Weekly Newsletter for March 15

It’s going to be SHiNA – We think that’s the best acronym for our new name. (Think of the possibilities: “SHiNA on Harvest Moon”, “Can America compete with SHiNA?”, “SHiNA adapts new Foreign Policy ”

From now until April 2, your editor will be traveling, so this newsletter will not be appearing until early April. I’m sorry for the interruption but am looking forward to our trip south.

A reminder: The next general meeting will be in April, focusing on garden advice and events. We will have expert gardeners to answer your questions, we’ll have displays, and we’ll have music, too!

One item we will delay until June. This is the issue of private roads in the city, which came up at our January meeting. We will try to find a speaker from the city to address this, and we will provide more accurate information on our neighborhood’s private streets, including Horizon Rd.

Progress on our new charter:

We have sent off the text approved by our general meeting to the City, which is examining it. If there are small changes requested we will make them. Larger changes would require another vote. Presuming all goes well, the charter will be submitted to the City Council for approval within the next month or so. That will mark the official name and border change, although we have already started using the new arrangements.

We are hoping to find new members for our board from the area to the south which is being transferred from Southeast neighbors to Southwest Hills. If you might be interested or if you know of anyone who would be, or if you belong to an organization or homeowners association whose concerns should have representation on our board, please contact me at dkolb@bates.edu.

We haven’t received any new local crime reports in the last week.

From the City:

1) Building a Culture of Preparedness in West Eugene
When it comes to being prepared for the unexpected, we need to take a community approach. As CERT volunteers, we have the ability to make a difference. Here in West Eugene, we have the training and resources to build a culture of preparedness.

During this workshop, we will discuss how to improve upon our communication in everyday life and in emergency situations. You will also have the chance to learn about the 5-step program for neighborhood preparedness, pioneered by the City of Los Angeles.

March 21, 2015
5:30 – 7:30 PM
2nd & Chambers, 1705 W 2nd Ave, Classroom 6

For more information, email cert@ci.eugene.or.us

2) 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 Neighborhood Associations 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.

Take the Survey to help determine the most useful and practical presentations you might like

SHiNA (we like that acronym) newsletter forMarch 7

From the editor

Change in Meeting Plans

I’m sorry to tell you that the speakers we scheduled for our March 15 meeting have unexpectedly withdrawn. As a result, we are going are canceling the March 15 meeting. Rather than have the meeting with only a few items, it seemed better to delay. The next general meeting will be in April, focusing on garden advice and events. WE will have expert gardeners to answer your questions, we’ll have displays, and we’ll have music, too!

One item we will delay until June. This is the issue of private roads in the city, which came up at our January meeting. We will try to find a speaker from the city to address this, and we will provide more accurate information on our neighborhood’s private streets, including Horizon Rd.

Traffic Comment

A neighbor writes: “I have a comment on the curve near Courtney and Storey. Not only are cars going too fast but I nearly got hit driving when someone coming in the opposite direction in a large truck was half way into my lane taking a short cut around the curve. There was no way to go to avoid him but fortunately he reacted quickly enough to correct his course shortly before a near accident.”

Crime Note

A neighbor writes: “A number of slimy, hot pink markings have appeared on/near three houses on Lorane Highway (that I know of anyway, there may be more). The patio door at a neighbor’s house, sn entrance gate, a camper were marked. There also was an orange marking there that said, “no EWEB”. At our house, a dot was marked on steps, a few inches from the house.

One neighbor called EWEB and was told these are legitimate markings, that someone had asked for excavation, and to call 811 for more information. I called 811 and was told these are not utility markings, that pink usually indicates land surveys. When I told the operator where the markings are she said that did not sound right at all and she suggested I check with non-emergency police re tagging.

I contacted EWEB. They said EWEB does not use pink for markings, their markings are red, and these are not EWEB markings. She said there is a request for new water service at Lorane Highway but would not give any information about the location, so I am not sure that is even relevant. I asked about the name of the survey company they use and she would not give that information. I told her we are concerned because these houses are not very close together and we wondered if this could be tagging.

I also talked with a surveyor. When I explained the markings he said that no, they made no sense and if they WERE done by a surveyor, it would be “cause for a serious complaint”.

I am not sure what this is, but it makes little sense for a survey company to go through someone’s gate, walk quite a way into the property, and spray the gate and a patio door with slimy goo. It makes no sense to spray a camper. And there is no reason to come onto our property and spray next to our house. The neighbor who initially contacted me this morning said he was particularly concerned about burglary because they are often away for extended periods.”

Disaster Preparedness Class

I received the following note from the Red Cross. Disaster preparedness is important, and what the Red Cross is proposing fits very well with our hopes of encouraging smaller groups within the neighborhood to meet with their neighbors. It’s a way of getting to know the resources and problems in your own area. So I encourage you to think about finding a group of 15 or 20 neighbors and asking the Red Cross to come and do one of their disaster sessions with you. It might be the start of a new kind of community.

Here’s the text of their proposal; take advantage of it!:

“The Red Cross Oregon Pacific Chapter is offering free emergency preparedness classes to your 15+ person group so they can be better ready to deal with natural and man-made disasters. We cover all potential disasters in the Pacific Northwest but focus on the Cascadia Subduction Zone 8-9 Earthquake and Tsunami as well as home fires. The presentation can be adjusted to last from 20 minutes to one hour, based on your time constraints. The emergency preparedness presentation discusses the types of disasters (both man-made and natural) that can occur in our geographic area and how to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters by establishing family meeting places, addressing emergency communication strategies, making personal and family disaster plans, and building emergency supply kits. Each audience member will receive a Red Cross Prepare! booklet.

Research published in the 2013 Oregon Resilience Plan by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission indicates there is high probability the Willamette Valley will experience a very large earthquake within the next 50 years; it’s not a matter of if, but when. The 2013 report expects that all utilities in the valley, including water, will be disrupted for at least several months.

For smaller groups and individuals – we offer a *Free Public Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Presentation – the Second Wednesday of Each Month 6-7pm at OPC Red Cross 862. Bethel Drive, Eugene*

Local KEZI news did a report on our emergency preparedness presentation. If you are interested, have a look at this video: http://www.kezi.com/red-cross-teaches-disaster-training/

If you would like to schedule a presentation, you can use this link to select a time that works for your group: http://www.redcross.org/or/eugene/preparedness/schedule-a-red-cross-presentation

Or – email henry.soderberg@redcross.org to schedule a free Red Cross emergency preparedness presentation and ask any questions you may have. You can also reach Henry on his cell at 630-631-6221. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Data: Who we are:

Our new name: Southwest Hills Neighborhood Association
Our old name: Crest Drive Citizens Association

Our area of the City: west of Willamette, extending south to the city borders, with a north boundary along 28th to Chambers then along 24th to City View.

Our contact information
For the newsletter: dkolb@bates.edu
For all other matters: vallecomm@gmail.com

The officers of our Association
Chair: Juan Carlos Valle
Vice Chair: Rachael Young
Reporting Sec.: Francina Verrijt
Corresponding Sec./Treas.: David Kolb

Purpose: Our purpose is to promote community at the neighborhood level and improve the livability of the neighborhood, and to educate neighbors and provide a forum for members to identify, discuss, and resolve neighborhood issues by encouraging and facilitating communications and participation among the members on matters of common concern.

How to keep up with news about our area and our activities:
You can check our Web site: crestdriveca.com
You can join the hundreds who receive our weekly email newsletter. Sign up using the form on the web site.
You can join ongoing discussions at our nextdoor.com web page. Sign up at that site.

March 1 newsletter

We will have a board meeting of the Association on Tuesday, March 3, at Market of Choice, 7 pm, on the balcony. Anyone who has ideas or opinions or is just curious is invited to attend.

Our next general gathering will be in March, a celebration of spring gardening with a collection of people ready to answer questions and give advice. Sunday March 15, 2-4 pm, at the farmhouse in the Morse Family Farm Park on Crest Drive.

From the editor

A number of interesting city announcements and cautions today.

You may notice that this email newsletter is coming a bit late. For travel and health reasons, these emails may be irregular in March and will probably settle into a schedule of every week and a half or so later on.

Projects on our streets this spring and summer.

1) The South Willamette Street Pilot Project will re-stripe Willamette from 24th to 29th to test a different arrangement of lanes on the street.

2) Full repaving for the following street segments:

39th Ave: from Willamette St to Braeburn Dr;

Brae Burn Dr: from 39th Ave to Willamette St;

40th Ave: from Donald St to Hilyard St;

Donald St: from 32nd Ave to 40th Ave.

Another street issue.

A neighbor writes: “I am a neighbor on Shalar Ct. Most days I walk my dog up Crest Dr. to the school. The blind curve right before Storey and Courtney Place is extremely dangerous. People speed around the curve and with the sidewalk so close to the street, pedestrians are put in peril if a car skids when it is wet or just goes off the road as it is going too fast. There is a ped crossing sign the but no one ever stops and it cannot be seen before entering the curve. Down below there are flashing lights when a ped is in the crosswalk, and I propose the same be done is this area, or some measure to prevent cars from speeding around this blind curve.”

Your editor admits he at times drives too fast around that curve. Do others have observations, either as drivers or walkers?

Dog News

1) Ridgeline Leash Law Enforcement

Incidents regarding dogs off leash in the Ridgeline Trail System have caused concern for people who use the park and property owners who live in the vicinity of the park. There has been an increase in complaints in regard to people who use the trail and property owners not feeling safe allowing their children to play in their backyard with dogs on the property.

Dogs are required to be on a leash not more than 8 feet in length and must be kept under control at all times. Dogs may only be allowed off-leash in officially designated and signed areas (i.e. dog parks). Eugene Animal Services is reminding people to be aware of park rules and to be mindful of other people who use the Ridgeline Trail and all Eugene parks.

Failure to abide by the rules can result in a $500 fine and/or up to 30 days in jail.

2) Call for volunteers

Can you spare a few hours to help a four-legged friend find a forever home? West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue is in need of volunteers. Hours are flexible, and opportunities are diverse, including fun events, fostering, animal care and cleaning, helping with adoptions, and more. You can visit WCDC’s adoptable pets in Eugene at PetSmart North, 2847 Chad Drive; PetSmart South, 2858 Willamette Street; PetCo, 1169 Valley River Drive; and Wags Dog Emporium, 485 Coburg Road. Learn more or apply to be a volunteer at: http://www.westcoastdogandcat.org (click on “Volunteers” in the top green bar of the page). With the support of community members like you, WCDC (an all-volunteer nonprofit) has found homes for over 1,700 animals in need since 2007. Brighten your life by helping brighten theirs!

City notices

1) Local Grants Available for Arts & Culture

Funded by the City of Eugene Cultural Services Division and administered by Lane Arts Council, Community Arts Grants are available to all creative and cultural arts media and disciplines for projects and programs that make an impact on Eugene residents. “We are grateful for the City of Eugene’s ongoing investment in the arts. These projects make Eugene a creative and dynamic place to live,” states Liora Sponko, Executive Director of Lane Arts Council.

Community Arts Grant Goals:

• Enrich the lives of Eugene residents and visitors
• Increase opportunities for residents to engage in the arts in its many forms
• Encourage emerging artists and art forms
• Preserve and commemorate local and multicultural traditions and histories
• Represent the community in all of its diversity
• Encourage partnerships among artists, performers, businesses, organizations, and agencies
• Build existing audiences and develop new ones for arts and culture
• Provide comprehensive arts learning experiences for Eugene’s children, youth, and adults
Community Arts Grant Application Deadline: May 8, 2015
Visit http://www.lanearts.org for guidelines and applications

Community Arts Grant Informational Session: Monday, March 9, 4:00-5:30pm

Community members can attend this free workshop to learn more about this grant program.

Maude Kerns Art Center1910 East 15th Ave., Eugene
RSVP online at http://www.lanearts.org/workshops/ or call Lane Arts Council at 541-485-2278

2) Proposed Vehicle Fee Information

In May, Lane County voters will decide whether Lane County should establish a county vehicle registration fee. If authorized by the voters, 40% of the funds will be shared with the incorporated cities throughout the county.

The proposed Lane County registration fee amount is $35 per year for most vehicles and $20 per year for motorcycles and mopeds. $35 per year is equivalent to $2.92 per month.

If adopted, the county fee would be collected by Oregon DMV at the same time motorists obtain or renew their state vehicle registration. Most new vehicles are registered for a four-year period; subsequent renewals typically occur every two years. Certain vehicles would be exempt from the county fee under state law. Disabled veteran, government, school, farm, antique, special interest and recreational vehicles and heavy vehicles paying the weight-mile tax would be exempt from the fee under state law.

If adopted the $35 annual fee would generate approximately $11 million countywide. Approximately $6.6 million would go to the county and $4.4 million to cities based on population. The eight largest cities and projected revenues are: Eugene (about $2.7 million); Springfield (about $1 million); Cottage Grove (about $165,000); Florence (about $145,000); Junction City (about $94,000); Creswell (about $85,000); Veneta (about $80,000) and Oakridge (about $55,000).

Oregon’s Constitution requires taxes and fees on motor vehicle fuel and use, including vehicle registration fees, to be used exclusively for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance and operation or use of public highways, roads, streets and roadside rest areas in this state.


3) (Repeat notice) 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.