly cloudy Saturday night with patchy fog late lows 52-56 highs 63-67. Partly cloudy with patchy early AM and late night fog Sunday through Monday, then just partly cloudy Monday night and Tuesday highs near 65 lows 55-52. (seasonal averages high 67 low 53).


Forecast for the Cascades of Lane County: Mostly clear tonight, partly cloudy Thursday AM, mostly sunny Thursday afternoon, mostly clear Thursday night, partly cloudy Friday AM, mostly sunny Friday afternoon, mostly clear Friday night, mostly sunny Saturday, then mostly clear Saturday night free air freezing level 12,000 ft. tonight, 14,000 ft. Thursday and Thursday night, 15,000 ft. Friday, 14,000 ft. Friday night, 15,000 ft. Saturday, then 14,000 ft. Saturday night lows 42-47 highs 70-77. Mostly sunny Sunday through Wednesday with mostly clear skies at night free air freezing level 15,000 ft. Sunday, 14,000 ft. Sunday night and Monday, 13,000 ft. Monday night, 14,000 ft. Tuesday, 15,000 ft. Tuesday night, then 13,000 ft. Weddnesday highs 74-67 lows near 45.


**Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.


Get your local Eugene-Springfield news on-line at



For more click to continue on to

Eugene/Springfield Foreclosure Rates Up Again

EUGENE/SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Foreclosure rates in the Eugene-Springfield area have gone up again.


The newest figures show may 2011 foreclosure notices are at 2.2 percent, which is around 0.6 percent above the May 2010 rates.


But foreclosure percentages in the area are lower than the national rate of 3.45 percent, which is a 1.25 increase in a year.    


The mortgage delinquency rate also rose to 4.62 percent, up 0.24 percent from 2010.

For more click to continue on to

Oregon Democrats target logging road ruling

Environmentalists are angry with Sen. Ron Wyden over his bill that would reverse a federal appeals court ruling that increases regulation of logging roads on private as well as public…

For more click to continue on to

Protesters take to the trees again in Elliott State Forest

A group of protesters have constructed a platform in some trees in the Elliott State Forest, along with a road blockade. This is the same area where Earth First! protesters were arrested back in 2009.

For more click to continue on to

Father jumps to save son: ‘I didn’t know where I was going to land’

Ana and Ramiro Vazquez and their 3-year-old son Emmanuel made a last minute decision to view South Falls after a day at Silver Falls State Park. They got to the top – and suddenly, the boy was gone.

For more click to continue on to

Lawyers, guns and marijuana: Case heads to Supreme Court

An Oregon sheriff has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to block a concealed handgun license for a medical marijuana patient.

For more click to continue on to

OSU chemists concoct colors from crystals

Chemists at Oregon State may have found a way to create a whole range of new colors in pigments that may be safer to produce, more durable and more environmentally benign than many of those that now exist.

For more click to continue on to

Deputies find drugs, weapons and stolen items in car

GARDINER — A Florence man faces a number of criminal charges after a sheriff’s deputy stopped his vehicle on the Oregon Coast in Douglas County. Samuel Dean Ferguson, 26, was stopped early Tuesday morning in Gardiner for traffic infractions, Douglas County sheriff’s officials said. A deputy arrested Ferguson for driving …

For more click to continue on to