Claude Offenbacher

Reporter Emeritus

Claude Offenbacher was a reporter and host at KLCC from 1999-2012.  He currently volunteers as front desk support and PSA writer.

Ways to Connect

Brian Bull / KLCC

The Very Little Theatre in Eugene opens its 90th season this month, with the horror classic, Dracula.  KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher – a lifetime member of VLT – talked to its president, Karen Scheeland, about the theatre’s nearly century-old legacy.  She begins with how its namesake came about.

AP/Statesman-Journal

Jeanne Atkins has served two months as Oregon’s 25th secretary of state.  She’s completing Kate Brown’s term; Brown is now Oregon’s governor. Atkins speaks about her selection, her priorities, and why she won’t be a candidate for a full term in 2016.

Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken talks about “exploring” a run for governor in 2016.  The Springfield Republican discusses what will influence his decision, and why he wants the job.

Betsy Miller Jones, executive director of the Oregon School Boards Association, presses the need for more -- and more racially diverse -- school board candidates.  She also offers her views on the Common Core curriculum and Smarter Balanced test.

space.com

Tariq Malik, managing editor of Space.com, writes and is a media spokesperson on new advancements in space science and space flight.

Malik will present Thursday evening at the Science Factory's gala at the Eugene Hilton.

US Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service has engaged the public in Seattle, Portland and Redding, California on the need for a new Northwest Forest Plan.  Now it’s moving its road show to smaller communities.

Lisa Romano, speaking for the Siuslaw National Forest Research Station, says at least a dozen local community sessions will be held in upcoming weeks. After introductions from forest service staff, participants will be called on to discuss three questions:

eduventurist.org

Anya Kamenetz, who writes about education for NPR and is the author of several books on education, says parents are losing patience with standardized testing.

She'll present April 1st at 7 p.m. at Tsunami Books in Eugene on this and other educational topic.

More about Anya Kamenetz

Republican State Senator Jeff Kruse of Roseburg speaks on such topics as mandated vaccinations, statewide sick leave and climate change.

The Springfield City Council has asked staff to act promptly to improve safety on Main Street following a vehicle incident last month that killed three children.

The children, ages 4, 5 and 8, were in the crosswalk at Main and 54th on February 22nd when a pick-up driver struck and killed them.  The children’s mother, also struck, is recovering.  The incident is under investigation. 

In the past decade, 14 people have died on the wide corridor in collisions involving a mix of pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists:

(Grimaldi) “The goal is to get that to zero.”

www.purdue.edu

Jobs are on the rise in Oregon. Unemployment is on the decline. That’s the takeaway from State Employment Department’s just-issued January report. 

Oregon employment reached a record level in January, with more than 55 thousand jobs above a year ago. State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks:

(Beleiciks)  “The sectors that added the most jobs were the broad ranging professional and business services, manufacturing, retail trade and construction.”

U.S. State Department Courtesy Photo

Portland veterinarian Stacey Addison, who was detained in East Timor for five months, is on her way home. She boarded a plane to the U.S. after being released Monday night.

Although never charged with a crime, Addison was arrested last September in the southeast Asian country when she shared a taxi with a stranger who was arrested for possessing methamphetamine. She was told investigation of the incident might take a year. In December, KOIN-TV captured her despair:

State Representative  John Lively, Democrat of Springfield, speaks with KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher about his agenda, the gubernatorial transition, and such legislative priorities as sick leave and the  state's minimum wage.

A pilot program will test whether Oregon should offer iPads at no cost to assist residents who have vision, hearing, speech, mobility or cognition issues. The iPads will improve phone communication, but will have no download capability and only limited internet access. The program is funded with a nine cent monthly surcharge on retail telephone bills.  Friday is the new deadline to join the pilot project. For more information, email puc.rspf@state.or.us , or call 800-848-4442.

The Newport City Council set its goals Monday for the 2015-16 fiscal year. An all-day public meeting took Council members and department heads through a visioning process. The Council then prioritized a long list of possible goals.  Newport City Manager Spencer Nebel says the council placed a high priority on

Nebel:   “embarking in some sort of beautification effort for the City of Newport, both for our public spaces, our private properties, in order to put our best foot forward to our own residents as well as visitors to Newport “

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or O.S.C.E., is charged with monitoring the tenuous cease fire between government troops and Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine.  Andrew Offenbacher, son of KLCC's Claude  Offenbacher, is one of three monitors from Eugene;  the others are Cliff Volpe and Jake Dineen.  From Kherson,  Ukraine, Andy spoke with Claude Monday, February16.

Legislation that would ensure all working Oregonians access to paid sick leave received endorsement Monday from the State's labor commissioner.  The State Senate and House are both considering bills that would allow workers to accrue one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.  This would max out at about seven days a year. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian:

U of O Economics Professor Bill Harbaugh has been in the news recently for his controversial acquisition of internal administrative U of O communications.  Tuesday he chimed in on football coach Mark Helfrich's new five-year, $17 million contract.

Harbaugh says the U of O's success in football comes at the expense of the University as a whole:

Harbaugh: "It's probably a mistake for the University to be so invested in big-time sports, particularly college football.  The University as a whole would be better off with a team that won half the games and had half the budget."

Police Chief Mark Chase is back on the job in Junction City following a six month administrative leave. It was prompted by complaints within his Department, including low morale. The Department remains unsettled.

City Administrator Melissa Bowers says the leave sought to protect an investigative process launched by the Junction City Council and based on formal police officer complaints. 

Bowers:  “At this point the investigation process is concluded, and Mark Chase has returned to work.”

Tom Larsen is the City of Eugene’s Traffic Engineer.  His purview includes traffic signals, calming zones and street signs. In conversation last week, he began with what brought him to the position he's now held for a decade.

Wildlife Safari has been in the cross hairs of an animal rights group for more than a decade.  Last week,  "In Defense of Animals"  named the park outside Winston to its “10 Worst Zoos for Elephants” list.  This is the 12th consecutive year

Lane Transit District has announced its Christmas holiday schedule. On Wednesday, Christmas Eve, the last departure from the Eugene station will be at 7:45 p.m.  LTD customer service center sales counter will close at 5:30. LTD and Ridesource will not operate Christmas day.  Buses will depart Eugene Station on a regular schedule New Year's Eve until 10:45, with Sunday-level service on New Year's Day. Both of the next two Fridays will see regular weekday service.  

theeconomiccollapseblog.com

The  unemployment rate in Lane County, as in the whole state of Oregon, has flattened out. 

Lane County's unemployment rate, established through a household survey, stood at 6.9 percent in November.  That's according to Brian Rooney, regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department. It's down only slightly from a 7.1 percent rate a year ago.

kolaleph.org

It's Hanukkah, and Rabbi David Zaslow of Ashland takes a few minutes to correct misunderstandings by both Christians and Jews about their own -- and each others -- religions.

KVAL.com

United Airline flights Monday and Tuesday from Eugene to San Francisco were canceled due to weather conditions in the bay area. KLCC's Claude Offenbacher spoke about it with the Airport's Assistant Director Cathryn Stephens.

Stephens said the configuration of the San Francisco airport means rain as well as fog can wreak havoc. They cause incoming delays. These backups then lead to cancellations.

Stephens:  "So they start having weather down there, and they start having to slow down their arrivals and their departures, their capacity goes way down."

Maria Chavez-Haroldson is director of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations at the Oregon Youth Authorirty in Salem.  She discusses the reasons minority youth are over-represented in the state’s correction system.

oadp.org

Dr. Todd Huffman is a pediatrician in Springfield affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including McKenzie-Willamette and Peace Health.  He's been in practice for 22 years.  He's also written innumerable OpEd pieces and commentaries for regional and national publications. He speaks with KLCC's Claude Offenbacher of his concern that  Oregon's legalization of marijuana will have a negative effect on teens.  

KLCC's Claude Offenbacher spoke Tuesday with Eric Richardson.  He asked the Lane County NAACP president his reaction to the decision not to indict the white policeman who fatally shot an African-American youth in Ferguson, Missouri.  What did Richardson think we should take away from the Grand Jury's position?

Tiffany Eckert / KLCC

Mark Gissiner has been Eugene's police auditor the past five years.  He's seen changes in police practices during that time.

education.wsu.edu/wnate

Jesse Hagopian, a teacher, will be speaking in Eugene this (Thursday) evening.  But calling Hagopian a teacher is a about as revealing as calling Barack Obama a politician.  KLCC's Claude Offenbacher spoke with this crusading educator.

www.auschwitz.org

Eva Kor, age 80, of Indiana, is a Holocaust survivor. She shares the story of her harrowing experience with KLCC's Claude Offenbacher. Kor speaks Saturday evening at 6:30 at the University of Oregon in room 150 of Columbia Hall. Her address is titled "Forgiveness: The Triumph of the Human Spirit".

Pages