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County Commission to discuss closing Free Speech Plaza

Update: The county has posted its materials related to Wednesday's special session. On first glance, it appears Lane County plans to distinguish between the "Wayne Morse  Terrace" and a smaller "actual free speech area."

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According to the agenda sent out for a 9 am Sept. 4 "special" meeting of the Lane County Board of Commissioners, the board will be discussing the ""Matter of an Emergency Closure of the Wayne Morse Terrace" with County Counsel Stephen Dingle and discussing "Matter of Amending Chapter 60 of the Lane Manual to Add Provisions for use of the Designated Free Speech Area" with Alex Cuyler, intergovernmental relations manager (the seemingly random capitalization of agenda items comes from the agenda itself).

The links to "view materials" on the agenda say ""Material for this item is currently being worked on by staff. This link will be updated with material as soon as possible. Please check back at a later time," so the direction that the County Commission staff intends to go with the the provisions for using the free speech area is currently unclear. Civil Liberties Defense Center attorney Lauren Regan had previously offered to help county staff with the language after she won a motion to dismiss charges against protesters in the plaza the last time the county closed it.

 

SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) moved its camp back to the Free Speech Plaza after a judge determined the plaza's closure had violated the protesters' constitutional rights. The core of the county's argument had centered on alleged feces found in planters. 

Now someone from the county is circulating photos of poop and a person pooping. It is not clear when the photos were taken or by whom. Lane County Spokesperson Anne Marie Levis, when contacted about the photos, which were being discussed on the KPNW Wake Up Call radio show, said she didn't know how the show had gotten the photos from the county. KPNW cited "administrators" but Levis says that the acting administrator, Alicia Hayes, did not release the photos. In addition to the local Wake Up Call morning show, KPNW airs Lars Larson, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

Levis says, "We want to talk about this issue in a respectful manner. We respect the rights of individuals for free speech."

The commissioners will be taking public comment at the special meeting at about 9 am, according to the agenda.

The photos are below and since they feature poop and  and a naked butt pooping viewer discretion is advised. Scroll down if you wish to view them.