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Eugene, Oregon

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From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia


Education


Eugene is home to the University of Oregon. Other institutions of higher learning include Northwest Christian University Lane Community College New Hope Christian College Gutenberg College and Pacific University's Eugene campus.


Schools

The Eugene School District includes four full-service high schools (Churchill North Eugene Sheldon and South Eugene) and many alternative education programs such as international schools and charter schools. Foreign language immersion programs in the district are available in Spanish French Chinese and Japanese.

The Bethel School District serves children in the Bethel neighborhood on the northwest edge of Eugene. The district is home to the traditional Willamette High School and the alternative Kalapuya High School. There are 11 schools in this district.

Eugene also has several private schools including the Eugene Waldorf School the Outdoor High School Eugene Montessori Far Horizon Montessori Eugene Sudbury School Wellsprings Friends School Oak Hill School and The Little French School.

Parochial schools in Eugene include Marist Catholic High School O'Hara Catholic Elementary School Eugene Christian School and St. Paul Parish School.


Libraries

The largest library in Oregon is the University of Oregon's Knight Library with collections totaling more than 3 million volumes and over 100 000 audio and video items. The Eugene Public Library moved into a new larger building downtown in 2002. The four-story library is an increase from 38 000 to 130 000 square feet (3 500 to 12 100 m2). There are also two branches of the Eugene Public Library the Sheldon Branch Library in the neighborhood of Cal Young/Sheldon and the Bethel Branch Library in the neighborhood of Bethel. Eugene also has the Lane County Law Library.


Government


In 1944 Eugene adopted a council–manager form of government replacing the day-to-day management of city affairs by the part-time mayor and volunteer city council with a full-time professional city manager. The subsequent history of Eugene city government has largely been one of the dynamics—often contentious—between the city manager the mayor and city council.

According to statute all Eugene and Lane County elections are officially non-partisan with a primary containing all candidates in May. If a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote in the primary they win the election outright otherwise the top two candidates face off in a November runoff. This allows candidates to win seats during the lower-turnout primary election.

The mayor of Eugene is Lucy Vinis who has been in office since winning the popular vote in May 2016 and who was re-elected in May 2020. Recent mayors include Edwin Cone (1958–69) Les Anderson (1969–77) Gus Keller (1977–84) Brian Obie (1985–88) Jeff Miller (1989–92) Ruth Bascom (1993–96) Jim Torrey (1997–2004) and Kitty Piercy (2005-2017).


Eugene City Council

Mayor: Lucy Vinis

Ward 1 – Emily Semple
Ward 2 – Matt Keating
Ward 3 – Alan Zelenka
Ward 4 – Jennifer Yeh
Ward 5 – Mike Clark
Ward 6 – Greg Evans
Ward 7 – Claire Syrett
Ward 8 – Randy Groves

Public safety

The Eugene Police Department is the city's law enforcement and public safety agency. The Lane County Sheriff's Office also has its headquarters in Eugene.

The University of Oregon is served by the University of Oregon Police Department and Eugene Police Department also has a police station in the West University District near campus. Lane Community College is served by the Lane Community College Public Safety Department. The Oregon State Police have a presence in the rural areas and highways around the Eugene metro area. The LTD downtown station and the EmX lines are patrolled by LTD Transit Officers. Since 1989 the mental health crisis intervention non-governmental agency CAHOOTS has responded to Eugene's mental health 911 calls.

Eugene-Springfield Fire Department is the agency responsible for emergency medical services fire suppression HAZMAT operations and water/Confined spaces rescues in the combined Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area.

Eugene used to have an ordinance which prohibited car horn usage for non-driving purposes. After several residents were cited for this offense during the anti-Gulf War demonstrations in January 1991 the city was taken to court and in 1992 the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the ordinance finding it unconstitutionally vague. Eugene City Hall was abandoned in 2012 for reasons of structural integrity energy efficiency and obsolete size. Various offices of city government became tenants in eight other buildings.


Politics

As the biggest city by far in Lane County Eugene's voters almost always single-handedly decide the partisan tilt and the margins. While Eugene has always been a counter-culture-heavy and liberal college town the last two decades have seen that etched into stone as a reliable Democratic voting block due to Oregon's voters polarizing via an urban-Democratic/rural-Republican split.

Lane County voted for Bernie Sanders over eventual 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton at an overall 60.6-38.1% margin with an even higher Sanders margin within Eugene city limits.


Media



Print

The largest newspaper serving the area is The Register-Guard a daily newspaper with a circulation of about 70 000 published independently by the Baker family of Eugene until 2018 before being acquired by GateHouse Media. Other newspapers serving the area include the Eugene Weekly the Emerald the student-run independent newspaper at the University of Oregon now published on Mondays and Thursdays;The Torch the student-run newspaper at Lane Community College the Ignite the newspaper at New Hope Christian College and The Beacon Bolt the student-run newspaper at Bushnell University. Eugene Magazine Lifestyle Quarterly Eugene Living and Sustainable Home and Garden magazines also serve the area. Adelante Latino is a Spanish language newspaper in Eugene that serves all of Lane County.


Television

Local television stations include KMTR (NBC) KVAL (CBS) KLSR-TV (Fox) KEVU-CD KEZI (ABC) KEPB (PBS) and KTVC (independent).

KEZI (Channel 9) (ABC)
KVAL (Channel 13) (CBS)
KMTR (Channel 16) (NBC)
KEVU-CD (Channel 23)
KEPB (Channel 28) (PBS)
KLSR (Channel 34) (Fox)
KTVC (Channel 36) (Independent)
KHWB-LD (Channel 38) (TBN)

Radio

The local NPR affiliates are KOPB and KLCC. Radio station KRVM-AM is an affiliate of Jefferson Public Radio based at Southern Oregon University. The Pacifica Radio affiliate is the University of Oregon student-run radio station KWVA. Additionally the community supports two other radio stations: KWAX (classical) and KRVM-FM (alternative).

AM Stations

KOAC 550 Corvallis – NPR News/Talk (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
KUGN 590 Eugene – NEWS/TALK (Cumulus)
KXOR 660 Junction City – Spanish Religious (Zion Media)
KKNX 840 Eugene – Classic Hits (Mielke Broadcasting)
KORE 1050 Springfield – FOX Sports Radio
KPNW 1120 Eugene – NEWS/TALK (Bicostal Media)
KRVM 1280 Eugene – NPR News/Talk (Eugene School District) (JPR affiliate)
KSCR 1320 Eugene – Soft AC (Cumulus)
KNND 1400 Cottage Grove – Classic Country (Reiten Communications Inc)
KEED 1450 Eugene – Classic Country (Mielke Broadcasting)
KOPB 1600 Eugene – NPR News/Talk (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
FM Stations

KWVA 88.1 Eugene – Freeform (University of Oregon)
KPIJ 88.5 Junction City – Christian (Calvary Satellite Network) (Calvary Chapel)
KQFE 88.9 Springfield – Christian (Family Radio)
KLCC 89.7 Eugene – NPR News/Talk/Jazz (Lane Community College)
KWAX 91.1 Eugene – Classical (University of Oregon)
KRVM 91.9 Eugene – Adult Album Alternative (AAA) (Eugene School District)
KKNU 93.3 Springfield – Country (McKenzie River Broadcasting)
KMGE 94.5 Eugene – Adult Contemporary (McKenzie River Broadcasting)
KUJZ 95.3 Creswell – Sports (Cumulus)
KZEL 96.1 Eugene – Classic Rock (Cumulus)
KEPW-LP 97.3 Eugene - PeaceWorks Community Radio (Eugene PeaceWorks)
KEQB 97.7 Coburg - Regional Mexican (McKenzie River Broadcasting)
KODZ 99.1 Eugene – Classic Hits (Bicoastal Media)
KRKT 99.9 Albany – Country (Bicoastal Media)
KMME 100.5 Cottage Grove – Catholic Program (Catholic Radio Northwest)
KFLY 101.5 Corvallis - Country (Bicoastal Media)
KEHK 102.3 Brownsville – Hot Adult Contemporary (Cumulus)
KNRQ 103.7 Harrisburg – Alternative Rock (Cumulus)
KDUK 104.7 Florence – Top 40 (CHR) (Bicoastal Media)
KEUG 105.5 Veneta – Adult Hits (McKenzie River Broadcasting)
KLOO 106.3 Corvallis – Classic Rock (Bicoastal Media)
KLVU 107.1 Sweet Home – Contemporary Christian Music (K-LOVE) Educational Media Foundation
KHPE 107.9 Albany – Contemporary Christian Music (Extra Mile Media)


Notable people









History



Indigenous presence

The first people to settle in the Eugene area were known as the Kalapuyans also written Calapooia or Calapooya. They made "seasonal rounds " moving around the countryside to collect and preserve local foods including acorns the bulbs of the wapato and camas plants and berries. They stored these foods in their permanent winter village. When crop activities waned they returned to their winter villages and took up hunting fishing and trading. They were known as the Chifin Kalapuyans and called the Eugene area where they lived "Chifin" sometimes recorded as "Chafin" or "Chiffin".

Other Kalapuyan tribes occupied villages that are also now within Eugene city limits. Pee-you or Mohawk Calapooians Winefelly or Pleasant Hill Calapooians and the Lungtum or Long Tom. They were close-neighbors to the Chifin intermarried and were political allies. Some authorities suggest the Brownsville Kalapuyans (Calapooia Kalapuyans) were related to the Pee-you. It is likely that since the Santiam had an alliance with the Brownsville Kalapuyans that the Santiam influence also went as far at Eugene.

According to archeological evidence the ancestors of the Kalapuyans may have been in Eugene for as long as 10 000 years. In the 1800s their traditional way of life faced significant changes due to devastating epidemics and settlement first by French fur traders and later by an overwhelming number of American settlers


Settlement and impact

French fur traders had settled seasonally in the Willamette Valley by the beginning of the 19th century. Their settlements were concentrated in the "French Prairie" community in Northern Marion County but may have extended south to the Eugene area. Having already developed relationships with Native communities through intermarriage and trade they negotiated for land from the Kalapuyans. By 1828 to 1830 they and their Native wives began year-round occupation of the land raising crops and tending animals. In this process the mixed race families began to impact Native access to land food supply and traditional materials for trade and religious practices.

In July 1830 "intermittent fever" struck the lower Columbia region and a year later the Willamette Valley. Natives traced the arrival of the disease then new to the Northwest to the U.S. ship Owyhee captained by John Dominis. "Intermittent fever" is thought by researchers now to be malaria. According to Robert T. Boyd an anthropologist at Portland State University the first three years of the epidemic "probably constitute the single most important epidemiological event in the recorded history of what would eventually become the state of Oregon". In his book The Coming of the Spirit Pestilence Boyd reports there was a 92% population loss for the Kalapuyans between 1830 and 1841. This catastrophic event shattered the social fabric of Kalapuyan society and altered the demographic balance in the Valley. This balance was further altered over the next few years by the arrival of Anglo-American settlers beginning in 1840 with 13 people and growing steadily each year until within 20 years more than 11 000 American settlers including Eugene Skinner had arrived.

As the demographic pressure from the settlers grew the remaining Kalapuyans were forcibly removed to Indian reservations. Though some Natives escaped being swept into the reservation most were moved to the Grand Ronde reservation in 1856. Strict racial segregation was enforced and mixed race people known as Métis in French had to make a choice between the reservation and Anglo society. Native Americans could not leave the reservation without traveling papers and white people could not enter the reservation.

Eugene Franklin Skinner after whom Eugene is named arrived in the Willamette Valley in 1846 with 1 200 other settlers that year. Advised by the Kalapuyans to build on high ground to avoid flooding he erected the first Anglo cabin on south or west slope of what the Kalapuyans called Ya-po-ah. The "isolated hill" is now known as Skinner's Butte. The cabin was used as a trading post and was registered as an official post office on January 8 1850.

At this time the settlement was known by Anglos as Skinner's Mudhole. It was relocated in 1853 and named Eugene City in 1853. Formally incorporated as a city in 1862 it was named simply Eugene in 1889. Skinner ran a ferry service across the Willamette River where the Ferry Street Bridge now stands.


Educational institutions

The first major educational institution in the area was Columbia College founded a few years earlier than the University of Oregon. It fell victim to two major fires in four years and after the second fire the college decided not to rebuild again. The part of south Eugene known as College Hill was the former location of Columbia College. There is no college there today.

The town raised the initial funding to start a public university which later became the University of Oregon with the hope of turning the small town into a center of learning. In 1872 the Legislative Assembly passed a bill creating the University of Oregon as a state institution. Eugene bested the nearby town of Albany in the competition for the state university. In 1873 community member J.H.D. Henderson donated the hilltop land for the campus overlooking the city.

The university first opened in 1876 with the regents electing the first faculty and naming John Wesley Johnson as president. The first students registered on October 16 1876. The first building was completed in 1877; it was named Deady Hall in honor of the first Board of Regents President and community leader Judge Matthew P. Deady.


Twentieth century

Eugene grew rapidly throughout most of the twentieth century with the exception being the early 1980s when a downturn in the timber industry caused high unemployment. By 1985 the industry had recovered and Eugene began to attract more high-tech industries earning it the moniker the "Emerald Shire". In 2012 Eugene and the surrounding metro area was dubbed the Silicon shire.

The first Nike shoe was used in 1972 during the US Olympic trials held in Eugene.


History of civil unrest

Eugene has a long history of community activism civil unrest and protest activity. Eugene's cultural status as a place for alternative thought grew along with the University of Oregon in the turbulent 1960s and its reputation as an outsider's locale grew with the numerous anarchist protests in the late 1990s. In 2000 the Chicago Tribune described the city as a “cradle to [the] latest generation of anarchist protesters.” Occupy Eugene was home to one of the nation's longest-lasting Occupy protests in 2011 with the last protestor leaving the initial Occupy camp on December 27 2011. The city received national attention during the summer of 2020 after Black Lives Matter protests in response to the murder of George Floyd grew violent.


1960s: Counterculture and campus protests

Already a counter-culture haven Eugene felt the change of the 1960s in a heavy way with underground groups carrying out bombings on military targets. In September 1967 the Eugene Naval & Marine Corps Reserve Training Center was damaged by a series of explosions and fire and in November 1967 a bomb exploded at the Air Force ROTC building. On Sept 30 1968 unknown anti-capitalists exploded firebombs at the Eugene Armory causing over $100 000 in damage (approximately $741 000 in 2020) destroying multiple trucks and Jeeps and dealing significant destruction to the city's equipment compound. Unrest continued throughout 1969 as well with frequent dynamite attacks on local businesses newspapers and Emerald Hall on the University of Oregon campus.

Student activism at the university shaped both campus and Eugene life during the times of social upheaval. Protests at the University of Oregon were the most intensely heated against the Oregon chapter of the ROTC which was the embodiment of the war effort in Vietnam and Cambodia. The UO chapter of Students for a Democratic Society formed in 1965 but came to the forefront of campus activity in 1969 when they first led students to march and demand the removal of campus ROTC. On January 6 1970 campus demonstrators threw animal blood onto tables at an ROTC recruitment event in order to draw attention to the barbaric war in Vietnam. Students held a public "People's Trial" of campus president Robert D. Clark finding him guilty for "complicity in the actions of U.S. imperialism" by enabling the Oregon ROTC to have a presence on campus.

Throughout January and February 1970 anti-war student activists disrupted ROTC events and demonstrated against the war presence culminating in unknown perpetrators setting the University of Oregon ROTC building on fire in Esslinger Hall causing massive damage and destroying draft records of university students. In March 150-200 students led by the campus SDS chapter attempted to gain entry to McArthur Court for a concert setting off a riot that resulted in the arrest of 5 students. On April 15 1970 the UO faculty voted by a 199-185 margin to allow the ROTC to remain on campus which immediately led to nearly 100 students ransacking the ROTC building breaking furniture windows and throwing rocks at the property to which the police used tear gas on campus demonstrators for the first time.

The height of the Vietnam protest movement at UO occurred over three days between April 22 and April 24 1970. At 11:00 am on the 22nd between 50 and 100 UO students occupied Johnson Hall to protest the ROTC’s continued presence on campus taking over the lobby of the building. The crowd grew to around 300 students by 5:00 pm when Clark negotiated with the group to allow the protestors to remain in the lobby overnight if they remained peaceful. The protests disrupted work and on the 24th Eugene police arrived arresting 61 protestors but everything remained peaceful until the National Guard arrived on the scene and escalated the situation by deploying tear gas against the crowd outside the building. News of the National Guard’s involvement led a larger congregation of nearly 2000 students to converge at Emerald Hall in protest of the incident.

On April 26 1970 around 40 UO students successfully closed 13th Avenue through the university by erecting barricades on either end calling it "People's Street". This protest successfully forced the Eugene City Council to hold hearings on restricting the street to non-automobile traffic which passed and soon went into effect. On October 2 1970 unidentified perpetrators exploded a bomb in Prince Lucien Hall causing $75 000 in damage (approximately $511 000 in 2020).


1970s activism

The 1970s saw an increase in community activism. Local activists stopped a proposed freeway and lobbied for the construction of the Washington Jefferson Park beneath the Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge. Community Councils soon began to form as a result of these efforts. A notable impact of the turn to community-organized politics came with Eugene Local Measure 51 a ballot measure in 1978 that repealed a gay rights ordinance approved by the Eugene City Council in 1977 that prohibited discrimination by sexual orientation.


1990s: Anarchist activity

Eugene's constant ability for protest capabilities were made clear at the beginning of the decade. In January 1991 a downtown student-led protest against the Gulf War drew 1 500 people and resulted in the arrest of 51 including 15 juveniles. Protesters carried a 10-year-old girl inside a body bag to the front door of the federal building as a symbol of war's innocent deaths. After the demonstration a fire was set at a Eugene Marine Corps recruiting station.

Attempts by the city to remove a forest grove at downtown Broadway and Charnelton were met with protests on June 1 1997. Forty trees in downtown Eugene were cut down to make way for a parking garage project and were met with community resistance. 22 people were arrested and the Register-Guard ran a front-page photograph showing a photographer being sprayed with pepper spray by the police. The Eugene force was accused of overreaction and excessive use of force for their flagrant use of pepper spray which was defended by Republican mayor Jim Torrey. In the Whitaker District citizens were further radicalized by the incident and helped spur the activist community which was already burgeoning due to a lack of affordable housing and growing income inequality in the area.

On June 18 1999 several months before the 1999 Seattle WTO protests Eugene was home to a predecessor riot. Following a two-day conference at the University of Oregon about the dissolution of the country's economic system a rally against global capitalism enveloped the streets of the downtown area. After the rally protestors turned to the streets stopping traffic burning flags and smashing windows and electronic equipment. After police responded with tear gas and pepper spray protesters battled with police for several hours. The tear gas used by the Eugene police affected over 100 people and 15 were arrested. Later that year Eugene activists also played a key role in conjunction with other anarchists in organizing black bloc tactics during the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999 protest activity. Eugene police subsequently claimed that local anarchists were responsible for other attacks on local police officers. Local activists in turn argued that police needlessly harassed individuals wearing black clothing in response.

Mayor Jim Torrey declared Eugene to be the "Anarchist Capital of the World" in response to the riots which some embraced. Seattle police chief Norm Stamper in his resignation speech after the 1999 WTO protests blamed the majority of the unrest on "Eugene anarchists". Influential thinkers in Eugene's scene at the time included John Zerzan an author known for his contributions to leftist theory and who was an editor for Green Anarchy an anarchist magazine based in the city. Anarchists and leftists continued to protest against Torrey throughout his tenure including gathering each June 1 (the anniversary of the Broadway Place confrontations) to protest against police brutality committed under his control.

One hotspot for protest activity since the 1990s has been the Whitaker district located in the northwest of downtown Eugene. Whitaker is primarily a working-class neighborhood that has become a vibrant cultural hub center of community and activism and home to alternative artists. It saw an increase of activity in the 1990s after many young people drawn to Eugene's political climate relocated there. Animal rights groups have had a heavy presence in the Whiteaker and several vegan restaurants are located there. According to David Samuels the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front have had an underground presence in the neighborhood. The neighborhood is home to a number of communal apartment buildings which are often organized by anarchist or environmentalist groups. Local activists have also produced independent films and started art galleries community gardens and independent media outlets. Copwatch Food Not Bombs and Critical Mass are also active in the neighborhood.


21st century unrest

The more visible anarchist scene seemed to have died down after an upswing of several years but protest activity still remained in Eugene. Groups such as the Neighborhood Anarchist Collective still maintained an active grassroots network and the Eugene Share Fair has been used as a resource for organizations to market support. On June 16 2000 environmental activists set fire to trucks at a car dealership on Franklin Boulevard. On the one-year anniversary of the 1999 riots police again attacked demonstrators arresting 37 and striking a KLCC reporter on the head with a baton. Later while anarchism took a backseat Eugene's reputation as a potent leftist center increased as overall political support in the city swung liberally.


Occupy Eugene







The Occupy Eugene protests grew out of the Occupy Wall Street movement which began in New York City on September 17 2011. The Eugene protesters were concerned about fairness issues regarding wealth-distribution banking regulation housing issues and corporate greed. The first protest march was held on October 15 2011 and the main encampment located in Washington Jefferson Park lasted until December 2011. The initial Occupy Eugene demonstrations had over 2 000 attendees and began at Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza.


2020 George Floyd protests

Eugene's George Floyd/Black Lives Matter protests grew out of the civil unrest that began in Minneapolis and spread nationwide in May 2020 after the murder of Floyd an unarmed Black man by a Minneapolis police officer.

In Eugene demonstrators turned their attention to surrounding stores on May 29 and disrupted traffic and knocked trash and newsstands into the street in the downtown. Rioters crowded on to Highway I-105 and began setting fire to a nearby road sign. That night fires were set and windows were smashed. Around 11 p.m. protestors created a bonfire in the street consisting of traffic cones newspapers signs from local businesses and other items. No arrests were made on that night.

Protests - including marches rallies and teach-ins - continued daily for several weeks re-igniting in response to the insertion of federal troops in Portland.

On June 13 protesters toppled the Pioneer and the Pioneer Mother during a protest of Matthew Deady (controversially the namesake of a University of Oregon building).

Over 2 000 demonstrators attended a Juneteenth Black Lives Matter protest at Alton Baker Park which was designed to draw revenue to Black-owned businesses.


Environmental activism

On October 14 1996 to commemorate the anniversary of Columbus Day Earth Liberation Front activists coordinated several attacks on local fast food chains and oil companies. Two Willamette Chevron gas station locks were glued and painted with the slogan "504 Years of Genocide" and "Earth Liberation Front". Two Eugene public relation offices of Weyerhauser and Hyundai were also targeted in a similar manner. Later in the month ELF protestors destroyed a U.S. Forest Service Ranger Station south of Eugene causing an estimated damage of $5.3 million. These were some of the first examples of eco-defense in the United States.

In September 2000 members of a Eugene-based cell of the ELF burnt down the Eugene Police Department's West University Public Safety Station. Later in March 2001 activists attacked the same car dealership on Franklin for the second time in 6 months damaging more than 30 SUVs. Over 125 different fire attacks were set in the city between 1997 and 2001.

In January 2006 the FBI conducted Operation Backfire leading to federal indictment of eleven people all members of ELF. Operation Backfire was the largest investigation into radical underground environmental groups in United States history. Ongoing trials of accused eco-terrorists kept Eugene in the spotlight for a few years.


Arts and culture


Eugene has a significant population of people in pursuit of alternative ideas and a large original hippie population. Beginning in the 1960s the countercultural ideas and viewpoints espoused by Ken Kesey became established as the seminal elements of the vibrant social tapestry that continue to define Eugene. The Merry Prankster as Kesey was known has arguably left the most indelible imprint of any cultural icon in his hometown. He is best known as the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and as the male protagonist in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

In 2005 the city council unanimously approved a new slogan for the city: "World's Greatest City for the Arts & Outdoors". While Eugene has a vibrant arts community for a city its size and is well situated near many outdoor opportunities this slogan was frequently criticized by locals as embarrassing and ludicrous. In early 2010 the slogan was changed to "A Great City for the Arts & Outdoors."

Eugene's Saturday Market open every Saturday from April through November was founded in 1970 as the first "Saturday Market" in the United States. It is adjacent to the Lane County Farmer's Market in downtown Eugene. All vendors must create or grow all their own products. The market reappears as the "Holiday Market" between Thanksgiving and New Year's in the Lane County Events Center at the fairgrounds.


Community

Eugene is noted for its "community inventiveness." Many U.S. trends in community development originated in Eugene. The University of Oregon's participatory planning process known as The Oregon Experiment was the result of student protests in the early 1970s. The book of the same name is a major document in modern enlightenment thinking in planning and architectural circles. The process still used by the university in modified form was created by Christopher Alexander whose works also directly inspired the creation of the Wiki. Some research for the book A Pattern Language which inspired the Design Patterns movement and Extreme Programming was done by Alexander in Eugene. Not coincidentally those engineering movements also had origins here. Decades after its publication A Pattern Language is still one of the best-selling books on urban design.

In the 1970s Eugene was packed with cooperative and community projects. It still has small natural food stores in many neighborhoods some of the oldest student cooperatives in the country and alternative schools have been part of the school district since 1971. The old Grower's Market downtown near the Amtrak depot is the only food cooperative in the U.S. with no employees. It is possible to see Eugene's trend-setting non-profit tendencies in much newer projects such as the Tango Center and the Center for Appropriate Transport. In 2006 an initiative began to create a tenant-run development process for downtown Eugene.

In the fall of 2003 neighbors noticed "an unassuming two-acre remnant orchard tucked into the Friendly Area Neighborhood" had been put up for sale by its owner a resident of New York City. Learning a prospective buyer had plans to build several houses on the property they formed a nonprofit organization called Madison Meadow in June 2004 in order to buy the property and "preserve it as undeveloped space in perpetuity." In 2007 their effort was named Third Best Community Effort by the Eugene Weekly and by the end of 2008 they had raised enough money to purchase the property.

The City of Eugene has an active Neighborhood Program. Several neighborhoods are known for their green activism. Friendly Neighborhood has a highly popular neighborhood garden established on the right of way of a street never built. There are a number of community gardens on public property. Amazon Neighborhood has a former church turned into a community center. Whiteaker hosts a housing co-op that dates from the early 1970s that has re-purposed both their parking lots into food production and play space. An unusual eco-village with natural building techniques and large shared garden can be found in Jefferson Westside neighborhood. A several block area in the River Road Neighborhood is known as a permaculture hotspot with an increasing number of suburban homes trading grass for garden installing rain water catchment systems food producing landscapes and solar retrofits. Several sites have planted gardens by removing driveways. Citizen volunteers are working with the City of Eugene to restore a 65-tree filbert grove on public property. There are deepening social and economic networks in the neighborhood.


Annual cultural events

Asian Celebration presented by the Asian Council of Eugene and Springfield takes place in February at the Lane County Fairgrounds.
The KLCC Microbrew Festival is held in February at the Lane County Fairgrounds. It provides participants with an introduction to a large range of microbrewery and craft beers which play an important role in Pacific Northwest culture and the economy.
Mount Pisgah Arboretum which resides at the base of Mount Pisgah holds a Wildflower Festival in May and a Mushroom Festival and Plant Sale in October.
Oregon Festival of American Music or OFAM is held annually in the early summer.
Art and the Vineyard festival held around the Fourth of July at Alton Baker Park is the principal fundraiser for the Maude Kerns Art Center.
The Oregon Bach Festival is a major international festival in July hosted by the University of Oregon.
The nonprofit Oregon Country Fair takes place in July in nearby Veneta.
The Lane County Fair occurs in July at the Lane County Fairgrounds.
The Eugene/Springfield Pride Festival is held annually on the second Saturday in August from noon to 7:00 p.m. at Alton Baker Park. A part of Eugene LGBT culture since 1993 it provides a lighthearted and supportive social venue for the LGBT community families and friends.
Eugene Celebration is a three-day block party that usually takes place in the downtown area in August or September. The SLUG Queen coronation in August a pageant with a campy spin crowns a new SLUG Queen who "rains" over the Eugene Celebration Parade and is an unofficial ambassador of Eugene.

Museums

Eugene museums include the University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Museum of Natural and Cultural History the Oregon Air and Space Museum Lane County History Museum Maude Kerns Art Center Shelton McMurphey Johnson House and the Eugene Science Center.


Performing arts

Eugene is home to numerous cultural organizations including the Eugene Symphony the Eugene Ballet the Eugene Opera the Eugene Concert Choir the Bushnell University Community Choir the Oregon Mozart Players the Oregon Bach Festival the Oregon Children's Choir the Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras Ballet Fantastique and Oregon Festival of American Music. Principal performing arts venues include the Hult Center for the Performing Arts The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts ("The Shedd") Matthew Knight Arena Beall Concert Hall and the Erb Memorial Union ballroom on the University of Oregon campus the McDonald Theatre and W.O.W. Hall.

A number of live theater groups are based in Eugene including Free Shakespeare in the Park Oregon Contemporary Theatre The Very Little Theatre Actors Cabaret LCC Theatre Rose Children's Theatre and University Theatre. Each has its own performance venue.


Music







Because of its status as a college town Eugene has been home to many music genres musicians and bands ranging from electronic dance music such as dubstep and drum and bass to garage rock hip hop folk and heavy metal. Eugene also has a growing reggae and street-performing bluegrass and jug band scene. Multi-genre act the Cherry Poppin' Daddies became a prominent figure in Eugene's music scene and became the house band at Eugene's W.O.W. Hall. In the late 1990s their contributions to the swing revival movement propelled them to national stardom. Rock band Floater originated in Eugene as did the Robert Cray blues band. Doom metal band YOB is among the leaders of the Eugene heavy music scene.

Eugene is home to "Classical Gas" Composer and two-time Grammy award winner Mason Williams who spent his years as a youth living between his parents in Oakridge Oregon and Oklahoma. Mason Williams puts on a yearly Christmas show at the Hult center for performing arts with a full orchestra produced by author audio engineer and University of Oregon professor Don Latarski.

Dick Hyman noted jazz pianist and musical director for many of Woody Allen's films designs and hosts the annual Now Hear This! jazz festival at the Oregon Festival of American Music (OFAM). OFAM and the Hult Center routinely draw major jazz talent for concerts.

Eugene is also home to a large Zimbabwean music community. Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center which is "dedicated to the music and people of Zimbabwe " is based in Eugene.


Visual arts

Eugene's visual arts community is supported by over 20 private art galleries and several organizations including Maude Kerns Art Center Lane Arts Council DIVA (the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts) and the Eugene Glass School.

In 2015 installations from a group of Eugene-based artists known as Light At Play were showcased in several events around the world as part of the International Year of Light including displays at the Smithsonian and the National Academy of Sciences.


Film

The Eugene area has been used as a filming location for several Hollywood films most famously for 1978's National Lampoon's Animal House which was also filmed in nearby Cottage Grove. John Belushi had the idea for the film The Blues Brothers during filming of Animal House when he happened to meet Curtis Salgado at what was then the Eugene Hotel.

Getting Straight starring Elliott Gould and Candice Bergen was filmed at Lane Community College in 1969. As the campus was still under construction at the time the "occupation scenes" were easier to shoot.

The "Chicken Salad on Toast" scene in the 1970 Jack Nicholson movie Five Easy Pieces was filmed at the Denny's restaurant at the southern I-5 freeway interchange near Glenwood. Nicholson directed the 1971 film Drive He Said in Eugene.

How to Beat the High Co$t of Living starring Jane Curtin Jessica Lange and Susan St. James was filmed in Eugene in the fall of 1979. Locations visible in the film include Valley River Center (which is a driving force in the plot) Skinner Butte and Ya-Po-Ah Terrace the Willamette River and River Road Hardware.

Several track and field movies have used Eugene as a setting and/or a filming location. Personal Best starring Mariel Hemingway was filmed in Eugene in 1982. The film centered on a group of women who are trying to qualify for the Olympic track and field team. Two track and field movies about the life of Steve Prefontaine Prefontaine and Without Limits were released within a year of each other in 1997–1998. Kenny Moore Eugene-trained Olympic runner and co-star in Prefontaine co-wrote the screenplay for Without Limits. Prefontaine was filmed in Washington because the Without Limits production bought out Hayward Field for the summer to prevent its competition from shooting there. Kenny Moore also wrote a biography of Bill Bowerman played in Without Limits by Donald Sutherland back in Eugene 20 years after he had appeared in Animal House. Moore had also had a role in Personal Best.

Stealing Time a 2003 independent film was partially filmed in Eugene. When the film premiered in June 2001 at the Seattle International Film Festival it was titled Rennie's Landing after a popular bar near the University of Oregon campus. The title was changed for its DVD release. Zerophilia was filmed in Eugene in 2006.


Religion

Religious institutions of higher learning in Eugene include Bushnell University and New Hope Christian College. Bushnell University (formerly Northwest Christian University) founded in 1895 has ties with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). New Hope Christian College (formerly Eugene Bible College) originated with the Bible Standard Conference in 1915 which joined with Open Bible Evangelistic Association to create Open Bible Standard Churches in 1932. Eugene Bible College was started from this movement by Fred Hornshuh in 1925.

There are two Eastern Orthodox Church parishes in Eugene: St John the Wonderworker Orthodox Christian Church in the Historic Whiteaker Neighborhood and Saint George Greek Orthodox Church.

There are six Roman Catholic parishes in Eugene as well: St. Mary Catholic Church St. Jude Catholic Church St. Mark Catholic Church St. Peter Catholic Church St. Paul Catholic Church and St. Thomas More Catholic Church.

Eugene also has a Ukrainian Catholic Church named Nativity of the Mother of God.

There is a mainline Protestant contingency in the city as well—such as the largest of the Lutheran Churches Central Lutheran near the U of O Campus and the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection.

The Eugene area has a sizeable LDS Church presence with three stakes consisting of 23 congregations (wards and branches). The Church of Jesus Christ announced plans in April 2020 to build a temple in Eugene.

The greater Eugene-Springfield area also has a Jehovah's Witnesses presence with five Kingdom Halls several having multiple congregations in one Kingdom Hall.

The Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel is Eugene's largest Jewish congregation. It was also for many decades Eugene's only synagogue until Orthodox members broke away in 1992 and formed "Congregation Ahavas Torah".

Eugene has a community of some 140 Sikhs who have established a Sikh temple.

The 340-member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene (UUCE) purchased the former Eugene Scottish Rite Temple in May 2010 renovated it and began services there in September 2012.

Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Temple in Eugene opened in 2012 in the former site of the Unitarian Universalist Church.


Sports


Eugene's Oregon Ducks are part of the Pac-12 Conference (Pac-12). American football is especially popular with intense rivalries between the Ducks and both the Oregon State University Beavers and the University of Washington Huskies. Autzen Stadium is home to Duck football with a seating capacity of 54 000 but has had over 60 000 with standing room only.

The basketball arena McArthur Court was built in 1926. The arena was replaced by the Matthew Knight Arena in late 2010.

For nearly 40 years Eugene has been the "Track and Field Capital of the World." Oregon's most famous track icon is the late world-class distance runner Steve Prefontaine who was killed in a car crash in 1975.

Eugene's jogging trails include Pre's Trail in Alton Baker Park Rexius Trail the Adidas Oregon Trail and the Ridgeline Trail. Jogging was introduced to the U.S. through Eugene brought from New Zealand by Bill Bowerman who wrote the best-selling book "Jogging" and coached the champion University of Oregon track and cross country teams. During Bowerman's tenure his "Men of Oregon" won 24 individual NCAA titles including titles in 15 out of the 19 events contested. During Bowerman's 24 years at Oregon his track teams finished in the top ten at the NCAA championships 16 times including four team titles (1962 '64 '65 '70) and two second-place trophies. His teams also posted a dual meet record of 114–20.

Bowerman also invented the waffle sole for running shoes in Eugene and with Oregon alumnus Phil Knight founded shoe giant Nike. Eugene's miles of running trails through its unusually large park system are the most extensive in the U.S. The city has dozens of running clubs. The climate is cool and temperate good both for jogging and record-setting. Eugene is home to the University of Oregon's Hayward Field track which hosts numerous collegiate and amateur track and field meets throughout the year most notably the Prefontaine Classic. Hayward Field was host to the 2004 AAU Junior Olympic Games the 1989 World Masters Athletics Championships the track and field events of the 1998 World Masters Games the 2006 Pacific-10 track and field championships the 1971 1975 1986 1993 1999 2001 2009 and 2011 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships and the 1972 1976 1980 2008 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic trials.

On April 16 2015 it was announced by the IAAF that Eugene had been awarded the right to host the 2021 World Athletics Championships. The city bid for the 2019 event but lost narrowly to Doha Qatar.

Eugene is also home to the Eugene Emeralds a short-season Class A minor-league baseball team. The "Ems" play their home games in PK Park also the home of the University of Oregon baseball team.

The Nationwide Tour's golfing event Oregon Classic takes place at Shadow Hills Country Club just north of Eugene. The event has been played every year since 1998 except in 2001 when it was slated to begin the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The top 20 players from the Nationwide Tour are promoted to the PGA Tour for the following year.

The Eugene Jr. Generals a Tier III Junior "A" ice hockey team belonging to the Northern Pacific Hockey League (NPHL) consisting of 8 teams throughout Oregon and Washington plays at the Lane County Ice Center.

Lane United FC a soccer club that participates in the Northwest Division of USL League Two was founded in 2013 and plays its home games at Civic Park.

The following table lists some sports clubs in Eugene and their usual home venue:





























































Club
Sport
Founded
League
Venue
University of Oregon Ducks
Football Basketball Track and Field Softball Volleyball Golf Tennis Baseball Lacrosse Ice hockey Soccer Ultimate
1876
National Collegiate Athletic Association: Pac-12 Conference
Autzen Stadium Matthew Knight Arena PK Park Hayward Field
Bushnell University Beacons
Basketball Cross Country Distance Track Golf Soccer Volleyball
1895
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Cascade Collegiate Conference
Morse Event Center
New Hope Christian College Deacons
Basketball Soccer Volleyball
1925

Rexius Event Center
Eugene Emeralds
Baseball
1955
Northwest League
PK Park
Lane Community College Titans
Basketball Cross Country Track and Field Soccer Baseball
1965
Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges
Lane Community College
Eugene Gentlemen
Rugby
1973
Pacific Northwest Rugby Football Union

Eugene Chargers
Basketball
2006
International Basketball League
Morse Event Center
Eugene Generals
Ice hockey
2005
Junior A Tier III-League Hockey: Northern Pacific Hockey League
Lane County Ice Center
Lane United FC
Soccer
2013
USL League Two
Civic Park


Parks and recreation


Spencer Butte Park at the southern edge of town provides access to Spencer Butte a dominant feature of Eugene's skyline. Hendricks Park situated on a knoll to the east of downtown is known for its rhododendron garden and nearby memorial to Steve Prefontaine known as Pre's Rock where the legendary University of Oregon runner was killed in an auto accident. Alton Baker Park next to the Willamette River contains Pre's Trail. Also next to the Willamette are Skinner Butte Park and the Owen Memorial Rose Garden which contains more than 4 500 roses of over 400 varieties as well as the 150-year-old Black Tartarian Cherry tree an Oregon Heritage Tree.

The city of Eugene maintains an urban forest. The University of Oregon campus is an arboretum with over 500 species of trees. The city operates and maintains scenic hiking trails that pass through and across the ridges of a cluster of hills in the southern portion of the city on the fringe of residential neighborhoods. Some trails allow biking and others are for hikers and runners only.

The nearest ski resort Willamette Pass is one hour from Eugene by car. On the way along Oregon Route 58 are several reservoirs and lakes the Oakridge mountain bike trails hot springs and waterfalls within Willamette National Forest. Eugene residents also frequent the Hoodoo and Mount Bachelor ski resorts. The Three Sisters Wilderness the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Smith Rock are just a short drive away.


Economy


Eugene's largest employers are PeaceHealth Medical Group the University of Oregon and the Eugene School District. Eugene's largest industries are wood products manufacturing and recreational vehicle manufacturing.

Luckey's Club Cigar Store is one of the oldest bars in Oregon. Tad Luckey Sr. purchased it in 1911 making it one of the oldest businesses in Eugene. The "Club Cigar" as it was called in the late 19th century was for many years a men-only salon. It survived both the Great Depression and Prohibition partly because Eugene was a dry town before the end of Prohibition.

Corporate headquarters for the employee-owned Bi-Mart corporation and family-owned supermarket Market of Choice remain in Eugene.

The city has over 25 breweries offers a variety of dining options with a local focus; the city is surrounded by wineries. The most notable fungi here is the truffle; Eugene hosts the annual Oregon Truffle Festival in January.

Organically Grown Company the largest distributor of organic fruits and vegetables in the northwest started in Eugene in 1978 as a non-profit co-op for organic farmers. Notable local food processors many of whom manufacture certified organic products include Golden Temple (Yogi Tea) Merry Hempsters and Springfield Creamery (Nancy's Yogurt & owned by the Kesey Family) and Mountain Rose Herbs.

Until July 2008 Hynix Semiconductor America had operated a large semiconductor plant in west Eugene. In late September 2009 Uni-Chem of South Korea announced its intention to purchase the Hynix site for solar cell manufacturing. However this deal fell through and as of late 2012 is no longer planned. In 2015 semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom purchased the plant with plans to upgrade and reopen it. The company abandoned these plans and put it up for sale in November 2016.

The footwear repair product Shoe Goo is manufactured by Eclectic Products based in Eugene.

Run Gum an energy gum created for runners also began its life in Eugene. Run Gum was created by track athlete Nick Symmonds and track and field coach Sam Lapray in 2014.

Burley Design LLC produces bicycle trailers and was founded in Eugene by Alan Scholz out of a Saturday Market business in 1978. Eugene is also the birthplace and home of Bike Friday bicycle manufacturer Green Gear Cycling.

Many multinational businesses were launched in Eugene. Some of the most famous include Nike Taco Time and Brøderbund Software.

In 2012 the Eugene metro region was dubbed the Silicon Shire for its growing tech industry.


Top employers

According to Eugene's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report the city's top employers are:













































#
Employer
Number of employees
1
PeaceHealth Medical Group
5 808
2
University of Oregon
5 549
3
Eugene School District 4J
2 553
4
U.S. Government
1 750
5
Lane Community College
1 650
6
Springfield School District
1 610
7
State of Oregon
1 594
8
Lane County
1 567
9
City of Eugene
1 417
10
McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center
898


Geography


According to the United States Census Bureau the city has a total area of 43.74 square miles (113.29 km2) of which 43.72 square miles (113.23 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water. Eugene is at an elevation of 426 feet (130 m).

To the north of downtown is Skinner Butte. Northeast of the city is the Coburg Hills. Spencer Butte is a prominent landmark south of the city. Mount Pisgah is southeast of Eugene and includes Mount Pisgah Arboretum and Howard Buford Recreation Area a Lane County Park. Eugene is surrounded by foothills and forests to the south east and west while to the north the land levels out into the Willamette Valley and consists of mostly farmland.

The Willamette and McKenzie Rivers run through Eugene and its neighboring city Springfield. Another important stream is Amazon Creek whose headwaters are near Spencer Butte. The creek discharges west of the city into Fern Ridge Reservoir maintained for winter flood control by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Eugene Yacht Club hosts a sailing school and sailing regattas at Fern Ridge during summer months.


Neighborhoods

Eugene has 23 neighborhood associations:



Climate




Eugene
Climate chart (explanation)



















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