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April queries to stave off the drearies.

Byline: Bob Welch / The Register-Guard

From comics to cattle ranches to a correction on that hot-button "Delaware" song, it's time for April Q&A:

Question: Whatever happened to the results of The Register-Guard's comics poll?

Answer: The response to the December poll was so overwhelming that the data are still being analyzed. About 4,360 ballots were returned by readers, meaning more than 170,000 votes have to be counted by hand. (`America: Who Said We're Apathetic?") The paper hopes to have a full report for readers next month.

Question: In Springfield, where will the Jasper extension from Interstate 105/Main Street connect with Jasper-Lowell Road?

Answer: Near where Brand S Road intersects with what's technically Springfield-Creswell Highway but most people call Jasper Road, close to the Natron Mill. That's about a mile and a half southeast of Mount Vernon Road. Ollie Snowden, Lane County public works director, says the job will be bid this summer and most of the work on the two-lane road will be done in 2007. It will be named Bob Straub Parkway in honor of the former Oregon governor.

Question: At Smelt Sands State Recreation Site in Yachats, there's been a cool sculpture there for decades - kind of an arcing sliver of a moon. It's suddenly gone. What's up?

Answer: The bad news: The sculpture, dating back to 1976, rusted out and became a safety hazard. The good news: The State Parks folks are working with Jim Adler, the Yachats sculptor who did the original work, to replace it, though it might be relocated to a city-owned bluff just north of Yachats State Park. The piece of art, called "The Sculpture at Smelt Sands," originally depicted moon, waves and a smelt, though the latter came down years ago for safety reasons. Adler, 60, who also designed the equally cool spouting-whale sculpture in Yachats (`Bazalgette'), hopes to have the piece finished and installed some time this year.

Question: In 1994, The Register-Guard did an Oregon Life story about the ZX Ranch being the largest contiguous cattle ranch in the country. Is it still the largest?

Answer: At 1.3 million acres, the south-central Oregon ranch is still "among the largest" in the country, according to ranch manager Dick Mecham. If you're keeping score, 1.3 million acres is essentially the size of Linn County (think Harrisburg, Albany, Sweet Home). It is one of 15 ranches owned by the Simplot Land & Livestock Group.

Question: In the best-of-2000 photos, The Register-Guard published one of a young Mennonite girl, Heidi Headings, jumping off a combine. It was a wonderful photo taken by Kevin German. What are those two doing today?

Answer: Headings lives in Colorado, working as a nanny with New Horizons Ministries, which takes care of children whose mothers are in prison. And writes on her blog (www.xanga.com/heidings): "I miss my combine." German, a Guard intern at the time, graduated from Washington State University, worked for The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., and now takes photos for the features section of the Sacramento Bee. (See his work at www.kevingerman.com. The Headings photo is under the "Singles" section.)

March madness: A number of readers disagreed with my answer to the "Delaware" state song question from last month. Indeed, it appears there are at least a couple of versions of the song and the one many readers remember goes like this:

"Where has Oregon, boy, where has Oregon?

"If you want Alaska, Alaska where she's gone

"She went to pay her Texas, she went to pay her Texas ..."

In addition, a number of readers pointed out that it originally was called "The State Song" and dated back far beyond the "Delaware" version Perry Como came out with in 1959. In fact, one reader says his father used to work for the National Park Service and remembers the song being sung at Crater Lake in the 1930s.

I believe it! I believe it!

Questions for the May edition? Bob Welch can be reached at 338-2354 or at bwelch@guardnet.com.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Columns
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Column
Date:Apr 11, 2006
Words:674
Previous Article:OUTDOORS BRIEFLY.
Next Article:Mediators seek inroads in debate over parkway.


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