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News Releases
Lane County Launches Fentanyl Aware Campaign To Address Growing Risk - 01/26/23

Lane County Public Health today announced the launch of a Fentanyl Aware campaign, aimed at addressing the increasing supply and use of fentanyl in Lane County. The effects of fentanyl, a powerful illicit opioid, are seen in the increased calls to 911, emergency room visits, and deaths. The campaign seeks to counteract those effects by promoting knowledge and safety through risk awareness and education. 

 

“Ultimately, we hope the outcome of this campaign is saved lives,” said Lane County Public Health Community Health Analyst and Fentanyl Aware campaign coordinator, Alexander LaVake. “To that end, we will be providing youth, families, and community members with the tools to stay safe, respond to an overdose, and provide strategies to lower the risk of overdose.” 

 

The campaign will include tools like Narcan education, information on the signs and symptoms of an overdose and how to respond, and resources throughout the community. 

 

Fentanyl Aware will promote these educational tools on web and social media channels as well as through partnerships and educational opportunities with several school districts and community organizations. 

 

To learn more and follow the campaign, visit http://fentanylaware.com 



 

Lane County To Conduct 2023 Homeless Point In Time Count This Week - 01/25/23

Every year, Lane County Human Services Division (LCHSD) conducts an annual census of people experiencing homelessness on a single night, called the Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. This is part of a federal requirement from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for communities across the nation who receive funding for homelessness work. This year’s count will be conducted from 7 a.m. on Thursday, January 26th to 7 p.m. on Friday, January 27th.  

“Homelessness is a condition that extends far beyond the more visible symptoms we’ve come to characterize it with,” said Lane County Health & Human Services Director, Eve Gray. “You can’t solve a problem that you can’t see, and getting a clear, dynamic understanding of homelessness is the first step to solving it.”  

The PIT Count is meant to serve as a snapshot of homelessness Lane County in order to provide a sense of the general scope and state of homelessness. While the data collected is important for benchmarking and funding purposes, it’s important to recognize that the number of individuals experiencing homelessness is likely greater than what is able to be captured in this snapshot. 

This year, teams of LCHSD staff members will conduct a physical count of individuals who are unsheltered in the Eugene/Springfield area, Veneta, Florence, Junction City, and Coburg. That data will be cross-referenced with the Homeless by Name List, a database of individuals who are experiencing homelessness and have interacted with service agencies in order to provide a more complete picture.  

Additionally, Lane County is a Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) Community, selected by HUD to test best and promising practices and implement a coordinated community plan to end youth homelessness. As part of this effort, LCHS will be taking extra steps to ensure youth who are experiencing homelessness are captured in the 2023 PIT Count, including those who are unstably housed or couch surfing. These efforts include pop-up magnet events on the day of the count to bring youth in to complete a survey. Just as with the broader count, these surveys will be cross-referenced with our HBNL and, if the young person is not already captured, they will be included in our count, provided they meet HUD’s definition and parameters for submission in the PIT Count. Those unstably housed or couch surfing will not be included in the data provided to HUD, but will be captured in local data to inform our YHDP planning efforts. Youth surveyors will be available through the Eugene Library, Youth ERA, Lane Community College, and youth-specific outreach in the metro and rural areas on the day of the count. This year’s youth PIT Count strategies have been vetted and approved through the YHDP Youth Executive committee. 

The full report from the PIT Count won’t be available for several months after the count is conducted.  

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National Trauma Intervention Program Coming To Lane County - 01/11/23

LANE COUNTY, OR—Trauma Intervention Programs Inc. (TIP) is a national nonprofit organization working with local public safety officials in Lane County to establish a TIP Lane County Chapter. A TIP Chapter is a group of very well-trained and supervised community volunteers who are called by emergency personnel to tragic scenes to provide support to those who have been affected. TIP Volunteers are often called to support family members after a sudden death and to support those who have experienced an unexpected crisis in their lives.

"Residents of this community who have just experienced a tragedy should not be alone in what may be the worst few hours of their lives," according to Mandy Atkission, TIP National CEO. "Our volunteers provide support until the family members and friends of the survivor are able to be there and offer support," she said.

Captain Doug Mozan from the Eugene Police Department is working closely with the TIP of Lane County program. “When we are able to provide care for those who are experiencing trauma in the moment, we can lessen impacts down the road, and begin healing immediately. We know from experience that people heal faster and experience less disorder from trauma when early intervention occurs. This is why we’re excited to have TIP National volunteers in our community. Currently crisis responders from CAHOOTs assist with grief support on scenes. When TIP responders join our ranks, we’ll have our CAHOOTs resources more available for in-progress crisis intervention.”

Bridget Byfield is the Program Director of the new TIP of Lane County, and she is now recruiting local residents to be TIP Volunteers. “The first step in establishing a TIP Chapter is to recruit volunteers willing to reach out and help their neighbors when tragedy strikes," said Bridget Byfield, Program Director, TIP of Lane County.  We hope that Lane County residents will respond to our invitation to join TIP," she said.

The TIP Volunteer Training Academy will begin Thursday, March 2nd, 2023. No experience is necessary and volunteers must pass a background check. To view the training schedule go towww.tiplanecounty.org  

To register, please call or email Bridget at: Phone: (503)705-2966 or Email: Bridget@tiplanecounty.org

 

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Vice Chair Laurie Trieger
Vice Chair Laurie Trieger
Commissioners Farr and Trieger chosen as chair, vice chair (Photo) - 01/10/23

The Lane County Board of Commissioners appointed a chair and vice chair during the opening minutes of its first regular meeting of 2023. Commissioner Pat Farr (District 4) will serve as chair in 2023 and Commissioner Laurie Trieger (District 3) will serve as vice chair.

 

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AmeriCorps NCCC partners with Lane County Parks - 01/10/23

A collaboration between Lane County Parks, Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah and Willamalane Park and Recreation District, as well as City of Eugene Parks and Open Space, has been awarded a partnership grant with the National Civilian Conservation Corps (AmeriCorps NCCC). Two 8-person AmeriCorps teams will be working to improve access to nature and enhance habitat conditions in parks and conservation lands in and adjacent to the Eugene–Springfield area during January and February 2023. The teams’ work will focus on habitat and trails projects in Howard Buford Recreation Area and surrounding conservation lands, as well as nearly a dozen other Lane County, Willamalane and City of Eugene parks. 

 

The NCCC teams will assist with tree planting, vegetation management, ladder fuel reduction and invasive species removal, install thousands of shrubs and trees representing twenty native species associated with riparian and floodplain habitats occurring along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River, maintain existing trails, repair damaged trails, and construct new trail segments. 

 

Projects are expected to benefit the community by:  

  • Improving access to nature (which has public health benefits)  
  • Improving conditions and enhancing the quality of native ecosystems and species (including riparian habitats and rare native prairie and savanna habitats) 
  • Reducing the risk of severe or high intensity wildfire (through priority fuels reduction tasks) 
  • Bettering native habitats and access to nature enhances regional livability, increases opportunities for outdoor education, and strengthens the regional economy attracting tourism and a high quality of life for job seekers

 

AmeriCorps NCCC was inspired by the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps and is designed to provide young adults (18-26) with challenging job opportunities through conservation projects and community service. Participants can earn money for college, build their resume, develop skills, and give back to their communities. AmeriCorps NCCC volunteers work together as a team to complete conservation projects.  The teams working with Lane County are new to Oregon and come from a wide variety of locations throughout the country. 

 

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The 2023 Board of County Commissioners
The 2023 Board of County Commissioners
Five county officials take office; State of the County outlines accomplishments, offers peek at year to come (Photo) - 01/09/23

Five elected county officials – a mix of new and returning faces – were ceremonially sworn into office during Lane County’s annual State of the County Address this morning. 

 

Presiding Lane County Circuit Court Judge Jay McAlpin led each official in their oath of office before a room of family members, fellow officials, community members and county staff.

 

When asked what they most looked forward to during their time in office, they replied:

 

Assessor Mary Vuksich-Shafer: “I’m looking forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Lane County as the Tax Collector/Assessor. It’s an honor to carry this department’s legacy of public service into the future. This transition brings opportunities to upgrade our outdated software system, and begin the process of converting our vehicles to electric – all while continuing to provide a level of service that reflects the importance of every member of this community.”

 

Justice of the Peace Richard Brissenden: "I feel greatly honored to have been re-elected by the citizens of Lane County to the position of Lane County Justice of the Peace.  In return, I intend to justify that trust by continuing to do the best job possible to address and fairly adjudicate the issues brought before me in the Justice Court.  I owe it to all of you to listen to all those before the Court, and do all I reasonably can to make fully informed and considered decisions in every case."

 

Commissioner Ryan Ceniga, District 1 West Lane: “Having the confidence of the voters in my district is a huge honor, but an even bigger responsibility.  I will work hard to continue to earn my fellow West Lane County residents’ respect.  I’m going to work on the tough issues like public safety that need to be prioritized.  My door will always be open to all as I serve the constituents of Lane County.”  

 

Commissioner David Loveall, District 2 Springfield: "I'm honored to be elected to serve among a five-member board and alongside many other fine leaders in this County. We face growing financial challenges and a number of large projects already in motion needing to get to the finish line of which I'm committed to move forward. I have but one agenda, to do the right thing for the right reasons with all the gusto we can for our citizens. My focus is to build strong relationships and bridge trust with all groups so we can make the greatest return on our investments both financially and for all humanity. Loveall for all wasn't a campaign slogan, it's my promise to whoever elected me, and also to those who didn't."

 

Commissioner Heather Buch, District 5 East Lane: “As a mother, a military spouse, and someone who lives in rural Lane County, I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve my constituents across the county. As a representative of a politically and geographically diverse district, I always look for ways to put politics and ideology aside and focus on delivering on our shared goals for housing, mental health and public safety.”

 

 

Following the swearings-in, Commissioner Pat Farr, who served as chair in 2022, delivered the State of the County Address. His address focused on the intersection of behavioral health and public safety; it featured updates on key county projects and accomplishments during the past year. Local musicians Paul Biondi and Gus Russell added a festive note to the event.

 

As we plan this coming year, knowing now so many things that we did not know four years ago—even one year ago, we must judiciously work with our own people, with our nonprofits, with the business community and with our cities and other jurisdictions to maximize how we provide the services we know we can do better at,” said Commissioner Pat Farr. “In this new year and beyond, with a new Board of Commissioners striving to find a balance that many never dreamed possible, we must make the most of what we have and leverage the things we need into truly making Lane County the Best County to live, work and play.”

 

The swearings-in and State of the County Address can be viewed at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/webcasts

 

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ROAD CLOSURE: Austa Road (Walton) - 01/05/23

Road Name:Austa Road
Location:Walton area – Austa Road railroad overcrossing near the Wildcat Creek Covered Bridge
Begin Closure:Milepost 0
End Closure:Milepost 0.12
Dates and times:Weekday closures (7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) from Monday, January 9, through Friday, February 3. 

Alternate routes:

 

Richardson Upriver Road

Reason for closure:

 

 

Work on railroad overcrossing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lane County Planning Commission seeking applicants for at-large position - 01/05/23

The Lane County Planning Commission is accepting applications to fill one at-large position. An at-large positions means that, while applicants must be Lane County residents, they do not need to live in a particular area of the county. 

 

The Lane County Planning Commission is a nine-member advisory board that makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners regarding land use, comprehensive plan issues and amendments, as well as other regional planning issues. The group generally meets twice per month in the evenings.

 

“How we implement our comprehensive plan and issues related to land use is how we build our community for ourselves and future generations,” said Lane County Planning Director Amber Bell. “It’s important that the Commission reflect our community.”

 

Applicants must be residents of Lane County. 

 

To learn more or download an application, visit www.LaneCountyOR.gov/Planning_Commission.  

 

 

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