Friendly Area Neighborhood Newsletter - January 2009
The Little School that Could
By Jennifer Snelling, FAN resident

Have you heard what's happening at Adams, our neighborhood elementary school? One of the last remaining neighborhood schools in Eugene's urban core, Adams is located in the center of FAN. There was concern that Adams would be closed due to low enrollment after the school board closed Hillside Alternative School, which was co-housed with Adams. In an effort to save Adams, the board conducted a neighborhood survey to gauge interest in turning Adams into a Chinese Immersion school. The neighborhood overwhelming voted in favor of keeping Adams a neighborhood school.

As a result, the school board created a task force charged with creating a plan to reinvigorate our neighborhood elementary. The future of Adams looks bright with possibility. Staff joined forces with parents of current and future students to create a program focuses on the strengths that already exist at Adams. These strengths include a diverse student population and an already existing Green program. Here is a passage from the task force report:

"The theme created for Adams is "Learning About and Respecting a Diverse, Interconnected and Sustainable World". The principles of diversity, sustainability, green/ecology, multiculturalism, community/family/neighborhood, and interconnectedness are the cornerstones of our vision ... Our neighborhood feels a commitment to protecting our planet and to being partners in sustainability efforts. Our school, like our world, is diverse and requires students to understand other cultures and languages to ensure their success. Our dream for Adams, so centrally and strategically located in the core of the Eugene community, is that it become a model and a beacon for students in the neighborhood and beyond. We are encouraged and energized by strong neighborhood support and excitement for this plan."

To implement the new program, Adams will develop a school garden, solar energy, develop native landscaping, outdoor art murals, and Spanish language instruction. The themes of diversity and environmental sustainability will become part of an enhanced academic curriculum. The school garden is a great opportunity for the neighborhood to become involved with Adams. It will be the Eugene School District's first wheelchair accessible school garden AND may be of special interest to senior gardeners. A strong relationship with community members will help preserve Adams as a vibrant neighborhood school so any neighbors who are interested in gardening are encouraged to volunteer and share their skills.

Please come by and see what's happening at Adams. The school will host storytimes for preschoolers and their parents in the school library. A parents's informational tea with principal Pamela Irvine is planned for January. Additional information about these and other Adams events can be found on the Adams website, If you're scouting schools this winter, don't forget to add Adams to your list. With support from our neighborhood, Adams can be the little school that could.
New website, New FAN board members, New year!!!

Best wishes of the New Year to our neighborhood.

With the first newsletter of 209, the FAN (Friendly Area Neighbors) Board welcomes you to our new website at The site is under development through volunteer efforts. Take a look!

-Subscibe to our Google group "FANspeak" and receive timely e-mail updates related to our neighborhood and the City.

-Explore links to our neighborhood schools, the City of Eugene Neighborhood pages with resources galore, and neighborhood parks.

-Participate online by posting messages, events and other neighborhood announcements on the Friendly Message Board.

-Appreciate the history and architectural gems of the neighborhood.

Do you have links that would be of interest to your neighborhood? Please send them to us along with your comments and suggestions to
Neighborhood sustainability groups plan workshops
By Barbara Sklar & Rachel Turner, FAN residents

We are a group of women in the Friendly Neighborhood who have been meeting since last summer to explore and encourage each other to live in more sustainable ways. We quickly realized that our individual actions needed to be placed in the broader context of our neighborhood community. We are dedicated to the ideal that neighbors can joyously relearn the skills to live sustainable, interdependent, deeply satisfying lives. As a group, our common love is gardening, so we began to offer workshops on topics that are of personal and practical interest to us. Recently, we hosted a Lawn to Garden workshop attended by twenty-one prospective gardeners. Under the instruction of Devon Bonaday of Fern Hill Nursery, workshop participants converted a 10' by 15' patch of lawn to garden. We all had great fun and are inspired to have work parties in the future, including one to help Adams Elementary start their own school garden. We invite all Friendly neighbors to our upcoming workshops:

On Sunday, February 1st we will be offering a fruit tree pruning workshop starting at 1 PM at 833 W 27th Ave. The instructor, Tom Bettman, is a Master Gardener who teaches at Urban Farm (UO), Mt. Pisgah and on a variety of topics for the OSU Extension Service. Please bring sharp pruning tools if you have them and dress for the weather. The workshops are free but donations to cover expenses are accepted. Register by contacting: or call Barbara at (541) 687-6879. Come meet your neighbors!

On Saturday, March 14th from 1-2:30 PM we will learn how to build a cold frame! Starting seeds is not always easy in rainy Oregon but we are delighted to have Tom Bettman return to teach us the tricks of the trade. Bring your own seeds. Seed sharing is encouraged! We will provide some pots and potting soil. John Coggins is a member of the Native Garden Awareness Program of the Native Plant Society of Oregon and is very knowledgeable about native plants. He will instruct us on native plant propagation. The workshops are free but donations to cover expenses are accepted. Register by contacting or call at (541) 683-1155.

Our group is interested in hearing from you. What other workshops might we offer to move our neighborhood toward a more sustainable future? A Spring workshop on bike repair? What might it be like to share tools, resources and skills? What inspires you on this topic? Are you already engaged working on this issue? Would you like to be? Do we want/need a larger community meeting to address this issue? Call to talk. Barbara at (541) 687-6879.
Focus on Friendly Biz: Little Y Market
Andrew Fisher, FAN Board and Newsletter Editor

Gary Christopherson was a student at the University of Oregon in 1973. He was studying business and finance. Some friends of Gary's lived in the Friendly Neighborhood and they all frequented the Little Y Market. Now it is 35 years later, and Gary still spends a lot of time at the Little Y Market, but in a different way. He has owned and operated this long-time serving Friendly business since 1992. It's been a family affair as well. All three of Gary's kids gained valuable work experience by lending a hand at the family business. In addition to Gary, the store employs about 5 or 6 others.

Before taking on the challenge of opening a neighborhood supermarket, Gary worked as a General Manager for Premiere Distributorship . In 1992 he purchased the property and store he had shopped in as a student years earlier. He spent several hundred thousand dollars putting on a new roof, installing a new air conditioning system and making other structural improvements.

Gary proudly reveals that Little Y is the "largest convenience store in Lane County". Of course Little Y offers much more than a typical convenience store might. Gary's passion for being an active part of his community is evident not only by his green & yellow Duck jersey, but also by the enthusiastic and genuine way he interacts with his customers. Little Y also separates itself from other convenience stores by all the "extras" it offers; a well-stocked deli, a selection of nice but inexpensive wines, homemade clam chowder on Fridays, and a willingness to respond to customer's needs. Best of all is the personal and friendly service. Gary is in the store most mornings and when he's not joking with a customer, you'll find him working the register, brewing coffee, or browning bacon.

People often ask Gary about the store's name. Where does it come from? According to Gary, previous owners also owned a much larger supermarket named Big Y Super Market. It was opened around 1953 and was located at Eugene's Big Y Shopping Center (where 6th and 7th Streets "merge" to form Highway 99. Today Harbor Freight Tools occupies that location. Since the large grocery store was named Big Y, the smaller, Friendly neighborhood store was named the "Little Big Y Market". The word "big" was eventually dropped.

Indeed the market has had several names over the decades. At one time or another, it was known as either Orr's, Powers, McKay's or Little Big Y Market or Superette. It also operated as a Grocery Cart from the late 70's until 1992 when Gary bought the property. I asked Gary why he changed the name back to Little Y Market and his response was "It made sense...people were used to it".

Gary shared with me how a long-time neighborhood resident and customer once told him she recalled a grocery store operating out of a house before the Little Y store was every built. A quick trip to the City of Eugene Public Library revealed a grocery store at the Little Y's address named Ralph's Grocery in 1952. The year prior it is listed as the residence of Ralph D. Hector. This seemed to confirm the recollection of Gary's long-time customer! Still farther back, a 1931 entry lists Halverson's Grocery at that site. What probably started as an out-of-home business remains a familiar, Friendly neighborhood fixture today. Please support your local neighborhood businesses, but be forewarned...Friday's clam chowder usually sells out!
Friendly urban farmers "growing" digital with online forum
By Robin Onaclea, FAN resident

Want to trade seeds with your neighbors? Have a question about organic or permaculture practices? Need someone to check on your chickens while you're out of town? A new online group has formed called the Friendly Neighborhood Farmers. Twenty two Friendly area residents have joined the group so far.

The group is aimed toward Friendly Neighborhood residents who do some form of urban "farming", whether it be gardening, raising chickens, beekeeping or other sustainable landscaping practices.

The website is set up like a social networking model. When you join, you complete a brief profile outlining your backyard gardening interests. Once you are a member of the site, you can post and view photos, events, blog entries and announcements. Membership is free.

The Friendly Farmers group held a potluck in November so people could meet face to face. Topics such as winter gardens, raising chickens, rain water collection and beekeeping were discussed and the food was terrific! Come join the site by going to We look forward to networking with you!
No Child Left Inside Act 2008
By Nancy Ellen Locke, FAN Board

Saving the small patch of land with the vernal ponds at the southeast corner of Fillmore Street and 24th Avenue has just gotten more relevant to the curriculum at The Arts and Technology Academy at Jefferson!

Last September the House of Representatives passed the No Child Left Inside Act of 2008. The popular bi-partisan bill is written to better prepare teachers for using hands-on environmental education to help connect students to nature.

Passage of the bill is especially timely given that today's children spend half as much time outside as children did 20 years ago and average 44.5 hours a week in front of some type of electronic entertainment. Not surprisingly, recent studies confirm that children are increasingly disconnected from nature. Furthermore, the research shows that kids who have a significant outdoor experience before age 11 are more likely to have a life-long conservation ethic.

The No Child Left Inside Act creates a new grant program for states to provide more hands-on environmental education programs for children, would support the creation of state environmental literacy plans and teacher training in environmental education.

The No Child Left Inside coalition had more that 700 members including: educational institutions, business groups, environmental, sportsmen, and healthcare organizations.

The Senate version of the No Child Left Inside Act of 2008, S.1981, has not yet been reported out of committee, but it also enjoys strong bipartisan support and has attracted 14 cosponsors to date.

For more information about No Child Left Inside, please visit

For more information on how to connect kids to nature, visit
You are invited to attend the Winter General Meeting of the Friendly Neighbors

One of the easiest and most effective ways to learn ab out your neighborhood is by attending a General Meeting! Connect with others by creating dialogue. All Friendly residents are invited and encouraged to attend. Your participation is important! Learn about what others are doing and find ways to get involved!

The annual Winter meeting for the Friendly Area Neighbors will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the Washington Park Recreation Center located at 2025 Washington Street on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009.

Scheduled Speakers & Topics include: George Brown, City Council Member-Elect
Letters to the Editor
Sidwalk Project Prompts Response

I read with interest the latest Friendly Neighborhood newsletter. It's great that the neighborhood association promotes events which bring neighbors together to share their skills and interests. However, I do not believe the neighborhood association has any place in making decisions about projects which affect my individual home and property. Specifically, I found myself becoming annoyed when reading the article about FAN pushing for sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. I walk this neighborhood on a regular basis and I find no problem with having stretches of road without sidewalks. Where there are sidewalks, they are often not any smoother than the roads. I know of no vehicle-pedestrian accidents which would indicate an urgent need for more sidewalks. I realize your proposal is to somehow use donations to pay for the sidewalks but I have my doubts that will occur and then the City will be imposing assessments on property owners. Or once a street has additional sidewalks installed, the homeowners who did NOT wish to have a sidewalk will be assessed the cost of one by the City. In this economy, I doubt many home owners can afford such assessments.

Finally, I like my yard just fine as it is - without a sidewalk. It gives my home a more rural feel. The Friendly Neighborhood is unique because the houses and properties are not uniform, as in the suburbs. The people promoting this "project" are forging forward, as was done with the traffic calmers, and then plan to "inform us" of the plans. It seems to me that's backwards. There was no general mail-in election for the leadership of FAN. There are many people in the neighborhood who don't have time to attend FAN meetings. No one asked us if we want sidewalks on our property. I am beginning to refer to the FAN Association as "the meddlers."

-Tricia Hedin

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:
College Hill Reservoir Update
Submitted by Jeannine Parisi, EWEB Community and Local Government Outreach Coordinator

As you have probably noticed, the reservoir surface protection project began in October. To date, crews have removed and replaced the expansion joint filler and prepared the roof surface for the sealing process. Work will continue in January to install the armor plating over the expansion joints and apply the concrete sealer. It is still anticipated for this phase of the project to be complete by mid-April. Security fencing, limited to the areas that allow access inside the reservoir, will also occur over the winter. Resurfacing of the north half of the reservoir is scheduled to occur next October, which means the area will be fully accessible over the summer months.

EWEB is also working with a group of area residents to submit a Neighborhood Matching Grant application to the City. If successful, the grant will enable neighbors to construct a ADA-compliant earthen ramp at the southern half of the reservoir, and to install decorative pavers to connect the ramp to Lincoln Street. The completed grant application is due January 30th. Special thanks to FAN resident Rick Grosscup for his hard work on the grant application.

Lastly, EWEB and the City of Eugene Parks Department have partnered-up to provide a pet-waste bag dispenser and trash can at the reservoir. EWEB has purchased the facilities and will keep them supplied, and the Parks Department has agreed to add the site to its weekly waste collection route. Our hope is to have the facilities installed to the left of the stairwell in mid-January. We encourage neighbors who use this area for dog-walking to take advantage of this service, and ask for everyone's help in keeping this critical drinking water supply area safe and clean.
Building Friendly Neighborhood Self-Reliance Continues
By Doug Black FAN neighbor & Post Carbon Eugene coordinator

2008 was a very good year for Friendly Neighbors building community self-reliance("Relocalization") for the post-carbon years ahead. For starters, FAN is a part of the 9-month-old city Neighborhood Leaders Council Sustainability Sub-Committee actively planning booth activities for the Fourth Annual Green Home Show January 23rd and 25th.( ). Please join us! Get involved! 485-6846. In August, FAN had the largest of 4 city neighborhood green home bike tours. To top it all off, FAN resident Robin Onaclea started FAN's Friendly Neighborhood Farmers website; a participatory, interactive website (see her story in this edition). A website so attractive, at least a half dozen of it's members are from other neighborhoods, wanting in! Robin has been joined by many FAN bike tour participants, and others, as members.

We are starting planning on the next green home bike tour for Friendly Neighborhood, in 2009. Join us. Please visit, use, and join in the ongoing online news and events on 'relocalization'/community self-reliance by visiting Post Carbon Eugene, at .

There is still no better time to plan ahead for an uncertain future with the long-term economy. In case you were wondering if we were back to a long-term 'normal' with comfortable, affordable oil supply, you must understand reality. In the recent words on energy uncertainty by internationally-respected Richard Heinberg "The oil price has collapsed thanks to a short-term surge in production combined with a medium-term (for now) financial crisis and a longer-term economic recession, with Wall Street speculation having helped make matters worse." We all have much to do to prepare with. Join us and your neighbors, and bring your life close to home!
Friendly Neighborhood Street Map with Historic Features

This is a map of the Friendly Neighborhood. It shows the major streets in 2009 and the location of nine former and current historic features

Did you know that airplanes once took off and landed where Westmoreland Park is currently located? The Friendly neighborhood is rich with the history of Eugene's development. Wonderful residential architecture tells much of the story.

Consider sharing your memories of the history of Friendly by contacting us! We are interested in photos, documents, and written recollections & remembrances of Friendly days-gone-by. This information can be made available to everyone online. You can learn more about our neighborhood history (and how you can contribute) by visiting

The useful map above shows the present day layout of the most frequently used streets in our neighborhood (Not all alleys are present). It also includes the approximate locations of some former and current historic features in Friendly neighborhood.

A. Eugene Airpark - The former Eugene Airpark once partially occupied the land in the northwest corner of Friendly Neighborhood. Westmoreland Park replaced it in 1954. Originally, a runway ran parallel to Chambers Street on the east side. A second runway ran from near the intersection of 18th and Chambers on a diagonal to the southeast. Pieces of the old tarmac were unearthed during tree plantings in Westmoreland Park. A basalt column and plaque next to Westmoreland Community Center identify the park's former life as an airport.

B. Columbia College - In 1856, Columbia College opened for classes. Less than a month later it was destroyed by fire under suspicion of arson. Rebuilt in 1857, it was again consumed by fire on February 26, 1856. It was partially rebuilt in sandstone, but ultimately abandoned due to controversy over the college's board of directors. A Stone marker and plaque reside at the corner of 19th and Olive Streets

C. Eugene General Hospital/Mercy Hospital - Across from Civic Stadium, a pair of concrete steps leads up from Willamette Street to the sidewalk. This is all that remains to indicate the site of the former Eugene General Hospital. Built in 1906, it was renamed Mercy Hospital in 1912 after being purchased by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy. The hospital closed around 1928 and sat empty for a decade before being razed between 1938 and 1940.

D. Civic Stadium - Constructed in 1938, it became home to Eugene's own minor league baseball team, the Emeralds, in 1969. The roof and grandstand were constructed utilizing local, old growth Douglas Fir trees.

E. EWEB Green Water Tower and Reservoirs - The College Hill Reservoirs and water tower are owned and operated by the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB). The area of College Hill between Lincoln and Lawrence and 23rd and 25th is the repository for drinking water for the City of Eugene. When we turn on the kitchen tap or water the lawn or wash the car chances are the water we are using come from one of three reservoirs located on College Hill. The oldest of these reservoirs is close to 23rd and Lawrence. This one is known as the 603 reservoir, which is the number of feet above sea level to the overflow pipe at the top of the reservoir. This large concrete tank began life about 1915. In the beginning it had an open top and was surrounded by a wrought iron rail, about 19 years later it was covered with the present concrete lid. This concrete tank holds about two and half million gallons of water when filled.

Adjacent to this reservoir is the 607 reservoir, the large concrete structure with the pipe railing around the perimeter. The 607 reservoir was a product of the FDR Public Works Administration and constructed in 1939. This reservoir is divided into two sections, north and south, which when combined hold some fifteen million gallons of water. This facility is teamed with a larger reservoir near 25th and Hawkins and other facilities store a supply of drinking water for the City of Eugene.

At the very top of the Friendly Area Neighborhood is the 703 reservoir, also completed in 1939. This steel tank is about thirty feet in diameter and twenty feet tall. Its six legs raise it some seven hundred feet above sea level where its red blinking light can be seen from most of downtown. This reservoir holds about one hundred thousand gallons and serves the homes in the immediate area which would have insufficient water pressure if gravity fed from the adjacent in-ground storage.

F. Jim & Bonnie's Miniature Golf - The course is known to have operated at 2840 1/2 Willamette Street in 1958 and 1959. James Willette was owner. Little else is known.

G. Friendly Garage - Originally built in 1945 as Brumwell's Friendly Service, the Friendly Street Garage also served as a Shell gas station. The structure once stood at the corner of 27th Avenue & Friendly Street. It was torn down in 2004. The foundation is still visible.

H. College Crest Streetcar Station - Electric streetcars operated in Eugene from 1907 to 1927. The College Crest loop started at 11th and Willamette and wound through Friendly Neighborhood along sections of Jefferson and Friendly Streets. The College Crest station once stood near the intersection of 28th and Friendly. The exact location is not known. The route continued east along 28th and 29th before turning north up Willamette back towards downtown.

I. Drive-In Theatre - The Eugene Drive-In Theatre operated at 29th & Willamette (the current site of Woodfield Station) from at least 1949 through 1962. It relocated to Glenwood in 1963 (the current site of the LTD bus barn. The 1955 City of Eugene Directory lists Willard Gamble as owner.

FAN Board member and long-time Eugene resident Greg Giesy recalls: "The screen for the drive-in movie faced into the hill so neighbors with picture windows could watch the movie from their living room. The drive-in even ran wire to some of the homes so that they could hear the movies for a fee".