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As pretty as it gets around town when the leaves start to turn, for many of us the signs of our impending cold and rainy season are the hints it’s time to start planning to hit the road. Here in Oregon you don’t actually have to go far in your wanderings to see some beautiful places (and escape the rain, whether that be in the high desert or inside a museum). And thanks to Amtrak, Greyhound, Porter Stage lines, BoltBus, good old carpooling and more, there are mass transit options from Burns to Bandon — if you aren’t traveling by bike or motorcycle, that is. 

With what felt like 100 mph winds slamming into us, my parents and I stood on a rocky outcropping overlooking the thundering waves and sandy beach of Bandon, Oregon. We’d visited Bandon many times over the years, usually in summer, when glorious sunsets silhouette iconic Face Rock and fat harbor seals bask on rocks. 

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week.

An “ultra mega” coal-fired power plant is proposed for the coastal state of Tamil Nadu in India, on the shores of the Cheyyur Lagoon. The plant would churn out 4,000 megawatts of power and 25 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW), which is aiding communities in India in their fight against the plant and 11 other ultra mega coal proposals. 

Last spring at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge birdwatcher Tim Blount saw a bird that brought him back to his childhood in Nebraska. Up in a cottonwood tree was a black and white warbler, a small songbird with a high, piercing call (“weesy, weesy, weesy”) stopping on its way to northern Canada. 

Of the many patches strewn across Billy Scannell’s black leather motorcycle vest, it’s certainly the one saying “Dr. Asshole” that demands immediate explanation.

“The doctor part is because I have a Ph.D. in physics,” Scannell says. “The other part should be self-evident.” Here is a man who could easily be mistaken for one of The Black Widows accosting Clint Eastwood in Every Which Way but Loose.

Instead of scouring national park gift shops on your next vacation, try wandering into a small-town art museum. Local Eugene painter Jon Jay Cruson has stumbled upon several museums during his frequent jaunts through the Oregon and Washington countryside searching for images for his works. Check out his suggestions for hidden Northwest museum treasures. 

With full-day kindergarten and the new Smarter Balanced standardized tests looming on the horizon, Eugene School District 4J can’t afford to lose any source of funding. That’s why the district is asking voters to renew a five-year local option levy on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The call for all-out war against Islamic extremists is growing louder in the Pentagon, Congress and the White House as the U.S. carries on increasing overt and covert military actions in the Middle East targeting primarily ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. 

But Rep. Peter DeFazio says, “History has shown that U.S. involvement in sectarian as well as civil wars raging in the Middle East does not benefit our interests. ISIS would not exist today if it were not for the unnecessary U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which I voted against.”

A 4-year-old girl from Eugene diagnosed with a form of nerve cancer called neuroblastoma is receiving treatment at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, and she needs help from her community to afford it. 

Scarlet Craig, along with her parents Tim and Elena Craig, have already raised $43,782 on the website GoFundMe as we go to press. The cancer, which doctors first discovered on Scarlet’s adrenal glands and has now metastasized to her bones, is the same kind of cancer affecting Leah Still, daughter of Cincinnati Bengals football player Devon Still. 

A measure coming up in the November election proposes a state-created endowment fund to help Oregon students pay for college. Coined the Oregon Opportunity Initiative, Measure 86 amends the Oregon Constitution to allow the creation of an Opportunity Fund that would go towards paying for students going to college within the state. 

The current state-funded program, Oregon Opportunity Grant, only reaches one out of five students that apply for money, according to Measure 86 founder State Treasurer Ted Wheeler. 

Mikhail Gorbachev says that CNN creator Ted Turner “has set a new standard for what a single individual can do to address the most challenging problems threatening our survival.” That is according to the blurb on the back of author Todd Wilkinson’s Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet, published by Lyons Press in 2013 and copyrighted to Turner Works, LLC. 

Sweet Potato Pie is closing after 20 years in business in Eugene, first downtown on 11th Avenue and then at 775 Monroe St. next to Sweet Life in the Whiteaker. The store features locally made clothing and natural products and Saturday will be the last day. Owner Elizabeth Thompson says the move away from downtown was expensive and foot traffic in the Whiteaker has been bad. She has kept the store going over the past five years by working full-time jobs around town.

In the annals of things I’ve made my long-suffering husband Ben do, this latest one might take the cake: “Honey,” I said. “Thursday night we’re going to the Vet’s Club for a night of English country dancing, OK?” 

• The Lane County Poverty and Homelessness Board will meet from noon to 1:30 pm Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Carmichael Conference Room, Lane County Youth Services Serbu Campus, 2727 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Call 682-3798 for more information.

• A free talk on “Surveillance, Suppression and Secrecy” with Nadine Strossen of the New York Law School and ACLU will be at 7 pm Thursday, Oct. 16, at the UO Law School, Room 175. Sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center on campus.

With the runway butted up against a climbing wall, local models sashayed in lingerie, ready-to-wear and avant-garde lines. Lingerie and swimwear have been Eugene’s design strong suit and this year was no exception.

If the public really understood the illogic behind U.S. Forest Service management, including those endorsed by forest collaboratives, I am certain there would be more opposition to current Forest Service policies.

I fully support the concept of reduce, recycle and reuse. In fact I remodeled my 1927 house twice, supported a remodeled building for the police station, authored the reusable bag ordinance, and I have been an early supporter of reusing Civic Stadium. But sometimes that is not the best option, nor the option that makes the most sense. After hearing and analyzing the ton of information on this issue, I believe building new City Hall is the right direction for Eugene for three reasons: cost; sustainability and energy; and accessibility, functionality and community.

In Afghanistan

• 2,349 U.S. troops killed (2,343 last month)

• 20,023 U.S. troops wounded in action (19,984)

• 1,559 U.S. contractors killed (1,530)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $754.9 billion cost of war ($747.9 billion)

• $297.4 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($294.6 million)

 

Against ISIS

• $909.8 million cost of military action ($692.9)

• $358,352 cost to Eugene taxpayers ($272,900)

 

“I always loved drawing,” says Ken O’Connell, a San Francisco Bay Area kid who arrived in Eugene in the 1950s to attend Woodrow Wilson Junior High School and South Eugene High School. “I had an amazing art teacher, Larry Goldade. He got me on a pathway to study art.” After graduating from the UO, O’Connell served two years in the Navy off Vietnam, married Gwyneth, a fellow South Eugene grad, and spent a year in Eastern Oregon, teaching art at five different high schools. He returned to Eugene for an MFA and got a job at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario.

Google the name “Russian Red” and you’ll come up with numerous links directing you to cosmetic shops. That’s because Russian Red is the stage handle of Lourdes Hernández, a Spanish woman who took the name from her preferred lipstick color. 

Phish hasn’t played Eugene since 1994. Hard to believe, but look it up: It’s true. One might think inheritors of the Grateful Dead’s status of jam-band Grand Poobah would go along with Eugene like Tevas and Odwalla. But alas, nary a tour stop here for 20 years. 

The cliché says musicians blaze bright and burn out fast. But some musicians, like Loudon Wainwright III, simply persevere. In the business since 1970 but not exactly a household name, Wainwright is a storytelling lyricist not constrained by the folk idiom (or any idiom, really). He’s a pop songwriter with a quirky personality and a dark sense of humor, and a musician deeply schooled in American music history but without reverence for any of it. 

Deception — slick, fertile, invasive deception. The Very Little Theatre’s latest production, Private Eyes, floods the theater with the sickening ocean of emotion that comes from being lied to by a lover, then dangles a life preserver just out of reach. This funny and painful play examines the concept of deceit in every possible manner: the deceit of your spouse, your shrink, yourself, even your audience.