The Whiteaker neighborhood is Eugene's most unique community. Its streets, alleys and buildings preserve a 135-year heritage of diverse families, farmers, merchants and working people.
"Whiteaker is boarded on the north by railroad tracks, on the east by a highway, on the west by major industry and on the south by 6th and 7th Avenues," says Kari Johnson, artist and Whiteaker resident. "This brings with it a fair share of problems -- but we're working them out as a community."
"The Blair neighborhood used to be the heart of Eugene," says Ken Guzowski, senior planner with the city's Historic Preservation Program. "The beauty of the district is that it is still a commercial district -- in modern language -- a node."
"People who live here want to do more than work all the time; they care about more than accumulating wealth," says Bart Caridio, co-owner of Sam Bond's and 10-year Whiteaker resident. "It's a working-class neighborhood and it always has been."
For more than 135 years, Blair Boulevard has been a passageway for travelers to and from Eugene. The route was established in 1856, serving as the main stage road north to Corvalis and Portland. At the turn of the century it was the focal point for a small but growing community of Scandinavian and German immigrants.
The street was named for Prior Blair, an early arrival by wagon train who erected the first government building in the area. His claim encompassed a large portion of what is now Whiteaker, where he planted an orchard and started a fruit drying industry.
Today's Blair residents are known for resisting commercialization and gentrification. Many share or grow their own food and favor alternative transportation.
Here are some of the neighborhood sites that will be open Friday afternoon for an annual open house and tour:
* Hilda's Latin American Restaurant. Built by Verne Scobert in 1929, the building was originally operated as a tearoom. In 1934, after the repeal of prohibition, beer was added and it was re-named The Tiny Tavern. In 1945 the tavern moved to its present location and since then the building has housed a grocery store, two radio shops, and five restaurants.
* The Tiny Tavern. Built in 1895 as the residence of Jefferson Spencer, it is the oldest building in the commercial district. It was remodeled by new owners in 1945 to its present appearance and originally catered to log-truck drivers and railway men. Today it is a popular and rowdy spot for local music and merrymaking.
* Scobert Gardens. Once the farmyard and orchard of the Scobert home, today's park/gardens was the site of Whiteaker's first community garden. In recent years, Scobert has become a vital place of community gathering. Food Not Bombs serves free, organic food on a regular basis and Free Skool often holds classes in the park.
* The Red Barn. Built in 1914, it was originally Hayse Blacksmithing Shop. When horse-drawn carts were replaced by automobiles, the shop became an auto garage and then Brogdon's Hay Feed and Seed Store. It was purchased and renovated by the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) in 1980. Today, Red Barn operates as a store for organic produce and other locally produced goodies.
* O.U.R. Credit Union. Built in 1914, the building was originally the residence of the proprietor of a horse-drawn junk wagon. It has since been a radio shop, beauty parlor, craft studio, and ice cream parlor. It's newest tenant partnered with NEDCO and the city to make major renovations.
The credit union serves "low income people that have been denied elsewhere," says Loretta Moesta, president of O.U.R.
* Sam Bond's Garage. Sam Bond was one of Eugene's early auto mechanics who operated his repair shop in Whiteaker from 1926 to 1972. He served on the City Council from 1930-1942 and was largely credited with steering the city through the Great Depression.
"When we were opening, the hum in the neighborhood was really high," says Bart Caridio, co-owner. "It's important to us that Sam Bond's is a place where people want to hang out -- with food they want to eat -- and music they want to listen to," he says.
* New Day Bakery. The Willis Building was originally built in 1942 by Ben White as Ben White's Vulcanizing and was connected to The Candy Kitchen. During the '70s it was partially remodeled to become George's Garage. Today, New Day is a center for multi-cultural food and social interaction.
"The rest of Eugene doesn't have the same spirit as the Whiteaker. The people who live here feel like it's the truest neighborhood in town," says Caridio.
"This neighborhood needs the support of the larger Eugene community. If Eugene wants to keep local businesses in business, they need to give them their support over the large corporations," says Moesta.
NEDCO will host the annual Blair Boulevard Historic Commercial Area self-guided walking tour and open house from 2 to 6 pm Friday, Sept. 22. The tour will include all the sites in this story and 15 historic homes. Maps can be picked up Friday afternoon at NEDCO's office, 775 Monroe.
Majeska Seese-Green and her daughter Tania Seese, along with photojournalist Kurt Jensen, joined a labor-focused delegation organized by the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador and sponsored locally by the Committee in Solidarity with the Central American People (CISCAP).
Tania, 10, will be giving a presentation to her classmates at Whiteaker Elementary School. All three delegates will present their findings at a multi-media event at 7 pm Thursday, Sept. 28, at 100 Willamette on campus featuring Jensen's photographs from El Salvador and documentation of the corresponding anti-globalization sentiment here in the U.S.
"I had heard about the poor conditions in other countries," says Jensen. "But this was the first time I'd witnessed extreme poverty on a massive scale."
Since the signing of the peace accords in 1992, El Salvador's gross domestic product and productivity have declined, and extreme poverty and inequality have become systemic, says Jensen. The government, under pressure from the U.S. and international lending agencies, has made one of its primary objectives the instituting of an economy based on the maquila model -- low-wage manufacturing of consumer products for export. Unemployment is more than 50 percent and the only two industries growing in El Salvador are the maquila and the banks.
The delegation found that privatization of utilities has increased the costs and caused tens of thousands of employees to be laid off. Striking doctors and health care workers were successful in halting the privatization of health care this April, but now suffer management reprisals including denial of bonus pay, isolation of pro-union workers and increased workloads. In the maquila sector, workers report repeated violations of their constitutional right to organize.
"In both Eugene and El Salvador, workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively according to the law, but in both places workers face many obstacles and attempts at union busting when trying to organize," Seese-Green said.
The right to organize is the focus of the Lane County Organizing Project, a campaign of the Lane County Labor Council and Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network/Jobs with Justice.
The ordinance allows bars or restaurants to create a "designated smoking room" where puffing is allowed. The room must be separately enclosed and ventilated to the outside and no employee must be allowed to work in the room while smoke is present.
The Tobacco Free Lane County coalition of citizens has raised a number of objections to the loophole:
* Similar smoking bans in Corvallis and the state of California do not include provisions for smoking rooms.
* The ordinance does not prohibit a doorway from the smoking room to the surrounding non-smoking area. If a door to the room were frequently opened or propped open, "smoke and carcinogens would spread easily into the surrounding non-smoking area."
* Employees will likely have to enter the room for cleaning purposes and will be subject to secondhand smoke which lingers for hours after the last cigarette is extinguished.
* Employees may be forced or pressured to work in the smoking rooms to serve food and drinks and/or clean up spills.
* The city will have to inspect bars and restaurants to assure their smoking rooms are separately ventilated.
* Businesses have the cheaper option of providing outdoor smoking areas for their smoking patrons.
* "Designated smoking rooms will not protect patrons and may expose the occupants to particularly high health risks because these risks increase with level of exposure. Legislating for disease is not good public policy."
Each year about 800 Oregonians die from secondhand smoke, according to Tobacco Free Lane County. -- AP
Harrang & Hyundai
Harrang Long attorneys Glenn Klein and Emily Jerome argued in a memo that the proposed referendum on a city ordinance allowing Hyundai to fill wetlands for its Phase III plant is not legal. Court rulings have held that the referendum powers granted to citizens by the Oregon Constitution cannot be applied to "administrative" and/or "land use" decisions such as the wetlands ordinance, the memo from Harrang Long claims. -- AP
In an almost unheard-of action, the city of Eugene has actually narrowed, rather than widened a major street.
The city reduced Oak Street from four lanes to three through the center of town between 11th and 8th Avenues. On-street parking and a bus-only lane will fill the removed lane.
During the city's recent "placemaking" meetings about downtown, citizens criticized the street as a thoroughfare that "takes people through downtown, rather than to downtown."
City transportation staff determined that Oak Street didn't need four lanes to move traffic. -- AP
Cars vs. Bikes
Bikers are involved in 90 collisions a year, based on averages for the last decade, according to EPD. That's about 4 percent of the 2,085 collisions cars are involved in per year.
The slightly higher collision rate for bicyclists compared to the citation rate isn't because police are giving cyclists a break, according to a memo to the council last month from Chief Jim Hill. Police focus traffic enforcement efforts on arterials that have higher violation and collision rates, but fewer bicyclists, he wrote.
"Our daily experience shows often bicycle collisions occur with fixed objects and do not involve motor vehicles. When collisions do involve motor vehicles, it seems as often as not, the offending operator is the motor vehicle." -- AP
* Something I noticed while out of my hole for the Celebration this weekend... The short-lived Persian Cafe, which opened in Chez Ray's former location (right next to their new place on 10th Avenue), closed three months ago. Howie's Grill opened in the location soon afterwards. But we're already too late because they're closing Sept. 21. Batter up!
* Something else observed while standing in line for my Carte de Frisco, Taco Time on Willamette is now sharing its space with a new A&W. Turns out Taco Time corporate owns A&W. The headquarters opened their new location in July.
* After extensive remodeling, The Roaring Rapids Pizza Company is officially afloat in the old Pietro's Pizza location in Glenwood, 4006 Franklin Blvd. Owners Steve and Paul Roth are the grandsons of the original Pietro's owners. -- JS
If you'd like to chat about food in Eugene, send your
484-0519, ext. 26 or 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401.
Ahead of the Curve
* Another of Eugene's impressive progressive political women has a new job. Rep. Kitty Piercy is now the public affairs director of Planned Parenthood of southwest Oregon. That's Grants Pass, Medford, Eugene and Springfield. Term-limited out of office and unlucky in her run for Lane County Commission, she's taking on the important politics of planned parenthood.
* Here's a favorite Eugene political observer who's going to walk the talk this legislative session. Don Bischoff, retired R-G columnist, has signed on as legislative assistant for Rep. Bill Morrisette of Springfield. That combo sounds like fun, no matter who holds the majority in this Legislature. Bischoff was one of the banner carriers in the Guild's jolly entry Saturday in the celebration parade. Still no contract between the R-G and the Guild, but a big meeting is coming up soon.
* Some of the most visible political junkies in the parade were Ralph Nader supporters. They seemed to be everywhere. Eugene's enthusiasm for Nader has caught the attention of the national media. Last week Public Broadcasting sent a crew from Portland to film a Nader party at the McConnaughey house on Fairmount to be used in a segment on the Jim Lehrer News Hour, date not yet determined.
* Our own "highly scientific" preference poll carried out at the EW booth during the Eugene Celebration had Al Gore getting nearly twice as many votes as Nader, and Nader getting four times as many votes as G.W. Bush. Frog got one vote. About one out of six was undecided or gave a hand sign that was difficult to tally. A lot of Gore backers told us they really preferred Nader, but were afraid Bush might win. Several said they will be waiting to the last minute to see how close Bush and Gore are in the polls. Expect to hear a lot about strategic voting between now and the election. Ballots will be mailed Oct. 15.
It has been nine months since Linda Bovee left us.
We rarely talk about her anymore and when we do, the painful question of "Why did she die?" rises quickly to the surface.
One day a friend in my kitchen cried when Linda's name was mentioned. Another friend could not make a pot of tea as she spoke of her. For many of us, when we think of her, we feel a yawning precipice below us. Where does Linda Bovee end and we begin? To many of us her suicide seems out of character with the woman we knew in the bookstore. If someone like Linda could be driven to put rocks in a pack and walk into a lake, could we?
The other day I saw some old friends, people I felt were accessible to me, as I was to them. Unfortunately, unknown to them, I knew something of the trials they had recently been through. When asked how they were doing I heard that their children were flourishing, work was going well, etc. There was nothing at all in their faces, their tone, their gestures, to hint of a crack in their foundation. A silence fell upon us.
What do you say in the face of so much success? We don't need to spill our lives to everyone all the time, but we owe it to each other, and ourselves, to be more genuine. Rough spots, confusion, troubled times are part of our fabric. Our fear of unhappiness and judgment drives us away from one another.
How different our conversation would have been had my friends simply said, "We've had some troubles, but things are better now," And then, asked me how I was doing.
This is the silence, I believe, that drove Linda to the water. On one hand, she did not reach out to anyone. On the other, perhaps we, too, are afraid to reach out. We spend a lot of energy looking good for each other. And we spend a lot of energy being silent.
What was Linda afraid of? Was it a crippling debt? A forbidden love? A terminal illness? Whatever the catalyst that drove her to the water, it was informed by a darkness none of us saw in her. A darkness that only Linda knew.
It no longer seems important what it was she was silent about, it is more that she was silent in a community where we seem to be available to one another.
Or was she silent? I ask myself this a lot. At times it surprises me how well I think I know someone; and then I am shocked by her unpredictable behavior. I generally find, upon reflection, that when that person spoke, I was too preoccupied to listen. I would be thinking about what I needed, or how I appeared, more than what that person was saying.
I honestly did not know Linda very well. I only knew her from her store; I would chat with her while browsing. Our relationship had a distracted quality to it as I was always running errands when I saw her. I don't feel I made myself available to Linda.
However, like everyone else, I was shocked by her suicide. I felt so vulnerable; so terrified. I felt like I had really missed something in all the times I had seen Linda. And, I have to admit it, I found that I wanted to know why she died, so that I would feel safe. So I could say, "That would never happen to me."
And now I believe, whether or not there is an "answer," there is a lesson we, as a community, can carry away from this. It is the knowledge that someone may have been speaking to us in a way we could not understand, or could not hear. Someone may have been saying, in her own silence, "Speak to me! Tell me something true about yourself!"
I don't think any of us are to blame that she died. But I believe we are all somehow responsible. The more we parade our children before ourselves, the more we see but don't see, the more we concern ourselves with our errands, our affect, our fear of judgment, the more we distance one another.
Linda dealt with her secrets in darkness and it finally took over. However, her story told over and over again in our own words from our own lives may allow us to listen and talk and keep us from drowning. Our fear of judgment from one another can easily engulf us.
Where does Linda end and we begin?
"In or out." I hold the screen door open and issue my ultimatum with all the authority I like to imagine I have. My cat sniffs the air, rotates her radar ears, and checks for whatever it is cats check: rain, traffic, dogs in the vicinity, some neighbor opening a can of tuna. She may scurry outside or launch into a bout of personal grooming. There's no point trying to force her to decide.
One time I got impatient with her prolonged deliberations. It was cold out and I had just stuck my arm into the winter chill to retrieve the morning paper. Bella stood in the crack of the doorway surveying the world. Icy air rushed in and expensive heat poured out. I was in no mood. With the inside edge of my slippered foot I scooted her out and pulled the door closed behind her.
That incident is one of the few memories my cat retains. Now, before she'll even approach the door to begin her assessment of the world beyond it, she has to first determine that she is safe from "The Foot." Then she'll glance outside, sniff the air, and sit on the threshold, poised in indecision.
People are as peculiar as cats. They can hover indefinitely on the brink of coming out of the closet. When someone is agonizing over whether to come out, it's tempting to wish "The Foot" would just swoop through and end the debate. Frequently, when we finally do come out to our families or co-workers, they reply, "We wondered when you were going to tell us." Still, we can sit in the doorway for years. Even someone as flamingly gay as Liberace went to the grave clinging to the myth that he was just "eccentric." Shoving someone out when they're not ready rarely helps.
I knew a woman in college who, from her side-parted butch haircut down to the heavy gold pinky ring, seemed to be a DD -- definite dyke. Next to her sure-footed swagger, John Wayne would have looked prissy. Jo strode the hallowed halls wearing dress shirts and slacks, and silver-framed tinted aviators that darkened in the harsh fluorescent classroom lights. She was shy though, and kept to herself.
One time in a research methods class, Jo gave me what I thought was a sign. A tuft of her fine blond hair had fallen forward when she hunched over her text book. She pushed the wayward forelock back with a broad, full-palmed diagonal swoop that I took to be an intentional flashing of the pinky ring, as in, "I'm gay. If you receive this signal, please come talk to me."
After class I tried to strike up a conversation, "Hi, did you know the campus gay and lesbian center is having an open house today?" That's me, all tact and subtlety.
Her rebuff was cold and swift, "Sorry honey. I'm not that way."
She'd denied this assumption before. She knew how to dodge "The Foot." It is possible that I'd read her wrong. Maybe she was just a tough-looking straight woman. Or maybe she just wasn't ready. When gay hero Harvey Milk urged us to "Burst down those closet doors once and for all and start to fight," I came out. Actually, I was never in. I went from clueless to full-blown in no time. Twenty-five years ago, a guest panelist in my college Women's Health class smiled and said proudly, "I am a lesbian." I nearly fell out of my seat. I had never heard the term used in a positive way. Suddenly I was standing in the doorway of a whole new world.
After class I told the instructor that the panel made me feel unsettled and confused. My instructor's words changed my life, "I think you'd make a wonderful lesbian." It was like saying to Cinderella, "Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo."
Months later, I experienced the sexual side of homosexuality. A group of friends, all co-workers at our local Women's Center, had gone for a moonlight swim one hot summer night. One of the women, Katie, swam up behind me and purred, "Would you like to come home with me and make love?"
Indecision was not one of the feelings that surged through me. My official lesbian papers were notarized that night.
My coming out was made possible by people who were willing to hold the door open. A lesbian panelist declared her identity matter-of-factly, free of shame. An understanding and open-minded instructor gave me a positive association and pointed out the option. A sexually comfortable co-worker helped me turn the theoretical into the actual by sharing primal pleasure.
I was one of the fortunate ones. I did not need "The Foot." I sniffed the air and the world beyond seemed welcoming, safe, exciting. I was so delighted about this transformation and my immersion into an affirming supportive subculture, that I stepped right out and stayed here. I will always be grateful to those women for holding the door open at the right time. I hope, when she was ready, someone did the same for Jo.
Sally Sheklow has been a part of the Eugene community since 1972 and is a member of the WYMPROV! comedy troupe. Her column, which began at EW, is gaining national attention and was recently picked up by The Desert Post of Palm Springs., The Citizen of Cincinatti, The Ripsaw News of Duluth, and Pride Magazine in Seattle, Chicago and Denver.
Mainly, he can win campaign funding for 2004, proportional to anything over 5 percent of the national popular vote. Your individual vote has a much better chance of effecting this than it does of effecting Gore or Bush after it goes through the filter of the electoral vote. He can win the right to appear in the "official" debates, hopefully this year, but surely in 2004. Boregush is really afraid of letting that happen. (Why is this the only chance we have to see "them" face to face, able to challenge each other?) He also already has won simply the publicity to make him a prominent figure in 2004.
But yes, he can also win this election, especially if it becomes "apparent" that Gore or Bush have the election in the bag, and more people on both sides decide it's safe to vote their conscience rather than their fear. Locally, this can happen if those in doubt keep an eye on the early returns from the East Coast, and vote at the last minute.
Taking Away Votes
Are these people saying that there are no Republicans who care about the environment? How about campaign finance reform or the struggling middle class? About outrageous corporate welfare or the erosion of civil liberties and so much more?
I hope they are wrong, but then again look what happened to John McCain.
If these people are right, then God help us if the Republicans win!
However you slice or dice it, empowering the police to issue journalistic IDs is in effect a licensing scheme. Further, empowering a committee of media players to decide who does and who doesn't qualify would create more problems than it solves.
The one thing I agree with Godbold on is that doing nothing is not an acceptable option. What I think is needed is a public process that is fair to all. We need guidelines and ground rules that the police will honor, not ones that they administer.
Traditionally, media outlets supply journalists with IDs, and, until recently, the EPD honored them. The present impasse over who can have access when the EPD designates a public space as a "crime scene" arose on June 17, when all media were barred from witnessing mass arrests following a march. We the people were prevented from learning the facts about what transpired. We have a lot at stake in resolving this dilemma in favor of our right to know.
My suggestion is that all interested parties, through informal discussions, could come up with some straightforward guidelines, offer them to Eugene residents at a public forum, and only then involve the city, including the EPD. Criteria should be minimal: All those who gather and then disseminate information about public events should qualify. Maybe the city recorder could issue IDs (for a nominal fee) to all who meet the criteria. Some details, such as what would happen in extreme circumstances, would have to be worked out.
It does not serve our common polity for members of the press to take pot-shots at each other. Press freedom is a core value that those in the media need to work together to defend. The alternative is for the powers that be to define the terms of engagement, and that is unacceptable.
Do all crime victims think our criminal statutes must have mandatory sentences to put felons away for a long time? I think not. Perhaps all that is needed are prosecutors who are willing to prosecute to the fullest under the law and judges who will render stiffer sentences based on the criminal's prior history and the merits of each court case.
Would removing the threat of mandatory sentences result in fewer plea bargains? Absolutely! That's why I'm voting "yes" on 94. I want to see justice put back in the courtroom where it rightfully belongs.
Sharon C. Miller
Rules are Too Lax
This incident does beg for media issues to be discussed because I believe the rules are far too lax regarding who is a legitimate reporter and who is not. Monika may be assuming notoriety by assuming that the police should have known she was a reporter. And she was dressed in black as I recall, although the police were not focusing on peoples' appearance but on their behavior, so its hard to figure where she's coming from with her claims.
Hausmann says that if she and other reporters had left the area as ordered, they wouldn't have been able to cover the protest. I feel this complaint is an attempt to insinuate first amendment issues at what amounts to a personal mistake. Actually, if she had simply stepped back about six feet there would not have been a problem, just as there wasn't for me being within 15 feet of the line of contact, and just as there wasn't for the other reporters who were on the scene. If Monika were both professional and prepared, she would have had a directional microphone to allow her to zoom-in at a distance and get the sound bites she felt she needed.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For the record, Hausmann says she was
wearing blue jeans and a "pale, colorful jacket" that day.
"Maybe he has mistaken me for someone else," she says.
Yes, I'm one of those unfortunate sheep who is "tied to a job" (one I don't particularly like, at that). I guess I'm too fond of having a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and a warm bed. I suppose I like having a body free of drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. Maybe I prefer buying books in a bookstore over finding them in a Dumpster. Maybe I just can't handle being "free."
Regardless of how I might be coming across, I've made at least one choice that goes against our society's grain: I've chosen not to own a car. However, thanks to my own two feet, LTD, and a little planning ahead, I get around just fine. While I gladly accept a ride when it's offered to me, I don't expect it or rely upon it. As Republican as this may sound, there's true dignity in, not just supporting yourself, but also in accepting the consequences of your choices. Not only are you insulting those of us who do so, you're also spitting on the truly tragic homeless: those who have hit hard times but are struggling to get back upon their feet.
If someone "opts" for homelessness, power to them; I can just as easily opt not to support their habit. Freedom's funny like that.
Coke is Not Evil
Correctness is different than "right-ness." What seems correct to you may not be right in the eyes of the universe. Each person answers to God on his or her own. You should not get in a person's way.
My experience in alternative movements has been that if a person likes a violent movie, smokes anything legal, or eats meat, that person is a pariah. It's not just that he or she is an inappropriate member of that community, a poor match with its vision -- he or she is bad, wrong. Judgment is made: inferior human being.
With the alternative movements' rabid celebration of diversity, I'm not seeing much in the way of celebration of people who smoke cigarettes or drink Coke. Are only certain diversities honored? A worker at Breitenbush Hot Springs once told me that the resident smokers referred to the outdoor bench with a roof over it that smokers were restricted to as the "lepers' hut."
At this year's Oregon Country Fair, I saw a cowboy couple, thirsty and dazed. The woman said, "I just wish I could find a Coke."
Funny? Sure, but not really. A host being gracious to his guest tries to have what the guest likes to drink on hand. Coca-Cola is not evil. It is probably the most popular drink on the planet. To make it so unwelcome seems exclusionary, judgmental, "elitist." While the wonderful Country Fair has every right to make itself exactly what it wants and the cowboys can stay away if they want, the greater society should not be remade in such a limiting, exclusionary way. The world isn't a private party.
Do we alternative-minded folk want to show everybody our vision, or do we want to show those who don't measure up to our standards how much we disrespect and reject them?
Kudos to the Book Fair, Emerald City Books, the Book Mark, Black Sun Books, Mother Kali's, Friends of the Eugene Public Library, Delight Valley Church of Christ and as always Kalapua Books. Special acknowledgments go to Tsunami Books, Granny's Books and Foolscap Books for their healthy endowments and Smith Family Books for their brimming donation of children's titles.
Michael Glownia's readings and storytelling packed our little grove and his rendition of "Green Eggs and Ham" was legendary; Crea from Rainbow Fire Art installed sculptural altars and designs that gave grace and blessed magic to our atmosphere. So many others brought contributions and enjoyed the Library as a quiet retreat from the path and made this fair truly one for the books! All the staff and volunteers at the fair give so much to make this an essential event and without their dedication and commitment we would surely be without.
Finally, please remember the five-year plan: If every visitor to the OCF brings at least one book, our shelves will overflow with titles for kids of all ages and the joy and power of reading will be shared by all! For contributions throughout the year, please contact us at: OCF Library@realitykitchen.com
Recently I had an occasion to ride the bus. This time from Parker, Ariz., to Bend. It took two days. We left at 4 pm on a Thursday and arrived at Eugene at 2 am Saturday. I thought it would be an adventure but it turned out to be a horror story. When we got to Eugene, there was no bus to Bend and the terminal was locked. We sat on our luggage outside the door from 2:15 am until 6:15 am when the next bus was due. The girl was late unlocking the door until 6:30 am.
The terminal was located in an undesirable part of town. A fleet of taxis were parked nearby, hoping for a fare. The police kept cruising the block because there were young people roaming the streets. No one bothered us but we could have been raped or robbed or worse. Thanks be to God we were kept safe through that long cool night. Our relative didn't get there until 8 am.
Flying is expensive and trains are not always available so a lot of people ride the bus. If it weren't for people the bus lines would go out of business so it would benefit them to provide a place where passengers could wait safely and out of the weather for the next bus or a relative or friend to come for them. My friend and I are both in our 70s and we were a bit anxious.
I can see why they might lock doors against vandals but why not a security guard behind locked doors with lights blazing? I am going to think twice about traveling by bus again. Shame on Eugene for letting this happen.
Bonnie R. Hiser
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