Category: Newspaper Columns

Newspaper columns that I have written for the Fern Ridge Review in Veneta, Oregon and the Creswell Chronicle in Creswell, Oregon. I began writing them for the Fern Ridge Review on August 4, 2010; on December 6, 2012, the Creswell Chronicle began printing them, as well. I am still the Lorane columnist for both papers.

Sweet Lorane Community News, June 20, 2019 – Fern Ridge Review

Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 20, 2019
By Pat Edwards

Last night, Jim and I, along with about 65 other people, attended the meeting at the Lorane Grange to go over the planned restructuring of Territorial Highway between Gillespie Corners and Lorane. As I mentioned last week, Lane County has received funding to take over from the State of Oregon the oversight of the portion of Territorial Highway that goes through the county. The Lorane project, which will use up much of that funding, has been divided into four segments. Along each segment, the road will be widened to two 11-foot lanes with a 6-foot shoulder suitable for bicycle travel on each side.

The first segment, Stage 1, will begin next summer, 2020, with the rerouting and stabilizing of the curvy portion of a hill known as Stony Point which has been a maintenance headache for decades with the sinking of the pavement that needs frequent repair.

Stage 2, slated for the summer of 2021, is the Gillespie Corners portion where two bridges will be rebuilt and raised to deal with the frequent flooding during heavy winter rains. There’s also on-going discussion about possibly straightening some of the curves between Gillespie Corners and Easy Acres Drive.

Stage 3, scheduled for the summer of 2022, will primarily widen the road and straighten some of the curves between Easy Acres Drive and Stony Point.
The last segment, Stage 4, will widen and improve the route from the top of Stony Point to the intersection of Territorial Highway and Cottage Grove-Lorane Road.

Following the short presentation last night, everyone was invited and encouraged to go to the various stations that were set up around the room to talk with and ask questions of the Lane County Department of Transportation staff who were manning them. Each station represented a segment of the overall project.

The actual presentation itself outlined the scheduled plan as it stands now, but there will still need to be further surveying and a lot of right-of-way discussion between the property owners before specific plans can be solidified, so many of the questions cannot yet be answered until the preliminary work is done. Property owners of the earlier segments, however, were told that they will soon be contacted by a Lane County right-of-way representative to go over how their properties will be impacted by the current plan.

It was a good, informative meeting and many of those local residents in attendance seemed to be excited to finally have our visions and wishes for a good, safe road to travel on finally beginning to happen.

Representatives from some of Lane County’s bicycle community were equally excited about the impact the project will have on their own safety as well.

Here’s more information on the very popular 16th Annual Crow Car Show. It will be held this year on July 13, 2019 at Crow High School. After a one-year hiatus, they are bringing back the free pancake breakfast that will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. In addition, there will raffles beginning at 1:30 p.m., a fun Kid Zone that opens at 9:00 a.m. and concessions running from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. Add all this to the 50-plus cars and trucks that have been pre-registered, and you’re bound to have an amazing day.

Volunteers are being recruited to help with the various activities. If you’re interested, please contact Marissa McNutt-Cooper, 641-517-6608, for more information. The event is sponsored by the Crow Booster Club and all proceeds go to the Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District.

Sweet Lorane Community News, June 13, 2019 – The Creswell Chronicle

Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 13, 2019
By Pat Edwards

Noel Nash, the owner and publisher of the Creswell Chronicle, asked me to drop by the office the other day to discuss what new and exciting changes they are planning for the paper. Part of his plan involves my column, “Sweet Lorane Community News.” I welcome his suggestions because they will lift the onus of having to make upcoming events seem interesting each week.

Future issues will include an events calendar for the Lorane and Crow areas next to my column so I don’t have to include them unless they are something I wish to discuss in more detail. I am being encouraged to “write from the heart” for the actual content of my contributions. This is the form of writing that I have always loved to do and it is what seems to flow naturally once I get started. My most recent columns about Jim’s and my struggles and our trip to the East Coast have apparently been well-received and Noel is encouraging me to continue to write, not only about personal issues, but about life in general, current events, nostalgia and even local history.

I am excited to be able to explore what I can come up with. I am well aware that my best writing is that which comes naturally—that seems to flow from my fingers. The drawback to this is that there may be times when it just doesn’t happen. In this case, I’ve been assured that I can take off a week or so occasionally.

The column won’t necessarily be about Lorane each time, but much of it will be and I’m really looking forward to spreading my wings a bit on a regular basis.

With that said, I want to mention again a very important meeting for the Lorane area that is coming up on Thursday, June 20, at 8:00 p.m. Members of the Lane County Department of Transportation will be meeting with the public at the Lorane Grange to discuss the plans and ramifications of the realignment of the 7 miles of Territorial Highway between Gillespie Corners and the town of Lorane. As anyone knows who has driven that section, the road is narrow, curvy and has no shoulders. The fog-lines are right at the edge of the pavement which immediately slopes down into a ditch on both sides.

For years, the major uphill curves of Stony Point have been dropping—giving way under the weight of traffic heading south. That section of the formerly state-owned and maintained road has, for years, needed to be filled and repaved often to keep the low, sinking pavement level with the rest of the surface.

Lane County has taken over the ownership and maintenance of Territorial Highway and has received a large multi-million dollar grant that will pay for needed work on Territorial—much of it dedicated to the Lorane project.

Be sure and attend the meeting if you have any questions or concerns about what is being planned. A lot of us will be impacted by the process.

Sweet Lorane Community News, June 13, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 13, 2019
By Pat Edwards

I am really enjoying our summer this year. Yes, we’ve had a couple of much-too-hot days this past week, but for the most part, the temperature has stayed within comfortable limits.

I’ve been able to spend some time outside in the evenings, working in my flower beds and making sure that everything has been watered and the birds feeders are filled. It’s my favorite part of the day. Our two canine kids, Toby and B-B, love it too. They think that they need to be wherever I am when I’m home, even though it is pretty boring inside the house while I’m working at my computer. Their excitement really kicks in when Jim or I can be outside with them. They have the horse watering tank to cool off in—it has become their own personal pool since we no longer have horses on our property. Then, they do their self-appointed jobs of running the 5-acre fence-line around our house to keep an eye out for the UPS, FedEx, or garbage trucks that sometimes head up our hill.

Jim is improving although he still isn’t driving and he continues to have mobility issues and must use a cane. For the most part, though, he’s enjoying his time at the store and working in our yard, as he can, between our almost daily trips into town.

I want to mention again a very important meeting for the Lorane area that is coming up on Thursday, June 20, at 8:00 p.m. Members of the Lane County Department of Transportation will be meeting with the public at the Lorane Grange to discuss the plans and ramifications of the realignment of the 7 miles of Territorial Highway between Gillespie Corners and the town of Lorane. As anyone knows who has driven that section, the road is narrow, curvy and has no shoulders. The fog-lines are right at the edge of the pavement which immediately slopes down into a drop-off or ditch on both sides.

For years, the major uphill curves of Stony Point have been dropping—giving way under the weight of traffic heading south. That section of the formerly state-owned and maintained road has, for years, needed to be filled and repaved often to keep the low, sinking pavement level with the rest of the surface.

Lane County has taken over the ownership and maintenance of Territorial Highway and has received a large multi-million dollar grant that will pay for needed work on Territorial—much of it dedicated to the Lorane project.

Be sure and attend the meeting if you have any questions or concerns about what is being planned. A lot of us will be impacted by the process.

As you can probably tell, there’s not a lot of Lorane or Crow news to report this week. However, we have some really big events coming up in the next month or two which I’ll discuss further in future columns, but here are the dates so that you can mark them on your calendars:

July 13 – The 16th Annual Crow Car Show, Crow High School
July 27 & 28 – The Art in the Country Artist and Author Festival, Applegate Regional Theater (Corner of Central & Fleck Roads)
August 3 – Lorane Community Wide Yard Sale
August 11 – Lorane Community Potluck and Ice Cream Social