The City Club of Eugene Podcast
Fire on the River

Fire on the River

December 1, 2020

On Sept. 7, 2020, a wind-driven fire exploded into the Holiday Farm Fire along the McKenzie River. This program covers the death, destruction of towns and homes, and the environmental damage from the wildfire; the fire's aftermath; and the "inspired community response" in the moment and in the long-term recovery of the valley.

Three speakers address the impact of the fire on the ecosystem, geology, vegetation, river and residents of the area: Joe Moll of the McKenzie River Trust; research hydrologist Gordon Grant of the US Forest Service; and Jared Pruch, Director of Community Impact at United Way of Lane County.

This is part 1 of 2; the second episode will be available in March 2021.

(This program was presented on Nov. 13, 2020)

Asset Poverty

Asset Poverty

November 29, 2020

Why can't people go from owing to owning? While income inequality has been studied, a newer area of research is asset poverty: income consumed by expenses. With fewer available funds, families have less help when things go wrong; they have less power over what occurs; they have fewer opportunities. Two out of three families are asset poor, according to Dr. David Rothwell, assistant professor of public health and human sciences at Oregon State University. More than 30% of Oregonians experience asset poverty, creating divisions between the "haves" and "have nots." In this program, Dr. Rothwell discusses the reality of losing the American dream through asset poverty.

(This program was presented on Dec. 13, 2019)

Gun Violence: A public health crisis.

Gun Violence: A public health crisis.

November 22, 2020

What if we approach gun violence as a public health issue, not a binary "gun rights vs. gun control"? Nearly 40,000 deaths each year are due to firearms, and 80,000 non-fatal firearm injuries occur yearly. Firearms are often used to commit suicide. Gun violence is predictable, which makes it preventable. Public health experts are pursuing harm reduction, using education, technology, policies and social norms to address the epidemic. We'll also hear types of legislation that could be helpful.

The speakers include Kathleen F. Carlson, PhD, Oregon Health & Sciences University-Portland State University; Paul Boxer, PhD, Rutgers Center on Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice; Jeffrey Sprague, PhD, University of Oregon Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior; and Allison Anderman, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

“In the current research involving firearm injury, I bring with me this part of my fabric, understanding the importance of guns in our history and our culture for our families and our communities, but also intertwined with the deep sorrow for the loss of life we all experienced in exchange for this benefit.”

"Police do not want to be social workers and social workers do not want to be police."

"The mass school shootings...appear to be on the uptick."

“Community violence intervention strategies look at this type of violence as an infectious disease that can be treated and its spread can be prevented.”

(This program was presented on June 12, 2020)

Suicide as a Public Health Crisis

Suicide as a Public Health Crisis

November 20, 2020

What causes suicides and suicide attempts? How can family and friends, and all of society, help people considering suicide? Lane County, Oregon, has a suicide rate 50% greater than the national average. One in 4 suicides is a veteran. The highest rate of ideation is among young LGBTQ+ residents. In this episode, you will learn more about local and national statistics and services, hear from a survivor of a suicide attempt, and learn how to respond when you think someone may be contemplating suicide.

Speakers include Roger Brubaker, MPH, Lane County Health and Human Services; Crystal Kekei Rowland, LCSW, MPH, a PeaceHealth crisis mental health worker; and Mike, a suicide survivor.

Note: Listeners may find some of the material in this episode to be disturbing or triggering. Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. PreventionLane is another resource.

(This program was presented on Oct. 11, 2019)

Seismic Policy and Climate Change

Seismic Policy and Climate Change

November 16, 2020

Lucy Jones, Ph.D., is an earthquake expert. She spoke to City Club of Eugene about seismic safety and its connection to climate change. From her experience in California earthquakes to her policy work with then-Mayor Garcetti in Los Angeles, Dr. Jones is focused on preventing 'future piles of rubble." In this episode, she discusses building codes, seismic safety policy, mandatory retrofitting and disaster planning, and she explains the link between earthquakes and climate change. Dr. Jones spoke to the club during her 2019-20 residency at the Wayne More Center for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon.

(This episode was presented on Oct. 25, 2019)

Going to Prison to Learn

Going to Prison to Learn

August 21, 2020

College students and incarcerated students learn together in the prison system, thanks to a University of Oregon prison education program called "Inside Out." It is the largest such program in the world.

Our speakers include Professor Shaul Cohen, an Associate Professor of Geography and Director of the UO Prison Education Program and the Carnegie Global Oregon Ethics Program. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, and a member of the National Alliance for Higher Education in Prisons. Our other speakers are Bianca Pak, a student in the UO Clark Honors College; and Trevor Walraven, who was imprisoned at the Oregon State Penitentiary and is the co-founder and Director of Public Education and Outreach at the Oregon Youth Justice Project, a program of the Oregon Justice Resource Center.

"It was the most transformative experience...."

"...there are not prisoners and outside people; rather, there are students."

"One of the great things about Inside Out is the reciprocity."

Learn more about the National Inside-Out Center:

(This program was presented on Jan. 10, 2020)

Internment of Japanese Residents in World War II

Internment of Japanese Residents in World War II

August 17, 2020

After Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan, America declared war and began taking Japanese residents to internment camps. This podcast of the City Club of Eugene, Oregon looks at the impact of internment on the detainees and their descendants as well as America's reaction at the time of the internments. You will also hear about how the internment was carried out here in Eugene.

We'll hear an overview of the camps from Tara Fickle, who is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Oregon, and an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Ethnic Studies, the New Media and Culture Certificate, and the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. See her presentation, including a cartoon from Theodor Seuss.

One young boy in one of the camps was Roger Shimomura, who grew to be an internationally acclaimed artist and educator. Much of his art portrays life in the camps, with haunting images of tricycles and baseball inside barbed wire. Anne Rose Kitagawa, chief curator and director of Asian art at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, explains the symbols and messages in his art. View examples here:

Aimee Yogi graduated from the UO and worked more than 30 years at the UO Knight Library. In addition to working with the Oregon Asian Celebration, the Asian American Council, and the Sacred Heart Hospice, she has served as the president of the Japanese American Association of Lane County since 2013. She has researched the history of the Japanese internment in Eugene and led the effort to build a memorial to the victims of the interment.

(This program was presented on May 15, 2020)

Alternatives to Policing: Reorienting the Scope of Law Enforcement (Part 2 of 2)

Alternatives to Policing: Reorienting the Scope of Law Enforcement (Part 2 of 2)

August 7, 2020

When studying police reforms, how can we cultivate and enforce greater equity and justice, and implement safety in our community? Is Eugene, Oregon committing sufficient funding and support to the people and programs that can provide alternatives to law enforcement?

City Club of Eugene takes a look at accountability, transparency and law enforcement through the lens of racial justice and defunding the police. We hear from a panel that includes Ibrahim Coulibaly, president of the NAACP; Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner; and CAHOOTS co-founder David Zeiss. They examine elements of policing alternatives that address homelessness, local poverty, substance abuse and mental illness.


    “One of our problems is the extreme economic inequality that has been developing in this country….”

     “If all you have is time to drive from one call to another, it really does a disservice to the relationship and to the victim.”

(This program was presented on July 31, 2020; Part 1 was presented on July 24 and is also available on this podcast.)

Racial Justice and Police Accountability (Part 1 of 2)

Racial Justice and Police Accountability (Part 1 of 2)

August 3, 2020

After the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Armaud Arbery in the spring of 2020, City Club of Eugene, Oregon developed a focus on racism, police accountability and local issues related to racial justice.

Part 1 of this 2-part series brings people with varying perspectives together to discuss the issue: 
Mark Gissiner, Police Auditor, City of Eugene; Dr. Michael Hames-García, UO Professor & Eugene Civilian Review Board Member; and Isiah Wagoner, a local activist.

Eugene has a police auditor and a civilian review board. How does that affect the responses of law enforcement and residents' trust in police? What are our issues around police accountability and reform? How can we cultivate and enforce greater equity, justice and public safety in our community, in light of where we’ve been and what direction we want to head?

(This program was presented on July 24, 2020; Part 2 was presented on July 31 and is also available on this podcast)

Short-Term Rentals in Eugene

Short-Term Rentals in Eugene

June 2, 2020

Air BnB ranked Eugene #2 in the U.S. as a popular place to visit. It has been ranked by as #2 in constrained housing in America. How would city regulation of short-term rentals like AirBnB and VRBO affect the owners, neighbors and the City of Eugene, Oregon? Hear the perspectives of those who could be impacted by regulation. 

Our speakers include Bruce Searl, whose family has operated a very successful Airbnb for 4.5 years as an important part of their family income. Kathryn Dunn is a realtor and member of the Eugene Short-Term Rentals Association. She has been a real estate investor for past 20 years and owns two short-term rentals. She will describe the general market and benefits of short term rentals in our community. Dr. Rebecca Lewis is Associate Professor in Planning, Public Policy and Management at the University of Oregon. Her student, Sadie Dinatale, published "Assessing and responding to short-term rentals in Oregon: Enabling the benefits of the sharing economy." Dr. Lewis will summarize what is known about the short term rental market in Eugene and throughout Oregon, including information in a PowerPoint: To see the presentation referenced in this episode visit Jo Jo Jensen is a professional voice talent who records from her studio in the Laurel Hill Valley and, until recently, had a short-term rental next door.

     "We care a lot about people."

     "What are we talking about in terms of statewide revenue impact? What about tax revenue for cities?"

      "The police still aren't commenting on this case because it's on-going."

(This program was presented on March 6, 2020)


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