Friendly Area Neighborhood Newsletter - Winter 2010

Live music in Friendly
Submitted by Jean Stover, FAN business owner

The Supreme Bean Coffee Company at Woodfield Station is hosting live music in the month of January:

Friday, January 22nd - The Traceys
(www.myspace.com/theeugenetraceys)

Friday, January 29th - Sweet Papa Lowdown
(www.sweetpapalowdown.com)
City Manager Ruiz to speak at Winter FAN Meeting
By Bernie Corrigan, FAN Board Co-Chair

The FAN January General Meeting will be held at 7 PM on Thursday, January 21st at the Washington Park Cottage (2025 Washington Street).

Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz is coming to get acquainted and will make a brief presentation regarding the role of neighborhood associations within the City scheme of things. He will then be available for a question and answer session.

Following this, Lorna Baldwin, of Eugene Parks and Recreation, will lead a discussion of issues surrounding the adoption of a park by a neighborhood or neighborhood committee, IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and pesticide-free parks. This presentation will be followed by discussion and a possible vote on whether a committee should be formed at the neighborhood level to pursue any of these objectives. Please note that this committee should be made up of neighborhood members who want to get involved and that the FAN Board will sponsor such a group without taking a leading role in it.

Please contact Bernie Corrigan (bgc@teleport.com) for more information.
Tool Maintainance Workshop
By Lorna Baldwin, FAN resident

Have you ever noticed the difference a sharp tool makes when working in your garden? Want those nice tools to last for a long time?

Join us for a Tool Maintenance workshop to be held on Sunday afternoon, January 31st, 2010 from 1:00 to 2:30 at the Washington Park Cottage, Washington Street and West 20th Avenue.

Tom Bettman will offer a short lecture, followed by an opportunity for questions and hands-on practice. Bring one favorite tool that needs sharpening and a mill file if you have one. Some tools and materials will be provided.

The workshop is free but we ask you to register because seating is limited. Contact Lorna Baldwin at (541) 682-4845 or lorna.j.baldwin@ci.eugene.or.us.

This workshop is sponsored by the City of Eugene's Community Gardening Program, the Friendly Neighborhood Farmers, and the Friendlies Community Sustainability Group.
SNAP? - An Editorial
By Greg Giesy, FAN Board member

The City of Eugene is proposing something new - the Strategic Neighborhood Action Plan or SNAP. SNAP is supposed to provide neighborhoods with an opportunity to create a vision for the future and to develop strategies for how to achieve that vision. A neighborhood is to establish a leadership team to coordinate with City staff. This SNAP leadership team will be expected to be involved with a minimum of 14 meetings and the projects that will be involved to complete the SNAP will take approximately one year.

To explain what the City is talking about we need to go back - probably about 15 to 20 years - to when the City was doing what were known as Refinement Plans. Refinement Plans were a neighborhood based concept for planning the future of each neighborhood by finding out what was important to the people that lived in that neighborhood. Refinement Plans shaped the future growth patterns of a neighborhood.

Friendly Area Neighbors never got a Refinement Plan. Only about half the neighborhoods did get a Refinement Plan. Why? The City did not have the money or the manpower to do all the refinement plans. As costs went up, the program was dropped.

By the time I became a member of the Executive Board for FAN, about 11 years ago, the estimate to do a Refinement Plan was about $150,000 per neighborhood. Today the estimated cost of a Refinement Plan is $300,000. There are 19 neighborhood associations in Eugene.

It appears that Refinement Plans are never going to get done. Neighborhoods that never got a Refinement Plan keep complaining that they didn't get one. And neighborhoods that got Refinement Plans - 20+/- years ago - are complaining that their plan is outdated. So SNAP is an alternative to a Refinement Plan. With the City of Eugene shifting most of the work to neighborhood volunteers, City staff time and costs go down.

FAN is lucky that when the first SNAP meeting was held, we had a table full of Executive Board members and Matt Sprick, our Southtown Business Association (SOBA) liaison to FAN, there interested in the idea and ready to commit. We didn't expect something for nothing. We were ready to put forth a great deal of effort, with the help of other neighbors, to get a SNAP accomplished in our neighborhood.

Unfortunately, after going to the meeting, it became apparent that there was one problem with SNAP as it is currently proposed. The City of Eugene put Refinement Plans into City planning documents. A developer who tried to do something that was different than a Refinement Plan stated was very unlikely to get their plans approved. The City has no plans to give the same weight and validation to neighborhood SNAP projects. This means possibly a lot of work for the neighborhood with little or no reward.

I believe SNAP could be a good idea.The City is still taking input and trying to define the SNAP program. However, the City needs to validate the work involved in this or some other program by making the project part of the City's Master Plan for the future of Eugene. It is my personal feeling, there are neighbors willing to do the work, if the City could find a way to make the final document important and not just another study that is filed away to collect dust never to be seen again.

Editors note: In response to the above editorial the City of Eugene would like to clarify that the final scope of a SNAP has not yet been finalized and staff continue to invite input on the process. Process details, including the number of meetings and length of time to complete a SNAP, are yet to be determined. In addition, while the SNAP program has not been developed using the Refinement Plan model, it can provide benefits to a neighborhood as a planning and organizing tool. If a need exists for a process that helps a neighborhood to identify needs, prioritize issues and develop strategies to link with existing City resources and programs, then a SNAP could prove beneficial. Contact Michael Kinnison, (541) 682-5009 or michael.j.kinnison@ci.eugene.or.us to learn more about SNAPs or provide feedback on the program.
Common Ground Garden News
By Anne Donohue, FAN resident

Winter is the perfect time for soil building! At the Common Ground Garden we are doing just that. A January work party taught participants about the basics of building soil, and lasagna gardening. Eager neighborhood volunteers joined together on Martin Luther King Jr. day for a bit of community service and dug out pathways and refilled them with City leaves.

Territorial seeds were donated by Down To Earth and plans are being made to grow starts ready to go into the ground this Spring. The October planting of garlic and onions is already showing promise! A City of Eugene Neighborhood Matching Grant is being reviewed with hopes of a tool shed, irrigation, trellising and tools soon to come. Monthly workshops are being planned.

Do you have a skill you would like to offer? Do you make lawn furniture from old fence boards? Do you know how to espalier fruit trees? Do you have the perfect garden vegetable rotation schedule? Do you know how to backyard compost and can teach these skills to the neighborhood? We'd like to hear from you! Please share your ideas at the Eugene Friendly Neighborhood Farmers website: www.eugenefriendlyfarmers.ning.com.

This is a picture of FAN board member Matt Lutter turning soil in the Common Grounds Garden located along 21st street between Jackson and Van Buren. Matt is looking down at a fabric sling on his chest containing a sleeping baby. This is a picture of a young woman digging with a shovel in the Common Grounds Garden. She is smiling at the camera as she uses her foot to push the shovel into the soil.
This is a picture of an adult woman and three children standing in the Common Grounds Garden. They are posing for the camera. One boy holds a rake in his hand. Another is holding a bag of cooking flour, which has been spread along the ground in long lines to define the garden rows to be planted. A third boy holds a spool of string which is also strung along each garden row.