News Briefs: Hot Stuff at Museum | Planning vs. New Rules on Climate | Eugene Earth Day Everywhere | Penny Poll Measures Public's Priorities | WOW Gets Grant for Downtown | Activist Alert | Lane Area Herbicide Spray Schedule |
Slant: Short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes
HOT STUFF AT MUSEUM
|Images by Herbert Acherman are among those in the Kinsey Institute's collections, the subject of a
talk Tuesday at UO
Tucked into a special collections library in Bloomington, Ind., is a whole lotta sex. Curator of art, artifacts and photographs Catherine Johnson-Roehr will give a public lecture about the collection at 3:30 pm Tuesday, April 26, at UOs Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.
Before you whip out the protest signs and megaphones, keep in mind that this is no back-alley peep show; the Kinsey Institutes collection of sexual imagery exists to further the understanding the span of perceptions of sexuality.
The collection covers a worldly spectrum of sexual desire that spans time as well as space. "We have artwork from all over the world,” says Johnson-Roehr, "Many different cultures have created fairly explicit images of sexual behavior.”
Johnson-Roehr says it would be impossible to cover the tens of thousands of images in the collection in one talk, but shell likely include pottery from the Moche of Peru and pictures from the tradition of Chinese foot binding.
Not all images in the collection are old. Johnson-Roehr continues to receive artifacts for the collection. "Sometimes its a fairly humble gift,” she says. "Today one of our student employees gave me a little box of three novelty condoms to commemorate the wedding of William and Kate.” The institute relies on gifts like these (and some that are a little more refined) to continue adding to the collection.
While Johnson-Roehr and the Kinsey Institute try to make their enormous sexual artifacts collection accessible, seeing it outside of Bloomington is rare. "We want to share the collections. We see no advantage to keeping the collection under wraps until a particular researcher comes along.”
Honors College instructor Jennifer Burns Levin says that Johnson-Roehrs "interdisciplinary appeal” inspired Levin to invite Johnson-Roehr to speak at UO. "Whats fascinating to me about the collection of art and artifacts is that they are not only a record of the time and place where they were created, but also American history of the mid-20th century,” Levin says. That history is not just in the collection, it is the collection. The Kinsey Institute had to sue to defend its right to import the sexual materials into the U.S. ã even for research purposes.
The discussions of art, history and culture that stem from this exhibit will hopefully congeal to form a delicious First Amendment soup. "When we study images of desire,” Levin says, "we also study what it means to talk about sex in America, and how censorship affects other social structures and continually challenges our nations mandate for freedom of speech.” ã Shannon Finnell
PLANNING VS. NEW RULES ON CLIMATE
Local transportation planning is happening in numerous government bodies and committees throughout Lane County and the decisions being made this year will affect foot, bike and vehicle traffic patterns for decades to come. Or will they? A state-mandated decision process next year concerning climate change might derail a lot of this years planning ã unless those involved in transportation planning make more than superficial changes.
What appears to be missing in much of the local planning discussion is the states goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent of 1990 levels by the year 2050, as dictated by HB 2001 and SB 1059 passed by the 2009 and 2010 Oregon Legislatures. Reductions will need to come primarily from "light vehicle travel and transportation,” according to a memo from ODOT dated Jan. 26. Transportation accounts for about 34 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
With all this in mind, County Commissioner Pete Sorenson is organizing an Earth Day town hall forum from 9 to 10:30 am Saturday, April 23, at the Campbell Center, 155 High St. in Eugene. He will be joined by Mayor Kitty Piercy, Councilor Andrea Ortiz, Rob Zako of the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission, Kevin Matthews of Envision Eugene, city planner Kurt Yeiter and Brian Orr of Eugene Smarttrips.
The town hall will look at the "big picture” of the Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative in light of the multiple local planning processes now going on. Eugene, Springfield and Coburg are updating transportation plans; the Lane Council of Governments is working on Springfields portion of the Regional Transportation Plan; LTD is working on EmX expansion; Envision Eugene is looking at how to accommodate growth; the Eugene Pedestrian/Bicycle Master Plan is being updated, etc. In addition, ODOT is working on a Statewide Transportation Strategy.
"Its insanely complicated,” says Fergus Mclean, whos helping promote the town hall. "Its really quite an important story to try to understand since its shaping our next 20 years. And then they are looking at coming back next year to revisit the whole thing through the Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative to finally look at the carbon footprints of the plans theyve just finished.”
Mclean says the town hall "seems like a place where some public awareness can really give a quantum boost to the bureaucrats buried in their planning silos.”
Even if Oregon significantly reduces greenhouse gases, will it be enough? Peak oil blogger Mark Robinowitz writes about Eugenes excessive consumption of energy at sustaineugene.org and says, "We are past the point where setting goals for reducing car use over the next two to four decades is necessary to reduce energy consumption, because oil depletion will cut energy use whether the goal is (met) or not Ä the city of Eugenes support for about a billion dollars in highway expansion in the metro area suggests that the final report for •Climate and Energy will be more greenwash to pacify the public while business as usual continues to dominate our public resources.”
Kurt Yeiter of the city has an interactive website set up to try to educate local residents on local transportation planning, and encourage involvement. See http://wkly.ws/11x for a public discussion about a long-range transportation plan for Eugene. ã Ted Taylor
EUGENE EARTH DAY EVERYWHERE
Whether you are looking for a family-friendly day, an opportunity to give back to Mother Earth through a volunteer project, or simply to enjoy some good music, there is something for everyone. Celebrating Earth Day this year is easy in the Eugene-Springfield area with several events to choose from.
The UO will be celebrating Earth Day from 11 am to 5:30 pm Friday, April 22, outside the EMU. This free event will feature a trash sculpture contest, music, speakers and the grand opening of the student Sustainability Center in the EMU building.
Also on Friday, if you want to venture out of Eugene, Creswells Earth Day celebration runs 9 am to 3:30 pm at Garden Lake Park, 396 Melton Road. The town will receive its first "Tree City USA” award, presented by the Oregon Department of Forestry at 3 pm.
Eugenes 13th annual free Earth Day Celebration sponsored by Lane Transit District, MECCA, Bring Recycling, Lane County, EWEB, and UO among others runs from 11 am to 5:30 pm Saturday, April 23, at EWEBs River Edge Plaza, and will feature music, crafts and booths. For the first time, the OSU Lane County Master Gardeners Association will be selling plants at the event. "We are thrilled to have them join us this year; we are usually competing against each other,” said event coordinator Emily Evans.
If you are seeking a piece of nature to enjoy for Earth Day, the city of Eugene and Friends of the Ridgeline are hosting a day of activities along the Ridgeline trail from 9 am to 1 pm Saturday, April 23. Guided bird walks, bike rides, butte hikes, ecology strolls, music and snacks will be provided. Additionally, volunteer opportunities will be available to improve the trail, clear invasive species and move gravel. For more information, and to sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also on Saturday, the Science Factory in Eugene will hold an open house and childrens activities from 10 am to 4 pm at 2300 Leo Harris Pkwy. "The exhibit hall and seasonal star show will be free, and we will have recycled seed planters for children to plant seeds in and take home,” Hilary Kretchmer, Science Factorys marketing manager, explained.
See these events and more in our Calendar this week. ã Heather Cyrus
PENNY POLL MEASURES PUBLICS PRIORITIES
Activists gathered at the Eugene downtown post officeon Tax Day, April 18, to challenge militarism and corporate greed and to call for the re-ordering of federal spending priorities from supporting war to meeting human and environmental needs.
Not as many people were outside the post office this year since more and more people now file their tax forms electronically, but about 100 people were found who were willing to participate in the annual "penny poll.” Participants were handed 10 pennies and asked to deposit them in jars representing six categories of federal budget.
Participants budgeted human resources at 62.5 percent this year, up from 50 percent last year. Physical resources got 21.8 percent compared to 25.5 percent last year. General government got 6.2 percent, down from 12 percent last year.
Spending on the military (not including current wars) was 3.9 percent, up from 2 percent last year; while spending on the Iraq and Afghan wars was only .2 percent, even less than last years 1.5 percent. Payments on the national debt came in at 5.4 percent, down from last years 9 percent.
"Eugene taxpayers have clearly had it with the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and want their elected officials to do more to bring these wars to an immediate end,” says Michael Carrigan of CALC, one of the organizers of the event. "If Eugene residents ran the federal government things would be significantly different ã their tax dollars would be funding social and environmental programs and not endless war. "
Local war tax resisters, who object to more than half of their federal taxes going to the military, were given the opportunity to redirect their "war” taxes to local organizations. Planned Parenthood, White Bird Clinic and ShelterCare were on hand to receive donations through event coordinator Peg Morton of Taxes For Peace Not War.
Peace activists were joined by activists from Eugene-Springfield Solidarity Network-Jobs with Justice and Industrial Workers of the World who spoke out against corporate greed and for a more equitable system of taxation.
WOW GETS GRANT FOR DOWNTOWN
The WOW Hall, legendary nonprofit venue for some of the best music acts that come through Eugene, has been awarded a $13,241 city of Eugene Neighborhood Matching Grant for the West 8th Collaborative neighborhood improvement project. Working in collaboration with FOOD for Lane County and Metro Affordable Housing, the WOW Hall, also known as the Community Center for the Performing Arts, proposed the grant in efforts to better the presentation of its surrounding environment and make downtown safer.
"Landscaping, lighting, and (bike) locks” will be the primary use of the provided funds, says Michelle Smith, WOW Hall board treasurer and program services director of Metropolitan Affordable Housing Corporation. Smith says that there is a negative perception of the downtown area that she and her fellow neighbors and co-workers are trying to change. "Visual perception matters, environment affects attitude. We want to help people who live here feel safer and encourage more folks to come down here,” she says.
According to Smith, a great deal of cooperation with neighborhood watch groups as well as local crime prevention specialists aided in the design of the proposal. The new recipients of the grant are also hoping that the shift in visual aesthetic and additional safety measures will encourage residents and patrons to lend a hand and be more proactive about keeping the downtown area cleaner.
ã Dante Zu¿iga-West
« "Curbing Climate Change, One Bite at a Time” is the topic at City Club of Eugene at 11:50 am Friday, April 22, at the Hilton Hotel top floor. Speaker are Dan Armstrong of Mud City Press, Sarah Kleeger of Open Oak Farms, and Dale Lugenbehl of LCC.
« County Commissioner Pete Sorenson will be hosting an Earth Day Forum on the Greenhouse Gas Effects of Local Transportation Planning beginning at 9 am Saturday, April 23, at Campbell Center, 155 High St. in Eugene. Speakers will include numerous state and local officials, along with transportation and land use activists.
« Canvassing in south Eugene in support of the temporary income tax on the May ballot will begin with a gathering at 10 am Saturday, April 23, at the South Eugene High School cafeteria. The next canvassing day for north Eugene will be at 10 am Saturday, April 30, at Cascade Middle School, 1525 Echo Hollow Road. To phone, write a letter, endorse, or donate, visit www.StrongSchoolsEugene.org
« The UO Dance Department is sponsoring a performance of traditional West African music and dance at 2 pm and 8 pm Saturday, April 23, in the Dougherty Dance Theatre on campus. The performances will benefit stove projects in Africa and South America, and is supported by StoveTeam International. Former members of some of the most prestigious performance groups in Ghana, including the Ghana Dance Ensemble and Abibigromma, as well as the UOs Dance Africa ensemble will participate. Tickets are $20 with students and seniors at $15.
« The Portland Bus Project is coming to Eugene for a round table chat starting at 4:15 pm Saturday, April 23, at Sam Bonds Garage. Topic is public policy in support of economic innovation. Reps. Nancy Nathanson and Val Hoyle are expected to join the discussion, which will be followed by a visit to Arcimoto for the unveiling of its newest prototype. Word on the street is Nathan Fillion and Jon Huertes of ABC's Castle will be there. RSVP to email@example.com
« The Eugene Tree Foundation is organizing an Amazon Creek work party from 10 am to 1 pm Saturday, April 23, at 16th and Friendly. Bring gloves and boots.
« The local Sierra Club will give a free screening of the film Gasland at 7 pm Thursday, April 28, at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St. The film looks at hydraulic fracturing methods developed by Halliburton.
LANE AREA HERBICIDE SPRAY SCHEDULE
« ODOT will begin highway spraying in District 5 (Lane County) April 18, depending on weather (see Notices/ODOT/2011). Call District 5 at 744-8080 or (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. ODOT spraying may have already started in other parts of Oregon.
« Forestry spraying that was delayed by rain may happen any time the weather clears ã look at all notices posted this year or call ODF in Springfield at 726-3588 or in Veneta at 935-2283.
Compiled by Jan Wroncy, Forestland Dwellers: 342-8332, www.forestlanddwellers.org
« The campaign for three contested 4J School Board positions is off to a shaky start with a field of 10 candidates. Eight showed up at a City Club of Eugene forum last Friday and many in the audience left scratching their heads. A lot of platitudes about education were touted, but not many specific solutions were offered to the districts myriad challenges.
The proposed temporary income tax for schools is certainly not the only issue in this race, but it is one distinct indicator of political leanings. In the Position 1 race, incumbent Alicia Hays supports the tax while challenger Greg Stallings is against it. Hays other challenger Gary Carpenter, who could not make the forum, supports both the income tax and the 4J bond measure. Carpenter is principal at Elmira High School. In Position 4, incumbent Craig Smith backs the tax along with his challenger Natasha Hennings, but candidates Linda Hamilton and Mark Callahan are against it. Hamilton says schools need more funding, but it should come from the state. She does back the 4J bond measure. In Position 7, incumbent Mary Walston favors the tax, while her challengers Matt Ginsberg and Sherry Callahan think schools need to better utilize they money they already have.
Yes, the two Callahans are married to each other, but are running for different positions. Sherry Callahan, who did not attend the forum, has posted on her website (www.electcallahan.com) an odd email from opponent Matt Ginsberg saying her campaign is "halfhearted,” hurts her husbands race and his own campaign, and suggesting she withdraw. Gotta love the internet.
« Why does the R-G editorial board continue to rant against Lane County Commissioners Rob Handy and Pete Sorenson? The latest puzzling editorial was Sunday, April 17, complaining that the commissioners havent shown any "expression of contrition” following the settlement of an expensive lawsuit over the state Open Meetings Law. Huh? Slow news day? Or is the R-G is still trying to justify its ill-advised early editorial campaign aligning itself with the local timber industry and other conservative business interests in the community?
Lets not forget that this lawsuit was never about technical violations of gray areas in the Open Meetings Law. If the timber industry really gave a rats ass about the decision-making process they would have sued previous conservative commissioners who were far more closed and secretive. Weve said it before: This lawsuit was a business investment. Millions, if not billions in profits will be made over time if the struggling timber industry can defame, deflate and unseat those pesky enviros on the commission. The lawsuit feels like an act of desperation by an industry losing its long-held power to dictate unsustainable land-use policy. Somehow R-G editorial writers have consistently missed this obvious connection. Follow the money, guys. Its not that hard.
« It was cold and rainy day at Saturday Market and Farmers Market this past weekend, and one metal artist we talked to barely sold enough art to pay for his lunch burrito. But a few loyal market-goers could still be found browsing booths and buying beautiful fresh veggies. Lets all get down there next Saturday, rain or shine, and get some cash flowing into our local economy.
« Lane County excels in multicultural gatherings. We caught two remarkable events in just the past week. The first, on April 11, was the Interfaith Prayer and Reflection service thats taken place at 7 pm on the 11th of each month since Sept. 11, 2001 (see interfaithprayer.org). First Christian Church downtown hosts the unique service organized by people from many local faith communities. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Bahˆ's, Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans and others shared music and wisdom from their religious traditions. No proselytizing, just a respectful and inspiring celebration of diverse spiritual paths.
A few days later, on April 16, a large gathering happened at Amigos Cultural Center, the old Whiteaker School. Members of Native tribes from around the country came together to hear about the Winnemem Wintu Tribes project to restore native salmon runs. Adding to the Wild Salmon Party were performances of Hawaiian Island singers and dancers and Japanese Taiko drumming. Making a symbolic run to begin the ceremonies were members of Juventud Faceta, a Latino youth empowerment group, who are adopting the Winnemem "water warriors” program (see News Briefs last week).
« We visited a local auto wrecking yard recently in search of early 1990s VW parts and discovered that thousands of not-so-old wrecked vehicles are no longer available for scavenging. Scrap metal prices hit a record high a while back and older wrecks were worth more crushed than they were for parts. Good for the wrecking yards; not so good for those of us who like to keep our 20- and 30-year-old buggies running forever.
Alternatives can be found to the high prices at wrecking yards and elsewhere; local classified ads and the internet are making it easier to find replacement parts for all kinds of worn-out equipment ã but maybe not for that old inflatable doll in your closet. Now theres a business for someone: reconditioned sex toys. Or maybe some old equipment lying around can be repurposed for pleasure. Any suggested names for such an enterprise?
SLANT includes short opinion pieces, observations and rumor-chasing notes compiled by the EW staff. Heard any good rumors lately? Contact Ted Taylor at 484-0519, editor at eugeneweekly dot com