From mountains to mall clocks and neon horses.
The ides of March are nearly upon us, as are the latest questions that keep readers awake. Such as:
Question. What size lens was used for the Feb. 27 photo in The Register-Guard of the North and Middle Sister? The mountains looked huge.
Answer. Photographer Brian Davies took the photo from Greenhill Road using a 600mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter. That makes an effective focal length of 840mm - `the same effect as using binoculars," Davies says.
Q. Why do Eugene School District report cards say "to the parent of" (singular) instead of "to the parents of" (plural)?
A. "It's not intentional, it's just the way the software came," says Sherri Morgan, manager of student information systems. Either way, she notes, a segment of parents will be "left out."
Q. Just east of Autzen Stadium, on Centennial Boulevard, there's a short wood pole along the sidewalk with a white can on it. What is it?
A. It's a `repeater box" owned by ADC Telecommunication of Shakopee, Minn., and used to help power Digital Subscriber Lines for the Internet.
Q. At the Eugene Water & Electric Board recently, I noticed there's a bunch of nice art hanging from various surfaces. Who did it?
A. More than two dozen local artists. The 30 pieces of art were either acquired or commissioned when the building was constructed in 1987-88 and have been there since.
Q. Why are there no clocks in Valley River Center?
A. "There's no underlying meaning behind our not having clocks," marketing manager Amy Bresler says. "I suppose it was more of an architectural decision."
Q. I know the Eugene Celebration parade was months ago, but this is still bugging me: Who is that guy each year who dresses like a drum major and is followed by an old Datsun with big, booming speakers?
A. Alfonso Stapler, the Eugene Celebration Drum Corps drum major. Stapler and the drummers do about a dozen parades a year. The guy looks about 35 or 40. "The amazing thing is he's 52 and dances and leaps at all these parades," says Al Sanford, the corps' producer/director.
Q. Does the Oregon Festival of American Music plan to significantly alter the exterior of the old First Baptist Church that it now occupies at 868 High St.?
A. Not the original (1926) brick part of the building, says Jim Ralph, the organization's executive director. And the church's name etched high on the original structure will stay to honor the building's original intent, he says. But the building's 1960 "add-on" will be changed significantly, becoming an atrium.
Q. What became of the neon horses that once graced Interstate 5 in the mid-'90s?
A. Artist Martin Anderson's creations, which attracted national attention in 1993-94, last came out to romp in late 1999 and early 2000 between Yachats and Lincoln City. They're available for sale at Seal Rock's Triad Gallery on Highway 101, the large horses going for $6,500.
Q. The weekly column of Norman Solomon, a leftist media critic, disappeared from The Register-Guard last fall. It was immediately picked up by Eugene Weekly, and even more quickly dropped. Is something sinister going on here?
A. Only if sinister is defined as making what you think is the best choice for the bulk of your readers.
"We decided we have better uses for the space," says Jack Wilson, editorial page editor of The Register-Guard.
The Weekly ran Solomon once - it was a freebie - but Editor Ted Taylor chose not to continue the column for space reasons. "We'd love to pick him up but it'd mean deleting a local columnist and we're unwilling to do that," he says.
Have questions? Bob Welch can be reached at 338-2354 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.