Serving Springfield, Creswell, Cottage Grove and Pleasant Hill with hyper-local news and information.
Community September 23
‘So humble and lucky’
Friends and neighbors, it is a calamity of an immensity our county has never seen. Yes, we have had powerful wind storms, heavy snow storms and major flooding happens every decade or so. The Holiday Farm Fire has forced us all to face a new reality of loss.
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Community September 25
Practical advice for fire safety; Mt. Firestone was epic blaze
There has been a great deal written and spoken about what an enemy fire can be. It can be our best friend or worst enemy. Coming into the fall season, we should think about our appliances, smoke alarms, extension cords, and electrical appliances. Evenings will start to chill and many space heaters will come out. More modern heaters are designed, if they tip over, to shut off. But there are many older types out there, that if tipped over, can start a fire. Be careful where you place space heaters. Keep them away from draperies, cloth furniture, curtains, etc.
Chinese Astrology September 25
Tiger concerned about nature and wildlife
We will soon begin profiling local public figures occasionally in this column, getting to know the wonderful people who serve our communities by discussing their lunar signs. I had planned to begin this week by profiling Cottage Grove Mayor Jeff Gowing; however, I’ll save Mayor Gowing’s profile for a future column and use this week’s column to answer a reader’s question about her young daughter’s reaction to the recent fires and loss of wildlife and nature.
Opinion September 25
Springfield council should use transparent, public process to choose mayor
Springfield was surprised to learn Aug. 15 that Christine Lundberg had resigned as mayor after 10 years of service. Residents were also surprised to learn that they will not have the opportunity to vote on who will succeed her. According to Section 20 of Springfield’s city charter, the vacancy will be filled by appointment voted on by the Springfield City Council until a special election can be held. The next special election is allowed during the next general election, which will be November 2022.
Education Station September 24
Music is the point at The Shedd
Ginerva Ralph, director of education at The Shedd Institute, said the best cocktail conversation starter is asking who has taken music lessons and why they stopped. “The stories that come out of that research is wild,” Ralph said, explaining that one person said their teacher would put a tarantula on the piano and others had “horrendous” punishment stories.
Education Station September 24
Coping tips for parents, students
When natural disasters occur, such as the Holiday Farm Fire or other area wildfires, it can be traumatic for children and youth. With that stress – on top of a global pandemic and its impact on students receiving regular education and learning – adolescents might have extreme reactions. Parents should watch out for changes in behavior, experts said, and view any issue as an opportunity to discuss coping mechanisms.
Opinion September 24
Thankful for day of prayer
The "National Day of Prayer & Repentance" event is scheduled Saturday, Sept. 26 in Cottage Grove's Bohemia Park.
Community September 24
Creswell VFW honors POWs/MIAs with ceremony at Post
The POW/MIA Recognition Day is commemorated on the third Friday every September to recognize prisoners of war and those missing in action. This past Friday, Sept. 18, Creswell VFW members posted U.S. Flags in downtown and held a small ceremony at the Post that evening. The Veterans of Foreign Wars emphasizes the importance of honoring and remembering the more than 140,000 former American prisoners of war and nearly 82,000 service members who still remain missing and unaccounted-for over the past century.
News September 24
Wooten back; SLFD board meets after 3-month break
The South Lane Fire District board of directors met last Thursday, Sept. 17, for the first time since mid-June, with Chief John Wooten in attendance, who said that he’s been medically cleared to return to limited duty. The board also handled a contractual item, made personnel moves, and voted to change how it announces public meetings.
Opinion September 24
Blatherers, snake handlers, and the reptilian brain
There are a lot of angry people around. I understand that there have been severe stressors in the past year, from COVID-19 to wildfires to political debates – but all the anger isn’t helping anything. The angriest people I know follow the “News,” whether on TV, the internet, radio or print. The news is where anger-peddlers live. There are literally millions of people in the world whose PAID JOB is to make us angry. Most claim to be looking out for our interests; some claim they’re informing or protecting us from others; still others blather about blather, while yet others blather about the nature of blather itself.
Community September 23
Wilde talks justice at Roundtable
State Rep. Marty Wilde discussed social justice and law enforcement issues – among other topics related to District 11 – during a Candidate Business Roundtable, co-hosted by the Government Issues and Economic Development Committees and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Wilde was the first candidate to address local business owners in the roundtable sessions, held virtually every Tuesday from 8-9 a.m. through Oct. 27.
Community September 23
Open houses, open hearts
There were mixed emotions at the Cottage Village’s Open House last Friday. The ceremony was a celebration, a housewarming, and dedication all at once for nine tiny homes, completed and ready for residents at the East Madison Avenue village site. There was concern expressed that while new Cottage Villagers were overcoming tremendous obstacles and achieving stable housing, this event was occurring against a backdrop of Lane County residents who lost their homes to the fires that have ravaged the McKenzie River Valley. Smoke from those fires and uncertain conditions caused Cottage Village’s Open House, to be moved to last Friday.
Community September 23
Taking note of losses beyond the wildfires, pandemic
Residents of Lorane, like most people in Oregon, are reeling from the burden that we are all carrying right now. The addition of the devastating wildfires to our COVID-19 concerns have made our load almost unbearable. The worry and fear that we are feeling for our neighbors whose lives and homes are directly impacted was made real to us in the Lorane area when a grassfire was discovered along Lorane Highway toward the top of the Conard Hill (aka Fox Hollow Hill), about three miles north of Gillespie Corners. Fortunately, it was discovered early, the recent strong winds were not present, and our local firefighters contained and extinguished it within a few hours.
News September 23
Springfield businesses discuss sustaining fire-related help
Area business leaders came together with county officials and nonprofits to discuss how to help communities in the aftermath of the Holiday Farm Fire. Local business owners were encouraged to think about long-term support for victims and evacuees, and their specific business could support a broader effort.
FreeObituaries September 23
Sue Rose Smith
June 25, 1931 - Sept. 8, 2020
FreeObituaries September 23
Ayako Arimoto Rieke
January 15, 1944 - Sept. 13, 2020
FreeObituaries September 23
Ronald Dee Gregory
May 7, 1952 - Sept. 14, 2020
FreeObituaries September 23
James S. Locke
Sept. 24, 1928 - Aug. 24, 2020
FreeObituaries September 23
Nancy Joy Clingenpeel
1935 - 2020
South Lane Fire District September 18
South Lane Fire Board meets; Wooten back on job
In its first meeting in nearly three months, Chief John Wooten said he’s been approved by doctors for a return to limited duty.
FreeMcKenzie fires September 17
Weather brings mixed bag for areas hit by wildfires
Rain is coming, and it might bring floods and landslides; air quality remains "very unhealthy"
FreeOpinion September 17
Fires, potential quakes require preparation
At the time of this writing the City of Creswell is engulfed in a blanket of heavy smoke from forest fires to our north and east. There are many large forest fires all across Oregon. These fires have destroyed hundreds of homes and small businesses all across western Oregon leaving many families without homes or businesses to return to.
Public safety September 17
Creswell shooting suspect still at large
The Lane County Sheriff's Office said the suspect, Wesley Fredrick Roy Jr., is armed and dangerous.
Education Station September 17
Creswell approves memo of understanding for distance learning
The Creswell School District and the Creswell Education Association (CEA) reached a memorandum of understanding addressing the state of emergency due to COVID-19, which was presented and approved at the Sept. 9 Creswell school board meeting. Given the short timeline to prepare and implement a comprehensive distance learning model, this agreement will only relate to the distance-learning model and addresses teacher rights, work year, work day and teacher evaluation.
Education Station September 17
Springfield schools turn into rescue centers, Board reiterates commitment to supporting parents, students in need
At the Springfield Public Schools board meeting Sept. 14, Superintendent Todd Hamilton acknowledged the area’s wildfires and SPS’ volunteer efforts to help during the Holiday Farm Fire. He also spoke to the decision to push the start of school to Sept. 21. “Our world turned upside down nearly a week ago,” Hamilton said. “The impact on our community has been tremendous.”
Education Station September 17
TWEEN BOOK CLUB STARTS IN SPRINGFIELD
Springfield Public Library is holding its introductory session for its new Tween Book Club on Wednesday, Sept. 23. This book club will meet once a month and is open to ages nine through 12. The event is virtual and will be held at GoToMeeting, and the link is on the website under calendar and events. Attendees will need a computer with a webcam and microphone enabled. The event will be around 20 to 30 minutes and an introduction for attendees to get to know each other and talk about what they like to read. It’s recommended to bring a recently read book that was enjoyed or an all time favorite book.
Community September 17
Springfield city council favors choosing one of its own for interim mayor
After an hour of deliberation at the Sept. 14 city council work session, the majority of councilors agreed the appointed mayor should come from council ranks, and the discussion will continue on Sept. 28 to give councilors more time to consider the best way to move forward as well as give Councilor Steve Moe — who was absent — an opportunity to voice his opinion. The Council is required to appoint an interim mayor by a majority vote. A successor is elected by the voters at the next general biennial election, which will be November 2022. The council president assumes the duties of mayor and presides over the council meetings until the council appoints an interim mayor.
Community September 17
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Signs across the southern Willamette Valley convey residents’ appreciation for efforts to serve and protect life and property.
Community September 17
Hold on to your hat: Here’s to eating a hot dog in a hurricane
In August 1978, I lived in New York City for the summer. I was visiting with a friend on Long Island when Hurricane Belle bore down on New York. I sped home to the Bronx ahead of the hurricane, and prepared to watch the storm from inside. Then, honoring one of the more defiant creeds of my life to – “Never let good sense get in the way of a bad decision” – I thought, “Why not go against the grain? Why should I hunker down like everyone else from the safety of a brick tower, and instead, experience the storm full on, exposed, rain in the face, wind at my back?”
Community September 17
Painful September: Recent roadtrips brushed against disaster areas
It is sad to look at the news today. The beautiful little town of Detroit is no more. You may remember the storyline of Detroit Lake, and the picture of the lake and boats that accompanied it. So much of that story and the village of Detroit is in ashes. I also mentioned rolling hills and fields in the backcountry of Linn County, and the village of Mill City. It is also severely impacted by the fire. Several weeks ago Linda and I visited Sweet Cheeks Falls and trailhead. This story ran in The Chronicle last week. And a major fire broke out a few days ago in that area. Beautiful country.
Community September 16
Fire has been part of Grove’s history, growth since Kalapuya
Fire is nothing new. It was here before us and it will be here long after we are gone. Taming fire let our ancestors survive and eventually move out of their caves. Locally the original Oregon inhabitants, the Kalapuya, used fire to manage their lands. When the first white settlers entered the Willamette Valley, they marveled at the openness of the oak savannas and wet and dry prairies. It looked much different from what we know now.
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