Kesey Square Closure May Unfairly Affect Unhoused

Photo by Trask Bedortha

On May 27 the Eugene Police Department brought the City Council a proposal to close Kesey Square between 11 pm and 6 am, a move that some say is targeting the homeless population. Kesey Square, aka Broadway Plaza, is a city-deemed performance space that sits on the corner of Broadway and Willamette, home to the bronze statue of Ken Kesey. The City Council has not scheduled a vote. Civil Liberties Defense Center attorney Lauren Regan says the proposal to close the public square is repugnant in the face of the human rights image touted by the city of Eugene. Continue reading 

Neighborhoods Seek More Say In Development Rules

Some neighborhood leaders are saying that the city of Eugene has not included neighborhoods enough in decisions about new property tax exemption rules for housing developments of five or more units, aka the MUPTE (Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption) program. MUPTE is aimed at increasing the amount of multi-unit housing in order to prepare for projected population growth and it exempts developers from paying property taxes for up to 10 years. The program was suspended last year so the Eugene City Council can revise the eligibility requirements.  Continue reading 

Testing Limits

Ultramarathons push the body’s boundaries

Ultramarathon runners push themselves hard, running up to 100 miles at a time and ascending thousands of feet. A deep passion for what they do and strong commitment to running turns a hobby into a lifestyle, and Eugene is home to some of the highest-placing ultramarathon contestants. Approximately 20 times a year, long-distance runners come to the Oregon wilderness to compete in ultramarathons — races longer than the average 26.2-mile marathon and spanning up to 100 miles. Ultramarathons are run on trails, which often include vertical ascent.  Continue reading 

Big Neighborhood Confab Here During Budget Cuts

More than 550 people will come to Eugene from across the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands and Japan to learn about community building, according to city neighborhood planner and conference planner Rene Kane. The conference comes to town as Eugene neighborhood leaders fret over proposed funding cuts to eighborhood services. Eugene will host the Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) conference May 21 to 24. Continue reading 

Downtown Springfield Starts Food Carts

Food carts will soon be a regular fixture on the streets of downtown Springfield. Local nonprofit Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) has been working with city staff to create a food cart program in hopes it will encourage downtown revitalization. “There are a lot of examples around the country of the way that these programs have injected a new life into the community,” says Dave Johnson, NEDCO food hub operations supervisor. Continue reading 

A New Route to Ride

Biking from campus to community

A new route is in the works for bicyclists to travel between downtown Eugene and UO. The possibilities the city is considering include bicycle-specific signals and a two-way cycle track — bicycle lanes going both with and against traffic on one side of the street — on 13th Avenue, as well as a concrete barrier between bicycle and car lanes. The parents of a Eugene cyclist who was killed on his bicycle have pledged a large donation to the project. Continue reading 

City Home Repair Program Drained Of Funding

Eugene City Council reallocated $150,000 to the city’s Emergency and Minor Home Repairs (EMHR) program, which assists low-income homeowners and tenants with emergency and accessibility-related home repairs. The program experienced a higher demand than usual for repair assistance this winter, according to City Grants Manager Michael Wisth, and had exhausted its funding for fiscal year 2014. Funds were taken from the city’s microenterprise development program. Continue reading 

Women Challenge Leiken

Sheri Moore

Springfield City Councilor Sheri Moore and Licensed Practical Nurse Charmaine Rehg are challenging the current Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken for the Springfield district seat. Both Moore and Rehg say the current commissioners are not responsive enough to the public’s concerns. “I was seeing that the county really does have a lot to do with the lives of the people of Springfield,” Moore says, “and I’m not happy about the way they’re doing the job.” Continue reading 

Transit Group Seeks Input On Low-Income Needs

The nonprofit Better Eugene Springfield Transit (BEST) will host a meeting May 14, during which they will hear concerns from Lane County human services providers about the community’s public transit needs. Laurie Trieger on the BEST board of directors says she anticipates the conversation will be about transportation needs of low-income individuals. Continue reading