Serving Springfield, Creswell, Cottage Grove and Pleasant Hill with hyper-local news and information.



Column: Happiness comes from adapting, seeing positives in life
I was shopping in one of the big-box stores the other day when I passed a lady pushing her cart in the opposite direction. She had a little support dog on a leash and wore a frown on her face.
Letter: Can’t ‘pave the way’ to safety
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From the publisher: The world turns its attention to Creswell
It’s hard to predict when something truly historic might happen, or where. Sometimes, even a small, rural community might touch the white-hot glow of an international spotlight.
Robert's Ramblings: The season of rebirth always lifts my spirits
Fifty first names only
Strange weather contrasts ‘return to normal’ elsewhere
These past couple of weeks were rather strange, weather-wise, even for Oregon. The week before last we actually had our first “short-sleeve weather” days. The 70 degrees were glorious and I was able to get some good weeding done in our big flower bed at the bottom of the hill.
From the Editor's Desk Apr. 28
Fewer hues in this week’s news
Readers may notice this week’s edition of The Chronicle is more monochrome than usual.
Meet Heather Buch: Incumbent for East Lane County Commissioner
Black, white and read all over: Chronicle celebrates expansion, relationships
Column: Pets are invaluable in filling that ‘empty nest’ feeling
FreeColumn Mar. 24
From the Editor: ‘How ya doin’?’ The answer is, ‘We couldn’t be better’
COLUMN Mar. 24
Column: A heavy heart aches for all of Ukraine
Nostalgia Corner: Remembering, missing friends during 86th birthday celebration
By the grace of God, I celebrated my 86th birthday, 46 of those in south Lane County. I was fortunate enough to be invited to my birthday party with about 30 wonderful people who have contributed in one way or another to the betterment and welfare of Creswell and Cottage Grove.
Letters: Covid is ‘merciless;' no place for threats
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Community Feb. 3
Need swells; pandemic pressures food pantries
Hunger pangs in the county are increasing as food prices skyrocket, further straining residents already financially burdened by the pandemic. “The need is greater than ever to get food into the homes of people who need it,” said Emily Ruth, who is the pantry manager for the Rural Organizing Project in Cottage Grove. “So many people have lost work, lost wages, suffered illness and loss with the pandemic … It’s created a double-bind where people have less money than they've had with raising food prices.”
Covid-19 Feb. 3
Covid rules stay in place - Oregon, Lane haven't hit Omicron peak yet
There is some good news, and some not-good news about the Omicron surge that the county is in the midst of grappling with. The good news: The drop in hospitalizations is likely to happen quicker than during the Delta surge in fall 2021. The bad news: We haven’t peaked yet. Hospitalizations are still increasing but are anticipated to peak within the next week to week and a half.
FreeFrom the Editor's Desk Feb. 3
Booster or bust: Third shot may have made all the difference
Six people walk into a room. Three are boosted. Three get sick. Guess which ones are which? Welcome to my month of January.
Opinion Feb. 3
Online comments keeping moderators busy
I’d like everyone who uses social media to take a moment to imagine yourself holding down the voluntary job of moderating a community Facebook page in these volatile times. I was the original administrator of the Lorane, Ore., page. I set it up many years ago because the makeshift email distribution tree Marna Hing and I had been using just wasn’t getting the community news out to enough of our locals.
Opinion Feb. 3
Prospector Park's picnic shelter rescued; The Green shares plans
To balance spending time in the past, reflecting on Cottage Grove’s history, these are some more recent bits of things happening in our town. … If you have taken a run down South River Road recently, you may have noticed a missing landmark. The log and wood shake picnic shelter in Prospector Park next to Dr. Snapp’s House is gone. The structure was built in 1990 by a Boy Scout group directed by Roy Spriggs as a project for his Eagle Scout award. It had provided a picturesque setting for picnics and family gatherings overlooking the Coast Fork. The Prospector’s and Golddiggers Association, rose to the challenge, in 1966, of rescuing the Snapp House from being used as a practice burn for the local fire department and moved it to its current location. The pending construction of Riverview Terrace had threatened to turn it into tinder. The original vision was to create a village of vintage homes and buildings to fill the area around Prospector Park, but greenway restrictions prevented that from happening; however a park was born.
Opinion Feb. 3
‘Parenting Now,’ Chronicle partner
We are thrilled to start offering a monthly parenting column in The Chronicle. Here, we will provide parenting tips, discuss child development, provide fun and enriching activities families can do together, and more!
Community - Cottage Grove Jan. 26
‘Partners’ preserving Grove's history with distinction
One of my great regrets is not spending more time asking my grandparents about our ancestors and also not writing down the names and family stories that I did hear before they were gone.
Jan. 26
Watching sports out west? Nobody has it better
Years ago, whenever Jack Harbaugh was teaching his young sons about life as a football coach, he had a favorite saying that both boys heard hundreds of times, frequently when they were enjoying their lunch, which typically was a PB&J or bologna sandwich. “Who’s got it better than us?”
It's back: 50 first names only
After purchasing The Chronicle on the last day of February 2019, I published a column from March through December of that year that referenced 50 people by first names only. The onset of Covid made meeting people more challenging, and sustaining the column even more so. We bring back this reader favorite thanks to masks, vaccines, and smart advice from public health officials that are all helping mitigate the impact of the pandemic. So let’s go …
Let to the Editor Jan. 19
Letter - Cartographer, climate and puzzles add up!
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A reality check regarding our climate crisis
‘Granted,’ it’s a great idea for Cottage Grove
Main Street revitalization grant could spell success for area businesses
Column: Developer, professor, students building success
A lot has been written about Career Technical Education (CTE) recently, and with good cause. The advantages of CTE are well known.
Column: The people of the world have stepped in it big time
Opinion - Editorial Dec. 8
Letter: Lane County, brace yourself for Omicron surge
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Opinion - Editorial Dec. 8
Column: City loses ‘key component’ in Griesel
Letter: Winter Lights event an example of city, Chamber partnership
Thanksgiving trash? I’ve heard that before
Christmas has many songs and carols that begin playing earlier every year it seems, but Thanksgiving has hardly any musical offerings. One of the very few Thanksgiving songs is Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant Massacree. And by Guthrie’s own admission, it isn’t really about Thanksgiving at all. It’s a long diatribe against absurdity, stupidity, with a passing swipe at the draft and the Vietnam War. The events described in the song (cold, hard facts, actually) really happened but the timing of some of the events were during the Thanksgiving holidays, setting the stage for the song’s association with Turkey day.
Expert advice: Small financial steps today protect tomorrow
In recent weeks, I’ve seen how changes in inflation and interest rates are hitting the budgets of the families and people we meet and have come to know. Eugene saw an increase of 6% on the prices of goods and services between October 2020 and October 2021. Nationally, house prices increased by 18.5% between August 2020 and August 2021, and the low interest rates we’ve grown accustomed to are beginning to creep back up.
Opinion: Mixing business, government can be a recipe for disaster
Swansons’ nature survives the storm
Who are the ones that seem to be able to withstand the darkest of hours? Who are the ones that leave an indelible mark on the pages of history after surviving and overcoming the unfathomable? What is it about these individuals that they are able to pull themselves, and others, up and out of the ashes to live on and fight another day? Are you personally affiliated with such individuals? Well, here in Springfield, we have such an organization led by these types of persons. It is the Swanson Manufacturing Group at 1651 S. F St.
An open letter: It’s time for new blood to pump up the Grove
An open letter from Don Williams, who has provided over 40 years of community service to the Cottage Grove community.
There’s much to celebrate about America on this Veterans Day
Letters: More memories of 34 W. Oregon; KNND fills 'critical role'
Letters: 'Pride of ownership,' 'real news' in community
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From the Publisher: ‘Hyper-local news’ is more than a slogan
"I received more than a few sideways glances when I purchased a weekly print newspaper. And to this day people will say, with great empathy, that 'You’re in such a tough industry.' 'Look what’s happened to print.' 'It’s a shame what’s happened to The Guard.'" ...
Letters: Keep Bi-Mart pharmacy; grateful for local businesses; Clark endorses Stram for mayor
‘The news is out, all over town ...’
"Whenever you are reading this, you can know that it is the worst day of the pandemic for The Chronicle. That’s an ugly truth for many small business owners, who see each passing day as an extension of the 18-month-long-and-counting pandemic, and its effects on their businesses ..."
Letters: Former publisher writes; kudos for coverage; Community Singers back at it
Letters: 'A clear choice' for mayor
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Rotary roar: It happened at The Green ... no lyin’
Commentary: Praying for rain while planning and helping
Letters: Creswell mayor race, misdirected anger
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Guest column: When life gives you a lemonade stand, squeeze it for all it’s worth
FreeLETTER Aug. 26
Letter to the Editor: Healthcare workers plead: ‘We cannot keep fighting this fight’
Letters to the Editor: 'Pledging allegiance,' 'Friendly City black eye' 'Is democracy dead in Creswell?'
Aug. 26
Letters to the Editor: Former Creswell mayors speak up
Letters to the editor: Week of Aug. 5
Opinion Jul. 29
‘Hmm. Did you try the on/off switch?’
It seems as though my time, this past week, has been taken up with being on hold on the phone or trying to figure out why something isn’t working on my computer.
FreeOpinion Jul. 23
Chronicle earns 12 more awards
There are many ways journalists receive feedback on their work, and one is being judged by your industry peers. It’s not so bad, really.
Opinion Jul. 21
Creswell is right place to learn for summer internship
"Hello, I’m a lifelong Fall Creek resident, will be entering my junior year at Lowell High School this fall and will be interning with The Chronicle this summer..."
Opinion Jul. 16
New on the menu: Plenty of patience
I hope everyone was able to enjoy the Fourth of July this past weekend. More importantly, I hope that each of us, regardless of which way we lean on the political spectrum, took the time to really appreciate how blessed we are to live in this wonderful country as we celebrated its birthday.
FreeOpinion Jul. 14
Ignorance, hatred fuel ‘community’ comments
Geno Auriemma is the 11-time national champion coach of the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team. His players are household names to fans. Sue Bird. Maya Moore. Breanna Stewart.
Opinion Jul. 3
Celebrating the independence of the human spirit
There are many celebrations of national unity and independence, literally hundreds of them, the world over. Most stand as moments of remembrance of a day when one country formally broke free from the rule of another.
Opinion Jun. 18
Ex-teacher building on solid foundation
Meet Tim Olguin, educator, affordable housing advocate, homebuilder, and entrepreneur.
Opinion Jun. 17
Newton leading dynamic team at critical time
A year has finally passed since the initial shutdown of our economy, school system, and government offices.
Opinion Jun. 11
Swing-set thrill ride brings back rush of memories
I wrote my column this week from our comfy motel suite in Boardman, Ore., on the Columbia River. My sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Dwight, are across I-84 in a beautiful RV park, situated next to the Boardman Marina and one of the prettiest city parks that I’ve ever seen.
Opinion Jun. 11
Rural refugees: We’re witnessing the loss of jobs, homes, communities
CRESWELL – On May Day, International Workers Day, this year I was traveling by automobile to Iowa. Much of the route was on secondary, two-lane roads.
Opinion Jun. 3
Oh, the outrage! Forget facts and yell louder
The school teacher called, concerned about “the impact on our kids.” Multiple business owners shared concerns regarding the potential near- and long-term effects on their stores.
Opinion May. 28
Reflecting on unity through diversity
For the second year in a row, Memorial Day observances in communities, organizations and even within family groups will look different later this month because of the pandemic.
Opinion May. 27
Locating history: Geocaching at the Old Schoolhouse
Historic Preservationists and Geocachers hunt for treasure. They both hunt for cultural treasure and often they cross paths in their methods. Historic Preservation is a profession and Geocaching is a hobby.
Opinion May. 22
Vaccine delivers normalcy
Last week, Jim and I were ecstatic to hear the announcement from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that our country has reached the point in our continued fight against COVID-19 where all of us who are fully vaccinated will no longer be expected to wear masks or socially distance except in certain situations (i.e. assisted living centers, medical offices and hospitals, on public transportation, etc.) where masks might still be mandated.
Opinion May. 22
Recalling a bellwether event for Schoolhouse
In November 2020, I was contacted by Steve Jones who said that his family was in possession of a bell that may have come from Creswell’s old schoolhouse. It was on their property on Gibson Lane, which was being sold.
Opinion May. 21
Let’s get to work actually speaking and listening to each other on jobs
I am a retired, lifelong construction worker, a man approaching 70. Blue collar to the core, I was and remain a proud member of the working class. I am at an age where the rearview mirror holds more image than the windshield. Perspective we call it.
Opinion May. 12
Foundation saves old schoolhouse
In 1927, the Creswell Civic Improvement Club (CCIC) bought the building on the NW corner of south 2nd and D Streets from the Oregon Baptist Society. The Club had organized in 1913 as an affiliate of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs and needed its own meeting place.
Opinion May. 12
Cultural change requires forward-thinking leaders
Our culture is changing. This idea of culture is not confined to race. The culture of doing business, communication, spiritual services, interacting with our community, requires our ability to adapt, accept and respond to this reality.
FreeCommunity - Creswell May. 5
Treasuring yard sale moments with mom
Opinion Apr. 29
Strong evidence of transformation
During the April 19 City Council meeting on police use-of-force Mayor Sean VanGordon stated, “progress is different than perfection.” Implied in VanGordon’s statement is: 1. Perfection starts with progress. 2. Striving for perfection (excellence) is a worthy and real goal for Springfield. Longtime observers of the Springfield Council will note incredible transformation within just the past few months, with the promise of more change for the better.
Community Apr. 22
Choosing to see beauty around us
Thankfully, almost all of our adult family members have gotten at least their first shot of the COVID vaccine or are planning to do so when eligible. It’s a good feeling to know that we can venture out a bit even though we continue to wear masks and social distance in public.
Opinion Apr. 15
Seeing healthier conversations around mental illness
Over the last year, I’ve been graced with dozens of individuals, parents and grandparents who utilize their uninterrupted hour on my massage table to ponder the changes that have occurred in their lives since COVID first hit U.S. soil just over a year ago. It has given me a snapshot of perspectives and an opportunity to conduct an unofficial survey of the wellbeing of our community’s children, parents and family support systems.
Opinion Apr. 15
Lane Transit District charges ahead with e-buses
Emptying out the notebook … Last week I wrote about the visceral reaction I had to driving an e-car for the first time, and likened it to previous experiences around race cars. While I made a passing reference to the environmental impact of battery-powered vehicles, Lane County Transit District leaders are making a significant commitment with a variety of sustainability initiatives and projects.
Opinion Apr. 8
Holy Week: A reflection on faith and year-round service
We called the past week “Holy Week.” It was the week that preceded Easter weekend and Resurrection Sunday. This is the time Christians celebrate the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem to face His death on the cross for the sins of the world... As I write this article it is Good Friday. This is the day Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate, accused by the religious leaders, scourged, rejected by the religious leaders for the pardon of another criminal, then crucified.
Opinion Apr. 8
An electric, exhilirating glimpse of the future
I was fortunate to spend time close to the NHRA drag racing circuit in my career. Mostly, it was in the 1990s while I was sports editor at the paper in Gainesville, Fla., where the Gatornationals event took place each spring. It was a big event for the community, and we looked forward to covering it. The stars of the sport were always accessible and likeable. John Force. Kenny Bernstein. Joe Amato. “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. Don “The Snake” Prudhomme.
Community Apr. 1
Is that a spring in our step? You bet!
As a weekly columnist for two local newspapers, I have found it difficult in the last year to come up with something to write about each week. Oh ... there have been plenty of national and worldwide things to write about, but trying to write about what’s been happening locally in our community of Lorane has not been easy.
Opinion Mar. 25
Five things I’ve learned at Oregon Farm Bureau
Organic, conventional, biotech, no-tech, small-scale, mid-size, commercial-scale, direct-to-consumer, contract for food processors, international exports – all can be found in Oregon and all have an important, vital place in agriculture. The myth that one type of farming is “good” and another is “bad,” and therefore should be pitted against each other is just plain untrue.
Opinion Mar. 25
The work continues: Advocating for women and girls still vital
The Eugene-Lane branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is 44 members strong, includes members from Cottage Grove, Eugene, Florence, and Springfield, and 5 of those members are students at the University of Oregon; they REALLY embody the “University Women” part of our organization’s name, and we’re thrilled to have them. We also have a member who serves as our liaison with Lane Community College, an equally vital source for higher education in our community.
Opinion Mar. 21
Sometimes, it’s all about getting through February
As I was writing recently, Feb. 28 according to my calendar, it was the last day of winter. I don’t like February. In fact, every year I try to invent a way to cut it from the calendar (apologies to my friends with February birthdays). Science says spring starts on March 21. Astronomers assign season-starting dates by dividing the Earth’s orbit around the sun into four equal segments. It’s a tidy little system contrived for our convenience, but it seems pretty arbitrary, so I figure what’s the harm in jumping ahead a little.
Opinion Mar. 18
‘The League’ offers more than voting aid
Oregon’s first constitution banned slavery while making it illegal for free African Americans to live in the state. A few years later, in 1872, Mary Beatty, an African American woman living in Oregon, joined three other women — Abigail Scott Duniway, Maria Hendee, and M.A. Lambert — in an attempt to vote. And while it would be 1912 before voting rights expanded in Oregon, these early activists brought attention to the campaign known as “women’s suffrage.”
Opinion Mar. 11
Area women’s organization still advocating for equity, support
When #MeToo became a national movement in 2017, it was a milestone in advancing equity for women and girls. So was the push to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. So was the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote, now more than a century ago. But did you know that the Eugene-Lane branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has been pushing for the same things, even longer?
FreeColumn Mar. 11
Almanac section, new voices part of growth
Ideas evolve, and so does The Chronicle. We first introduced the weekly Page 2 Emerald Valley Almanac in January 2020 to forge a direct connection to our agro-readers. The idea was sparked after a conversation with Creswell resident Patrick Mooney, whom I affectionately call “Pinecone Patrick.” He sells Oregon pinecones nationally, by the bushels and by truck loads, as well as green sphagnum moss and natural forest products found only in the Pacific Northwest.