Archive | July, 2013

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Oregon’s Harry Lane Resisted Nation’s Rush Into First World War Offbeat Oregon History

Posted on 22 July 2013 by admin

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By Finn J.D. John
Many historians, when asked to cite the single biggest and most far-reaching government misstep in American history, will immediately start talking about the First World War.  By getting involved with that conflict — subtly at first, by lending money to the Allies, and later directly with American boots on French soil — we made it possible for one side to crush the other and impose its will, rather than simply fighting to an impasse and being forced to negotiate peace. The world is still trying to recover from the aftershocks of that — particularly in the Middle East.
Such historians smile a bit when the topic of Oregon Senator Harry Lane comes up. Lane was one of a tiny handful of federal legislators who, for reasons of principle or partisanship, fought as hard as they could to prevent President Woodrow Wilson from taking the country into the fight.
It’s a small smile, though, because Lane paid a heavy price for that.
Harry Lane was a well-known and respected Oregon politician, a medical doctor by profession, born in Corvallis, the grandson of the first territorial governor of Oregon. He’d been mayor of Portland just after the turn of the century, and had established a reputation as a man of principle — the worst enemy of the corrupt politicians, cops and shanghai artists that were virtually running the city when he arrived. Although he didn’t leave much of a long-term impact on those forces of corruption, he was able to suppress them during his two terms of office — long enough to put on a spectacular show at the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, at any rate — and today he’s remembered as the father of the Rose Festival.
He also had a strong reputation as a supporter of women’s suffrage and an advocate for more respectful treatment of the remaining Native American tribes in the state.
He was also firmly opposed to any American involvement in the brewing conflict in Europe. And by early 1917, he was growing increasingly alarmed by Wilson’s steps toward war.
Wilson had won re-election just a few months earlier in spite of his party’s underdog status at the time, largely on the strength of the slogan, “He Kept Us Out of War.” The war referred to was primarily one with Mexico — the revolution that made Pancho Villa famous was playing out very messily at the time, and there was a certain pressure for the U.S. to get involved — but, of course, war was war. Senator Lane, from deep inside the Capitol, would have been able to clearly see Wilson’s growing enthusiasm for direct American intervention in the war in Europe. The hypocrisy of running for re-election on a platform of implied commitment to peace while quietly gathering forces to take the nation to war (after the election was safely won, of course) was not lost on him.
So when, two months into his next term and after several months of steady war-drum beating, Wilson asked Congress to let him arm American merchant ships, Lane and a few other like-minded senators (most notably Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin) threatened to stop it with a filibuster. They told the White House they were willing to go along with the plan if one little change were made in it: They wanted those American ships to stop carrying munitions to sell to the Allies. And they wanted that written into the law: Arm the merchant ships, fine — but no more guns and bullets would cross the sea until after peace was achieved.
Well, of course, that was not at all what the White House had in mind. The word that came back surprised nobody: No deal.
So in early March, Lane and his colleagues filibustered — a good old-fashioned talking filibuster, a la Rand Paul or Wendy Davis — and the bill died a-borning.
Wilson was furious. He lashed out at Lane and his colleagues personally, calling them a “little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own” that had “rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible.”
Lane was shocked by the animosity this stand earned him, both in Washington, D.C., and back home in Oregon. Hate-mail started pouring into his office. The Portland Morning Oregonian — a Republican organ at the time, and no friend to Democrat Lane under any circumstances — wrote an editorial that essentially apologized to the nation, on behalf of every Oregon voter, for having sent Lane to Washington. A recall movement was launched, and started growing.
A month later, Wilson got the pretext he needed to take the country to war when a bungling German diplomat named Zimmerman used British undersea cables to telegraph a proposal for an anti-U.S. alliance to the Mexican government. The British, of course, promptly leaked it, and Wilson was soon before Congress asking for a declaration of war.
Lane was, by this time in his life, a very sick man. He had painful chronic kidney disease and advanced heart disease on top of it, and the stress of the hate-storm swirling around him following his filibuster had exacerbated his health problems. His physician urged him to stay home and rest in bed. But Lane was adamant. He would go to the Senate floor and he would vote against entering the war.
And so he did. Just six Senators voted “no,” and he was one of them.
Seven weeks later, on his way home to Oregon, he suffered a paralytic stroke and died.
The Oregon Journal, upon his death, may have wanted to eulogize the intransigent pacifist — but a month and a half into the war, an increasingly pro-war public was in no mood for anything like that. So the paper contented itself with a short and poignant message:

“He paid for his choice with his life.”

And perhaps he did. The stress of all the animosity his principled stand earned him weighed heavily on him, according to his friends’ recollections. It may not have actually killed him, but most of them thought it did.
Sometimes history’s heroes are neither successful nor survivors. Sometimes they’re the men and women who take up lost causes because their ethics leave them no choice. Like the ship captain who refuses to “fall into the lifeboat,” they’re forced to choose between being destroyed and doing what they can to oppose a rising tide of evil. Such a man was Harry Lane, and Oregon should be very proud to claim him.

(Sources: MacColl, E. Kimbark, “The Growth of a City,” Portland: Georgian Press, 1976; Marsh, Tom, “To the Promised Land,” Corvallis: OSU Press, 2012; Fleming, Thomas J., “The Illusion of Victory,” New York: Basic Books, 2003)

Finn J.D. John is an instructor at Oregon State University and the author of “Wicked Portland,” a book about the dark side of Oregon’s metropolis in the 1890s. He produces a daily podcast, reading archives from this column, at ofor.us/p . To contact him or suggest a topic: finn@offbeatoregon.com, @OffbeatOregon (on Twitter), or 541-357-2222.

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2013 Award Habitat

Tri-County Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting: “A delightful evening with friendly folks and a classy meal”

Posted on 22 July 2013 by admin

2013 Award Habitat
JUNCTION CITY – The annual meeting of the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce on July 18 was a delightful evening with friendly folks and a classy meal. Board Director Robin Priszner welcomed the attendees at the dinner that was held at Shadow Hills Country Club.
Barb Shipley, the out-going Chamber president, started the evening’s events by thanking out-going board members Jamie Hooper and Bruce Cleeton and welcoming new board members Paul Cantor and Michele Eldridge.
Shipley awarded the Organization of the Year plaque to Habitat for Humanity Youth United. Youth United member Alyssa Watters accepted the award for the group, which fund-raises for Habitat for Humanity and helps with community projects.
Owner Shawn Davis accepted the Small Business of the Year award to Davis Cabinets. Loren Later and Paul Cantor represented Knife River, recipient of the award for Large Business of the Year. Later is Vice President Prestress Operations for Knife River at the Harrisburg plant.
The Tri-County Chamber of Commerce represents businesses and organizations in Harrisburg, Junction City and Monroe. The Chamber works to promote the economic growth of our region.
The next meeting of the Chamber is their monthly Networking Breakfast, Wednesday, August 21, at 7am at the Moose Lodge. This event is open to the public and is a great way to meet local businesspeople and organization representatives. Call the Chamber, 541-998-6154, for more information or to reserve your spot.

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Lane County Sheriff’s Office and LCC Join to Make Use of LCSO Helicopter

Posted on 22 July 2013 by admin

HelicopterLandingClosertoGroundLANE COUNTY – In an effort to keep the LCSO helicopter flight ready and to preserve the value of the asset, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office and Lane Community College have agreed to store the helicopter, bring it back to FAA standards for flight, and use it as a training aid for LCC students. The agreement is a “win/win” for both LCC and LCSO.
The LCSO helicopter has not been used in LCSO operations since budget reductions in 2012. Market conditions for the sale of like aircraft have made its sale unfeasible. Without funding for use and regular maintenance, the aircraft was stored in a non-insulated hanger and was not regularly inspected. As a result the aircraft’s certifications lapsed; and it was no longer approved by the FAA for flight. It was essentially mothballed and in a status which could significantly degrade its value.
Earlier this year LCC and LCSO agreed to keep the aircraft at the LCC aircraft-training department and protect this valuable asset. LCC now stores the helicopter in an insulated and heated facility and provides routine maintenance and periodic FAA required inspections that are performed by or under the direct supervision of faculty members who are authorized by the FAA as Authorized Aircraft Inspectors. It is again flight ready but lack of LCSO funding prohibits its use for LCSO operations. Since it was taken to LCC, students have had the opportunity to develop hands-on experience with a light turbine aircraft representative of those in use around the world. LCSO has saved the costs of storage and maintenance of the aircraft. Although LCSO does not have current funding to operate the helicopter for law enforcement use, it does have certified pilots should the aircraft be funded and required in future operations.
Jim Hunt, the Chief Pilot for LCSO, is an FAA certified flight instructor and volunteers his time for this cause. Hunt is another one of LCSO’s hundreds of volunteers who donates his time to LCSO and the citizens of Lane County.

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Booths, Booths, Booths Scandi Fest Hosts New Vendors And Old Favorites

Posted on 22 July 2013 by admin

SONY DSCBy Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – Just days away, the Scandinavian Festival on August 8-11 will be hosting a breathtaking number of culturally enhanced booths and events this year. Scandinavian Festival Association vendor chairperson Jessica Peterson was contacted for an update on this year’s vendors.
New food vendors at festival include St. Paul Church of Eugene, “who will be doing pies, bratwursts and sweet potato fries along with a Lingonberry Ketchup,” Peterson said, lingonberries being a Scandinavian favorite. JC restaurant ‘Boss Hawgs BBQ’ located across the street from Safeway will provide food for the festival beer gardens.
New craft vendors include ‘Goldenwood Soap,’ who’ll feature homemade soap from goat milk, and ‘Simplistic Designs’ with copper jewelry on display.
“Two vendors that are returning this year after a leave of absence are ‘Danish Ice’, doing shaved ice, and ‘The Crooked Woman,’ making Viking rune jewelry,” Peterson said.
Veteran vendors with new additions this year feature the ‘Daughters of Norway’ from JC who have added the following new items to their booth: aebleskiver mix, soup mixes and traditional breads. The community booth and art association, made up of local people, have also added new members with new items at their festival location.
A rundown of festival vendors this year estimates 90 vendors, with about a third having local origins. Sixty percent will be craft vendors, with food making up the other 40 percent.
A large number of local nonprofit groups also participate in festival, making the Scandinavian Festival a big fundraiser. Participating groups include churches, scout troops, and benevolent organizations like the Rotary, Soroptimist, Daughters of Norway and the Danish Brotherhood. “The festival has always been a great fundraiser in this way,” Peterson said.
The festival also supports other groups like youth groups and high school teams by assigning them to festival chores like street sweeping, emptying garbage cans, cleaning bathrooms and running sound. “This allows them to earn money by working at festival even if their group isn‘t able to run a vendor booth,” Peterson said.
Also new this year, the Festival Membership Committee is starting a series of four pins, one for each of the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. This year’s pin will highlight Sweden with the traditional Swedish Dala Horse figured prominently on the pin and the Swedish flag hanging from the bottom. SFA members can pick up their pins at the Windmill.
Stop by the Windmill information booth to pick up a program schedule for entertainment/vendors and to show local support by becoming a member of the Scandinavian Festival Association.

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Supporting Local Education: School District Considers Timing Of Bond Measure

Posted on 22 July 2013 by admin

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By Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – The JC School District (JCSD) Board of Directors held a special work session on July 11 to discuss the timing of a bond measure with emphasis on district voters’ likelihood to support the measure.
The bond measure targets JCSD facilities including top five priority improvements: replacement of Laurel Elementary; security/communication infrastructure improvements at all schools; high school grandstand/field lighting replacements; heating/cooling system upgrades at Territorial and Oaklea; and high school heating/cooling improvements.
The measure would support a $32 million bond raising property taxes about $2 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Presently, the District is at the very bottom of the list for property tax rates, relative to all Lane County districts and others in the state. Compared with other Lane County school districts, JCSD would rise to the middle of the list for property tax rates if the bond meassure passes.
District secretary Stephanie White opened up the discussion at the work session explaining the differences between general and special elections. She said that general elections are held in May and November, while special elections are in March and September.
“Odd numbered years, the year we are currently in, are considered nonelection years,” White said, with fewer items on the ballot and possibly a higher cost. “The good news is the double majority requirement was repealed in 2009 for elections held in May and November.” (A 50 percent voter turn out is required for a measure to pass if a double majority is required, even if more than half the voters vote for a measure.)
During an election year in May or November, the cost for the election is split between all the jurisdictions participating, so the cost is considerably lower. In a nonelection year, the cost could be greater to the district, depending on the number of other participating districts.
“The estimated cost for an election, should only one jurisdiction file for a measure, is about $3 per registered voter,” White said referring to a November 2013 election.
Worst-case scenario, with 7,348 registered voters within the JCSD boundaries today, the District alone would pay about $22,000 this year to bring the measure forward for a vote, unless other districts file to split the cost. So far, there’s talk that Springfield may file this year, which would considerably reduce the cost to the District.
Superintendent Kathleen Rodden-Nord proceeded to explain the pros and cons for both election and nonelection years.
The pros for an election during a November 2013 nonelection year are that favorable market conditions exist right now that may be less likely to exist in May. Also, parents, staff and the community may be more positive and energized in the beginning of a school year than at the closing of a school year.
Also in a nonelection year, Rodden-Nord said, “There is a potential for us to impact which voters turn out,” and less time for opposition to organize, should any exist.
Cons to a November election include the expense to the district, which decreases if other districts participate. Also, little time exists to prepare a measure this summer to meet a filing date of 61 days before the election.
The pros for an election in the May 2014 election year are that it would be less costly to the district and give the district more time to campaign with probably a greater voter turn out.
Cons in May are the reverse of November: possibly less favorable market conditions, folks are less energized in May about school than in November, it’s more challenging to get the right voters to vote, and opposition may have more time to organize.
“Putting this on hold again makes us look slightly indecisive,” board member Randy Trummer said in favor of a November ballot measure.
“The need is pretty great as we see it,” board member Tony Ceniga said, with the additional cost not outweighing the need.
The board arrived at a unanimous consensus to put a measure on the November 2013 ballot in support of JC School District facilities; official board action will be taken at the Aug. 26 board meeting.

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Foot, Bike Or Automobile: City Requests Input On Future Transportation Needs

Foot, Bike Or Automobile: City Requests Input On Future Transportation Needs

Posted on 22 July 2013 by admin

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By Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – Which streets, paths and sidewalks get fixed first is important to local walkers, bikers and drivers, so the city is inviting the community to help identify transportation system priorities, starting with a July 11 open house and finishing with an online survey that closes midnight, Aug. 2.
“We have a fairly extensive list of projects,” said project manager John Bosket from DKS Associates at the open house, referring to driving, pedestrian and bicycle improvements. DKS is the consulting firm handling the JC Transportation System Plan outlining local transportation in the next 20 years.
In February, a transportation advisory committee identified needed improvements to city streets and sidewalks. Now local residents can help decide which of these improvements are most important.
“Knowing which projects the community has the most interest in, tells the city how to spend its money,” Bosket said.
At the open house, poster boards and maps were placed in three sections around the room, for pedestrians, bicyclists and automobile drivers. Guests were asked to place blue dot stickers next to their top five choices on each board, with 10 to 20 choices each.
Popular improvements included realigning Maple/Prairie streets at First Avenue and adding left turn lanes; converting front-facing angle parking to parallel parking on Sixth Avenue; and improving pedestrian crossing on Highway 99.
“We’re going to take the feedback we get from the open house and the transportation advisory committee,” Bosket said, and “put it on the strategic list of projects,” a short list taken from the long list. “We work with the community to come up with solutions.”
Today a list of these improvements can be found in the online survey on the city’s website at www.junctioncityoregon.gov with the community encouraged to continue the selection process until Friday, Aug. 2.
For an improved biking network around town, the city is seeking input on two potential options. One option would install striped bike lanes, which may eliminate on-street parking. The other option would allow bicyclists to share the road with vehicles by using high-visibility pavement marking symbols, allowing the on-street parking to be retained. Involved streets include OR 99; First, Sixth and 10th avenues; Hatton and Bailey lanes; Birch, Maple, Deal and Nyssa streets; and streets near the elementary school.
Shared-use path alignments for both pedestrians and bicyclists will connect the existing path from the high school to Maple Street and the east side of OR 99 between the highway and the railroad from First to Milliron.
For motor vehicles, the survey proposes new roadways or extensions for anticipated development; upgrades with wider lanes, shoulders, curbs, sidewalks or turn lanes, and safety improvements; and traffic operations improvements for congestion over the next 20 years.
Roadway upgrades target streets between Meadowview and 18th including Sixth and 10th avenue extensions; new construction near First, Oaklea, Prairie and High Pass roads; and extensions and bike paths on Hatton Lane.
Driver safety improvements include access along Sixth and Oaklea; 18th Avenue sight distance for northbound approach; and OR 99 traffic signal upgrades. OR 99 traffic signal timing can also be optimized.
Pedestrian projects include sidewalk construction on streets like Bailey, Sixth, 10th, Quince, Coral, Prairie Meadows, Rose, Birch, Green Meadows and OR 99 near Milliron. Intersection crossing improvements include streets adjoining First, Sixth and 10th avenues. Pedestrian-activated crossing treatments are also proposed along OR 99.
Please visit the survey on the Internet at www.junctioncityoregon.gov for a complete list of projects. For those without Internet access, contact JC City Hall for survey information on 680 Greenwood St. or call 541.998.2153 by Friday, Aug. 2.

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“Bill” Reacting To My Piece On Ethanol….

Posted on 15 July 2013 by admin

Editor’s Note: In the interest of furthering the ongoing debate about ethanol, Bill’s response was published from a post he placed on The Tribune News website. Unfortunately, Bill only signed his first name.

July 3’s edition of the Tribune News carries a response to my criticism of blended ethanol gasoline. The author, “Bill”, presents a lengthy “cut and paste” argument that ethanol is “good and will only get better.” He invites a response.  I will reply to several of his statements that represent either a misunderstanding of the issues involved or an attempt to mislead readers. I don’t know Bill and he fails to mention his last name, so I have no idea of his personal credibility or motivation…I don’t know if he’s a concerned citizen or a defender of ethanol hired by the industry. I will say, however, that I find it unfortunate when a publication prints articles or letters that are anonymous.  I like the Tribune News and the folks have been very generous in printing my Op Ed pieces, however, each of those pieces is always signed and every letter I’ve written to any newspaper has been signed.
One of my basic premises in my Op Ed addressed the loss of fuel efficiency with an ethanol blend. Simply put, if you lose 10% of your MPG by using a 10% ethanol blend, you are using the same amount of gasoline you would have been using without the ethanol. Mr. Bill does nothing to counter this statement, and doesn’t even challenge its accuracy.
He mentions that the US is using less gasoline today than before ethanol was mandated into use, implying that, somehow, the two are related. This is a position as fanciful as the rooster taking credit for the sun coming up each morning. We are using less gasoline for two main reasons: a) we’re driving more fuel-efficient vehicles; and b) we are, as individuals, driving fewer miles. These important changes result, in turn, from two motivators; a) we’re more concerned about the environmental and political ramifications of our fossil fuel use; and b) gasoline has become more and more expensive. The reduction in gasoline usage has come about in spite of, not because of, the introduction of the ethanol mandate.
Mr. Bill celebrates Brazil as the prime example of the production and use of ethanol as a fuel. He fails to mention that the circumstances in Brazil have little parallel to those in the US. I invite you to read the Wikipedia entry on “the history of ethanol vehicle fuel in Brazil.” May I just mention several chief elements:  a) the ethanol fuel industry in Brazil is hugely subsidized by the government; b) the primary source of Brazilian ethanol is the sugar cane residue from the production of sugar…It’s produced chiefly as a by-product without the huge impact on the farming economy that American corn-derived ethanol has; c) the automobile industry in Brazil produces automobiles specifically designed to burn ethanol…a large portion of the production is 100% ethanol “neat” vehicles, which will not burn gasoline as a fuel. They also have converted gasoline-engineered engines (in production, not retro-fit) to “flex-fuel” vehicles. This requires a much higher compression, different injection configurations and the replacement of all components that are subject to ethanol corrosion. If we, in the US, were to introduce a line of vehicles which were 100% neat ethanol vehicles and sell straight ethanol as a fuel for them, I would be supportive of the concept as a choice for the American consumer…That’s not what we’re doing. Instead, we’re requiring American drivers to use a 10% ethanol blend in vehicles which were not designed for ethanol, perform poorly on that blend, and incur damage from it.
Mr. Bill dedicates a great deal of his piece to criticism of the petroleum industry. I have no quarrel with criticism of that industry. In fact, over the years I’ve written several pieces very critical of the environmental, economic and political damage from our dependence on petroleum. Mr. Bill implies that, because I’m critical of the ethanol industry, I’m, therefore, supportive of the petroleum industry. His logic is very, very faulty. I drive a Prius and would be ever so happy if everyone else did too. We need to reduce our dependence on petroleum, but ethanol use is not the only, not the best, and, by all objective measures, the very, very worst way to do so.
I think we’d all like to see a smaller carbon footprint, less dependence on foreign oil and lessened environmental impact from our vehicles. Our current efforts to employ blended ethanol fuel have taken us further from that goal rather than closer and remain a distraction and hindrance to our achieving it.
By the way, Mr. Bill, my name is Gary CRUM and I sign everything I write with my name. I personally feel everyone who writes for publication should have the confidence and courtesy to do the same.

Regards,
Gary Crum

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The McCarty gang’s Oregon story: “Bonanza” meets “Unforgiven”: Offbeat Oregon History

Posted on 15 July 2013 by admin

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By Finn J.D. John
Imagine yourself as a television network executive at NBC in 1973. The bright, happy Western classic “Bonanza” is about to be canceled. In a last-ditch effort to save it from the ax, you’ve been asked to put a fresh, “western-noir” spin on the show so that it can compete with the darker TV fare that’s now in fashion — like “All in the Family” and “M*A*S*H.”
Here’s something you might come up with: Old Ben Cartwright, now that he’s built the Bonanza Ranch to prominence, moves to Oregon with son Adam, leaving the Bonanza to his other two sons, Hoss and Little Joe. After running the ranch for a few episodes, the boys get impatient, sell the Bonanza and promptly burn through the money at the gambling tables in town. To support their lifestyle, the two become family-style outlaws: large-scale cattle rustlers, bank robbers and friends of the legendary outlaw Butch Cassidy.
Oh, and along the way, they move to Oregon.
Your new, “improved” Bonanza would surely not have lasted a minute in an NBC pitch meeting. But it’s the basics of the story of a famous outlaw family called McCarty, a gang of brothers and brothers-in-law that made life in eastern Oregon very lively for the first few years of the 1890s.
The McCarty family came from the gorgeous cattle country of San Juan County, Utah. The old man — Lorne Green’s character, in our rebooted “Bonanza Noir” — was a surgeon in the Confederate army during the Civil War, who became a successful cattleman in Montana before settling down there and building, with his sons, a ranch that should have made them wealthy squires.
Instead, it made the boys $35,000 and a ticket to the Outlaw Hall of Fame — and, for one of them, to a casket.
On the Outlaw Trail
One of the boys, Tom — the “Little Joe” character — hit the outlaw trail right away with his brother-in-law, Matt Warner, and soon fell in with Butch Cassidy. Several high-profile bank robberies later, the Tom, Matt and Butch were outlaw royalty. They became famous as “The Invincible Three.”
Brother Bill — the “Hoss” character — became a large-scale cattle rustler. Eventually, though, he gave up the outlaw life, bought himself a spread near Baker City, and with his son Fred, tried hard to make a go of it as a legitimate rancher.
Meanwhile, Brother George — the “Adam” character — had still been under the stabilizing influence of old, respectable Dr. McCarty (“Ben Cartwright”), running cattle in Harney County near Haines. But after Dr. McCarty moved to Myrtle Point, George, too, was at loose ends, and feeling his larcenous oats. As Bill tried to make a go of his new ranch, George was trying to make a go of a mining claim a few dozen miles away, in the Blue Mountain boomtown of Cornucopia. Neither of the two was having much luck.
That’s probably why, when Tom and brother-in-law Matt rolled into town and asked if they’d like to get back into the family business, neither required much convincing.
Building An Outlaw Empire
The McCartys started by rigging Bill’s money-losing ranch — the New Bonanza, if you will — as an outlaw hideout, with secret chambers and tunnels and hollowed-out haystacks. Then Tom, his pockets still jingling with the proceeds of his robberies with Butch Cassidy, went out and started buying remote pieces of property around the area that the gang could use as hideouts and staging spots for rustled cattle.
Meanwhile, the rest of the gang was coming together, a group of wives, sisters, nephews and cousins, all tied together by blood and kinship. Those ties would make the McCarty gang very strong. They would also lead directly to its ultimate destruction.
A Bank-Robbing Bonanza
The gang’s first hit was the Wallowa National Bank in Enterprise. It was a textbook bank job. They put on homemade horsehair beards to mask their faces without being masked. Tom stood guard by the door, keeping customers from coming in; Bill and Matt strolled into the bank and stuck a six-shooter in the teller’s face. They got out before the townspeople knew what was happening.
This last item was critical: Eastern Oregon was famously hostile to bank robbers, and five minutes could mean the difference between a clean getaway and a running, unwinnable gun battle on Main Street with 50 or 60 angry depositors behind Winchesters borrowed from the local hardware store. The McCartys would eventually learn this lesson the hard way.
In the meantime, though, they were on to a string of successful stick-ups. A few weeks later, they jacked up the Summerville bank at 9 p.m., taking advantage of the cover of darkness. This heist went even more smoothly, and netted them a full $5,000.
An attempt to rob the wealthy patrons of the Hotel Warshauer in Baker City didn’t go so well. In the middle of the operation, a cop saw Tom and Matt in an alley looking scruffy in their horsehair beards and tried to arrest them for vagrancy. Matt clobbered him with his rifle and they all ran for it, empty-handed.
An attempted train robbery ended with even more embarrassment. They piled a bunch of debris on the tracks and lurked, waiting for the train to stop so that they could rob it; but the engineer, who was clearly no greenhorn, knew immediately what was going on and opened up the throttle wide — risking a high-speed derailment because he knew there were men with guns waiting in the bushes. He won the bet. The cowcatcher cleared the junk and the train disappeared around the next bend as the four disappointed bandits watched, coughing on its coal smoke.
The Gang’s End
Oregon was getting too hot for comfort, so the gang moved up to the Washington Territory and pulled a string of heists up there — successfully knocking over banks in Wenatchee and Roslyn and nearly getting caught and shot trying to rob a circus. But then Matt’s sister-in-law came to stay with them, and, convinced their lifestyle wasn’t good for her sister (Matt’s wife), ratted them all out. Matt and George were arrested, and their lawyer got them sprung but then cleaned out their entire stash — $41,000.
After that, the gang decided the Northwest was too hot for them, and they headed to Colorado — for one last bank job, on Sept. 3, 1893, in Delta.
During this heist, one of the boys murdered the teller. Alerted by the gunfire, the town started rallying, by the time the robbers left the bank, the local hardware store owner was ready for them with his .44 Sharps rifle. As they galloped out of town, he picked off Bill (in our “Bonanza” reboot, that’s Hoss) and his son Fred. Both were dead before they hit the dirt.
The others got away. But after that disaster, the McCartys never rode again.

(Sources: Kelly, Charles. The Outlaw Trail: A History of Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch. Lincoln, Neb.: UN Press, 1938; www.rockincherokee.com/TheWildBunch.htm; Yuskavitch, Jim. Outlaw Tales of Oregon. Guilford, Conn.: TwoDot, 2012)

Finn J.D. John is an instructor at Oregon State University and the author of “Wicked Portland,” a book about the dark side of Oregon’s metropolis in the 1890s. He produces a daily podcast, reading archives from this column, at ofor.us/p . To contact him or suggest a topic: finn@offbeatoregon.com, @OffbeatOregon (on Twitter), or 541-357-2222.

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The Refrigerator

The Refrigerator

Posted on 15 July 2013 by admin

Noel B_ Ness
By Noel Ness
“The wonderful world of home appliances now makes it possible to cook indoors with charcoal and outdoors with gas.”
~ Bill Vaughan

The wife and I purchased a new refrigerator and it was spendy. We’d had our old fridge for 10 years and the icemaker and various other parts finally gave up the ghost. Our new fridge was delivered in April and we were thrilled. The head of the work crew, after installation, told us not to use the icemaker for 24 hours.
The hours passed oh so slowly but the time had arrived for that 1st glass of ice and I was stoked. It was with great anticipation when I held my glass against the ice return lever. The icemaker didn’t work! I wept, wailed and gashed my teeth. I’m hesitant to give you the brand name of the fridge. I don’t want to be sued for defamation of appliances and end up in the poor house.
I called the appliance store and explained the problem. A tech walked me through some procedures and low and behold the icemaker worked. I thanked him profusely and hung up. I drank my ice water and decided I needed more ice. The icemaker didn’t work.
I called the appliance store and explained the problem. They told me they were going to send out a tech and to expect him in 3-days. During that time if we wanted ice, we had to open the door and reach in the ice bin to take the ice out by hand. Invariably we would drop some of the cubes on the kitchen floor. We would have to bend down on our creaky knees and pick up the cubes. We were afraid if we let the ice melt, we would slip on a pool of water and break a hip.
I e-mailed the appliance center a poem:

Roses are Red
Dogs can bite
If I have to keep sticking my hand in the Ice Bin to get Ice
I will get Frostbite

Your Valued Customer,                                               Noel

The tech arrived and worked on the cranky icemaker for about an hour, He declared the icemaker repaired and got himself a glass of ice. I shook his hand and he drove away; and now it was my turn. The icemaker didn’t work.

“In any electrical circuit, appliances and wiring will burn out to protect fuses.”
~ Robert Byrne

I called the appliance store and explained the problem. They told me they were going to order a new freezer door and to expect delivery in two weeks. A month passed and I had been treated twice for frostbite of the hand in the emergency ward.
The appliance store called and said a tech was going to deliver our new freezer door in three days. We were so excited when the tech finally arrived. I said, “Did you bring the new door?” The tech said, “Nope, it came in but was dented so I sent it back and ordered a new door.” I said, ”When will it arrive?” The tech said, “In about two weeks.”
A month passed. The new door arrived and the tech installed it. I gave him a glass and he pushed against the ice lever and out dropped the cubes. I thanked him profusely and he drove away. A brand new door fresh from the factory what can go wrong? I pushed my glass on the lever and the icemaker didn’t work.

“I have a greater appreciation for kitchen appliances, having played one. ”
~ Anthony Daniels

I called the appliance store and explained the problem. They told me a tech would come out on Friday, then they called back and said the tech called in sick. Personally, I don’t think the tech really had an illness he’s just sick of dealing with us.

‘Dear Sir or Madam:
This email is to remind you of your appointment for Monday. Your service appointment is the 7th call in the technician’s day.  We estimate that he will arrive on: Monday, between 2 and 5 pm.”

The 7th call of his day? This guy has a guaranteed lifetime job.  Our fridge might be his lifetime job. UFF DA!
The tech arrived at 1:30 and got right to work. 30-minutes later he said, “I’m going to order a new wire harness.” I don’t have a clue what that means. I said, “How long will that take?” He said, “Two weeks.”
We received a call from the appliance center stating the wrong equipment arrived and our appointment was cancelled. Today I received the exact same call. And then I received an e-mail from the appliance store. “Valued Customer: We are sorry our technician was unable to complete your repair today.  Please be assured, here at the office, we‘ll be doing all we can to expedite a fast turnaround.” Oh for the love of the Whirl Pool Man we’ve had the Fridge since April.
I asked the tech what would happen if he failed to fix the fridge on the 3rd try. He said, “It’s their policy if the 3rd repair doesn’t work they would send you a new fridge.” I said, “How long would the new fridge take to arrive?” The tech said, “Two weeks.”
I have good news and bad news. The good news is our new fridge, after a month of waiting, arrived today and it works perfectly. The bad news: on the day the fridge arrived, our dishwasher went on the fritz.
I’m convinced I’ve somehow offended the Appliance Gods.

UPDATE, News Flash: After washing dishes by hand for a week the dishwasher repairman showed up. It didn’t take him long to diagnose the problem. He said, ‘‘The refrigerator installer turned off the water to your dish washer and forgot to turn it back on.”
uffdamay007@gmail.com

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Weeds in Park

Adopt A Park: Council Reviews Draft Program For Park Volunteers

Posted on 15 July 2013 by admin

Weeds in Park
By Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – At the request of the Community Services Committee, the Parks Subcommittee developed an Adopt-a-Park program outlining a plan for community support with the upkeep of local parks. A draft of the document was presented to the City Council on June 25 for review.
The primary purpose of the Adopt-A-Park (AAP) program is to promote partnerships between community members, groups and businesses to assist the city Parks staff with routine maintenance and beautification of city parks, open spaces and trails. Volunteers will assist with care for designated areas.
Volunteer activities will include weeding, sweeping, removing litter, mulching, raking leaves, and caring for plants and trees. Under the direction of the Parks Division, groups can also participate in projects like painting, making repairs and planting approved vegetation.
“Given the 35+ acres of park land and trails, it is often challenging to keep up with the tremendous use of our open spaces,” the document said. “Your volunteer efforts can make the difference in achieving the high standards we have for those important areas in our community.”
AAP aims to unite and support all members of the community interested in improving JC’s parks and open spaces. Participants can include civic organizations, schools, businesses, nonprofit organizations and also church, senior and youth groups.
“As a volunteer, you will have a unique opportunity to donate services to the community and enjoy the results of your hard work,” the document said.
The program asks that participants commit to a minimum of one year of service for an adopted park or trail with commitments renewable after a year. Tasks would be carried out four times a year at least once quarterly and for a minimum of at least four hours per quarter.
Each group will also select a spokesman to ensure the group complies with program guidelines and safety requirements, and signs a liability release. Once an application is accepted, city staff will provide training.
Groups who cannot commit to a whole year may commit to a single day of clean up. The Adopt-a-Park program will be implemented by the new community services director, with applications available after Sept. 1 at the Community Services Department at 175 W. 7th Ave. For more information call Melissa Bowers at 541-998-2153.

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What’s Up At Festival? : Entertainment Abounds For A Full Four Days

Posted on 15 July 2013 by admin

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By Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – With August around the corner, Junction City is gearing up for four days of food, entertainment, culture and fun at the 53rd annual Scandinavian Festival on Aug. 8-11.
Program Chairperson Debbie Lemhouse was contacted for an entertainment update. This year she’s showcasing entertainers that have supported Festival for multiples of years.
“We have hours and hours of entertainment, with many out-of town groups coming in,” Debbie says.
Among festival favorites this year are the Scandi Singers, who Debbie says, “have been performing since the very first festival.” Also known as the ‘Festival Singers,’ this group of 25 Junction City community members has been singing together as a chorus for more than 53 years. Director Dale LaFon has been directing the group for the last seven.
See the singers perform at various events like Opening Ceremony, the Pageant, Closing Ceremony and twice daily on the Mall Platform. The chorus knows all the anthems to the Scandinavian countries and sings them throughout the festival, accenting the cultural theme.
Another returning favorite is the Alpine Echoes Band, playing on the Mall Platform on Saturday at 10am and 1pm. This group has been around for 20 years, but has performed continuously at Festival for the last 10 years.
The seven members play banjo, fiddle, flute, tuba, base, accordion, trumpet and drums. Their specialty is German and polka music, but they’ll be playing primarily Scandinavian music for the festival.
Also at the festival, the Leikarringen of Portland will be performing Scandinavian folk dances on the main stage twice on Saturday, with more than 20 performers. From Roseburg, a band called ‘Atta Boy’ will be performing polka music while encouraging the audience to dance. “They’ll be on all three stages for all four days,” Debbie says.
New to the Archway stage this year will be demonstrations, so folks can see how handcrafts are made step-by-step. Rosemalling painting demonstrations will be held as will aebleskiver pancake demonstrations, “so folks can learn how to make aebleskivers at home after the festival,” Debbie says.
Instrumental group D’n’A will also return this year. “This duo plays many instruments and has recorded a CD for the festival,” Debbie says. And from Modesto, the ‘Village Dancers of the Valley’ will be performing Scandinavian folk dancing.
As usual, the beer garden will have entertainment, with Coup de Ville playing on Friday and Saturday nights, and the Frat Boys playing on Thursday.
New this year is a children’s coloring station at the art building courtyard for kids to color on Scandinavian coloring sheets from 11am to 2pm on all four days. Kids must be accompanied by an adult.
“It’s great that we have both local and out-of-town entertainment,” Debbie says. Stop by the Windmill for a copy of the program with the full schedule of festival entertainment.

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Hospital Gets Full Funding: City Transportation Plan Looks At Prioritizing Projects

Hospital Gets Full Funding: City Transportation Plan Looks At Prioritizing Projects

Posted on 15 July 2013 by admin

Bicycles
By Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – State hospital administrator Jodie Jones brought long awaited news to the July 9 City Council meeting. “We got full funding, so we will probably be going vertical next week,” she said.
She also brought an update about current work at the hospital site, where workers have been installing footings and storm pipes to the cottages and excavating for under-slab plumbing for the kitchen.
Jones also has been negotiating with Lane Transit District for bus service directly to the front door of the hospital, starting 2015. A webcam also will be opening up shortly so construction progress can be viewed online.
Also at the meeting, city planner Stacy Clauson presented a periodic update on the transportation system plan, looking at how transportation is currently used and how it should change to meet the city’s long-term growth needs. She started with a list of transportation solutions that the city could undertake to meet its long-term transportation needs.
Areas of interest included a fully connected sidewalk system, walkable school zones, coordination among jurisdictions, safety at Hwy. 99 crossings, regional bus service and safe routes to schools.
“The plan includes bicycle improvements in and around the middle and high schools, trying to better connect those two facilities through an off-road network,” Clauson said.
With respect to supporting business development with an easy and predictable path forward, this plan takes major steps to rehaul the access management program. The city is aiming to alleviate strict city standards to meet state standards to give businesses a clear path forward so would need to meet only one standard, especially along Hwy. 99.
The broad list of future projects amounts to more than $110 million, so at this time, the transportation advisory committee is working to prioritize those projects by making a list of physically constrained projects to meet a smaller budget.
The path forward looks at prioritizing projects, changing zoning ordinances, making changes to the comprehensive plan to implement the transportation plan, and then bringing those ordinances to the planning commission and the city council for consideration.
The JC transportation plan is looking at winter for potential adoption by the city, with plans to move forward for co-adoption with the county and then the state.
For those unable to attend the July 11 community transportation open house, an online survey will be available at www.junctioncityoregon.gov starting Friday, July 12, until midnight Aug. 2, where the community can provide input on the priority of projects.
Steven Hitchcock also took the oath of office as the newest member of the City Council, replacing the late Laurel Crenshaw. For more information call City Hall at 541-998-2153.

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Rival Roseburg Newspapers Settled Their Differences With A Big Gunfight, Right Downtown Offbeat : Oregon History

Posted on 08 July 2013 by admin

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By Finn J.D. John
The “Oregon Style” of newspaper journalism was already a thing in 1871, when upstart newspaper publisher William “Bud” Thompson got in his famous gunfight in downtown Roseburg.
But until that day, the vicious personal attacks that characterized the “Oregon Style” had mostly involved the spilling of ink — not blood.
On that late Monday morning on a corner in downtown Roseburg, that changed.

The Enemies Meet
The groundwork for the Roseburg Newspaper Shootout was laid when Thompson came to town in 1870, when he was just 22 years old. He’d just sold the newspaper he’d run in Eugene — the Eugene City Guard — and, with $1,200 in his pocket, had come to Roseburg to do it again. He launched his paper and it steadily started building circulation.
This was not OK with Henry and Thomas Gale, the two brothers who had founded the weekly Roseburg Ensign three years before. Like Thompson, the two of them were from the Eugene area, and like him were in their early 20s; but unlike Thompson, they were staunch Republicans. Henry, the older of the two, was a tall and powerful man, but Thomas was tiny — under five feet tall.
Tensions between the two newspapers built as they fired salvoes at one another from their editorial pages. This was to be expected: after all, the Gales ran a Republican newspaper, and Thompson was a lifelong Democrat and a son of the South. But there was something else happening, too, which added fuel to the brewing feud: Almost as soon as Thompson opened for business, Democrat Lafayette Grover was elected governor of Oregon, ending an eight-year run of Republican governors. The victorious Dems, in Salem, now had a choice of papers to favor with their lucrative public-notice business. That meant most of the business that had sustained the Ensign now was going to the upstart Plaindealer.
Also, looking at all the different accounts of this event, it’s clear that Thompson was an unusually thin-skinned fellow. After being sarcastically called “the ripe scholar and gallant gentleman who stands — when sober enough to stand at all — behind the Plaindealer chair,” and “a sardine among codfish,” and various other quaint-sounding (to us) epithets, Thompson reportedly informed the Gale brothers that he would no longer tolerate this sort of abuse.
Of course, the Gales kept it up. They would have been a disgrace to Oregon-style journalism if they had not.

The Inciting Incident
Things came to a head one Saturday, when Thompson chanced to meet Thomas Gale in the post office. Reports on the action are varied. Thompson’s memoir claims that Gale tried to draw a pistol, and he (Thompson) grabbed his hand and slapped him in the face. Contemporary newspaper accounts, including one by Thompson’s own newspaper (published while he was recovering from his wounds) say Thompson spat in Gale’s face and slapped him, and Gale — probably because Thompson towered over him like a giant — didn’t get in a single blow. Bystanders quickly separated the two before a full-on brawl could develop, and Thomas Gale stormed off to get his gun — which he had not had in the post office, or he probably would have used it.
It was not the kind of public affront that went unanswered in a frontier town like 1870s Roseburg. Everyone knew a showdown of some kind was coming.
It arrived two days later, on Monday. When Thompson stepped out of his office to go to the post office, he found the Gale brothers waiting for him.

“Pick On Somebody Your Own Size!”
Again, Thompson’s memoir describes the encounter with shameless mendacity. He basically claims the brothers took turns shooting him in the back as he turned from one to the other, that one pretended to surrender so he would lower his guard and then shot him, and (by implication) that he left both brothers dead. His own bravery, and the brothers’ cowardice, fairly pours from the page. And again, if contemporary newspaper accounts are to be believed  — including the one by his very own newspaper — it’s almost all lies.
The newspaper accounts all say that the encounter started with Thompson apologizing to Thomas Gale for spitting in his face. The apology was not accepted, though, and Henry, the bigger brother, told him he should be ashamed of himself, and that he should pick on somebody his own size.

Gunshots Ring Out
What happened next is very unclear. There are just too many conflicting accounts to pick a line through them, especially on the question of who shot first. The most likely scenario is that Henry Gale intended to use his cane to administer a humiliating public beating to Thompson, and had started doing so when Thompson pulled his pocket derringer out. At that point, Thomas Gale (the small brother) pulled his revolver out and the shooting started. Thomas Gale shot Thompson in the chest, but the ball was deflected by a thick sheaf of letters and inflicted only a flesh wound. Thompson turned and fired his one-shot derringer into Thomas’s right side, just above the liver; he then started using his now-empty pistol to beat Henry Gale over the head. Henry then pulled a four-shooter and shot Thompson three times with it from close quarters: once in the back of the head, from the side, apparently at an angle because the skull wasn’t penetrated; once in the shoulder; and once in the neck. The last shot went behind Thompson’s jaw and lodged in his tongue, filling his mouth with blood.
And with that, the drama ended. Much to the surprise of almost everyone, all three of the men survived this bloody encounter. Thomas and Henry Gale went to a nearby drugstore for treatment, and Thomas’s wounds were quite serious; they may have eventually caused his death, which came eight years later. Thompson went home to have the bullets extracted.
“Although neither paper was put out of commission, both had had the stuffing knocked out of their editors,” writer David Loftus remarked in his article about the incident.

Thompson leaves town
Thompson soon left Roseburg, selling the Plaindealer for $4,000 and moving to Salem to take over the Salem Mercury. The Gales sold their paper around the same time, and, languishing with the winds of political fortune, it eventually closed.
Throughout the rest of his life, Thompson would be a dangerous fellow to have around. At the Mercury, he reportedly beat the editor of the Forest Grove paper with a cane after the editor wrote some disparaging things about him. Later, as a cattle rancher, he would become notorious as the head of the Prineville Vigilantes, a gang of masked outlaws responsible for at least seven lynchings and extrajudicial killings in Crook County. After that, he moved to Alturas, Calif., and there were more lynchings and vigilante action there.
Thompson’s enemies, of whom there were many, characterized him as that rare blackguard who had the skill to know whom he could attack and when he needed to leave town … and they were probably right. But one thing is for sure: He definitely made journalism in frontier Oregon a more interesting occupation.

(Sources: Loftus, David. “Papers’ feuding editors settled disputes with gunfire,” www.david-loftus.com, 21 Feb 1988, accessed 29 Jun 2013; Thompson, Colonel William. Reminiscences of a Pioneer. San Francisco: Alturas Plaindealer, 1913)

Finn J.D. John is an instructor at Oregon State University and the author of “Wicked Portland,” a book about the dark side of Oregon’s metropolis in the 1890s. He produces a daily podcast, reading archives from this column, at ofor.us/p . To contact him or suggest a topic: finn@offbeatoregon.com, @OffbeatOregon (on Twitter), or 541-357-2222.

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Hot Shots Honored on float

4th of July Parade First Prize Float

Posted on 08 July 2013 by admin

Hot Shots Honored on float
HARRISBURG – The Harrisburg Library Guild was established to promote a new library in Harrisburg. We are a non-profit organization devoted to the well being of the Harrisburg Library.
Members of the Harrisburg Library Guild all have a common goal of improving our Library.  We are an extremely active group that has a lot of fun together.  But don‘t let all of the hard work we do scare you away from joining!  Our dues go to help support our fundraising activities, all of which is geared towards building a new library, and providing support for the current one.
Capital Campaign on it‘s Way – get ready to join the Harrisburg Library Guild later this year when we officially launch our Capital Campaign and start turning up the heat on getting a new library built in Harrisburg.  Help us to fill our bookshelves, and get the kind of library that Harrisburg citizens deserve!
We have two great events planned, the ARIS’BURG Wine Tasting and Silent Auction, Sat, August 17, 4-7pm, and our annual Harvest Tea, Saturday, October 12. This year’s theme for the tea is “Hats.” Watch for more information as the event times get closer.
For more information about the Harrisburg Library Guild, call Michele Eldridge at City Hall, 541-995-6655; or Marilyn Pollard, 541-514-9897.

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Norman Sylvester

Habitat for Humanity Blues Benefit at Pfeiffer Winery on July 21: Three Bands to raise funds for House Construction

Posted on 08 July 2013 by admin

Norman Sylvester
JUNCTION CITY – The Norman Sylvester Band will headline the 5th Annual Jerry’s Home Improvement Center Blues Build Benefit for Junction City/Harrisburg/Monroe Habitat for Humanity at Pfeiffer Winery west of Junction City on Sunday, July 21, from 2:30-7:30pm. Proceeds will support Habitat’s home construction projects. Also performing will be The Vipers, featuring Deb Cleveland, and Barbara Healy and Her Groove Too Band.
Drawing for a $1,000 Jerry’s Home Improvement Center gift card will be held at the conclusion of the Blues Build Benefit. Raffle tickets are on sale for $10 each or three for $25 and are available at the Habitat for Humanity Office, 585 Greenwood, JC and from Habitat volunteers. Raffle tickets will be available at the Blues Build Benefit.
Norman “The Boogie Cat” Sylvester, an inductee of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, is guitarist, vocalist, original songwriter, producer & music director for the Norman Sylvester Band. Born in Louisiana, Norman is a retired Teamster who worked 25 years in the trucking industry.  He and wife Paula are also owners of a janitorial company, Rosetown Cleaning and Services. The father of seven children and nine grandchildren, Norman Sylvester has always multi-tasked while playing the Blues. His major influence was his father, Mack Sylvester who performed in a Gospel Quartet in Louisiana while also working hard for his family. Norman Sylvester’s mission is to bring the healing force of music to his fans while they navigate through life’s ups and downs.
Since their 1987 formation, the Norman Sylvester Band has shared the stage with B.B. King, James Cotton, Buddy Guy, Tower of Power, Five Blind Boys of Alabama and more. Norman also works with schools teaching children music history, lyric writing and performance skills. The Norman Sylvester Band has four CDs:  On the Right Track, Live at the Candlelight Café, A Family Affair, and Blues Stains on My Hands, their most recent.
Barbara Healy’s soulful vocals have graced the airwaves and live venues for many years. Barbara recorded and performed in the San Francisco Bay area before moving to Oregon. As part of the Eugene Blues scene of the eighties, she fronted the band The Allnighterz, and performed with such musical icons as Mary Wells, The Temptations, James Cotton, Matt Guitar Murphy, and Joan Baez.
Barbara Healy has released five CDs:  Mama Told Me Not To Look (1997 w/the Barbara Healy Band), Lullabies For a Troubled Plant (2003 w/Tim Danforth), Share the Love (2008 w/Deb Cleveland), I-5 Nine Live (2010 w/The I-5 Nine), and her newest: Shades of Blues with her new band Groove Too.
The Vipers featuring Deb Cleveland have been entertaining audiences in the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years with their intoxicating brew of Chicago and Delta blues, funky R & B, and New Orleans rhythms that will bring you out of your seat and onto the dance floor.
Gospel-trained vocalist Deb Cleveland is a multiple-year blues winner of Eugene Weekly’s Best of Eugene poll.  Other band members include Jon Silvermoon (harmonica/vocals), John Ward (guitar), Pete Burger (drums), and Russ Whitlach (bass). The Vipers have toured Europe twice, once with Eagle Park Slim and once with Deb Cleveland.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com/bluesbuild.  Advance tickets for $15 are also available at Pfeiffer Winery, in Eugene at the Springfield/Eugene Habitat ReStore, CD World, House of Records, and the Museum of Unfine Art and Record Store; in Corvallis at the Benton Habitat for Humanity Restore; Junction City at Boss Hawgs and the Habitat for Humanity office located at 585 Greenwood Street; in Harrisburg at Golden Chopstix; and in Monroe at Sweet Spot Deli-Bakery.  Admission at the event will be $20. Children under age 10 are free.
Habitat’s YOUTH United program will have hot dogs and hamburgers for sale.  A no-host bar with wine and soft drinks will be offered by Pfeiffer Winery. The winery is located at 25040 Jaeg Road, about eight miles west of Junction City.  Attendees are also encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets.
Junction City/Harrisburg/Monroe Habitat for Humanity’s is a “nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization building simple, decent, affordable housing in partnership with people in need.”  Since its 1995 founding, the chapter has built or rehabilitated 16 simple and decent homes for low- to moderate-income families. Construction is currently ongoing for its 17th in Monroe. For information call 998-9548 or visit www.jchmhabitat.org.

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New Rules Don’t Fit: Council Questions City Engineer Selection Process

Posted on 08 July 2013 by admin

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By Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – The city attempted to follow its new 2012 City Procurement Rules to update the city engineering services contract, but ran into a glitch. While reviewing the results of the city engineering request for proposals process, several councilors were not comfortable with changes to the new rules.
One major change required the city to use the Qualification Based Selection method to update the city engineering services contract. City procurement rules are required by state law; the city’s previous engineering contract is not in compliance with state law.
To meet this requirement, the Sewer and Streets Committee formed a City Engineering Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Selection Committee to review the RFQs submitted by HBH Engineering, Westech Engineering-the current city engineer, RH2 Engineering, ACE Consultants and Portland Engineering, Inc.
The committee consisted of five members made up of city officials and staff including Councilor Herb Christensen, City Administrator Melissa Bowers, Public Works Director Jason Knope, Public Works Superintendent Gary Kaping and utility billing clerk Jessica Paull.
Each committee member was tasked to review the RFQ proposals and score them based on preset criteria. The committee would then forward the top two scoring proposals to the Council for consideration.
Based on scoring results submitted by four of five committee members, the top two scores were HBH Engineering with 729 out of 800 points, and Westech Engineering with 630 points. Christensen did not participate in the scoring because he was not happy with the process.
At a June 25 meeting, city staff requested that the City Council select an engineering firm and direct staff to begin contract negotiations with that firm. The Council was presented with two action choices: to begin contract negotiations with HBH Engineering or to cancel the RFP (request for proposal) and proceed from there.
“Westech is very highly regarded,” Christensen said.  “I would like them to be the engineer on record and do the sewer project.” He recommended tabling this decision until later.
In the past, “we had experience with one person doing everything,” Councilor Bill DiMarco said, addressing Christensen’s concerns. “Now with the new state rules and with our procurement rules, those are probably two different jobs, and maybe we can’t wisely or even legally do that anymore.”
DiMarco’s understanding of this RFP was that it was to hire a plain city engineer, whose job is separate from project manager, state negotiator or state facilitator. “My impression is that it is not wise anymore to combine them in one person,” he said.
“Given what I heard, I am not willing to expose the city and the community to the liability that we are exposing ourselves to,” DiMarco said. “I would go with the recommendation absent any evidence that staff did anything other than what we told them to do.”
Councilor Randy Nelson did not feel comfortable letting a handful of people on a committee make an important decision like this for the City Council. “I want to know how we got there and what we can do legally to change it if we can,” Nelson said.
The Council tabled the topic until July 23 to give councilors a chance to review the scoring process and seek legal counsel.

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Untitled-1

County Identifies Health Priorities: 5 Areas For Community Health Inprovment

Posted on 08 July 2013 by admin

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By Vera Westbrook
LANE COUNTY – After collaborating with key health organizations since spring of 2012, Lane County is taking steps to strengthen county health by approving a health assessment and health improvement plan for local residents.
At a June 25 meeting with county commissioners, PeaceHealth spokesman Dan Reese identified the following five priority areas for community health improvement: improve access to health care; prevent and reduce tobacco use; slow the increase of obesity; advance and improve health equity; and prevent and reduce mental illness and substance abuse.
Improving access to health care would aim to provide health insurance to more residents and increase access to health care in rural communities.
Tobacco use would be reduced by legislation for tobacco-free properties within the county. Although legislation for a tobacco tax passed in the House of Representatives, Commissioner Sid Leiken announced that tobacco tax legislation would most likely die in the Senate.
Obesity would be slowed by increasing physical activity in the community. Encouraging physical activity would be accomplished by increasing funding for physical education in schools, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, public transit, and Safe Routes to School and Farm to School programs.
With more community and organizational support, substance abuse and mental illness could be reduced.
Reese also alerted commissioners that Lane County ranked 17 out of 33 Oregon counties for overall health outcomes, which affects how businesses look at counties and how county budgets struggle to pay increasing costs of employee health insurance. “Health outcomes have a bearing on where businesses choose to be,” he said.
Reese also discussed the affect of mental health outcomes on other ailments. In one example, diabetics with depression paid 50 percent more in health care costs than diabetics alone. “We need strategies to go where we can have the greatest impact,” he said, such as treating depression.
County health officer Dr. Patrick Luedtke suggested making changes in behavior “without trampling on civil liberties” by promoting policies and systems that would “allow us to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”
Socioeconomic factors were important to Commissioner Jay Bozievich.
“Being in poverty has a bigger impact on your health outlook than tobacco use or obesity,” he said. “Things we can do to improve the economy and move people out of poverty will improve health outcomes in Lane County.”
Commissioner Pete Sorenson suggested making public health a component in government decision-making. He gave an example of the decision-making involved when deciding to move a police department or post office outside the downtown area, especially if it would result in more driving and less walking or bicycling for citizens.
The steps for success included continued close collaboration between community partners. Future plans aimed to engage the broader community. United Way agreed to organize work groups to address the five priority areas.
Lane County commissioners adopted the Community Health Assessment and the 2013-16 Community Health Improvement Plan on June 25.

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Kudos For Success: Chamber Honors Members Of The Year

Kudos For Success: Chamber Honors Members Of The Year

Posted on 08 July 2013 by admin

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By Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – It’s July and time for the local Chamber to honor its fellow members once again. At its annual meeting on July 18, the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce will recognize three deserving winners in the following categories: large and small businesses of the year, and organization of the year.
Every year in May, Chamber members submit nomination forms for fellow members that meet category criteria. Recipients are notified in early June with awards presented at the annual meeting in July.
Criteria for a small business nomination include being a Chamber member with no more than 10 employees. The business must also demonstrate a high level of customer satisfaction and service, promote economic growth, be established for four years, and have proven an interest in the welfare of the community.
This year’s Small Business of the Year award goes to Davis Cabinets of Junction City, located on 150 E. 10th Ave. The business has specialized in custom residential, commercial and RV cabinetry since 1973.
Owners Shaun and Amy Davis also oversee the design and building of custom cabinets for kitchens, bathrooms, media centers and just about any place. They’ve also supplied the RV industry by increasing storage and usable space in coaches. For more information, visit the website at www.daviscabinets.com or call 541-998-8778 or see them on Facebook.
A large business of the year meets the same criteria as a small business, but employs more than 10 people. This year’s Large Business of the Year award goes to the Knife River Corporation in Harrisburg.
Located on 23505 Peoria Road, Knife River has headquarters in Bismarck, ND, with locations in 13 states.
The company provides aggregate, asphalt, building materials, cement, construction services, liquid asphalt, ready-mix concrete and many more construction-related products and services. It employs 5,000 workers and is the tenth largest U.S. aggregate producer, the ninth largest U.S. ready-mix producer, and the fifth largest U.S. producer of sand and gravel.
For more information, call Knife River locally at 541-995-6327 or visit the website at www.kniferiver.com.
The organization award goes to a nonprofit group like a social service organization, a youth group, a religious group or an arts organization.  It must have made a significant contribution toward the improvement of JC, Harrisburg or Monroe. The 2013 Organization of the Year is Habitat for Humanity Youth United.
Habitat for Humanity International began in 1976 and is dedicated to ending substandard housing. It’s built more than 200,000 homes around the world and helped more than a million people in more than 3,000 communities with shelters. Its current construction project is on 607 N. Ninth St. in Monroe.
For more information visit the Habitat for Humanity website at www.jchmhabitat.org or call 541-998-9548 or drop in the office on 585 Greenwood St. in Junction City.
The public is invited to attend the awards banquet where the new board of directors will also be announced. For tickets, visit the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce office on 341 W. Sixth Ave. or call 541-998-6154 for ticket availablity.

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2013 Bobby Doess Classic 4

The Bobby Doerr Baseball Classic: Honoring a Hall of Famer

Posted on 01 July 2013 by admin

2013 Bobby Doess Classic 4
Submitted by Justin Carley
JUNCTION CITY – One of the greatest second baseman in baseball history was honored with the sixth annual Bobby Doerr Baseball Classic. The Classic is a youth baseball tournament honoring one of the greatest gentlemen to ever play the game, Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr.
This year the tournament attracted 32 teams to Junction City, including teams from Vancouver, West Linn, Salem, Roseburg, and one team from Junction City. Once again, The Classic was a great success and proved to be a competitive venue and a great atmosphere for the players and families.
One of the highlights of the Bobby Doerr Classic is the Opening Ceremony on Saturday.  During the Opening Ceremony all 32 teams join Bobby Doerr on the infield for the national anthem as a color guard from the United States Marine Corp presents the nation’s flag. The field is surrounded with American flags donated by the local Veteran’s of Foreign Wars. The ceremony is capped off with the Red Sox Hall of Famer throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
The Bobby Doerr Classic has divisions for 10 & under, 12U, and 14U.  The road to the championship has extra incentive as the winning team’s players were awarded with an autographed baseball signed by Doerr; and the winning team was presented with a Hall of Fame bat from Cooperstown signed by the Hall of Famer.  The Junction City Red Sox won first place in the 10U Silver Division.

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Train Travel; It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: UFF DA

Posted on 01 July 2013 by admin

By Noel Ness
My friends, I don’t know about you but my vacations have never gone smoothly. Something always happens. I’ve come to expect it. And actually enjoy it. I mean one’s got to laugh at some of the goofy things that happen to us while on our journeys. The train trip started out so well. We had perfect sailing on our train, “The Empire Builder,” through the Columbia Gorge and Glacier National Park. Seeing the Gorge and Glacier Park, from a train, is a wonderment.
We were actually ahead of schedule for our destination at Midway Station in St. Paul, Minnesota. The wife and I are both from southwestern Minnesota. But I digress.
The trip started to go sideways in Montana. The train stopped because an Ice Storm was ahead. The ice storm blew for six hours. I looked through the window as we passed by the storm’s damage. I was amazed to see telephone poles, for as far as the eye could see, all snapped off and laying on the frozen tundra. They were in perfect alignment. The poles were snapped off 3 feet from their base. It was a dark and stormy night when Mother Nature really let her hair down. I got to hand it to Amtrak folks. They watched over us. Made sure we were not in harm’s way.
We were held up once again in Northern North Dakota because of flooding. Amtrak rerouted our train. My friends, through all this adversity we were warm, cozy and had plenty of chow. Battered but not beaten, we pulled into Midway Station 10 hours late. I’ve decided, it took me 30 years, to only travel by train in the warm summer months or early fall.
Departing Midway Station, a month later, we began the journey back home to Oregon. Once again we entered into the flood zone of North Dakota. Flood water actually lapped at the train wheels as we moved oh so slowly. The train stopped after we traversed the flood water.
The conductor announced crew members were going to look for debris under the train. They found a cow, two sheep and six very large carp.
I’m now going to ask lady admirers of my column to stop reading until I have a little chat with the men.
Manly men of Junction City, as you all know, women are the weaker sex. OKAY, let’s all laugh together. Millions of years ago women gathered in a cave and had a ladies meeting. It was decided they would ACT as the weaker sex so their cave men would go out and kill the saber tooth tiger, wooly mammoth and other fierce creatures. The ladies decided we’ll just cook the food and be the gatherers. Let the men be the hunters and kill themselves providing the chow. The minutes of that cave ladies meeting have been passed on to the women of today.
Ladies you may continue reading. I thank you for your patience and understanding.
Where was I? Oh yes, flooding. We modern cave men must put on a brave face for the little lady when faced with danger. They are the weaker sex. You Betcha! I was furiously reading the Superliner Customer Safety Instructions trying to keep the fear out of my eyes. I looked at the wife. The wife seemed as content as a June bug on a rose petal. I bet she was reading the minutes of the cave women’s meeting.
We finally made in through the floods of North Dakota. I swear I saw Noah’s Ark off in the distance. The ark was possibly heading to Fargo, North Dakota and a really big Motel 6. “We’ll leave the Light on for You.”
We entered Montana. Just when you think things can’t possibly get any worse they do. All part of Life’s Rich Pageant.
The train was clipping along at 80 miles per hour and then pulled to a stop. The conductor announced a freight train, owned by Warren Buffet, broke down and was blocking the tracks. I wish we had broken down in a place with scenery like Glacier National Park or the Columbia Gorge. But no, we broke down in a gravel pit. The train crew opened the doors and passengers stumbled out. I looked at my fellow passengers. They were enjoying themselves. Kids were playing, folks were trading stories and a good time was happening in the gravel pit. Granted we looked liked the Donner Party but hey, there was no snow. I never saw one frown or heard one complaint. Amtrak folks are resilient. We were there so long Dominos’ Pizza added us to their delivery route.
We were fortunate to meet Art Peterson, Ph.D., and the Director, Archivist of the Railroad Station Historical Society in the gravel pit. The RRSHS founded in 1968, is a non-profit corporation devoted to the study of railroad depots, towers, roundhouses, bridges, and other railroad structures. The Society is an educational and research organization collecting data and preserving it for the future. It was so cool to meet Dr. Art. Here I am trying to formulate train stories and I’m sharing a sleeper car with a train buff. The Railroad Station Historical Society maintains a database of existing railroad structures at: http://www.rrshs.org
Mr. Buffet, 4-hours later, had his train repaired and we started moving. The conductor, announced over the intercom, “Mr. Buffet brought his repair crew by Wells Fargo Stage Coach.”  We all got a chuckle out of that. The conductor announced we had indeed gotten low on food but not to worry. We were stopping in Pasco, Washington where we would be treated to Kentucky Fried Chicken. We stopped and everybody got a bucket of KFC and it was a true wonderment. I later read a news story about the manager of Pasco’s KFC.  Poor fella, after we left, he was committed to a facility for the really, really abnormal. Apparently, the size of Amtrak’s order unhinged him.
We finally made it to hearth and home, greeted the cat and all was right with the world.

Uffdamay007@gmail.com

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