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Columns

Donald Trump’s final outrage against the Republicans in his campaign for president will be to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Why do so many homeless people have dogs? This question comes up a lot in our town, where many people hang around downtown with their animals.

The first answer is a simple one: Homeless people have animals for all the same reasons housed people have them. It’s a great feeling to be loved and accepted without judgment, to have a warm companion to hug when you are feeling sad, and a friend who is always ready to walk with you—no matter how far you have to go.

My wife and I have been together for more than 10 years, practicing some kind of nonmonogamy for more than seven. We tried different things—open, dating others, FWBs—but after a bi threesome with another guy a year ago, we knew that was our thing. For a while, everything was great, but roughly a month after that defining threesome, I came down with a bad case of mono. In a couple of months, we resumed our bi sexdates with our FWB, and I noticed I had a hard time getting horny and even had a hard time getting (and staying) hard.

The Oregon Legislature fizzled to a halt as expected. Now the real fun starts. You think paid sick leave for workers and carbon emission standards will not exact a price at the ballot box in 2016? The lack of compromise and the partisan fights over a transportation package and the minimum wage now spill over into the next initiative season, and it’s going to be an expensive ride. 

I have been happily married for 12 years. I’m deeply in love with my wife—she’s amazing, very sexy and gorgeous. I used to be jealous, but about six years ago, I lost my feelings of jealousy. In their place, I developed a strong desire to share my wife with other men. It’s my only fantasy. She knows about this, but she says it’s wrong. I never asked her to actually do it. Am I wrong for feeling this way?

A Shamed Husband, A Marital Erotic Deadlock

I submitted this column at 9 am Monday, July 6. I just got off the phone with Val Hoyle, who has not been recalled … yet. As of 9 am the Oregon Legislature has the capability, but not the will, to be done. 

I entered into a civil union with another woman in Vermont in 2000. My ex and I were together until 2003, when we decided to go our separate ways. It is now 2015, and my new partner (who happens to be male) and I are expecting a baby and talking about getting married. We live in Texas. I know that there are ways to dissolve my civil union in Vermont, but I can’t get ahold of my ex (ex-wife? Ex-CUer?) to sign any of the forms. Neither do I want to, because frankly it was an abusive relationship and I still bear emotional scars.

Our city has a serious housing problem that the Eugene City Council cannot continue to ignore. When I got on the council in 2009, 40 percent of Eugene’s households were considered “rent-burdened” because they were paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Since then the situation has only worsened; yet during the same period, the council has granted millions in tax breaks for upscale student housing projects that did nothing to address our most pressing housing needs.

The tension in Salem at the end of any legislative session is attractive if you’re an unrelenting sociopath who loves pain and heartbreak. With the preceding five months of plodding public process behind them, partisan legislators will finally cast their votes in stone in early July. The game will only finish when the budgets are decided. It’s one of the things I miss most about being out of the Legislature for the past 12 years. I loved counting votes.

June 26, 2015, 6:30 am. I drift into wakefulness, my darling Wifey asleep beside me, the window air conditioner whirring in its valiant effort to keep our bedroom cool overnight. The cats are still curled up, too early even for their breakfast yowling.

This is going to sound like bragging, but my appearance is intrinsic to my kink. I’m a gay male gymnast. Most of the guys on my college team are annoyed by the kind of objectification we routinely come in for. (We actually don’t want to be auctioned off at yet another sorority fundraiser, thanks.) But I’ve always been turned on by the thought of being a piece of meat. I’ve masturbated for years about dehumanization. Being in bondage, hooded, and gagged—not a person anymore, faceless, nude, on display, completely helpless.

Oregon’s 30-year “Ancient Forest War” has seen scores of lawsuits, big and small, yielding hundreds of court opinions and orders. From Judge Dwyer’s iconic 1991 spotted owl bombshell (“The argument that the mightiest economy on Earth cannot afford to preserve old growth forests for a short time, while it reaches an overdue decision on how to manage them, is not convincing today. It would be even less so a year or a century from now.”) to lesser-known injunctions that have protected the rare plants and invertebrates that make up the forest’s web of life, the courts have said unequivocally that environmental laws mean what they say.

In the heat of the day, we found relief standing in shallow water. Seven of us remained after a tour of the farm and the forested edge of the McKenzie River. Parent conversation roamed across trade-offs between herbicide use and the spread of invasive weeds, climate change and personal change, how to be a good father, how to be a good neighbor. Meanwhile the kids swished scoop nets in the ponded side channel, wowing over tadpoles, boatmen, mosquito fish and dragonfly larva. The air continued to warm, and with it the number of adult dragonflies zig-zagging around us increased as well.

I’m a little nervous here, a little distracted. But don’t worry, I’ll cover the slug-like inactivity of the Oregon Legislature in a moment. 

Frankly, a bigger issue looms at the moment. We may be headed for a global theological/scientific Mongolian clusterfluck — not to be confused with climate change or global warming or the Sixth Great Extinction. This is much seriouser! I can see the donnybrook coming.

I am a male grad student who is technically engaged to a female grad student. She has numerous positive qualities, but she is repulsed by sex. She is very sensitive about her repulsion and becomes distraught when I broach the subject. She says that even the thought of doing anything sexual with me elicits a panic attack. She also insists that she is “broken” because, in the hopes of preventing me from leaving her, she forced herself to go further than she felt comfortable. We are both virgins, and the furthest that we ever went sexually was cunnilingus.

Noah Michael DeWitt was a shining example of how to be. His sparkling brown eyes would absorb pain from yours when you were sad. He’d listen to you talk about what makes you happy with rapt attention.

June is a tough month for Oregon legislators for a variety of reasons. There’s pressure to get out of the building by the 4th of July. Since it is a citizen Legislature, many of the members are missing work, and employers want their employees back. And, five months into session, members have listened to their colleagues’ positions and those of the other three caucuses ad infinitem and ad nauseum.

My boyfriend and I both spent a lot of time masturbating when we were young, and pretty much trained our brains to come only one way. He can only come from masturbating furiously, or sometimes from a marathon of jackhammer sex. A few years before I met him, I toned down the masturbating to retrain my brain and pussy and tried a bunch of new things, and I can now come from different acts and positions. It wasn’t easy, but I am so happy with this versatility. I’m starting to get annoyed that he isn’t working harder to overcome this jackhammering reliance.

Earthquake day in Nepal minus one — 2 pm Friday, April 24, I’m in a coffee shop in Berkeley. I hit the “send” button on a newsletter to my fellow Nepal 7 RPCV’s (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) for our 50th reunion in August. My husband, Tom, and I are visiting here from Eugene to attend a dinner for retired Berkeley cops (my husband’s career) and to visit our son’s family. An hour later, 46 out of 76 have opened the newsletter. Success!

This first week of retirement has been pretty uneventful so far … except for my new top-secret assignment from Gov. Kate Brown. But more about that later. 

Note to the Lane Board of County Commissioners: Refusing to enforce laws because we don’t like them is flirting with anarchy. Before going anarchy all the way, I wish you would paint a center stripe on the street in front of my house.

Nesting season is coming to a close this month, easily noticed with geese and turkey nestlings that leave their nests and swim or run right after hatching. One of the enjoyable sights of early summer is watching a troop of goslings or chicks paddling or scurrying around after their parents. They are out feeding for themselves, learning how to find and handle their food by following their parents. Most songbird babies stay in the nest until they are ready to fly. After they fledge and leave the nest, they are pretty much on their own.

I strongly urge Eugene’s leaders to ban tobacco smoking in public areas. As a longtime resident of Eugene and outdoor enthusiast, I appreciate our many opportunities for recreation.  As I cycle along the Willamette River bike trail, I also love to see how many other people enjoy our parks and public places. Having safe places for people to exercise or have family picnics while their children run and play are essential to our community’s well-being and liveability. By making downtown and city parks smoke-free, Eugene will once again be in the forefront of communities working together to protect residents from the harms of secondhand smoke. 

Recently there has been some confusion regarding proposals associated with “riverkeepers” and “river guardians” in Eugene. Willamette Riverkeeper (WR) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Willamette River. We accomplish this mission through four key initiatives: clean river, monitoring, river discovery education and habitat restoration.