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Genefield, anybody?

Byline: Karen McCowan / The Register-Guard

CORRECTION (ran 11/30/01): Two names were misspelled in Karen McCowan's column Wednesday on proposed new names for the Eugene-Springfield metro area. Will Schive founded the lexigram Web site Joni Rusk is a Eugene resident.

EUGO SPRINGFIELD! That was former Springfielder Evelyn Rasmussen's suggestion - right down to the exclamation mark - as a new name for our metro area.

With Springfield's Gateway district attracting so many longtime Eugene companies, Eugene-Springfield doesn't seem accurate anymore. So I challenged readers to a collective game of "Jumble." The idea: Scramble the letters from both words to find something more apt. Rasmussen, now living in Newport, was among dozens who did so.

So was Eugene reader Michelle Rutheister.

"Genefield," she proposed. "You know - similar to gene pool, but smaller."

"A new name?" wrote K.C. Miller of Fall Creek. "You already came up with it in your column. It's `Jumble,' as in the way we approach planning and development."

"How about `Eugene: Gateway to Gateway'? ' suggested an anonymous caller.

Longtime Springfield public schools speech therapist Barbara Allen noted that Eugene has less to contribute.

"Vowels provide the voice behind a word but only voice," she said. "It's the consonants that provide the zing and personality. Springfield contributes four times as many consonants as Eugene. Read between the lines!"

Put Eugene's first syllable first, she added, "and we end up with `Eugfield' ' - hardly descriptive of our increasingly developed metropolis.

Instead, she proposes "Springene." As did Register-Guard copy editor Marti Gerdes, albeit with a different spelling.

` `Springgene,' since that's what will be happening - Eugene genes springing across the river," Gerdes wrote. "It also has a mellow, Mr. Greenjeans sound to it."

The prolific Allen also suggested "Greengene."

"The world knows we're representative of the best in green genes. Look outside your window! Even in the dead of winter, we're green. And Springfield and Eugene are united in their love of the Ducks."

Kathy Kirkpatrick was thinking along the same lines: "How about `Duckfield'? '

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE came from across the Cascades. Dirk French has lived in both Eugene and Springfield, but now calls Redmond home.

"How about `Seinfeld'? ' he suggested. "The daily plot is usually much ado about nothing, and outside observers cannot believe what they see going on."

Visiting relatives in Missouri this summer, Jan Sanetel misheard their drawled hometown, Grain Valley, as "Green Valley," her nominee.

"It describes our area very nicely," said Sanetel, human resources director for soon-to-be-Springfield-based PacificSource Health Plans.

Several sandbaggers also weighed in.

"Eugreenfields," proposed Junction City resident William (Will I Am) Shreeve, who runs a lexicology business (

My co-worker Tim Christie tried, which offered more than 50 phrases, none very name-like. Among them: "Freeing side plunge," "Fine plunge greed?" and - a nod to the Eugene Celebration - "Deepen slug in grief."

As a native Eugenean who's lived in Springfield 17 years, Bruce Berg urged people in Eugene to "just get over their ZIP code prejudice."

"Really we are one community anyway ... can't we ever just wake up and see there is no wall between Springfield and Eugene? `Getoverit' doesn't work with your contest, so how about `Springgeneburg' (adding Coburg)?"

"How about `Greater Glenwood'? ' suggested Creswell resident Michael Hanner.

"I don't care what we call ourselves," said Springfielder Jonni Rusk, "as long as we get to keep our City Council."

BECAUSE OF bad information in a regional database, I incorrectly reported the amount of land owned by Gang of 9 member Susan Selig in my Oct. 26 column.

Selig - with her husband and sometimes another investor - owns 2.3 acres between Bertelsen and Belt Line roads.

I reported a much larger amount because the Regional Land Information Database listed the total acreage of a condominium development on each of its 11 tax lots.

I apologize for the error. Selig, who was out of town when I tried to reach her before the column ran, didn't dispute its assertion that she has a stake in land with a total assessed valuation of about $2 million near the route of the proposed West Eugene Parkway.

"But that parkway is not going to change the value of that property," she said Tuesday.

She said she supported the parkway because she's seen too many accidents at West 11th Avenue and Bailey Hill Road - including one in which she aided an injured motorist waiting for an ambulance.
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Title Annotation:Columns
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Column
Date:Nov 28, 2001
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