EUGENE, Ore. -- In 1997, there were no BlackBerrys, iTunes or Facebook, and New York's twin towers were still standing. Locally, the Eugene library was a dream and our economy was riding high on the tech boom, with just 5 percent unemployment.
A lot has changed in 13 years. But as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
A few examples:
In 1997, Oregon voters approved the "Death with Dignity Act," making Oregon the first state to approve doctor-assisted suicide.
Now, Oregon is poised to break ground again through referendum. This time, voters may decide in November whether to legalize and tax marijuana.
In 1997, former doctor John Kitzhaber was in the middle of his first term as governor, fighting to expand the Oregon Health Plan.
Now, former governor John Kitzhaber is running for governor again, with renewed calls for health care reform.
In 1997, Eugene police came under fire for using pepper spray on protesters during a tree-cutting protest, sparking years of debate about police oversight.
Now, police are under fire for using Tasers on a protester and a Chinese student, and the debate over use of force remains fierce.
In 1997, the last of the old downtown Eugene walking mall was ripped out with the hope of reducing crime and the promise of downtown revitalization.
Now, downtown advocates continue to struggle to fill the pits as leaders start new effort to bring business downtown and drive crime away.
In 1997, Oregon hired Ernie Kent to coach the Oregon Ducks, kicking off a run of NCAA tournament appearances.
Now, after a series of disappointing seasons the Ernie Kent era has come to an end. He's been replaced by Dana Altman of Creighton.
In 1997, the rock band U2 brought its Pop Mart tour to Eugene, rocking Autzen Stadium and blasting nearby residents
Just a few weeks ago, Conan O'Brien kicked off his U.S. tour in Eugene, selling out the Hult Center, announcing his new late night show and leaving us all in stitches.
And on a personal note, in 1997, I anchored KVAL News at 11. The biggest news for me was the birth of my first child. I missed the debut of our old "new" set at KVAL because I was on maternity leave. My son is a baby no more -- Kylan turns 13 tomorrow. My twin daughters are now almost 11.
Do you have a story you'd like to share? Please do so by commenting on this story.