4th of July

One Article Just Wasn’t Enough.


My previous column about the Independence Day Celebration at Dexter Lake State Park gave a thumbnail sketch of what the day really was like. That’s why I decided I needed to tell even more of the story. As Master of Ceremonies I feel I had a unique perspective of what you missed out on if you didn’t attend. If you were there take a close look at the following pictures. You might see yourself and your family.

First of all I want to again thank all of the vendors for bringing there wares to the park. I gave you the list of their names and now I want you to see them for yourself. The Dexter Firefighters Bar-B-Q Chicken leads this parade of vendors. Looking at these pictures you can almost taste the tender Bar-B-Q chicken.

Firefighters' B-B-Q Chicken
Dexter Volunteer Firefighters’ B-B-Q Chicken,MMMMM Good!| Photo by Tim Chuey

Next is Red 5 Hot Dogs. It’s amazing how such a small cart can produce such great dogs. You can find them at Red 5 dogs Facebook page

5 Hot Dogs
Red 5 Hot Dogs | Photo by Tim Chuey

The Piglet Food Truck had a lot of business with their variety of food choices.

Pink Pig Food Cart
Piglet Food Truck | Photo by Tim Chuey

Sweet Bay Shaved Ice provided a cool and refreshing treat. Here is their Facebook page.

Sweet Bay Shaved Ice | Photo by Tim Chuey

Rattlesnake BBQ did not disappoint either. Here is their Facebook page.

Rattlesnake BBQ
Rattlesnake BBQ |Photo by Tim Chuey

Phil’s Smoothies made fresh fruit smoothies that are out of this world. Check out Phil’s Smoothies at the Dexter Lake Farmer’s Market.

Phil's Smoothies
Phil’s Smoothies | Photo by Tim Chuey

Then there is the Rebel Rally Beer Garden. Get more information about Rebel Rally at RebelRally.com.

The Rebel Rally Beer Garden also held tricycle time trials. You buy a beer and then get the chance to be the fastest tricycle rider and win a prize.

Rebel Rally Tricycle Races
Rebel Rally Tricycle Races | Photo by Tim Chuey

There were also booths selling unique items such as Dream Catchers and other items by Native Footprints Leatherwork & Beaded Designs.

Dream Catchers
Native Footprints Dream Catchers For Sale | Photo by Tim Chuey

And Tami’s Tie Dyes! Here is her Facebook page.

Tami's Tie Dye
Tami’s Tie Dyes! | Photo by Tim Chuey

In part one I showed you “Old Coots On Scoots” and some of their motorcycles. They want me to tell you the group is not limited to just “old coots” and that the have members who are adults, but by no means in the old category. Here’s another look at some of the cool machines they rode in on.

"Coots On Scoots" Motorcycles
“Coots On Scoots” Motorcycles | Photo by Tim Chuey”

Here were some other things to do at Dexter Lake Park including, boating, floating on a blowup raft, and wading.

Boating On Dexter LAke
Boating On Dexter Lake | Image by Tim Chuey
Sunning On A Raft
Relaxing On A Blowup Raft | Photo by Tim Chuey
Wading In Dexter Lake
Wading In Dexter Lake To Keep Cool | Photo by Tim Chuey

There was this guy who combined the rocket jetpack with water and literally floated in the air on water. If this interests you check out Jetpack America.com.

Water Jetpack 1 | Photo by Tim Chuey
Water Jetpack
Water Jetpack 2 | Photo by Tim Chuey
Water Jetpack 3
Water Jetpack 3 | Photo by Tim Chuey

It wouldn’t be the 4th of July without Old Glory. This Iraq War Veteran, Jesse Taylor, walked through the park many times carrying his flag to demonstrate his love for America.

Veteran Carrying Flag
Iraq War Veteran Jesse TaylorCarries His Flag | Photo by Tim Chuey

To complete this Independence Day Celebration part 2 Let’s take a last look at some of the fireworks display.

Fireworks 2A | Photo by Tim Chuey
Fireworks 2B
Fireworks 2B | Photo by Tim Chuey
Fireworks 2C
Fireworks 2C | Photo by Tim Chuey

This was my 4th year participating in the 4th of July activities at Dexter Lake. If you attended you know how great the day turned out. If you were not there I hope what I have presented here makes you want to join us next year.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

A Great Way To End The Long 4th Of July Holiday Weekend!


Some people may like to spend the Independence Day holiday quietly relaxing in their own back yard, but we are celebrating the birth of our country so I prefer a friendly crowd (estimated at about 5,000 people), great bands playing music all day and a fireworks display to end the evening. The early birds always get the best spots to set up their cooler, blanket, chairs etc. and they are usually in the shade of the few trees in the park.

Canopy Tents
Canopy Tents Provide Shade – Juggler Entertains Photo by Tim Chuey

The peaceful and cool Dexter Lake acts as the backdrop while the aroma of the Dexter Volunteer Firefighter’s Bar-B-Q Chicken wafts through the air stimulating your taste buds to make you get up from your chair and get in line for some great chicken.

Firefighters Bar-B-Q Chicken
Dexter Volunteer Firefighters Bar-B-Q Chicken | Photo by Tim Chuey

There was a new activity that premiered this year called the “Old Coots on Scoots” Poker Run in which motorcycle riders were dealt a poker hand one card at a time as they rode from one adult “watering hole” to another receiving their last card at the celebration at Dexter Lake State Park.

Coots On Scoots
Old Coots On Scoots Local Chapter | Photo by Tim Chuey

These “Old Coots on Scoots” is comprised of older riders which raise funds to give sporting equipment, shoes, etc. to needy youth in the small towns of the area. You can find out more about their National organization by going to: oldcootsonscoots.net.

Rebel Rally
Rebel Rally Beer Garden | Photo by Tim Chuey
Just Look At Those Beautiful Machines | Photo by Tim Chuey

Another effort by the “Old Coots on Scoots” and motorcycle enthusiasts is Rebel Rally, A 501(C)(3) charity, which is an effort to raise money to help veterans and their families. Rebel Rally along with Western Beverage sponsored a beer garden and even had timed races on tricycles for those who purchased beer or wine at their booth with the profits going to the veterans and their families.Here is the Rebel Rally Facebook address: Facebook address.

Jennifer Brazil
On Stage Jennifer Brazil (R) Drawing Tickets For Prizes | Photo by Suzanne Chuey

Jennifer Brazil represented Rebel Rally and came up on the stage with me multiple times to give out prizes to those who patronized their booth.

Under The Shade Of My Hat
Me Wearing My Favorite Hat | Photo by Suzanne Chuey

I am fortunate to have the best job at this big party by once again being the Master of Ceremonies. Welcoming the people and introducing the entertainment is so much fun. The bands start playing their 45 minute sets on the stage that is positioned so that everyone can hear the the music no matter where they may be.

Jazz Flute Project
The Jazz Flute Project | Photo by Tim Chuey

The first band to perform was The Jazz Flute Project. They play swinging Jazz standards, bebop, soulful ballads, and Bossa Nova. You can check them out at their home page https://jazzfluteproject.com.

Jason Cline
Jason Cline (L) Singer/Songwriter | Photo by Tim Chuey

Next up Jason Cline, a native of North Carolina who just recently moved to Oregon. You can find him at:jasonclinemusic.com

Bohdis Zafa
Bhodis Zafa | Photo by Tim Chuey

Third on this beautiful day was Bodhis Zafa. Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bodhisZafa/.

Men From Surf
Men From SURF | Photo by Tim Chuey

The Men From S.U.R.F. (Secret Underground Retro Fraternity) were up next. They played many great surfer songs. Check out their home page at: menfromserf.com.

Axis Salvation
Axis Salvation | Photo by Tim Chuey

A band very familiar to this annual event came next Axis Salvation whose web page is axissalvation.com.

MissChievious | Photo by Tim Chuey

The cleverly named MissChievous came next. They can be found at: MissChievous Facebook page


Procrastinators, EDN’s Kelly Asay Left | Photo by Tim Chuey

Last, but certainly not least, was the band PROCRASTINATORS led by EDN’s own Kelly Asay. They can be found at: theprocastinators

Me Reading Gettysburg Address
Me Reading Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address | Photo by Suzanne Chuey

Here is where I performed my annual reading of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. To me, one of the most emotional and spiritually moving speeches ever made.

Nichole Stutesman
Nichole Stutesman (What A Voice!) | Photo by Suzanne Chuey

The last musical presentation of this patriotic event was the singing of our National Anthem by Nichole Stutesman who performed a very emotional rendition of a very difficult and historical piece of music.

Fireworks Burst
Fireworks Burst | Photo by Tim Chuey
Fireworks Burst2
Fireworks Burst2 | Photo by Tim Chuey
Fireworks Burst 3
Fireworks Burst 3 | Photo by Tim Chuey

The grand finale of the evening was the fireworks display. What makes that special is that we are close enough to actually see the fireworks being lighted and watch them take off, rise to their apogee and explode in the air right near us. The final volley of explosions always has the crowd cheering.

Keeping Cool Wading In The Water | Photo by Tim Chuey

Special thanks go to the Dexter Volunteer Firefighters, Eugene Daily News, Rebel Rally 501c3, Kingsford, Western Beverage, Sam’s Place and “Old Coots On Scoots” for sponsoring this annual event. Thanks also go to: Oregon State Parks,The Dexter Firefighters Bar-B-Q Chicken, Red 5 Hot Dogs, The Piglet Food Truck (boy were they busy!), Sweet Bay Shaved Ice, Rattlesnake BBQ and Dexter Organic Farms.  Other Vendors including Native Footprints Leatherwork & Beaded Designs, Blue Buffalo Mercantile, Todd Waddell Sound (provided and ran the sound for the bands ALL DAY), Ray’s Market, Dexter Fire District, Guardian Security, and last but certainly not least Mike Cockerline who did all of the legwork to organize the event with EDN’s own Kelly Asay.

Old Glory
“Old Glory” The Symbol Of A Grateful Nation | Photo By Tim Chuey

And, of course, a very big “Thank You” to all of those who came out to Dexter Lake State Park to celebrate Independence Day with us. I can’t wait for next year. It should be interesting since July 4th 2017 is a Tuesday, so no long holiday weekend for most of us. If it is possible next year should be even better.

This event was two big for just one article. Next weeks Weather Or Not will feature the Sponsors, Vendors and others who made this celebration such a big success.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

Where Did The Week Go…


Where Did The Week Go


Police Find $10 Million Worth of Cocaine Inside Horse’s Head

Law enforcement officers have no doubt seen it all when it comes to drug smuggling. But for police officers in New Zealand, they may have scored the biggest drug bust of a lifetime after finding $10 million worth of cocaine stuffed inside a bedazzled sculpture of a horse’s head.

Police and customs officials seized the artwork, weighing 880 pounds, after it arrived from Mexico in May. After opening up the horse, they discovered 35 bricks of high-grade cocaine inside.

Horse head-Jason Oxenham
Not exactly a trojan horse. | (Jason Oxenham)

“This is obviously an extremely large amount of cocaine, and in the past we’ve only found very small amounts of this drug,” said Colin Parmenter of the Organized Crime Auckland squad.

“Prior to this, the average amount of cocaine seized by police each year was around 250 grams. What this find tells us though is that there is obviously a demand for it,” said Parmenter.

Demand! I’ll say. The average was less than a pound and they confiscated more than 800 pounds. Do we know where that Chipotle executive has been vacationing for the past few months? Has Tony Montana been resurrected?

Three men were arrested on Friday in connection with the plot including a 56-year-old U.S. national and two Mexican nationals.

The crate the drugs came in had “fragile” written on it. Who knew it was for the blow instead of the horse.


Be Safe on the 4th of July

Sounds of fireworks going off in the distance have already begun. In fact, I heard one randomly about a month ago. But while the sight of sparklers and bottle rockets can be cool, they can also be dangerous (I sound like a parent).

Here’s a few statistics from last year’s Independence Day as provided by the Consumer Products and Safety Commission:

There were 11 firework-related deaths in 2015 including two that were homemade (Leave it to the professionals).

Children younger than 15 accounted for 26 percent of all 2015 injuries so instead of refilling your cooler with beer, keep an eye on your kids.

Fireworks safety-upperallenfire.com
Just say “yes” to firework safety. | (upperallenfire.com)

The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (Including a famous football player) so when you’re lighting those fireworks, keep them on the ground and away from trees or brush.

Most fireworks shoot up in the air obviously, but there’s always a few that stray from the pact. I once saw a woman get struck squarely in the butt on a beach in Yachats by one of those spinning fireworks. So while you can’t always pay attention, be mindful of ariel fireworks because the safety commission included numerous cases where people were struck in the face by errant fireworks.

Not included in the report but I would be remise if I didn’t mention it is DON’T LIGHT A FIREWORK OUT OF YOUR JUNK OR BUTT! I know, it’s a lot to ask and those YouTube videos are hilarious, but just don’t. Don’t be that guy.

Okay, my 4th of July public service announcement has concluded. Eat some barbeque, consume some beverages and have fun. But also be safe.


GoPro Captures Moment a Parachute Fails for Skydiver

One of the things on my bucket list is to go skydiving. It would be an amazing adrenaline rush and I know I would love the experience. But the one little caveat with such a wish is the possibility that you know, I might die.

There’s a reason parachutes have reserve chutes because anything can happen. For Oklahoma skydiver Daniel Herndon, that dreaded scenario played out and fortunately for all of us, it was captured on a GoPro camera.

Herndon and a fellow skydiver planned to fall out of the plane (They don’t really jump) and land at Taft Stadium where the Oklahoma City Energy and Chivas USA were scheduled to play a soccer match. Herndon was even tasked with holding the game ball and delivering it once he landed so he had an important job.

But while he was descending, he pulled his parachute only to discover that it was tangled. He quickly cut it loose and calmly activated his reserve chute and landed as planned.

“You don’t really have time to really react,” Herndon told KOCO, the local ABC station. “You just do what you have to do.”

After watching the video, he certainly handled the whole thing like a pro. Would I react the same way? Maybe I should just stick to roller coasters.

Where Did The Week Go…


Where Did The Week Go


Woman Shot in Leg July 4 Doesn’t Realize it For 5 Days

Here we go again Florida.

A woman in Deland, Florida was sitting at a cafe on Independence Day when she suddenly felt a pain in her leg. She went to the bathroom to check it out and didn’t see much blood so she assumed she’d been hit by a firecracker.

But after five days, the pain she felt got worse so she decided to go to the hospital. While she was there, doctors found a .38-caliber bullet lodged in her leg. The 4th of July is all fun and games until someone gets shot in the leg.

Is it me or was this year’s Independence Day crazier and dangerous than most we’ve had lately. On a national level, we had the tragic news of a man dying after setting a mortar off on his head, then a football player lost a digit after setting off a firework in his hand.

Leg X-Ray-WESH NBC News
Do we need to start wearing body armor on the 4th of July? | (WESH NBC News)

Locally there seemed to be more fireworks shot off than I have ever experienced in the ten years I’ve lived here. I don’t know if it’s just me getting older, but the 4th of July is starting to seem far more dangerous.

I once saw a woman get hit in the butt by an errant firework on the beach. I thought it was awesome at the time. Years ago my dog got so scared in the backyard on the 4th he punctured a hole in his bed causing little white balls to blanket the yard like it’d been snowing in July. He was really old at the time so I just chalked it up as a fit of dementia.

But now I’m starting to understand people’s concern with fireworks. The ban in certain areas of Eugene seemed necessary considering the drought we’re in and the certain level of stupidity that is created that night.

This is a week late but, if you’re going to set off fireworks in the future, please leave them on the ground, away from fire hazards like trees and bushes and think of ways to protect your dogs from suffering. That and don’t fire guns because you might hit poor ladies in the leg.


Netflix Instant Pick: Daredevil

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these, but after binge-watching Daredevil this past week, it was time to re-open the Netflix recommendations.

The first time they tried to do Daredevil, it was a cheesy early ’00s movie with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Colin Farrell. That movie had its moments, but it didn’t quite know whether it wanted to be a serious and dark comic-book movie in the vein of Batman or a fun popcorn ride similar to Spider-Man.

In the twelve years since its release, we’ve seen just about every other superhero make it to the big-screen and fans wondered if the blind lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen would ever be rebooted. The answer is yes and to the benefit of the character, became serialized for television.

Charlie Cox plays Matt Murdock, a man who was blinded as a young boy by a chemical spill in a freak accident. But instead of simply losing one of his senses, the accident gives him the ability to use his other senses to an incredible degree and see the world in a unique way.

He grows up to become a lawyer and struggles with having to deliver justice in his profession by day and in his other job as a vigilante by night. This dilemma is really the heart of season one of the show.

Want a show to binge-watch? Check out ‘Daredevil.’ | (indiewire.com)

Of all of the Marvel characters, you could argue Daredevil is the most interesting and worthy of a 13-hour season rather than a 2-hour film. He doesn’t have the money or the gadgets of a Tony Stark, he doesn’t turn into a green rage monster and he doesn’t wield a hammer. He’s just a well-trained fighter who can take a beating most of the time and has to walk a fine line between getting the information he needs in the shadows and using that information to convict criminals as a lawyer in the light.

Like most of the superheroes, Daredevil refuses to kill because it’s what separates the heros from the villains. But when the villains control most of the city, how far is our hero willing to go to put them away?

The show tackles these familiar comic-book tropes, but it isn’t a one-sided show. The main villain Wilson Fisk, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, is a fully-developed character and in some way you can sympathize with some of the actions he takes to make his city a better place.

Even characters who would otherwise be henchmen in a movie are given multi-episode arcs that give their story-lines meaning to the overall show.

But the best part of Daredevil is the fight choreography and the excellent direction of these fight scenes. There’s hardly any quick-cuts which allows us as an audience to make sense of the scenes and it’s refreshing that our hero takes his fair share of beatings.

The show did seem to lose a little bit of steam toward the end of the season and it wrapped certain things up just a little too quickly and neatly, but this is a show worth checking out. Even if you’re not a huge comic-book fan, watch it for the amazing fight scenes, character development on both sides and simply the gritty tone. Is this a superhero show or a crime drama?


Are Minion Toys Using Profanity?

This weekend saw the release of Minions, a spinoff movie to the popular Despicable Me series. I’ve never seen the Despicable Me films but from watching trailers, the Minions come off as being funny, harmless little creatures who speak adorable gibberish.

The release of a kid’s movie also breads toys and McDonald’s latest Happy Meal includes little Minions that say different incoherent phrases. But one in particular sounds an awful lot like “What the F**k” and parents are not happy.

“It turned out to be a toy that decided to talk profanity,” said Bradley Merten to Florida ABC affiliate WFTV. “I can’t believe it’s coming out of a toy.”

Minions-Universal Pictures
What did you say young Minion? | (Universal Pictures)

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer said she “died a little inside” after hearing the phrase repeated by her preschool-age son.

I guess if you really listen closely, you can hear the Minion saying that phrase, but if I didn’t already know what to listen for, I might not have heard it.

The “died a little inside” comment by the columnist is a little extreme and McDonald’s released a statement saying the toy Minions are only speaking “Minionese,” a fictitious language. The company has no plans to remove the toys.

This is much ado about nothing. Maybe you hear it and maybe not. Besides, is there anything funnier than a small child cursing? It’s the best. Let’s all take a deep breath America and move on.


The temperature was hot and so were the bands.


It seems like only a year ago that I wrote about the Independence Day Celebration at Dexter Lake State Park. As a matter of fact it was a year ago. Time does fly by doesn’t it? Those of us who don’t live in air conditioned homes really appreciated sitting in the shade of a small tree near the lake.

Some Of The People At Dexter Lake | Photo by Tim Chuey
Some Of The People At Dexter Lake | Photo by Tim Chuey

The lake breeze was really refreshing. After record temperatures in Eugene of 101 degrees then 100 degrees it was great to be only in the lower 90s for the day. It stayed overcast for a good portion of the day which really helped to keep the temperature down, By the time the sun pushed through the clouds it was already on its way to setting.

Shelter From The Sun (Background Right) | Photo by Tim Chuey
Shelter From The Sun (Background And Right) | Photo by Tim Chuey

The yearly event was sponsored by the Eugene Daily News (EDN), Lane County Mug Shots and the Dexter Volunteer Firefighters Association. People brought picnic blankets, chairs, tent canopies, whatever it took to have a place to sit comfortably on the grass for the day.

Water Fun
Fun On The Water | Photo by Tim Chuey

There were lots of things to do. Some people floated on the water in boats, rode a jet ski, rafts or inner tubes while others chose to swim in the water.

Dogs Swimming
Keeping Cool With Her “Friends” | Photo by Tim Chuey

One of the big attractions of the day was the concert stage (more like an outdoor oven for the performers), though this year there was no black tarp as the back wall of the stage so it was much cooler for the performers. A total of 8 bands entertained the crowd with their various styles of music all day long. It was my “job” (actually great pleasure and a too much fun-for-words experience) to introduce the bands which is always a kick.

Koriolis Effect
Koriolis Effect With Fans Taking Pictures| Photo by Tim Chuey

“Koriolis Effect” was the lead-off band. This was their first performance at the Dexter lake celebration and by the way they were very well received everyone hopes they will return next year.

Axis Salvation | Photo by Tim Chuey
Axis Salvation | Photo by Tim Chuey
Axis Salvation Selling Their Stuff | Photo by Tim Chuey
Axis Salvation Selling Their Stuff | Photo by Tim Chuey

“Axis Salvation” was next. They have been regulars at this gathering and even set up their own venders tent so they could sell their CD’s t-shirts, etc. You can go to the Axis Salvation web page.

The Athiarchists With Rolling Stage | Photo by Tim Chuey
The Athiarchists With Rolling Stage | Photo by Tim Chuey

The next group “The Athiarchists” had quite a surprising entrance. They didn’t use the stage because they drove up in a truck that was their own self contained stage and band bus. The crowd really got into their raucous performance. They finished their set and drove off. Check out their website at: The Athiarchists.com.

Living The Dream | Photo by Tim Chuey
Living The Dream | Photo by Tim Chuey

“Living the Dream” used the stage provided and kept the attention of the people despite all of the activities that were going on. You can contact the band at 808-684-5144.

Missing Mass Peter Almeida | Photo by Tim Chuey
Missing Mass Peter Almeida | Photo by Tim Chuey

“Missing Mass” was Peter Almeida who calls himself “an unembedded, four-appendaged, multifaceted. one-man band. You can check out his music at: reverbnation.com/peteralmeida.

Unaltered | Photo by Tim Chuey
Unaltered | Photo by Tim Chuey

“Unaltered” was next with a lively set of some original music.

Steel Woll | Photo by Tim Chuey
Steel Wool | Photo by Tim Chuey

Then “Steel Wool” took the stage. This band has been one of the mainstays of the annual celebration. You can find then at: www.gwproj.com/steelwool.html.

The Procrastinators | Photo by Tim Chuey
The Procrastinators | Photo by Tim Chuey

And finishing the evening of music was “The Procrastinators” with Kelly Asay EDN’s head man singing and playing guitar.

There were some picnic baskets prepared and laid out, but there were also some great venders there to provide food and drinks. The Dexter Volunteer Firefighters Association members sold their famous barbecued chicken, which was scrumptious. Red 5 Hot Dogs were in demand too.There were some other vendors with items for sale.

T R Kelly From "Steel Wool" Sang Beautifully | Photo by Tim Chuey
T R Kelly From “Steel Wool” Sang Beautifully | Photo by Tim Chuey

Again I was honored to read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as I have done for a few years now. Then TR Kelly from the band Steel Wool performed an emotional version of our “National Anthem” and the crowd enthusiastically applauded when she completed the last note.

Fireworks Still Shot | Photo by Tim Chuey
Fireworks Still Shot 1 | Photo by Tim Chuey

The grand finale was the fireworks, display executed perfectly by members of the Dexter Volunteer Fire Department, which was quite spectacular as expected.

Fireworks Still Shot 2 | Photo by Tim Chuey
Fireworks Still Shot 2 | Photo by Tim Chuey

Special thanks go to Eugene Daily News, Lane County Mug Shots and of Course the Dexter Volunteer Firefighters Association for sponsoring this annual event. Thanks also go to: Oregon State Parks, Kingsford Briquets, Peterson Cat Rentals, Star Rentals, The Dexter Firefighters Bar-B-Q Chicken, Red 5 Hot Dogs, Other Vendors including Native Footprints Leatherwork & Beaded Designs, Todd Waddell Sound (adjusted and ran the sound mixing for the bands ALL DAY), Ray’s Market, Dexter Fire District, B & R Reliable Transport (for the stage), Western Fireworks, Guardian Security, and Mike Cockerline who did all of the legwork to organize the event with EDN’s own Kelly Asay.

And, of course, a very big “Thank You” to all of those who came out to Dexter Lake State Park to celebrate Independence Day with us. I can’t wait for next year. It should be interesting since July 4th 2016 is a Monday. If it is possible next year will be even better.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].

Let’s Rock the Weekend


Hey there it’s BJ.

Here’s “Where, When, Whats Happening(3 W’s) this 4th of July weekend!”

photo by Billie-Jo Miller
photo by Billie-Jo Miller

July 4th

Light of Liberty Celebration at Springfield’s Island Park, gates open at 4, kid zone, food, drink, music and fireworks… performances by Jimmy Bobby Band/4:30, Charley Snelling & Voodoo Chili /6pm and  headlining for the night is Chubby Checker at 8pm. Fireworks at 10pm.  Tickets $5at SUB’s Main office and Jerry’sHome Improvement Center(Eugene andSpringfield locations) $7 at the gate, kid’s 5 and under free and immediate familyof active Springfield military are free(spouse and children up to 4 free tickets). ID required.

July 4th

July 4th 2014 | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

Dexter Lake Annual 4th of July celebration at Dexter Lake State park.

$10 donation per car/$2 walk in.

A day of music…Band list and time.

2-2:45pm Pleasant Hill Jazz.

3-3:45pm Koriolis Effect.

4-4:45pm Axis Salvation.

Axis Salvation
Axis Salvation Dexter Park 2014 | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

5-5:45pm Living The Dream.

6-6:30pm Peter Almeida (Missing Mass).

6:45-7:30pm Unaltered.

7:45-8:45pm Steel Wool.

photo by Billie-Jo Miller

9pm Fireworks and The Procrastinators.

The Procrastinators July 4th 2014, Dexter Lake | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

Three Rivers Casino both Friday and Saturday: Code Red.

Mark Nash/Code Red at Dexter lake 4th of July 2014 | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

Happy Hours:Fri. Justin Case and Sat. Rocktopia.

The River Stop Restaurant and Sports Bar: Fri. Haywire.

The Mohawk: Friday…BBQ Bash with Bulls On Parade.

Derek Zane | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

Upper Mckenzie Community Center: Sat. the 4th of July: Dragstrip Superstar 8:30pm.

photo by Billie-Jo Miller

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July weekend and please don’t drink and drive.












Protect Your Pet During 4th of July

Protect your pet
Protect your pet from loud noises

Before heading out to celebrate the national holiday, take a few mitigation measures to protect your pet this 4th of July.  On the 5th of July, Lane County animal shelters become inundated with lost and runaway animals. It is the single busiest intake day of the year for animal shelters across the nation.

Fireworks and the loud noises associated with the evening entertainment, are uncommon noises that may frighten your animal. The fear is not just limited to domestic dogs and cats, it includes birds, reptiles and livestock. Knowing your pet better than anyone else, there are some measures you can take before your 4th of July celebrations.

  • Order sedatives from you veterinarian if required.
  • Keep your pet inside the house.
  • Avoid the noise. During fireworks, close windows and turn up the television volume.
  • Remain calm. Your pet will response to your ease.

In Lane County, the Human Society runs two two shelters, one that services the cities of Eugene and Springfield at 3970 West 1st Avenue Eugene, and outside city precinct at the Greenhill Humane Society at 88530 Greenhill Road. Both shelters run a combined web page which allows you to view which animals are at each shelter.

Unfortunately, less than 2% of all cats and 20% of all dogs are ever reunited with their family once they leave.

Protect your pet
Protect Your Pet from 4th of July fireworks

There are a number of commercially available devices that you can use to assist with identification if your pet does leave home.

Through Pethub, a QR identification code is which attaches to your pet’s collar. Once located, the code can be scanned with a smartphone to provide the owners particulars. S step up involved GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) Tracking through Pettracker will allow you to locate your animal away from home.

The best available identification process is to microchip your animal, before they ever need to be found.

Photo Essay: And The Rockets Red Glare


The last segment of the 4th of July party out at Dexter Lake State Park brought us one more band, my favorite rendition of the Gettysburg address, and what is now my favorite rendering of the National Anthem. That’s since we all heard Whitney Houston add that dramatic note that popped into the stratosphere (and we all collectively prefer never to hear again now) for the first time.  All this followed by the Fireworks.


An interesting thing happens out at Dexter Lake Park during the 4th of July, it always starts out sparse, slowly building till around 5pm you start wondering where all the people came from.  By 7pm the sun is starting to hide behind the trees and the crowd size has gone up by another third.


Come 9pm when the last band kicks off, the park population has swollen to more than double the 5pm count.  As the last band takes the stage, it’s starting to get dark and the glow necklaces and the dancers come out like local firefly’s.  Everyone has emerged from under trees and pop-up covers and umbrellas and campers to find their spot on the grounds for the coming pyrotechnics.

The Procrastinators

The Procrastinators | photo by Billie-Jo Miller
The Procrastinators: Kelly Asay, Don Poole, Jeff Tunnell, Sarah Tunnell, Jordan Schmidt | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

Everyone is having a very good time.  Even with the Steel Pail / Bigfoot Distributing beer garden, there were no fights, no hassles, no illegal fireworks – believe it or not.  Guardian Event Services brought in a team to provide overwatch. They spent most of their time trying to keep the musicians out of the fireworks safety area. In fact the number one sound you hear when The Procrastinators end a song is cheering, clapping and laughter; little kid boisterous laughter, grown up chuckles, teen guffaws.

Kelly Asay (left) and Tim Chuey (right). Tim is EDN's secret weapon.
Kelly Asay (left) and Tim Chuey (right). Tim is EDN’s secret weapon.

Tim Chuey takes the stage as the last song ends and delivers one of the most memorable speeches given by a U.S. President:

Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln – November 19, 1863

As the applause began to die down, Tim introduced TR Kelley for the National Anthem.  We had scrambled while Tim was preparing to the The Gettysburg address to find someone to do it; we had forgotten to arrange it.  Steel Wool drummer Randy Hamme mentioned that their bassist, TR Kelley, loved to do the national anthem, but she had gone to their campsite to change.  Randy grabbed a bicycle and set out, 3 of us started doing warm-ups and trying to find a safe range to sing the vocally challenging song (yes, I was ready to give it a go).

T.R. Kelly Singing 2
Close-up T.R. Kelly singing the “National Anthem”

As Tim was finishing, in came Ms. Kelley.  Without missing a beat Tim introduced her, the firetrucks bracketing the stage like sentinels lit their parking lights, and magic happened.  This was no common attempt at the song, no bombastic delivery or self-aggrandizing vocal theatrics, this was love.

As the first notes left the speakers it was evident what a clear and distinctive voice she has.  As the second phrase began to flow from her you found yourself on your feet, your hand moving self-consciously to cover your heart. As she rose to the rockets red glare, sung so simply and carefully almost as a question, I could see the crowd from the stage being caught up in her voice.  As she entered the closing stanzas she somehow sang it as both a question and an affirmation; a Mona Lisa like rendering of the most mishandled part of the anthem.  She had us all, every one.

The word “brave” began at her microphone and ended with the blast of sirens from the Firetrucks and the sounds of the first fireworks climbing skyward.  If you missed it, you really missed it.

Fireworks Display | Photo by Tim Chuey
Fireworks Display | Photo by Tim Chuey

Thank you everyone who helped make this 4th of July a spectacular success. Photos by Billie-Jo Miller & Tim Chuey.

Photo Essay: Whose Broad Stripes And Bright Stars


The man behind the Dexter Fireman’s 4th of July event for the last double handful of years is Dexter Volunteer Firefighter Mike Cockerline.  A brand new father and community volunteer (Cahoots and more), Mike is the calm unstoppable force that causes this event to happen.  Speaking for all of us here at EDN, it’s a real treat to get to work with Mike on this project.

There are an array of challenges when it comes to putting on an event like this: donations, permits, the bands, the vendors, security, so many details.  Did I mention the bands? Unlike experiences in previous years with less than stellar cooperation, this year went without a hitch.  All the bands sounded good, they all started on time, ended on time and, except for an unfortunate event with a set of tires and a fence pole, the music went off without a hitch. Local soundman extraordinaire Todd Waddell did forget his pop-up to cover the mixing board, but in true pro fashion, he set the board up in his truck, linked his iPad in and mixed from a lawnchair with the iPad.

Our master of ceremonies again this year was the inimitable Tim Chuey.  He not only brought us the sunshine we needed, but he brought his unique ability to make things seem very smooth.  If you see Tim, online or in real life, tell him thanks.  He deserves it.

In this segment, Billie-Jo Miller brings us three more bands:

Axis Salvation

I love showcasing new young talent and this year we had a killer new group: Axis Salvation.  A style center somewhere around Weezer meets Nirvana - they've got a new CD and a terrific sound.
I love showcasing new young talent and this year we had a killer new group: Axis Salvation. A style centered in the neighborhood of Weezer meets Nirvana – they’ve got a new CD and a terrific sound.

Steel Wool

Bearing one of the cleverest names on the bill "Steel Wool" also was a huge surprise.  Featuring B52 esq vocal harmonies, catchy "Eugene" style Americana Folk, tremendous musicianship and the clearly the most rad bass player of any group at the show. (click for more)
Bearing one of the cleverest names on the bill “Steel Wool” also was a huge surprise. Featuring B52 esq vocal harmonies, catchy “Eugene” style, heartfelt Americana/Folk, tremendous musicianship and the most rad bass player of any group at the show. (click for more)

and Dragstrip Superstar

Dragstrip Superstar features one of the areas best pair of frontmen in Shane Thornton and Derek Zane.  The Superstars mix of 80's and 90's classic tunes combined with their intense energy was an immediate hit.
Dragstrip Superstar features one of the areas best pair of frontmen in Shane Thornton and Derek Zane. Add Jeff Blazer and Scott Johansen to the Superstars mix of 80’s and 90’s classic tunes and their intense overall energy leval and you have an immediate hit.  I know the crowd sure liked them.

Photo Essay: Oh Say Can You See


This years Fourth of July, Independence Day celebration at Dexter Lake State Park was a nearly perfect event.  This annual fundraiser for the Dexter Volunteer Firefighters Association is now in it’s 16th year.  This is EDN’s 3rd year as partners with the DVFA. It is estimated that more than 4500 people were in attendance this year.  Not bad for a little state park out past the edge of town.  Of course having a lake, sunshine, 7 bands, fireworks, Bigfoot Distributing and Steel Pail hosting a beer garden, Organic foods courtesy of Creswell Bakery and Furrer Farms, and a score of local vendors on site makes it a pretty sweet place to spend a 4th of July.

The newest member of the EDN team, photographer Billie-Jo Miller, documented this year for us.

First up we had NAUGHTY DIGIT from Salem

Naughty Digit from Salem kicked off the Event.  Vintage music, tight band.
Naughty Digit from Salem kicked off the Event. Vintage music, tight band.

Followed by Eugene’s own THE HIDEAWAYS – a self titled 60’s garage band.

The Hideaways Dave Thomas kicking it.
The Hideaways Dave Thomas kicking it.

Then Locals CODE RED.


Stay tuned for the next 3 acts.