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EW! A Blog.

October 30, 2012 04:13 PM

What's happening with the Courthouse Garden property? Just added today to the Eugene City Council work session agenda for noon Wednesday, Oct. 31, is a an "Urban Renewal Agency Work Session: Disposition of Real Property," and we hear from a city planner that's it's about the Courthouse Garden site. We have not been able to confirm whether or not Northwest Community Credit Union will be asking for a waiver of system development charges on what could be a $10 million project. NCCU wants to buy the 1.8 acres for a new headquarters building and bank. The council meets at the Eugene Public Library downtown.

October 29, 2012 06:33 PM

The Lane County Board of Commissioners is meeting on Oct. 31; what scary things might be on the agenda in honor of Halloweeen? (The board will be meeting on Wednesdays only through early December, then they will move to Tuesdays to avoid conflict with the Eugene City Council, which is currently sharing Harris Hall, and footed part of the bill for its renovation.)

Taking a look at the agenda, it looks like "public safety funding" is going to be brought up by County Administrator Liane Richardson. The agenda doesn't provide any materials though, so we're kind of curious as to what the discussion is doing to be about.  Our guess: taxes.

Here is the full agenda, if you want the materials that are provided, follow the link here for the version on the county website.

 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31,  2012 – REGULAR MEETING

(9:00 a.m.)                               (Board of Commissioners’ Conference Room)

1.      ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

2.      #PUBLIC COMMENTS 

Expected maximum time 20 minutes:  Speakers will be taken in the order in which they sign up and will be limited to 3-minutes.  If the number wishing to testify exceeds 7 speakers, then additional speakers may be allowed if the chair determines that time permits or each speaker's time may be reduced to fit within 20 min.)

3.      COMMISSIONERS' RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS AND/OR OTHER ISSUES AND REMONSTRANCE (2 min. limit)

4.      EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 5.      CONSENT CALENDAR

(All items listed here are considered to be routine by the Board of Commissioners and will be enacted by one motion in the form listed below.  There will be no separate discussion of these items.  If discussion is desired, that item will be removed from the Consent Calendar and will be considered separately.)

BEGINNING OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * * (estimated 2 minutes)

A.      County Administration

1)      ORDER 12-10-31-01/ In the Matter of Award of Contract for Developmental Disabilities Remodel (David Suchart, Facilities Planning and Construction Director)

2)      ORDER 12-10-31-02/ In the Matter of Award of Contract for Remodel of Portions of the Mental Health Building (David Suchart, Facilities Planning and Construction Director)

A.      Human Resources

1)      ORDER 12-10-31-03/ In the Matter of Establishing New Salary Ranges for Physician Based Classifications. (Cindy Tofflemoyer, Sr. Human Resource Analyst)

B.      Public Works

1)      ORDER 12-10-31-04/ In the Matter of Authorizing the Sale of Surplus County Owned Real Property For $13,500 to Sally Jo Schwader (Map No. 19-03-15-40-08900, Adjacent To 675 S. 7th St., Creswell). (Jeff Turk, Property Management Officer 2)

            END OF CONSENT CALENDAR * * * *

6.      COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

A.      Announcements

B.      DISCUSSION/ Public Safety Funding (Liane Richardson, County Administrator) (estimated 30 minutes)

7.      COUNTY COUNSEL

A.      Announcements

8.      COMMISSIONERS’ BUSINESS

A.      Announcements

9.      PUBLIC WORKS

A.      ORDER 12-10-31-05/ In the Matter of Electing Whether or Not to Hear Arguments on an Appeal of Hearings Official’s Decision Upon Second Remand, Limited to Review of the Septic System Capability, for a Group Care Home (file PA 09-5314/Teen Challenge) (Jerry Kendall, Associate Planner) (estimated 15 minutes)

10.  REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

11.  EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

            (Commissioners' Conference Room)

12.  OTHER BUSINESS

*NOTE:          Next scheduled Board of Commissioners' Meeting Tuesday, November 6, 2012 and/or Wednesday, November 7, 2012

 Commissioner Pete Sorenson says  at the Oct. 24 meeting, during the commissioners' remonstrance, he criticized the fact that nothing has been done — no public meetings or work sessions — since the board last dealt with the public safety issue in August. Board Chair Sid Leiken informed him that the issues would come up this week, Oct. 31. It's slated for a 30 minute discussion.

So why do we think it's taxes? Sorenson tells us the last time the public safety issue came up, in August, he sent an email to Leiken suggesting a work session to build on all the momentum about public safety. People in Lane County were (and are) pretty upset about the July budget cuts that led to jail releases (and the end of Lane County Animal Services, but that's another story).

Nothing happened til the public safety issue came up on this week's agenda. 

Looking back at the August agendas, public safety came up back on August 1, also under Richardson's County Administration purview. But again, there are no materials attached. That's ok because the news of a possible safety levy that being discussed came out in the R-G, KMTR and elsewhere.  The county paid a pollster to study if Lane County was ready for a tax. The poll, which is on the Lane County Sheriff's website, said yes, as long as the tax was carefully crafted, sunsetted in five years and followed other considerations.

But the county decided to wait, which is why you won't be voting on it next week. You MIGHT vote on it in May, though.

But how are conservative anti-tax commissioners like Bozievich, Faye Stewart and Leiken going to tell voters to vote FOR a tax? EW's guess is that hey will probably keep the focus on "jail beds," aka making sure there's enough room in the jail for criminals and accused criminals, because that's an issue that gets a lot of media attention.

But progressive commissioner Sorenson says "basically jail-only public safety is not a solution." He points out that budgeting for more jail beds but not making room in the budget for other services that have been cut that help prevent people from going to jail or help people not go back to jail after serving time doesn't solve the public safety problem. Sorenson reminds us the October is "domestic violence awareness month" and that's one of the many social issues county budgeting can affect. He also wonders how a fair tax might be determined. 

Wondering about these things too? County Commissioner meetings are open to the public and public comment starts about 9 am in the Commissioners' Conference Room, 125 East 8th Avenue.

October 29, 2012 03:14 PM

Hurrican Sandy is hitting, and our Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of dramatic pictures of the storm. And fake pictures of the storm. That inspiring shot of the soldier guarding the tomb of the Unknown Soldier? It's recent … from September.

And that really dramatic shot of the storm swirling over the Statue of Liberty? Check out this FB post.

The Atlantic has come up with a handy "Insta-Snopes" guide to fake storm photos. Or you can just go right to the real Snopes BEFORE you post.

October 28, 2012 07:35 PM

October 26, 2012 09:16 AM

Just to keep you up-to-date on Lane County news: We are a hotbed of gonnorhea.

 

Number of STI Cases in Lane County Spike According to Health Officials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

According to Lane County Health & Human Services, the latest data on reported cases of sexually transmitted disease and infections shows a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of gonorrhea cases and a 14 percent increase in Chlamydia compared to the same time period in 2011. Both gonorrhea and Chlamydia are major causes of serious reproductive complications in women and gonorrhea can facilitate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission.

“We are very concerned by the numbers we’re seeing here in Lane County, both due to the long term damage these infections can cause and the fact that they are often symptomless,” said Lane County Health Officer, Dr. Patrick Luedtke.

While some men may experience painful urination coupled with abnormal genital discharge, most women with gonorrhea experience either no symptoms or mistake the associated painful urination, bleeding and vaginal discharge with a bladder or vaginal infection. According to Luedtke, prevention and effective treatment are the cornerstones of control efforts. 

“Nationally, treatment of gonorrhea has been complicated by the ability of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to develop antimicrobial resistance, here in Oregon we have no documented resistance, which is good news for infected individuals,” said Luedtke.

All individuals are urged to practice preventative measures, such as condom usage and regular testing, and if you suspect you may have gonorrhea or Chlamydia, see your physician immediately. 

Lane County Health & Human Services is a department of Lane County. Their programs and services create a healthier and safer community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Learn more about the work of Lane County Health and Human Services at: http://www.lanecounty.org/Departments/HHS  

Jason Davis

Lane County Health & Human Services

Public Information Officer

(541)246-2043 (Direct)

www.lanecounty.org/hhs

Just out of curiosity: Anyone know why the county is lower casing gonnoreah but upper casing chlamydia? I just want to make sure I've got the right sexually transmitted-nfection grammar for future reference.

October 26, 2012 11:20 AM

Cirque du Soleil's Quidam runs daily through Sunday, October 28.

October 26, 2012 11:33 AM

Cirque du Soleil's Quidam runs daily through Sunday, October 28.

October 25, 2012 11:24 AM

Oct. 26 (tomorrow) is Eugene Weekly's Best of Eugene Awards show, 7 pm at the McDonald Theatre with emcee Elliot Martinez, guest presenters Eric Alan (KLCC), Jivin' Johnny Etheridge (KRVM), Bev Smith of Kidsports and more. Volifonix, Dreamdog and Sol Seed will perform.

Want to win free tickets? We will be giving them away today and tomorrow on our Facebook page and Twitter.

October 22, 2012 07:59 PM

All photos by Athena Delene

October 19, 2012 03:21 PM

While coal trains have been in the news lately, they aren't the only potentially damaging fossil fuel export coming through Oregon's backyards, ranches, forests and streams. Liquified natural gas (LNG) is still a looming issue.

To learn more, check out this video by Rogue Riverkeeper, KS Wild and Balance Media.

October 18, 2012 02:47 PM

The Seattle jazz group Hardcoretet will be performing at 7 pm Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Jazz Station, 124 W. Broadway. $7 cover, all ages.