Opinion & Editorial

Fifty First Names Only: August 

Noel Nash, publisher 

I had an opportunity to participate in a mock interview event as part of the Lane County CPT program. It was hosted at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce on Main St. Garrett, who runs Summer Jobs Program, organized the event in partnership with Paige at the  Chamber. About 20 local business leaders sat at long tables as students rotated through every 20 minutes at a time. Shamra and Ethan were among the interviewers. I was able to speak with Zander, Ale, Christian, Donovan, and Icarus – all students or young professionals already early in their careers in some cases. …

Our high school fall sports special section provided an opportunity to meet and collaborate with several people through the past month. Jason at Prime Time Sports Bar & Grill sponsored the main section of the Fall Sports Preview edition. Pregame or postgame, Prime Time is a comfortable place for locals to gather and socialize. 

Stephanie of Olsson Industrial Electric was super helpful with the support provided by a local stalwart. Besides OIE, HuddleUp.org and the Springfield Drifters Baseball Club helped sponsor our Fall Sports Preview section. 

Kaya was working at the front desk and therapist Jim gave us an overview of Therapeutic Associates in Creswell. I also chatted with Shainti at Wynant’s, who later passed me along to her boss, Lindsay. Similarly, I chatted with Kaylie at Simply self-storage, and she also pointed me to her boss, Krystal.

In between the smoky days, we also had plenty of good weather in the past few weeks. I cruised around the area and popped into a few businesses to say hi. Linda at the Paramount Center runs a few of the shops there, including one offering vintage clothes and another with plenty of sugary treats. All-American Pet Supplies jumped out at me as I was driving through the shopping center on Pioneer Parkway. I had emailed Richie earlier in the week and decided to go in and say “hi” in person. We ended up chatting for more than 30 minutes. He mentioned that he was in Lane Leaders – a business networking organization – and I had just spoken to another member the previous day, Brian of Aegis Asphalt and Construction. 

The Chronicle turns 114 years old in September, and one of our favorite pastimes is looking through our archives. We have decades of hard copy, bound volumes, and more recently fully digitized copies of the paper and photos. I spoke with Alex of newspapers.com, the world’s largest online newspaper archives. The Chronicle is partnering with the archival site and the UO Library to digitize our entire history. There are gaps unfortunately, but plenty remains. More to come on this exciting development.

More big newspaper industry-related news: Ken, a bit of a legend in the industry who wrote the journalism column Newsonomics for the Nieman Journalism Lab and is the author of “Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get.” He also runs the book’s companion website, newsonomics.com. We chatted recently and shared community newspaper thoughts.  … I also interviewed Molly for an upcoming column on nutrition. 

We’ve all been working with Ben on the Springfield BLOCK Party; it’s no small feat that he gained approval to close downtown Main Street to vehicular traffic. Trak Powersports on Franklin Blvd. has a huge showroom. Dirt bikes, street bikes, and ATVs are the most popular items, in that order, Jason said. … Emily at the Banner Bank on the corner of 7th and Main in downtown Springfield couldn’t have been more polite when I stopped in last week. And it was great catching up with Katrina, a Creswell resident who works in Springfield.

I met Jewel at a yard sale in Creswell on a beautiful Friday afternoon, finally met Michael  – the husband of a friend and business partner, and Rebecca, a new subscriber.

Erin Tierney-Heggenstaller, executive editor

Had a great chat with Dean recently, a longtime educator and a decades-long major force in the newspaper industry. Try as he might, at 94 years old, he still cannot separate himself from the journalism biz – a tenacity that all who appreciate quality journalism can admire. 

I know I do. 

During our conversation, he also mentioned the good work and bright future ahead for Lydia, who was our high school summer intern in 2021. A recent Lowell High School graduate, she still continues to pump out articles for the Highway 58 Herald and has been accepted into the prestigious Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern in Illinois. We still have the senior portrait hanging up in the newsroom that she sent us, and look forward to following her career as she develops. 

Speaking of higher ed, beloved former Chronicle reporter Ryleigh passed through town after her summer stint in Alaska, en route to graduate j-school at New York University. It was excellent to reconnect, catch up, and look ahead with her. She sends her love to our readers. 

When I’m not in the newsroom, I’ve been enjoying my home life. I have been so pleased with my living situation since moving to Springfield. I have quiet, friendly exchanges with my neighbor across the street. I brought her a tin of chocolate for Christmas, she one-upped me and brought over sticky buns promptly after. I leave a vase of hand cut flowers from my Shasta daisies growing in my front yard, she brings me a blooming yellow tulip that she was also planting in her yard. 

I think of how lucky I am to have found a home here every time I walk out my front door and see my lily in a planter and Bridget’s lillys across the way in her front yard, too. 

Subtle reminders can be great motivators and mood-changers. Small acts like that remind me of the good in living in a neighborhood, of the good in all the people you barely know. 

Amanda Lurey, reporter

This last month has been busy in the best way possible. Hectic may be a better word, but I like being kept on my toes and always know to expect the unexpected.

I have had the privilege of writing a handful of business spotlights and profiles, which I absolutely love since I’m such an extrovert. I connected with these five people and appreciate them welcoming me into their lives and trusting me to do their stories justice.

Julie is an absolute go-getter who I really admire for her work on keeping Springfield clean. Kate is a talented and kind-hearted businesswoman who has a positive attitude, and I know her work is just starting in Creswell. Josh let me play with his dog! He’s also a passionate and selfless man, but what can I say, his dog wiggled his way into my heart. Without Holly and Brian, I would still think beavers were the size of nutria. On a serious note, without those two I would not have been able to truly let myself slow down and remember how beautiful Oregon is – even just for an evening.

I’ve also stayed consistent on the hard news side of things, continuing to learn what makes Springfield, Creswell, and Cottage Grove tick. Thanks to Michelle, I’m starting to get to know Creswell a lot better, so stay tuned for some Creswell-focused reporting that’s in the works.

What I love about being a journalist is connecting with people, and lucky for me that means reconnecting with people sometimes. I met Allie a couple years ago when I was volunteering for Girls on the Run, and now that I’ve begun covering Springfield for The Chronicle, I have been able to get back in touch with her – this time about economic development, not little girls playing friendship freeze tag.

Pierre Weil, reporter

You’ll notice this week’s edition is significantly more dense than usual. That’s because of our special fall sports preview sections. I got out to quite a few practices and scrimmages to chat with a few new folks to our area teams, and a few returners.

First up was Pleasant Hill’s volleyball trio of head coach Jessica and star juniors Claire and Cheyenne. Then I headed down to Cottage Grove for their annual Meet the Lions event, where I met new football head coach Steve.

On Friday, I went to both Thurston and Springfield to chat about their football programs. I had the pleasure of interviewing Luke at Thurston, who will be a key player for the Colts this season.

At Springfield I had an extensive and pleasant talk with new head coach Frank – formerly Marist’s HC – as well as star transfer offensive lineman Sam, who came over from Marist as well.

My final stop for the fall sports preview section was Springfield’s girls soccer practice. I interviewed their new coach Alyssa, a former Duck soccer player who is head coaching for the first time.



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