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On Sept. 11, 2001, an informal interfaith prayer gathering took place on the steps of the former City Hall building in downtown Eugene. 

One month later, members of the Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i and Native American communities organized an interfaith service at First Christian Church in Eugene. It was the start of the longest running interfaith service in North America.

The fight over the initiative process in Lane County took a new turn last month.

Judge Karsten Rasmussen, presiding judge of the Lane County Circuit Court, offered wins to both the progressive organization Community Rights Lane County and to retired Eugene attorney Stan Long in the battle over how — or whether — the county places initiatives on the ballot for voters to decide on future county ordinances. 

A South Eugene high school student found homosexual slurs graffitied on one of the school’s gender-inclusive restrooms. An African-American man, whose car had symbols indicating his race and military rank, found his driver’s side mirror broken and a crack in his windshield. A local nonprofit found a swastika painted on its glass window, accompanied by swear words disparaging the victim of the hate crime.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Francesco Lecce-Chong has been named the new music director of the Eugene Symphony.

Wednesday’s announcement concludes the symphony’s yearlong search to find a conductor to replace Danail Rachev, who leaves his job as music director after the season wraps up with a final concert May 11.

For Southern Benton County resident Garrick Balsly, concern about his water supply and the health of his land started nearly five years ago when his widowed neighbor received a postcard in the mail.

Giustina Land & Timber, 541-345-2301, plans to hire Northwest Reforestation Services, 541-520-6215, to ground spray 48.9 acres south of Hamm Road with hexazinone, clopyralid, sulfometuron methyl and Crop Oil Concentrate. See ODF notification 2017-781-04828, call Brian Peterson at 541-935-2283 with questions.

• The combination of Jane VanBoskirk, Eleanor Roosevelt and Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon filled every seat in the Wildish Theater on April 20. In a performance sponsored by Eugene Weekly, VanBoskirk did her amazing one-woman hour as Eleanor Roosevelt, and Planned Parenthood received about $4,800 to put toward their important work. A former resident of Eugene now living in Portland, VanBoskirk is playing Eleanor all over the country. She and the Wildish are planning a June 4 reprise for all those fans who were turned away.

• A second, smaller cohousing project is forming downtown while the more ambitious Oakleigh Meadow project off River Road continues, despite legal delays. Eugene Cohousing Downtown will have 15 to 20 adult housing condos, plus ground-floor parking and commercial spaces, and will not be seeking planning variances or applying for city tax breaks. The site is a mostly vacant lot on the west side of Lincoln Street between Broadway and 10th Avenue, next to Lincoln Terrace.

On a rainy night in January, the National Association of Realtors published an article that should have alarmed every hopeful homeowner, empty-nester, and business entrepreneur in Eugene.

Seattle — where the median home value recently tipped past $620,000 — was named the most-constrained, least accessible housing market in the country.

But who was second?

Eugene.

My name is Caroline Lundquist; students call me Dr. L. I teach ethics and critical thinking at Lane Community College. But I may not teach them next year. Philosophy at Lane is on the chopping block. 

Cultural diversity stood at center stage when our Lane County commissioners bypassed conservative and liberal women and struck a blow for civil liberty. At this rate, we may have to change the name of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Pat Farr Way … or Farr Away.

Singer-guitarist Kait Eldridge is the epitome of a dedicated bandleader. She’s prevailed through various line-up changes and relocations across the country, all while remaining the sole songwriter of the band Big Eyes.

For some musicians, performing is just stepping onto a stage, singing into a mic, playing a guitar, hitting a few drums — or whatever else — and walking off. That’s not the case for singer Siri Vik.

Colorado musician Gregory Alan Isakov is used to fronting rock bands — or singing alone with just his guitar. So he has to reach to describe the experience of performing his music backed by an entire symphony orchestra.

Portland roots-harmony sister trio Joseph take their name from the northeastern Oregon town of Joseph. Band member Allison Closner says she and her sisters spent their summers as children in Joseph visiting their grandfather. “Initially it was the town that inspired us,” Closner explains. “We’d go out there every summer — swimming in the lake and camping and going up in the mountains. It felt like a piece of us.”

EW FAILS TO SAVE PLANET

Earth Day has become something of a joke, an ineffective gesture now pretty much forgotten. But nobody told Eugene Weekly.

Last week’s “Sustainabilty Issue” (4/20) is about consumer choices and an overall acceptance of environmental disaster – really nothing at all in terms of stopping it. Tiny moves like collecting rainwater and a new fiber-optic internet system for downtown.

It’s not every day that an established playwright and screenwriter passes on an opportunity to create an updated Broadway show, but that’s just what Douglas Carter Beane (To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar) initially did. 

Some people look forward to retirement. They plan for the time when they can stop working and do nothing but take it easy and relax.

Artists aren’t usually among those people. Take Picasso, for example: He lived to 91 and famously worked through his later years. Or consider Georgia O’Keeffe, who lived to be almost 100 years old. When her eyesight failed, she switched from painting to sculpture so she could keep working. 

I’m a 31-year-old gay male. I’ve been with my fiancé for three years, and we are getting married in the fall. I’ve got a question about initiating sex in my sleep—I read somewhere that “sexsomnia” is the “medical” term, but maybe the internet invented that? According to my fiancé, I have initiated or performed some kind of sex act in the middle of the night and then gone right back to sleep. The next day, I don’t remember anything.

A carousing alcoholic with a tendency toward blackout, Gloria (the excellent Anne Hathaway) saunters home at sunrise one morning to find that her boyfriend, Tim (Dan Stevens), has packed her bags. Game over: It’s time for this girl — and her lies, lame excuses and generally bad behavior — to go. Goodbye New York, farewell failed writing career and hello Midwest hometown, where Gloria, tail between her legs, shacks up in a vacant rental owned by her conspicuously absent parents.

The stereotype of a disaster prepper is that of a man alone in the woods, hoarding cans of baked beans and bullets to fend off neighbors after the apocalypse. Few may know, however, that the best chances a community has for survival come from working together and looking after each other.

This information is particularly compelling with the knowledge that severe weather patterns are more likely as rising global temperatures ravage our normal ecology and shift local weather patterns. Hot, dry summers increase the risk of wildfires, and unpredictable, wet winters can lead to floods, landslides and severe winter storms. 

There are a number of considerable environmental hazards to prepare for in Lane County, not to mention the coming Cascadia subduction zone earthquake that involves many similar preparations.

Going green can be achieved by making changes big or small. Three main contributors to greenhouse gases are transportation, what types of food you buy — i.e. where it comes from and how it’s packaged — and how you heat and cool your home, according to Linda Kelly with 350 Eugene. 

“One of the main things to think about is our personal habits that can really affect our carbon footprint,” she says. 

Little changes that people can make at home begin by taking shorter showers, washing clothes in cold water and putting on a sweater instead of turning up the heat. 

Virtually no protections are in place to safeguard watersheds and streams — both sources of drinking water in Oregon — from being contaminated by herbicides, says Jason Gonzales of Oregon Wild. This is just one of the pressing issues that environmental protection bills in Oregon’s 2017 Legislative session aim to address. 

Imagine internet so fast you could download nine hours of audio in less than a second, or a two-hour movie in less than 10. That fantasy is about to become a reality in downtown Eugene.

The city has begun a project to connect up to 120 downtown buildings with fiber-optic internet services, meaning businesses will soon have access to much faster internet at much lower prices. The glass cables used in fiber enable significantly faster data transfer than their copper counterparts, including download speeds of one gigabit — or 125 megabytes — per second for around $100 a month.