Opinion & Editorial

Fifty First Names Only – February, 2023

Noel Nash, publisher

My wife and I attended an open house recently in Springfield at the PeaceHealth “Heartfelt House,” part of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon & SW Washington. Steve, a former beat reporter for the Register-Guard who covered UO sports, is on the board and invited us to a breakfast info session. Jessica, the development manager, and Robin, guest services director, walked us through the 2022 Impact Report. Among the highlights:

• The average stay was 12 nights

• Average distance traveled was 150 

• Longest stay of the year: 124 nights 

• More than 169,260 meals served 

• More than 12,300 hours of volunteer service

• 12,069 donations made, totaling $5.5 million

Top reasons for staying at the Heartfelt House include complications at birth, chronic conditions, pediatric surgery,  cancer treatment, and diagnostic testing. There are plenty of ways to support the charity that supports families facing medical hardships. Volunteers can make meals, join a committee, participate in events, donate money or goods, and simply volunteer for all manner of tasks and support. Call 458-221-1385. …

I’ve spoken with Annie at Habitat For Humanity of Central Lane County recently, helping promote the nonprofit’s recent gala, home applications, and its ReStore. … A big thank you to Shawn with Comcast Business for the invitation to an amazing breakfast and networking event at Steelhead Brewery as part of the Emerald Executives Association. Ron, Gary B., Mike, Lindy, Joy, Rocky, and Lori were a few of the people I was able to meet. … 

After two-plus years of pandemic-forced isolation, the Business Network International group has super-charged my business connections. Jason and Dominique of BEST Roofing & Waterproofing were at a recent meeting; Brian, a local carpenter, Jennifer, Daniel of NY Life, Tamera (It’s My Life Kit), and Ben (Brodon Creative Media) were recent visitors.


Erin Tierney-Heggenstaller, executive editor

Super Bowl Sunday was an exceptional day for me this month, but not for the reasons you may think. The Eagles may have been playing the Super Bowl, but that day, I was after the real deal. 

Cascade Raptor Center drew a crowd during its “Superb Owl Day” celebration, where a host of “ambassador” feathered friends got up close and personal with their fans, like Eurasian eagle-owl, Dmitri, whose species is one of the largest in the world. 

With one of the largest ranges of any Eagle-owl, the Euroasian Eagle-owl is found from Portugal, and a small region in North Africa eastward through Europe – along the Mediterranean and in the Scandinavian countries. Dmitri was hatched in human care in St. Louis at the World Bird Sanctuary. He joined the Raptor Center’s education team in 2010 at two months old, and has built up quite the following, even making special appearances at parties and in movies. 


I recently set up shop at Venue 252 in Eugene at the Easterseals Job & Resource Fair to get a feel for what kind of local talent for sales, reporting, and internships is out there that may compliment our team. Brian and Sean were especially accommodating, helpful, and have excellent stories to tell themselves. 

With dozens of booths onsite, while making my rounds, I chatted briefly with Shay, who shared interesting facts about a third-generation, family-owned forest products company, Sierra Pacific Industries and volunteer efforts underway at Goodwill Industries with Holly

I also met Jeanna with Northern Gold, Scott with Brothers Cleaning, Brett with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Jason and Ursula with Catholic Community Services …

After chatting with Camille at Jasper Mountain, I was inspired by her organization’s work in healing severely traumatized children and their families at its facilities in Jasper and Marcola. I passed her information along to our lead reporter, so readers can expect to see a spotlight on the work being done at these facilities in an upcoming edition. …

It was nice to get to know Donovan and Caitlin from WorkSource Oregon, an organization we’ve used to help fill out our team in the past. …

As far as local talent, I chatted with some interesting folks like Magdalena, who recognized Springfield arts columnist Sarina’s byline through her work with the Emerald Arts Center. I also had the pleasure of chatting with Ella about the controversial use of the oxford comma in newspapers and Daniel’s interest in theology through his education at Harvard.


Ryleigh Norgrove, reporter

Every once in a while, the sun pokes its head out to warm up communities across the Southern Willamette Valley – and this month, boy did it! Jon and I walked through Bohemia Park and counted the finches, who were clearly enjoying the sunshine, too. I also met with Cameron, who was kind enough to crack a cold Pepsi with me in the back of the radio station. I was inspired by his commitment to Cottage Grove and love of community. 

The Grove was in full swing celebrating the bard of Scotland Robert Burns – and Stephen’s limited release Jacobite ale was something Amy, Todd and I were big fans of, aye. …

Gail and Jess imparted some local LGBTQ history. Did you know some friends in the Grove were key in preserving voting rights for queer folks? That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. …

Alexander stopped by our Springfield office to talk shop – I was incredibly inspired by his organization’s innovative approach to supporting public health and meeting people (especially teens) where they are at. We talked about hair dye and how to connect with rural voters – two of my favorite topics. What’s better than that? Mike also swung by for a quick cuppa and helped me pull together some background in a pinch – it also gave me a chance to thank him for our nomination to the Springfield Chamber business awards! 


Pierre Weil, reporter

With the high school basketball season in full swing, it’s been great to chat with so many people in the area. At a game in Harrisburg I met Jeremy, a sports journalist in Oregon who has his own media platform. We had communicated on social media before, but never met in person. At the Creswell at Pleasant Hill games late last month I had the pleasure of meeting Laurie and John, parents of Pleasant Hill star Gavin. Also at the games was Nick, a KEZI news and sports reporter/photographer, who often pops into high school games.



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