library

Former OSU Student Cited for Porn Video

Kendra SunderlandCORVALLIS, Ore. — Within several days, a 17-minute pornographic video that police say was filmed in the Valley Library at Oregon State University had 262,000 online views. On Tuesday, Oregon State Police arrested a former OSU student who they say filmed the video of herself in public, and cited her with a charge of public indecency.

Oregon State Police, part of the Department of Public Safety on campus, arrested 19-year-old Kendra Sunderland, a former OSU student for her behavior in the Valley Library earlier this week. The University says Sunderland did not enroll for classes this term.

On Wednesday, KEZI 9 News spoke with students and the OSU administration; both parties arguing that the young woman’s actions do not reflect the University they are proud to be a part of.

It is not clear what the purpose of Sunderland’s video was – or that she even intended it to appear on PornHub.com. The 17-minute video has since been removed, but it is still getting attention across the OSU campus under a negative spotlight.

“It’s the buzz around campus,” said OSU student Clifford Harris. “Everyone is talking about it. And I don’t think it was a very appropriate thing to do.”

Students say they heard about the video on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and the Yik Yak phone app.

“My friend sent me a text about it,” said student Rich Rogers. “At first I thought it was a joke. And then all of a sudden it was like, oh no, it’s real. After I realized it was real, I was more shocked that it happened. That kind of stuff you do in private and not in public. Ever.”

Other students question the security of the library.

“I was surprised someone was in our library doing that,” said student Shelby Wilson. “I feel like it’s always packed. I don’t know how anyone could get away with it.”

Oregon State University says it has security officers patrolling the campus, but the huge library makes it impossible to watch every corner at every moment.

“Imagine six floors; 340,000 square feet,” said OSU spokesperson Steve Clark. “It’s used by 30,000 people on average every week.”

However, Clark says the University’s number one priority is safety.

“The University does not condone this type of behavior,” he said. “We want our students to feel safe. And we want to encourage anyone on campus – even the public – to contact police immediately if they see anything unusual on campus. Call 911 if it’s an emergency.”

Clark says anyone on campus can always call the Department of Public Safety as well. The phone number is (541) 737-7000.

 

Bed bugs found at Eugene Library

libraryEugene, Ore. (KEZI) – The downtown Eugene Library is dealing with unwanted guests –bed bugs. The tiny insects were discovered earlier this month by a library patron, who found them in a chair on the third floor. More bugs were discovered in chairs on the second floor, too.

Staff quickly took action – removing the infested chairs and calling in a professional crew to clean baseboards and carpet.

The library believes the bugs were tracked in by a patron about two months ago. The staff is now following a strict protocol to remove the bugs.

“We’re continuing with the inspections and treatment and in fact, this Saturday, tomorrow evening, there’s a team of specially-trained beagles from Portland that will be inspecting the entire building,” said Connie Bennett, Library Services Director.

The dogs will start on the floor and work their way down to the basement and parking garage.

 

Library Hours Cut on Sundays

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EUGENE, Ore. — This Sunday is the first Sunday of the new fiscal year in Eugene and some library goers looking to grab a book Sunday morning were met with locked doors.

Instead of opening at 10:00 on Sundays, the downtown library won’t open until 1:00 p.m. on Sundays because the city is trying to make up for a budget shortfall.

Volunteers from the Friends of Eugene Public Library and the Eugene Public Library Foundation were outside the library Sunday morning to let people know about the changes.

Library supporters say dozens of people came to the library Sunday morning, trying to use the computers or to check out books.

During the budget debate, the budget committee chose shortening hours on Sundays instead of closing the Sheldon Branch Library. But library supporters say reducing hours impacts a lot of people. “The library serves almost 4,000 people per day, it effects a lot of folks,” said Monica Wilton, Executive Director Eugene Public Library Foundation.

“We were here a couple of us were here at 9:30 a.m. and there were already people here because the coffee bar is usually opened early,” said Carol Hildebrand, Vice President Friends of Eugene Public Library.

Library supporters were also gathering signatures in support in a library levy. They said they don’t know many details about the levy yet, but are hoping it’ll be on the May ballot next year.

The Book Monster #18

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I took my wife on a date to see the movie “Austenland” at the dollar theater at the Gateway Mall on Thursday (I wasn’t quite sure what to expect). The movie is about a Jane-Austen-obsessed woman (played by Keri Russell) attending a Jane-Austen-themed resort where women pay big money to experience what it’s like to be in a Jane-Austenish romance with gentlemanly actors (no touching!). I LOLed throughout the movie and I was pleasantly surprised by this chick-flick. Russell’s rendition of “Hot in Here,” by the rapper Nelly, was fantastic too. Jane Seymour, Bret McKenzie and Jennifer Coolidge also starred. I haven’t read any of Jane Austen’s work. Even after seeing this movie I can’t say I have any desire to read Jane Austen’s novels. There is no appeal. However, there is a chance I’ll try Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith’s “Pride and Prejudice with Zombies.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36nk3NEyCLU

A note: For the time being, The Book Monster is going bi-weekly!.

An observation: I have been drinking a ridiculous amount of tea lately. Yogi brand Echinacea Immune Support tea is delicious, it has a hint of mint among other natural flavors, and is perfect for sipping while reading on a dreary day during fall or winter.

Book news:

Infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau was found guilty of Criminal Contempt for making false claims about his book, “The Weightloss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About.” National Public Radio reported, “In a series of infomercials, Trudeau claimed the book revealed a “miracle substance” discovered in the 1950s and kept secret by food companies and the government that allows people to eat anything, not exercise and not gain weight.” According to NPR, Trudeau violated a 2004 court order that prohibited him from making false claims in his book.

The Los Angeles Times reported that in Lafourche Parish, La. voters decided to continue to fund the library over diverting funds to the jail. Parish Council Chair Lindel Toups said libraries have too much money than blasted libraries for the activities taking place inside such as, “teaching Mexicans to speak English.”

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Mark Twain didn’t want his autobiography published until 100 years after his death.

The second volume of Mark Twain’s Autobiography was released. Ben Tarnoff’s review in The New Yorker is fantastic: “When Mark Twain opened his mouth, strange things came tumbling out. Things like hoaxes, jokes, yarns, obscenities, and non sequiturs. He had a drawl—his “slow talk,” his mother called it—that made his sentences long and sinuous. One reporter described it as a “little buzz-saw slowly grinding inside a corpse.” Others thought that he sounded drunk.” 

DarkmansWhat I’ve been reading:

Nicola Barker’s “Darkmans” is a mixed bag. This borderline-experimental book was hilarious but I felt it was too long (838 pages). I was underwhelmed by the ending of the book too (I think I missed something and I may go back through and skim over certain key points in the book and then finish the last chapter). During my reading of this book I moved from New Mexico back to Oregon and I was sidetracked by travel, friends, family, and other books (this may have to do with the underwhelming ending too). Set in England, the book follows an eclectic cast of characters (Barker’s character development was fantastic) through a series of strange events, some more exciting than others, as history subtly lurks in the shadows and pushes some characters to madness.

I’m a sucker for nostalgia. Earlier this year I nabbed “Winnie the Pooh” from my parents house in Beaverton and this last week I started reading it. Author A.A. Milne wrote the Pooh books at the request of the adult non-fictionalized version of Christopher Robin, Milne’s son. The books are a result of Milne telling stories to his son.  After WinnieThePoohreading the first two chapters of the book I realized this book should have an alternate title: “Winnie the Pooh, or A.A. Milne is Clever.”  Clever indeed, and I chuckle just thinking about the antics of Pooh and friends. The simple nature of the characters results in a lot of well-intentioned bad ideas that are enacted by this cast of Christopher Robin’s stuffed animals. I wouldn’t recommend this book to everybody, but if you like to laugh and you don’t mind reading a book geared towards children, read it.

Other things I’ve been reading:

• Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book.”

• Selections from Mas Udi’s “The Meadows of Gold.”

• “Bears: A Brief History,” by Bernd Brunner.

• The May 2013 issue of Outside magazine.

• The Mountains of Madness, by H.P. Lovecraft.

• A couple poems from the Winter 2013 issue of “The Gettysburg Review.

Don’t forget to share this column with your friends who love to read. Also, I’d love to hear from you if you have any comments, requests, rants, praises, or two-sentence book reviews or anything else that has to do with books and literature. Hell, if you send me an e-mail you could end up in the column: [email protected]

 

April 19 – Morning Headlines

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Headlines

No, this isn't Drain, it's Iowa.
  • Rental code may become permanent
    In a move that confounded Eugene landlords, the City Council on Wednesday signaled that it may make the city’s rental housing code permanent. By a 4-3 vote, councilors directed city officials to develop an ordinance that would keep the rental code on…
  • Widespread power outage in Eugene
    A “major equipment failure” at a Eugene Water and Electric Board substation  caused a widespread power outage in Eugene Wednesday morning, agency spokesman Joe Harwood said. The equipment problem likely sparked a fire at EWEB’s Delta substation on …
  • Trailer fire claims Creswell man’s life
    Despite a landowner’s efforts to save him, a 49-year-old Creswell area man died after his trailer caught fire Wednesday night, South Lane County Fire Chief Dean Creech said today. Creech said 25 firefighters and six vehicles responded to…
  • Hospital coordinator sentenced to jail for running cyclists off the road
    The coordinator of McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center’s robotic surgery program in Springfield was sentenced Wednesday to 20 days in jail for running several cyclists off a no-passing zone of the Lorane Highway last summer. Jaime Loraine Ziebert, 48,…
  • Hidden Fire Eludes Firefighters
    A hidden fire kept Eugene fire crews busy Wednesday morning. The call came in just after 5 a.m. from a home on Loretta Way near River Road. The homeowner says the smoke alarm went off and he saw smoke coming out of the wall. When fir…
  • Eugene targets libraries for cuts
    It’s looking like north and west Eugene residents who visit their branch libraries in the morning will be able to do so only for another two months. The city’s budget committee on Wednesday night endorsed City Manager Jon Ruiz’s recommendations t…
  • Eugene schools repair bill skyrockets
    The Eugene School Board got a sobering overview on Wednesday of the district’s many aging and dilapidated schools, some dating to the 1920s and most needing millions of dollars’ worth of repair and refurbishing in coming years at an estimated cost …
  • Father and son build their baseball dream in Drain
    Unlike in the movie “Field of Dreams,” no voice whispered to Jim Maciariello, “If you build it, he will come.” But just as in the 1989 classic baseball movie starring Kevin Costner, the story of Maciariello’s homemade ballpark does …
  • Blue Dog Mead to release new flavor this weekend
    Local brewery Blue Dog Mead is releasing its newest mead flavor, Green Collar, this weekend. The unofficial introduction will take place Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at 16 Tons Taphouse & Cafe. Mead is an alcohol brewed from fermented honey, as opposed …
  • Jordan Spencer throws no-hitter as Oregon beats Portland 3-0
    Freshman Jordan Spencer threw a no-hitter for the Ducks Wednesday night in a 3-0 win over Portland at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer. Spencer was a fifth-inning hit batsman and a Ryon Healy error in the eighth away from perfection as Oregon won its fourt…
  • Ducks sweep softball doubleheader from Vikings at Howe Field
    The new-look Oregon softball team returned to Howe Field Wednesday afternoon with a late-season roster addition, a reshuffled lineup and one eye looking ahead to a weekend series against No. 1 California. None of it mattered against Portland State as t…
  • UO football pot culture detailed in ESPN story
    The Oregon football team is featured prominently in an ESPN expose published online Wednesday that reports of the rising use of marijuana among college football players during the past several years. In NCAA data from 2009 published by ESPN, 22.6 perce…

Keep Current: – EDN Headline News, Sports and Weather is updated as it happens!

Tim Chuey Weather:

Another wet day today, then tapering off Friday to make way for weekend of sunshine.

High: 72
Low: 46
Rain: up to 3/4 inch

A weak high pressure ridge (“Arch” shape on yellow line) will be moving over and then away from the Pacific Northwest with a low pressure trough (“U” shape on the yellow line) pushing in behind it. That means we are back to a wet weather pattern. A frontal system is moving through as the high pressure ridge moves on. Another more complex  will hit the coast toward the weekend continuing the chance for rain.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly cloudy with rain today (0.50 in. of rain possible), rain likely (60%) tonight (0.10 in. of rain possible), mostly cloudy with a (50%) chance of rain Friday AM, a slight (20%) chance of showers Friday afternoon (under 0.10 in. of rain possible) and evening, then partly cloudy late Friday night through Saturday night highs 62-72 lows 50-46 warming to 49 Saturday. A mix of clouds and sun Sunday, mostly cloudy with a (30%) chance of showers Sunday night, a (30%) chance of showers Monday and Monday night, a mix of clouds and sun with a slight (20%) chance of showers Tuesday, mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) of showers Tuesday night, then a (30%) chance of showers Wednesday lows 45-49 falling to 43 Monday night highs 73-60. (seasonal averages high 61 low 40)

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.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

February 23 – Morning Headlines

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Headlines

Yes, Eugene has a bomb squad - seen here removing a suspicious object from a storage unit. (img kval.com)
  • Bomb squad called to storage units
    The bomb squad removed a suspicious object from a storage unit office after someone who bought an abandoned unit found the object and dropped it off at the front counter.
  • Fire displaces 2 apartment residents
    Investigators worked Wednesday afternoon to try to determine the cause of a fire that displaced two residents of an apartment in west Eugene’s Trainsong neighborhood. Firefighters were called to the Maple Manor apartments at 2555 Roosevelt Blvd. at 1…
  • Eugene library hours cut in budget
    Dramatically reduced hours at Eugene’s two branch libraries. A new way to provide animal control services. Eliminating vacant jobs and laying off some employees. These are among the ways Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz proposes to rein in city spending …
  • Springfield man wins big on ‘Wheel of Fortune’
    It was no secret that Braden Pelky went to Los Angeles to film “Wheel of Fortune” back in January. What was a surprise was how he did on the show, and his family learned just that as they watched his episode air Wednesday night.
  • Eugene Chef Nominated for National Award
    The James Beard Awards are kind of like the Oscars for the restaurant world. One of Eugene’s own is nominated for the Best Chef Northwest Award. Brendan Mahaney, head chef at Belly Restaurant  on East 5th Avenue, is one of 11 Oregon semi-finalis…

Tim Chuey Weather:

Your Thursday will be dry with lots of sunshine, but sorry it won’t last long.

High: 54
Low: 28
Rain: Sun today.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly cloudy with patchy fog this AM, a mix of clouds and sun in the afternoon, partly cloudy this evening, mostly cloudy with patchy fog late tonight, partly cloudy with patchy fog Friday AM, becoming mostly cloudy with a good (50%) chance of rain Friday afternoon (under 0.10 in. of rain possible), then rain (0,25 in. of rain possible) Friday night, showers Saturday, then showers likely (60%) Saturday night highs 50-54 cooling to 48 Saturday lows 37-28. Mostly cloudy with showers likely (60%) Sunday, a good (50%) chance of showers Sunday night, mostly cloudy with a (30%) chance of showers Monday, a (40%) chance of rain Monday night, rain likely (60%) Tuesday and Tuesday night, then mostly cloudy with a good (50%) chance of showers Wednesday (snow level 1,000 ft.) highs 43-45 lows 25-32. (seasonal averages high 52 low 35)

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.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

February 20 – Morning Headlines

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Headlines

The University of Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team (1-0) defeated Azusa Pacific (1-1) and Quinnipiac (0-2) in the season opener.
  • SWAT team arrests barricaded man in Fall Creek
    An Oregon State Police SWAT team was deployed Saturday night at a home on Peninsula Road in Fall Creek, and a 36-year-old man who had holed up in the home for several hours was arrested without incident and taken to Lane County Jail. Jam…
  • Eugene man arrested on robbery charge
    Eugene police arrested a man downtown Saturday afternoon and charged him with second-degree armed robbery after he allegedly tried to rob another man at gunpoint inside the Eugene Public Library. James Franklin Taylor, 34, was placed in the Lane County…
  • 5 ballot measures in Cottage Grove
    Voters here will decide the fate of five ballot measures designed to rein in city revenue collection and spending and change the makeup and authority of the planning commission in a special election March 13. The measures, submitted b…
  • Ducks Acro and Tumbling Team Open With Win
    The University of Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team (1-0) certainly gave the 1, 953 individuals in attendance at Matthew Knight Arena something to be excited about as the reigning NCATA champions defeated Azusa Pacific (1-1) and Quinnipiac (0-2) on F…
  • Oregon men beat Stanford, 68-64, led by E.J. Singler
    Oregon didn’t lead often nor for long, but the Ducks were ahead at the end Sunday, handing Stanford a 68-64 defeat at Maples Pavilion. E.J. Singler scored 10 consecutive points for the Ducks, the last three of them on a jumper fr…
  • Oregon baseball takes two of first three games in season-opening series against Hawaii
    The Oregon baseball team opened its season on a positive note in Hawaii, taking two of the series’ first three games heading into a fourth and final matchup this afternoon. The Ducks’ offense operated at a torrid pace on Sunday, putting u…
  • Oregon tennis remains undefeated in preseason
    The Oregon men’s tennis team picked up three team victories over the weekend to remain undefeated in the preseason. The Ducks defeated Seattle (7-0) and Eastern Washington (6-1) on Friday and handled Gonzaga (5-2) on Saturday afternoon, with all mat…
  • Beavers cornerback arrested for DUII
    Junior cornerback Sean Martin was arrested by Corvallis Police and faces charges for DUII and Attempting to Elude police.

Tim Chuey Weather:

It looks like we are in for another week of off and on rain.

High: 55
Low: 40
Rain: 0.50 inch likely

high pressure ridge (“Arch” shape on yellow line) pulled away from us and a trough of low pressure (“U” shape on the yellow line) took over returning the wet weather pattern.  Another high pressure ridge cleared us out today. A warm front pushes through returning the rain to the Pacific Northwest. There will be even more frontal systems (position shown is Tuesday) sliding over the high pressure that will keep the showers around into next week.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly cloudy with rain (0.25 in. of rain possible) today (Presidents’ Day), mostly cloudy with rain likely (60%) tonight (0.10 in of rain possible), cloudy with rain likely (60%) Tuesday AM, a good (50%) chance of rain in the afternoon (0.10 in of rain possible), cloudy with a good (50%) chance of rain (under 0.10 in of rain possible) Tuesday night, mostly cloudy with rain Wednesday, then a good (50%) chance of showers Wednesday night highs 48-55 lows 44-40. Mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers Thursday and Thursday night, a  slight (20%) chance of rain Friday, cloudy with a good (50%) chance of rain Friday night, mostly cloudy with a good (50%) chance of rain Saturday, rain likely (60%) Saturday night, then mostly cloudy with rain and snow likely (60%) Sunday (snow level 1,000 ft.) highs 54-48 lows near 35. (seasonal averages high 52 low 35)

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.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

October 20 – Morning Headlines

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Occupy Scio

Headlines

  • Cost of settlement involving property appraiser is in dispute
    Lane County and a property appraiser it fired have reached a settlement — but how much that deal will cost the public is in dispute. The county says it will spend $173,000 to settle with Bill Mahn. But the labor union representing Mahn says the count…
  • Neighbors Upset Over Low-Income Housing Proposal
    Signs are popping up in north Eugene over a proposed low-income housing project.  St. Vincent de Paul wants to build more than 100 units for families in need. Neighbors of the planned project don’t want it built there. When neighbors caught wind of a …
  • Occupy Scio Residents Support Small Town Capitalism
    The “Occupy” movement is popping up all over Oregon, and it’s now made its way to Scio.  But residents there are taking a different approach.   Organizers say the whole Occupy Scio event started out as a joke, as a parody against Occupy Wall Street…
  • Deputies Respond to Incident in East Springfield
    The Lane County Sheriff’s Office responded to an incident at the intersection of 46th and Aster Street in Springfield.   LCSO hasn’t released details about the incident.   Deputies responded before 5 p.m. Wednesday.   Witnes…
  • Man Injured in Rollover Crash on Highway 99
    A rollover crash injured a man on Highway 99 Wednesday morning.   He was driving south when his pick-up truck drifted off the road and got caught in gravel on the shoulder. The truck rolled and slid for 750 feet before it stopped.  …
  • Suspect in Springfield shooting pleads guilty
    A suspect in a July shooting near Springfield pleaded guilty today to felony assault and burglary charges. Nickolas Friend, 20, will return to Lane County Circuit Court next week to be sentenced in the case. In addition to entering guilty pleas to char…
  • Creswell students disciplined
    Four Creswell High School soccer team players have been disciplined for harassing younger teammates on a bus ride home from a game on Saturday. Principal Gary Mounce would not disclose the kind of discipline the teens received but said that it was appr…
  • Rental housing code hits home
    Jen Breunig, 20, believes everyone should have a place that’s safe and comfortable that he or she call home. Breunig, a junior at the University, currently has two years of experience under her belt as an apartment tenant. She shared her concern …
  • Social Security Benefits to Rise to Meet Inflation Jump
    Inflation rates are on the rise. The Consumer Price Index reports that inflation jumped 3.9 percent in September as compared to last year. That’s the biggest leap in three years. Higher food and energy prices were the biggest culprits. The rise this ye…
  • Review finds no misconduct by commissioners
    An audit of the Lane County economic development department found no indication of illegal or unethical behavior by Lane County commissioners or others, County Administrator Liane Richardson said Wednesday, during a meeting of the board. Richardson had…
  • Wood Stove Rebate Vouchers Still Available
    If you need to replace your old wood stove with a new, cleaner heating system, you may qualify for a rebate voucher.   Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) has received funds through the Recovery Act for its Wood Stove Reba…
  • Springfield Family Given New Home, New Dream
    A Springfield family that struggled to make ends meet got the keys to a new home Wednesday afternoon.   It looks like a painting of the American dream — a cookie-cutter neighborhood and a white picket fence.   Bill and Hillary Hogan have long be…
  • Springfield Library Wins National Award
    The Springfield Library is receiving national recognition.   The library just won the 2011 Mora Award for its annual El día de los niños/El día de los libros celebration.      The annual April event, also known as Día, pr…
  • Guitar hero comes through for Eugene teen musician
    A South Eugene High School musician whose guitar was stolen in August is now playing again after an anonymous donor bought her a new instrument.
  • QB DT on wounded knee: Expects to play
    Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas, injured in last weekend’s game against Arizona State, says he expects to play Saturday against Colorado even though there has been no official word about his status.

Tim Chuey Weather:

Clouds for your Thursday, but it should be dry. What about Friday and the weekend?

High: 66
Low: 46
Rain: slight chance

An upper air trough of low pressure (“U” shape on jet stream line) is moving through and a frontal system off shore will stall over the Northern reaches of the area waiting until Saturday or Sunday push through as a cold front to keep the chance of rain and cooler temperatures with us through early next week.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis:  Mostly cloudy today through Friday, then mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of rain Friday night through Saturday night highs 63-66 lows near 46. Mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of rain Sunday, mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers Sunday night, a mix of clouds and sun with a slight (20%) chance of showers Monday, partly cloudy Monday night, a mix of clouds and sun Tuesday, then partly cloudy Tuesday night and Wednesday highs 64-58 warming to 65 Wednesday lows 47-36 warming to near 42 Wednesday. (seasonal averages high 62 low 41)

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.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

Eugene hosts Open House for Pedestrian/Bicycle Master Plan

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“Eugene is a place where walking and biking are integral to the community’s culture, where the city’s livability, sustainability, and overall quality of life are enhanced by more people walking and biking, and where these activities are safe, convenient, and practical options for everyone.” – Vision statement from the Eugene Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Plan 2008

This last Monday, interested pedestrians and cyclists had the opportunity to examine and respond to the city’s 20-year master plan for renovations, and new development of pedestrian, bike, and shared facilities.  The city hosted a two hour Open House at the Eugene Library featuring highlights of the plan as well as several maps displaying the specific changes to be made.  Eugenians in attendance had a chance to talk with city representatives and express their thoughts with others present.

City of Eugene Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator, Lee Shoemaker was present at the open house, and spoke with EDN.  When asked why this is an important initiative to the city, Shoemaker responded that it is part of the plan to “Meet city goals of decreasing greenhouse gases.”  He also noted the importance of fostering healthy active lifestyles in the community.  Shoemaker expressed that achieving these goals is made possible by striving to make Eugene more walk-able and bike-able in a way that is safe for all, “there is a sizable percentage of people, for instance families with children, who would like to ride more, but simply don’t feel safe to do so.”  “We would like to see a new classification of ‘Bicycle Boulevards’ develop,” citing recent changes on Alder Street as an example of one potential for safety improvement.

Throughout the entire development of the plan, the city has worked closely with several community organizations and residents to gain crucial input, in hopes of making a cohesive, feasible, and relevant plan.  Community involvement included two prior open houses, as well as the formation of a Project Advisory Committee (PAC).  The PAC was composed of representatives from neighborhood groups, the Sustainability Commission, school districts, higher education institutions, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, among others.  The committee also gained insight from community members through an online survey.

Major changes slated for the next 20 years include: 25.2 miles of sidewalks, 12.2 miles of shared-use facilities, 111.2 miles of bike ways, as well as several intersection, infrastructure, and sign improvements.  Ideally, the plan will help to establish “20-minute-neighborhoods”, a concept that strives to make local, sustainable living an easy option, with work, shopping, recreation, and other opportunities easily accessible within a 20 minute walking distance.  Overall, the city would like to see in the next 20 years, a measurable doubling of the percentage of trips being made by foot or bicycle.  The anticipated benefits of the plan include decreases in traffic congestion, carbon and noxious emissions, cost of road maintenance and exposure to accidents.  The city also hopes to see increases in individual health and wellness, air quality, and access to equitable resources.

Eugene resident Jeem Peterson was willing to speak with EDN regarding his thoughts about the changes.  He stated that he wished that more changes were being made, that “the bike needs a chance to get where it’s going,” insinuating that although Eugene is undoubtedly a shining example of a well constructed biking environment, there are still many improvements that would allow the city’s reputation to flourish.  Jeem told me that the changes he see’s as being most relevant are those that increase safety, as he views this as a major inhibitor for many would be bikers.  Jeem emphasized the importance of the bike-ability of this city when he stated that it was a major draw in bringing him to Eugene as a transplant from Vermont.

Eugenian Jim Holm also spoke with EDN about his concerns.  Specific to his neighborhood, he pointed out on one of the maps, a stretch of road along the Delta highway from Green Acres to Ayres Road.  Holm said that although this stretch is not currently one of the areas to be improved upon, he has always hoped to see a change.  Holm explained that this is a hazardous section because of a lack of designated biking space and a number of landscaped islands that lead to the formation of entrapment or pinch points along the road, which is frequented by gravel trucks.   He continued to point out an intersection change that he was happy to see being made.  The intersection encountered by a biker exiting the river bike path via Briar Cliff, onto River Road, currently requires those traveling south-bound to cross four lanes of traffic, without a designated crossing.  Holm added that he thinks that constructing a path connecting already existing paths along the river, in a loop, would greatly increase Eugene’s livability assets.  

The rough draft of the Pedestrian/Bicycle Master plan may be viewed on the City of Eugene’s Transportation System Plan website.  Those with questions, comments, concerns or suggestions are welcome to respond through the site until October 14th.  

Story by Elisha Shumaker, EDN

March 8 – Evening Update

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Here is this evening’s headline update:

The Weather Forecast – Tim Chuey
Our rainy weather continues in waves through the weekend. (Updated 4:30PM). A Weather Warning is in effect till Wednesday Afternoon.
Pimps prowl Eugene for girls to lure into sex slavery
Sex traffickers find their victims right in the heart of downtown Eugene, according to an undercover police officer. They stake out public places like the bus station and the library looking for vulnerable girls.
Springfield’s School Board Votes to Close 6 Schools
After months of meetings, public forums and discussions, Springfield’s School Board will cast its vote on the closures of six schools on Tuesday evening.
Kitzhaber signs budget rebalance, 4 other bills
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed the first bills of his term.
Broker of marijuana licenses faces tax charges
An Oregon man who describes himself as the nation’s largest broker of licenses for medical marijuana has been arrested and charged with failure to pay state income tax
Rogue Valley pear grower hits hard times
A late spring frost last year and tight money this year have led one of the Rogue Valley’s major pear industry players to lay off half its year-round staff.
Greyhound bus rear-ends Jeep on I-5
Three people in a Jeep Libery suffered minor injuries when a Greyhound bus rear-ended the SUV on Interstate 5 early Tuesday morning.
Airport artwork coming down for temporary landing
The artwork by the late David Joyce, called “Flight Patterns,” depicts a number of flying people in the A concourse at the Eugene Airport. The work will be refurbished while the wall is repaired later this year.
Major triathlon coming to Eugene area
Eugene is known for its track and field legacy, so much so that it’s been called Track Town USA for decades. The city is also known as a mecca for bicyclists.
Three arrested after indoor marijuana garden discovered in home
Eugene police said they seized more than 10 pounds of marijuana from 25 plants after serving a search warrant early this morning at a home north of Sheldon High School.
Eugene man admits Lee Corso mascot head theft
A Eugene man has pleaded guilty to stealing an oversized mascot head of ESPN broadcaster Lee Corso from the Oregon State University campus during last December’s Civil War football game, court records show.