Newsletter from Feb 22

From the editor
More flowers, more sun, not enough rain and snow, so good times now, but worries about water in the summer.
There were 60 responses to our poll on whether to remove or keep the roundabout at Lincoln and Crest.
Responses were divided: Remove 33 (55%), Keep 27 (45%).
The poll included an optional box for writing comments, and 37 people did so, with and 23 arguing for removal and 14 for keeping.
At our upcoming board meeting (on the 3rd, 7 pm, Market of Choice, open to anyone who would like to attend) we will discuss whether we should take more steps on the issue.

Notes from the city:
1) Envision Eugene Revised UGB Recommendation for Housing
The revised recommendation does not include a UGB expansion for housing. The reasons why, and information about how the city is planning to accommodate our 20-year housing needs, will be presented at the meetings below for community input:
• February 23rd Planning Commission update on UGB housing recommendation in the Atrium Sloat Room, 11:30 am
• February 23rd City Council Public Forum on UGB housing recommendation at Harris Hall, 7:30 pm
• February 25th City Council Direction on UGB housing recommendation at Harris Hall, 12:00 noon

2) Safe Routes To School Action Plan for Southeast Eugene
The 4j Safe Routes to School program is working on Action Plans that look at different ways to improve the walking and biking environment for students throughout the Southeast region. We are engaging Spencer Butte Middle School, Edgewood Community Elementary, Charlemagne Elementary, and Ridgeline Montessori parents, staff, and students to create their Action Plans while Camas Ridge will be updating their existing plan.
We would also like to talk to the broader community about ways to improve the active transportation options for families in the Southeast region. A community meeting to discuss Safe Routes to School and active transportation issues will be held February 25th at 5:30 pm at Spencer Butte Middle School.
There will be a brief presentation on the SRTS program and existing conditions followed by a community input session that will help us address the top active transportation priorities for community members in the region.

3) Reserve A Community Garden Plot
Enjoy the bounty of the earth! Since 1978, Eugene’s community gardens have been growing friendships, community involvement, and an appreciation of the land. By giving participants the opportunity to cultivate their own gardens, the Community Gardens Program helps people experience a special connection to the earth and their community.
With six community gardens to choose from, new gardeners should look at several garden sites before registering if requesting a specific location. Please note demand is high for garden plots, and turnover rates are very low. In order to provide a process that is as fair as possible the Community Gardens Program will use a lottery process to determine the order of plot assignment and registration for available plots. Registration for new gardeners closes at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2015.

4) 2015 Northwest Permaculture Convergence
The 2015 Northwest Permaculture Convergence will take place at the River Road Park Recreation Center August 28-30.
Join us for a coming together of people from all over the Northwest who are making their homes, neighborhoods and communities safer, more healthy and green.
The Convergence will include presentations and site tours featuring front yard gardens, solar design, edible landscaping, green preparedness, collaborations between neighbors and much more.
A priority for the event is to bring neighborhood leaders together from all over the Northwest to compare notes about greening their neighborhoods.
Jan Spencer is one of the core organizers and would be glad to make a presentation for Eugene NAs to show and tell about permaculture, the Convergence and what can be done with an average suburban property for taking care of more needs closer to home.

We received a note seeking signatures on a Petition to Silence the Train Horns in Eugene

The City Council and Mayor Piercy are actively pursuing the creation of a Railroad Quiet Zone in Eugene. This would effectively silence the hundreds of train horn blasts which occur in Eugene on a daily basis — and at all hours — by installing supplemental safety measures at each railway crossing in according with federal law.
Although Council members are supportive of the creation of a Quiet Zone, they need to be made aware they have the support of Eugene citizens in order to pursue the necessary funding.
A petition has been set up to let the Council know they have broad community support for a railroad Quiet Zone. The petition can be found at:

Currently, over 500 Eugene citizens have signed the petition, and their personal comments are telling — they cite everything from lost sleep, increased stress, lost business opportunities, and many other reasons for wanting an abatement in unnecessary train horn noise.
The petition is particularly timely at the moment since the Council is right now actively considering implementing a Quiet Zone.
Over 600 Quiet Zones across the country have been established — showing that citizens overall greatly support a quieter community (especially at night) and that funding for such projects has often been made available.

Please see the petition text for more information on the Quiet Zone. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Best regards,
David A. Caruso
Eugene, Oregon