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Department Cites SLEEPS Health Concerns

EUGENE, Ore. — New information highlights one of the reasons why Lane County called a special meeting early next week to address the SLEEPS protest in Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza.

A spokesperson with Lane County told KEZI 9 News that a county health department official toured the plaza Thursday to see first hand what was going on.

Then a note was just sent to Lane County officials urging the closure of the plaza. In this note, Dr. Patrick Luedke wrote “the level of risk has exceeded my level of comfort for transmission of diseases in the Wayne Morse Plaza.” It went on to say he recommends closure of the area to stop possible transmission of potential bacteria and viruses to humans.

Lane County also says it’s obtained police reports for the time frame since SLEEPS moved into the plaza. In those reports Lane County says in the areas of 8th Avenue and Oak Street and Park and Pearl Street there have been a 20-percent increase in serious crimes. Those include drug overdose, possession of narcotics, sex abuse and a suicidal subject.

And while the health department is urging this closure, Lane County must have this meeting out in the public, and it’s been called for Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 9 a.m. in Harris Hall.

7 comments

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  1. Dave says:

    Recall the triad of right-wing County Commissioners now. March on the Courthouse on the 4th and demand that they be removed from office.

  2. XoztedMama says:

    “the level of risk has exceeded my level of comfort for transmission of diseases in the Wayne Morse Plaza.”

    “in the areas of 8th Avenue and Oak Street and Park and Pearl Street there have been a 20-percent increase in serious crimes.”

    Well, DUH! What was expected of people sleeping alongside the street without facilities to clean up either themselves or their trash… This will never be the solution.

  3. bill says:

    seems the city could take it to a higher court than obey a muni judge. The sleepers need to be somewhere else…like Portland!

  4. XoztedMama says:

    Found this online and thought that I would share here – the ideas seem like the right path…

    “The citizens of Eugene, and Oregon in general, need to get some changes in law that will help end this fiasco and prevent future debacles.

    Personally, I’d like to see “protesting” defined in legal terms, along with allowable forms of protest on public property. I’d also like to see pan-handling made illegal – “charitable contribution” made alongside roadways/etc. should have to go towards something with a nonprofit tax ID status, period.

    I think these two changes would make our city a lot less desirable to the bums (note, there is a big difference between a bum and a person who happens to be without a home) who migrate here.”

  5. ahshucks says:

    I think it’s about time Lane County and City of Eugene figured out a way to get rid of SLEEPS and any other future campers on public or private property. They are roaches that will multiply when you leave out food. These people are using the Sleeps theme to get a free sleeping spot. The camp out should have been stopped by a new law with the OWS’ers. The City understands we have a homeless problem. Most of the homeless problems are caused by lack of jobs, drugs, criminals and a break down of the family tradition.

  6. Be the Change! BooYah! says:

    Thank you Lane County Staff & Commissioners – no more filth allowed on county property.
    Now all taxpayers opposing the illegal camping (which was created to prevent health and safety problems) need to show to Wed. Sept 4th meeting to support the closure for cleaning.

    The city of Eugene has decided not to enforce the illegal camping laws. Now they delivered a potty for the 13th St illegal homeless camp! OUTRAGED!

    Are you a citizen who lives within the laws that doesn’t want a unsafe homeless camp coming to your neighborhood? If your answer is yes – be the change!

    Steps to END illegal homeless camps destroying Eugene:
    1- attend every public meeting – testify & sign up early to roadblock these slackers
    2- send an email to the mayor, the whole council, and the city manager – DEMAND ENFORCEMENTof OUR EXISTING LAWS – especially illegal camping.
    3- call 911 to report the illegal camps set up on 13th st and say you want them arrested

    If our elected & paid officials do not enforce the laws:
    1- at next UO football game gather 35,000 signatures to recall all the city council & mayor.
    2- sign a petition to fire the city manager if he will not instruct city crews to bring in dumpsters to clean the camps out – give them an hour to move on or everything is trash.

    If all of above fails – be an anarchist:
    1-park a running diesel truck on 13th along the squatters camp – smoke them out.
    2- move into the plaza with a bigger tent, an RV or a broken down rig – take the city back
    3- shame officials with our own “protest” tent city on the UO campus during the prestigious track trials, or a football game that has national coverage.
    4- national news might shame them into enforcement – blanket your neighborhood with signs reading: EUGENE HOME4-SALE BECAUSE THE CITY OF EUGENE IS ALLOWING HOMELESS CAMPS IN EASEMENTS – BYE BYE EUGENE
    5- stop paying your city of Eugene portion of your property taxes if they won’t preserve neighborhood safety and zoning by busting illegal camps up.

    post your ideas and maybe we can take our city back!

  7. Michael Adams says:

    The County Health Official works for the county and thus the council. He told them what they wanted to hear. After having spoke to him, I was of the understanding that everything was good. Yes I had the kitchen in a total disaster status when he got there, but I was cleaning and breaking down tables as there was some communication that the tables were being taken by their owners. However once that was figured out the kitchen was put together once more and thus no problems.
    In response to “Ahshucks” allegations of “They are roaches that will multiply when you leave out food,” I say that you couldn’t be more right. If they have to, I have heard that Homeless People will eat the very burger that is tossed into the dumpster because they need to eat and have no way to get food sometimes. It’s called survival. Do I agree with it? Hell no! However, it happens.
    SLEEPS is here to protest for the right of Homeless People to have a safe and legal place to lay their heads. Sleeps is here to Protest against the Criminalization of Homeless People; to protest the tickets Homeless People receive when they are found sleeping in parks.
    So the real problem here is that City officials have been told they need to come up with a solution for the increasing number of Homeless People here in Eugene, and stop putting it off.

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