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Lane County Commissioner
December 21 
Protecting the Children's Health Insurance Program

The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a program we all should be able to support. Losing CHIP could mean putting millions of kids at risk, and tens of thousands of kids right here in Oregon! When I talk to nurses in the county, they have told me how important this program is to people here, especially in rural Lane County. Let’s all work together to help convince congress to get this passed by tomorrow.
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December 18
Remembering Major Thomas Egan

This morning a good crowd of us attended Major Thomas Egan’s memorial service. Although it was warm and sunny outside today, this time in 2008 Major Egan froze to death on the streets of Eugene. As a community we found this profoundly unacceptable and St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County formed the Egan Warming Centers where homeless can go at night to stay warm when the temperature drops below 30 degrees. Today we not only remember Major Egan but the countless volunteers that run the warming centers. Michael Carrigan from Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) accepted the Ripple of Hope award for their dedication to improving lives in Lane County and expanding Egan opportunities within our area. Right beyond the SVDP sign you can see Square One Villages building tiny homes for the homeless. Sadness and hope exist here.
December 15
Viewing of the Lioness Documentary

Today I was able to participate in a viewing of the Lioness documentary at the New Eugene VA Healthcare Center and hear from an original Lioness, Jessica Miller. Women have been on the front lines of combat for much longer than most Americans realize. These women had a very special mission in the Iraq war that put them in direct combat situations. They are an incredible asset to our military and deserve our recognition and admiration. 
I have an enormous amount respect for the women who have served our country under extraordinary circumstances and in many cases, additional obstacles to overcome. When you think of Veterans remember the woman standing next to you in line at the bank, or playing with her kids at the park or running the Egan Warming Center may also be a Veteran. Women, thank you for your service!     
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December 14
We Must Protect Net Neutrality

The news about the repeal of Net Neutrality this morning is very disappointing. Repeal is deeply unpopular for a variety of reasons but mainly for the limitation is creates on access to the internet by the public, a vital resource from everything to healthcare, education and economic development. Rural Lane county already has very limited access to internet, and this could make that situation much worse. It is imperative for rural communities to access to affordable internet in order to compete in the world market and diversify local economies.  This decision could also harm the booming technology industry here in Lane County, impacting the ability to grow new companies and hire employees.  
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December 13
Focusing on Waste Based Recycling

"The world produces 3.5 million tons of waste every day. That is 10 times more than a century ago and it will be 11 million tons by the end of this century. How do we dispose of it and how do we decide what can be used again?" We live in a disposable society and produce vast amounts of waste, especially in unnecessary packaging. Many discarded items could be reused and removed from the waste stream while providing employment to those with employment barriers. Additional, individually this is one of the most tangible ways we can participate in supporting our environment on a daily basis. At a community-wide level we must be more aware of what management practices can be improved upon in order to limit the impact on our local landfills. As plastic becomes increasingly difficult to recycle and foreign countries discontinue importing previously considered recyclables, we need to ramp up local waste-based business solutions and diversion efforts.
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