Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How to be a hero: wild Coho salmon a’la orange. by Pat Farr

Monday, February 13th, 2017

I served this dish with grilled and sliced rib-eye steak, steamed new potatoes and asparagus.

Wild Coho salmon a'la orange was pleasing and popular

Wild Coho salmon a’la orange was pleasing and popular

Here’s the recipe:

  • Wild coho salmon filet, skin on
  • Slices of clementine oranges
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh squeezed clementine juice and zest
  • Olive oil

Sear the salmon, skin down, in hot olive oil.  As it is searing sprinkle with salt and pepper and top it with slices of clementine.  Add the clementine juice and zest plus a little water to bring the liquid level up to about half-way on the filet.  Cover and steam for about four to five minutes (don’t overcook of course).

Remove the lid and reduce the liquid.  Lift the salmon off the skin and serve, using the liquid as a base on the plate.

Serve with steamed new potatoes and asparagus.

You will be a hero.


Maintaining jail beds and critical youth services. by Pat Farr

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017


The revolving door at the back of the jail has been closed.  Lane County Commissioners are asking to keep it that way.

Signing the board order: In the Matter of renewing the public safety 5-year option levy

Signing the board order: In the Matter of renewing the public safety 5-year option levy


You can see the signed board order 17-01-31-01 authorizing placing the measure on May 17, 1017 ballot here:  Sheriff’s levy

Here is the authorized BALLOT LANGUAGE you will see on your May 17th ballot:

Question – Shall County maintain levy funded jail beds and critical youth treatment services levying $0.55 per $1,000 assessed valuation, commencing 2018?

This measure renews current local option taxes.

Summary: Passage of this measure will allow Lane County to: Maintain a minimum of 255 local jail beds for the five year period.

Increased jail capacity has substantially improved the Sheriff’s ability to hold those accused or convicted of violent crimes until their cases are resolved. Continue to provide additional counseling, secure treatment and detention services for Lane County youth offenders. This ensures that more community youth offenders receive the treatment that they need.

The funds generated from this tax must be placed into a restricted special revenue fund specifically earmarked for the jail and youth services.

An external auditor will annually present, in a public forum, an independent audit report to the Sheriff and the Lane County Board of County Commissioners to ensure accountability.

After five years, this tax rate automatically sunsets, unless reapproved by Lane County voters.

This measure generates revenue for five years beginning in 2018, and for the median home in Lane County, valued at $175,679 in 2016, the annual tax payment will be approximately $96.62. The estimated tax cost for this measure is an estimate only based on the best information available from the county assessor at the time of estimate and may reflect the impact of early payment discounts, compression and the collection rate. 2018-$17,796,345; 2019-$18,152,272; 2020-$18,515,317; 2021- $18,885,623; 2022-$19,263,336.


Fog Jetty Creations. by Pat Farr

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

I spend a little time in my wood shop creating pieces of writing art from wood  that has grown or been gathered in Oregon.  I call them Fog Jetty creations.

Myrtlewood, maple burl, vine maple, Oregon boxwood, cherry, Scotch broom, Scotch broom, ancient redwood burl, black walnut

Myrtlewood, maple burl, vine maple, Oregon boxwood, cherry, Scotch broom, Scotch broom, ancient redwood burl, black walnut

I give most of the pens to local nonprofits which use them to generate revenue as auction items or as gifts to donors.  This past year I gave away more than 70 pens to nonprofit organizations or schools.  They have been given as gifts for donations that range from around a hundred dollars to many times that amount.

A local artist, Mark Delp, custom engraves the boxes, this one with the Fog Jetty logo, which was created by my niece Kristin Haggard.

A local artist, Mark Delp, custom engraves the boxes, this one with the Fog Jetty logo, which was created by my niece Kristin Haggard.

Some of the pens are placed into customized presentation cases with the logo of the organization offering the pens as donation gifts.

This series of creations for United Way of Lane County were customized with names of retiring volunteers.

This series of creations for United Way of Lane County were customized with names of retiring volunteers.

Organizations that I have given pens to include St. Vincent DePaul of Lane County, United Way, Square One Villages, Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion School, FOOD for Lane County, Oak Hill School.


Much of the wood that I use to turn pens cannot be found commercially–it is either given to me by friends or it has a long family history.  My favorite wood that I have used is from an ancient redwood burl that my sister Linda found smoldering in a campfire on Oceanside, Oregon beach.  I call this series of pens “Linda,” of course in honor of her.  Each of my varietal pens have a name which lends meaning to the unique species of wood that is used.

These are Linda pens made from ancient redwood burl

These are Linda pens made from ancient redwood burl.

Birdseye maple burl, Lucy pens, named for Lucy Zammarelli, whose husband Mitch makes heirloom furniture.

Birdseye maple burl, Lucy pens, named for Lucy Zammarelli, whose husband Mitch makes heirloom furniture.

Cherry wood from Bill Dwyer's old orchard, named for Bill's wife and best friend, Janet

Cherry wood from Bill Dwyer’s old orchard, named for Bill’s wife and best friend, Janet.

Myrtlewood, called Margaret after my Mother who adored the wood from the time she came to the US.

Myrtlewood, called Margaret after my Mother who adored the wood from the time she came to the US.

A Margaret pen in a burl base on a very old black walnut cant.

A Margaret pen in a burl base on a very old black walnut cant.


At this time none of the pens has been offered for sale.






Clackamas County looks to join Lane County in housing homeless veterans. by Pat Farr

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016


I spent the day this past Monday with Clackamas County Commissiones Martha Shrader and Paul Savas sharing the details of Lane County’s success with Operation 365 housing homeless veterans. I received this “Thank you” message (which I pass along to Kitty Piercy, Terry McDonald, Pearl Wolfe and all of the men and women here in Lane County who made placing 404 homeless veterans in housing possible, drawing national attention). Thanks Tena Olsen for delivering this:

Thank you from Clackamas

“I would like to express my appreciation to Commissioner Pat Farr! I want to thank you for reaching out to my Clackamas County Commissioners and discussing Veterans Homelessness. On Monday everyone was impressed with your vast knowledge of your Program that your County has done with Homelessness. I look forward to continuing this relationship and to future meetings with both you and Clackamas County. Again, I want to express my gratitude for your time that you spent with my County Commissioners and H3S on moving forward with a program here in Clackamas County.”

I am looking forward to helping Clackamas and other counties with their commitment and success housing homeless veterans.

Public Safety in Lane County starts with the Sheriff. by Pat Farr

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

When Lane County voters passed the Sheriff’s levy in May 2013 they sent a clear message: make this a safer place to live.

Sheriff Turner and I celebrate the passage of 20-213 on May 21 2013

Sheriff Turner and I celebrate the passage of 20-213 on May 21 2013

The levy passed by voters is audited by an independent agency and has exceeded all expectations and promises regarding keeping violent criminal offenders in jail. See article by clicking here.

You can read about significant Sheriff’s Department activities through news releases by clicking here.

Sheriff Byron Trapp--a 28-year Lane County Deputy--replaced Sheriff Tom Turner in 2014

Sheriff Byron Trapp–a 28-year Lane County Deputy–replaced Sheriff Tom Turner in 2014

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office provides correctional services including a jail that houses 256 local offenders, a 39-bed Community Corrections Center (work-release), and out-of-custody programs such as Community Service and Sheriff’s Work Crew. We provide 20 hours a day patrol of urban, suburban and rural areas, including timberlands, waterways, and coastal dune areas. The Sheriff’s Office conducts criminal investigations, maintains evidence and property storage, has an extensive criminal justice Records section, and operates a 24/7 Dispatch Center. Court security, offender transport, process services (criminal and civil), emergency management, and search and rescue functions round out the service the office delivers.

State of the County Address will be Monday January 5. by Pat Farr

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014


I will be delivering the State of the County Address on Monday January 5, with the program starting at 5 pm at the Gleason Atrium at the Lane County Events Center (Fairgrounds).

State of the County invitation 2015

The reception begins at 5 pm with refreshments and music provided by the Shasta Middle School Jazz Band conducted by Mike Reetz.  This award-winning band is worth the price of admission.  Actually, quite a lot more since the price of admission is free!

In my address I will cover the highlights of this watershed year in Lane County’s history.  A year that has positioned the county to not only be the best place to live and work and raise your family, but also the healthiest county in the nation.  There is an abundance of parking.


An impromptu panelist at National Association of Black Counties. by Pat Farr

Friday, March 7th, 2014


Heavy snow in Washington DC gave me an unexpected opportunity

Heavy snow in Washington DC gave me an unexpected opportunity


I attended the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference in Washington DC March 1-5 2014.

National Association of Black Counties (NABCO) is a broadly-membered confederation of county officials across the country.

I have been speaking with former Lane County Commissioner Bobby Green responding to his criticism of the lack of diversity in applicants that our recent search for County Administrator produced.  While the national search Lane County conducted produced the best qualified county administrator with impeccable credentials and references (see story here) I have taken former Commissioner Green’s concerns very seriously.  I regarded the meetings of NABCO at the Legislative Conference as an opportunity to find ways to diversify future searches by the Board of Commissioners or by the County Administrator.

I have not been disappointed by contacts that  I have made in Washington this past week.

On March 3, Monday, it snowed heavily in Washington DC.  My first agenda item at the conference was to attend the 9 am meeting of NABCO.  It was a panel discussion with a large group of students from the Washington area to address questions about involvement in public service and address health issue education, particularly surrounding sexually transmitted diseases.

When I entered the room only two people were there, the NABCO administrator and another young woman.  I asked if I had the wrong room, and they told me that I was in the right place but the start of the meeting was delayed because the panelists and the audience had been held up by the blizzard.

It worked out ok for me though.  The second woman in the room was Paige Hendrix, assistant to Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith.  Commissioner Smith and Ms. Hendrix are both deeply involved in the diversity efforts of Multnomah County.  While we waited for the panelists and students to arrive Ms. Hendrix and I engaged in a 45-minute discussion about recruiting qualified applicants from communities of color.

She gave me a host of contacts and set the stage for a discussion between Commissioner Smith and I later in the conference covering the subject.

Toward the end of our discussion the group of students arrived and filed into the meeting room.  There were a hundred or so.

As it turns out the entire group of panelists had not yet arrived, so I was asked to sit in on the panel to respond to questions about public service.  I was honored to do so.  The students were very attentive and eager to learn.

While it wasn’t the way I had planned to spend time at the conference it turned out to be a fantastic opportunity for me to not only pass along knowledge but to gain insights into how I can become more effective in my elective roles.

We spent the morning discussing avenues high school and college students could prepare themselves for work in public policy or elective office.  It was pleasing to me to see tomorrow’s leaders listening and learning.

Hiring a new Lane County Administrator. by Pat Farr

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Lane County logo blue

“County administrator’s firing tops list of the year’s biggest news”


This was the headline of the Register-Guard’s  “Year in review” article last December 22 covering the top news stories of 2013.  It trumped this top ten list compiled by the newspaper:

1. Liane Richardson: Administrator fired for changing her pay

2. Homeless/SLEEPS: Battles over where homeless can camp

3. Police scandals: Accusations fly in Springfield, Eugene

4. Public safety levy: Voters OK money measure for county jail beds

5. Student housing: Developers seek to cash in on UO students

6. Forest plan: Wyden, DeFazio champion bills to increase logging

7. Downtown buzz: Heart of Eugene comes alive with businesses, bars

8. Civic Stadium: Competition intense on how to develop school-owned property

9 (tie). Plastic bag ban: Eugene bans plastic bags at retail outlets+

9 (tie). UO football: A bowl victory, a new coach, a Heisman candidate

10. Big chill: Cold snap brings week of freezing temperatures

This week, Lane County’s Board of Commissioners will begin the final steps for hiring a new County Administrator.

The county’s last two administrators left under less than glowing circumstances.  Liane Richardson was fired and Jeff Spartz left after only three years on the job.  It is imperative that this Board’s hire is one who will be prepared to stay with the county for a period long enough to implement the important policy decisions that will be directed throughout the next three years.  It is also essential that the new staff chief will fit in well with the existing culture, both internally and externally in the community.

The Board has narrowed its list of finalists and will conduct interviews this week.  A full schedule of the Board’s meetings for this week, including dates and times of public and executive session meetings can be seen HERE.

On Wednesday, Commissioners will meet the candidates and have an informal reception.

Interviews will happen on Thursday, and the Board will meet in executive session Thursday and again on Friday to review the interview sessions.

I anticipate a job offer being tendered as early as next week.


Pulling together to keep people warm. by Pat Farr

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

“Pat, you have to call Charley Harvey right away, one of the Egan centers can’t open tonight and they need a place for people to sleep!”

Lieutenant Tom Egan on a grenade range in 1977.  Tom and I served together in Alpha Company of the 2d Battalion of the 162d Infantry.

Lieutenant Tom Egan teaching soldiers on a grenade range in 1977. Tom and I served together in Alpha Company of the 2d Battalion of the 162d Infantry.

My wife, Debi Farr, had received a frantic message from Harvey, who runs the Egan Warming Center for St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County–he needed to talk to me.  Egan Warming  Center, named for US Army and Oregon National Guard Major Tom Egan (see ForumLane article, Tom Egan was a cavalry officer) who died of exposure just before Christmas in 2008, is a group of emergency shelters that open on the coldest nights of the winter each year.

I called Harvey, then St. Vincent’s Director Terry McDonald and found out that one of the regular shelters, a church, could not operate last night, November 21, and the search was on for a one-night alternative.

My next call was to Alicia Hayes, Lane County’s acting administrator, who is also a Eugene 4J School Board Member.  We sat in Alex Cuyler’s office and brainstormed what could be done.  Listening to Alicia think out loud, bouncing ideas, I realized that something was going to happen to provide emergency shelter.  We talked about the Wheeler Pavilion at the Fairgrounds and determined that even though the Holiday Fair was being set up, we could probably come up with  a plan.  Alicia mentioned Harris Hall and then a light bulb switched on.

“4J has empty schools.”  She took over.

I needed to make a quick drive to the First Street Animal Shelter to check on a report that the heating units had broken down, leaving dogs in the cold.  While I was sitting in the parking lot, I called Rebecca Larson, program director for St. Vincent.

“We found a spot,” she said.  Parker Elementary School would be used for the night.

Thanks to Alicia Hayes, school superintendent Sheldon Burman (and the many others whose names I cannot list) for taking action to make last night just a little more comfortable for men and women and kids who otherwise would have had a long, cold night.

A Breach of Public Trust: R-G Editorial hits the nail(s) on the head. by Pat Farr

Sunday, September 29th, 2013


The Register-Guard Editorial Board published an article headlined, A breach of public trust  (Sunday 9/29/13).  It contained many important points, including criticism of Commissioners’ transparency: “So much for transparency and vows by commissioners to bring county government from behind closed doors,”

And questions about the redacted pages of the USO report: “The county says Richardson’s claim is false. Perhaps. But if that’s true, why is it refusing to release the interviews? What’s in them that officials don’t want the public to know?”

WHAT IS NOT POINTED OUT IN THE EDITORIAL is that I had publicly called for a full discussion of the report, the redaction and the reasoning, to be held in executive session.  See Forum Lane, “About the Report” (Friday 9/27/13, two days prior to the printing of the editorial), in which I make public an email that I had sent to Commissioners, the D.A., et al, stating:

 I would like to press for a complete discussion, in executive session, of the report, including the redaction and the reasoning.  I would request that Mr. Gardner be present for the discussion.”

In the interest of allowing release of as much information as is possible, I have called for a County Commission discussion of the USO Consulting investigation report regarding former County Administrator Liane Richardson.

I first spoke of full disclosure of all elements of the report that were permissible legally and did not needlessly violate privacy concerns in August:  Forum Lane #3158  (8/5/13) and Register Guard, “Farr says report should be public” (8/3/13)

Executive session is reserved for items demanding utmost frankness of discussion, and decisions not involving litigation, negotiation or privacy issues are made public following the executive session.  The dismissal of Liane Richardson was one such discussion.

Points made in the R-G editorial are succinct and demand response.  Only through a thorough discussion and subsequent action in a public meeting can the points be answered.  Otherwise any one person’s imagination is free to fill in the (27 pages of) blanks created by the redaction.