Politics & Government

Politics & Government

Springfield Will Not Expand into College View

Sep 16, 2015
Rachael McDonald

Neighbors who opposed Springfield's plans to expand into an area West of Mount Pisgah can breathe a sigh of relief. The City Council decided Monday not to increase the urban growth boundary into the controversial College View area.

Springfield City Councilors proposed new sites for urban growth — and did not include a contentious area near Mount Pisgah known as College View. The City's Anette Spickard says North Gateway and the Mill Race were chosen after extensive analysis.
 

Oregon Senator Floyd Prozanski of Eugene survived a recall effort last week. Backers objected to legislation he sponsored that strengthens background checks for private gun sales. A petition drive fell short of required valid signatures.

Eugene Safe Spots

A crowd of homeless people and their advocates showed up at Monday's Eugene City Council meeting to urge the city to repeal its camping ban. They asked for at least a moratorium on the ordinance that prohibits camping in public parks and on city property. Councilor Claire Syrett spoke with KLCC Tuesday.

Coburg City Council Bans Marijuana Sales

Sep 15, 2015
coburgoregon.org

The City of Coburg voted Monday to ban all marijuana sales. Measure 91 allows cities whose voters passed pot legalization by less than 55 percent to make their own decision on marijuana sales.

In a 5-1 vote, the Coburg City Council approved an interim ban on the sale of medical and recreational marijuana. No dispensaries are currently located in Coburg. Mayor Jae Pudewell says voters in the community were divided on Measure 91.

Prozanski Recall Effort Falls Short

Sep 13, 2015
Senator Floyd Prozanski

Democratic State Senator Floyd Prozanski will not face a recall election. The Oregon Secretary of State's office said Friday that recall organizers fell short by just over 200 signatures of the 8,415 they needed.

Sandra Mann Enters County Commissioner Race

Sep 11, 2015
Sandra Mann

Thursday another candidate filed to run for Lane County Commissioner District 4. Sandra Mann is a Democratic precinct committee person and a substitute teacher. She joins 32-year-old Tony McGowan currently vying for the seat held by Pat Farr. Mann considers herself a progressive politician and will focus her campaign on economic issues.  

MANN: "I'd like to leave Lane County a better place than I found it. I think there's a lot of problems now. For one I see a lot of people now that don't have living wage jobs."

Rachael McDonald

Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson filed Thursday to run for a sixth term on the board. He was first in line at the elections office on filing day for the 2016 primary election.

Lucy Vinis Announces Bid For Eugene Mayor

Sep 8, 2015
Corinne Boyer

Lucy Vinis announced today she will run for mayor of Eugene in the 2016 election. New to politics, she is currently the development director for Shelter Care. KLCC's Corinne Boyer reports.

Dozens of people gathered in Skinner Butte Park as Lucy Vinis spoke about raising her children and spending time in Eugene parks. Vinis says she decided to run because her family was able to live well and thrive in Eugene. She wants the same opportunities for other people in the community.

Newport Public Hearing To Discuss Fluoridation

Sep 7, 2015
City of Newport

The Newport City Council is looking for the community’s input on adding fluoride its water supply. The city will hold a public hearing on Tuesday.

Chris Wig Announces Eugene City Council Run

Sep 2, 2015

Lane County Democratic Party Chair Chris Wig announced Tuesday that he is running for Eugene City Council. He is vying for the ward one seat currently occupied by George Brown. Brown hasn’t yet announced if he is seeking another term.

Chris Wig works as a drug and alcohol counselor and is a founding member of a Latino community action group. He has a Masters in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

OPB

A longtime Oregon lawmaker has died. Ed Fadeley passed away Sunday evening of complications from heart failure. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert has this remembrance.

In the state legislature, Ed Fadeley represented the people of Lane County for 26 years. He started his political career in the Oregon House in 1960 then joined the Senate. He rose to Senate President in ’83 but lost the post to John Kitzhaber after two years.

The City of Springfield is facing a first amendment lawsuit from a fired employee. The former multicultural liaison for the police department says she was fired for speaking out about racial profiling.

Rachael McDonald

The Benton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to put a measure on the November ballot to fund a new jail.  

The 25 million dollar bond would fund a new 110-bed jail to replace the existing facility in downtown Corvallis.
Rick Osborne is spokesman for Benton County.

Osborne: "Our current jail has 40 beds in it. We have a population of 85-thousand. That's the smallest jail per-capita in the state of Oregon. It was a temporary structure built in the mid 1970s to last about 10 years until we had a regional jail system."

Benton County Addresses Mental Health Issues In Jail

Aug 13, 2015
gazettetimes.com

Benton County is working to implement mental health services for people who are incarcerated. The initiative also offers alternatives to jail time.

The Step Up initiative addresses mental health issues of people in jails and works with the courts, jail administrators and the families of inmates. Rick Osborn with Benton County says raising awareness is an important strategy to keep people out of jail.

Mjpresson Wikimedia

Monday night, the Roseburg City Council voted narrowly to allow the sale of recreational pot in medical marijuana dispensaries starting in October. Following passionate testimony and deliberations, the Council decided--5 to 3— not to ban recreational pot sales through the city's five medical marijuana dispensaries.

Steve Kaser has been a Roseburg city councilor for 6 years. He says the arguments went back and forth. One was that neither the city nor Douglas County supported Measure 91 to legalize marijuana statewide. So, the city should be allowed to choose its own fate now.

The West Coast earthquake early warning system is getting a $4 million dollar boost from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Beginning Monday Lane County will have a new District Attorney. It’s the first time the job will be held by a woman.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown appointed Patty Perlow as Lane County DA. The 52-year-old is filling the vacancy left by Alex Gardner. His new job is with the Oregon State Police as Director of the Forensic Services Division.

Perlow has been a prosecutor in the Lane County DA's Office since 1990, most recently serving as its Chief Deputy under Gardner.

eugene-or.gov

Springfield’s City Council voted unanimously last week to add a fire renewal measure to the fall ballot. The property tax levy would give a five-year extension to one expiring in June.

City spokesman Neil Laudati says merging Eugene and Springfield’s fire departments has saved money by consolidating the Fire Chief and Fire Marshals office:

Laudati: “But when you talk about the renewal of the levy, it’s specific to Springfield, it’s specific to having five stations in Springfield. So this levy is for the cost of the operation of a fifth station in Springfield.”

Newport Urban Renewal Plan Seeking Public Input

Jul 27, 2015
City of Newport

The City of Newport is examining two urban renewal plans. One is located near U.S. Highway 20 and 101 near Agate Beach. The other is by the Port of Newport in the McClain Point area. Part of the plan includes providing resources to business owners and residences affected by any changes. Community Development Director Derrick Tokos says community feedback so far has been centered on the City's role in economic development.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill today that could repeal efforts to label food containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

A couple of states have passed laws requiring labels on food containing GMOs. In Oregon, Jackson and Josephine counties have GMO crop bans in place. A group in Lane County is collecting signatures for a ballot measure against GMOs. But these local efforts could be undone by a bill making its way through Congress. The legislation would prevent states from passing laws mandating labels on foods containing GMOs.

Funds Approved For Ex-offender Housing In Eugene

Jul 22, 2015
Rachael McDonald

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced state funding awards for 13 affordable housing developments. They will include a Eugene project for ex offenders looking to make a new start. 

Oaks at 14th will offer 54 units on oak patch rd in west Eugene.  The one bedroom apartments will provide permanent, affordable housing to ex offenders who have been successful in transitional housing facilities.  Steve Ochs is with the Lane County Housing Agency, which will oversee the development:

City of Eugene

Eugene is working on a plan for growth into the next two decades. The City Council Monday approved a "baseline" Urban Growth Boundary crafted by its Envision Eugene project.

Several years ago, Envision Eugene got started, mapping a course for the city's future into 2032 when its population is expected to grow by 34 thousand. Terri Harding is Principal Planner:

2015 Oregon Legislature Update

Jul 20, 2015

Recorded on: July 17, 2015

Air Date: July 20th, 2015

City Club welcomes Oregon State House Majority Leader Val Hoyle, Oregon State Senator Lee Beyer and Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich to recap the 2015 Legislative Session.  Representative Hoyle represents West Eugene and Junction City, while Senator Beyer serves the voters of SE Eugene, Goshen, East Lane County, Southern Linn County, and Springfield. Commissioner Bozievich represents West Lane County including portions of North Eugene.

Chris Kirzeder/Alzheimer's Association.

Funding for caregiver training and networking has been preserved in the recently concluded Oregon legislative session.

Rachael McDonald

The Eugene City Council Monday decided to put a 5-year property tax levy on the November ballot to fund expanded library services.

The $2.7 million levy would add back hours to Sunday mornings at the downtown library. It would also restore 22 hours a week at the Bethel and Sheldon branches.

City of Eugene

Student housing projects will no longer be eligible for a property tax waiver in Eugene.

The City Council suspended MUPTE or the Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption a couple of years ago after granting the waivers to two large student housing projects near downtown.

Rachael McDonald

All Oregon school districts now have access to funds allowing them to purchase locally grown food. The Oregon Legislature voted to provide an additional 3.3 million dollars to the Farm to School Program.

Eighty percent of the total funding will be accessible for any school district to buy food. The rest will be part of a competitive grant program for farm, food and garden based education.

Farm to School program director Megan Kemple says some Lane County schools currently participate in farm education programs.

Oregon Democrats Choose New Majority Leader

Jul 9, 2015
statesmanjournal.com

In a caucus election held Thursday the party chose Representative Jennifer Williamson from Southwest Portland.  The post has been held for the past 4 years by Junction City Democrat Val Hoyle, who stepped aside to explore a bid for Oregon Secretary of State, which comes up for election in 2016.  Williamson takes over the Majority Leader position August 1st.

Corinne Boyer

Oregon’s US Senator Jeff Merkley was in Eugene on Tuesday to discuss a study which measured human exposure to toxic chemicals.

Cannabis Industry Flexes Its New Political Muscle

Jun 25, 2015
Alan Sylvestre / OPB

As the marijuana industry grows around the county, its political clout is growing, too. For members of Congress who are constantly fundraising, the industry offers new, high yield donors. But it also raises questions about the money’s source and what those donors expect in return.

It was a classic political fundraiser -- semi-formal, with chicken, potatoes and salad on the menu.

Three hundred plus donors sipped gin cocktails and Oregon pinots at the Left Bank Annex on Portland's East Side earlier this month.

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