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Slant - 2017-09-21

• Seeing our name in the New York Times doesn’t happen every day. In fact, we’re not sure Eugene Weekly has ever been mentioned in the Gray Lady until this week, when NYT classical music writer Michael Cooper credited us for breaking the story of the Oregon Bach Festival’s firing of Matthew Halls. His extensive piece, “A Firing and a Question of Race Roil the Oregon Bach Festival” (Sept. 18), laid out the whole messy business, from Halls’ mysterious termination on Aug. 24 through the spurious Reginald Mobley “racism” incident to the meaningless explanations from the University of Oregon. It concluded with music world doubts about the 47-year-old festival’s future..

• You may remember Eugene fashionista Marjorie Taylor’s spectacular “Lucky in Love” ball gown, a crowd favorite in the last-ever Mayor’s Art Show in 2015. It’s among 103 finalists from around the world for an international fashion award this week in New Zealand. The gown, along with Taylor, who owns Velvet Edge Boutique in Fifth Street Market and is a psychology prof at the University of Oregon, and her husband, UO economics prof (and gadfly blogger) Bill Harbaugh, is in Wellington for the World of WearableArt awards. Crafted from 160 decks of recycled Las Vegas casino playing cards, the dress was entered in the recycled category. Winners in the Sept. 20 judging take home up to $30,000 in New Zealand dollars and will be in a fall exhibition in the World of WearableArt and Classic Cars museum in nearby Nelson.

• It was quite a jolt to see UO Emeritus Professor George Wickes of Eugene in the opening segment of The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on PBS. An agent in the Office of Strategic Services (the precursor to the CIA), Wickes was what the UO public relations office called a “spy” in that terrible conflict so well documented in this series. He taught English at the UO over five decades. If you can bear it, watch the last half of the 18-hour documentary next week. It is so well done and so depressing.

• You can tear down those signs, folks Lane Transit’s EmX expansion into west Eugene is here. The bus rapid transit route had its kickoff Sept. 17 and passengers can now catch the green buses (EmX stands for Emerald Express) and head out the West 6th, West 7th and West 11th corridors. Eugene and Springfield are growing, and while we encourage the area to grow up, not out, mass transit helps manage traffic and fight global warming causing greenhouse gases. 

’80s night is back! In downtown news, we hear that the owners of The Starlight Lounge and Luckey’s Club have just purchased the former Sidelines Grill and Sports Bar at 77 W. Broadway. The venue used to be John Henry’s and when it was sold, downtown lost part of its nightlife. (And we missed the sticky floors, late night ’80s dancing as well as GLAM night, burlesque and some decent bands.) The news owners announced on Facebook that it’s now called The Drake Bar and they are “rebranding it to focus more on the dancing and nightlife.”