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Problems - Vol. 2

EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City has received a number of photos and comments from local business owners and residents of Eugene that we thought important to share with the rest of the community. Some of these photos and comments are found below in Volume 2. We have also after further research updated the list of solutions which can be found at the end of this Volume 2 Pictorial. If you feel a need to help clean up Eugene perhaps a letter or email to the Mayor, City Council, the City Manager, the Eugene Police Chief or a letter to the Register Guard editor would be appropriate. The Mayor and Council including the City Manager emails are available on www.eugene-or.gov. Also found on that cite are the Eugene Codes and the Eugene Counts questionaire on what you want the Mayor and Council to know of your thoughts.  If we don't stand up for our City who will do it??
 
Please enjoy the Pictorial Volume 2 and review the revised list of possible Solutions found at the end of the Pictorial. Warning:This Volume 2 Pictorial is more graphic and detailed than Volume 1 but it is Eugene. The citations next to the photos are Eugene City Code (ECC) that may apply to the infraction and can be found online under the Eugene City Code.
 
Eugene has laws on the books that could be immediately put to work to help the problem in Eugene immediately and without further cost or further delay. Convening a group to study the matter for these short term remedies is not necessary since the laws are now in existence. All that is needed at this time is to allow and encourage the Police to enforce the existing laws and then work on new changes to be suggested by the study group.
 

 

 

THIS IS A VIOLATION OF IMPEDING THE USE OF PUBLIC SIDEWALK, INTOXICATED IN A PUBLIC PLACE AND NOT A GOOD THING FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS TO SEE ON THEIR WAY TO YOUR STORE IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA. (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF ECC 4.190/ 4.780/4.872/6.01).

 " Received your pictorial, well done. Excellent points and very obtainable solutions. It certainly isn't rocket science." (WRITTEN BY A EUGENE BUSINESS OWNER)

 

 

URINATION IN PUBLIC IS NOT PERMITTED IN EUGENE NOR IS TRESPASSING. (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF ECC 4.770/4.805/4.807/4.808)

 "...great picture story!
I've been fighting this battle for years!!   never thought to send illustrations. If you are out and about doing a "follow up" story, try the alley at our workshop on 8th and charnelton - constant graffiti, urination, we hung a sign asking people not to pee on our building it happened so often, a"fence" of flags trying to keep the food for Lane county patrons in their own parking lot instead of blocking ours every friday,.......etc etc etc." (WRITTEN BY A EUGENE BUSINESS OWNER)
 

 

 

 

DEFACING PRIVATE PROPERTY/TRESPASSING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY AND LITTERING ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN TO OUR DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES. (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF ECC 4.780/4.782/4.805/4.807/4.872/6.85)

 

 

 

 

 

TRESPASSING AND DRUG SALES ARE NOT PERMITTED IN EUGENE. (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF ECC 4.780,4.782,4.805, AND 4.872)

  "For the folks at Eugene Advocates:
 
I thought you may wish to add this to your picture file.  Attached is a photo of the remains of a fire started in our landscaping on the North side of our business by a transient.  Note the rucksack and the empty can of stew in the photo.  There was a small pile of twigs that is not visible in the photo that must have been used to fuel the fire for heating up the stew.  The fire consumed about a 10 foot radius of mulch before we discoverd it about 11:00 this morning.  Keep up the good work." (WRITTEN BY A EUGENE BUSINESS OWNER).

 

 

ENTRY INTO A LOCAL DOWNTOWN EUGENE BUSINESS ON THE MORNING AFTER. WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME TO WORK TO THIS? (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF ECC 4.770, 4.780) 

  "In the last 33 years I have lived here, I have seen it done, re-done, and re-done again, and nothing seems to happen but spend a lot of money!! I personally don't pay the City of Eugene taxes, but something has to stop the wasteful spending the City Council does. Don't we need growth for business?" (WRITTEN BY A EUGENE BUSINESS OWNER)

 

 

 

 

EUGENE HAS ESTABLISHED A HATE FREE ZONE IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA. NOTE THE GRAFFITI ON THE WINDOW WHERE THE SIGN IS DISPLAYED. (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF ECC 4.782 AND 4.805)

 

 

 

 

GRAFFITI SIGN IN THE HATE FREE ZONE FOUND ON A BUSINESS WALL. WOULD YOU LIKE THIS DEFACING OF YOUR PROPERTY? (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF ECC 4.780 AND OTHERS)

 "I agree that these pictures aren’t pretty and they are things none of us want to see or have occur.  I know we do a pretty good job of cleaning up (even if we should not have to).  I frequently walk downtown but admit I am probably there most often after the clean up occurs.  I did live downtown for 6 months but I do think things have gotten harsher.  I will discuss your proposals with the Chief, City Manager and Councilors.  I am pleased by the LCC building proposal and other downtown investments that appear to be finally moving forward.  I will tell you that our library had an enormous increase in usage this summer despite the challenges you point to and the staff have continued to try to impact the undesirable behavior as well through working with LTD."  

Kitty (Mayor City of Eugene)

 
 
 
 
 
 
TRESPASSING AND CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ARE NOT ALLOWED BY EUGENE LAW. ECC4.805
"We have two officers assigned to downtown at the moment. That is only four days a week.....that is not nearly enough to deal with the mayhem down here. It's so bad that the cops don't even want to be here. They posted for two positions and got only two people interested in working it. We get overrun regularly. The city has a bunch of committees but not a lot of vison or organization yet. This "task force" may fix that but I don’t know. They need a robust mix of actual full time officers assigned to this area (at least 6......good luck finding them) an admin aid type, a decent supervisor (good luck finding one) and a better mix of private security to begin to make a dent down here. Then you need to give clear goals to the cops about what they want done and be prepared for the solution to be not nice, neat, and pretty. The city is full steam ahead in spending 300,000 to build a skate park but they just this week axed the night overtime slots for the downtown area for $$$ reasons...........remarkable. They absolutely need to buy some jail space and create another chronic offender program so we have some place to stick our frequent flyers. The jail system is the most significant limitation that we have at the moment. We can do a lot more arrests but it is often a waste of our time." (WRITTEN BY A EUGENE POLICE OFFICER)

 

 

 

SHARING DRUGS ON THE ROAD WITH AN UNLICENSED DOG WHILE TRESPASSING. (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF ECC 4.805, DOG LICENSING, AND CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES)

 

 

 

 

ENTRY WAY TO YOUR BUSINESS EACH MORNING. IS THIS DESIREABLE AND WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT WHEN YOU WORK IN DOWNTOWN EUGENE? (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF ECC 4.330 ON URINATION AND DEFECATION AND TRESPASSING)

  "I am well aware of the challenges we face and have discussed them with Chief Kerns.  He states that while our challenges are considerable we still remain one of the safer cities in the country.  I am working with our DA and others to address public safety in the long haul and we will have some short term actions to discuss in the near future.  It is a system issue  as well as a city one.  The council takes this seriously and has worked steadily to address it and will continue to do so."  

Kitty(Mayor City of Eugene)

===========================================================

Mayor, Please review the below listed City Memorandum for an accurate assessment of Eugene crime levels.

"To: Police Chief Pete Kerns

From: Terry Smith, Service Improvement Analyst

Subject: Perspective on the 2008 Eugene Crime Statistics

Eugene’s Index crime rate increased 23 percent in 2008. Eugene has been well above other cities for a long time and the 2008 FBI data is not statistically different from that past. However, what is significant is no other city in America over 100,000 population came even close to Eugene's increased crime in 2008. Only two other cities over 100,000 experienced even a 16 percent increase (Athens, GA and Lewisville, TX).

This region has embarked on a "natural experiment" that will demonstrate the crime prevention role of local police, jail and prosecution capacity. While it is always dangerous to draw any conclusion from an experiment with N=1, these changes are so large they warrant meaningful consideration.

So the first question is 2008 only a blip or has the trend continued into 2009. The first half of 2009 shows a moderating trend. However, we must consider the possibility that the lengthy jail funding debate has reduced the public’s willingness to report crime.

January-July 2008 vs 2009 Reported Index Crimes

Crime Type

2008

2009

% Change

Index

5,124

5,734

12%

Violent

275

296

8%

Property

4,849

5,438

12%


 

 

 

VERY SAD THAT PEOPLE DRINK TO SUCH EXTREMES. THE CITY OF EUGENE DOES NOT SEEM TO HELP THEM, JUST TOLERATE THEM TO THE DETRIMENT OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO USE THE DOWNTOWN AREA FOR IT'S INTENDED PURPOSES. (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF TRESPASSING ECC 4.805,4.807 AND LIQUOR CONSUMPTION IN UNLICENSED PLACES, ECC 4.190)

 

 

 

 

IS THIS PERSON PASSED OUT IN A STANDING POSITION FROM TOO MUCH ALCOHOL IN MID-MORNING? (POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF TRESPASSING, ECC 4.805, AND CONSUMPTION OF LIQUOR ECC 4.190)

 "Dear Mayor and City Council.  By now you’ve heard that the crime rate in Eugene rose more in 2008 than over 150 cities in the U.S. according to the FBI. I know you’re waiting for the Sheriff and the District Attorney to start a task force.  You can take action on your own by enforcing the laws already on the books.  You don’t need private security at the library just let the EPD enforce the law.  You will never get downtown to redevelop until you take it back from vagrants.  Your unemployment rate is now 4% points higher than Corvallis.  Time is running out to do something. Please act soon." (WRITTEN BY A EUGENE BUSINESS OWNER)
 

 

 

 

SOME WOULD SAY THIS IS "HARSHER" THAN IT USE TO BE. THIS IS CLEARLY TRESPASSING ECC 4.805,4.807, LITERING ECC 6.85, PUBLIC NUSANCE ECC 6.01, AND CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL ECC 4.190. WHAT DOES OUR POLICE FORCE DO IN THESE INSTANCES?

 "The police need to do more to deal with the transients who infest our streets. I don’t know." "...You see, I’m a small woman, and I have been threatened walking to the grocery store on a Sunday morning. When I called the cops, they informed me public intoxication wasn’t illegal. That’s nice, but do you want your 6-year-old daughter to witness a foul-mouthed, half-naked drunk reaching out to you at 10 in the morning?

I live right off the Amazon canal bike path, and when I bike up and down it (which is frequently) I have to avoid hitting transients and the piles of trash they’ve accumulated.

Isn’t littering a crime? Evidently, Eugene is really kind to homeless people. That’s fine. We have feeding rooms, shelters and free services for them. There’s no need for them to be aggressive, threatening and obnoxious. There’s no need for them to be passed out drunk in front of the grocery store on Saturday morning or sleeping in a pile of deli food wrappers on the bike path as I attempt to ride to work. I’m sorry. If that’s not a crime, it should be. It’s offensive, dangerous and intimidating. It makes me want to move my family out of this state. " (WRITTEN BY A EUGENE RESIDENT).

 

 

BUSINESSES IN EUGENE MUST CONTINUALLY CORRECT GRAFFITI TO THEIR BUILDINGS, REMOVE DEBRIS LEFT FROM THE NIGHTS ACTIVITIES, CLEAN THE ENTRIES TO THEIR BUSINESS SO CUSOMERS CAN ENTER, AND IN SOME INSTANCES ALSO EMPLOY PRIVATE SECURITY GUARDS. ALL ARE ADDITIONAL COSTS TO THOSE WISHING OR STUCK CONDUCTING BUSINESS IN DOWNTOWN EUGENE. WHEN WILL THIS STOP????

 PROPOSED SOLUTIONS:
 
So let's step back for a moment and summarize. Eugene has one of the highest crime rates in the United States according to statistics from the City and the FBI. We have witnessed the challenges shown in the Pictorials. Most surround trespassing, public urination and defacation, public indecency, menacing, blocking sidewalks,operating bikes or skateboards on sidewalks, criminal mischief, unlicensed dogs, graffiti, public consumption of alcohol in unlicensed settings, drug use and sales, and defacing and destruction of property to name a few. Currently under the Eugene City Code there are laws on the books that address each of these and more violations.
 
So what is needed? What is currently needed is the support of the Mayor and the entire City Council for the City Manager, the Chief of Police and the Patrol Police to allow each to do the job of restoring Eugene to the beautiful and lawbiding City most of us can remember. It the responsibility of the citizens to require that each person in the chain of command from the Mayor to the Patrol Officer move forward to Clean up OUR City. This is solution Number One. These can be implimented with a strong citation program without further cost to the City of Eugene. This will take the individuals in the Pictorials out of their comfort zone and encourage them to move on.
 
The Second solution could be to empower various organizations to issue citations for violation of non-violent crimes such as unlicensed dogs, operating bikes or skateboards on sidewalks, graffiti, urination, indecency, blocking sidewalks and others. These organizations could also report other crimes to the Eugene Police Patrols for further action. The organizations include but are not limited to the Eugene Police Volunteers, Lane Transit Authority Officers, University of Oregon Police, LCARA, and the Chamber of Commerce "Red Hats."
 
The Third set of solutions are longer range in nature. The above two solutions can be immediately implimented and have a dramatic immediate result on the City. The third set of solutions will require a longer timeframe in which to impliment.. These include a vagrancy law acceptable to the courts, a loitering law acceptable to the courts, a review of a sign ordinance designed to eliminate panhandling on City owned property, and a review of regulations that forbid the use of City owned property for the use of soliciting and operating none licensed businesses on City owned property. A review of the Lane County Forest Work Camp currently available to house some offenders and the Serbu Juvenile Justice Center should be conducted.These long term solutions could be a partial focus of the study group being formed by the Eugene Police Chief. For immediate relief solutions Number One and Number Two can be enacted now and the results would be positive.
 
The above map to success is worthy of the entire Council and Mayors' endorsement and ACTION NOW. To not act will mean that when the 2009 index of crimes is reported Eugene will continue on the current trend line which if it continues as it has for the first six months of 2009 means that Eugene will once again set an all time high rate for crime. Is this what we all want? It will also mean our downtown will continue to have difficulty attracting investors, business owners, and patrons. Is this what we all want? Let's forge ahead with these solutions. The time to act is now!!  LET'S MAKE EUGENE COUNT!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
For a printable version, see Attachments below.
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jo john,
Oct 18, 2009, 2:20 PM
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