Father Not Charged After Taking Daughter

kiera found 1EUGENE, Ore. — A Springfield family is thanking the community for helping find a missing toddler, taken by her father nearly two weeks ago.

Eugene Police say nearly two weeks ago Andrew Burke took his daughter  Kiera and made suicidal statements.

After police put out information asking for help locating the one-year-old child, Burke called police and gave the child back to her mother.

Police say even though Kiera was gone for nearly two weeks, nothing is wrong with someone taking their own child.

Burke does not have custody of Kiera, but police say he didn’t know that when he took her.

Police say this was more of a welfare check than anything else, because they wanted to make sure both Kiera and Burke were okay.

A family member says Kiera is doing well and they’re very thankful that she got back safely.

Spring Break Kids Camps and Activities


Wondering what local kids camps and activities you can enroll your children in during the upcoming spring break?  Well, here is a partial list with links to more information.

Water Polo Camp
8th grade & younger (must be able to swim 15 yards)
Echo Hollow Mar 23-27 M-F 8-11am $50

Tots Soccer AcademyAges 3-5
Petersen Barn Park Mar 23-27 M-F 1230-130pm $40

Spring Survivor
Grades K-5
Sheldon Community Center Mar 23-27 M-F 730am-6pm $26/day or $177/week

Camp Arrowhead
Ages 10-15
Petersen Barn Community Center Mar 23-25 M-W 9am-330pm $100

Skateboard Spring Break
Ages 10-18
WJ Skate Park (150 Jefferson) Mar 23-26 M-Th 9am-2pm $50

Construction & Contraption Camp
Ages 6-9
Petersen Barn Community Center Mar 23-27 M-F 9am-4pm $155

Spies vs Ninjas vs Huntresses
Ages 6-9
Petersen Barn Community Center Mar 23-27 M-F 9am-4pm $155

Lego Robotics Camp
Ages 9-14
Eugene Sudbury School Mar 23-27 M-F 11am-2pm $150

Spring Wings and Crawly Things!
Ages 6-9
Nearby Nature/Alton Baker Park Mar 23-27 M-F 830am-330pm $210/members, $250/nonmembers

Gymnastics & Circus Arts Camps
Ages 4-12
Bounce Gymnastics Mar 23-27 M-F 9am-1pm, 1-5pm $22/half day, $37/full day, Circus: $25/day
Extended care available 8-9am ($5/day) and/or 5-6pm ($5/day)

List compiled by: Nikole Gipp

Fletcher’s For Children to Close

fletcher'sEUGENE, Ore. — After serving the Eugene community for more than 35 years, Fletcher’s for Children is closing it’s doors. The owners say their lease is ending and since the recession, it’s been difficult to keep their small business profitable.

At Fletcher’s you can find just about anything a baby or child might need, and when the store opened, that was very appealing to shoppers. But now, with more people turning to the Internet, the Fletchers say they just couldn’t compete.

“It’s been a privilege and an honor to share in the families that shop with us,” says Ron Fletcher, who co-owns the store with his wife Judie. “We’ll miss you. We’re sorry that we won’t be here for you. It’s hard.”

Starting Wednesday, April 23, the Fleltchers say their entire stock will be on sale at their store on Valley River Way. Fletcher’s for Children will be fully closed before the end of June 2014.

Aerial Yoga Athletes


Hannah Annie Pose - Bounce Gymnastics

Take a minute to close your eyes and imagine what it would feel like to fly through the air, with the wind blowing against your skin and the feeling of absolute freedom.  Now add to that the thrill of people cheering you on, calling out your name and becoming an inspiration to many.  Or imagine the excitement as you dangle from silk, using nothing but sheer strength to hold yourself up, or just knowing that you depend on someone to catch you as you flip from swing to swing in your circus act.  People who participate in Aerial Arts get to experience those feelings every day, and what an experience it must be!

Acrobatics have been practiced all over the world for many, many years.  As far back as 2,000 BC, people have been depicted balancing on the backs of bulls while performing different acts of acrobatics!  Acrobatics has been a part of Chinese culture since the Western Han Dynasty, where it was included in village festivals.  It eventually found its way into the noble courts, mainly through the 7th through 10th century.  Acrobatics remains a popular sport and form of entertainment in China, where it is still practiced today and considered to be an important art form.  China wasn’t the only country to partake in the acrobatic arts, though – Just like in China, acrobatics (along with juggling and other talents) were performed in the noble courts during the Middle Ages by the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

6 Year Old Boy from ChinaTightrope Walking is probably one of the most popular acts at the circus.  The performers are able to walk on the rope by shifting their weight over their legs and arms, which takes a lot of concentration and dedication to becoming completely in tune with your body and knowing just how you should move.  There are a few different styles of Tightrope Walking.  There is Tightwire, which is the act of walking on a highly tensioned wire between two points.  Some performers choose to use a tool to help them balance, such as an umbrella or balance pole, while others prefer going freehand.  There is also Highwire, which is exactly the same as Tightwire, only much higher.  Skywalking is closely related to Highwire, except it’s done at such great heights and lengths that it’s generally performed outdoors and between things like skyscrapers, mountains or any other object the performer would like to use or possibly sees as a challenge to overcome!

The trapeze is a daring stunt.  No matter if it’s Static Trapeze or Flying Trapeze, those men and women overcome any fears they might have just to entertain their loving audience while doing what makes them happiest!  There are many forms of trapeze, but the most known forms are Flying Trapeze and Static Trapeze – the only real difference between the two is, with Static Trapeze, the bars and ropes stay in one place while the performers do various stunts.  Flying Trapeze is where two performers act together, swinging and flipping and jumping — then are caught by the other performer.  There is also something called Multiple Trapeze, which is very similar to Static Trapeze except they use two or more bars instead of the usual one.

Aerial hoop – Sabrina Aganier

Aerial Hoops can also be used instead of the normal bars.  There are a couple different styles performers can choose from – a standard circular hoop that hangs from a rope, or a circle with a straight top that is typically used for more intricate Aerial Hoop acts.  Performers can sit inside or on top of the hoop (depending on which model they use) and acts can have multiple performers, just like with Trapeze.

Back when trapeze acts were still being developed, they didn’t use a safety net like they do today – they used to lay mattresses beneath the performers in case one fell.  Nowadays, performers are hooked up to a safety harness during practice until they have mastered whichever trick they are attempting.  Trapeze stunts are also done closer to the ground than they were back in the early days – now, the performers act at around 20 to 40 feet in the air and above a safety net. Although it’s rare, you can still find some particularly risk-taking trapeze artists who choose not to use a safety net at all!

Closely related to the trapeze is Aerial Silk – an act where a performer climbs a special kind of fabric, generally not even “silk” at all, but rather a stretch polyester lycra – without the use of any form of safety net or harness, but with only their skills and training to protect them (along with some rosin on their hands to help them grip the fabric!).  Once they’ve climbed to the desired height, they use the fabric to help them swing, fall, suspend, fly through the air and strike poses.

Blue Silks - Naja RossoffWhen it comes to Aerial Silk, the way you wrap yourself in fabric can help a lot with your tricks.  The more complicated the wrap, the stronger the friction – which means that, if done correctly, you can even let go of the silk and remain held up by the fabric alone!  Aerial Silk is a fascinating art form, but requires a lot of patience, grace, strength and courage to master (although, by the look of it, it’s well worth the effort!).

Similar to Aerial Silk is something called Spanish Web.  The tricks and moves are very much alike, only with Spanish Web, the performer uses a rope that has been covered in cloth along with an ankle strap (that can also be attached to their wrist) that attaches to the rope.  While suspended on the rope, someone called a “web setter” can spin the rope in large circles, which allows the performer to become almost completely horizontal to the rope.  The Cloud Swing is like a perfect mix of Trapeze and Spanish web and is fairly new to the world of Aerial Arts.  It uses a long rope that strongly resembles the rope used in Spanish Web, and the moves that are performed resemble the moves used in Trapeze.  There is another version called Mexican Cloud Swing where the tricks are performed at a higher altitude.

There are numerous health benefits to Aerial Arts.  Each of the different forms mentioned above have a unique way of working multiple muscle groups, resulting in a firm and toned body.  Aerial Arts and acrobatics are great for both the body and mind since it helps with things such as coordination, flexibility and perception — which is why it’s recommended by doctors all over the world.

Aerial Yoga is a popular new way to get in shape.  While using the same kind of fabric as Aerial Defying Gravity Aerial Yoga - Naja RossoffSilk performers, people who participate in Aerial Yoga learn how to do variations of standard yoga moves, but while dangling in the air! It’s easy to see why this trend it catching on – you get all the same benefıts that you would with standard yoga, but with the added fun of challenging yourself to perform the moves in a whole new way.  And besides, who wouldn’t want to strengthen their core and improve their flexibility midair?

Aerial Arts have come a long way.  New techniques for both the art itself and the safety precautions required to do the moves are constantly improved upon, and the venues to learn Aerial Arts are much more readily available.  It used to be that if you wanted to learn any type of acrobatics, you had to be born into a family that practiced the art form.  Skills were taught from generation to generation and, while this is still true for many circus families, there are now many schools you can go to in order to learn whichever form of acrobatics that you’d like– giving those of us who weren’t lucky enough to be born into a circus family the opportunity to learn impressive new skills.  And who knows…maybe you can start a circus family of your own right here in Eugene with BOUNCE GYMNASTICS!

BOUNCE GYMNASTICS is the only gymnastics studio in Eugene that offers training on aerial apparatus, which includes silks, trapeze, cloud swing (a thick rope that hangs like a hammock), and lyra (a ring shaped apparatus that hangs on end from the ceiling).

Aerial Yoga is an innovative program that blends the beneficial elements of traditional yoga methodology with the unique conditioning of aerial arts.  A cross between a yoga class and an aerial class, Aerial Yoga is designed to incorporate the balancing and stretching components of yoga with the strengthening and exhilarating components of aerial arts.  No aerial experience necessary. All levels welcome!

Kids Circus Camp - Bounce GymnasticsCircus Arts Beginning levels AGES 7-17
In this class students will explore many of the core circus arts, including aerial silks, trapeze, spanish web, cloud swing, acrobatics, hand balancing, tight rope, slack line, juggling, and moOwner/Director

Naja Rossoff has over 28 years experience teaching gymnastics from preschool ages through competitive team levels.  She also teaches the beginning and intermediate level aerial circus arts as well as aerial yoga for adults.  Rossoff is the only Certified Aerial Yoga instructor in Eugene who teaches classes to the public.  Naja and her fantastic staff will ensure that every child and adult has a fun, safe and positive experience in every class.

CAMPS-SCHOOL’S OUT – Teen Tumbling & Trampoline – CIRCUS ARTS – Aerial Yoga – Adult Classes TEAM 2012-2013 – Open Gym Schedule – PARENT’S NIGHT OUT – Bounce Club

Contact info:
Naja Rossoff, Owner/Director
[email protected]






Hey Mom, where’s my glove?


Baseball_kidsYou know, as unfortunate as it is, I don’t think many people truly realize the benefits of physical activity and playing sports – especially as a youth. Recently, on one of the few warm days here, my 12 year old son asked me “Hey Mom, where’s my glove?” soon followed by “When’s baseball practice start? Are we wearing purple this season?” His enthusiasm about the game and willingness to get outside and play made me start thinking about how other people perceive sports.

Sure people realize sports are fun…I mean, what’s not to love about them? They bring people together and inspire healthy rivalry and competition, plus they teach you important life skills without you even knowing it. But the act of actually being on a team or simply getting outside and moving seems to be on the back burner of many peoples’ minds, which is a shame because there are so many wonderful benefits from keeping active. Whether young or old, our bodies and minds have so much to gain from getting out there and working up a sweat! kids-baseball

As a child, physical activity is crucial. Did you know being active increases your child’s metabolism? It’s true! If your child runs around instead of sitting in the house all day, they’re less likely to get colds, the flu, allergies and even cancer. Physical activity has been proven to increase brain function and blood flow while both reducing anxiety AND improving memory! It also reduces the risk of diabetes and strengthens his or her cardiovascular system. Something as simple (and fun!) as playing baseball can improve your child’s heart and lungs. Now doesn’t that make you breathe easier as a parent?

It’s not just general physical activity that helps your child – being on a sports team has all the benefits listed above along with it’s own separate list of benefits. Children who participate in sports are often times much happier and more confident than those who don’t. Running around and getting sweaty has been proven to release endorphins, which naturally make people happier. And as for confidence? Well, how could they not be more confident while playing sports? Doing something as spectacular as hitting a home run is a huge ego boost!

Along with gaining confidence, playing on a team also helps teach… you guessed it… teamwork! Being on a team means that everyone in that particular group is needed – they have their own ability and will be relied on at one point or another, but in order for their efforts to be rewarded, they need to communicate and work together to reach a certain goal. Because of this, children learn to wait their turn and to do their absolute best when it’s their time to step up to the plate, which is important in sports and will come in handy in other aspects of life (such as teaming up with their siblings to get those chores done faster!) and later on when they start to work. After all, the workplace today is a team environment!

TBall KidYou’ve heard of the term “to be a good sport” before, right? Well, there’s a reason for that! Sports are a fun way to learn about defeat (if there ever was a fun way to learn about that!). There will be moments where you strike out or don’t make it to a base in time, which is disappointing at first. But eventually you will learn to accept it and try harder next time without placing any blame on yourself or others. Sports teach poise and grace in the face of defeat, along with the power of discipline and determination. I’ve been aware of how sports affect the body and mind almost all my life. When I was younger I played sandlot baseball with the boys in my neighborhood and absolutely fell in love with the game.

Participating in that and experiencing first hand how it helps you improve as a person is one of the many things that has kept sports a passion of mine, and why I strongly encourage children (and their parents!) to take up sports. I love sports so much, in fact, that I’ve been involved with them and have coached kids, from first grade up to high school, for over 30 years now and have been a volunteer Kidsports coach for 4 baseball seasons. One of my favorite things to do as a coach is take my team to watch the local Eugene Emeralds baseball team play. It’s a fun and exciting way to learn firsthand about the game while being inspired by the players to keep practicing and get better and better!

Now, if your little slugger is going to be outside playing baseball all day, they’re gonna need the proper fuel. Foods such as carrots, nuts, seeds, fruit and healthy trail mix or granola bars (made with dried fruit and oats – those are fiber rich foods which will keep your blood sugar stable) are great snacks to keep your child sustained while running to each base and hitting home runs (sssh these are secrets). It’s incredibly important that your child has enough nutrients to keep their bodies going so they can keep practicing and become the next Babe Ruth, and they can’t do that by snacking on a Baby Ruth candy bars! Girl Baseball

Of course along with proper nutrients, your child will need to stay hydrated. Water is the best thing for them to drink, but sports drinks (I can recommend some that are good for you) are another good option since they help replenish electrolytes. Just be careful of which brand you buy since many can contain a ton of sugar, which helps give them energy, sure, but the crash they experience afterwards isn’t worth the short burst of energy they may get in the beginning.

After running around for a few hours playing baseball, chances are your child will be exhausted. It’s important to make sure they get an adequate amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause irritibility and overall moodiness, which isn’t something someone would want in a fellow teammate. Can you imagine trying to play a game with someone who hasn’t had enough sleep? They would throw temper tantrums and wouldn’t be able to concentrate! They say there is no crying in baseball, but crying is exactly what would happen without enough rest. Lack of sleep also effects memory, and after a day of learning new moves and techniques to the game, that’s the last thing anyone would want.

Girls BaseballRest isn’t just important for the mind, though. The body needs a break, as well. Allowing your body to rest gives it a chance to repair any damaged tissue and replenish energy stores. If you don’t allow your body to rest for a bit, it will keep breaking down from intense exercise, which decreases sports performance, and what’s the point of playing a sport if you don’t give yourself enough time to recover? So tell your mini Yogi Berra it’s ok to take a break, no matter how much they want to keep playing!

I’m very proud of the teams I have coached and what they accomplished during a season. One of my favorite things too see is the look on a kid’s face when they throw a perfect pitch or hit a fly ball. I can tell they have a sense of pride in what they’re doing, and are happy knowing that their hard work and determination paid off. It gives them the confidence to try other sports or activities they didn’t think they were able to, and gives them something to talk about with friends, family and neighbors. “Guess what!” they’ll exclaim with a tone of excitement and pride, “I threw a no-hitter!”photo (51)

My biggest reward with coaching is knowing that I’m a part of something so wonderful a feeling that is completely irreplaceable. I’ve developed the Purple Crushers P.R.I.D.E. for my team and do whatever I can to encourage them to keep going and be proud of everything they do – no matter how big or small the accomplishment may seem. Every game there is a reward for player development – The Purple Crusher Spirit Award! It is the coveted award on our Team as the number one criteria for being chosen is the enthusiasm for the game.

So oil your glove, lace up your cleats, get out there and show some P.R.I.D.E! It’s time to play ball!!


Coach Mom


By Dene Eller

Timothy GreenRecently my 11 year old, sports loving son and I decided to sit down together and watch “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” – an uplifting, sentimental (and surprisingly sports related) story of a childless couple who desperately want to have a baby of their own. After a sad and unfortunate visit to their fertility doctor they learn that, despite their efforts, it would be impossible for them to ever conceive. Heartbroken and looking for a way to try and cope with the news, they go home and decide to write down all the qualities they had wished for in a child onto a slip of paper. Once they’ve finished, they put the paper in a box and bury it in the garden. That night a storm unexpectedly passes and, to their astonishment, the husband and wife wake up the next day to find a muddy 10-year-old boy named Timothy in their kitchen. To make an already bizarre situation even more strange, Timothy – a child neither the husband nor wife has ever met before — refers to the couple as mom and dad.

Despite being thoroughly confused, the Greens decide to take in the young boy and determinedly pass off Timothy as their newly adopted son. However loveable, the boy is indeed odd — both innocent and knowing, he manages to teach his new parents what a magnificent gift it really is to have a child. He’s not short of eccentricities, with his strange habit of basking in the sunlight (sounds like one of my right fielders) along with a spray of snip-proof leaves sprouting from each ankle. He may be odd, but these qualities of his are what make him special and a unique little miracle to his parents – just like any other child is a unique little miracle to their parents. Timothy is strange, yes, but the Greens wouldn’t want him any other way.

Unbeknownst to his parents, one of his leaves falls off each time he fulfills one of the qualities or achievements listed on the original slips of paper – one of those achievements being to score a game winning goal, which he ultimately ends up doing (however, not exactly as planned). As it turns out, both parents had unfulfilled sports successes and hoped for a child who could accomplish what they hadn’t.

DSCN0325It’s easy to see why Timothy’s parents would encourage him to be active in sports. Playing sports as a child, whether for fun outside with your friends during a bright summer day or competitively on a team, creates a sense of belonging and an understanding of how to work both as a leader and in a group. It’s easy to get caught up in technology and want to stay inside, especially now with all sorts of gadgets that can easily catch a child’s eye. But try encouraging your kids to get outside and kick or throw a ball with you, even if they may not seem that interested at first. Of course you shouldn’t force them, but encourage them to at least try – you never know, they might uncover a hidden love for sports that they never even knew they had. Plus if you’re the person they play sports with, it’s a wonderful way to bond, spend time together and create memories or traditions that they could pass on to their children.

There are many reasons to give sports a go; there are a bounty of benefits, but the main one in my opinion is that sports make for a happier, healthier child – physically, mentally and emotionally. Children who play sports suffer from depression less and tend to have much higher self-esteem and a better body image. They quickly realize that sometimes you’re not going to win and you know what? That’s perfectly okay. They’re also a lot less likely to use drugs or smoke cigarettes. Playing a sport has taught them what an incredible machine their body is and they know to think twice before jeopardizing the abilities they’ve developed. These qualities and this mindset will make life much easier and enjoyable for them when they grow up. Participating in sports is also a great way to release some of that built up energy, which means less arguing around bedtime!

parentsandkidsAs viewers we got to share in their long-awaited joys and trials of parenthood. There are numerous “we are sorry” expressions made to Timothy by these deeply caring, enthusiastic, well meaning adults in regards to what they willingly declare as poor parenting. As parents, it’s okay to acknowledge that we’re not perfect and are going to make mistakes from time to time. We’re all merely humans who are learning, by trial and error, how to do the right things in life and set a good example. But as long as you stay supportive of your children and let them know that you love them and you’re doing the best you can — that’s what counts. Genuine love and enthusiasm of being a parent trumps perfection any day.

To distract this pre-adolescent boy from a girl who has suddenly come on the scene, the parents go about convincing the home town coach to allow the physically awkward and “odd” Timothy to join the soccer team. On his first day of practice, after several missed kicks which land Timothy on the ground, the coach barks, “Green whattaya got to say for yourself?” to which Timothy’s immediate but shy response is: “I can only get better?” which is a wonderful way of thinking, even if Timothy doesn’t realize it. Children should learn early on that even though you may not be good at something at first, you can always improve. They should be encouraged to keep their head up and not let their inability to do something perfectly right away get to them. Perseverance and determination are key in being a happy child and growing up to be an equally happy and successful adult.

Timothy occupies the bench all season, spending his time feeding the coach and his Grandpa cups of water on the sidelines. Finally, a chance to play comes up later on with an injury to a key player. There is much at stake as the championship game is tied 1-1. Strict playing orders are delivered by the Coach to just stand in one place and not move. This game plan works for a while until he is powered up by the sunlight and, when the ball comes near, he begins dribbling toward the goal and eluding the other team’s defense. Just as time is running out, he sends a perfect kick into the corner of the goal — unfortunately belonging to the other team. Timothy shot the winning goal! Sure it was for the other team, but he shot a goal just like on the wish list nonetheless! Life mission complete.

Soccer players with coachThere is much to be learned about how to become and act as an encouraging parent, and even perhaps a Coach, from an “odd” but gifted child with a bright spirit. As a Coach & MOM, initiate a Heart-To-Heart conversation at the beginning of each season with your sports enthusiast. Set reasonable expectations together about all aspects of the game. Let them know that doing their best and having fun is what counts — not how many goals they make or how high the score is in the end. Center your ongoing mini “coaching” chats on giving meaning to the true joys of sports participation: The 3 “Es”. Excitement. Enthusiasm. Effort. Keeping your kid(s) in the game with encouraging words and the 3 “Es” will create: Exceptional!

Speak encouragingly and remind them before and after every game that you love, accept and are proud of them regardless of who wins the game. They should know that their happiness is what matters and if they had a good time playing, then they’re the winners in the end – who cares what the final score was?

coachmomOn the way home is a great time to initiate a mini “coaching” chat – as long as there are no electronics to distract them and there are plenty of great snacks to nibble on. During this time you need to remind them that it’s all about loving the sport and not the score. Revisit the mini “coaching” chat about giving your personal best in the present, having fun with friends and putting your body in motion. And just as importantly, partner with a Coach that shares your same values.

Oh and MOM (or DAD)…don’t forget the snacks!

Win The Moments,

Simply ExtraOrdinary Coaching

Dene Eller, PHD is the mom of two active children who are both sports enthusiasts. Dr Dene has coached a variety of sports for various ages for over 30 years and is an active volunteer Kidsports Coach here in Eugene. She would be happy to share her wisdoms about coaching-parenting sports minded kids, chat about success coaching principles, keeping your sports’ stars (MOM’s too!) healthy and super fed for optimal performance. You can find her at or send an email to [email protected]