Don Kahle

Jefferson Journal Contributor

Don Kahle is a Friday columnist for The Register-Guard as well as a contributor to the Jefferson Journal.   He's lived in Eugene now long enough that people have stopped asking him when he's going to leave. For ten years he published the Comic News and is now executive director for the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the owner of a small advertising agency called !AH !HA Design. He's a failed introvert and the father of two, as far as he knows. He’s a dog person.

Don resembles the Queen of England in three ways. Corgis are his favorite pets. He honestly can’t believe his good fortune, getting away with as much as he does each and every day. And he’s not uncomfortable referring to himself in the third person. 

The Jefferson Reality

Jun 30, 2016

Anyone paying attention to politics lately has noticed that small changes barely seem worth the trouble anymore. Congress can’t be bothered to make laws. The Supreme Court is pushing cases back to the states the way an infant refuses his creamed carrots. American voters have forgotten that lofty goals are usually accomplished with tiny steps.

Untempered by realism, we’ve been hearing a lot about abolishing the IRS, providing free college, building unscalable walls. Breaking through a glass ceiling seems quaintly mundane when the sky’s the limit.

Spotlight won this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture, but the story portrayed is slipping slowly into the fiction category. The sort of investigative journalism dramatized in the film is disappearing.

Michael Keaton plays a newspaper editor in charge of the investigative journalism unit at the Boston Globe in 2001. When they uncover a child-abuse scandal inside the Catholic Church, each reporter wrestles with how the revelations will affect their lives and neighborhoods.

Self-driving Cars

Aug 1, 2015
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They say self-driving cars are coming. I say they’re here. I rented a car last week that didn’t leave very much of the driving to me.

My own car is 20 years old, so the changes I experienced this week have probably been emerging slowly. I’ve been technologically asleep when it comes to automobiles, but sometimes Rip Van Winkle can see things more clearly because nothing helps awareness like a couple of good decades’ sleep.

Pat Elmen

Jun 1, 2015
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I barely recognized her, but nursing homes are helpful in this way. The placard by her door read “Mrs. Patricia Elmen,” so I knew this was my favorite high school English teacher, despite her bloated cheeks and chin, her rotting teeth, her vacant stare.

I called ahead this week during a visit to Chicago. The nursing home staff suggested I come after her nap, but before dinnertime. If they had used the term “feeding time,” I would have been better prepared. Mrs. Elmen taught us that concision comes from using the right words. 


Nov 1, 2014

I have a new nearby option for Vietnamese food. I can walk to a corner parking lot and order my pho from Tam’s Place. But it’s not a place, at least not for anyone but Tam. It’s a food truck.


Sep 2, 2014

The word didn’t come up until the last five minutes of a two-hour conversation. Eugene social psychology researcher Paul Slovic isn’t a fan of the “happiness” movement that has taken over many best-seller lists and self-help shelves. 

For more than a half-century, Slovic has focused his research on the underbelly of humanity, from addictive gambling to genocidal dictatorships. More precisely, he has concerned himself with how people respond to the atrocities, hoping to learn better ways to convey vital information to motivate people to act.

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 I think we can all agree that salad forks have not fulfilled their promise. It was a noble experiment, if by that you mean something tried by nobility or those feigning nobility.   

Salads have changed over the years. Now we add all sorts of doodads on top of our lettuce. Those longer tines of the regular fork come in handy when eating a modern salad. You need that extra quarter inch for the craisins and bleu cheese chunks. Salads have even sometimes replaced the main course of a meal. The salad fork did not adapt.

Pets In A College Town

Aug 1, 2013

I love living in a college town. Ever since Socrates first got away with it, educators have learned they can ask questions for a living. It must be an intellectual version of keeping up with the Joneses, but before you know it, everyone is asking questions just for the fun of it.

Except for casserole recipes, I don’t often look to the editors of Parade Magazine for inspiration. I thumb through it most Sundays as quickly as I can. I would ignore it altogether, but I can’t bear to waste any part of my newspaper. Come to think of it, that’s probably also why I find casseroles so satisfying. I admire new ways of using little bits of leftovers that otherwise would have gone to waste.


Aug 1, 2011

My friend Bill asked me to come to Klamath Falls to help him out. I asked twice what sort of help he needed. He wouldn’t tell me, except to say, “Bring gloves.”

He admitted when I arrived that he was afraid if he told me, I might change my mind and stay home in Eugene. But that would make sense only to a stubborn 82-year-old Midwesterner, a man determined to hold onto his pride even longer than his health.