Springfield appoints new mayor, set to open schools next week

Springfield appoints a new mayor

After months of deliberations of how to fill the vacancy of the Springfield Mayoral position, the city council appointed Councilor Sean VanGordon to serve as interim mayor. The vote was 4-2, with new council member Kori Radley and Councilor Leonard Stoehr voting for himself. VanGordon will serve as interim mayor through 2022 when the next biennial elections take place.

The appointment creates an opening on the city council. The Ward 1 seat will be appointed by the council and those interested must apply by February 1.

Springfield Public Schools to reopen Feb. 4

After Gov. Brown put out new guidelines, Springfield Public Schools announced they would begin holding in-person classes Feb. 4. The school district plans to start with kindergartners, then bring back 2nd graders Feb. 8, and 3rd graders Feb. 11. Meanwhile 4J and Bethel school districts have not made any decisions on resumption of in-person learning.

The State of Oregon still places Lane County in the “Extreme Risk Level” the highest of the levels.

Lane County is set to begin vaccinations for K-12 educators Monday, Jan. 25, which means that the first to receive it will not be fully vaccinated until the end of the month.

UO to continue with hybrid approach spring term

UO President Schill announced last Tuesday that spring term would look like fall and winter term did: classes will be mix of remote, online, and some in-person.

The University of Oregon has seen a spike in cases in the last couple weeks. UO reported 299 cases total in the last 14 days. Cases from on campus and off campus were nearly equal, and a few cases reported being employees.

City of Eugene passes resolution condemning white nationalism

On the same day as the presidential inauguration, Eugene City Council discussed a resolution that condemned white nationalism. The council voted unanimously on the resolution, which was largely the same as the one they passed in 2019. Added to it was the acknowledgement of Kalapuya land, and subtracted from it is the condemnation of alt-right groups.

At the same meeting Councilor Mike Clark attempted to apologize for his previous remarks where he drew comparisons between the fascist actions on January 6 and those of Black lives matters protestors and anti-fascists. Clark said his comments incidentally “ended up fanning the flames of the people on the political left.” Not specifically addressing the comments or drawing a distinction.

Local links

  • After pressure from local advocates, the City of Eugene said it will not clear out unhoused campers at the Washington Jefferson Park en masse, but will evict those not in “compliance” on Tuesday the 26th.

  • The City of Eugene has posted new rules they say they will be following with regards to urban camping

  • Eugene Housing and Neighborhood Defense shares the story of a black family facing eviction in Eugene

  • Michael Hames-García and Disarm UO write for the Daily Emerald, “Schill’s decision to double down on the presence of an armed university police force is offensive to BIPOC students, faculty, staff, community members, their allies and common decency.”

  • Blake Roberts, shared his experience with the poor COVID safety conditions in the Lane County Jail, where he was incarcerated.

  • In lawsuit, Oregon inmates ask for immediate access to COVID-19 vaccine

  • Annual homeless point-in-time count will look a little different in Lane County this year

  • St. Vincent De Paul and Peace Health partnered to place five shelters at 717 Highway 99N to temporarily house discharged patients

The week ahead