Archive for the ‘Pat Farr’ Category

Lane County Services are affected by COVID-19 response. by Pat Farr

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

As Lane County continues to respond to COVID-19, we are making adjustments to how and when some services are available to the public. These changes are intended to help safeguard the health of the people we serve, as well as the health of our employees.

“We are facing a new and challenging reality in communities across the world,” said Lane County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky. “Lane County is no exception. By adjusting our services and encouraging more people to take advantage of online resources, or to call us instead, we can practice the social distancing that is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, we are identifying opportunities for employees to work remotely if their job duties allow, and reevaluating our policies regarding how our employees may use their paid time off and leave without pay.”

A list of Lane County service changes and meeting cancelations is available at www.lanecountyor.gov and will be updated regularly. We expect that changes will continue to be made as the situation in our community evolves.

“We recognize that some businesses and services have necessarily limited or stopped operating entirely, and we are working with our partners to help limit impacts to local businesses. Lane County provides critical public services to residents, businesses and the most vulnerable in our community. We are working to adjust the way our public servants deliver services to keep everyone safe. We appreciate that everyone is doing the best they can under these unprecedented circumstances,” said Mokrohisky.

CURRENT SERVICE CHANGES

Board of County Commissioners

Phone: 541-682-4203

Email: lcbcccom@lanecountyor.gov

Lane County Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/BCC

Assessment and Taxation

Until further notice, the payment and public information counters of the Lane County Assessment & Taxation office will be closed. Assistance is available by phone Monday – Thursday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. or by email.  The public information computers located in our lobby will still be accessible, but everything available on them can be found on our website.

Phone: 541-682-4321

Email: Assessor@lanecountyor.gov

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/AT

Lane County Circuit Court  

The Courthouse will be open regular business hours through at least March 27.  The Chief Justice has ordered restricted court proceedings effective March 19.   Some proceedings will continue.  Parties or  should contact the court via phone for information about specific hearings.

Potential jurors who are in higher risk categories of severe illness may contact the court to reschedule their jury service.  People at higher risk include: People 60 and older, with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, who have weakened immune systems or are pregnant.

If, at the time you are scheduled to appear for service, you are experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness, such as fever, please contact the court at the phone number provided on the jury summons to reschedule your service. 

Phone: 541-682-4020

Website: www.courts.oregon.gov/courts/lane

County Clerk/Elections:

Closed to walk-ins. Services are available on-line, by phone or call and make an appointment only. Many elections services are available online. 

Phone: 541-682-4234

Email: elections@lanecountyor.gov

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/Elections

Deeds and Records:

Closed to walk-ins. Available by phone from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.. Most services available online or by phone. Marriage licenses are available by mail or appointment only.  No new marriage ceremonies will be scheduled.

Phone: 541-682-3654

Email: Recording@lanecountyor.gov

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/Deeds

County Counsel  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Please call in advance.

Phone: 541-682-4442

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/CountyCounsel

District Attorney  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 to Noon, 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Protective order clinics will continue. If you are planning to visit for any other reason,  please call in advance.

Phone: 541-682-4261

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/DA

Financial Services  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Most services are available on-line or by phone. Please call to make an appointment for in person assistance. 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Phone: 541-682-4199

Email: Robert.Tintle@lanecountyor.gov

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/Finance

Health and Human Services, Main Office Number: 541-682-4035

Community Health Centers541-682-3550  

Preventative Dental Health Programs are suspended.  School Based Health Center – Springfield High School is suspended.

        Websitewww.LaneCountyOR.gov/CHC

Lane County Behavioral Health: 541-682-3608  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Client treatment groups and the Connection Center are suspended. Please call in advance of appointments. Most appointments will be done by phone.

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/LCBH

Public Health: (541) 682-4041  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Maternal and Child Health to include: Nurse-Family Partnership, Babies First, and CaCoon, and Healthy Families Oregon are providing all services via phone. Enrollment is suspended for new clients with the exception of priority referrals received from OB/Midwifery or Pediatric Providers.  All client classes and gatherings are closed until further notice.

Communicable Disease:  Standard operating hours. Please call in advance. Will prioritize urgent STI testing and services, the Just Checking clinic is suspended and vaccinations are being conducted on a very limited basis. Disease investigations will continue. Clients should call ahead for direction.

Environmental Health: Standard operating hours. Front desk is closed all services will be provided via phone or online.

WIC certifications: Standard operating hours. Interviews are still conducted in-person, per direction from the national office. All education classes are being conducted on-line.

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/PublicHealth

Human Services Department: 541-682-3798  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/HSD

Veteran Services  

Call in only, no in-person visits.

Developmental Disabilities Services: 541-682-3695  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Please call in advance. Services are by appointment only.

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/DevelopmentalDisabilitiesServices

Youth Services: 541-682-4700  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Detention: Community Youth Visits and Volunteer Youth Visits are canceled

Supervision: All non-essential face to face meetings and Technical Probation Violation Court hearings are canceled

Restorative Services: All non-essential face to face meetings and Family Check Ups are canceled

Nutrition Services: No new catering will be accepted

MLK Education: School MLK Education Center & Phoenix Program, Community Service and Vocational Programs:

Phoenix: No new admissions, No visitors under age of 12, No Volunteer visits, Only essential visitors as outlined by Oregon Health Authority

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/YouthServices

Human Resources  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Services are available on-line, by phone or call and make an appointment only.

Phone: 541-682-4290

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/HR

Law Library  

Library is closed to drop-in visits. The Law Librarian is available to provide assistance via telephone and email; additionally, legal research content on the Law Library’s website will be updated and expanded while in-person service is suspended.

Phone: 541-682-4337

Email: lclawlib@lanecountyor.gov

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/LawLibrary

Parole and Probation  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 am to Noon, 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Some services can be done by phone or call and make an appointment.

Phone: 541-682-3040

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/ParoleProbation

Public Works Customer Service Center –

Closed to the public. Services are still available on-line and by phone during standard business hours, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Phone: 541-682-6900

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/PW

Lane Event Center

Closed. Please contact LEC on-line, call-in or make an appointment.

Phone: 541-682-4292

Website: https://www.laneeventscenter.org/

Land Management –

Services are available on-line or by phone. The March 24 Planning Commissioner meeting has been canceled.

Phone: 541-682-4065

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/LMD

Animal Services –

Services are available on-line or by phone.

Phone: 541-682-3645

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/Animals

Manufactured Structure Services –

Services are available by phone only.

Phone: 541-682-6961

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/ManufacturedStructures

Waste Management/ Transfer Stations –

Standard operation hours for Administration Office and Transfer Stations. 8:00 am to 5:00 pm for the office and check the transfer station website for specific hours.

Phone: 541-682-6900

Administration Office Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/Waste

Transfer Stations Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/TransferStations

Parks  –

Park sites are open. Administrative services are available on-line or by phone only.

Phone: 541-682-2000

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/Parks

Sheriff’s Office  

Records requests should be made via on-line report portal, by phone, or by mail.  No walk-in Concealed Handgun License customers; this service provided by appointment only, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Phone: 541-682-4150

Email: sheriffs.office@lanecountyor.gov

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/Sheriff

Technology Services  

Standard operating hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Phone: 541-682-4032

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/TechnologyServices

All advisory committee meetings are canceled or postponed unless deemed essential. Please check our online calendar for the most up to date information.

Website: www.LaneCountyOR.gov/Calendar

COVID-19 News: INVESTIGATING POSITIVE CASES IN LANE COUNTY. by Pat Farr

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Lane County Board of Health and Public Health professionals are working around the clock to update and address issues surrounding COVID-19 corona virus.

Lane County Public Health is conducting two investigations related to the two positive test results for COVID-19 in Lane County.

Investigations involve determining where each person went, who they were around and who may have had direct contact during the period we believe they may have been contagious.

Public Health nurses conduct these communicable disease investigations regularly. Some of the most common investigations involve syphilis, measles and whooping cough. The protocols for investigating COVID-19 are similar; however, due to the unique nature of COVID-19 our investigations will be more widespread and encompass more contacts with other residents than is typical to help ensure we have the full picture.

If a person under investigation is found to have come into close contact with someone, or has been out in the community, Public Health will work to identify all of those contacts. We will also notify the public when appropriate if there may have been a public point of exposure.

Go to Lane County Public Health here for updated information.

Source:  Lane County Public Health

Cooking Seriously with Pat: “The best clam chowder I’ve ever eaten…” by Pat Farr

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

 

Tillamooker Clam Chowder

People have told me, “This is the best clam chowder I’ve ever eaten, and I have to be careful saying that because my Mom makes clam chowder…”

My sister, Linda (Farr) Spencer-Robb, after she first came to the US, worked at Gabby’s Restaurant in Tillamook in the early 1960’s.  Gabby’s was known for its fresh Pacific Ocean seafood and renown for what many considered to be the best clam chowder on the Pacific Coast.  People planned vacations around it, I think.  On Highway 101 north of town, there were two major attractions within about a mile:  The Tillamook Cheese Factory and Gabby’s.  The factory is, of course, still there.  Linda learned the basic recipe and perfected the technique.  Her chowder was better than Gabby’s and whenever I make it people often say, “This is the best chowder I’ve ever eaten…”  Here’s the recipe and technique.  You can adjust ingredient amounts to taste, but don’t skip any steps.

The Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Minced clams (it is ok to use canned) 1 qt. Half and Half
  • 2 cups Clam nectar (may be drained from cans) ½ cup Butter
  • 1 lb. Chopped lean bacon 2 T. Chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 c. each Chopped onions and celery 2 T. Minced garlic
  • 4 cups Diced peeled and rinsed russet potatoes 4 T. Flour
  • Black pepper and Salt to taste

 

The Technique:

In a large saucepan:

Sautee the bacon until it is nearly crisp. Drain off all excess fat, leaving a couple of tablespoon with the bacon. Remove the bacon to a dish.  Lower the heat and melt the butter. Add the celery, onions, garlic and about a teaspoon of black pepper. Sautee slowly until the onion is opaque and the celery softens. Add the cooked bacon and fat to the vegetable mix and remove from heat. Stir in the parsley. Stir in 4 T. of flour and stir until the flour is smooth. Remove the veggie mix and add the potatoes to the somewhat greasy pan. Stir the should just cover the potatoes. Add a little water if you need to. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they are almost tender.

Add the clams and warm through. As an added treat, at this point you can add other fresh raw seafood like scallops, prawns, etc.

While the liquid simmers stir the bacon/vegetable mix into the potatoes. Stir gently until the liquid in the mixture is smooth. It will get very thick. Keep stirring until it is almost a paste.

Slowly stir in the half and half and keep stirring to incorporate and velvet the liquid.Adjust the salt and pepper seasoning to taste.

Warm through, being careful not to burn the chowder. It is somewhat temperamental, be very careful.

Serve with pats of butter and your favourite bread. Some folks use oyster crackers.

As yet another added treat, heap a tablespoon or so of tiny Pacific bay shrimp in the center of the serving.

Public recommendations for Lane County Justice Center. by Pat Farr

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

Extensive input on construction of the new Lane County Court House and associated services is happening

 

Since the last update provided to the Board on September 24, 2019, staff has conducted an online survey and coordinated eight public outreach sessions in Eugene, Springfield, Oakridge, Florence, Cottage Grove, and Veneta. Review of survey results and information gathering during outreach sessions show several clear themes from the participating residents:

• Be reasonable and practical – we don’t need anything flashy

• Put safety first – getting justice shouldn’t be dangerous

• Fair and equal access – for fairness, everyone must be able to use this building – jurors, victims, defendants, and staff

• Ensure privacy – include spaces that are safe and allow people to meet with lawyers privately, access Victim Services, and have confidential conversations

• Spend wisely – get our money’s worth by building efficiently and with quality materials

Website for information on Lane County Courthouse.

 

 

Permanent Housing for Women and Children. by Pat Farr

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

Lane County’s Poverty and Homelessness Board has a goal of adding 600 new permanent supportive housing residences.  A 0.72-acre parcel of County property at the Fairgrounds (1.34% of current fairgrounds property) is under consideration for donation to the Homes for Good housing authority as a small step toward that goal.

The orange rectangle at the top right of this picture is fairgrounds property that may be returned to housing.  The red perimeter is the entire Lane County Fairgrounds.

If approved by the Lane County Commissioners, the Housing Authority would add 16-20 apartments that would be permanent residence for 32-60 women and children.  The board will discuss the matter at its January 28, 2020 public meeting, which starts at 9 am in Harris Hall.  Action may be taken at its next board meeting on February 4, same time and location.

LANE COUNTY ACHIEVES ITS BEST CREDIT RATING EVER as a result of five years of excellent leadership in financial management. by Pat Farr

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

STARTING SIX YEARS AGO Lane County Board of Commissioners has overseen continuing excellence in financial management

 

On Wednesday July 17 I received this message about Lane County’s continuing improvement in financial management that has resulted in its second credit rating upgrade:

“Dear Pat:

“Citing “prudent, proactive leadership,” Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Lane County’s credit rating from Aa2 to Aa1, which is the second highest rating it provides.
 
“This latest upgrade is a result of diligent efforts over several years to create structurally balanced budgets, lower debt, manage benefit costs and increase reserves.

“In addition to financial stewardship of taxpayer resources, Lane County has also stabilized and increased service levels in several critical areas, including public health, safety and infrastructure.

“Moody’s highlighted Lane County’s “strong finances, prudent management and low debt” as strengths that led to its decision to upgrade the County’s rating. In its credit analysis, released on July 15, 2019, Moody’s stated that Lane County’s “five year operating history was unusually strong for 2014-2018” due to prudent financial management. It also noted: “The fiscal 2020 budget marks the third consecutive budget without draws on reserves to support operations, and did not include layoffs or service reductions” and “employee healthcare benefit costs remain in-check for the fourth consecutive year.”

“This decision is particularly notable given the fact that Lane County receives the third lowest per capita local revenue among the 36 counties in Oregon. Our focus is to make sound financial decisions with our limited resources by proactively managing expenses and investing in services that improve lives in Lane County.

“In 2017, Moody’s upgraded Lane County’s credit rating from Aa3 to Aa2. Additionally, independent financial auditor Moss Adams, LLP has rated Lane County as a low-risk auditee for several years in a row. In 2016, the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office removed Lane County from a list of high-risk counties in regard to its financial health due to the County’s efforts to create long-term financial stability.”

LANE COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH ONE OF ONLY 11 PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS NATIONWIDE TO BE GRANTED INITIAL ACCREDIDATION STATUS. by Pat Farr

Friday, June 28th, 2019

Lane County Board of Commissioners also serves as the Board of Health

Last week, the nation Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) granted Lane County Public Health initial accreditation status. To receive national initial accreditation through PHAB, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of public health quality standards and measures. Lane County Public Health has been undergoing this review process for the last several years.

“The value of becoming a PHAB-accredited health department extends far beyond the interior walls of the health department,” said PHAB President and CEO Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN. “People living and working in the communities served by these health departments can be assured that their health department is strong and has the capacity to protect and promote their health. Just going through the accreditation process itself helps health departments pinpoint the areas that are critical to improving the work they do for their communities.”

Lane County Public Health (LCPH) plays a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people in communities across Lane County by providing a range of services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; ensuring access to safe food, water, clean air, and life-saving immunizations; and preparing for and responding to health emergencies. New research and best practices are helping to make this task more efficient and effective, and accreditation is one way to insure LCPH is staying on track and up to speed.

Homelessness in San Diego, Houston, Lane County has similar faces. Tony the Movie is a must watch. by Pat Farr

Friday, June 7th, 2019

 

On June 6 2019 I joined an audience of perhaps a hundred at the Bijou Arts Cinemas to watch a screening of “Tony the Movie” at the invitation of Reverend Wayne Martin.

Tony the Movie inspires watchers to take action

The movie follows Tony Rodriguez, a homeless man in San Diego, through days and weeks of his life.  He accompanies a news reporter to other cities to see first-hand how chronic homelessness has been addressed in those communities.

As the movie progresses, watchers are shown examples of how regional action committees have been established to provide effective housing to transform homeless support systems.  “Housing First”, Permanent Supportive Housing, has proven effective across the nation to efficiently and humanely end the cycle of homelessness for people with behavioral health conditions.  Lane County’s Poverty and Homelessness Board is such a “committee.”

The audience included housed people who are excited about finding solutions in Lane County as well as people who are living on the streets.

Wayne Martin asked for impressions after the movie and heard a number of quotes, including these:

“I get off work at 2 in the morning and then I need to find a place to sleep.  The stress builds up inside me, and all the money I earn is used to just survive…”

“I have a home now.  A lot has been going on here in the last 12 months…”

While the movie elicits deep emotion as you watch Tony trying “to live in society” while working, storing his belongings daily and being moved along regularly, it also gives a ray of hope and anticipation of how Lane County and its cities are pro-actively working together to help men and women and families “live in society.”

You can watch the movie here.  

 

The recently concluded “TAC Report”–a shelter feasibility study–has given birth to an action plan that will include strategies with short- and long-term tactics to “Transform our Homeless Support System.”

If you are interested in seeing, hearing and reading more please contact me via my public email at pat.farr@co.lane.or.us , please reference “Tony.”  I will give links and lists of how plans are being laid to make an immediate difference and tie future solutions to existing efforts.

Evening Lane County Commission Public Forums will be held to accommodate day workers, Diana Jones publishes schedule. by Pat Farr.

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

 

On May 21 I suggested that Lane County Commissioners begin holding evening public comment sessions to facilitate testimony from people with day jobs.

Late in the day on May 21, 2019 I suggested that the board of Lane County Commissioners begin holding monthly evening public comment sessions in order to accommodate people who work days and are unable to state their opinion at our regular board meetings on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. See the webcast of the May 21 meeting here.

In 1997, as President of the Eugene City Council, I changed public forum sessions from once monthly to each Monday regularly scheduled meeting.  My change was received with enthusiasm and that schedule continues to this day.

At the regular Board of Commissioners meeting on May 21 a large number of people signed up for public comment, usually held from just after 9 am until all comments had been received and ending before 9:30 most meeting days.  On that day so many people wanted to testify on one particular subject that others had to leave before their turn to talk was called.  Time certain agenda items were delayed causing staff and other presenters to wait beyond their allocated time or leave the meeting.

At my suggestion, the Lane County Board of Commissioners is increasing opportunity for public participation by holding regular evening public comment sessions. The evening public comment sessions are in addition to the regular daytime opportunities.

 The evening public comment sessions will generally be held on the third Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. (I initially suggested 5:00 pm) in Harris Hall, as long as there is also a regular, daytime meeting scheduled on that date.

Public comment will last from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and be open to all Lane County residents to comment on any topic. Speakers will be given a maximum of three minutes.

The currently scheduled evening public comment sessions for 2019 are:

  • Tuesday, June 18, at 5:30 p.m. in Willamalane’s Ken Long Room (250 S. 32nd Street, Springfield)
  • Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene)
  • Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene)
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene)
  • Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene)

 I would like to thank the Board of Commissioners, including Jay Bozievich, Joe Berney, Heather Buch and Pete Sorenson for unanimously supporting my recommendation for evening public comment sessions, and particularly thank Diana Jones for building the schedule.

Scheduled evening public comment sessions are listed on the County’s online calendar at www.lanecounty.org/calendar.

Giving Veterans a Home. by Pat Farr

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

A new house for returning Veterans.

Volunteers and Veterans gather in front of Veterans House for its dedication

St. Vincent DePaul of Lane County and Bethel School District teamed with a host of volunteers and veterans to refurbish, remodel and repurpose this house in west Eugene to serve as a home for the household of a veteran returning from active duty.  Here.

School Board Chair Debi Farr, Superintendent Chris Parra and Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis at the dedication of Bethel Schools and St. Vincent DePaul Veterans House in Bethel

This house becomes a part of the tremendous effort in Lane County to house homeless veterans.  Operation 365 in 2015/6 housed over 400 veterans’ families in a single year and has housed over 500 more since.  Here.

Henry Farr’s memorial flag flies on the lawn of Veteran House 10 in Bethel. Henry served in the Royal Navy

 

Brenda Wilson, Pete Kerns and Jon Ruiz at the VetHouse dedication on April 4 2019