Public Hearing: Farmers Market and Park Blocks

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The Eugene City Council, acting as the Urban Renewal Agency Board, wants to hear from community members about the Park Blocks and Farmers Market projects, at a Public Hearing on Monday, July 20th. The hearing will be an opportunity for community members to comment on whether the projects should move forward, and if so, how they should be funded.

The Downtown Urban Renewal Agency Board voted unanimously on Monday June 22nd to schedule a Public Hearing on the Park Blocks and Farmers Market projects. The council showed support for the overall designs and indicated a strong interest in prioritizing the construction of the Farmers Market portion of the project based on available funds.

The designs for Farmers Market and Park Blocks have been part of the Town Square project started in May of 2019 to re-imagine the public space at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Oak Street. With strong collaboration with the Lane County Farmers Market and Eugene Saturday Market, as well as with consultation and input from thousands of residents across Eugene, the community has shaped the design and direction of the project.

The Public Hearing, scheduled for Monday, July 20th, is the last opportunity for members of the public to formally weigh in on whether the Farmers Market and Park Block projects should move forward towards construction. Following the public hearing on July 20th, the City Council, acting as the Agency Board will hold a vote on whether to move forward with the projects at a meeting scheduled for July 27th.

Looking Ahead

At the June 22 meeting, the Agency Board also consider options for phasing the implementation of the Park Blocks and Farmers Market, particularly opportunities to construct an initial phase of the vision with currently available funds. The Agency Board voted to begin a process to amend the Urban Renewal Plan and remove the limit on funds for the Farmers Market, which will make it possible for this project to receive a larger share of the Urban Renewal dollars within the overall budget established in 2016.

Support Our Markets

Although the market season has not started the way we had planned, there are still many ways that you can support our local artists and farmers.

Lane County Farmers Market

The Lane County Farmers Market is officially operating as an essential service, providing fresh, local food to our community. The Farmers Market is open on Saturdays (9 AM- 3 PM) and Tuesdays (10 AM- 3 PM) at the Park Blocks. The first hour of market (9 – 10 AM on Saturdays and 10 – 11 AM on Tuesdays) are reserved for people over 60 years of age and those who are in a high risk category.

When you visit the market please make sure to follow new market health rules:

  • Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and other people.
  • Shop quickly and do not linger in the market area after you have finished your shopping.
  • Send only one member of your household when possible.
  • Do not handle produce and food items that you are not buying.

Be sure to visit the LCFM website to learn more about the Farmers Market’s safety plan.

Lane County Farmers Market                    Lane County Saturday Market

Eugene Saturday Market 

The Eugene Saturday Market has reopened with hours of operation from 10 AM- 5 PM. The Market has made changes that will decrease crowds by reducing the number of sellers, spacing out stalls, canceling live music and offering take out only at the Food Court. Visit the Saturday Market website to view the complete safety plan.

In addition to the in-person market you can also browse through Saturday Market’s Artisan Directory and directly contact the makers and artists to make a purchase or scroll through the Eugene Saturday Markets Online Market Place on Facebook to see the latest crafts from market members.

If you would like to give financial support to local artists, please donate to either the Lane County Artists Relief Fund, which supports individual artists who have lost work due to COVID 19 or to the Kareng Fund, which offers small grants to artists and makers affected by market and fair closures.

Project Info

The new Eugene Town Square has the power to transform the Park Blocks into a dynamic public place, bringing our diverse community together year-round. The Town Square will give a permanent home to the Farmers Market, a new City Hall and bring improvements to the southern Park Blocks to help the Eugene Saturday Market continue to thrive.

It’s people that make a park and the Town Square project needs help from everyone in Eugene to co-create a space that will reflect what is wonderful and unique about our city, for generations to come.

Sign up here to receive Eugene Town Square email updates

The Latest News from Oregon Health Authority

You can click the images below for links to interactive data tables about coronavirus case counts in Oregon.

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COVID-19 Signs and Symptoms

Last Wednesday’s weekly coronavirus report from the Oregon Health Authority updated the most common signs and symptoms for the virus. The top five most common are cough, headache, muscle aches, chills, and fever over 100 degrees. If you have any of these, please stay home and get tested.

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Infections among Younger Adults on the Rise

As coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Oregon and around the nation, there has been an alarming increase in younger adults contracting the virus. The Oregonian has more details on this statewide trend here, and USA Today has more information here on the nationwide wave of new cases in younger Americans. The cause? Most likely increased socializing and complacency.

Here is a look at some updated age demographic data in Oregon. As you can see, Oregonians between 20-29 years old have the highest percentage of cases by age group.

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We know what it takes to reduce transmission of the virus and hold things steady again. Remember the importance of the basics to stop the spread of the virus: wash your hands, wear your face covering, and watch your distance from others.

Eugene Community Safety Updates

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Upcoming City Council Work Session

The Eugene City Council received extensive input from the community on the FY21 budget, which was approved on June 22. In addition to their on-going commitment to 21st century policing reform, members of the City Council have also noted the need to take thoughtful and deliberate actions addressing discrimination and systemic bias. As part of that effort, the Council is scheduled to meet at 5:30 pm on July 20 to specifically begin working on issues related to public safety funding including the Community Safety Initiative (CSI). That meeting will be available live on Comcast channel 21 and online, both live and recorded, at www.eugene-or.gov/webcasts.

Public Comment for Administrative Rules begins July 6

The City of Eugene is seeking public comment on Proposed Administrative Rules for the Community Safety Payroll Tax. These rules will implement the Community Safety Payroll Tax Ordinance (No. 20616)
passed by Eugene City Council in June 2019 to provide long-term funding for community safety services. The Community Safety Payroll Tax will generate funds to provide faster, more efficient safety responses, deter crime, connect people to services, engage and help at-risk youth, support more investigations and court services, and add jail beds to reduce capacity-based releases and hold those who commit crimes accountable.
Visit the Payroll Tax web page to review the proposed Administrative Rules, provide comment, or learn more about the Community Safety Initiative, including to check if your business is within the Eugene city limits.
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Citizen Advisory Board

One of the accountability measures for the Community Safety Payroll Tax is a Citizen Advisory Board. The Citizen Advisory Board is responsible for preparing an annual report separate and distinct from the report prepared by the outside auditor, documenting the City’s use of the tax revenue and noting whether the tax revenue was spent in compliance with the purpose and use set forth in section 3.750 to 3.768 of the City Code of Ordinances.
Board members must be city residents and/or subject to the payroll tax. They are selected based on their interest in the Community Safety Initiative and/ or local government, and are appointed by the City Manager to represent a cross section of Eugene residents. The Citizen Advisory Board is comprised of community members, business owners, employers, employees and local community organization leaders. Their background and experience will provide important perspectives and oversight on the work of the Community Safety Initiative.
The Board held its first meeting on June 16. See the meeting packet and presentation slides on our website. We look forward to sharing more about the work of the Advisory Board in future emails.
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The ToolBox Project

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ToolBox Project is your community tool library. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit serving all of Lane County. We share home repair and garden tools with members at affordable rates so we can all build and grow together. Our tool inventory includes nearly 2,000 tools – everything from electric lawnmowers to chop saws and hand tools. Membership is by suggested donation, and our rental rates range from $0-$10 for a week loan, depending on the tool. We also offer a membership scholarship program providing free membership and unlimited free borrowing to new members with low income. Find out more at www.eugenetoolboxproject.org or contact Willa Bauman, Operations Manager, at eugenetoolbox@gmail.com! We look forward to sharing tools with you!

ToolBox Project COVID-19 Modified Operations

We are now open with modified operations and temporary new hours:
Sundays, 3:00 – 6:00 PM. Located at: ​2235 Adams Street, ​Eugene, OR 
See below for new guidelines!

NEW SCHEDULE:

Every Sunday, 3:00 – 6:00 PM. RESERVATIONS ONLY. You must reserve the tools you want to pick up by Saturday at 5:00 PM. Please make reservations via email (eugenetoolbox@gmail.com) or phone (541-838-0125). Currently, we are not allowing reservations through the website. No appointment needed to pick up your reserved tools: just come by on Sunday, between 3:00 – 6:00 PM.

All staff, volunteers, and members will be required to wear a mask.

-Only one member will be allowed to be on the patio or in the library at a time. Please send one member of your household to pick up tools. If a member is at the library when you arrive, please wait in your car and we will come to you.

Tools will be sanitized and will sit for 7 days before we loan them to you. This may affect the availability of some in-demand tools.

The ToolBox Project is a volunteer-driven tool-lending library open to residents of Lane County, Oregon. We share home and garden tools with our community so we can all build and grow together.
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Oregon Health Authority – Coronavirus Update

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Staying safe and reducing your risk over the holiday weekend

We know people are tired of being cooped up at home and are eager to get out and enjoy the beautiful Oregon summer. However, our phased reopening is not a return to business as usual. Physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequent hand washing are still a regular part of our life.

COVID-19 is still in our communities, and each of us has a role to play in reducing its spread. As you prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with families, friends and loved ones, we want you to consider the risks of your holiday activities.

Tips for a safe Fourth of July

The safest choice this holiday is to celebrate at home. If you choose to celebrate in other ways, activities that take place outdoors, allow for enough room to maintain physical distancing and involve fewer people are lower risk than activities that take place indoors, don’t allow for physical distancing and involve more people. Below are some extra tips for enjoying the holiday safely:

  • Stay home if you’re sick or if you have an underlying medical condition that puts you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you host a gathering, provide hand sanitizer or give people easy access to places where they can frequently wash their hands.
  • Adjust your food offerings to avoid sharing utensils and offer individual servings. Don’t share drinks.
  • During and afterward thoroughly clean all frequently touched areas your guests have access to.
  • Wear a mask if you cannot maintain 6 feet of physical distance.

By knowing and understanding the risk of our actions and activities, we can make informed decisions that not only impact our own health but also protect the health of everyone around us.

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City of Eugene: COVID-19 Community Update

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We provided our last community update a few weeks ago, promising to email again when we had new information regarding our response to COVID-19. We feel this week is an appropriate opportunity to touch base again following Governor Kate Brown’s recent decision to extend the face covering requirement statewide beginning July 1.

While we’ve been in Phase 2 for several weeks, the number of active cases in our community continues to grow. Our teams continue to work closely with health experts at Lane County Public health and the Oregon Health Authority.

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Face coverings mandatory statewide 

Starting Wednesday, July 1, face coverings are required statewide in indoor spaces that are open to the public, including businesses. Governor Brown shared that the decision came, in part, because of the significant jump in COVID-19 cases both in urban and rural counties.

“The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference,” Governor Brown said.

The face covering requirement extends to businesses, including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Fitness-related organizations
  • Pharmacies
  • Public transit agencies and providers
  • Restaurants, bars, breweries, brewpubs, wineries, tasting room and distilleries
  • Retail stores, shopping centers and malls
  • Ride sharing services

“Face coverings that cover your nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of this disease,” Brown said. “If we all wear face coverings, practice six feet of physical distancing in public, wash our hands regularly, and stay home when we’re sick, then we can avoid the worst-case scenarios that are now playing out in other states.”

Learn more about face covering requirements.

Eugene awarded $2.8 million in CARES Act funding

While the financial impacts of COVID-19 won’t be known for years, the City recently received funding to help offset some of the costs incurred since the start of the pandemic response.

The State of Oregon sent Eugene $2.83 million in CARES Act CRF funding. This payment was reimbursement for eligible costs related to medical expenses, public health costs, payroll for employees dedicated to COVID-19 and expenses to facilitate compliance with COVID-19 measures from March 1 to May 15.

The state is expected to issue guidance later in July for a second round of reimbursements.

New microsite collaboration as designated temporary shelter sites phase out

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The City is delighted to announce a second microsite is expected to be active by the end of the week. Microsites support our community’s reopening by balancing the varying needs for safety and recovery for the unhoused community.

The newest microsite will be on land provided by the Eugene Mission at no cost and managed by Community Supported Shelters. The first microsite was established at Skinner City Farm.

City staff continue to seek additional sites, exploring both public and private property partnerships. We will provide updates about additional sites as information becomes available.

As part of the City’s emergency response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the City worked with non-profit social service providers to establish designated temporary shelter sites to provide emergency shelter options to unhoused community members in three community center parking lots. These shelter sites gave people experiencing homelessness a safe and sanitary place to live, while reducing the need for the residents to move around the community. Watch a video highlighting the positive impact of the designated temporary shelter sites.

New microsites will continue to provide needed shelter, stability and support for vulnerable members of our community and demonstrate the collaborative efforts underway to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness.

Kesey Square “Food Hall” Reopened

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As part of the City’s reopening and recovery efforts, the Downtown Ambassadors have re-opened Kesey Square to offer space for the public to sit, eat lunch and order food from downtown restaurants and food carts. The program started June 15, and tables and chairs will be out from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and sanitized regularly, spaced 6-feet apart. We encourage people to wear masks when physical distancing is not possible. The City looks forward to welcoming the community back to downtown!

Learn More About Reopening Oregon

See a list of Community Resources for physical and mental health, food, housing, businesses, employees, schools and children, as well as information in Spanish. Also learn how you can help.

Our partners have a significant amount of information available online. Please visit these resources for the most up to date information:

Governor Brown announces indoor face covering requirement is extended statewide

Governor Kate Brown announced today that Oregonians statewide will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, beginning this Wednesday July 1. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces. Face covering requirements are already mandated in eight counties.

“The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter,” said Governor Brown. “Face coverings that cover your nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of this disease because droplets from our breath can carry the virus to others without us realizing it. If we all wear face coverings, practice six feet of physical distancing in public, wash our hands regularly, and stay home when we are sick, then we can avoid the worst-case scenarios that are now playing out in other states.” The statewide mask requirement comes after continued increases in the spread of COVID-19 since reopening. COVID-19 cases have increased each week for four straight weeks statewide, and it is spreading faster in the community. While large workplace outbreaks have driven increased cases in recent weeks, sporadic cases (those with no clear link to another case) account for a growing percentage of new cases.

Oregon can stay safe if we all do our part to keep COVID-19 under control and protect our friends, family and neighbors from this virus.

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Summer Art Kits for Lane County Students

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SUMMER ART KITS FOR LANE COUNTY STUDENTS

Lane County students can stay creative all summer long with Lane Arts Council’s new Summer Art Kits!
Join local artists for 40 hands-on tutorials in the visual and performing arts, with all materials conveniently mailed to your door.
Summer Art Kits are perfect for K-5 learners and for middle school students with an interest in the arts.
Lessons Include
  • Scientific Observational Drawing
  • Improvisational Hip Hop Dance
  • Sock Puppetry
  • Introduction to Guinean Rhythms
  • Natural Dyes & Tie Dye
  • Theatre Games
  • Watercolor Exploration
  • Songwriting
  • Draw & Paint Big!
  • Paper Bag Possibilities
Purchasing a Lane Arts Council Summer Art Kit ensures a summer full of art-making while supporting local artists!
For $145 you will receive:
  • All materials needed for your student to complete 40 art lessons
  • Paper and/or video instructional guides for each lesson
  • Shipping of the art kit directly to your address
  • Hours of fun and creativity for your student!

RegisterToday

Help us provide free and reduced-cost Summer Art Kits for families in need! Donate today to directly increase the number of students we are able to serve. Thank you!

DonateNow

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Oregon Health Authority – Coronavirus Update

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COVID-19 cases are surging in Oregon. How can we all work together to bend the curve back downward?

Today OHA released new modeling that shows a considerable rise in COVID-19 in Oregon. The latest model by OHA and the Institute for Disease Modeling is based on data through June 18. It offers three projections – optimistic, moderate and pessimistic – predicting that daily case levels could rise as much as 20 percentage points. The entire report can be found here.

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New modeling of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 is spreading more rapidly in Oregon, according to the latest model released today by the Oregon Health Authority and the Institute for Disease Modeling.

The model, which is based on data through June 18, offers three projections — optimistic, moderate and pessimistic — predicting that daily case levels could rise as much as 20 percentage points.

The modeling assumes that hospitalizations from COVID-19 remain stable and testing remains at its present level of approximately 4,000 a day:

  • The optimistic scenario with those assumptions suggests the previous modeling increase of June 11 was the result of higher testing and that case counts would remain stable at about 180 per day over the next month. This is the least likely scenario to occur because it assumes diagnosis of all new cases and presently about one-third of new infections cannot be traced to a known source.
  • The moderate scenario suggests the rise in cases in the last modeling report was due to increased transmission and expanded testing — and that daily infections of COVID-19 could rise over the next month to more than 900 per day, with daily hospitalizations rising from 8 to 27.
  • The most pessimistic scenario suggests the rise in cases in the last modeling report was due entirely to increased transmission and not expanded testing — and that infections could rise to more than 4,800, and hospitalizations could increase to 82 per day.

“We know that COVID-19 is in our communities,” said Dean Sidelinger, MD, Oregon state health officer. “This latest model provides us with a sobering reminder that we all need to guard against continued spread, especially as we continue to reopen and the weather gets warmer.”

Dr. Sidelinger said, “Think hard about your choice of activities, especially as we get close to the Fourth of July holiday. Ask yourself: how can I reduce my risk and the risk I might pose to people around me?” Do what you can to suppress the virus: Stay 6 feet away from other people. Wear a mask. Avoid large gatherings, and if you are in a group setting — like a holiday barbeque — stay outside, keep your distance and use a face covering when you’re not eating. Wash your hands frequently and stay home if you’re sick.

OHA uses this modeling for data analysis and planning purposes and releases it on a bi-weekly basis. The entire report can be found here.

Note: Dr. Dean Sidelinger will hold OHA’s regular weekly media briefing today at 11 a.m. To participate, media are invited to call 844-867-6163, participant code: 593699.

What we’re learning

Oregonians are at greater risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 than they have been since before Governor Kate Brown issued the first stay-at-home orders. Our latest projections show we are most likely heading toward the worst-case scenario we projected last week – approximately 900 new infections per day by the end of July.

COVID-19 cases have increased each week for four straight weeks statewide, and it is spreading faster in the community. While large workplace outbreaks have driven increased cases in recent weeks, sporadic cases (those with no clear link to another case) account for a growing percentage of new cases.

The severity of illness among new cases of COVID-19 is lower than it was early in the outbreak. Despite the increase in cases in the past four weeks, the number of hospitalizations and deaths remain well below their peaks. Emergency department visits due to symptoms of the disease are still below 1 percent.

More younger people are contracting COVID-19. The median age of people with newly diagnosed COVID-19 infection is declining as more cases are being diagnosed in people younger than 50 years of age.

Oregon’s health care system has not been overtaxed by COVID-19 cases – yet. However, hospital capacity could be overwhelmed this summer if cases continue to surge.

Each of us can take action to slow the spread of COVID-19

Cases will slow – and Oregon will remain open – if we take the safe, simple steps to prevent the virus from spreading. Cases will continue to surge if we ignore health and safety precautions.

Steps you can take:

  • Avoid gatherings – and rethink your Fourth of July plans: Think hard about getting together with people outside your household. In Oregon, cases accelerated after Memorial Day. We don’t want the same thing to happen over the coming holiday.
  • Stay 6 feet apart: If you do host or attend a gathering – or go to your local restaurant or bar – stay 6 feet apart. We’ve all been cooped up for a long time. We want to see friends and family again. If you do socialize, do it safely – maintain physical distancing.
    • Limit the number of people at the barbecue or picnic.
    • Make sure people can stay far enough apart.
    • Interact outside as much as possible.
  • Wear a mask or face covering: Cover your face when you are in public. Masks and face coverings protect the people around you. You may feel great, but we know that people who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic can spread coronavirus. Don’t put the people you know and love at risk.
  • Stay home if you’re sick: If you develop a fever, have a cough, start to experience shortness of breath or any other symptoms, stay home. Don’t expose other people.
  • Answer the call: If you get a call from a contact tracer to let you know that you may have been exposed, take their advice and stay home for the entire time they recommend. This is a tried and true way to halt the spread, and we need people to answer these calls.

The bottom line is that COVID-19 is circulating more widely in Oregon. Oregon can stay safe if we all do our part to keep COVID-19 under control. If we don’t, our latest projections tell us we risk letting the virus spread fast across our state.