State Representative
Nancy Nathanson
Summer 2022
"It's been too long!" That's what we say as we reconnect with people after months of virtual meetings, virtual visits, and masks. Same can be said for this newsletter too. The last one was after the short legislative session ending in March. I promised I wouldn't flood your mailbox with too many newsletters, but now it's been too long.

I took a couple weeks of vacation, Legislative Aide Lindsay took another job, and Olivia joined the office ... all in June. So it was hectic.

Summer has been full, with legislative appointments online and in person, meetings with constituents and local organizations, and site visits to see how state investments are coming along. This newsletter will show some of those activities.

This is a good news enews, showing how some of the large federal and state pandemic grants are working out as building projects are finished and programs are started or expanded.

I'm including a few pics to show that I have some "normal" time too, and maybe some of it will be familiar to you.
If you missed my last enews, here's the link to March 2022.
How's your internet speed?
Help ensure that everyone in our community has access to fast, affordable Internet by taking this 1-minute Internet speed test.

Oregon has an opportunity to receive as much as $800 million in federal funding to solve Internet access gaps across the state. We need data that shows where residents have slow or no Internet to secure this funding and distribute it to the places that need it most. Take the "speed test" and spread the word by asking your neighbors, friends, and family to also take the speed test.
internet speed test
I took the test - in just about a minute I got this result.

Faster Internet Oregon is a coalition of nonprofits from across the state, including Oregon Economic Development Districts, Onward Eugene, SpeedUpAmerica, and Link Oregon, that are working to ensure faster, more affordable Internet for all Oregon residents.
For questions, contact
Around the state
A new, smart wildfire camera system goes public
alert wildfire
It's here! EWEB has installed one of the new, smart cameras on the ALERT Wildfire system. This monitoring system uses modern communications technology to connect firefighters and federal and state agencies with real-time fire activity information, and allows public access for more eyes on forest and wilderness areas. (Read more about the state investment in my March issue.) More cameras are being installed in the coming months. This is one of my proudest accomplishments, fighting for this funding for several years.

The camera is mounted on an existing EWEB communications tower, 190', that provides radio communication for the Carmen-Smith hydroelectric project about 65 miles east of Eugene. The live feed is viewable by anyone at The basketball-sized camera weighs about 65 pounds, with a range of about 40 miles in the day and 120 miles at night for a 360-degree view.

From Doug Toomey, UO Hazards Lab Director: "There used to be hundreds of fire lookout towers staffed by people across the American West, watching for fires. We don’t have that anymore, but what we do have now is a growing network of digital lookouts in these wildfire cameras. Preventing the most destructive wildfires requires spotting them before they morph into bigger blazes – even if those fires start in a remote location."
Environment, Energy, Economy, Business, Jobs
Titan and renewable diesel
This trip to Portland included a briefing on the economics of trucking, full cost accounting of fuel and engine maintenance and repair, and impacts on drivers and the chemistry of renewable diesel. And transition to full electric. The future isn't just an idea, this business is showing how to do it right now. I came home with samples to see and smell, traditional and renewable diesel.

Closer to home, I visited a beverage distribution facility to hear about that industry, the logistics of moving product to market, and retaining employees by offering a great opportunity for safe, rewarding work.
Titan and renewable diesel
Titan and renewable diesel
Columbia distribution facility
Our local area
SVDP Manufactured Housing
Affordable Housing:
to increase access to more affordable housing,
make more housing

It's that simple. St. Vincent DePaul (SVDP) of Lane County will be making more affordable housing. They have acquired a big vacant building on Garfield St. and will get it ready for manufacturing manufactured housing.

I visited this future site for manufacturing homes where HOPE (Housing Options Production Enterprise) Community Corporation will partner with SVDP to establish a fully functional manufactured homes production line. Over 100 employees will build four finished prefabricated homes every day when it reaches capacity. It will be one of the first of its kind anywhere, as a nonprofit enterprise dedicated to producing quality homes quickly and at reduced cost for low-income families. Another aim is to maximize future training and mentorship opportunities by working with local workforce development programs, schools and trade organizations.

Rep. Pam Marsh (red sweater) worked with Terry McDonald, SVDP Executive Director, on this solution for entire communities that were lost to wildfire in her southern Oregon district (Talent and Phoenix) and the severe shortage of affordable housing statewide. Pam and I work together on the House Revenue Committee and on environmental and energy topics, too.
Ko-Kwel Wellness Center

Michael Mason introduced me to the health care team at Ko-Kwel Wellness Center in the River Road neighborhood. They promote a holistic approach to healing in a comfortable inclusive environment, serving the Coquille Tribal family and more. The new Eugene clinic is open and serving primary medical care to Lane County's Native American/Alaska Native population. Pediatric are is coming soon, and they are planning to expand behavioral health.
Ko-Kwell Wellness Center
Ko-Kwell Wellness Center
Willamette Natural Area

UO's Natural Area stretches about a mile along the river, 24 acres for riparian area and wildlife habitat and an outdoor classroom for students in ecology, law, etc. This area supports pollinators, plenty of tree canopy and tree snags for raptors. The goats had been brought in for controlling non-native vegetation so we got to see them at work. We heard from faculty in different colleges, and grad students working with the Society for Ecological Restoration, demonstrating innovative approaches to teaching and research that break the boundaries of traditional academic instruction.
UO Willamette Natural Area
UO Willamette Natural Area goat habitat restoration
UO Willamette Natural Area
Kidsports: "All Kids Play"

The new Kidsports facility is a part of Civic Park, built at the historic site of Civic Stadium, Executive Director Beverly (Bev) Smith (see below) treated me to a tour of the multi-sport facility that includes a multi-court indoor gymnasium, two outdoor basketball courts, locker rooms, storage rooms, kit and equipment warehouse, a turf soccer field, and administrative offices.

Bev and her crew demonstrate the Kidsports mission day in and day out: to give all kids an equitable opportunity to play: "All Kids Play." They offer a wide range of sport opportunities year-round for youth, pre-K to 12th grade. They offer financial assistance too, using the same income standards for scholarship qualification as school districts use to determine eligibility for free school lunches. As Bev explained to me during my tour, every few weeks counselors and volunteers load up a trailer full of sports gear and games and take it for a 'day of play" in communities where kids don't have an opportunity for organized activity and fun such as the Kidsports summer camp.

(If you weren't in Eugene back then ... Bev was the Oregon Ducks women's basketball program head coach from 2001 to 2009. She played for Italian clubs and is in both the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee and the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame.)
cleat exchange
Services for youth in crisis
One day in August I met with several Looking Glass staff to see their New Roads and Station 7 programs near downtown Eugene. Station 7 includes emergency shelter, family reconciliation, wraparound supports, and 24-hour help hotline for homeless youth, ages 11-17.

I visited New Roads school and drop-in center, noting the warm environment, the books, computers, job training resources, a kitchen (with a chef on staff), bathrooms with showers, lockers for homeless youth to store important or valuable items, and supply room with plenty of clothes and shoes.

Next door is Project Safe Place, a secure residential building for emergency sheltering and longer term housing, including a living room suitable for family reconciliation meetings. It offers safe locations for youth to go when they feel afraid or have run away from home. Here, unsheltered or adjudicated youth have a safe place to go and achieve positive outcomes such as successfully reuniting with families.

Looking Glass provides counseling and adolescent recovery programs, homeless youth services like emergency sheltering and transitional and independent living assistance services, temporary housing services, educational and vocational services, and residential services for adjudicated youth.
Looking Glass
Looking Glass
Looking Glass
New shelter with services for people without a home
Navigation Center
At the official opening of the County's new navigation center on River Avenue, a permanent shelter with "real support and services to move to stability and the next chapter of their lives." Navigation: helping people find help for medical, dental, addiction, housing, food, transportation, job search, and other needs. Best quote of the day was in describing the hope for this place, so that "homelessness is rare, brief, and non recurring." After the VA built the new clinic for veterans and vacated this place, the County bought it and used it first for Covid-19 recovery.
Spark Lab
Imagination, learning, opportunity! I joined a couple of legislative colleagues and Gov. Brown at the Spark lab on 7th for an announcement of expanding computer science education in classrooms across Oregon, ensuring that every student has equitable access to the computer skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. Educators, business partners, and community organizations have created a terrific program and an inspiring place to learn and work. The conversation included robotics, design, problem-solving for real customers, 3D printing, laser, cybersecurity, networking. Thanks to Connected Lane County.
Northwest Youth Corps
Northwest Youth Corps

I spent a wonderful morning with a Northwest Youth Corps work crew. We wound tall grass and weed flowers around our fingers while we talked about climate change, health care, plastics, gas pricing and electric vehicles, higher ed, and many other things.

NYC offers "a challenging education and job-training experience that helps youth and young adults from diverse backgrounds develop the skills they need to lead full and productive lives." Youth can earn certifications and work experience useful for career pathways. Summer crews spend 10 weeks working on conservation projects such as tree planting, fuels reduction, invasive plant removal, trail construction, and fencing.
Beltline Highway: a project ready for funding

... A long time coming, and not yet funded. So I met ODOT regional staff at the "sand piles" on north Delta Highway at Beltline to review the plans for different phases of a major effort to improve travel between north Delta Hwy and River Road. The plan includes replacement of the oldest Delta Hwy bridge and adding a new off-ramp with signal, a new local arterial (city street) to take local traffic off the regional highway, a new interchange with River Ave. and Division Ave., and other improvements. The local arterial will be north of Beltline, approximately at the existing westbound on-ramp. Here's the ODOT website that describes the project.

Freeways are for regional through traffic, for example connecting I-5 to the coast; they don't work well for local traffic. This project will provide a solution and give residents a street for local traffic, better transit routing, and a shorter, more direct route for bicycles and pedestrians. I was also pleased to hear that ODOT already collaborates with Friends of Trees and would plan to do so for this project as well.

You've seen and heard me press for these improvements for a very long time, as they make their way up the priority list, competing for funding with projects throughout the state, including the I-5 Willamette River bridge and I-5 Beltline interchange completed in our area. Meanwhile, I have asked for crash data on north Delta Hwy, since safety was a major goal of the recent improvements. ODOT anticipates the data will show fewer crashes due to reducing the conflict points caused by short distances between on- and off-ramps, and fewer severe crashes by slowing traffic with signalization.
The Office
We said goodbye to Lindsay and welcomed Olivia!

Olivia Mannon has just completed her Master of Public Administration from the University of Oregon in June. She is a former member of the Ducks varsity women’s lacrosse team and is a current member of the Israeli women’s national team. In July, Olivia participated in the World Games competing in her hometown of Birmingham, AL where she and Team Israel placed 5th in the world. Congrats Olivia, and welcome to the team!
Summer in the City
A big garden snake lives in my backyard (surprised here while sunning on the rocks around the waterfall).
ESO concert at Cuthbert
Eugene Symphony Orchestra, at Cuthbert Amphitheater.
This year's free summer concert included Bizet's Farandole, Rossini's Finale from Overture to William Tell, Mancini's Moon River, John Williams' Theme from Jurassic Park and also Adventures on Earth from E.T. ; Casey at the Bat; and more. So much fun. Put it on your list for next year! The evening began with a great set by Chapwatiti marimba band from Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center.
COVID test
Free test kits ordered through USPS - delivered to my mailbox
COVID testing
Community COVID testing at UO
Clothesline in use as long as
the weather is warm and dry
Legend mascot of Oregon22
A little bit of fun with Legend the Bigfoot, mascot of Oregon22 World Athletics Championships
Ems mascot
A night watching Eugene Emeralds baseball: team mascots horsing around and ...
Ems game with Chewbacca
Star Wars night at the Ems, including Chewbacca