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February 4, 2017 04:59 PM

Eugene Weekly is getting reports of local businesses, including Old Nick's Pub, being tagged with Nazi graffiti the night of Feb. 3.

Photo of graffiti at Old Nick's Pub by Emily Nyman.

A post on the Pacific Northwest Anti-Fascist Workers Collective Facebook page reads:

Please share:

The first picture is the boreal. The second two are old nicks. They were tagged last night by the local neo-nazi contingency. Nazis are coming after our show spaces. Not in the abstract, but they are making material threats against the two most visible punk/metal venues in Eugene Oregon. I'm asking all of you to push back on this disgusting nonsense. Please come out to every show. Even if you don't like the music. Just come out and support the venues. Hang out outside, have a drink (at old nicks) go back and forth between the two, but COME OUT AND SUPPORT THEM. The nazi contingency wants to intimidate them out of business, please stand by your community and make that impossible. Thanks.

The post also features photos of another swastika as well as the number 88, which is said to be numerical code for "Heil Hitler" as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. 


Eugene police spokesperson Melinda McLaughlin confirmed that cases of "criminal mischief (bias)" were investigated at 107 Van Buren Avenue (Jerry and Walt's Auto Care) and 211 Washington Street (Old Nick's). The police report says that officers investigated two cases of swastikas painted in the Whiteaker neighborhood. "There were no leads or suspect information."

February 3, 2017 01:02 PM

It started with the Netherlands: ""We totally understand it's going to be America First — But can we just say 'The Netherlands Second?'" a Dutch TV show asked, adding in a Donald Trump-cadenced voice, "We speak Dutch. It's the best language in all of Europe. We've got all the best words. All the other languages? Failed. Danish? Total disaster."

The video went viral, with YouTube currently clocking in at more than 17 million views.

The Swiss response soon followed: "We are not flat, like for example, the Netherlands. Total disaster," the cheeky and inuendo-filled video intones in Trumpian tones. "Like the KKK we also like to ride on horses and burn things."

As a Dane, my favorite is Denmark's response, also using the Trumpified vocal talents of Shaun Streeter. "We know you like golden showers, excuse me, golden towers, and we  have one, the golden tower in Tivoli Gardens," and offering to turn its windpower to oil.

Lithuania, Portugal and Germany have all weighed in as well, and you can see all the videos at everysecondcounts.eu.

If you are laughing at Trump, Europe is laughing with you. If you are horrified by Trump, well, Europe is horrified too. 

January 31, 2017 12:52 PM

In a Jan 31 email to Lane Community College faculty and students, LCC President Mary Spilde writes of the recent executive orders from President Donald Trump temporarily banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries and that the orders affect four LCC students. She adds that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are still in limbo. 

Spilde's full statement is below.

Like many of you I have been dismayed and disappointed over the Presidential Executive Orders issued last week, particularly because of the impact on our students. These Orders were not processed or implemented in an orderly way causing a great deal of uncertainty, anxiety and extreme hardship for immigrants and refugees. The situation remains very fluid but along with our colleagues in our national associations we are monitoring events very carefully.

This kind of action does not align with the core values Lane lives by. It conflicts with the board policy on non-discrimination. I simply want to reaffirm our commitment to these values and policies and state that now, more than ever, we are unwavering in our commitment to equity and inclusion and to our students – all of our students. Lane is strengthened and enriched by the insights and culture brought by our international students and others and I believe that their presence contributes to international understanding and peace.

We have four students from one of the affected countries. We are reaching out to these students, listening and responding as we can. Our IESL and International Programs staff have been proactive in arranging activities to support students.

Of course, the impact of such reckless Orders goes far beyond these students. As Martin King said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere … Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

For example, our Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are still in limbo. Next week the board of education will take up a resolution on this matter that was deferred from an earlier meeting because of the snow storm. I expect the board to take a stand on behalf of our students.

I will keep you apprised of these issues as we learn more. For now, I ask that you reach out to one another and our students with compassion, caring and empathy.

January 27, 2017 05:24 PM

London’s Ballet Boyz, the company founded in 2001 by two principal dancers from the Royal Ballet, were in Portland Wednesday, Jan. 25, to perform at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

Co-artistic directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt offered an eclectic, engaging evening of dance, featuring a company of 10 male dancers in a show presented by Portland’s White Bird Dance.


Opening the show, Rabbit, choreographed by Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg, took a thoughtful journey into a whimsical, at-times darker place, juxtaposing simple moments of interconnection with the focus and weight of group dynamics.


Although the costume designer isn’t credited, the piece is all about the rabbit heads, worn by nine out of ten dancers at one time or another. These heads are arresting and charming at once, with the scruffy, approachable ease of a well-loved favorite toy, but utilized with terrific effect by the dancers themselves.


A costume palette of grays and muted charcoals and browns gives the effect of yesterday’s schoolboys, late for class.


In a series of gentle interludes, the piece explores carrying and connecting, with sinewy, playful gambits into energy and force.


The mask work is first rate — dancing full-out while wearing a rabbit head cannot possibly be too fun — with dancers careening through intricate and bouncy folkdance patterns and lively rolls and falls, while maintaining their rabbit gaze.


Lighting design by James Farncombe offers an amber glow, or a gray glower, depending on the mood.


But the piece never tips over into the maudlin or scary, though there is something about the dynamic — between the central dancer and all these rabbits — that evokes a childlike response to the unknown.


Also on the bill, Javier de Frutos’ Fiction played with line, shape and pattern, as an access point to gossip, hearsay, even memoir.


In this cheeky exploration, the fanciful repetitions and ellipses in voiceover narrative — words provided by Ismene Brown and spoken by Jim Carter, Sir Derek Jacobi and Imelda Staunton — echo and reverberate throughout the fast-paced movement, like rivulets of electric current.


Centered around a portable ballet barre, used here as a climbing gym, a balance beam and even a wall, the ten dancers, clad in sweats and universal white t-shirts, seem to exhume a personal and public history, to redress masculinity only to subsume it all again and again in the fray.

January 27, 2017 05:29 PM


Want to get involved and make a difference? These are the public meetings for city of Eugene and Lane County for the next week. The content is taken directly from city and county government schedules and agendas.


 FOR THE WEEK OF January 29, 2017

All meeting locations are wheelchair accessible. For the hearing impaired, an interpreter can be provided with 48 hours’ notice prior to the meeting. To arrange for these services, contact the telephone number or email address listed for the meeting.

MONDAY, January 30, 2017
Planning Commission Regular Meeting

Time: 11:30 am

Location: Atrium Building, 99 West 10th Avenue, Sloat Room – First Floor

Agenda: 1. Work Session: Urban Growth Boundary Adoption Package

Contact: Terri Harding, 5416825635, terri.l.harding@ci.eugene.or.us

TUESDAY, January 31, 2017
Envision Eugene Community Information Session–River Road/Santa Clara Area

Time: 6:007:30 pm (Open House); presentation 6:30pm

Location: North Eugene High School, 200 Silver Lane, Library

Agenda: 1. One event in series of community information sessions about proposed urban growth boundary, proposed Clear Lake and Santa Clara expansion areas, new comprehensive plan land use policies, multi-family housing strategies and more. For full list of events in series visit: http://www.eugeneor.gov/2990/GetInvolved

Contact: Eric Brown, 5416825208, eric.g.brown@ci.eugene.or.us

Active Bethel Citizens Steering Committee Meeting

Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Bethesda Lutheran Church, 4445 Royal Avenue

Agenda: 1. Neighborhood Issues

Contact: Noah Kaplowitz, nsk57033@gmail.com

Southeast Neighbors Meeting

Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Hilyard Community Center, 2580 Hilyard Street

Agenda: 1. Neighborhood Issues

Contact: Heather Sielicki, Sielicki@gmail.com

Santa Clara Community Organization Meeting

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Messiah Lutheran Church, 3280 River Road

Agenda: 1. Neighborhood issues

Contact: Jerry Finigan, (541) 6881406, jerfinigan@comcast.net

WEDNESDAY, February 1, 2017
Planning Hearings Official Meeting

Time: 5:00 pm

Location: Atrium Building, 99 West 10th Avenue, Sloat Room – First Floor

Agenda: 1. Public Hearing: Crescent Place Apartments (PDT 163/TIA 164/ARA 1618)

Contact: Nick Gioello, 5416825453, nick.r.gioello@ci.eugene.or.us

THURSDAY, February 2, 2017
Historic Review Board Meeting

Time: 8:30 am

Location: Atrium Building, 99 West 10th Avenue, Sloat Room – First Floor

Agenda: 1. Incentive Program Outreach

2. Plaque Program Update

3. Historic Preservation Month Planning – May 2017 Contact: Erik BergJohansen 5416825437, erik.berg@ci.eugene.or.us

Envision Eugene Community Information Session – South West Eugene

Time: 6:007:30 pm (Open House); presentation 6:30 pm

Location: Churchill High School, 1850 Bailey Hill Road, Library

Agenda: 1. One event in series of community information sessions about proposed urban growth boundary, proposed Clear Lake and Santa Clara expansion areas, new comprehensive plan land use policies, multi-family housing strategies and more. For full list of events in series visit:http://www.eugene-or.gov/2990/Get-Involved "> http://www.eugenehttp://www.eugene-or.gov/2990/Get-Involved ">-or.gov/2990/Get-Involved

Contact: Eric Brown, 5416825208, eric.g.brown@ci.eugene.or.us

FRIDAY, February 3, 2017


SATURDAY, February 4, 2017
Eugene Budget Committee

Time: 9:00 am

Location: LCC Downtown Campus, 101 West 10th Avenue, Room 112

Agenda: 1. Budget Committee Workshop

Contact: Jenna Boyd, 5416825487, Jenna.L.Boyd@ci.eugene.or.us





Monday, January 30

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Board of Commissioners Conference Room, 125 E 8th Avenue, Eugene

[Agenda: PCRF replacements, HelpDesk activity and other performance statistics, update of current technology services.]

Contact: Mike Finch (541-682-4232)



Tuesday, January 31

9:00 am

Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene OR 97408

Contact: Carrie Carver (541-682-4179); Devon Ashbridge (541-682-4526)

[Agenda: In the Matter of Referring Renewal of the Public Safety Five-Year Local Option Levy to the

Voters of Lane County to Maintain jail Beds and Critical Youth Services.]



Tuesday, January 31


Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene OR 97408

Contact: Carrie Carver (541-682-4179); Devon Ashbridge (541-682-4526)

[Agenda: In the Matter of Referring Renewal of the Public Safety Five-Year Local Option Levy to the

Voters of Lane County to Maintain jail Beds and Critical Youth Services.]



Wednesday, February 1

5:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Board of Commissioners Conference Room, 125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene

Contact: Mo Young (541-682-3725)



Thursday, February 2

9:30 am - 10:30 am

Goodpasture Room, Lane County Customer Service Center (CSC), 3050 N Delta Hwy, Eugene



1. 509-PA16-05478:A request for approval of a new telecommunications tower in the Impacted Forest (F-2) Zone, pursuant to the approval criteria found in Lane Code 16.264(3) and (4) and the applicable development standards of the Impacted Forest Zone (F-2) in Lane Code 16.211(8) and (12). Specifically, the applicant is proposing to construct a new 150-foot tall monopole tower camouflaged as a fir tree (commonly referred to as a “monofir”) and associated ancillary ground equipment within a 35’ x 35’ fenced compound area. At the top of the branches and lightening rod, the facility would be 164-feet in height.


Map & Tax Lot: 17-06-11-00-03100

Owner: Eric & Paula Hall

Applicant: Verizon Wireless

Agent: Centerline Solutions, Peter Mauro

Staff: Amber Bell

Hearings Official: Gary Darnielle

  1. Announcement of the nature & purpose of the hearing

  2. Announcement of opportunities for submission of information & appeal.

  3. Disclosure of ex parte contacts

  4. Report by the Director

  5. Applicant's testimony

  6. Testimony of persons in favor

  7. Testimony of other persons

  8. Any additional comments by the Director

  9. Applicant rebuttal

  10. Conclude the hearing

The Hearings Official will not make a decision on these matters at this hearing. The County Code requires that a written decision must be made within 10 days of this hearing date. To receive a copy of the Hearings Official’s decision, fill out a request form at the public hearing or call the Lane County Land Management Division at 541-682- 4287.





Wednesday, January 25

6:30 pm, Location varies, see website or call

Contact Person: Dan Carpenter (541-268-3044) coordinator@siuslaw.org; www.siuslaw.org

January 27, 2017 05:10 PM

The Roseburg News-Review newspaper published a letter to the editor Jan. 25 calling for the murder of protesters.

Though the writer does not specifically refer to the Jan. 21 Women's March on Washington, the letter suggests shooting "a few of this year's crop" of protesters. 

The letter, written by Terry Stafford of Riddle, Oregon, was published online and in print under the headline "Working, tax-paying citizens they are not" and it starts off decrying protestors (spelled in the British style) for being "socialists" and "trying to bring down the United States."

The letter references the 1970 Kent State shootings of student Vietnam War protesters and was published 15 months after the Oct. 1, 2015 Umpqua Community College mass shooting in Roseburg  in which nine people were killed and eight were wounded.

Stafford writes, "How about we shoot a few of this year's crop — say a dozen at each protest to see how many were bussed [sic] in, paid well." He adds, "Of course, we will give all samples an absolutely free same-day burial at sea."

After a public outcry on the website, social media and calls and messages to the News-Review, the online letter was taken down. The editor's note  apologizes and says, "After reviewing our guidelines, which clearly state not to threaten the harm of another individual, we removed the letter. " 



January 26, 2017 05:47 PM

 A small town newspaper slap fight broke out earlier this week after Corvallis' daily gazette printed a story alleging that The Corvallis Advocate owes thousands in back pay to an unspecified number of its former writers.

According to a story by veteran reporter Bennett Hall that appeared Monday in the Corvallis Gazette-Times, writer Ygal Kaufman and others claim that Advocate publisher Steve Schultz still hasn’t paid them for assignments published years ago. Kaufman tells the G-T that Schultz still owes him $2,500. Schultz declined to comment to the G-T, suggesting only that Kaufman and the rest of his accusers are disgruntled former employees: “I think some people have been fired from the Advocate. That’s all I have to say.”

Turns out that’s not all Schultz and his paper had to say. The Advocate fired back two days later with an article attacking the G-T alleging shoddy reporting and inadequate fact-checking. Though the Advocate’s rebuttal ran without a byline, Advocate Associate Editor Johnny Beaver is quoted saying: “Bennett Hall was apparently too lazy to check his facts, as aside from Steve [Schultz], no attempt to contact anyone who was on staff at the time was made.”

The Advocate acknowledges its "financial struggles,” but is quick to point out that G-T parent company Lee Enterprises recently declared bankrupt and then awarded $500,000 in bonuses to its CEO.

January 26, 2017 01:41 PM

The Egan Warming Center has sent out a plea for new volunteers for the rest of the winter season. “The center already has been activated 23 nights so far this season, and we still have nine weeks to go before the Egan Warming Center season ends," says Shelley Corteville, the center’s director.

The Egan Warming Center provides vital emergency shelter to the homeless population in Eugene when temperatures drop below 30 degrees, and it relies on volunteers to staff the shelters during these nights. “Extended Egan activations take a heavy toll on volunteers,” says Terry McDonald, director of St. Vincent de Paul. “A surge of new volunteers similar to what we experienced last year will help ensure that we have the staffing needed to open all available sites.”

Volunteers must be over the age of 18 and attend a mandatory training before they can volunteer. The shelter is hosting a training session today,  6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, "Thursday Jan. 26, at the First Christian Church, 1166 Oak Street. Citizens can also donate blankets, sleeping bags, coats, socks and other items to keep people warm by dropping them off at any St. Vincent de Paul location. Go to eganwarmingcenter.com for more information, or donate online at svdp.us/get-involved/donate/.

January 20, 2017 12:31 PM

Eugene Opera Cancels Remainder of Season
The company wants to take a breath and start up again in the fall

Strapped for cash, Eugene Opera has canceled the remainder of its 2016-17 season, scrapping a planned March production of West Side Storyand a May production of Peter Brook's adaptation of Georges Bizet’s The Tragedy of Carmen.

The move is designed to give the company — which celebrated its 40th anniversary last fall — breathing room to regroup financially, check in with its supporters and return in the fall, says Mark Beudert, general director of the company for the past 10 years.

While it has almost always faced financial problems, Eugene Opera has never before canceled part of its season, he said. But the picture has worsened in recent years.

“We have been trailing debt in one form or another since Nixon,” he says, referring to the company’s musically and visually gorgeous but financially unrewarding production of the contemporary John Adams opera Nixon in China, which the opera staged here in 2012.

That production, which drew rave reviews but filled few seats at the Hult Center, was part of a deliberate shift by the opera company to perform more contemporary work in place of traditional European fare. “Companies around the country that relied on the old standards were not doing any better,” Beudert says. “In fact, they were going under. We were going to swim against the tide.”

Beudert declined to say how much money the company currently owes.

Photo by Bob Keefer


Opera is among the most expensive art forms to produce, requiring — in addition to the usual costs of theater production — a large number of trained singers and an orchestra. The audience for opera is passionate but not large, and it’s unusual for a city the size of Eugene to support a professional opera company.

When he took over in 2007, Eugene Opera had a deficit of about $90,000. A professional tenor with solid contacts in the opera world, Beudert saved the company from possible extinction when he directed a well attended production at the Hult Center of Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular Pirates of Penzance. Beudert had sung in the chorus in a 1980 Broadway production of the show alongside Linda Ronstadt and Kevin Klein.

But after producing Nixon in China in 2012, the company found itself $100,000 in debt. And two years ago it had a $90,000 shortfall at the end of its season.

This spring’s planned production of West Side Story — as an opera — seemed likely to sell well, given the musical’s great popularity. But mounting the show would have plunged the company even deeper into debt, at least temporarily, with its high upfront costs, from stiff royalties to the cost of hiring Eugene Ballet dancers for the dance scenes.

Beudert didn’t share numbers, but the two productions the opera has done so far this season, of Much Ado About Nothing in October and Trio, a mélange of excerpts from three different classical operas for its annual New Year’s Eve show, fell short. “The box office for Trio didn’t do anything like what we thought it would do,” he says.

The company will take the remarkable step this spring of conducting a series of town hall meetings in Eugene to find out, as well as can be determined, the answer to that impenetrable question: What do audiences really want?

“We want to explain what we’re about and we want people to tell us what they like and what they don’t,” he says.

He also anticipates more “balance” returning to the company’s repertoire. That means staging more standards and fewer contemporary works. “We’re going to open it up to tradition again,” he says.

Beudert, who has weathered repeated financial storms in his decade at the Eugene Opera, isn’t giving up.

“We’re not going anywhere,” Beudert says. “We’re coming back, better than ever.”

January 5, 2017 03:16 PM

Press release of the day goes to SAIF for its advice on dealing with slippery sidwalks.

With inclement weather arriving in some parts of the state and forecast for others, SAIF again wants to remind Oregonians to "walk like a penguin."

"Slips, trips, and falls are the leading cause of injury in Oregon--both in and out of the workplace," said Scott Clark, safety innovations manager for SAIF. "Changing how you walk on slippery surfaces can mean the difference between making it home safely and taking an unexpected trip to the hospital."

Clark offers the following guidance for taking walking cues from our arctic friends:

*Keep your hands by your side (and not in your pockets).

*Slow down and take short steps.

*Walk flat-footed.

*Point your toes slightly to the sides. 

The not-for-profit insurance company supplied a video to illustrate its point:

January 4, 2017 12:33 PM

City Club of Eugene

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy

December 9, 2016


I thought today I'd share some of the inside story of my twelve years of being Mayor. Some of this you may have forgotten and some you probably never knew. In any case this is some of my perspective of the last twelve years.

It's hard to remember how it was in 2005. We had had a twenty-year community disagreement over the West Eugene Parkway and it had become a litmus test for which side of the community anyone aligned with. It was a daily reminder of our city’s reputation for contention.

Our downtown was virtually empty and had two long-term pits and the general consensus was that downtown was never coming back.

There was a lot of negative talk about our community, and people questioned whether it was possible to get anything done. Our community was often described as anti-business.

Our road infrastructure had been neglected and potholes were everywhere.

We had a lot of people living in poverty and our local economy was not strong.

We were still recovering from the Lara Magana case when two officers were jailed for abusing the public they serve. Distrust between the public and EPD was high.

Councilors fought. Staff hunkered down and council meetings were difficult. City hall was not open to everyone. The public forum was often angry and the public objected that they were not given time to speak. Relationships with governing partners were strained and often hostile. Neighborhoods felt unsupported and unable to fully participate in community decision-making.

We had frequent riots in the campus area that included property destruction.

And, this was before the recession.

Then I ran for office. I had an economic plan in hand thanks to advice from a sociologist and an urban planner. This plan included investing in our physical and social infrastructure; a Sustainable Business Initiative; initiatives to strengthen our local and regional businesses; downtown revitalization; strategic land use; and improving our business climate. I have been operating from this plan for twelve years. 

I believed that the best way to bring us together and move forward was to work on the triple bottom line of sustainability: social equity, economic development, and the preservation of our great natural resources. We all love the beauty of this place, care about our neighbors and need to make a living so we can raise our families. I decided to aim for the future we wanted, building on our community strengths.

This was not a friendly environment as a new Mayor, especially a liberal one. I was barely tolerated at city hall and encouraged not to be around much. So I asked to have the dark ceremonial furniture removed and a real working desk brought in. And, I came to work every day.

At some meetings such as at the Chamber of Commerce, I was avoided and subject to many snide side comments.

I went right to work.

I consulted with sustainability experts and launched the SBI, the Sustainable Business Initiative, to encourage the growth of businesses that produced sustainable products and utilized sustainable practices. This was my first step toward my economic goals.

I discussed the SBI with the then city manager. He said the city had neither the staff nor resources to undertake such an initiative. They could not even supply a minute’s recorder. I turned to my university connection: Bob Doppelt and his students helped organize and implement the SBI. This felt, in my mind, a bit like The Little Red Hen story. I would do it myself.

As good fortune would have it, Rusty Rexius came to visit me about a sustainable product invention and consequently agreed to co-chair the SBI with Dave Funk. He was the board chair for the Chamber of Commerce at the time and it was brave of him to do it. Dave and Rusty proved to be excellent leaders and good friends. They helped give the SBI credibility. We organized a broad based committee of community leaders from across the political spectrum. We had roundtable sector meetings and the SBI completed a report with a number of recommendations that council accepted.

Out of these recommendations came our Sustainability Commission, our Climate and Energy Plan, and one of the strongest climate ordinances in the nation. I attended every meeting and learned a lot about the strength of perseverance. I also proved I had some chops.

The ordinance developed because school children asked me what they could do to inspire council to more action and to do their part to protect our planet from climate change. My advice to them was to come to council to express their concerns for their Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy Eugene City Club December 8, 2016 3 future. They did an incredibly good job of this. I also advised them that surveys showed strong community support and that they should ask for something big. They did and proposed turning our climate and energy plan into an ordinance with teeth.

Just three months into my tenure, you may remember, LTD had a bus strike. I ordinarily would not intervene in the decisions of another government body, but this was a matter of social equity. How would transit dependent people get to work, to services and to the grocery store? I agreed to put together a group of community leaders, including me that would mediate this strike. We spent days at the Hilton going between labor and management. The good news is we were able to settle with the help of a number of highly skilled community members and people could get back on the bus. It could have gone the other way. It taught me that it’s important to do what is right; even taking the chance I could fail.

Transportation issues became a huge part of my work and some of the most difficult. I did what I had promised and ended the West Eugene Parkway dispute. Many people and public partners were angry with this, and not just a little. This was understandable. A lot of time and money had been invested and non-binding votes taken. I felt that it was the right decision in terms of protecting our natural resources for future generations and because it had never met federal environmental approval. An official came to see me and told me, "Little Lady, the WEP might not be the best thing to do but we are going to do it." He was wrong. People said ODOT would never allocate funds to Eugene again. I was committed to continue to strive for collaboration, even in the face of great opposition.

I brought together those who had fought each other over the West Eugene Parkway and formed the West Eugene Collaborative. The funds were cobbled together from a variety of private sources to pay for facilitation since we had no approval to try this. We received help from Oregon Consensus.

Former adversaries took a fresh look at the area, seeing it as a neighborhood, not just a through way. They developed deep respect for each other and even did presentations together. I attended and participated in every meeting. It's because of this work that ODOT asked me to co-chair the Oregon Passenger Rail preferred alignment NEPA process and to work on the Oregon Rail Plan.

I am a strong supporter of transit and EmX. I believe we cannot meet our Envision Eugene goals, our economic goals, our access goals or our climate goals without a great system. The commitment to such a system was made decades ago and yet the West 11th location proved to be hugely controversial. Part of the choice about that segment was in response to the findings of the West Eugene Collaborative and a commitment to deal with traffic issues in the area. I used a lot of political chits on this one, and was sometimes a lone voice. EmX is part of the evolution of that part of the city with improved access and new neighborhood connections.

 I have to give my colleagues on council and the voters full credit for two successful road bonds and a raise of the gas tax that has allowed us to make huge progress in our road infrastructure. It was a smart decision for the bond to be modest and limited and to tell the public exactly what would be repaired. This is the most road repair ever in the history of our city: real investment in our infrastructure.

In the first four years we also passed an ordinance to put an independent police auditor in place and a Civilian Review Board. Many initially saw this as anti-police. The then city manager strongly opposed the auditor reporting to council rather than to him, and he was angry with me when it passed. He thought his powers were being usurped. We have now had three auditors and the position is well established, working well with the public, civil rights advocates, and EPD.

In the second term the Occupy movement occurred and had a great deal of support in Eugene. A protest grew into an awareness of homelessness as part of the financial inequities of this nation. Police Chief Pete Kerns and City Manager Ruiz decided to try reduce any potential conflict and the inherent costs of conflict through open communication and many meetings with activists, which I participated in.

I promised to continue to work to reduce homelessness and improve shelter options in our community and formed a broad committee, which we dubbed “Opportunity Eugene.”

Out of that work came recommendations including a village concept. All our pilot programs for rest stops and Opportunity Village came out of this work with strong innovation and support from the community. People showed up at our council meetings over and over. We now have frequent visitors from across the state and nation to learn about these innovative pilot programs. Their success lies with partnerships of religious leaders, citizens, un-housed folks, non-profits and local governments. We all recognize these are temporary solutions to a large, yet unresolved housing issue.

We have built hundreds of units of affordable housing, the latest being a hundred units in North Eugene at Bascom Village, but the unmet need is great.

In 2015 I undertook Michelle Obama’s Mayor’s Challenge to house all our homeless vets. It was clear that federal resources would be provided for this work and strong partnerships could be developed. Working together we housed over 404 vets. That work continues and serves as a template for other efforts.

The deep recession provided an opportunity for all local partners, such as schools, universities, chambers of commerce, and governments to work together on a Regional Prosperity Plan. This resulted in identifying and prioritizing the clusters that could be game changers for our regional economy. We had two very productive summits.

I served on the Regional Solutions advisory board and through this worked regionally to develop RAIN, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network. RAIN brings together cities, universities and the business communities, with legislative support, to create an innovation ecosystem to foster the development of new technology businesses. It has been a success thus far with 418 of those businesses in our area, a nationally recognized hub (the Silicon Shire).

The reinvigoration of downtown has occurred filling pits and storefronts that were dormant for close to 40 years. It’s still new and it’s still fragile and will require focused attention for years to come. We lost one urban renewal vote in the process but we just kept on going until we got it right, with public private partnerships. There is now over $300 million invested in our downtown.

There are a lot of other stories along the twelve-year trail, including the Mayors Prayer Breakfast, which was on the front page for at least four days. In my support for all faiths and my commitment to separation of church and state, I declined to have a Mayors Prayer Breakfast. It now continues as Lane County Prayer breakfast and is a non-governmental event.

And, there were the Amazon headwaters, paid sick leave, and others.

The life of a city is iterative. There is no beginning and no end. It is ongoing.

Governance has been very interesting. As you know, we have a city manager city council form of government. So then what does a mayor in this form of government do? What makes this job such a hot election ticket?

The mayor is the highest local elected official and speaks and acts on behalf of the city.

The mayor prepares an annual State of the City to report on the past year’s government activities and to advocate for future goals.

The mayor and the city manager construct the council agenda. The mayor facilitates meetings.

In my tenure I have worked hard to establish respectful relationships with and between council and staff. I think council meetings go quite well and each councilor uses his or her voice in deliberation.

I have worked hard to create meetings where the public voice could be heard and people treated each other well in the public process, a place that is safe for everyone. I have never had to have any person removed from council chambers.

 Our manager and staff have given us great professional service, always striving to help the council have the information to make good policy decisions. I am proud of them.

The mayor is also a tiebreaker but I endeavor to help the council find agreement on direction.

The mayor can form committees to pursue initiatives. The mayor makes council committee assignments and recommendations for some committee members.

The mayor represents the City at many state and federal meetings and lobbies to obtain funding for important city needs.

As a member of the MPC, I help make transportation policy decisions and I helped form the Area Transportation Commission. I have served on the Lane County Poverty and Homeless board steering those efforts locally.

The mayor speaks to groups, supports local organizations and businesses, meets with school Superintendents, and visits schools.

I belong to the U S Conference of Mayors, working in tandem with Mayors across this nation on a number of important issues. I am a member of Mayors for Peace and Mayors against Illegal Guns.

The role of mayor is a big one that has a huge impact.

That is why it can be a million dollar race here in Eugene, Oregon.

In the last twelve years we have survived hard economic times intact and with the continued provision of services. We have made strides in every area. We have not solved every problem but we have taken strong steps foreword.

There have been disappointments: the quality of Capstone; the endless saga of the city hall; the failed school levy; the loss of the Eugene Celebration; and the continuing lack of a public shelter.

The mayor does nothing alone and all in partnership with others. I believe in respecting people of all political persuasions and working with them when it is possible. I have striven to never take a public potshot at anyone. And I have never strayed from my core values. I have always been willing to lose my elected position over an important issue.

Even down to the wire, I am meeting with the Governor this afternoon about the state budget, and striving to help council make a decision regarding city hall.

It has been my honor to serve. I look forward to the next mayor with great anticipation.  

Here are my takeaways:

If you get it wrong, keep working on it.

Keep your hands on the wheel when you want to go somewhere.

Model what you’d like to see. 

Ask for and expect the best. 

Take chances and strategize.

Keep your sense of humor.

Surround yourself with wise and kind people.

Have a team at your side and be a good team player.

Help others attain their goals.

Work through frustrations and get on with it.

Listen carefully to all perspectives.

Find the win/win whenever possible.

Never begrudge your time.

Keep a good scorecard.

Ask for the help you need.

Celebrate your successes.


January 2, 2017 01:39 PM

Now that the 49ers have fired Chip Kelly, on the heels of the University of Oregon firing football coach Mark Helfrich, you cannot help but to wonder if the former Ducks coach should have listened to the pleas of musician (and Ducks fan) Mat Kearney?

December 20, 2016 01:25 PM