Claude Offenbacher

Reporter

Claude Offenbacher has been a reporter at KLCC since 1999.

Ways to Connect

If you ever doubted the importance of your vote, a would-be Lane Electric director may change your mind.

Lynn Bowers didn’t win her bid to be one of seven directors Monday night at Lane Electric’s annual meeting. She wasn’t even one of the top two vote-getters. 

Lane Electric is a cooperative serving a rural area around Eugene-Springfield. Six candidates vied for Central District director.  Bowers picks up the story:

Bowers: “The top two were Nathan Philips, 257 votes, and Ingrid Kessler at 256.”

A one-vote difference.

Lincoln County Commission  Chairman Terry Thompson was adamant Tuesday the Coast Guard Air Station helicopter operations slated to be moved to North Bend are not going to leave Newport. 

Thompson emerged from a joint meeting with Newport City and Port officials and said:

(Thompson) "We're going to keep pushing.  They're going to take that helicopter out of our hands over our cold dead bodies.  It isn’t going to happen."

sworegonarchitect

With Oregon temperatures getting colder, efforts to find havens  for  Eugene's homeless are heating up.  KLCC's Claude Offenbacher spoke with Community Alliance of Lane County's Michael Carrigan Tuesday.  He asked Carrigan about the role CALC, Nightingale Sanctuary and others are playing to help secure safe places to sleep this winter for a few dozen of the estimated 1700 County people on the streets:

The Eugene City Council this week heard from Carrigan and the Raging Grannies, a social activism group.  They urged the city to lift the ban on homeless camping in City parks. 

Rachel McDonald

Frank Nearing, now 95 years old, served on both the Eugene 4J School Board and the Lane Education Service District Board.  Nearing was also a KLCC news reporter, covering – among other stories – LCC Board meetings.  In the week commemorating the college’s 50th anniversary, Nearing reflects…

commuteorlando.com

The second annual Eugene Cargo Bike Fair and Disaster Relief Trials will be held Saturday at Alton Baker Park. It’s sponsored by the City of Eugene, the University of Oregon, and a host of bike advocates. Emma Stocker of the University’s Emergency Management Team says the event is designed to help demonstrate the capabilities of bikes in disaster situations such as:

Eugene 4j teachers ratified a tentative three-year contract Monday night.  It now goes to the 4j School Board for final approval.  Mary Walston, a past board chair and bargaining team member, says the Board will vote on the contract at its October 15th meeting:

Walston:  "It includes a modest increase for staff in terms of cost-of-living and step increases.  They'll be some health benefit increases in the second and third year."

Eugene 4J’s River Road/El Camino del Rio Elementary School is being replaced.    On Thursday, community members may view potential designs for the school.  The District intends to build on the same property while the current school is kept open, says 4J spokeswoman Kerry Delf:

Delf:  "The River Road Elementary School is on a piece of property that has space to the west and space to the east. So one of the decisions that has yet to be made is the precise   location of where the new building will be”

hansen-auction.com

If you need a car – perhaps a Ford Crown Victoria – a motorcycle, a guitar or even clothes, Lane County has an opportunity for you.

It’s the County’s annual on-line sealed bid auction of hundreds of surplus items.  The auction, heavy on vehicles and equipment, will be held on-line September 25th through 27th.

Items may be viewed at the Lane County Fleet Services Building Thursday and Friday from 8 to 5, and Saturday, 8 to 3.

More information available by clicking on “2014 Fleet Auction” on the Lane County home page.

Rachel McDonald

The Euphoria Chocolate Company of Eugene was founded in 1980 by Bob Bury and his wife, Sue Subbot.  They're retiring, having just sold the business to Van Glass, a software executive, and his wife, Bonnie.   Bob and Van, seller and buyer, joined us to discuss Euphoria...and all things chocolate.

Postcards should arrive this week in nearly one million Oregon mailboxes.  They’re promoting a higher turnout in November’s election.  But they’re not being sent in support of a political party or candidate.  

Lane County spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis says the postcards will come from the Secretary of State’s office.  They’ll contain instructions on how to register to vote:

Levis:  “It’s a statewide effort to people who, through multiple different data bases, seem as if they’re not a registered voter and try to get them to register and be able to vote.”

KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher speaks with Dr. Hertica Martin.  She’s in her second year as superintendent of the Springfield Public Schools.

Corinne Boyer

The Eugene City Council pressed the pause button Monday night on taking down City Hall. 

The bodies of three family members were retrieved Tuesday from Hagg Lake west of Portland. They were relatives of a 3-year-old boy who died Monday after being taken unconscious from the lake.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Bob Ray says the Hillsboro family members were found about 25 yards from where the boy’s body was found. They included his mother, grandmother, and the boy’s 13-year-old uncle.  

The victims were not wearing life jackets, Ray says. There was no evidence of foul play.  Sergeant Ray says the investigation is ongoing.

Joby Patterson of Eugene is an art historian. She has studied fine art prints for more than three decades, and recently taught the history of printmaking at the U. of O.  Patterson has just produced a book on the life and works of 20th century printmaker Norma Bassett Hall. It's called "Chipping the Block, Painting the Silk."  She joined KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher to discuss her book, as well as her role as curator of more than sixty prints by Hall at the U. of O.'s  Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art opening Saturday.

Although the Eugene Celebration isn't happening this year, there will be a parade. There's also a celebration concert Saturday evening as part of the festivities.

waynemorsecenter.uoregon.edu

I'm Claude Offenbacher, and this is "A Piece of My Mind."

Fifty years ago this month, Democrat Wayne Morse of Oregon took a courageous stand.  He was one of only two Senators to oppose President Johnson's request to use military force in Vietnam.

Senator Morse stood apart from his colleagues on a measure President Johnson said was an essential response to Communist aggression in Southeast Asia.

tonyortega.org

Jan Easton is the Operations Manager at the Shedd Institute in Eugene.  He takes care of the building and assists in overseeing the performances.  But the favorite part of his job is transporting and meeting the artists. In January 12, 2013, that performer was Robin Williams.

www.oregonlive.com

Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler, the state’s banker, was in Eugene Tuesday.  In his first full term, the 51-year-old Democrat leads the bipartisan Retirement Savings Task Force studying how to improve retirement savings options for Oregonians.  Before presiding over the first in a statewide series of conversations on the topic, Wheeler stopped by the KLCC studios and spoke with KLCC's Claude Offenbacher.

OSU-Cascades, the Oregon State University campus in Bend, has taken another step toward becoming a four-year university. Currently, it offers only upper division courses.  Some 46 acres could be added to the campus following a tentative approval given to the purchase of a former pumice mine.   A study by Carlson Geotechnical found no areas of significant instability while citing the need for improvements to the site.

University of Oregon

Even though a new Eugene City Hall is now in preliminary design phase, some Eugenians still have reservations.  Among these is architect Jerry Diethelm. Although having no direct involvement with the project, he thinks the proposed city hall is the wrong building in the wrong place.  He’s asked how his city hall vision differs from that of the City Council.  On July 18, John Rowell of Rowell-Brokaw architects, a principal designer of the new Eugene City Hall, was on KLCC discussing his firm’s plans.  That interview can be heard below this story.

sworegonarchitect

Betty Taylor, at age 88, is the senior member in age and service on the Eugene City Council.  She’s represented the City’s Ward 2 since 1997. Of the Council’s eight members,  she’s the only one advocating retention and remodeling of the current City Hall, even as the Council seems to have moved on by approving design work on a new building.       Tuesday, KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher asked her why she remains the lone holdout:

Taylor: “I agree that it’s already out of the barn, but I still think it was the wrong decision, and that’s what I’ll say if I’m asked.”

National Geographic

A fox found near a residence in Junction City has tested positive for rabies. It’s the first confirmed Oregon case of an animal with the disease this year.  Lane County Public Health says this is the first report of a rabid fox in Lane County since the 1960’s. The animal was tested and confirmed for rabies at the O-S-U Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Corvallis. Rabies, endemic in the bat population, is only rarely seen in foxes, especially in the U.S. It’s a viral disease, carried in the saliva of an infected animal, transmitted when the animal bites.

lanavaughan.com

I’m Claude Offenbacher with "A Piece of My Mind"

My wife and I travel the trails of lower Mount Pisgah.  We hike them clockwise.  But recently, by way of a change, we reversed course and walked them counter-clockwise.  Demanding uphills became casual downhills; downhills were now uphills.  The trails hadn’t changed -- only how we chose to approach them. 

Each day engages us in countless choices. Most are routine.  We resolve them with little conscious thought. 

aliedwards.com

The Lane County Fair opens today at the Eugene fairgrounds and runs through Sunday.  It’s all about finding your thrill, your groove, your cuteness, and the goofy in you. We know because the fair’s website, atthefair.com, tells us so.  To learn more about the fair and all the things you’ll find there,  KLCC’S Claude Offenbacher speaks with Assistant Fair Manager Rachel Bivens:

Rachel McDonald

The latest design for a proposed new Eugene City Hall was unveiled Monday at  a City Council work session by Rowell Brokaw Architects of Eugene and the Miller Hall Partnership of Seattle. The building would be constructed on the site of the existing city hall, closed nearly two years ago. John Rowell, a principal architect in the Eugene firm, and Project Manager Kaarin Knudson discuss the new municipal center.

www.oregonlive.com

State Representative Phil Barnhart serves Oregon House District 11 in Salem.  A Democrat, he's been in Salem since 2001.  His constituents are in Central Lane and Linn counties, including parts of Eugene and Springfield.  Barnhart is hosting three issue town halls in Eugene this summer.  They deal respectively with pathways to prosperity, education funding and global warming and jobs:

Pathways to Prosperity: "Growing Middle Class Jobs" (with Sec. of  State Kate Brown, Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy) Monday, July 21, 6:00-7:30 p.m., Eugene Public Library.

Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center

Independence Day can be a traumatic time for pets.  Kelly Darnell has her own story about her pet dog, Sandy:

Darnell:  “Every Fourth of July she would be in the bathtub.”

Kelly Darnell is Eugene’s Interim Animal Services Manager.  She says when fuses are about to be lit, before your pet’s exposed to the rocket’s red glare – and blare – put them inside and…

“turn on the TV, turn in on a fan, so they can’t hear it as much.  If they have a fear of fireworks, certainly not taking them to fireworks.”

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Lane Transit District and the Amalgamated Transit Union reached agreement on a three-year labor pact hours before its existing contract expired. 

The new contract was arrived at just in time to meet the current contract’s July first expiration.  It grants annual cost of living increases of two, two point 75, and 3 point 35 percent respectively through 2017. 

L-T-D’s  Andy Verbora says its labor negotiations have come a long way from 2005, when the union went on strike:

www.motorweek.org

Here’s a piece of my mind I call  “Car Squawk,” three small complaints from behind the wheel of my 2010 Honda Fit in Eugene.  Maybe this will resonate with you.

First, it’s hard to avoid playing bumper cars as I park in the city garage closest to KLCC. I contort my body out after squeezing into a tortuously narrow space made narrower by an adjacent
intruding truck.  

Squawk number two:  I’m behind a driver stopped at a red light.  He’s clueless he can now legally turn left onto an empty one-way street. 

democracynow.org

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of “Freedom Summer,” a campaign to encourage African-Americans in the South to assert their right to vote. Many volunteers who took part were beaten and arrested, and four civil rights workers killed. Together with thousands of black Mississippians, more than one thousand volunteers participated in the 1964 crusade.  They included Ruth Koenig of  Eugene.

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