Archive for the ‘Pat Farr’ Category

Eclipse in Lane County: tips for your safety on August 21 2017. by Pat Farr

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

The eclipse in Lane County will look something like this

Eclipse tips for Lane County residents

Lane County is gearing up to help residents and visitors make the most of the 2017 solar eclipse on August 21st!
With much of Lane County at or close to ninety-nine percent totality we have a great opportunity to view the eclipse without fighting traffic and the risk of being stuck on the road during the event,” said Lane County Emergency Manager Linda Cook. “We encourage residents to enjoy the eclipse from a location near them – a backyard, balcony or similar place can provide a great and convenient view.”

Tips for Lane County residents during the eclipse:

• Consider the eclipse a multi-day event with increased traffic and visitors between August 16 and August 23.
• We are on the “path to the path” of totality. Roads on and off major highways might be busier than usual August 16–23 so be sure to pack your patience!
• Keep your cool and be kind in crowds and traffic. It’s sort of like a busy holiday that only comes once every 100 years or so. (The next total solar eclipse to cross Oregon will happen in 2169!)
• Don’t get stuck! Bypass the lines by filling up your gas tank and grocery shopping early in the week before the eclipse.
• Be patient with the internet, the ATM and your cell phone. With the increased number of visitors, internet and cellular service may become slow or overwhelmed (especially on Monday).
• Don’t fall for a fake: wear certified glasses made to protect your eyes from an eclipse. Learn more from NASA at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.
Reminders for visitors during the eclipse:
• Pack ahead. Skip the lines and make food, beverage and other purchases before you leave.
• Remember cellular service is limited in much of Lane County and Oregon.
• Bring a printed map in case cellular service is slow or unavailable.
• Help keep Lane County green: If you packed it in, pack it out.
• Be water wise and carry plenty with you.
Know the tides if you visit the beach during the eclipse. Tidal changes affect rivers too.
• Know where your safety areas are & be familiar with tsunami evacuation routes on the coast.
• Be aware of beach hazards: keep an eye on the waves & don’t play on logs as they can shift and injure climbers.

 

Thanks Sergeant Carrie Carver, Lane County Sheriff’s Department, for these tips and text…

Lane County Commissioners will interview candidates to replace Faye Stewart on April 12 2017. by Pat Farr

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Commissioners will interview candidates to replace Faye Stewart, seated on the left.

I will join Board of County Commissioners vice-chair Jay Bozievich and Commissioners Sid Leiken and Pete Sorenson on Thursday April 12 to determine who will replace Faye Stewart as East Lane County Commissioner.  26 candidates will participate.

Interviews for the District 5, East Lane commissioner seat will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions.

Beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene), the 26 candidates who met minimum qualifications and were available for the interview will each be asked to “Tell us why you applied for this position.”

Each candidate will have three minutes to speak. The order will be determined by having candidates draw numbers prior to the start of the meeting. Commissioners will not comment or ask additional questions of the candidates at this time.

After all 26 candidates have spoken, commissioners will deliberate and each commissioner will choose no more than three candidates to move forward to the afternoon session. We anticipate those deliberations will begin around 11:00 a.m.

The Board will break for lunch while staff from the Human Resources Department notifies candidates of the selection.

The second round of interviews will begin at 1:00 p.m. The candidates who were chosen to move forward to this round will each have 15 minutes to answer three questions from commissioners. The order will again be established by drawing numbers.

The questions will be selected from a list provided by the Human Resources director. The Board chair will direct questioning with the three remaining commissioners each asking one question.

After the second round of interviews is complete, commissioners will rank their top three choices. Each commissioner’s first choice will receive three points, second choice will receive two points and third choice will receive one point.

The three candidates who receive the highest number of points will move forward to answer a final question.

After the three top candidates are given three minutes to answer the final question, the Board will deliberate toward a decision.

In order to be appointed, a candidate must receive a minimum of three votes from commissioners. The Board of County Commissioners may recess for the evening and resume the process on Thursday morning if it is unable to come to a decision in a timely manner on Wednesday evening.

The meeting is open to the public and all deliberations will be conducted in public session. The meeting is also available at Comcast Channel 21 (Metro TV) to Eugene/Springfield-area Comcast subscribers.

The meeting is also available as a live webcast at http://lanecounty.ompnetwork.org.

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

IN THE MATTER OF REFERRING A RENEWAL OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY FIVE YEAR LOCAL OPTION LEVY TO THE VOTERS OF LANE COUNTY TO MAINTAIN JAIL BEDS AND CRITICAL YOUTH SERVICES

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.

 

How to be a hero: Thanksgiving dinner on a gloomy January Wednesday. by Pat Farr

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

 

Every now and then I am going to add something that has little or nothing to do with policy, strategy or news.  Here’s a sample:

On a gloomy January Wednesday Debi and I enjoyed a candle-lit Thanksgiving dinner

On a gloomy January Wednesday, Debi and I enjoyed a candle-lit Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving in January

 

Who has time or energy to prepare a stellar, award-winning, tremendously popular and heroic meal on a weekday after a busy day on the job?  Well, here’s how to prepare this meal in 45 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb.     Sliced carved turkey breast, purchased from a superb Deli
  • 1          Large sweet potato
  • 2lb.     Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1lb.     Broccoli crowns
  • 1/2 cup each    Chopped carrots, celery, onion
  • 3/4 cup     Dried bread strips
  • Chicken stock
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried parsley, minced garlic, sage
  • Milk or half and half
  • Cranberry ginger beer (or your choice of stemware-worthy beverage)

 

The first secret:  Put the sweet potato into a 350-degree oven, chop and rinse the potatoes and start them boiling in salt water.  All other steps are completed as the two cook.  After 30 minutes microwave the sweet potato until it is soft, maybe 4 minutes, the skin will be crisp and easy to peel off.

Make the stuffing: Sautee the carrots, celery and onion in butter and garlic, while still slightly crisp add the parsley, sage, chicken stock and dried bread, mix together, place in an oven proof serving dish and place alongside the sweet potato in the oven.

Steam the broccoli:  place the broccoli in an inch of salted water, cover and boil rapidly for four minutes.  Turn off heat.  At some point, rinse the broccoli, while in the saucepan, in cold water to stop cooking.

Make the gravy:  make a rue of butter and flour, add the chicken stock, pepper and stir to thicken.

Make the sweet potatoes:  peel and quarter lengthwise, place in an oven-proof serving dish and top with butter and brown sugar.  Place in the oven beside the dressing.

Make the potatoes:  drain the water (you can use some of this to adjust thickness of the gravy), add butter and milk and mash by hand.  Cover and keep warm.

Arrange the delicatessen-fabulous turkey breast in a serving dish.

Set the table.

Place all ingredients not already in serving dishes into them, place on table and pour your drinks.

Sit in the dimly-lit dining room with candles burning…when the door opens:  you are a hero!

 

 

Remembering my friend and fellow soldier Tom Egan. By Pat Farr

Sunday, December 18th, 2016
I took this photo of Tom Egan teaching soldiers on the grenade course at Camp Rilea, Oregon

I took this photo of Tom Egan teaching soldiers on the grenade course at Camp Rilea, Oregon

Tom Egan was a cavalry officer.

 

I served with Lieutenant Egan starting in 1977 in the 162nd Infantry Brigade, 2nd regiment, alpha company.  At the time, not too long after our troops had returned from Vietnam, strength in the unit was low and Tom and I were two of only three commissioned officers  in the company.  The third was Captain Tony O’Connor.  The three of us spent a great deal of time together, along with another commander, Captain Ray Byrne.  (This article was reprinted in the Register Guard on Christmas Day, 2016, titled:  Unforgotten Soldier, memory of Tom Egan moves community to act)

In November 2016 I traveled to Washington DC along with Mayor Kitty Piercy and our guests Terry McDonald and Jon Ruiz to receive recognition and celebrate Michelle Obama’s challenge to house homeless veterans.  Locally operation 365 housed 404 homeless veterans during 2015.

Ours was a great effort, but far too late to help my friend Tom Egan, who died a few feet from where I am standing, homeless, freezing cold–suffering from alcoholism and its accompanying despair.

After spending time in the White House being congratulated for Operation 365  in Lane County I spent the next day with retired Colonel Tony O’Connor.  We decided, and its true, that celebration of efforts is hollow—eggshell thin—as long as a single person, veteran or other, is on the street while the rest of us enjoy what every man woman and child should have—a warm and secure place to sleep.

That is why I am dedicating the next five years of my public service to funding, locating and building at least 600 new units of housing—permanent apartments, tiny houses, single room occupancy units—that are dedicated to people suffering from behavioral health disorders—substance abuse, mental illness, PTSD.  These supportive housing units will not only come with a safe, secure, sanitary place to live but with wrap-around case work and care.  It will be hard to do, and it will require a monumental coordinated effort of government, nonprofit and private citizens and organizations.

We will call it Operation 600 (see story here).  And it will be dedicated and designed to prevent tragic endings such as the one Tom Egan suffered right here in this place.

The idea came from a breakout session at the Lane County Poverty and Homelessness Board’s annual retreat in October.  Kitty Piercy, Steve Manella, Jacob Fox, Michael Kinnison and I were brainstorming ideas for the board’s aggressive strategic plan which includes adding a large number of supportive housing units, and Kitty said, “Operation 365 rang a bell with a lot of people, how about Operation 600?”  We all grabbed the idea.

And Operation 600 has begun.  A project for 60 studios on Lane County property next to the Behavioral Health Center on MLK Blvd has received commissioners’ support and is in the artist conceptual stage…another project with up to 60 supportive housing units for single moms and their children is being discussed and supported, also on Lane County property.  The Oaks, a joint effort of Sponsors and the Housing and Community Services Agency (HACSA) in west Eugene, is nearing completion.  Last month we opened HACSA’s  second phase of Bascom Village which along with St. Vincent DePaul’s first phase now houses hundreds of  men, women and children.

Square One Villages, St. Vincent DePaul, HACSA, ShelterCare, are all in the process of adding permanent supportive housing.  Eugene Mission is a powerful partner in the efforts.

Lane County is engaged, Eugene is engaged, Springfield is engaged…Cottage Grove, Oakridge, Creswell, Junction City, Florence—we will all be engaged.  And it is happening.

Tom Egan was a brilliant man and will never know the impact he has had.  But his friends who are engaged in making sure he will be memorialized here will always remember.

As we reminisced about Tom Egan, Colonel O’Connor reminded me of Tom’s humor.  His engaging manner was popular with his soldiers and his friends alike.  While sitting around the tactical operation center during bivouac training Tom would lull us to sleep with laughter.

He had an amazing sense of humor and could deliver extemporaneous monologue on almost any topic.  His renditions of his role model, Teddy Roosevelt—who he was the spitting image of—left us all in stitches.

He taught soldiers at Fort Bliss Texas, and one of his favorite classes was in the use of the M67 fragmentation hand grenade.  He’d hold one up and say, “Meet Mr. hand grenade.”  Then he’d pull the pin.  “Without the pin, Mr. Hand Grenade is not your friend…”  He captured the class’s attention.

His puns were classic, such as, “If lawyers are disbarred for misconduct, are cowboys de-ranged?  Are librarians dis-carded?”

Captain Ray Byrne is now retired General Ray Byrne.  Ray shared a few words, “He was a good reliable friend and a good soldier.  He enjoyed being a soldier and a scholar and serving his country.  Alcohol can get the best of men and every day can be a struggle, which Tom unfortunately lost. Everyone who knew him misses his quick wit, jokes and toasts.  I remember him as never being down or discouraged.”

Now let us all remember Tom Egan’s life with a smile and his death with a promise.

Veteran phot

Senator James Ivory Manning,Jr.–I like the sound of that. by Pat Farr

Friday, December 16th, 2016
Senator James I. Mannng Jr.

Senator James I. Mannng Jr.

SENATOR JAMES IVORY MANNING Jr…that has a good sound! But far beyond that it reminds me that a highly qualified public servant with a long history of caring for the well-being of children, women and men–not only here but across the nation and around the world, is now the first black man to represent Lane County in the Oregon Legislature.

When summing up my myriad reasons for amending the nominating motion made by Commissioner Jay Bozievich (which had been to nominate Val Hoyle) to read, “James Manning” instead, I found myself in trouble trying to limit my number of words.

I was thankful that the Register-Guard, in an article this morning (December 16, 2016), helped me out:

“Manning brings to the Legislature a record of military service — he is an Army veteran — as well as extensive public service in Lane County, including with the Bethel School District, the Pearl Buck Center, the Eugene Police Commission, the Eugene Water & Electric Board and a homeless task force. He also chairs the Oregon Commission on Black Affairs and co-founded the Oregon Black Education Foundation to help needy students.

“Commissioner Pat Farr suggested more diversity in the state Legislature would be a good thing, noting that Manning, if chosen, would be Lane County’s first black legislator.

“Commissioner Jay Bozievich took exception to this, saying that race would be “a really bad decision point” and that the commissioners should be “color blind.” In saying this, Bozievich is ignoring reality, and also doing Manning a bit of a disservice.”

I am proudly standing with retired Sergeant Major James Manning, Brigadier General Norm Hoffman and a military piper at a ceremony honoring veterans in November, 2016

I am proudly standing with retired Sergeant Major James Manning, Brigadier General Norm Hoffman and a military piper at a ceremony honoring veterans in November, 2016

To read the entire Register Guard article Go here…

 

Fog Jetty Creations pens raise funds for homelessness efforts in Lane County. by Pat Farr

Saturday, November 26th, 2016
Myrtlewood pen art will raise money for housing homeless in Lane county

These Myrtlewood pens will raise money for housing homeless in Lane county

Donation for Square One Villages.  These are twelve of 15 Fog Jetty Creations Oregon Myrtlewood pens that will be given this week.  Square One Villages provide emergency and transitional housing for people who otherwise would likely be living on the streets or under bushes.  Additionally, Emerald Village Eugene, part of the effort, will provide permanent living in tiny houses.

These pens are photographed with a backdrop of milled and not yet turned blanks. All twelve finished pieces plus the blanks are from the same tree, which grew in Curry County, and demonstrate the wide variation in the beautiful wood: from the highly-figured deepp browns all the way to blonde.

I turn Myrtlewood pens in memory of my Mother, Margaret Clayton Farr, who adored the native Oregon wood.  These pens and others I have given will be sold at auction or given as gifts for donations.

Before donning the mask and goggles, I am sizing up the blanks for accurate safe turning

Before donning the mask and goggles, I am sizing up the blanks for accurate safe turning

Lane County Voters: review both sides of your ballot! by Pat Farr

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Review both sides of your November 8 ballot

Ballots are arriving in the mail of registered Lane County voters. Before turning in a ballot, voters should remember to review both sides of the ballot.

 
“Lane County Elections wants to remind registered voters to review both sides of their official ballot. All registered voters will have additional voting opportunities on the back of their ballot,” said Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart. “Once a ballot has been returned it cannot be amended or recast.”

Registered voters anywhere in Oregon who have changed their address still have time to update their registration and qualify for a full ballot. Those with any election-related questions should contact Lane County Elections at 541-682-4234.

Voters may drop off their ballots at one of many official drop box locations listed in the insert included with their ballot. Drop boxes are now open and will remain open until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Click here for a list of drop box locations.

Lane County voters can also sign up to track their ballots via a new service called BallotTrax, which allows voters to sign up online to receive alert messages via text, phone or email. Voters who sign up will receive messages when their ballot is mailed out and when it is accepted for counting.

Voters can sign up for BallotTrax at lanecounty.org/elections by selecting the “Track Your Ballot Alerts” link.

Lane County Elections is located at 275 W. 10th Avenue, on the corner of 10th and Lincoln in downtown Eugene. Our public office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. On Election Day, November 8, 2016, the Lane County Elections Office will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Lane County is working with city of Eugene in unprecedented ways to coordinate city hall, courthouse placement. by Pat Farr

Monday, October 17th, 2016
City of Eugene and Lane County public information officers Jan Bohman and Devon Ashbridge coordinate messaging and outreach to inform Lane County residents about the facilities placement process

City of Eugene and Lane County public information officers Jan Bohman and Devon Ashbridge coordinate messaging and outreach to inform Lane County residents about the facilities placement process

Lane County, Lane County Circuit Court and the city of Eugene have appointed a task force to work through the options and details of placement of the new County Courthouse, Eugene City Hall and a permanent year-round farmers’ market.

The multi-jurisdictional group, called the Coordinated Downtown Development Task Force has met four times and coordinated a joint meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Eugene City Council and court officials.  We will continue with an aggressive schedule of meetings, both of the task force and Joint Elected Officials between the current November 14 deadline for recommendations to the elected bodies.

The task force consists of Lane County Commission officers Faye Stewart and me; Eugene City Council members Mayor Kitty Piercy, George Poling and Chris Pryor and Lane County Circuit Court presiding judge Karsten Rasmussen.  Both county administrator Steve Mokrohisky and Eugene city manager Jon Ruiz are participating along with key staff members, who are conducting the research and compiling presentations for the elected officials.

The work is fast-paced and on target.  It is being coordinated and facilitated by four-star local architectural firm Cameron McCarthy, led by Larry Gilbert.

Brian Criner, Lane County administrator Steve Mokrohisky, Liz Rambo and city councilor George Poling during a task force presentation on October 14

Brian Criner, Lane County administrator Steve Mokrohisky, Liz Rambo and city councilor George Poling during a task force presentation on October 14

Two meetings during the week of October 17 will offer opportunities to learn more about the City and County’s collaborative exploration of opportunities to site City Hall, the County Courthouse and the Farmers Market in ways that support vitality and growth downtown and make efficient use of public resources.
 
There are two opportunities to receive an update and provide comment next week:
 
Public Open House: On Tuesday, October 18, a public open house will present information on the facilities and sites under discussion and will seek comment from attendees. City and County staff as well as representatives of the professional facilitator, Cameron McCarthy, will be present to provide information and answer questions. The open house is from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., in the lobby of the Atrium Building (99 W. 10th Avenue, Eugene).
 
Joint Elected Officials Meeting: On Wednesday, October 19, the County-City Joint Elected Officials (full Lane County Board of Commissioners and Eugene City Council) will meet at 12:00 p.m. to hear an update regarding program requirements of the three main facilities, including square footage, parking and other factors; a set of prerequisites and considerations by which the development models may be reviewed; and preliminary options for possible development models. The meeting will be held in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene).
 
Community members can also visit www.downtownplanning.org to complete a brief survey and provide comment, as well as see a full list of future meetings.
 
In addition to opportunities for the public to engage in the process, the task force is reaching out to nearby businesses, property owners and partner organizations, as well as other stakeholders.
 
The task force will provide information to the City Council and Board of County Commissioners on November 14 regarding potential collaborative concepts that could deliver greater benefit to the community than the current plans each government has for its individual projects.

 

 

Oregon County Commissioners tour Lane County emergency and transitional housing sites. by Pat Farr

Friday, October 14th, 2016

 

Veterans Rest Stop operated by Community Supported Shelters offers safe, secure and clean transitional residences for homeless veterans

Veterans Safe Spot operated by Community Supported Shelters offers safe, secure and clean transitional residences for homeless veterans

On October 14, 2016 I will facilitate a tour of emergency, transitional and permanent housing facilities in Lane County for a group of Oregon county commissioners.  We will visit a variety of sites that are of interest to members of the Association of Oregon Counties who are hoping and expecting to develop and build a variety of types of housing in their home counties.

I am with Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall at Opportunity Village Eugene

I am with Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall at Opportunity Village Eugene

Following is the itinerary for the tour including links to the facilities we will visit and other facilities that provide a ladder of housing ranging from emergency shelters to permanent home-ownership opportunities:

County Commissioners facilities tour of Lane County veterans’ and other emergency and transitional housing facilities

October 14 2016

1:00 pm           Arrive at Opportunity Village 111 North Garfield, Eugene

Visit rest stop at Garfield and Roosevelt Avenues, on city of Eugene owned property, this rest stop has facilities for disabled homeless individuals.

Tour Opportunity Village Eugene, on city of Eugene owned property, on city of Eugene owned property, this facility has conestoga-dwellings, wooden huts, community food preparation, gathering and warming and sanitation.

http://www.opportunityvillageeugene.org/p/contact-us.html

2:25 pm           Travel to Veterans’ Safe Spot 1542 W 1st Avenue, Eugene, on Eugene Mission property.  Transitional housing for veterans.

http://communitysupportedshelters.org/eugene-safe-spots

Visit adjacent Nightingale Rest Stop:  transitional housing currently on Mission property, which has been historically located on Lane County property.  This facility elocates every six (or so) months

http://respectexistence.org/nightingale-health-sanctuary-full-description/

If time permits we will visit an emergency car camp on Lane County Property

The  tour was well attended, although accompanied by severe weather including thunder, lightning, hail, heavy wind and rain!  Thanks to Dan Bryant and Tod Scheider for guiding.

Dan Bryant explains to Oregon County Commissioners how the great hall at Opportunity Village serves the residents

Dan Bryant explains to Oregon County Commissioners how the great hall at Opportunity Village serves the residents

Other websites of interest regarding veterans’ housing, chronic homelessness and housing first efforts in Lane County:

Square One Villages, Emerald Village Eugene just broke ground on a tiny house project that will provide equity building opportunities for residents of the village:  http://www.squareonevillages.org/emerald

Operation 365 Veteran Homelessness website with links to partners in the project that housed 404 homeless veterans and their families in 2015:  https://www.eugene-or.gov/2942/Homeless-Veterans-Program

St. Vincent DePaul of Lane County Veterans’ Housing Project website, providing houses and apartments to veterans and their families:  https://www.svdp.us/what-we-do/affordable-housing/vet-lift/vet-housing-project-1/

Stellar Apartments includes 14 units for families of deployed National Guard soldiers and homeless veterans:  http://www.svdp.us/what-we-do/affordable-housing/rental-housing/completed-projects/stellar-apartments/

 

Pat Farr