Willamette Valley News, Monday 5/23 – Eugene City Council Considering Funds For Two Affordable Housing Projects at Meeting Tonight, Oregon Women’s Golf In 2nd Place Entering Final Round At NCAA Championship Today

The latest news stories and stories of interest in the Willamette Valley from the digital home of Southern Oregon, from Wynne Broadcasting’s WillametteValleyMagazine.com

Monday, May 23, 2022

Willamette Valley Weather

Eugene City Council Considering Funds For Two Affordable Housing Projects at Meeting Tonight

More funding is on the agenda for two affordable housing projects in Eugene’s Santa Clara neighborhood, according to the info for the city council meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday 5/23.

The first is called Peace Village, which would be made up of 70 owner-occupied, tiny homes on 3.6 acres of property owned by SquareOne Villages. It’s located in the Peace Presbyterian Church at the intersection of River Road and Ferndale Drive.

SquareOne Villages announced the purchase of 3.6 acres from Peace Presbyterian Church in order to build 70 homes for people with low-income. 

The homes would be available to those earning less than 60% Area Median Income. SquareOne Villages is partnering with the NAACP and the Latino/a Hub to market these units to people of color and is also planning to look at households experiencing homelessness, households with severe cost burden, and households that faced eviction and foreclosure, according to a summary of the proposal the nonprofit submitted to the city to obtain funds for the project.

The total development is expected to cost $13,633,328. SquareOne Villages has already received more than half of the funding needed for the project. The city council is considering the approval of $670,000.

If funding is secured on time, construction is expected to begin by the end of the year. People are expected to move in by the end of 2023.

The second project is Saint Vincent de Paul’s Green Lane Veteran’s Housing. The nonprofit is proposing the development of 10, one-bedroom transitional housing units, mainly for veterans experiencing homelessness, according to a summary of the proposal the nonprofit submitted to the city to obtain funds for the project. 

This would be located on a property on Green Lane. According to the summary, eligible veterans are expected to meet the definition of homeless or at risk of homelessness and will enter the program at 0-50% of Area Median Income.

The project is expected to cost $2,300,000. The nonprofit has secured all of the necessary funding except for these funds from the city. The city is considering approving $350,000 for the project.

These funds for both projects would come from the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The city council is expected to decide whether or not to approve the funding during the meeting Monday 5/23 at 7:30pm

Eugene Police Cite 40 More On Weekend Party Patrols In West University Area

Eugene Police again maintained a heavy patrol presence in the West University area over the weekend, the department reported Sunday morning.

Around 1:30 a.m. Friday (May 20), officers responded again to 1915 Hilyard St. regarding a loud noise complaint related to another party at the residence, according to EPD’s report.

Officers subsequently issued a misdemeanor citation to one resident, 21-year-old Zachary Jolly, for Prohibited Noise related to the party with approximately 30 people in attendance.

“This incident occurred less than one week after the previous unruly party when glass bottles were thrown at officers,” EPD said.

At that time, one resident of the home was lodged at the Lane County Jail and others were cited and released for misdemeanor offenses related to the incident, the report said.

“The patrols enforced all levels of infractions, moving beyond the initial education-first approach due to the unruly and dangerous behavior that has been occurring,” EPD explained.

“Overtime patrols were staffed Friday and Saturday nights for a second consecutive weekend with the assistance of University of Oregon PD. These followed University of Oregon (Dean of Students, Community Relations and UofO PD) outreach efforts to off-campus student residences on Friday, May 20th regarding party management and harm reduction.

During the Friday and Saturday night enforcement efforts this weekend, activity included the following:

Officers issued 11 misdemeanor citations in lieu of custody for Prohibited Noise. Officers issued 29 misdemeanor citations in lieu of custody for Open Container. Officers issued 13 violation citations for Minor in Possession of Alcohol.

Additional citations may be pending from events throughout the weekend, police said.

“The social host, or Ordinance on Unruly Gatherings, holds individuals criminally responsible for hosting, organizing and allowing an unruly event or social gathering. The Eugene Municipal Court has assigned a base fine of $375 for criminal violations of this ordinance. Additionally, property owners where the event is hosted may also be penalized if there are multiple violations of this ordinance. Both hosts and property owners may be civilly liable for police, fire and public works response costs that fall under this ordinance, at an estimated cost of $800 per incident.”

“Property owners where tenants were issued citations under this ordinance will receive letters in the coming days notifying them of activity at their property, as well as their potential obligation for subsequent events,” EPD said. For more information, visit here.

Oregon Women’s Golf In 2nd Place Entering Final Round At NCAA Championship

Oregon is headed to the final round of stroke play at the NCAA women’s golf Championship and in a strong position for one of the top seeds in match play.

Oregon Ducks 10th heading into final round of stroke play at NCAA women's  golf championships - oregonlive.com

The Ducks shot an even par on the day at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. to remain in second place, 19 strokes ahead of eighth place, where the 15-team field will be trimmed following Monday’s final round of stroke play.

Briana Chacon, Ching-Tzu Chen and Tze-Han (Heather) Lin each birdied the 18th for UO, which is nine back of first-place Stanford and four ahead of third-place Texas A&M.

The four Ducks whose scores counted Sunday were 3 over through 16 holes before Chen finished her round with back-to-back birdies and Chacon and Lin also birdied the par-5 18th hole.

Lin made a 40-foot putt to cap the day. She leads the Ducks and is tied for second in the field at 2-under 214. Lu, the reigning Pac-12 champion, shot 1-under 71, Chen got back to even on the day and Chacon shot 2-over on Sunday.

The Ducks will be paired with the Cardinal and Aggies for their final round of stroke play beginning at 11:50 a.m. Monday.

Cases of Covid-19 are on the rise again.

Public health professors at Portland State tell us there is some good news: hospitalizations and deaths are not spiking. There are also new tools now, including an antiviral medication that doctors can prescribe to those who test positive.

New data from the Oregon Health Authority shows cases of COVID-19 on the rise once again. But some public health professors at Portland State said hospitalizations and deaths are not spiking.

With the number of people vaccinated growing, Carlos Crespo of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health said more people are getting mild cases.

“We do not all have to get sick at the same time. That was the whole purpose of flattening the curve. We probably were not thinking that we were never going to catch it. I think we suspected that this was going to be around with us for a while,” Crespo said.

Crespo said pharmaceutical companies are also working to develop a more targeted vaccine to the changing virus.

“I think new vaccines most likely would be in the fall and every vaccine, as you have seen it takes a very rigorous way to test them to make sure they’re safe and effective,” he said.

One virology professor at Portland State said he’s wary of an additional vaccine making an impact.

“We can make another shot now for what we have now, but that may or may not be what we have come the fall. So far, the original vaccines have worked really, really well,” said Ken Stedman, a biology professor at Portland State University.

Both professors said there are new tools now. Additional free tests through the federal government are available, and an antiviral medication can be prescribed in the form of a pill.

“I think we’re at a stage where it is endemic, which means it’s going to be everywhere and we’re just going to have to live with the fact that Covid-19 is going to be among us for a long time,” Crespo said.

During this time, the experts encourage keeping a mask on hand for indoor settings, and continuing to test after exposure if symptoms develop.

Predominant in S Africa, expected to become predominant across Europe and detected in the U.S. Don't appear more severe than previous Omicron subvariants, but more contagious and may better evade immunity. Oregon's first BA.4 case detected this week via genetic sequencing of positive COVID-19 tests. BA.5 not yet detected in Oregon. Layered COVID-19 protections like vaccines and masks reduces risk of severe COVID-19.

OHA closely monitoring BA.4 and BA.5, the Omicron subvariants of the virus that causes #COVID19. Here’s what we know.Layering COVID-19 protections, such as staying up to date with vaccines and boosters and wearing a mask, is the best way to increase your protection level and reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

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Oregon Cracks Down On Seatbelt Violations With ‘Click It Or Ticket’ Campaign

Make sure you buckle up, as law enforcement agencies across Oregon roll out a statewide crack-down on seatbelt violations.

The effort is part of an annual nationwide “Click It, or Ticket” campaign.

Local agencies will use federal funding to educate people about seatbelt and child seat laws.

Oregon Department of Transportation data from 2020 shows improper seat belt use was a factor in 32-percent of deadly crashes in the state. The campaign runs through June 5.

Increased emergency SNAP benefits continue in June

  • Most Oregonians who receive SNAP benefits will continue to receive temporarily increased emergency food benefits in June
  • Approximately 411,000 SNAP households will receive approximately $66 million in extra food benefits in addition to their regular SNAP benefits
  • These emergency benefits are a temporary support that Oregon can provide because of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Find resources to meet your basic needs: Dial 2-1-1, or text your zip code to 898-211, www.211info.org 
  • Oregon Department of Human Services COVID-19 help center 

(Salem) – Most Oregonians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive emergency allotments in June.

The federal government has approved emergency allotments every month since March 2020. This gives SNAP recipients additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic. These emergency benefits are a temporary support that Oregon can provide because of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency.

Because the federal government approved these emergency benefits for June, Oregon will also be able to issue them in July. However, the emergency benefits are expected to end when the federal public health emergency ends.

In June, approximately 411,000 SNAP households will receive approximately $66 million in extra food benefits in addition to their regular SNAP benefits.

“We know that many rely on these additional emergency food benefits to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families,” said Claire Seguin, deputy director of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Self-Sufficiency Programs. “We also know that many Oregonians are still struggling to meet their basic needs and we encourage them to contact our partners at 211 and the Oregon Food Bank for support during this difficult time.”

Current SNAP households will receive emergency allotments on June 11. Emergency allotments will be issued June 30 or July 2 for households who did not receive benefits in the first monthly issuance.

SNAP recipients do not have to take any action to receive these supplemental benefits as they will be issued directly on their EBT cards. 

More information about emergency allotments is available at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/Emergency-Allotments.aspx.

Questions about your SNAP benefits should be directed to the ONE Customer Service Center at 1-800-699-9075.

If your household receives SNAP and your income or the number of people in your household has changed, it could impact your benefits. It is important to make sure ODHS has the most up-to-date information. 

You can report any changes to your income or household in many ways: 

  • Online at: ONE.Oregon.gov
  • By mail at: ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309
  • By fax at: 503-378-5628
  • By phone at: 1-800-699-9075 or TTY 711

Resources to help meet basic needs

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/benefits/Pages/index.aspx . For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

Regulations Should Help Consumers To Get Better Notice When Oregon Utilities Shut Down Power During Wildfires

Power companies in Oregon will still decide whether to shut off power if there’s a high risk of wildfires.

But new state rules will now require large utilities owned by investors to publicize certain details in advance about a shutoff, like when it will start and how long it’s expected to last, and to provide status updates every 24 hours.

Oregon’s Public Utility Commission has adopted a permanent plan for public notification of planned electric shutdowns in the event of a wildfire or weather event.

The plan largely mirrors temporary rules adopted last May that told Pacific Power, Portland General Electric and Idaho Power to ensure that those affected by a planned power shutdown are informed. According to the rules, these utilities need to notify emergency managers, government agencies, local officials and the public in advance, if possible, of a power outage and then provide daily updates.

“Sometimes things happen really quickly,” said Kandi Young, spokeswoman for the utility commission. “In some cases, they can plan ahead.”

The rules tell the public, government agencies, fire officials and others about plans to de-energize lines so that they can prepare and will know what to expect. They only cover the three investor-owned utilities in Oregon which serve 1.5 million Oregonians, only about one-third of the population. The rest of the state is served by 38 consumer-owned electric utilities that are overseen by local boards or municipalities.

The rules do not determine when a shutoff should be instituted.

“That responsibility lies with the utility,” Young said. “They know their system. They know where vegetation is a challenge. They know their transmission lines and where there is a potential for risk better than anybody.”

De-energizing lines is only used as a last resort because it can affect hospitals, police and fire officials, water services and people who require electricity for health devices, Young said.

“It’s something that has always been there as an option but hasn’t really been used in the West until more recent years,” Young said.

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Pacific Power and PacifiCorp, its owner, face several lawsuits in Oregon over wildfire damage. The latest appears to have been filed Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The complaint was not yet available on the court’s public information website. A suit filed in April, also in Multnomah County, on behalf of 21 people, accuses the companies of responsibility for the Echo Mountain Complex fire in Lincoln County in 2020, which burned 2,500 acres, killed pets and damaged more than 300 structures and property, the suit said. It said executives knew hot, dry conditions with strong winds could spark a wildfire, noting that other utilities chose to de-energize lines. The suit seeks up to $5 million in damages for each plaintiff.

Another lawsuit filed in March in Multnomah County Circuit Court seeks more than $10 million in damages from the Slater Fire, which spread from northern California into Jackson and Josephine counties in September 2020. The suit, on behalf of nearly 30 people and a few companies, accuses the companies of negligence in not shutting off its power lines in dangerous weather conditions. Other companies de-energized lines, the suit said. That suit has moved to U.S. District Court in Portland.

The companies also face lawsuits in California where prosecutors reached an agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric last month for more than $55 million over two wildfires caused by its power lines, according to news reports.

Drew Hanson, a company spokesman, said PacifiCorp does not comment on pending litigation. He said the company has only de-energized lines twice – in Weed, California, at the base of Mount Shasta in 2020 and in Dunsmuir in the Trinity Mountains in northern California in 2021. The shutoffs lasted less than nine hours.

Companies can only de-energize lines in designated high-risk areas in anticipation of a potentially catastrophic wildfire, Hanson said. He said the company looked at 10 years of data on past fires, wind patterns, fuel sources, topography and other factors to determine the high-risk areas. “The identification of those areas helps the company prioritize where the over $300 million in system hardening and wildfire mitigation work is being done now and over the coming years,” Hanson said.

In April, the commission approved the wildfire mitigation plans for Pacific Power ✎ EditSignand Portland General Electric ✎ EditSign. Approval of the plan for Idaho Power ✎ EditSign, which serves 20,000 customers in eastern Oregon, hinges on the company providing additional details about risk areas, their cost/risk mitigation assumptions and analysis and costs.

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The plans, which were filed in December, mark the first time that the companies have filed such reports in Oregon. But PacifiCorp has filed similar reports in California since 2018, Hanson said.

“We have a history of planning for and mitigating against the threat of wildfire risk,” Hanson said. He said the company considers factors like past wildfires, topography,

Pacific Power’s plan designated 13 areas serving 21,000 customers as high-risk, with the potential for a public safety power shutoff. They include Cave Junction, Glendale, Jerome Prairie, Merlin and the South Rogue River.

Portland General Electric designated 10 high-risk areas, including three which it added this year, according to Andrea Platt, a company spokeswoman. Portland General Electric only had one high-risk area in 2020, she said.

The 10 areas include Mount Hood, the Columbia River, Estacada, Oregon City and other areas around Portland.

The company has had a mitigation strategy since 2020, Platt said.

The company has only had one public safety power shutoff – in 2020 near Mount Hood that affected 5,000 customers. That decision coincided with the Labor Day fires sweeping the region.

Albertsons And Safeway Recall Store-Prepared Items With Peanut Butter Due To Possible Salmonella Contamination  As Recall Issued On Some Jif Peanut Butter Products

Albertsons Companies, in cooperation with its supplier The J. M. Smucker Co., said Sunday it has voluntarily recalled 11 store-prepared items, also sold at Safeway, due to possible Salmonella contamination.

The FDA’s recall announcement can be found here.

Here’s the rest of the Albertsons announcement:

The store-prepared items were available for purchase at the following banners: Albertsons, Safeway, Lucky, Haggen, Carrs-Safeway, Eagle, Tom Thumb, United, Amigos, Market Street, Albertsons Market, Andronico’s Community Markets, Vons, Pak ‘N Save, Shaw’s, Star Market, Randalls, Vons, Jewel-Osco, ACME, King’s and Balducci’s.

Consumers who have purchased these items are urged not to consume these products and to dispose of them or return the items to their local store for a full refund.

There have been no reports of injuries or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a health care provider.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Consumers who have questions or would like to report adverse reactions should visit www.jif.com/contact-us or call 800-828-9980 Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM ET. Consumers can also contact Albertsons Companies at 1-877-723-3929.

Product Recall Details:

Product NameSell Thru DatesSizePackagingStatesBanners
MINI PEANUT BUTTER CREAM PIEAll Sell thru Dates up to and including May 26, 22EachClear plastic square bottom and lidWashingtonHaggen
APPLES SLICED WITH PEANUT BUTTERAll Sell thru Dates up to and including May 24, 228 ozClear plastic cup and lidColorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, WyomingAlbertsons, Safeway, Lucky
CELERY & PEANUT BUTTER CUPAll Sell thru Dates up to and including May 26, 227 ozClear plastic cup and lidAlaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, WyomingAlbertsons, Carrs-Safeway, Eagle, Lucky, Safeway
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPAll Sell thru Dates up to and including Jul 20, 225 ozClear plastic cup overwrapped in plasticWashingtonHaggen
DELI SNACK PEANUT BTR/TRAIL MIX COMBOAll Sell thru Dates up to and including May 26, 229 ozClear plastic square bottom and lidAlaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, WyomingAlbertsons, Carrs-Safeway, Eagle, Randalls, Safeway, Tom Thumb
Grab & Go Apple & Celery Tray w/Peanut ButterAll Sell thru Dates up to and including May 24, 22EachClear plastic container and lidNew Mexico, TexasUnited, Amigos, Market Street, Albertsons Market.
PEANUT BUTTER & CHOC FILLED JMBO CUPCAKEAll Sell thru Dates up to and including May 26, 227.92 ozClear plastic bottom and lidCalifornia, Hawaii, NevadaSafeway, Andronico’s Community Markets, Vons, Pak ‘N Save
READYMEALS PB & TRAIL MIX SNACKAll Sell thru Dates up to and including May 24, 227.60 ozClear plastic square bottom and lidMaine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, VermontShaw’s, Star Market
READYMEALS QUAD PB APPLE CELERY PRETZELAll Sell thru Dates up to and including May 24, 227 ozClear plastic square bottom and lidAlaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, WyomingAlbertsons, Andronico’s Community Markets, Carrs-Safeway, Eagle, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Pak ‘N Save, Randalls, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Vons
READYMEALS QUAD PB APPLE PRETZEL BROWNIEAll Sell thru Dates up to and including May 24, 226 ozClear plastic square bottom and lidAlaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, WyomingACME, Albertsons, Andronico’s Community Markets, Carrs-Safeway, Eagle, King’s, Balducci’s, Lucky, Pak ‘N Save, Safeway, Vons
SCRATCH PIE PEANUT BUTTER CRM 9INAll Sell thru Dates up to and including May 26, 22EachBlack plastic tray with clear plastic dome lidWashingtonHaggen
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