Southwest Hills weekly newsletter for August 1

Next General Gathering

Picnic Time!

Next Sunday, August 9, from 2 to 6, we will celebrate at our annual summer picnic and potluck.

Come out to the Wayne Morse Family Farm Park, bring some food and beverages, enjoy free ice cream, of your choice, listen to good music from GRRRLZ ROCK! and bravura drumming from Eugene Taiko, receive free tickets for door prizes, pick up information on our tables, meet your neighbors — have a fine time! (Pets and alcohol are not allowed at the picnic.)

From the editor

I imagine that many of you, like me, are staying at home in cool air. So, here is some reading to while away your time while you watch the world swelter.

Here is our report on street and trail work in our vicinity this week:

W. 39th Avenue & Brae Burn Drive:
Work nears completion this week with general site cleanup. No delays or traffic changes expected.

E. 40th Avenue (Hilyard St. to Donald St.):
Work nears completion this week with general site cleanup. No delays or traffic changes expected.

Donald Street (E. 32nd Ave. to E. 40th Ave.):
Donald Street, between Willamette and E. 33rd Avenue, will be closed to all north bound traffic.
From E. 33rd Avenue to E. 40th Avenue, excavation continues for sidewalk ADA ramp replacements.
Pearl Street at Donald Street will be closed all week.
Detours are in place to the Tamerac Center.

Spencer Butte Summit Trail (at S. Willamette St.):
The project is now substantially complete and further regular closures are not anticipated.

Fillmore Street (W. 19th Ave. to W. 24th Ave.):
Contractor will begin constructing sidewalk ramps and repairing curb and gutter. Work may result in parking lane closures with trucks and flaggers in the roadway.

South Willamette Special Zone News:

On July 21 seventeen members from the affected neighborhood associations (Southwest Hills, Southeast, Friendly, Amazon) met to discuss the status and impact of the South Willamette special zone plan. The discussion was far-reaching and raised many questions and although it didn’t lead to any concrete action plan and it was a first step in having the affected areas talk with each other about common problems and next steps.

Earthquake News:

You may recall that last week I pointed to an article in the New Yorker which painted a scary picture of the results of a larger earthquake on the Cascadia fault off the coast of Oregon. This week I point you to another article by the same author in which she deals further with the threats and what one can do about them.

She begins the articlle: “For most of the past three years, I’ve worked as a book critic, which is not a job that affords me many opportunities to scare the living daylights out of my readers. (Authors, occasionally; readers, no.) But earlier this month, when a story I wrote about a dangerous fault line in the Pacific Northwest hit the newsstands, the overwhelming response was alarm.”

Near the end of the article, she concludes: “I live in New York most of the year, but I spend my summers in Oregon. Nothing in my personal or professional life obliges me to do so. Clearly, I am not oblivious to the risks. Given all that, and given the scenario I outlined in this article, why do I still choose to spend time here? Part of my answer is, I imagine, one I share with many people in the region: this place feels like home. I used to live here year-round, I still have family and friends in the area, and I dearly love it—so much so that there is an inverse correlation between the airplane descending into the Portland airport and my own spirit rising. …That’s one way of looking at life in the Pacific Northwest: it’s a wonderful activity, but to do it safely you need to understand its inherent risks and work to allay them. That’s the other reason I’m still here: I’ve done that work, and I’m comfortable with the level of risk I now live with.”

In the body of the article, she refines the estimates of danger, provides a “shake map” for a big quake [Eugene is in a moderately serious zone], discusses tsunami dangers [up to three miles inland in some places], and provides a list of sensible steps everyone can take.

One point she makes is that by blocking transportation a quake could shatter the region “into thousands of tiny areas, each isolated from one another and all extremely difficult to reach.” Mutual neighborhood support will be crucial, hence the need to stock up on some supplies and know your neighbors needs and resources.

Speaking of supplies: more Emergency Preparation News

Emergency Water Supply Storage from EWEB

We all know we should have stash of critical emergency supplies at the ready in case of a severe storm event or natural disaster. But many of us don’t quite get around to assembling our kits, which should include safe drinking water supplies.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that each household store a three‐day supply of water (one gallon of water per person or pet, per day) for drinking and sanitation.

EWEB is again partnering with the Oregon Pacific Chapter of the American Red Cross and the city of Eugene to cultivate a culture of preparedness in our community. The ability for our community to recover quickly from emergencies and disasters begins with us.

Emergency Water Supply Storage Containers

Our local partnership is again offering three‐gallon water bottles at a discount price to make it easy for households to obtain emergency water storage containers. Each bottle is just $5 (retail price $17 to $21) and the cost will be applied to your EWEB utility bill. Each bottle will have useful water and electric outage preparation tips on the container, including instructions for keeping your water safe.

These BPA‐free, three‐gallon water storage containers have a reusable twist cap. Once your family has used your stored emergency water supply you can disinfect and refill your emergency water storage container or if needed, bring the container to fill at an emergency water distribution site.

EWEB customers can pre‐order an emergency water supply storage container in August 2015 for pick‐up in October 2015 at There’s a four‐container limit per household; available while supplies last.

Notes from the City:

(1) Vision Screening for Young Children at Library
Saturday, August 8, 2:30 – 4:30 PM
In August, the Eugene Public Library will host free “See to Read” vision screenings for children ages three to seven years old. The screenings are non-invasive and take only a few minutes. This service is provided through a partnership among the Oregon State Elks Association, Oregon State Lions Association, and Oregon public libraries.

The drop-in sessions at the Eugene Public Library will be held Saturday, Aug. 8. Come to the Bethel Branch between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., or go to the Downtown Library between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. All Oregon children age seven or younger are required to have their vision screened before starting school or preschool. The purpose is to check for a number of eye diseases that can be treated successfully if caught early.

If the free, initial screening raises concerns, a full eye examination will be recommended. The most commonly found diseases are refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism – and amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye.” Early detection provides the best opportunity for effective, inexpensive treatment, which translates to the best chance for successful learning as school begins.

For more information about See to Read vision screenings, visit or contact the Eugene Public Library at 541-682-8316 or

(2) Gardening and Food News : 2015 Northwest Permaculture Convergence August 28, 29 & 30

The Convergence will be a unique opportunity to connect with others with a keen interest in urban/suburban resilience. August 28 to 30 at the River Road Recreation Center. The Green Neighborhood Summit is even more specific about creating resilient homes and neighborhoods with presentations, a Saturday site tour and caucus sessions. We are expecting participants from Portland, Olympia, Seattle, Bellingham, Ashland, Tacoma, Port Townsend, Eugene.

The Summit is intended to mark the beginning of a regional/bi state network to compare notes and learn from each other about greening our homes, neighborhoods and communities. The Summit will include presentations of particular interest to neighborhood leaders including Green Prearedness, Block Planning, great stories from other town about greening neighborhoods plus caucus sessions to meet our colleagues and compare notes.

The site tours on Friday will be extensive. Five tours will visit over 40 sites. Rain water catchment, solar redesign, edible landscaping, collaborations between neighbors, reclaiming automobile space and a lot more such as green business, Block Planning, community projects on public property, shared residential living and more.

The outdoor Expo will be free and open to the public with 15 presentations about sustainability and resilience skills, educational groups tabling, exhibits, Kid Zone and much more. The site tours and Summit are free and open to the public. Both the site tours and Expo are free and open to the public.

The Convergence web site is up dated with schedules for the overall event, the Summit, the site tours. We will have the presentation schedule on line by July 5, anticipating over 35 panels and presentations such as regional food security, cooperative economics, food forests, green preparedness, permaculture applied to suburban properties and much more.

The plenary talks will focus on creating more green and resilient neighborhoods with speakers from all over the Northwest. Bikes are highly recommended. Check registration for group discounts. Five or more people registering at the same time means a $20 savings per person.

Visit the website for a schedule and more information.

(3) Future Plans

Eugene Parks System Plan Update
PICTURE the possibilities; PLAN places and spaces; PLAY for years to come!
The City of Eugene is embarking on an 18-month process to update Eugene’s parks and recreation system plan. PARKS and RECreate will build on the system’s strong legacy and guide necessary adjustments to meet new challenges. And, we can’t do it without you!
This summer we are squarely in the “collect” phase of the project and we need to know – what do you want, need and desire for Eugene’s parks and recreation? There are a number of ways you can join the conversation and tell us what is important to YOU.
Take this 15-minute survey. It’s quick and easy. Your voice truly matters AND we will enter you into a prize drawing for amazing customized recreation experiences.
Register for our mailing list so we can keep you updated on what we are learning as we move forward.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and visit us at for more info.
And last, but certainly not least, find the little red bus popping up at a location near you this summer. Come talk to us, share your parks and recreation story in the Chatter Box, take your selfie in the Picture Your Parks photo booth, make music with our pedal powered bike, toss a beanbag and enjoy some free ice cream or juice. There are all kinds of ways for you to have fun and share what matters most to you and your family. Tour dates and locations can be found at

(4) Events at Alton Baker Park:

(A) Social Justice Summer Party
Sunday, Aug 2 – Alton Baker Park
Join McKenzie River Gathering for the Annual Social Justice Summer party on August 2 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at Alton Baker Park in Shelter Enjoy hearty and delicious treats, meet MRG’s grantees who are advancing social justice in the Willamette Valley, and connect with other justice seekers.

(B) Hiroshima & Nagasaki Commemoration
August 6 at 6:30 PM – Alton Baker Park
70 years ago this August, the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those two bombs killed over 200,000 people. Each year the community gathers to honor the victims and to take action to help ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again. A commemoration honoring the atomic bomb victims and a celebration of a diverse community coming together to say “Never Again”, will be held at Alton Baker Park’s small shelter, near the duck pond and park entrance. There will be drumming by Eugene Taiko, traditional Japanese Obon dancing, and music by the Yujin Gakuen Children’s Peace Choir. The event will close at dusk with the floating of candle lanterns on the duck pond while Koto master Mitsuki Dazai plays traditional Japanese music. For More information contact CALC at 541-485-1755 or

(C) Eugene Pride Day Festival
Saturday, August 8
Join us for music, art, learning and beautiful LGBTQ friends and allies in Alton Baker Park on Saturday, August 8 from noon until 6 PM. Enjoy a beverage from the beer garden and try some tasty food from local vendors. FREE admission with a $5 suggested donation – all proceeds go to cover event costs.