Archive for the ‘Pat Farr’ Category

Continuing to house homeless veterans in Lane County. by Pat Farr

Monday, December 11th, 2017

I took this photo of Mrs. Obama from my seat in the White House East Room as she delivered a powerful speech supporting creating and maintaining housing for our nation’s veterans

A year ago I was called to the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama in recognition of Lane County housing 404 homeless veterans in the year ending in March 2016.  Former Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy was also invited.  I took as my guest Jon Ruiz, Eugene’s City Manager and Terry McDonald of St. Vincent DePaul of Lane County joined us as Kitty’s guest.

Revealing the number of veterans housed during Operation 365 with Terry McDonald and Kitty Piercy

Since then the work of finding housing for veterans here continues.  436 veterans have been housed since that date in 2016.
Each month Lise Stuart from Lane County Human Services compiles the record of the continuing services and forwards a copy to me and to the people and agencies who are tirelessly working to place men, women and families in housing.
Here is the list distributed by Lise on December 8.
Lane County Highlights:
·            436 Homeless Veterans on the By-Name List have been housed (temporary or permanent) since 03/2016 (20 months) 
CoC-HUD APR Veteran Destinations (This is an unduplicated count, therefore this number may go down because veterans return to homelessness)
·            159 Veterans currently on the By-Name Active List
·              97 Number Veterans had a Coordinated Entry Assessment to get on the homeless housing wait list since 03/2016
·                0 Number Veterans had a Coordinated Entry Assessment to get on the homeless housing wait list in the past week 
         (0 in past 30 days)
·          1418 Individuals have been assessed for the Homeless Veteran By-Name List since 03/2016
·              20 New Homeless Veteran By-Name assessments in the past week
·              36 Unscreened homeless Veterans on the list
·                6 New Homeless Veterans (unscreened) added to ServicePoint CMIS/HMIS in the week
The agencies and staffs involved in this effort include:  Lane County, Cities of Eugene and Springfield, Catholic Community Services of Lane County, FOOD for Lane County, St. Vincent DePaul of Lane County, Community Supported Shelters, Lane County ShelterCare.

Safe and legal camping in Lane County. by Pat Farr

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

 

Lane County Commissioners acted Tuesday to help local homeless people who are living in their cars. The commissioners have faced reality.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to allow overnight car camping on private property in the Santa Clara area, north of Randy Papé Beltline.

While this would be a pilot project, a similar car camping program, called the Overnight Parking Program, already exists in Eugene. The Eugene program, a partnership between the city and the nonprofit St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County, has been operating smoothly since the late 1990s. Last year, OPP helped 81 individuals, and 27 families with 41 children, at a cost to the city of $89,000.

The sad reality is that these are people who will be living out of their vehicles regardless of how the commissioners voted. They just wouldn’t be as safe or as stable — which is particularly hard on families with children. Nor would they have minimal provisions for sanitation.

Eugene’s program, in contrast, provides screening and placement of campers, sanitation, trash pick-up and parking site management at no cost to the host. It also reduces the amount of time police have to spend responding to reports of illegal camping, allowing them to focus on more important law enforcement needs.

Living in a vehicle isn’t a lifestyle people generally choose if they have other options, but it’s a better than living on the streets, often the only other alternative for car campers. St. Vincent de Paul has found that providing a safe, legal place to camp in a vehicle helps families and individual in crisis stabilize their lives and gain better access to services that can help them get back on their feet and into employment.
Eugene is far from the only city that has approved legal places for car camping. For example, Ashland, which has been struggling with soaring housing costs, began a vehicle camping program this year when a Unitarian church stepped forward and offered space.

The number of police citations for illegal camping in Ashland plummeted — from 146 in 2016 to 29 in the first half of this year, the Medford Mail Tribune reported. (Citations carry fines of around $100, and failure to pay or appear can result in an arrest warrant — a heavy price to pay for being unable to afford housing.)

An effort earlier this year to open a homeless camp in a part of Santa Clara that is within Eugene’s city limits, on an undeveloped city park site near the Fred Meyer store, fizzled in the face of neighborhood opposition.

The reality is that whether some Santa Clara residents like it or not, there are already homeless people camping in their area — they just don’t have a high profile.

What a legal homeless camp will do is bring them out of the shadows, improving their safety and making sure they have access to basic needs.

Santa Clara residents will deal with homelessness one way or the other — by paying for law enforcement, trash pickups and other byproducts of illegal camping, or by allowing adults and children to park their vehicles in a legal, safe and sanitary place, making it easier for them to get back on their feet. The latter option makes more sense.

Thank you Register-Guard for this article:  Facing car-camping facts, printed in the November 29, 2017 Register-Guard.

Clackamas County Housing Panel Discussion. by Pat Farr

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Lane County is a World Class place to live and visit

 

LINKS FOR LANE COUNTY HOUSING RESOURCES

 

http://www.opportunityvillageeugene.org/

 

https://www.squareonevillages.org/emerald

 

http://www.svdp.us/what-we-do/affordable-housing/

 

http://communitysupportedshelters.org/

 

http://www.hacsa.org/sites/default/files/fileattachments/bascom_village.pdf

 

http://www.lanecounty.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=3585881&pageId=3719971

 

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