Oregon - Page 786

Running Better Than Ever


Kenjon Barner had an interesting experience this summer.  In fact, it was a first for the Oregon junior halfback from Riverside, California.

“I got a job,” said Barner.  “I sold Power Bands at the Valley River Center, and I learned that money comes hard.  But it was a great experience for a first job.”

Kenjon Barner is a Hornung Award candidate this season. (Photo Credit: Eric Evans).

That wasn’t the only thing Barner did during the month of July.  He could also be found with his fellow Ducks in the hot sun at voluntary conditioning drills, getting prepared for the upcoming season.  One of those teammates with him was, obviously, starting running back LaMichael James, who says he’s in much better shape now than the past two years.

“I got a lot stronger,” explained the 2010 Doak Walker Award winner. “There is no question I did a lot of great things as far as strength and conditioning.”

Indeed, LaMichael, who is once again a potential Heisman candidate, seems to be carrying a larger frame, as does Kenjon.  Though their respective weights appear the same in the U of O media guide, James (listed at 185) and Barner (listed at 180), it is quite obvious that both of them have added at least 15-20 pounds of rock-soild muscle.  Even more frightening to the Ducks opponents’, both James and Barner claim they are faster, too.

But while Oregon’s top two running backs’ physiques might’ve changed, one thing has remained the same.  LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner are still the best of friends, even if they do have a disagreement on who holds a rather dubious title.

“LaMichael is a crybaby,” chuckled Kenjon.  “He cries about anything and everything.”

“I figure Kenjon would say something like that,” laughed LaMichael. “But Kenjon is the real crybay.  Ask him about crying at practice last year each and every day and see what he has to tell you about that.”

All kidding aside, perhaps the biggest attribute in their friendship is the way they motivate each other to reach a little higher.

“LaMichael makes you want to work hard when he comes out,” Barner explains.  “When I work hard I make LaMichael want to work. There may be days where one of us feels tired, but we never really let each other take the day off.”

That attitude may be more important as James and Barner are now upperclassmen and will be expected to take an even larger leadership role. So far, the younger backs have been respectful to two of the most accomplished players in Oregon history.

“They’re very good leaders,” said redshirt freshman Ayele Ford. “When it’s time to practice, they help me out with plays and whatever I need.  They’re also very good off the field as mentors.”

James and Barner have been mentoring some very talented running backs.  While five-star recruit Lache Seastrunk recently decided to transfer to Baylor, the cupboard is still very full. In addition to the speedy 5’7, 179 pound Forde, the Ducks have two other guys that could play a lot of Saturdays at Autzen.

There is the freshman De’Anthony Thomas from Los Angeles.  The 5’9 160 pound five-star recruit originally planned to sign with USC, before signing with Oregon at the last minute.

Another name to look out for is freshman Tra Carson.  Like LaMichael James, Carson is from Texarkana, Texas and played at Liberty-Eylau High School.  Unlike James, however, Carson is 6’0 and 227 pounds and could bring a much-needed physical change of pace to an otherwise finesse roster of backs.

Whoever winds up getting some handoffs come September, Barner and James like what they see with the new kids on the roster. 

“I’ve been impressed with them,” claimed Barner. “Tra is a big guy, but he moves like he’s 185 pounds.  De’Anthony is extremely intelligent, and they’ve both picked up on the offense very well.”

“I love Ayele Ford,” said James. “I think he’s an unsung hero on this team. He does everything right, breaks a lot of tackles, and could make a lot of big runs.”

LaMichael James is only 20 yards shy of becoming Oregon's all-time leading rusher. (Photo Credit: Eric Evans).

Of course, whatever big runs that Forde, Thomas, or Carson can make will likely be limited as James and Barner will get the bulk of the carries.  Having compiled 3,277 yards as Duck, LaMichael only needs 20 more to surpass Derek Loville as Oregon’s all-time leading rusher.  But for the soft-spoken James, it never has been about the accolades.

“I’m just taking it game-by-game,” he said about his expectations for 2011. “Hopefully, we win the first game, and then take it from there.  I only think about the game in front of me and winning the day. You can’t look ahead or think about anything else.”

As for Barner, he’s a potential candidate for the Paul Hornung Award, which is given to the most versatile player in college football.  Yet Kenjon isn’t concerned about setting a single-game touchdown record as he did with five last season against New Mexico.  In fact, since he missed two games last season after a nasty collision against WSU on a kickoff, his goals are pretty simple.

“My main goal is to stay healthy,” explained Barner. “I just want to stay healthy and complete a season without getting hurt.  That, and just being here with these guys, and getting on this field again.”

Both James and Barner understand that, with a successful 2011 campaign, Oregon could appear in a third consecutive BCS bowl game. They’re also pretty straight forward with what it will take to make that happen.

“We have to stay focused and practice hard every day,” stated James. “That’s the only way you can win games.

“We have to keep our mindset the same,” Barner opined. “We have to stay humble, and keep our nose to the grindstone.  If we do that, it’s going to be an exciting season.”

Sam Finley has been the EDN sports editor since June 2011.  He welcomes your feedback.

Wine Down Eugene


Wine Down Eugene: August 24 – 31
SPECIAL: The Art of Wine: A Passport to Culture–Exclusive offer for Wine Down Eugene readers: Discounted Tickets to the Winemaker Dinner at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum: $50 single or $85 couple! (regular $75 single). Saturday, August 27th. Wine Tasting Reception 6p. Dinner 7p. Enter coupon code WINECLUB1P (single) or WINECLUB2P (couple) at checkout to receive your special rate. Purchase tickets at: http://www.southwillamettewineries.com/the-art-of-wine/
The Passport to Culture is supported in part by an award from the Oregon Arts Commission and a Lane County Tourism Special Projects Grant.

Wine Bars & Wine Shops

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Broadway Wine Merchants: Thu. 5:30p sample some fine Chilean wine for Casa LaPostolle; Fri. 5-7p free wine tasting weekly~this week try the fabulous Manzano Syrah from Tuscany made by Luca from Vietti. http://www.oregonwineandmore.com/friday-night-wine-tasting/

LaVelle Club Room at 5th Street Market: Open during construction! Wed. 5-8p ½off glass pours for ladies; Thurs. 6-8p Live music; Fri. 6-8p live music.

Marché: Sun. 6:30p~13th Birthday Party – Marché celebrates 13 years with a family-style supper party on the patio. $35 p/p. For tickets: http://www.marcherestaurant.com/events

Marché: Provisions:  Wine Club – Cuvee Level. All details listed on their site: http://www.marcheprovisions.com/shopping/category/Wine/

Red Agave: Excellent wine list including Oregon’s finest from King Estate, Four Graces, Bethel Heights & Cristom to name just a few, it’s impressive: http://www.redagave.net/index.php/menus/wine Also posted on their site are weekend specials that start on Friday and run through Sunday while supplies last.

Sam’s Place Tavern:  Wed. 5-8p Oysters and Ale along with Skip Jones in the Cabana; Fri. 7-11p live music in the Cabana with Riffle; Great wine list, 21 glass pours, all under $7! Wine list includes some excellent Oregon & NW wines. Check it out at http://www.samsplacetavern.com/wine-list/ Every booth has its own flat screen TV in addition to 22 plasma TV’s – this weekend it’s Nascar at Bristol.

16 Tons Beer & Wine/The Tap House/Union Café: Have you checked out both locations yet? The original 16 Tons is now The Taphouse (corner of 13th & High St) and the new location (29th & Willamette’s Supreme Bean) is now The Union Café-specializing in coffee, crepe’s, beer & wine-plus live music every Friday on the patio: www.sixteentons.biz

The Washburne Café: Fri. & Sat. Wine & Beer Special: $1 off glass pours of wine, $3 off wine bottle purchases, and all 22oz. Microbrews are just $5 each! Find Sarver, J. Scott Cellars, LaVelle, Patchwork Cellars, Hop Valley, Ninkasi, and Oakshire here!

Mac’s at the Vet’s Club: Wed 6-9p . Wine, Jazz & Variety Show with Gus Russell & Paul Biondi. A different Oregon winery is featured each week! www.macsatthevets.com

B2 Wine Bar: Loads of NW wines offered at B2: http://www.b2winebar.com/index.php?categoryid=9 Movies Under the Stars (Crescent Village) next showing is September 2nd, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” starts at 9p.

Cork & Bottle Shoppe: Fri. 4p free wine or beer tasting weekly. Last week they featured 2 of the top 100 beers on planet Earth! The Cork & Bottle Shoppe is one of Oregon’s only liquor stores that carry a large selection of local and international wine & craft beer in addition to liquor. Free wine or beer tastings every Friday at 4pm. 812 Beltline Rd. Springfield.

Sundance Wine Cellars: Fri. 5-7p themed Frugal Friday wine tasting with Mario; Sat. 5-7p featuring local and regional wineries. Check their facebook page frequently for updates on events and tastings: http://www.facebook.com/winedance

Jiffy Market: Fri. 5-7p Free wine tasting, house picks and pours; Sat. 6-10p Purchase a whole sandwich from the deli and receive a Ninkasi pint for $2!

Territorial Vineyards & Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11p live music with Mike Brewer & The Brewkettes.  August Art – Shauna Trumbley. 907 W. 3rd, Eugene

Ambrosia: Good news: tasting room remodel is done and the next First Wednesday Wine Tasting will be on Sep. 7th, for now, be sure to check out their great Happy Hour Mon.-Fri. 4-6p $4.50 house wines.  See their award winning wine list: http://www.ambrosiarestaurant.com/assets/0000/0093/ambrosia-winelist.pdf

Café Zenon: Tues. 50% off bottles of wine; Mon-Fri. 5-6:30p $1 off glasses of wine and pints of beer. Find King Estate’s Domaine Pinot Gris & Capitello’s Sauvignon Blanc here – ½ off on Tuesdays!! Their fabulous wine list: http://www.zenoncafe.com/wine_list.php

Café 440: Wed. Wine Flights for the month of August- 3 pours for $10.50. Featured wines are Sonoma Reds & Whites!

Sabai Café & Bar: Wines by the glass $6 and under. Excellent local wines from Territorial, King Estate Capitello and Benton-Lane. Check out their wine list: http://www.sabaicafe.com/WINE%20LIST.html

Agate Alley Laboratory: Sat. 10p Late Night @ The Lab with $1 off glass pour wine, $3 well drinks and pints, $9.50 pitchers & appetizer special. This is Agate Alley Bistro’s sister restaurant. 25 varieties of wine for $25 dollars! It’s a must try and their wine list is one not to miss http://www.agatealleylaboratory.com/wine.html

Capella Market: Fri. & Sat. – Raffle to benefit Cascades Raptor Center, 20% beer sale, outdoor BBQ, and lots of beer and hard cider tastings. (no wine tasting this weekend only)www.capellamarket.com

Café Soriah: Wed. Celebrate Wine Wednesdays! All day ½ off bottles of wine, including notable names such as: BrickHouse, Capitello, King Estate, Broadley! Great outdoor seating for the summer!

Café Lucky Noodle: Tue. 5:30-7:30p Wine Night – all bottles 35% off. Complimentary wine tasting in the lobby. Excellent wine list: http://www.luckynoodle.com/lnwines.pdf

Granary Wine Bar: Wed. all day $5 glass pours of house white or red.

Cornucopia Maize Lounge:  Every Thur. until October 20th– New Belgium Beer night. Buy a New Belgium beer and receive $1 off & a raffle ticket for the 20 yr anniversary Fat Tire Bike from New Belgium Brewery Giveaway to benefit The Bridgeway House. All other nights raffle tickets cost $1. Winner of the bike will be picked October 20th; every Tue. through summer~ $2 Micros until 9p.

Agate Alley Bistro: Mon. all day – 6 cheese fondue and glass pour wines are ½ off for a bottle!

Wineries & Vineyards

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Chateau Lorane:  Sat. 3p-close “Wine In The Woods” event with wine tasting, dinner under the tall fir trees in their meadow, live music and dancing. $30 p/p ($25 for wine club members). Seating is limited so RSVP 541-942-8028 www.chateaulorane.com

Pfeiffer Vineyards: Sun. 6-10p – Robin’s Big Birthday Bash with Water Garden Lights! See the waterfalls light up and watch the trees dazzle with their new lights. BBQ by Boss Hawgs, live music with Shelly & Cal’s Musicbox. Free admission for wine club members, $20 advance registration, $28 at the door.

LaVelle Vineyards Winery in Elmira: Fri. 6-9p Friday Night Flights~live music, flight tastings (free), and food offered by Devour Gourmet Food Cart. No cover.

Sarver Winery: Fri. 5-9p Steak & Sarver Caesar Fridays every Friday through Sep. 23rd – Grilled tri-tip steaks served with the Sarver Caesar Salad & a side of red skin potatoes. Call in your reservation by noon on the previous Wednesday. 541-939-2979. Space is limited to 40 people. $25.00/pp. Whether you dine with them or not, you’re welcome to join the Sarvers, drink wine, and listen to the tunes; Sun. 4p Hootenannies music sessions, bring your instrument!

J. Scott Cellars: New tasting room located in The Wine Place in Yachats! Be sure to stop by and taste his excellent small boutique handmade Rhone varietals from the Pacific Northwest. Spcializing in Roussanne, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet…and a little Pinot Noir! http://www.facebook.com/ReArtFestivalwww.jscottcellars.com

Silvan Ridge Winery: Fri. 6-8p Betty & The Boy will be performing on their outdoor stage. Locally made wood-fired pizza, salad, cheese plates & cheesecake served Fridays & Saturdays. Bring a blanket or chairs.

Brigadoon Wine Co.: Fri.-Sun. 12-5p Try Brigadoon’s 3 excellent wines-A Pinot Blanc & two Pinot Noirs, which can now be enjoyed on their lovely deck with a view!

Capitello Wines: One of the South Willamette’s “Wineries Without Walls”. Check their facebook page for events and where to find them to taste their incredible wines: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Capitello-Wines/189913530709

Saginaw Vineyards: Fri. 6-9p Friday Night Live 2011 presents The Huckleberries. No cover charge.  Wine, beer, pop, bottled water, snacks and delicious hot and cold food boxes from Carousel House Catering are available for purchase or bring your own picnic basket. Bring a chair or blanket.  80247 Delight Valley School Rd, Cottage Grove.  15 minutes south of Eugene at exit 176 off the I-5.  541-942-1364 visit: www.saginawvineyard.com.

Sweet Cheeks Winery: Thu. 6:30-9p, BBQ Benefit for CASA. Fri. 6-9p Twilight Tasting, wine & cheese pairing with Oregon-made artisan cheeses, live music with Mike Riopelle from 6:30-8:30p; Sun. noon-6p Mimosa Sunday, bring your own brunch, live music 2-4p.

Noble Estate: The winery is open 7 days a week noon-5p.Tasting room with beautiful new patio and gorgeous view.

Iris Vineyards: Mon.-Fri. 11a-3p Stop by their state of the art winery & tasting room in Cottage Grove. $3 tasting fee includes free wine glass and cheese and crackers. 541-942-5993

Save the Date or Reserve Now

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Marché: Aug. 31st French Regional Dinner with specially paired French wines. Provence region. For more information and details: http://www.marcherestaurant.com/events/

16 Tons Beer & Wine (Union Café): Sep. 1st 4-6p Oakshire Tasting & Pint Glass Giveaway. Sam from Oakshire will be pouring a slew of ales. Free pint glass to the first 48 people buying a pint.

Ambrosia: Sep. 7th 5:30-7p First Wednesday Wine Tasting! Each month Ambrosia features about ten wines that share something in common. A taste of each wine and appetizers are prepared by chef Amadee. Cost is $15 per person.

Eugene Pearl District 3rd Annual block Party: Sept. 8th 4p~located within blocks from 13th & High Street to 15th & Pearl Street. Food-Wine-Beer Tasting, Ice Cream, Coffee Samples & Brewing Demo, Hair & Spa Treatments, Sports Demos, Pizza Making, Roller Derby Girls…and more.

The Washburne Café: Sep. 9th 5-8p Second Friday Art Walk featuring wine tasting with Hip Chicks do Wine, live music with Jazz du Jour, and art reception with Brooke Borcherding.

Julia – Writing about Eugene’s Wine Scene



By Sam Finley, EDN

Ever since the end of spring football practices to the middle of fall camp, it has been asked early and often:  How will Oregon’s offensive line hold up after losing Bo Thran, C.E. Kaiser, and Bo Thran to graduation?  A valid question to be sure, since they were a big key in opening holes for LaMichael James, as well as giving Darron Thomas time to throw during last year’s BCS title run.  But offensive line coach Steve Greatwood says there are changes on the front five every season.

Oregon junior lineman Carson York said he learned a lesson two years ago. (Photo Courtesy: Eric Evans).

“This is nothing new,” Greatwood explained.  “We just have to try to plug in the best five guys and find the ones who will back them up and rotate them in. It’s all about shaking it up every day.”

At least one returning starter of last year’s line is tired of hearing the question about who isn’t around.  Carson York says the line will be fine.

“I think we’re all pretty confident and that’s how we have to approach it,” said the 6’5, 292 pound junior tackle from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. “Yes, we lost some key starters, but Mark Asper and I have 50 starts between us, and Darrion Weems has like 10 starts under his belt.”

York also states that while some of the younger guys haven’t started as many games, they have plenty of potential.

“Hroniss Grasu and (Junior) Ryan Clanton are two of the strongest guys on the offensive line,” he claimed.  “They are ready physically, it’s just about making sure they are mentally ready.”

Carson has been especially impressed with Grasu, who is currently the favorite to take over Jordan Holmes’ spot at center.

“I honestly thought there’d be a drop off from the center position from a mental perspective,” said York about the 6’3, 292 pound redshirt freshman. “But since he’s been in camp, I haven’t seen any decline or at least not as much as I expected.  So Hroniss did a really good job in the offseason of getting his head in the books and film.”

One of the more interesting prospects this year could be Hamani Stevens.  A redshirt freshman was initially recruited in 2008, but decided to go on his two-year mormon mission in 2009.  Having completed his spiritual journey, Stevens has returned and his coach believes there is major potential for him once he gets readjusted to the usual football.

Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood says change is nothing new to him. (Photo Courtesy: Eric Evans).

“Hamani is getting the rust off so to speak,” Greatwood stated about the 6’3, 305 pounder from Hemet, California. “He’s been away from it for two seasons, but he’s getting better every day and he’s starting to get his football legs back under him, as are all the young guys.”

But the doubters will still point to the fact that the last time Oregon lost so many starters on the line was two years ago. That squad got off to a shaky start by losing to Boise State.  True, the offensive line did gel after that game, and helped the Ducks to their first Rose Bowl appearance since 1994.

Nonetheless, Oregon opens their season against LSU in a game that could very well decide which one of these teams plays for the BCS title.  With national championship aspirations in mind, the Ducks cannot afford a slow start at any position, especially from up front. That being said, York says he learned a lesson from the Boise debacle, and he’s determined to not have the same mistake happen again.

“I was one of the younger guys when we played in Boise,” York explained. “I think it’s possible that we took fall camp for granted, and thought of it more as a ‘let’s get through it’ type thing. What I took from it is, when you come into camp you’ve got to get better every day, even if it is finding one thing to get better at.  That’s what we’ve got to get the younger guys to understand, and if they do, we’ll have a pretty good chance.”

How can each lineman find ways to get better?  Perhaps by following what Greatwood has been telling them everyday.

“I’ve told them I want to see concentration,” said Greatwood. “I also want to see communication, and then I obviously want to see a physical style of play.”

As for the nagging question that keeps coming up about the loss of his key guys, Greatwood thinks that his current group of guys could become better than their predecessors.

“We not only have to match what they did,” he claimed.  “We have to exceed that. I think we always have to play better as a unit. But I see signs of that with guys becoming more physical, and guys who made great strides in the weight room over the summer.  So I like where we’re at right now.”

York agrees and says it’ll all come down to how well they bond as a unit.

“It’s sort of a trust thing,” he said. “I think we have some young talented guys here, and if we can all learn to trust each other as we did with Bo, C.E., and Jordan, then I think we’ll come together.  That takes time and hopefully, during these next three weeks of fall camp, it’ll get done.”


Photos: Ducks summer football practice

The Oregon Ducks football team took to the practice field today for a light summer workout as they prepare for their showdown with the LSU Tigers on September 3 to open the season. Here are a few frames from the day.

Ducks linebacker Josh Kaddu celebrates hauling in a catch during a light practice session at Pape Field. (Aaron Marineau/Oregon Daily Emerald)

Quarterback Darron Thomas warms up his throwing arm before practice on Thursday, July 21. (Aaron Marineau/Oregon Daily Emerald)

Quarterback Darron Thomas could only watch as Ducks defensive back Erick Dargan stretched out to make the catch as the. Thomas and Dargan, along with several other teammates, took turns in unfamiliar roles as wide reciever and cornerback as part of a good-hearted warm up. (Aaron Marineau/Oregon Daily Emerald)

Sorting the Yellow from the Green


When I became a Duck in the mid- 90’s, I couldn’t wait to be part of the campus culture. To spread my wings, wear my green and yellow and embrace all that the University of Oregon had to offer. It quickly became apparent, that what the University had to offer me was very different than what it offered to its student athletes. From living situations to treatment in class and on campus, it was clear that we all didn’t wear the same green and yellow. Recently, students at the U of O have been voicing their own concerns over what seems to be, the university’s preferential treatment of its student athletes. It doesn’t appear that much has changed since I was on campus. So I decided to do some research.

Athlete’s at the University of Oregon are a class above the rest when it comes to training, practice, playing and learning facilities. In case you aren’t familiar, they are:

  • Autzen Stadium
  • Casanova Center
  • Ed Moshofsky Center
  • Hayward Field
  • Howe Field
  • John E. Jaqua Academic Center
  • Matthew Knight Arena
  • McArthur Court
  • Pape Field
  • PK Park
  • Student Recreation Center

The Athletic Department has claimed self-sufficiency for years now. Stating that revenue from the University’s athletic programs (ticket sales etc.) and donors is what keeps their $78 million dollar budget in the green. Of that, $31.6 million is spent on coaches and other staff. You could say it was money well spent if you consider the NCAA baseball tournament appearance, multiple top-two finishes in men’s and women’s track and cross-country, and Duck football’s first BCS championship berth. And yes, we do have a very gracious and generous donor in Phil Knight, but his donations do not cover the ongoing and long-term costs of running the department or the facilities.

While most of the Duck athletic earning power does come from football ($12.2 million in ticket sales last year), projected revenue in ticket and donations for men’s basketball next season is at $4.8 million. Not including a projected $600,000 in concession sales. I can’t help but wonder how much of this revenue goes to pay the coaches. The Duck’s elite coaches are among the nation’s highest paid in their sports. Chip Kelly’s initial five-year deal of $7 million, was replaced not long after with a six-year agreement that guarantees $20.5 million. This isn’t unheard of for schools who have elite athletic programs. Getting the Ducks to the BCS, secured Kelly a one-year contract extension and a guaranteed $4 million dollars to go with it. Well earned, you could argue. Others apparently didn’t see it that way. Kelly’s increase in compensation came at the same time Oregon’s President took a voluntary cut in salary and university employees were on their second year of negotiated furloughs due to budget problems.

According to files obtained by The Oregonian, they claim that for at least nine years, the athletics department has used hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from the university’s general fund to cover the cost of academic support for athletes. Paying nearly $8.5 million over the past nine years for academic support for athletes such as counseling and exclusive tutoring. At the same time, tuition has nearly doubled and state support has plummeted to 7% of the university’s overall budget. The rising cost of tuition doesn’t help the nearly 41% of full-time undergrads who receive some form of financial aid. With enrollment to the university increasing and a near 80% acceptance rate, I figured the university to be among the elite for academics as well. The U of O ranks 111th in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges, and has a 4-year graduation rate of only 46%.

University of Oregon Campus
Image by Erik R. Bishoff via Flickr

According to the university’s website (most current data being 2007-2008) a professor of Allied Arts makes an average of $63k a year. A biology professor will make about $82k a year and a law professor around $117k a year. Salaries at the university are well below those of other universities belonging to the Association of American Universities (AAU). One in three graduate classes are taught by graduate students and not by full-time faculty.

A report from the Oregon University System Fact Book for 2010 show the U of O currently has:

  • 225 Tenured Professors
  • 4 Non-Tenured
  • 227 Associate Professors (8 of them tenured)
  • 162 Assistant Professors
  • 142 Instructor/Lecturers

I can’t say I received the best education at the U of O,  I also wasn’t the best student. Then again, maybe if I had a $42 million dollar state of the art academic center back then, I would have been. I wonder what percentage of current students, not on track to graduate on time, would benefit from the services offered at the “Jock Box” as its called. Although part of their tuition paid for the The John E. Jaqua Academic Center, they cannot use it. Current tuition is around $4k for a resident undergraduate, which includes a building fee (for building maintenance on campus).

The list of athlete only facilities at the U of O is about to grow a bit bigger. A public hearing was held Wednesday March 16th in the Sloat Room of the Atrium Building at 99 W. 10th Ave to discuss two permits needed by the university to begin work on a new athletics building and playing field for its soccer and lacrosse teams. The proposed building and field would be housed in the athletics complex alongside Autzen Stadium. According to UO Matters, the new expansion would include space for a UO Football Hall of Fame and Museum, a covered parking facility for 300 cars, surface parking for 75 cars, a weight room of at least 20,000 square feet and space for a Duck Shop and ticket offices. That is in addition to the proposed soccer and lacrosse complex. Knight is footing the bill for the new additions, but the university has to pay an estimated $2 million to move existing underground utilities before the work can begin.

Image via Wikipedia

This news come on the heels of another recently completed parking area for athletes, this time for student-athletes using the John E. Jaqua Academic Center. It isn’t being met with open arms by all students and faculty. The lot is owned by the city and is being leased to the university for $63k a year. Despite the mixed reactions, some students see a bright side, “I don’t think it’s entirely fair, but maybe it’ll open up parking for the rest of the students elsewhere,” University sophomore Gary Freitas told the Oregon Daily Emerald.

The discussion around the U of O’s academics vs. athletics is a constant and ever evolving part of our community. I see both sides of the argument, having been a student myself, a long-time athlete and member of this community. I wore my green and yellow with pride then, as I do now. I will always be a Duck……but I’m beginning to wonder if my kids will even be able to get an education at the U of O without an athletic scholarship.

Oregon Logging Conference Celebrates 73 years


Portable Chipper being fed

When plans for the first Oregon Logging Conference were being made, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President, Civic Stadium and the Bonneville Dam were newly opened, and the Worlds oldest pair of Birkenstocks (9000 yrs) were discovered in Central Oregon.  Seventy Three years later all but President Roosevelt are still with us.

Chainsaw Hitching Post
The Chainsaw Hitching Post at the Logging Conference

The show may have opened to snow and sub-freezing temperatures, but todays balmy 40+ degrees and mostly clear skies brought out the town including lots and lots of future logging industry CEO’s (kids) for the last day of the show.

Originally established for loggers and logging companies to meet and exchange the latest advances in logging technology and ethics, little has changed.   Much like farming, there are a handful of large firms enjoying various levels of success in the logging industry, but by and large the heart of the industry are still the many hard working family owned and small businesses; both of which were well represented at this years show.

United Industrial Equipment Corp., a pressure washer and waste water management company,  has attended the logging show for the last 20 years.  I asked Nate Larson, sales manager for UIEC how the show was for them.  “Attendance wise, it’s about the same as last year, but this year people aren’t just window shopping, they are either planning a purchase, or purchasing.”  Larson indicated that while there was a lot of interest in used and re-manufactured equipment, “We had more leads this year from the small fleet operators on water systems and big ticket hardware than we’ve had in the last 3.” Larson said.

One of these is the start button
Future CEO Sawyer Black, age 1 considers a purchase.

“We also have a lot of customers who purchased from us more than a decade ago who stop in to say hello, and let us know that their original purchase is still running great. Something we’re happy to hear, but would love to see their businesses grow into some new hardware.  It’s starting to feel like there’s some hope of that happening.”

That seemed to be the consensus among most of the booths I stopped by.   Compliance based companies were everywhere.  From log book and permit tracking software to on-board scales from companies like Vulcan that help Log and Chip Truck drivers more easily keep their load at legal weight, avoiding fines and unnecessary maintenance on their trucks.

Speaking of trucks, the array of “big iron” haulers was impressive. There were restored antique trucks like the 1941 Mac “Christine” and a 1955 International Harvester displayed alongside brand new 2012 models.  A truck drivers toy store.

Log handler
High technology in an imposing form

The real show however was outside.  Filling the entire 30 acre main parking lot was an awe inspiring array of giant tree handlers and loaders, automated milling and chipping machines, massive cranes and gaping mouthed loaders looking like some kind of big kids County Fair midway.  Watching an operator in a large tracked loader deftly picking up 3′ diameter logs, turning them on end and making a stack 15′ tall makes you wish you tried the Loader Simulater inside the pavilion.  No way was it as easy as they made it look.  Much of the equipment was familiar in design, but significantly updated over even a few years ago.  Terms like “Energy efficient”, “lowered emission”, “lower byproduct and higher utilization” were heard from most of the equipment vendors, not something the average Eugenian associates with the Timber Industry.

Wood Carving - Sasquatch
This guy looks familiar.

On the lighter side there were at least 3 chainsaw art booths and 1 very special display that I’m saving for its own story. Some of the carvings were incredible and whimsical, my favorite was the fisherman with the “fishing line” going back from the pole and becoming part of the rigging to the carvers tent.  Most of the kids it seems were fascinated by the 12′ tall Sasquatch carving, looking suspiciously like the guy in that suspicious photo we’re familiar with.   These however aren’t the chunky “Paul Bunyan” type of hobbyist carvings, some of them are as fine a rendering as a marble sculpture.  Some of them as dearly priced too.

The only thing missing from the midway atmosphere were the Funnel Cake and Fri-Jos vendors.  I  settled for a hotdog from the ubiquitous snack bar, albeit more like a food cart in a building than your traditional snack bar; sporting an eclectic diversity of menu items.  Truth be told I wanted a hotdog.  For little more than the price of a gallon of gas the 73rd Oregon Logging Conference was a chance to peek inside the tent, meet some of the people and see the signs of life in our Timber industry.  If you haven’t been, plan on attending next year.  Its an important part of Oregon’s living heritage, worth getting up close and personal.

Photos from the OLC:

The Kiva- Your Local Grocer


EUGENE–The Kiva has been a downtown staple in Eugene for 40 years. Yet, their 40th Anniversary went largely unnoticed by Eugene as a whole. Unless you live downtown, this unique and always active grocery store may not be on your radar. If so, I’m telling you now, do yourself a favor and go.

the KIVA, downtown eugene, grocer
11th and Olive

The Kiva is and always has been 100% locally owned and operated. Supporting local farmers and foodies alike, with an emphasis on organic, natural and specialty foods. Pictures adorn the dairy cooler, showing you each of the local farms providing your free range eggs and dairy. This not only puts better food at better prices within your reach, but puts money back into our local economy.  That’s a lot to give for a grocery store with only four aisles.

The Kiva isn’t for the mainstream shopper, as you won’t find any bags of Doritos or your favorite over-processed snack food on sale. You will however, find the largest selection of cheeses in Lane County. “With over 200 international and local varieties to choose from at the lowest prices in town,” says Laura Asay, a 3-year cheese-specialist at The Kiva.

The KIVA's cheese display, downtown Eugene, grocer
The KIVA has over 200 cheeses!

Every meat in their fresh case is locally and humanely raised, and point of fact- all of them are from Oregon and Washington including Sweet Briar, Deck Family, and Lonely Lane farms. If it’s produce you need, The Kiva touts an “All Organic, All the Time” slogan for their completely local and seasonably available fruits and veggies. Then there’s my favorite, the beer and wine aisle. Besides it’s monthly wine specials, The Kiva carries a huge selection of economical wines from Northwest vineyards, and a stellar assortment of micro-brews- all available in mixable cases and six-packs.

Are you hungry?  If so, you can get “made to order soups and sandwiches Monday through Friday 11am to 5pm,” Asay said.

Beer and Wine, the kiva, downtown eugene
The Kiva's wine aisle

Priding itself on being more than a grocery store, The Kiva sells organic soap, beauty aids, tinctures, vitamins, and minerals… but the heart of the Kiva has always been it’s books.  Not many people know that The Kiva was one of downtown Eugene’s first bookstores when it started 40 years ago. Slowly over the years the books have receded, and the grocery has bloomed, but there is still a huge wall of paperback and hardbound books on subjects from eastern religion to political discussion. It’s funny that The Kiva was originally a book store, which we now have in spades, but what we don’t have is a downtown grocery store with longevity… oh wait, we do!


Oregon Lawmakers Consider Tuition Rule Changes for Children of Immigrants


SALEM– Jessica Garcia,16, is a hard-working sophomore at North Eugene High School, an A or B student, runs cross-country and track, is involved with several student organizations, and aspires to be a microbiologist.

Jessica Garcia is also an illegal alien.

Her parents entered the United States when she was one year old and eventually settled in Eugene, where she has lived and gone to school for years. Now, as Jessica sets her sights on college, the already bumpy financial road that most youths have to travel has turned into a brick wall.

This year the University of Oregon’s tuition and fees total approximately $8,190 for residents, and $25,830 for nonresidents, the highest they have ever been.

This prices hundreds, if not thousands, of Oregon teenagers out of the running for college if they cannot afford the raised rates.

Senate Bill 742, currently in front of lawmakers, would allow Oregon students who have gone to at least 3 years of high school here, or who have graduated from an Oregon high school, to qualify for in-state tuition at public universities.

“I am in a position to do great things and all I need is the opportunity to pay affordable tuition like all my peers,” Garcia told lawmakers in a press conference KVAL reported on. “I want my adopted country to allow me to keep dreaming like other young people.”

Oregon lawmakers believe that the state spends way too much money on undocumented students before college, only to turn them away after high school. “They hit this roadblock that holds them back and that prevents the state from capitalizing on the investment that we have already made in these young people,” Rep Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, remarked.

SB 742, or the “tuition equity” bill, has many opponents as well. Immigration reform is one of the hottest “button” issue of times.

Oregon Senator Fred Girod, a Republican from Stayton, said he was ready to oppose any such proposal, saying it was yet one more incentive to draw people into the United States illegally. “I don’t want to encourage people to come over the border illegally to have access to a better education than they can have in Mexico,” he told the RegisterGuard.

However, supporters are hoping to shift the focus from the immigration topic to the real issue at hand, “To those that would say this is an immigration issue and we need to send these children home, come on. Get real,” Sen. Frank Morse, R-Albany, told reporters. Morse voted against a similar bill in 2003, but has since changed his views, saying it’s more practical to give all students the opportunity to better themselves through education.

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