Friendly Area Neighborhood Newsletter - October 2009
Ridgeline Reopens following Blaze
By Ellen Wojahn, Board of Directors Vice-Chair, Ridgeline Montessori School

In the early morning hours of June 24th, as we stood and watched fire destroy seven of Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School's nine classrooms, it was hard to imagine how the school would continue.

The loss was staggering. Montessori schools rely on beautiful sensorial materials - things a child can touch and manipulate to understand her world. Now almost everything in the affected classrooms was charred to dust. Teachers who had spent years creating some of these materials and carefully cataloging lessons in hand-written notebooks watched the core of their teaching go up in smoke. Artwork, furniture, and a 10,000-book library - it was all gone, along with mundane but necessary things like the school's phone system.

We wondered: How would the school reopen on September 9th, with so many orders to place, so much documentation to provide to the insurance company, and most of all, so much uncertainty as to where we would find replacement classrooms? We had only 10 weeks to do it all - and they were 10 summer weeks, when so many people vacation. There were moments, to be sure, when it all seemed impossible.

But Ridgeline Montessori is alive and well! We are now a two-campus school, with three classrooms at the original Willard site at 29th and Lincoln, and four more at Dunn Center adjacent to the Southside Post Office on Willamette Street. We have an administrator at each site. Our enrollment stands at 200.

Getting up and running again after such a disaster was a community effort of major proportions. At six heavily attended meetings in July, our parents, staff, and board collaborated to hammer out a plan to serve our entire K-8 student body in seven classrooms instead of the nine we'd had before the fire. Throughout August, parents and teachers worked together to unpack newly arrived tables and chairs, build shelving, hold fundraisers, and complete various tasks for teachers. One of our fundraising events, called "Ridgeline Rising!", was a concert held at Washington Park on August 7th, and we were happy to see Friendly Area Neighbors in the audience.

We owe our continued operation to many people. They include: the firefighters who contained the blaze to one wing; the District 4J Facilities folks who helped us retrieve what we could from the building before demolition; and the neighbors who kept an eye on the Willard site in the weeks after the fire, including our Willard co-tenants, the Village School. Special thanks go to District 4J Administration, an executive team that not only helped us find new space but also worked hard to keep our costs for remodeling and retrofitting affordable. Last but not least, we wish to thank our families, many of whom are FAN residents or have moved to FAN to be close to our school. Without their continued commitment to Ridgeline and the Montessori education it provides their children, the school would not exist.

Tested by fire, Ridgeline Montessori enters its 10th year stronger and more grateful than ever for the opportunity to educate children in Eugene-Springfield. If you have comments or questions about our school, or would just like to stop by for a short tour, please contact: Chrystell Reed at the Willard site or Trish DeJohn at Dunn Center. Either administrator can be reached at (541) 681-9662.

Additional information may be found online at
FAN General Meeting October 22nd
By Bernie Corrigan, FAN Board Co-Chair

Hi Everybody. All FAN residents are invited to the October 22nd General Meeting. It will take place starting about 7 PM in the Washington Park Center. The Center is located at 20th and Washington. The meeting will feature these events:

Election of FAN Executive Board members for the next year. Want to get in on the action? Throw your hat in the ring. If elected be prepared to spend an average of at least five hours a month working on FAN projects which would include the monthly Board meeting.

Patricia Thomas will give a presentation on the City of Eugene policy regarding Opportunity Siting of new development in the neighborhoods. This will include a definition of what it is and answers to questions about it.

Matt Sprick will be on had to tell us about the Southtowne Business Association and their plans for improving the 29th and Willamette area.

There will also be a forum for neighborhood problems you would like to bring up and discuss with your neighbors in a public setting.
Growing Food for All on Common Ground
Submitted by Anne Donahue, FAN resident

Thirteen Friendly Area Neighbors met to share their vision about a new proposed neighborhood garden site on the unimproved section of 21st Street between Jackson and Van Buren. They spoke of growing food for all, on common ground. They spoke of neighborhood empowerment, community, teaching, learning, food security, abundance, composting, sustainability, and service.

The idea of converting a grassy, unimproved city street into a productive organic vegetable garden was planted as a seed this summer and is now showing some real growth. Property owners bordering the garden were contacted for their support. The City of Eugene Permit and Information Center gave their advice. Utility locates were called for and mapped. The Common Ground Garden planning group also toured the Urban Farm at the University of Oregon to gain garden design ideas and inspiration. Members of Eugene Friendly Neighborhood Farmers formed the basis of the garden planning group.

The Friendly Area Neighborhood Association Executive Board unanimously passed a resolution in support of the project.

The garden was named for the ground it sprang from, the Common Ground Garden. Soil amendments were donated and spread across the site. The ground for a 40 by 80 foot garden was tilled. The garden's south side neighbor agreed to have fruit trees planted on their property next to the garden. This winter, the site will be covered and planted with a combination of cover crops, free city leaves, and over-wintering vegetables.

The Common Ground Garden planning group will be organizing service-work opportunities and will take suggestions for vegetable and flower varieties to grow that will provide greater food security and enhance the beauty of the Friendly Area Neighborhood as well.

As winter turns to spring, the cover-crops will work their rooting magic, soil amendments will feed the garden's micro-organisms, and city leaves will protect the garden soil from compacting rains. The Common Ground Garden is set for a productive growing season ahead.

If you would like to join this effort or keep track of our progress, go to the Eugene Friendly Neighborhood Farmers website ( and join the Garden discussion group. The website is a place for city farmers in the Eugene Friendly neighborhood to connect. You are welcome to join us whether you live in the neighborhood or not!
Letters to the Editor
Slow Down by Washington Park

Hello F.A.N. Readers,

I am one of several residents of the 1800-block of Washington Street, and east side of the 1800 block of Jefferson Street, who have been meeting for approximately a year and a half as a Neighborhood Watch Committee. Susan Rogers has been the main organizer of our group.

We have discussed two concerns regarding traffic:

1. Traffic speeds near Washington Park need to be lowered.

a. The maximum speed near Washington Park should be 20, not 25.

b. Some form of traffic calming on each side of Washington Park should be done. The park is used by so many young children (and some older folks who aren't all that quick), drivers need to be slowed down in some way, whether by speed bumps or planters.

2. Some speed bumps or other calming needs to be done in the 1800 block of Washington Street . Our block is used as a "by-pass" for 18th Avenue traffic wishing to avoid the intersection of 18th and Jefferson . There are several (at least 5) very small children living on this block, and yet the traffic can be incredibly fast and heavy, at times.

We would appreciate the chance to discuss these problems with any group of you that may wish to address this problem.

-Bill Sharp

The Friendly Area Neighborhood Newsletter would like to hear from you! You can send your comments, suggestions, ponderings, ideas, complaints, or reflections in two ways:


US Mail

Friendly Area Neighbors
c/o Neighborhood Program
99 W. 10th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401

Please limit your letters to between 150 and 200 words. Past issues of this newsletter are available online along with other information on our website:
Speed Hump Construction Ahead
By Chris Henry, City of Eugene Public Works - Engineering

Traffic calming projects on three streets are planned to be completed by the end of October 2009 (weather permitting) by Eugene business Knife River Corporation with a combination of public and private funds. Following a series of public meetings, last fall over 2/3 of affected residents in a poll favored publicly funded installation of six traffic calming speed humps on Fillmore Street (between 19th and 24th avenues) and four speed humps on E32nd Avenue (between Alder and University streets). On Praslin Street, the Avalon Village Homeowner's Association approved private funding for three additional speed humps to complete the development's original traffic calming concept.

Traffic calming is one way to reduce speeding on neighborhood streets. Residents may submit a petition for a traffic calming speed study on their street to see if it qualifies for treatment. If speeds are found to be sufficiently high, the street is ranked against other requests for development of a publicly funded traffic calming project. Speed humps are an effective way to reduce speeding on local streets, but they also slow emergency vehicle response times and damage equipment. The City also offers a radar gun training program where citizens learn how to monitor speeds on neighborhood streets, call (541) 682-5188 for more information. Finally, the Eugene Police Department Traffic Enforcement Unit may be reached at (541) 682-5157 to request speed enforcement throughout the city.

Questions regarding the construction project may be directed to Josh Christiansen at (541) 501-0385 or For more information about Eugene's traffic calming program go to or contact Chris Henry at (541) 682-8472 or
Eugene Neighborhood Survey Seeks your input
Submitted by Nancy Ellen Locke, FAN Board with information from the City of Eugene

The City of Eugene and our neighborhood associations would like to know more about what people like about their neighborhood and what they would like to improve. We are also interested in hearing about what barriers might exist and what incentives might be needed to increase participation with your neighborhood association. Nearly every area in the city is represented by a neighborhood association which, together with the City of Eugene, works to improve neighborhood areas.

Upon completion of the survey, you will have the opportunity to be entered into a prize drawing for an IPOD or two Hult Center tickets.

The information gathered from this survey will have multiple uses. It will be used to help improve the City's Neighborhood Services program. Neighborhood associations will also be able to use the information to improve their neighborhoods and as base-line data for a neighborhood to engage in a Strategic Neighborhood Action Plan (SNAP). SNAPs are an opportunity for a neighborhood to take a proactive, comprehensive look at their neighborhood's needs and create a plan to help address these needs. SNAPs can cover a wide-range of topics including traffic management, housing/homelessness, natural resources, community building, land use, historic preservation, parks, public safety, and economic development. For more information on the SNAP program go to

To participate in the neighborhood survey, please visit before October 31st!
Washington Park Spray Play
Submitted by Carrie Peterson, Park Development Coordinator, City of Eugene Parks & Open Space

New and exciting changes are coming to Washington Park! Think fun. Think water. Think fun AND water! A very special spray park incorporating whimsical, interactive, playable art will is planned to replace the former wading pool - and the Eugene Parks Foundation needs your help!

Area neighbors helped create an exciting concept for the spray park that could easily be called "a river runs through it." It has three distinct areas separated seamlessly by a non-spray zone through the middle, making it easy for caregivers to wind their way through the spray park without getting wet themselves. Zone one will entice little ones with its lower and softer sprays; zone two will have a little something for everyone in the family, and zone three will keep the thrill seekers happy. Natural elements, colored concrete, and oval designs contribute to the fluid and artistic feel of the space. Plenty of seating through benches, seating wall, inscribed seating boulders and shade will round out the area and making it a comfortable place to spend the day. Various activation methods create the element of surprise and serve as an important water conservation method.

We invite you to get involved. The budget for this project is $200,000, and the City of Eugene has already provided $75,000 of seed money.

From System Development Charges to get us going. We hope you will help us reach our fund-raising goals allowing for construction in spring 2010. Please join us in making a lasting investment in our children and our community. For more information about the project, visit us at To further discuss how you can help, please do not hesitate to contact Jenny Ulum, Eugene Parks Foundation Spray Play Committee Chair at or (541) 683-0957.
Nearby Businesses Organize & Fundraise
Information submitted by Jean Stover, FAN Business Owner & SoBA founding member

- Mission-

The SouthTowne Business Association's mission is to create a vibrant commercial district in the South Willamette area through district branding and district advocacy. SoBa focuses on building and communicating a cohesive commercial neighborhood brand image through shared event, promotions, advertising and governmental affairs.

- Fundraising -

A giant summer celebration was held on the patio in front of The Supreme Bean and Bambini on Friday evening, July 31st for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). As CASA is all about being a powerful voice for disadvantaged and abused kids, we made this a family- friendly event. We had two great bands, jugglers, a face-painter, a balloon animal artist and craft-making activities for kids.

- Contact -

If you're interested in learning more about Eugene's Southtowne District, or SoBA membership, please visit the organization's website at
Feeling Sick?

- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs enter your body that way.

- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

- If you get sick, stay home and away from other people.
Friendly Area Neighborhood Newsletter

Editor & Layout: Andrew Fisher
Letters to the Editor:

This is the official newsletter of the Friendly Area Neighbors (FAN) in Eugene, OR. Newsletters are published and mailed courtesy of the City of Eugene.

Newsletters are produced by neighborhood volunteers and are free to residents and businesses of the neighborhood.

Space is available for letters to the editor and editorial comments from neighbors. All signed letters will be published as space permits. Editorials express the author's view, not the position of the Neighborhood Association, the City's elected officials, or City staff.
News & History
Submitted by Nancy Ellen Locke, FAN Board

Every so often, someone you see in the newspaper is not just making the headlines - he is adding his personal touch to the shaping of history. Greg Giesy is just that sort of person. He poured his personal time, treasure, energy, talent and sweat into making the College Hill Reservoir accessibility ramp. The new ramp is the first major change to the College Hill Reservoir since it was built in the 1930's - 70+ years ago. Photos and news articles regarding the College Hill Reservoir Neighborhood Matching Grant community access project were donated to the Lane County Historical Society & Museum in August 2009. These items were added to the archival collection as documentation of citizen activity and collaboration with the city agencies in Eugene.

For more information on the Lane County Historial Society & Museum visit on the internet.

This picture shows FAN Board member Nancy Ellen Locke on the left and Bob Hart of Lane County Historical Society on the right. Together, they are holding up a photo showing FAN Board member Greg Giesy in front of the recently completed College Hill Reservoir ADA-accessible ramp.

Photo caption: Nancy Ellen Locke & Bob Hart, Executive Director of the Lane County Historical Society & Museum honoring Greg Giesy, who has added his personal touch to the making of history. Photo by Amy Henne.
FAN Picnic a treat during the summer heat!
By Bernie Corrigan, FAN Board Co-Chair & Andrew Fisher, FAN Board

The FAN Annual Picnic happened in Washington Park on Sunday the 26th of July. It took a while to get going because it was a very hot day with nearby thermometers recording temperatures as high as 98 degrees. The root beer floats being handed out by the Friendly Street Church of God and the iced watermelon provided by Billy Mac's helped picnic goers contend with the heat until the shade from the trees to the west and the shelter provided welcome relief from the sunshine.

Entertainment was provided by two bands who were both well received by the crowd. The Traceys, led by Michael Tracy, came on first. You can hear more of their music at Jimmy and the Blue Shades came on next, led by Jim Bronson. You can hear more of their music at A big thank you to both groups who volunteered their great performances and to Jim Bronson who was the picnic music manager and who also provided the sound system.

A new feature this year, which we hope will continue, was Mike Giroux and his hardy band of BBQ volunteers. The day's menu included grass-fed, free-range beef hamburgers, gardenburgers, and hot dogs, which were donated by Mike Wooley and Long's Meat Market.

Our guesstimate is that somewhere between three and four hundred people attended. Over four hundred root beer floats were consumed, of course you could always have more than one. A number of community organizations had tables or booths from which they were informing the neighbors about themselves and their activities. A number of prizes were won in drawings and the grand prize was won by a FAN resident who said he had never won anything before. That was a great ending to a really good gathering.

Appreciation and thanks go to all who volunteered and participated, as well as the following businesses and organizations:

Actors Caberet of Eugene
Chad Michael Salon
Chapala Restaurant
Down to Earth
Friendly Market
Jenny's Hair & Company
Long's Meat Market
Oregon Community Credit Union
Supreme Bean
The Rabbit Bistro & Bar
The UPS Store
True Value Hardware
US Bank
Wine Styles

Additional thanks to Gayla Halleman & St. Vincent de Paul, Kathryn Cox & Sanipac, and Enid Lefton & NextStep Recycling for their respective organizations' services and continued support of the annual Friendly Neighborhood Garage Sale & Recycling Event. Donations were robust again this year and folks were appreciative of the opportunity to do the right thing with their unwanted electronics, excess household goods, and refuse.

Feedback from the garage sale included the suggestions of having sale maps available for pickup at a few, neighborhood locations on the sale weekend. Another suggestion was to provide a simple list of sale addresses on the website in addition to the downloadable PDF sale maps. To participate in the next neighborhood-wide garage sale, look for participation information in the April 2010 edition of the Friendly Area Neighborhood Newsletter.

Hope to see you at next summer's picnic!
Connect with your Neighborhood!
Attend the Friendly Area Neighbors
Fall General Meeting
October 22nd at Washington Park

See article on page 1 for additional info!
Green Homes Bike Tours '09
By Doug Black, FAN resident & NLC Committee on Sustainability FAN co-representative

August 8th and 9th's FAN Green Home Bike Tours (West and East) continued a successful, summer-long series for Eugenian's eager to learn more about how to live lighter on planet Earth and closer to home. Thanks to the many dozens who shared their homes, as well as those biking along to share and learn. Over 70 bikers viewed the FAN tours this year, making it the largest of any of the eight 2009 Eugene neighborhood's tours.

This year Katie Lewis and I split the FAN in half ; to avoid crossing higher-speed Jefferson Street by bike, as well as to mitigate the elevation change from the west-side flats up to College Hill.

The many details explored included 2 "communities" with shared, backyard food-growing space, chicken-keeping space, rainwater-catchment systems, green building technique, passive & active solar design, and more.

John and Jo-Jo's "community" by Washington Park had more recently removed the fencing between the abutting 3 tax lots and 5 residences. The result is a space rich with chicken-keeping, food growing, fruit trees and just as importantly, connected ideals between neighbors.

David & Joyce's shared-neighbors backyard has stood the test of time, dating back to the 1980's. Matt and Jessica's permaculture land design at 25th and Tyler displayed earth-friendly details like an urbanite and clay-slurry constructed earth oven, with complete conversion from lawn to food growing over the past 2 years.

We learned more on both tours about the sweet benefits of beekeeping from Karen and Rob's on Van Buren, as well as an intro bee talk by Paul Gordon on the East FAN tour. Land use efficiency is a cornerstone of Kurt Hazen-Diehm's hillside home on McMillan. The high-density food-bearing plants and flowers allow Kurt to closely connect with his neighbors and share.