Eugene selects first "Safe Sleep" sites, EWEB set to cut down old growth trees

City of Eugene picks first two “Safe Sleep” sites

The Eugene City Council approved its first two “Safe Sleep” sites at its work session last Wednesday, one at Chase Commons Park and one at 2nd and Garfield. Chase Commons Park will accommodate up to 20 Conestoga huts while the 2nd and Garfield location will provide opportunities for car camping and tents.

The sites are expected to accommodate in total 70 to 80 people and open up at the end of August. City staff reported at the work session that June’s Homeless by Name List had 2,506 accessing services in the area, and they think that count understates the amount of unhoused people in the area.

A strong theme throughout the work session from Councilor Clark and Councilor Groves was centering the voices of the housed neighbors and business owner complaints about unhoused people. Councilor Clark was eager to shut down at Washington Jefferson camp and questioned the CDC’s shelter in place recommendation. Councilor Keating pushed back on going against CDC COVD-19 guidance, especially with the strength of the Delta variant. The City has said it will not work to move out campers following its guidelines in Washington Jefferson park until new Safe Tent sites are operational.

EWEB wants to cut old growth in Southeast Eugene forest for new reservoirs

During a summer we experienced a record-breaking heat wave and Oregon is experiencing multiple extreme wildfires EWEB is planning to cut down around 265 trees, at the forest near East 40th Avenue and Patterson to build two new reservoirs. EWEB has stated that tree removal is slated to begin on August 2. An all volunteer group has sprung up, calling themselves Save EWEB Forest, claiming the public utility has not been communicative and cutting down this old growth would exacerbate the climate crisis. The group is holding a town hall about the issue on Thursday from 7-9 PM at Tsunami Books.

Local links

  • Last year a Eugene man was arrested during a mental health crisis. He died two days after deputies knelt on his back at the Lane County Jail. — Eugene Weekly in collaboration with the Catalyst Journalism Project at report out details of the Eugene Police Department’s killing of Landon Payne after he was taken as he was experiencing a mental health crisis. Additionally detailing how the County kept his death a secret for over a year.

  • In a follow up the Weekly and Catalyst talk to doctors about what his death ruling of “undetermined” means. “[Lane County Medical Examiner Daniel] Davis chose “undetermined.” His ruling was important: A finding of “homicide” would have triggered an independent criminal investigation into Payne’s death.”

  • KLCC interviewed Ardeshir Tabrizian, the reporter behind this story.

  • In preparation for fire season the Eugene Springfield Fire Department has created emergency evacuation zones

  • Lane Community College became the first community college in Oregon to require the COVID-19 vaccine for its students, faculty, and staff this fall after agreeing to the policy at its meeting last Wednesday.

  • With the rise in COVID cases the Oregon Health Authority says it will not put back in place statewide restrictions but instead encourage counties with low vaccination rates to “take action now”.

  • Oregon Health Authority recently set a goal of vaccinating 80% of adults of of color by the end of this summer and 80% of all adults “in coming months”.

  • Two of the organizers of Creswell’s unpermitted far right parade were fined $2,550 each by the Lane County Sherriff’s office.

  • In response, two dozen cars of far right activists held a “Prohibited Activity” parade Saturday

  • The event was promoted by Ammon Bundy’s People’s Rights network, the Western Oregon Libertarian Org, and Patriot Prayer. Organizers are planning to hold another parade at Biven’s arraignment on August 11th.

  • McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center plans to outsource essential workers

  • Starting January Oregon will require death certificates to note if a person who died was experiencing homelessness.

  • Eugene Springfield Fire has created evacuation zones in preparation for emergencies like wildfires.

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