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Nathan Anderson is looking back at me through the visitor’s window at the Lane County Jail. He’s wearing inmate scrubs and has old, shiny scars up his left forearm. He holds a note up to the glass.  “PTSD, depression, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder,” the note reads.  I hold up my response to the glass: “When you were on the streets of Eugene, what were your daily symptoms?” Continue reading 

Fleeced

The perils and joys of owning an alpaca

I own a tiny grey alpaca named Shimmer. I bought her for $250 two winters ago and she hasn’t stopped costing me money since. I’m building a small fiber business, selling Oregon yarn and hand knits online. I’m about wool. One year into my ambitious little alpaca fiber program, I thought Shimmer would be 1) pregnant by now 2) friendlier to me and 3) well … friendlier to me.  Continue reading 

Severely Mentally Ill Not Getting More Help Under New Law

Cahoots provides immediate assistance but cannot hold mentally ill clients

Cahoots provides immediate assistance but cannot hold mentally ill clients

Crisis workers in Eugene say they are still seeing repeat cases of severely mentally ill people being discharged back to the community by the jail and PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District’s emergency room, despite a 2015 Oregon bill that changed the language describing how people can be committed to a state mental institution. That’s because House Bill 3347 didn’t really usher in any new legislation, according to Andrea Williams, one of two civil commitment investigators for Lane County Behavioral Health Services. Continue reading 

Lawsuit Takes LCC to Task for Not Stopping Stalker Student

Nadia Raza’s lawsuit against Lane Community College, filed Jan. 21, alleges that the administration failed to protect the tenured instructor from an aggressive student felon and stalker.  Raza’s 19-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene by attorney Jennifer Middleton, is not the first attempt to get the LCC administration to adopt immediate measures to better protect its staff from sexual advances and physical threats from students.  Continue reading 

City Hall Costs Go Up, Timeline Lengthens

The projected cost of Eugene’s new City Hall has now risen after city councilors requested that city staff look into boosting the new four-story structure’s ability to withstand a severe earthquake.  “We asked the city manager to investigate looking into that standard. He said, ‘Yeah, but it’ll cost more,’” said Councilor Alan Zelenka in an interview with EW. The conversation on altering City Hall’s structure took place at the last City Council meeting in December, he says.   Continue reading