CHEERS & JEERS: Homeless & City Council Inertia

CHEERS for Benton County’s very own Rich Taylor, Lisa Borgerson, Jill Farrow, and Leslie Hauser. These are the people who made up the team that coordinated several online plant sales that were made available for pickup at the Benton County Master Gardener Association’s fundraiser that won them the title of Gardener of the Year. [Sort of like the House That Jack Built for the real world… but with plants… and tech.] 

JEERS to the litter bugs who left a pile of waste between the Enchanted Forest and a tiny home community. The litter included household detritus like furniture and box springs and clothing, not to mention construction leftovers like steel beams and drywall. There was also asbestos-laden flooring, dead and broken tanning bulbs, and rubber sports surfacing. The owner of the property was fined over $38,500 for operating an illegal dump site, but fined nothing for the shattered souls of the small children hoping only to be Enchanted by the Forest… too much?  

CHEERS for almost being done/finished/kaputski/over with Mike Nearman’s embarrassing-ness being linked to our county. Turns out he might [yes, only a might and yet we cheer] plead guilty… or maybe it’s a plea deal… either way we might be finished at last! Celebration conga line starts at the downtown McDonald’s traffic jam next Tuesday!  

CHEERS for the Corvallis Police getting a bank robbery suspect so fast. Key Bank on 9th St. had someone coming in brandishing a knife and leaving with some cash that wasn’t strictly speaking… his. CPD was on the ball, catching the suspect and giving him some semi-permanent housing at the Benton County Jail.  

CHEERS for the Corvallis City Council. No, they did not solve the homeless issue. No they did not stop the posting and sweeping away of the people who are without houses in town. They did admit that their solution isn’t enough, then voted unanimously to find a way to store homeless peoples’ belongings. It’s a start, right?  

EXTRA CHEERS for Councilmembers Charles Maughan and Charlyn Ellis for standing up for the homeless and voting to stop the homeless camp sweeps. It’s too bad that they were outvoted by Councilors Napack, Lytle, Shepard, Chaplen, Shaffer, and Struthers. [Ed Junkins must be swiping his forehead with his hand at his near miss of leaving before there was feces flying through mechanized cooling technology.]  

And now, JEERS to the Corvallis City Council. They are going to continue sweeps – totally jeerworthy. They are begrudgingly agreeing to accept the court decision of Martin vs. Boise which says that unless you can offer someone an option other than being on the street, then you have to leave them alone – jeerable because they had no choice but to accept it. And then… THEN… they rejected the motion to form a working group to work on shelter for the homeless… Two steps forward and three steps back again… yay team.  

In other Council news, the annexation of 118 acres to build housing moved slowly forward. Some Advocaters are waiting with BATED BREATH to see if that housing makes it out of committee and into reality before we all have to jeer-or-cheer from the grave.  

CHEERS for the Oregon State University return to live theater. Granted, we have to wait until August 5, but it will be so very worth it to see the young’uns taking to the Memorial Union Quad and performing the Bard’s own Comedy of Errors. Things might be getting back to a level of normal that might actually feel… well, normal  

JEERS to this stupid rassin frassin goll durned ornery virus and the variants spreading far and wide. Firefighters on the Bootleg fire are testing positive. Another 539 Oregonians have tested positive and one has died. The Spruce Point Memory Care Center has come down with another wave down in Florence. The Benton County case count has reached 3,231 as of last week. Could someone call the gods and tell them “uncle” already!   

CHEERS for Idaho for being able to do something Oregon could not. A jury found Ammon Bundy guilty. Despite the fact that he was only sentenced to three days in jail, 48 hours of community service, a $750 fine, and a good talkin’ to by the judge, they still beat us in actually getting something on the Bundy record.  JEERS to the fact that Bundy is still a candidate for governor. We await with BATED BREATH to see if he wins.