Ward 7 City Council Applicants Announced

The City of Eugene has announced that the following individuals have applied to be appointed by the City Council to the Interim Ward 7 City Council Position. The Council is expected to appoint one of these individuals on December 12th to serve until a new councilor to be elected in the May 2023 Primary Election takes office in July 2023.

• Barbie Walker
• Carol Zorn
• Daniel Isaacson
• Daniel Takamori
• Don Heady
• Janet Ayres
• Lyndsie Leech
• Marlene Pearson
• Stephanie Dugger
• Thomas Hiura

Report on Zip-O Noise Pollution and Public Hearing

KEPW has published a news article about the Zip-O-Laminator noise pollution situation and the upcoming Eugene City Council public hearing on November 21st at 5:30pm. It’s running on the radio this week and can be streamed here as well.

Below is a flier being passed around the neighborhood to help get folks to show up at the upcoming public hearing. This is what folks being awakened at 4am have been working towards. This is our most important opportunity so far to put a stop to it.

RRCO Has a THREE Board positions open NOW!

Do you want to help improve and protect the livability of the River Road neighborhood? • Do you want to stay informed about activities and decisions affecting the neighborhood? • Do you want a say on policies and decisions that affect the neighborhood? • Do you want to work collaboratively with other concerned neighbors? RRCO is actively recruiting RRCO members in good standing who are interested in serving on the RRCO Board. We want people who care about our neighborhood! The three open positions are replacing members who are moving away or retiring. Replacements will be appointed by the board and affirmed at the August General Meeting.
If you are a member in good standing and want to be considered for appointment take these steps.

Step 1: Please review our mission and charter at https://riverroadco.org/about-rrco/ and the board member job description at https://tinyurl.com/boardjob The job description is here 

Step 2: Please complete and submit an application https://forms.gle/y14ZtjvNYz6cz3T16

Step 3: Candidates will be invited to the July 18th Board meeting.

River Road residents, renters or property owners, or persons who operate businesses in River Road may become RRCO members, if they are 18 years old or older. To be a “Member in Good Standing” and, therefore, be able to vote in an RRCO election or run for a Executive Board position, a member must have attended at least one prior General Membership meeting or Executive Board meeting within the immediate preceding 12 months.
(Of course, new RRCO attendees may attend membership and board meetings and sign-in to become a new member or renew their membership at any time throughout the year!)

If you have any questions, email Cochair@Riverroadco.org.

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RRCO Board Member Election Results March 2022

Ballot Box Image

Congratulations to: Carly Sylva-Gabrielson, Susan Kittleson, Stefan Ostrach, and Mysti Frost who were elected tonight!

Thanks to departing board members Dwight Owens, Harry Sanger, Jan Spencer, and Joshua Kielas for your service to the neighborhood on the board. We hope you will stay involved going forward.

March board elections

Do you want to help improve and protect the livability of the River Road neighborhood? • Do you want to stay informed about activities and decisions affecting the neighborhood? • Do you want a say on policies and decisions that affect the neighborhood? • Do you want to work collaboratively with other concerned neighbors? RRCO is actively recruiting RRCO members in good standing who are interested in serving on the RRCO Board. The March election is an opportunity to increase the diversity of the board. We want people who care about our neighborhood!
Time to put your name in the hat! If you are a member in good standing and want to run for the Board:

Step 1: Please review our mission and charter at https://riverroadco.org/about-rrco/ and the board member job description at https://tinyurl.com/boardjob The job description is here 

Step 2: Please complete and submit an application https://forms.gle/y14ZtjvNYz6cz3T16

Step 3: Candidates will be invited to the July 18th Board meeting.

The three open positions are replacing members who are moving away or retiring. Replacements will be appointed by the board and affirmed at the August General Meeting.

About the RRCO Executive Board: Nominations and election of Executive Board members are held at the General Membership meeting in March of each year. There is a total of nine RRCO Board members. Board members serve staggered two-year terms, so this March 14th, four of the nine positions will be voted on.
Becoming an RRCO Member in Good Standing: River Road residents, property owners or per sons who operate businesses in River Road may become RRCO members, if they are 18 years old or older. To be a “Member in Good Standing” and, therefore, be able to vote in an RRCO election or run for a Executive Board position, a member must have attended at least one prior General Membership meeting or Executive Board meeting within the immediate preceding 12 months.
(Of course, new RRCO attendees may attend membership and board meetings and sign-in to become a new member or renew their membership at any time throughout the year!)

If you have any questions, email Cochair@Riverroadco.org.

Neighbors Getting Organized

Savanah Forster wrote the reflections below after our November RRCO general meeting.

Why get organized as a neighborhood?
One of the most popular breakout groups at the November RRCO zoom meeting was for those interested in working with their neighbors on ways to address climate change. In that session my question was “How do we get our neighbors together for discussions and actions?”

Louisa de Heer (Community Advisory Committee of the Neighborhood Plan and Eugene Sustainability Commissioner) gave an enlightening presentation Addressing Climate Change in River Road (https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1S_UlP7kxyGBw2cgVk1_tDI-NhrFZWDei/edit#slide=id.p1) . Now what do we do with this knowledge?

Jan Spencer is a one-man ecosystem. He’s produced a beautiful video https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgzGlkrwsLsnxPFpCHCdzWbkZXwpr?projector=1 describing what he’s been doing for many years and invites the public on tours of his gardens.

Back to the breakout group. Climate change is upon us, and severe weather and fires are now a regular part of life. And Covid 19 is still here. Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest” has been replaced with new knowledge that survival comes through cooperation. We need each other. We are social beings, and in this age, where extended families rarely live geographically nearby, we need to create that network of interdependent households.

I really like my neighborhood and my neighbors, but I admit I don’t know them. Most of them I don’t even know a first name. Why do I want to?

Much caring and sharing could be going on by getting organized. Our 5-block neighborhood has 3 book-sharing boxes and at least one neighbor who puts free veggies out every fall. So, there’s already an energy of caring and sharing.

But what about the elderly lady we wave to on her daily walk? What happened to the older gentleman who would occasionally walk with her but hasn’t been around for months? Are they okay? What if we are quarantined by Covid or smoke? Will they have medications, food, help?

There are things we can do as neighbors to address climate change due to consumerism. Sharing and trading goods and services with each other instead of shopping for them is one way.

  • But how to do we do it?
  • What is an effective way to welcome sharing without invading privacy?
  • How do we build trust with each other?
  • How do we get it started?

I would love to hear your suggestions and experiences with organizing neighbors. I believe more than ever we need to create hives of cooperation to survive the challenges of the pandemic and climate change. You can reach me by email at savanah2233@gmail.com and the RRCO cochairs at cochair@riverroadco.org

Fears and Facts

Recently the community was asked to consider a safe sleep parking facility in the previous Park and Ride station at River Road and River Avenue. The city was considering that spot or one a block or so away at a church that had closed. There was a long thread in Next Door about this possibility. Many important and legitimate concerns were voiced including prevalence of North Eugene High School students who congregate there, the busy traffic and freeway entrance, and the fact that it is very close to a service center for the unhoused across the street.

But the thread also surfaced many fears that the presence of homeless folks seem to raise. Some of these fears are based on assumptions about that population, primarily that they are criminals and sex offenders. For most of us with modest security, it is hard to understand their circumstances. This is an opportunity to learn more.

So RRCO endeavored to document some facts. It turns out that facts are hard to come by because the population is transient. There are two sources of data: the Point In Time count done every January, and the By Name count compiled by agencies that serve the unhoused population. Obviously these two methods are going to come up with different numbers, and many of the questions we have aren’t answered in the data.

To me the biggest take-away is that we have a very high rate of mental illness in Oregon that is not adequately resourced.

Here is our fact sheet. This will likely be revised as we learn more.

A Welcoming Attitude

By Carleen Reilly

The River Road neighborhood lawn signs say, “Building Community Together.” Living in a neighborhood that chooses to focus on building community feels good. ‘Community’ opens the possibility of accomplishing tasks large and small to make the whole neighborhood shine with pride. Our ‘River and Garden District’ offers many chances to work together, clearing invasive species along the river, planning for a neighborhood to serve future needs, or working to protect good air quality and clean water.

One problem that looms large in our neighborhood and across the broad metro area is how to meet the needs of a growing population of unsheltered people. The River Road neighborhood likes to think of ourselves as a welcoming community, but voices on social media tell us that we should be fearful of new people arriving in our neighborhood, whether they are moving into an apartment complex or seeking the simple shelter of a Conestoga hut.

How do we choose a welcoming attitude towards new people? For one thing, we must learn to set our fears aside and see the gifts new people bring with them. New neighbors often have enthusiasm for community projects. Current neighbors who have been in the trenches for a long time are tired. This injection of new energy often pushes a project over the goal line. New neighbors bring skills and knowledge that revitalize our energy stores and offer new ideas to improve our vision.

Iris Place, a new affordable housing project, will open this year on River Road, just north of our DariMart. We can choose to welcome our new neighbors or hold them at arms length. It is exciting to have this well-planned project underway. We are delighted to know that our new neighbors will be well cared for. Educational and social services will provide support as they raise children and learn to live in community.

Our neighbors put a great deal of thought into requesting energy efficiency, plenty of landscaping, and adjustment of building placement to minimize impacts on surrounding neighbors. This is a joint effort between the neighborhood, the City of Eugene, and St. Vincent de Paul. SVdP has a team of River Road neighbors who are kept up to date on the construction project and advise the construction team about neighbors’ desires and concerns. This team communicates with the River Road Community Organization about the status of the project.

Iris Place will have a community room open to the broader neighborhood and will provide a place for us to get acquainted with one another. We can start thinking, right now, about how we can integrate with one another. A few ideas come to mind.

Working together on tasks and holding socials are good for learning about one another. The Willamette River may be common ground that allows us to learn together: Walking tours along the river to observe wildlife, learning which paths access the river from River Road, locating public parks, and planning for clean up parties.

Another neighborhood held a welcoming celebration for residents and staff at a new affordable housing project. The project itself has pathways from one side of the neighborhood to a park on the other side. Regular social events, like ice cream socials, game nights, singalongs, and educational activities can knit a community together. Current affairs discussion groups, book clubs, children’s craft groups, sewing and quilting circles, fix-it cafes, and helping-hand events allow us to get acquainted in non-threatening situations. This brings to mind a childhood song: “The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.’ Building friendships rather than nursing separations will make everyone happier.

Let’s all choose a welcoming attitude and build a sense of community with one another. And once we are beyond the pandemic, we can live out our dreams together.

By the way, you, too, can obtain your River Road Community Organization lawn sign by going to the website and requesting one. That would be a good start toward choosing a welcoming attitude.


Disclaimer: This article is my personal views and interpretation of community events and neighborhood planning efforts. I am not a Board member of RRCO (River Road Community Organization); SCRRIPT (Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team) has transitioned leadership to the Community Advisory Committee (CAC); and I have never been a City employee.


Carleen Reilly has lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years. She served on the RRCO board of directors from 2007-2013, and has been involved over the years with the Joint Strategy Team (JuST), the Santa Clara-River Road Outreach and Learning project (SCRROL), and the Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team (SCRRIPT)

She publishes a weekly e-newsletter called “River Road Community Resource Group Newsletter” that focuses on land use, transportation, parks and open spaces, economic development, and Community interests as they are related to our Neighborhood Planning activities in conjunction with the Santa Clara neighborhood. If you would like to subscribe you can contact Carleen at: carleenr |at| gmail dot com.