Best of Eugene 2010-2011: Civics
|photo by todd cooper|
Best local celebrity
2. Slug Queen
3. Frank Black
Forget politics and Hollywood makeup — stand on a corner with a rubber chicken under your arm and ask enough people if they want to buy a joke book, and hey, you’re a celebrity. But beneath the bearded Frog, aka David Miller, there does lie a true prince for freedom of speech. Two decades ago the humorless Eugene police, city manager and the city’s expensive private law firm just couldn’t stand the idea of someone selling jokes on the street without their permission, so they spent a mountain of money trying to squish the Frog. But the joke was on them: In 1994 the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in favor of free speech for frogs and people everywhere.
Eugene MVP (non-politician doing the most for Eugene)
1. Marc Gunther
2. Ninkasi Brewing
3. (tie) Lorraine Kerwood
Best radio show or radio DJ
1. The Sunday Morning Hangover with the Rev. Marc Time (KWVA 88.1 FM)
2. The Donkey Show (KFLY 101.5 FM)
3. The Morning Show with Justin & Emma (KNRQ 97.9 FM)
The Reverend Marc Time, as Marc Gunther is known to his many listeners on the radio and online for his Sunday Morning Hangover mix of tracks bizarre, forgotten, beloved and creative, went even beyond the reach of his show this year. He used his mad marketing skills and persistence to help artists Paula Goodbar and Peter Hurley make the Eugene Storefront Art Project into something much bigger than they imagined last November when the little-group-that-could kicked off. Time don’t stop for no one, or so they say, and Marc’s got the Junction City/Springfield/Eugene corner on the kind of organizing that helped get a certain hopey changey president elected. Oh, and he’s got the radio, too. Not a bad mix(er).
Best local politician
1. Kitty Piercy
2. Peter DeFazio
3. Rob Handy
Hey, if you can garner almost 41,000 votes in Eugene while the developer, timber and gravel pit barons are spending more than a half million dollars trying to rub you out with the help of the state’s second largest newspaper, you deserve to win this prize. Now, if only actual power came with votes in Eugene’s wacky version of government.
Best local uproar
1. Renaming Beltline
2. UO Athletics
3. Downtown Exclusion Zone
Every time you see a sign for this freeway or see its name in the newspaper or hear it on the evening news, you get another uproaring reminder of just how corrupt our state is. Did the state decide to name the most expensive government project in the region after a local hero? No, it sneakily named the freeway that’s now targeted for a half-billion dollars more in tax revenue after a money grubber whose only real claim to fame was giving a lot of campaign contributions. The people’s property now has become a lasting monument to government corruption. Howl on.
Best established nonprofit
1. FOOD for Lane County www.foodforlanecounty.org
2. Greenhill Humane Society www.green-hill.org
3. White Bird Clinic whitebirdclinic.org
With Lane County unemployment soaring, our perpetual winner FOOD for Lane County keeps laid-off workers, struggling families, kids in the summer and anyone else living with food insecurity supplied with that most basic of human needs: nutritional fuel. And FFLC does it with elan and joy, asking local-food fans with extra garden produce or too many jars of raspberry jam to donate that healthy stuff to the nonprofit. FFLC’s so omnipresent in Eugene-area culture that a good chunk of our social life would disappear without FFLC fundraisers — but Weekly readers will never let that happen. We raise a glass of awesome to you, FFLC, again, and toss in a shot of purring and tail-wagging for the splendid Greenhill Humane Society and a chaser of serious affection for the committed, in-the-trenches White Bird Clinic.
Best up-and-coming nonprofit
|marc gunther, peter hurley and paula goodba. photo by trask bedortha|
1. Eugene Storefront Art Project esapblog.blogspot.com
2. Next Step Recycling 2101 W. 11th Ave., 686-2366; 1483 Mohawk Blvd., 744-6901. www.nextsteprecycling.org
3. School Garden Project www.efn.org/~sgp
Everything began when artist Paula Goodbar, fed up with the lethargy and insipidity of so much local response to a half-full downtown, asked last November for artists to kick it into higher gear — and when artist Peter Hurley and organizer/DJ Marc Gunther got involved. The triumverate fought apathy and distrust from government and property owners, inspiring artists to come up with visions that would enliven the streets not only of Eugene’s downtown but of 440 Coburg, Springfield’s downtown (with one of Springfield’s first art walks in October) and even Junction City. Meanwhile, Next Step (we’re not totally sure it’s up and coming; isn’t it kind of established?) takes our worn-out electronics and makes them shiny and new while training many a person in computer insides, and the School Garden Project — supported by Raining SLUG Queen Slugasana — wants kids to know how to grow, harvest and cook their own school lunches.