From your hot, sweaty editor
Last Sunday we had a well-attended meeting emphasizing the danger of wildfires in our neighborhood and explaining what we can do to protect our homes. Three members of the state Forestry Office team spoke and showed off one of their patrol and response trucks. We all enjoyed free ice cream, and we congratulate this month’s door prize winner, Robert Meyer.
We feel that what the fire experts said is important — we are going to send it out in a separate email later today, and post it on our sites at nextdoor.com and at swhillseugne.com (crestdriveca.com).
More speeders, but this time on bikes:
A neighbor writes: “Lorane Highway has increasing problems with downhill racing by bicyclists. Lorane Highway is riddled with blind curves and driveways. Many of us depend on listening for traffic when leaving our driveways, but we obviously cannot hear bicyclists. Our household has had several near misses this year – one racer was going so fast he actually passed us on the right when we left our driveway. If you ride a bike in this area or know of someone who does, please remind them that slowing down and riding defensively may well save their lives.”
More mail box crime:
A neighbor writes: “the bank of mailboxes on Crest Drive at the intersection of Ful Vue (the Horizon Rd. mailboxes) was broken into either Friday or Saturday. The thieves used a crowbar to pry open the backs. Some of our opened mail was found by a Good Samaritan I assume and left on our porch. We talked to the USPS on Willamette and they oddly were unable to provide much info. The are not sure when it happened, whether anybody is doing anything about it, etc. That seems odd as I assume if the postal carrier was unable to deliver mail on Saturday due to the condition of the boxes he would have noticed! We had some deliveries due and the USPS tracking info stops on Saturday with a note the packages are “in transit” but no confirmation they were delivered, so I have no idea if they were stolen or returned to the facility and now are lost. The USPS said they have inspectors working on this, but encouraged us to report it online. ”
Speaking of fires…
Fireworks – Keep it Safe, Keep it Legal
Illegal Fireworks Amnesty Turn-in Day June 28
Fireworks went on sale Tuesday. This will be year two for enhanced prevention, education and enforcement regarding illegal use of fireworks in Eugene. This is in response to increasing complaints of illegal fireworks use and their impact on veterans, pets, and fire safety. Eugene Springfield Fire and Eugene Police and the Metro Explosive Disposal Unit will be taking steps to reduce the volume of unlawful displays, including through public service announcements, education and enforcement. The goal is to raise awareness and reduce illegal fireworks hazards.
Eugene Police will be staffing additional officers on Friday, July 3, though Saturday, July 4. They will respond proactively when they see or hear illegal fireworks. To report illegal fireworks within the Eugene city limits, call 541.682.5111. Fire crews will patrol neighborhoods in their response areas on July 4, to note and report illegal fireworks activity.
Illegal Fireworks Amnesty Turn-in Day will be on Sunday, June 28, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at 2nd and Chambers. This event is only open to private individuals, not commercial parties. If someone misses this event, there is a year-round process that is by appointment only:
• Make an appointment by calling 541.682.5111.
• Do NOT take fireworks to a fire station or police department
Note, last year people asked questions about sparklers. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s website information states that wood core sparklers are considered legal retail fireworks and as such, would be subject to the new code. The 10-inch wire core sparklers are considered an unclassified item and not a firework and can be sold and used throughout the year. More info at Oregon State Fire Marshal’s website at http://www.oregon.gov/osp/sfm
What are Legal Fireworks?
Legal fireworks in Oregon can be sold from June 23 through July 6 of each year. These include fountains, spinners and wheels available at retail fireworks outlets. Additionally, legal fireworks produce only smoke, sparks or fire but DO NOT explode, eject balls of fire, fly into the air more than 12 inches or travel more than six feet on the ground. When both legal and illegal fireworks are improperly handled, injuries and fire damage occur. Fireworks may only be used between June 23 and July 6 and on December 31 and January 1. The base fine for violations is $250.
Illegal fireworks include but are not limited to, fire crackers, bottle rockets and roman candles, fly into the air, explode and behave in an uncontrolled and unpredictable manner. Illegal fireworks are extremely dangerous and create extreme fire danger. Possession of illegal fireworks is a class B misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of $2,500 and six months in jail.
Cherry bombs, M-80’s and larger and any legal or illegal firework that has been modified are considered an EXPLOSIVE DEVICE and should not be handled. Call the Eugene Police Department immediately and do not transport.
Reporting Illegal Fireworks: use in progress: 541-682-5111; Safety info at: http://www.oregon.gov/osp/sfm
After all this about fire, what about water emergencies?:
Outlook: Eugene Water Supplies
Update: in Consideration of Dry Conditions
Water availability has been in the news a lot lately with California facing another year of drought conditions and Oregon experiencing record low snowpack levels. What does all this mean for the McKenzie watershed and Eugene’s drinking water supply?
Recent modeling suggests the McKenzie River will be at 60 percent of normal flow. It is unlikely that Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) will be required by the State of Oregon to restrict water use. However, depending on weather conditions later this summer, voluntary reductions or restrictions are not out of the question. EWEB staff will monitor several key criteria throughout the summer that could trigger the need for water restrictions. The criteria include daily water consumption, daytime temperatures and stream flows.
Whether or not mandatory restrictions are put in place, wise water use is especially important this year to keep as much water in the river as possible for fish and other users downstream. For this reason, EWEB is asking customers to be more vigilant about water consumption.
To support water conservation, local water utilities have an established Green Grass Gauge (GGG) program that has become a popular and effective tool to manage outdoor irrigation (typically the largest demand for summertime water use). Weekly watering recommendations are posted on Facebook and Twitter, from mid-June through late-September, to help avoid over watering. The public may subscribe to a weekly watering recommendation e-mail update sent directly to a personal mailbox at eweb.org/ggg.
For more water conservation tips, and other resources regarding water supplies, visit eweb.org/2015drinkingwater.
And speaking of emergencies in general:
Is Your Neighborhood Prepared? Event Saturday
What is your emergency response plan?
Are you and your neighbors prepared in the event of an emergency? The City of Eugene Emergency Management Program is hosting an event on June 27 to assist individuals and neighborhoods with the disaster planning process.
Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015
Time: 10 AM to noon
Location: Tugman Park, 3666 Hilyard Avenue
Being prepared means that you can support yourself and your household for three days minimum in the absence of electricity, water service, supermarket access, and first responders. “You can be the hero” if you are prepared, and that starts with four important steps:
Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information that will be helpful before, during, and after an emergency.
Make a plan for what to do in an emergency outlining how your family will meet, evacuate, and communicate.
Build an emergency supply kit to support family and pets for a minimum of 3 days.
Get involved in community groups. Meet your neighbors, share your skills, and volunteer.
Preparedness takes the whole community. This event focuses on turning awareness into action by encouraging all households and neighborhoods in Eugene to make an emergency plan. From 10–11, participants will learn how to effectively conduct a Map Your Neighborhood session. From 11-noon, we will walk through the process of creating a neighborhood disaster plan.
Then there are other folks’ emergencies:
FOOD for Lane County Summer Program
Kids eat free during the summer thanks to FOOD for Lane County’s Summer Food Program. Staff and volunteers serve meals at schools, parks and community centers located throughout Lane County during the summer months. Children and youth 18 years of age and younger are invited to eat at one of 60 sites. Most sites open in June and run through August. No registration is required. Children ages 1-2 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. We cannot provide food for parents or guardians, but we do invite you to bring your own food and eat with your kids.
FOOD for Lane County also needs volunteers to pack the lunches from June 22 – August 21, 2015 in the FFLC kitchen! Shifts available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact Sheyla to sign up! 541-343-2822.
See the Schedule>>
And, finally, a history note, with links to videos:
Eugene City Hall Update
The demolition phase of the City Hall project is now complete, and we are pleased to report that everything went very smoothly. We were able to meet and, in some cases exceed, our very ambitious green demolition goals:
• 95% of materials from the former building were reused or recycled.
• Nearly 100% of the concrete from the building was crushed by machines on site and used for fill, avoiding transportation costs, dumping costs, and adding to the landfill.
• Prior to crushing, steel and other metals were separated and recycled.
• Due to the diligence of McKenzie Commrcial and their subcontractors, we had virtually no problems or complaints with noise or dust. In fact, the project team has actually received compliments on the deconstruction process!
• Take a look at the site next time you are downtown and you will be amazed! Here are a couple of very brief videos to show you more about the deconstruction process:
A short time lapse video of the demolition:
A video by the demolition company: