Housing First in Lane County, cleaning up the Willamette and more

• We are excited to see that Lane County is looking to embrace the concept of “housing first” with its proposal to build apartments for the homeless near Autzen Stadium. The $11.7 million studio-apartment four-story project would be located next to the Lane County Behavioral Health building, providing access to services that are a key part of the housing first concept. Housing first, made famous when Salt Lake City successfully homed its chronically homeless, gets those in need into housing then links them to services. The program has been shown to save money. The county is also considering allowing a car camping similar to Eugene’s in Santa Clara along the River Road corridor to the north of the Randy Papé Beltline. You can see an example of just why we need housing first and support for the unhoused and community members living on the edge in our cover feature this week.

• Creswell voters will soon get the chance to rethink marijuana sales in their community. Last fall Creswellians banned them by a narrow margin. Now a marijuana company run by Eugene lawyer-turned-grower Mike Arnold has filed enough petition signatures to put the matter to a new vote. Overturning the city’s ban would give his company One Gro what even its execs have said amounts to a monopoly right to sell pot there. We’re not opposed to legal marijuana, but Arnold’s campaign has a distinct carpetbagger smell. One Gro and its execs have dangled shaky promises of pot tax revenue to sway the city. And then there’s that attitude. In July, Arnold snarked that Creswell was “the city brought to you by not one but two dollar stores. Something to be proud of.” Be wary, Creswell.

• President Donald Trump looked up at the solar eclipse without protective eyewear, something even a first grader knew not to do. Later that evening, the Donald announced his plan for Afghanistan, refusing to release a troop count or a timeline for the war that has dragged on for 16 years. He took jabs at the Obama administration and of course praised himself highly. Despite his controversial Charlottesville comments in which he attempted to lay the blame for the death of anti-racist protester Heather Heyer on white supremacists and the newly invented “alt left” alike, the president continues to try to shift focus away from his lack of accountability, inability to lead the country or employ a competent staff and his failure to deliver any of his campaign promises (most of which we’d prefer he’d not deliver on). It’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

• As summer comes to an end, once again the banks of the Willamette River are covered in trash from seasonal campers. It seems like one solution to help solve this problem would be simply be additional trashcans along the bike path. It won’t fix everything, but it wouldn’t hurt.