What A Wild Ride This Was: The Reporting 1 Site Is Now Archived

Archives nationales (Paris) Grands dépôts (salle de l'Armoire de fer), via Wiki Commons

Archives nationales (Paris) Grands dépôts (salle de l’Armoire de fer), via Wiki Commons

Hi everyone!

I’m Suzi, the owner of this blog and the former adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication who started this blog for my #J361/Reporting 1 classes in the spring of 2009. I shared the blog with the other professors I taught with, and so many of the students at the SOJC began their public writing careers here. It was a beautiful experiment for me and for the young journalism students.

Knowing that, I also know that sometimes, those of you featured in the blog worry about your names coming up on Google searches. If that happens, or if you’d like to reprint a post not covered in the Creative Commons license in the footer (some classes agreed on CC licenses; others didn’t), please, please email me.

You can reach me at suzisteffen at gmail or jprofsuzi at gmail. Subject lines like “Reporting 1 Blog” or “Hey, I’m in your class’ blog!” or something that indicates you’re talking about this site would be super helpful.

Sending me a Tweet or a private message on Facebook is also useful to bring my attention to your concerns. I will make every effort to contact the author of the post and get her or him involved in the discussions about what should happen. The stories are often part of former students’ professional portfolios, and they deserve to be involved in decisions about the stories.

Thanks to my many former students for their time and effort on this site. I appreciate your work and miss you all.

#J361 forever!


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Musical Blues


Fallout of budget cuts affect music store owners

EUGENE, Ore.- On the corner of West Eighth Avenue and Monroe Street in Eugene, Oregon sits a music store called Pacific Winds Music. 9.5 miles away on 35th Avenue in Springfield, Oregon sits a music store called Blue Ridge Music. Decades ago music stores like these two were rampant in the Eugene-Springfield area. Now only two locally owned full service music stores remain and they are struggling to stay open. The cause? Budget cuts in the Eugene 4J school district and the Springfield school district

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Lane County Fair Gives Community a Place to Come Together

By: Rachel Ibanez

lcf sidebarDriving down 13th Avenue and the surrounding streets in Jefferson Westside Neighbors, there are many old homes full of character, parks with the exemplary Oregon foliage, and shops and restaurants one could only find in Eugene. Also within Jefferson Westside Neighbors is the Lane Events Center, a 55-acre chunk of land that hosts a plethora of events- everything from a gun and knife show to the Picc-A-Dilly Flea Market. One of the most popular events held at the Lane Events Center is the Lane County Fair, a 5-day event that hosts thousands of Oregonians each year.

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Broadway Brings Energy to Eugene

First On Broadway

The offices of First On Broadway are located right beside the new Bijou Metro as well as streamline of other businesses that continually welcome new customers into the downtown scene. (photo: Katie Rosenblad)

BY Katie Rosenblad

While some still find themselves nervous to venture into downtown Eugene, those that do visit the city find it a pleasant place to spend their time and they find they have many more options than what they used to. It has a much more inviting and more welcoming atmosphere due to the restructuring of downtown Eugene.

EUGENE, Ore. – The downtown area has been revitalized and cleaned up with the addition of a slew of new businesses that attract much more foot traffic. Continue reading

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Profile of an Undead Oregon Survivor

Ben Young taking hallways under Lawrence and Willamette Hall avoiding zombies.

Ben Young taking hallways under Lawrence and Willamette Hall avoiding zombies.

BY Devin Ream

EUGENE, Ore. – In the wasteland of Undead Oregon, Ben Young is just trying to survive.

Walking through a basement hallway in the University of Oregon’s Lawrence Hall, Young is trying to get away from the very things that have attacked him every day for a week.

It is the final day, and like the other survivors, he just wants to finish the last mission and donate all the funds he has received.

That is the beauty of Undead Oregon, a game that helps raise money for the Red Cross.

It offers fulfillment for three different yet related pastimes: It’s the largest Nerf gun war imaginable; it’s a real-life adaptation of the video game Left 4 Dead; and it provides the participants an opportunity to live out the fantasy of playing a full-scale Call of Duty match in real-time with weapons that inflict no pain.

It being the grandest Nerf gun war was the reason Young joined the game.

“It is like having the biggest Nerf gun war that you dreamed of as a kid,” Young said. “Except, there are more guns, ammo and it is on a scale that is so much bigger than your living room or backyard.”

Young wakes up every morning strapping the orange cloth on his arm, signifying that he is a human—not a zombie.

Zombies have to put the orange cloth around their heads—unless they are stunned; then they’re expected to put it around their necks.

“I wake up and start walking to class, and then the paranoia kicks in,” Young said. “You have to be paranoid or more than likely you will get tagged when you are coming out of buildings or when you think you are just talking to friends on campus.”

“It helps you focus on something other than school, midterms, or finals. It just makes it to where you can play a game and still get your daily routine done,” he said.

The game is very physically demanding for Young, even though he is a runner most of the time.

“I think the best weapon in the game are running shoes,” Young said. “The Nerf guns and socks help, but in a bind I always can run away from anything that tries to get me.”

A group of humans reloading for the next part of the final mission during Undead Oregon.

A group of humans reloading for the next part of the final mission during Undead Oregon.

On the final mission, a zombie tagged Young with only two minutes left in the game.

“The last mission was the best part of the entire game,” he said. “It felt like it was more planned out, and I got to actually feel like I was heading towards a real goal instead of the paranoia on most days.”

Young helped raise money for the Red Cross; and he got to live out the fantasy of playing the ultimate Nerf war.

For Young, it is a win-win situation.

And when the game is over, he gets to go back to his other daily routines of classes and running.

“Next year, in the fall, I am doing this again,” Young said. “It is too fun to pass up.”

Line of Fire

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Downtown Eugene: Night Life

By: Michelle Miley

Downtown Eugene has become a host for multiple venues allowing all those over 21 to enjoy the night life. Whether you’re grabbing a beer at Luckey’s Club, dancing the night away at Cowfish or grabbing a slice of pizza at Sizzle Pie, it is hard to run out of options. 


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The Closing of Kesey Square

By: Alex Guarino

photo 2 photo 1

Food cart owner Eric Thomason comes to work with gloves every morning to pick up what is leftover from the night before. He picks up broken equipment that was ripped off his restaurant on wheels, used needles, and cigarette buds before he can even begin to open his cart to customers.

On May 27th, the Eugene Police Department made a proposal to present to the Eugene City Council. This proposal consisted of closing down Kesey Square every day between 11 pm and 6 am-same as city parks. The Police Department thinks that by closing down Kesey Square between those hours it would help free up some of the bad activities that go on during those late hours. Councilwoman Betty Taylor says that the city manager supports this proposal and if approved, it will become effective 30 days after it being approved.

Why do some want Kesey Square closed?

For one, Police Chief Pete Kerns says that businesses near the plaza want it closed at night because food cart equipment is often broken and stolen. Thomason, owner of food cart Wrap City says, “We support the square being closed at night because all vandalism to carts occurs during that time.” Police Lt. Eric Klinko says, “What we have experienced is a big influx of people who are camping down there. They hang out there after using drugs and consuming alcohol. And when the food cart vendors in the plaza come to work in the morning they often have to deal with urine and defecation left behind by the campers.” Businesses have complained that groups of unruly people gather in the plaza late at night and bother customers that are eating, especially the ones who sit outside. Thomason, says that they think the businesses will be positively affected by closing an area that breed’s criminal activity during these hours. Todd Patepoea, owner of Taylor’s Chuck Wagon says “They leave their trash. They leave their needles. They use it for a latrine. It’s absolutely filthy, and it has to stop.”

On the contrary, Civil Liberties Defense Center attorney, Lauren Regan says, “the proposal to close the public square is repugnant in the face of the human rights image touted by the city of Eugene. It’s incredibly classist and discriminatory based on income and status, and I think we gave up those types of policies 100-plus years ago.” Regan also adds that the only reason they’re there in first place is because the city parks are closed and there’s nowhere else legal for them to be. She asks, “Where are they supposed to go?” Some people say that this proposal is targeting the homeless population. Homeless rights advocate Alley Valkyrie says that there is already a lack of public space for the unhoused downtown, but “what downtown Eugene needs are bathrooms, benches and more open spaces.”

According to Councilwoman Betty Taylor, that ‘nearby business people has been complaining about the kinds of people who frequent the place.” But she says, “I am opposed to closing a public space in the middle of downtown. But on the contrary, I would like permanent seating in the area”

Julian Hokana, who works at VooDoo Doughnuts in downtown Eugene says, “I think it will affect VooDoo greatly because our peak hours are when the bars are opening and closing, so it will most definitely affect our business I think.” He adds that he thinks this proposal isn’t fair because its public space and if they are going to take our tax dollars to make it, then we should be able to access it whenever we want. First National Tap House Bartender Colin Clark agrees that Kesey Square shouldn’t be closed down because it’s a big part of the Eugene culture and he thinks it will greatly affect the feel of downtown if it was closed during those hours. Clark also adds “I think if they close it more people that don’t come downtown will start coming downtown because they didn’t like the feel of it before. But no matter what it will affect our business either way.”

Many are confused on how this proposal will even work out because there are always people in the area due to the bars and restaurants that stay open late night. Eugene resident Ron Siever says, “What are they going to say-people at the restaurants and bars can’t hang after 11 pm?” University of Oregon student Michelle Gimenez said, “I feel like they shouldn’t close an area because there are bad stuff going on in the neighborhood. I think they should spend that money on more patrol in the area rather than just closing down the whole area where people enjoy hanging out and performing.”

Citations will be given out if proposal is passed as high as $500 on the first offense, and $1,000 and one year in jail for consequent violations. This proposal also prohibits unlicensed dogs from the downtown zone as well, which covers between sixth and 11th avenues and High and Lincoln streets. What they have to figure out if the proposal is passed is how are they going to let everyone know the boundaries of where they can be, and areas that are off limits.

Question and Answer With Eugene Councilwoman Betty Taylor

Q: What exactly does the proposal say? And hope to accomplish?

BT: The proposal is to close the space from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM–same as city parks.
Q: Who wrote the proposal up and why?

BT: I don’t know who wrote it.
Q: What happened at the city council meeting with this proposal?

BT:  The city manager supports the idea. Some nearby business people have been complaining about the kinds of people who frequent the place. City councilors were surprised to have a public hearing on a topic that we had not previously discussed. Some councilors requested a work session to discuss the issue. Several councilors expressed opposition.
Q:  If approved when does it become effective?

BT:  I don’t know when it would become effective–probably 30 days after approval.
Q: How do you personally feel about the proposal and why?

BT: I am opposed to closing a public space in the middle of downtown. On the contrary, I would like permanent seating in the area.
Q: How did a lot of the locals react about this proposal?

BT: Some people think it is ridiculous,

Q: How did some of the downtown businesses feel about this proposal?

BT: Some business owners strongly support it.


Question and Answer with Wrap City Owner Eric Thomason

Q: Please state your name and the name of your food cart in downtown Eugene

ET: My name is Eric Thomason and I own Wrap City in Kesey Square

Q: When is your food cart open and close every day

ET: We are open from 11-2 and We get down here at around 9 am to do prep and set up

Q: What kind of food do you guys sell?

ET: We promote organic food, locally grown food we eat the food that we make. We take the food home and eat it. You know we lose weight on it its healthy enough. Its great food.

Q: How do you guys feel at Wrap city about the possibility of Kesey Square being closed from 11 pm to 6 am? Since your food cart sits over night? Do you think its a good idea for them to close it? or do you think its a bad idea?

ET: Yes we support the square being closed at night all vandalism to carts occurs during that time. I think the business will be positively affected by closing an area that breeds criminal activity during these hours.

Q: How do you think it will affect the businesses around downtown Eugene?

ET: We think the businesses will be positively affected by closing an area that breed’s criminal activity during these hours.

Q: What do you guys have to deal with every morning before you guys open your food cart?

ET: I come to work with gloves every morning because we have to pick up so much trash, needles, clean up urine, broken equipment from our food cart etc. from the night before. Its disgusting!

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Making & Creating in the Whiteaker

Video by: Arturo “Tito” Onesto

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Whiteaker Art Walk

Video by: Arturo “Tito” Onesto

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Graffiti: Art or Vandalism?

Pictures & Text by: Arturo “Tito” Onesto

Whiteaker Graffiti

Whiteaker Graffiti

Eugene, Ore – Art lives in he Whiteaker, everything from artists, murals, and other forms of art are created in the neighborhood. Graffiti is also very prevalent in the Whiteaker area. How do the residents, visitors, and business owners in the neighborhood feel about the graffiti they come across? Continue reading

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