September 2008


What matters to YOU, matters to me!

Comments from constituents like you are vital for me to effectively do my job representing north Eugene in Salem. Many of the laws and budgets we passed in 2007 and 2008 were directly influenced by suggestions from my constituents. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with me as I prepare for the 2009 Legislative Session.


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If you look for my office at H-288 which appears in my official address, here's what you'll find.
Offices have been re-numbered as well.  If you look for my office at H-288, which appears on my official address, here's what you will find!

At the Capitol


In previous newsletters I've written about the project to refurbish the Capitol building.  The project is ahead of schedule and under budget.  You've probably read or heard stories this summer about the furniture purchased for the "wings" - the areas used by representatives and senators.  If you visited my office last session, you may have noticed that the staff chairs and desks had broken parts, or that the low sofa didn't have much spring left - people joked about needing help to get out of it (not too funny if your knees hurt).  I recently inquired about the age of the furniture that was being replaced.  Sofas: 1976; Chairs: 1975.  In the Chamber, the chairs date back to 1948.  This new furniture has a lifetime guarantee.  If a chair or desk drawer or cabinet door gets cranky, it'll get fixed! 


Rep. Nathanson welcoms attendees to her Health Care Town Hall

I had a great time welcoming our panelists and

guests to my August Town Hall meeting.

In the District


Health Care Town Hall


On August 19, 40 of our neighbors joined together with a panel of professionals and stakeholders from the health care community to discuss health care challenges facing Oregonians.  I was honored to welcome Senator Alan Bates, a family physician from Ashland, to the event.  Sen. Bates co-authored the 2007 Healthy Oregon Act and provided some great perspective from both a legislative and health care provider point of view.  Other members of the panel included Dr. Leo Cytrynbaum, a Eugene physician; Pam Stuver, Lane County public health nurse; Dr. Sarah Hendrickson, Lane County Public Health Officer; and Terry Coplin and Rhonda Busek of the Lane Individual Practice Association.


This was a great meeting.  I truly appreciated the many thoughtful questions.  To ensure that all Oregonians have access to the health care they deserve at affordable prices will take the hard work and the input all citizens from all walks of life, so I would invite you to continue the conversation at the Oregon Health Fund Board's public meeting, September 11 from 6:30-9:00 PM at Lane Community College, Bldg 19, Rooms 103, 104.  This event is part of a series of public meetings held across the state to share details and comment on the draft plan for reforming health care in our state.



Beltline and Delta, Coburg, and River Road interchanges


I'm pressing for SAFETY CHANGES NOW.  In a recent meeting with state and county transportation staff, I urged near-term changes and improvements to increase safety now, including operational, lane, ramp, signal and other methods to reduce the hazard of driving in this corridor.   Here is the Letter to the Editor I submitted to the Register Guard in early August:


To the editor:

The recent crash-induced tie-ups on Beltline spotlight the critical safety problems on Beltline, especially around the intersections with Delta Highway and Coburg Road. It is urgent for Eugene, Lane County and ODOT to collaborate on finding immediate solutions, and not rely on the long-awaited major overhaul to deal with these problems. Such a project will take many years to plan, design, arrange funding, and build, as exemplified by the I-5 flyover project. Meanwhile, the situation is not just inconvenient and frustrating; it is growing ever more dangerous.

It is time to identify interim actions that will improve safety now. I hope the city, county and state will recognize the need to act, and all pitch in to make needed improvements. Meanwhile, planning for the major overhaul should proceed unabated.


Nancy Nathanson


Concern for potential health hazards from industrial activities


In a portion of state House District 13 (north Eugene) residents have been concerned about the potential health hazards from industrial activities, especially the railyard. The Trainsong and lower River Road neighborhoods have been working with local and state officials to examine the current situation and determine possible actions to remove or reduce any potential health risks.


The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) began investigating environmental conditions in the railyard area in 1989.  They have been testing soil, groundwater and air for possible contaminants including oil and grease, creosote, and solvents, and coordinating cleanup of these contaminants.  Most recently, they have overseen a project to install barriers to prevent vapors rising from the ground into a few homes that had been affected. This fall, tests are being done to confirm the presence of vapors, and to determine the effectiveness of vapor barriers to the extent that they are needed.  Results should be available in October, 2008.  For a full report from DEQ see this website:


The Oregon Public Health Division has also been investigating potential public health concerns from industrial activities in the District.  Their information is available at:


Interested residents concerned about environmental and public health issues from the railyard might also be interested in a Citizen Advisory Group established by the City of Eugene (contact Brenda Wilson at 541-682-8441).


Meetings and Visits


Another sampling of activities, meetings or events attended from the past few weeks: Lane County and state transportation planners, home care workers, veterans, AARP, Oregonians for Health Security, River Road Community Association, Oregon Students Association; preserving Oregon history through newspaper digitization.



Other topics I'm working on

  • Expanding services for our veterans and military personnel returning from active duty.
  • Spreading the word about financial help to attend college - for both new and returning students of all ages.
  • Helping manufactured home residents purchase their park when it's put up for sale.
  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities


Personal Note


For the next two weeks my mother will be visiting Steve and me in Eugene from her home in Texas.  We are looking forward to picking blackberries, eating local corn, and enjoying these last days of Oregon's beautiful summer together.


I would like to welcome my new Legislative Assistant Jessica Criser!



 Nancy Nathanson

Nancy Nathanson

State Representative

District 13



Click here to access my legislative webpage



September 2008