News

Ashley Ahearn

Every year, during the warmer months, blooms of algae dot Northwestern waters.
Some of that algae can release toxins, which poison shellfish and the people who might eat those shellfish. In recent years, toxic algal blooms have been more potent and lasted longer. That has scientists trying to understand how our warming climate could be contributing to the problem.

Jacki Williford: “Hi, come on in.”

Jacki Williford and her family live in the suburbs east of Seattle.

Her 7-year old son Jaycee runs by in a Seahawks jersey teasing his little sister.

A Woman's Quest To Prove Coding Is More Than Nerdy

Oct 15, 2013
Lucy Ohlsen

It’s a no-brainer that you have to be able to use a computer to get most jobs today. Public schools in Eugene encourage students to use technology as an educational tool. Kiki Prottsman is a local woman who hopes to inspire young people to become more than just users.

These middle schoolers are at math and computer science camp.

 “It's fun, but sometimes you miss a friends sleepover or a birthday party or something. But you make up to it. Like, your friends won't be there in the future but your education will be."

Meeting:  October 11, 2013
Aired on KLCC:  October 13, 2013

Guest Speakers: Alley Valkyrie, activist and community organizer; Pat Farr, Lane County Commission; and

Professor Ofer Raban, University of Oregon School of Law

Courtney Flatt

If you work outdoors in the summertime, you’d better learn to take the heat. That’s true for people who repair roads, landscape yards, or build houses. Too much exertion and not enough shade or water, and you could get sick. In the first installment of our series, ‘Symptoms of Climate Change,’ EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt finds out how the increasingly hot sun is affecting people who make their living by harvesting our crops.

Photo Courtesy of The City of Eugene

The City of Eugene is facing a multi-million dollar gap in its budget, so it's asking residents' help to shape a solution. A series of community meetings starting this week are being held at local high schools to discuss the situation.

Last year, Eugene voters defeated a City service fee. To balance the budget, funds were transferred from its Reserve account. But, that fix was only supposed to fill the gap for one year. City Councilor Claire Syrett says if they are not able to find some new solutions, they might be back in the same position as last year.

March Against Monsanto Rally In Eugene

Oct 13, 2013
Photo by Desmond O'Boyle

About three hundred people attended a rally in downtown Eugene Saturday as part of a worldwide "March Against Monsanto" protest.

Concern has steadily grown over the use of Genetically Modified Organisms being used in farming practices. The agricultural biotechnology corporation Monsanto is the main proponent of such practices. The Oregon Senate has approved a bill limiting the ability for counties to ban the use of GMO's. Organizer and spokeswoman Sabrina Siegel says politicians need to stop taking money from big businesses.

By Ingrid Barrentine/PDZA

Beginning tomorrow Friday 10/11, an aquarium in Tacoma (Washington) will let paying visitors dive in a shark-infested tank. That's right. The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium has built a dive cage in a tank that is home to 17 sharks. Experienced SCUBA divers can even swim out into the center of the pool.

Ah, the things you might question there's high demand for. Well, more than four hundred people have already made reservations to take a dip in a tank full of sharks. Cue the theme music from the movie Jaws, shall we?

Oregon Schools And Districts Get New Report Cards

Oct 11, 2013

Oregon students aren't the only ones in the education system who get graded. Thursday, newly redesigned report cards were unveiled for the States' K-12 public schools and districts.

As part of Oregon's federal waiver application, the new report cards focus on growth and student outcomes. Aside from overall performance ratings, the report cards compare schools to similar population and income demographics. Oregon Department of Education Communications Director, Crystal Greene, says that provides a different perspective as to how a school is performing.

Head Start U.S.

Two Head Start programs in Lincoln County have averted closure due to assistance from Oregon’s Early Learning Division.

Head Start provides preschool programs as well as health, nutrition and social services to low-income families. Due to the federal shutdown, the programs in Lincoln City and Toledo were running out of time. The agency had sent out *25 layoff notices and prepared for suspending classes as well as supplemental food and weekend programs. Dr. Suzanne Miller, Lincoln County’s Head Start Director, said October 31st would have been their last day:

Head Start U.S.

Two Head Start programs in Lincoln County have averted closure due to assistance from Oregon’s Early Learning Division.

Oregon State University

An Oregon State University research vessel is continuing its federally funded mission even though the federal government is shutdown.

Three Foster Farms plants have been identified as distributing chicken with the “Heidelburg” strain of Salmonella. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports most of the product went to outlets in the Northwest. So far, Oregon-based Foster Farms has not recalled the chicken in question. But at least one Northwest retail chain has pulled it from their shelves.

As soon as reports started coming in that some brands of Foster Farms chicken were associated with an outbreak of salmonella, Fred Meyer stores stopped selling it.

An iPad At Every Desk

Oct 10, 2013
Lucy Ohlsen

An iPad for every child. That's reality at some Eugene 4J schools this year.

It's faster. Their fingers don't get sore. It's fun. The fifth graders at Awbrey Park Elementary love using iPads at school.

"It's helping a lot. It's easier than using computers."

Abby Strand is the class "DOJO" - meaning she's won the most points for being on task and a good student. She says some kids have trouble staying focused with iPads around.

"Not for me. For other kids in the class it's a challenge. But not for me. I just get on it and do what I'm told to do."

Natural World: Chanterelles

Oct 9, 2013

Recent Rains have created perfect conditions for mushroom gathering.  The forests of the Coast Range and Cascades are yielding an abundance of fungi.  The rainforest near Cougar Reservoir is a pleasant place to hunt.

Legislative Health Care Town Hall Meeting

Oct 9, 2013

At this Legislative Health Care Town Hall Meeting Trish Bohnert of Cover Oregon walks us through the state health exchange. Medical Director Dr. Patrick F. Luedtke with the Department of Health and Human Services speaks about infectious diseases, and State Epidemiologist & Acting State Health Officer Dr. Katrina Hedberg with the Oregon Public Health Division tells us about chronic diseases in Oregon.

Korda and the Revolutionary Image

Oct 9, 2013
Alberto Korda (Cuban, 1928–2001). Guerrillero heroico (Heroic Guerilla), 1960. Silver gelatin print. Collection of Dr. Steve Pieczenik and Dr. Roberta Rovner Pieczenik and Family, Chevy Chase, Maryland. © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAG

Korda and the Revolutionary Image is an exhibit of the works of the late Cuban photographer Alberto Korda, most famous for his iconic photograph of Che Guevara—one of the most reproduced images in human history. The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the UO campus in Eugene hosts the exhibit how through January 26th, with the first of two related talks taking place on Tuesday, October 15th. Eric Alan speaks with June Koehler, JSMA Assistant Curator.

New UO App Promotes Safe Sex

Oct 9, 2013
UO Health Department

The University of Oregon health department is hosting a launch party next week for a new app it has created promoting safe sex.

The app, called SexPositive, was created to appeal to the 18 to 23 year olds that attend the University. It lists the sexually transmitted infection risks if different body parts touch, as well as information about safer sex practices. Health Promotion Marketing Manager Keith Van Norman says the message is positive.

Jes Burns

The University of Oregon's new faculty union has ratified its contract with administration. 

The two-year contract is the result of 10 months of negotiations. Susan Anderson is a German Professor at the University of Oregon.  She says tenured faculty and instructors formed United Academics, a union of more than 18-hundred members. All were working toward a common goal.

The Springfield City Council voted unanimously to expand the car camping program for the homeless. It is modeled after one in Eugene. Churches and businesses have been allowed to have one car or motor home on site but can now have three. Niel Laudati is the city’s spokesman.

Laudati: “The city provides a portable toilet and we do some trash service. It’s very inexpensive for us. But it gives people a chance to rest in a safer place and it’s worked out so well.”

Paul Bogard, author of The End of Night

Oct 8, 2013

Paul Bogard is the author of the book The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light.  He details the vital nature of pure darkness, and the increasing damage done by its absence in the modern world. He will speak at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library this Wednesday, October 9th at 7 p.m., in an appearance sponsored by OSU’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature and the Written Word.

Lane County

The Lane County Board of Commissioners will use a Washington State recruitment firm to find candidates for their new Administrator.

Oregon State Police volunteers are patrolling the neighborhoods around public schools in Lincoln County.

The OSP volunteers have been active in Lincoln County for more than 25 years. This is the first time they’ve specifically worked on school safety. They approached the school district after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut. Sue Graves is the Safety Coordinator for Lincoln County Schools. She says the volunteers go through background checks and training with OSP. They are not police officers and are unarmed.

Meeting:  Friday, October 4, 2013
Aired on KLCC:  Monday, October 7, 2013

Digital Privacy and the NSA - Who Is Reading Your E-mail and What You Can Do About It

Guest Speakers: Seth Woolley and Kyu Ho Youm

The first Friday Forum of October focuses on practical privacy in the digital age. Is privacy possible? If so, how can you protect yours?

Rachael McDonald

Homeless people who've pitched their tents around town in small communities they're calling "Whovilles" met with the Mayor of Eugene Monday. The group wants the city to lift or change its camping ban.

Currently a group of about 30 people is camped at Hilyard and Broadway in Eugene. Whoville representatives met Mayor Kitty Piercy and asked her if they can stay there. Police have cited the campers for violating Eugene's camping ban.

City Of Eugene Seeks Budget Input

Oct 7, 2013

The City of Eugene is inviting the community to attend workshops devoted to shaping the budget. Eugene is currently facing a significant gap due to the recent recession and low property tax revenues. The deficit in the general fund over the past four years has caused the city to decrease its expenses by $24 million. Last year, the city faced a similar gap of $5.3 million and was forced to dip into the reserve fund. There will be five workshops in all, the first at South Eugene High School on October 15th.

Oregon Coast Council for the Arts

The Newport Visual Arts Center is on a list of properties being considered for sale by the city of Newport.  The revelation of this in mid-September promptly sparked a mobilization by artists and arts advocates.  On Monday (October 7th), the issue is before the City Council once again. 

Derrick Tokos is Community Development Director for the City of Newport.  He says the city is experiencing a financial crunch, and there is currently little funding available to maintain its existing facilities or buy other property it needs.  This leaves Newport officials asking themselves:

Web Extra: Newport Visual Arts Center

Oct 7, 2013
Oregon Coast Council for the Arts

The City of Newport’s Visual Arts Center could be placed on the “for sale” list.  The city says it needs funds for other essential property purchases and is evaluating whether owning a Visual Arts space is appropriate.

The Visual Arts Center is managed by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.  KLCC's Eric Alan spoke with OCCA Director Catherine Rickbone about the emerging controversy.

Oregon Inmates Helped Fight Wildfires In 2013

Oct 6, 2013
Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Forestry

Hot-shot crews and volunteers weren’t the only ones fighting fires in Oregon this year. More than 800 inmates from the state’s correctional institutions worked side-by-side combating blazes.

The State Department of Corrections and the Oregon Department of Forestry have teamed up since 1951 to fight wildfires. Inmates go through the same nationally certified training course as civilians do. DOC Communications Manager Elizabeth Craig says the program benefits both the forests and the inmates.

Mina Wegner on the Saturday Cafe

Oct 5, 2013

Mina Wegner first stepped on stage with the Sugar Beets at age 11.  Tonight she celebrates her 18th birthday opening for them at Cozmic in Eugene.  She and her father Jeremy join Frank live on the Saturday Cafe.

 

Oregon Military Department Affected By Shutdown

Oct 4, 2013

Approximately 1,000 full-time personnel in the Oregon Military Department are being furloughed due to the government shutdown.

The Oregon Military Department is comprised of Citizen-Soldiers, Airmen, and civilians. The shutdown will affect training activities, equipment maintenance, and efficiency at military bases. Capt. Stephen Bomar says to maintain readiness they are forming plans in case the shutdown is prolonged.

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