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Columns

You’ve heard of the cart before the horse? This is the property sale before the plan. It’s also swift action to forestall any prolonged controversy over the Courthouse Garden.

It seems that Eugene city government, both appointed and some elected, wants to seal a deal on the Courthouse Garden site (triangle site) before the general public knows what we’re losing. The agenda item selling the nearly two-acre site for $1.23 million plus many perks was so rushed that EW knew about it before at least one councilor.

I read with great interest this past week about the city agreeing to sell the “triangle site” east of the new U.S. Courthouse. A great deal of the comments centered on the relocation or suspension of the “garden.”

It helps to have a sense of humor when making a transition to life in the country. My daughter Anna, her husband, Will, and their seven-year-old son Ian, moved last year from Austin, Texas, to a small farm west of Eugene. When the chores are done they bring chairs from the house and place them in front of a screened window in the chicken coop. From there they can see the birds scratch for food, take dust baths and act out their pecking order. They call it watching chicken TV. 

DEAR READERS: I’m writing this week’s column in a drug-induced coma. Well, not quite a coma, but close. I was fighting a cold for two weeks, and the cold won: It morphed into an insanely painful sinus infection—you know it’s bad when your doctor urges you to err on the side of too much Vicodin, not too little. So a warning to everyone whose letter appears in this week’s column: My reliably sucky advice is probably going to be suckier than usual.

 

The American wigeons are back in the Delta Ponds. I believe these are the first of our winter migrants to arrive. I look forward to the increasing diversity of waterfowl. On our side of the Delta Highway we have had only mallards and Canada geese for a long time.

Turtles can be seen in the Delta Ponds on the west side of Delta Highway but it appears the cormorants have usurped them from their favorite logs. With increasing cold weather and less sun showing, the turtles will burrow into the mud at the bottom of the ponds to brumate.

They broke the mold when Betty was born — she’s one of a kind! Deciding to support Betty Taylor’s re-election to the Eugene City Council Ward 2 is fairly simple: Not only is she a home-town hero, respected across Oregon and in Washington, D.C., she’s really the only qualified candidate in the race, by far.

Rep. Peter DeFazio has been quoting Art Robinson’s own words on billboards. Robinson claims that these words make him look crazy. There is a sure way for Robinson to avoid looking crazy: He can announce that he is voting for DeFazio.

So I was innocently browsing the personal ads on Craigslist and saw one from a dude who was looking to try “saline balls” for the first time. Having no idea what this was, I googled it. Even worse, I google-imaged it. I pride myself on being unshockable, but I was completely and utterly mortified at what I saw. With that said, my copious internet searching failed to yield the answers to the basic/most important questions regarding saline balls: (1) What is the procedure/process for salining one’s balls? (2) What about it turns on the saliner/salinee?

In his last run against Peter DeFazio, Art Robinson said Social Security was bad and he would try to end it. This time around he complains that Social Security isn’t paying out enough in benefits. Isn’t this like the guy who told his waitress that his meal was awful, and then complained that the portions were too small?

Occupy Eugene (OE) celebrated its first anniversary Oct. 15 and began its second year of activism. This milestone offers an opportunity to look back to where Occupy has been, and forward to where the movement is going, as well as invite all of you to join in that journey.

What the hell do I say to my straight 14-year-old son about porn? Should I say anything? My sister tells me that all the research shows my son has been looking at porn for three years already. Am I too late?

Distressed Anxious Dad

 

History has conspired to place you at the presidential helm during a turning point moment of unprecedented global significance. The climate crisis preceded your presidency and will still be with us when it ends.

Running 150-car coal trains that spew coal dust, belch diesel fumes and snarl traffic throughout Eugene just might make environmentalists out of all of us.

I’m pro-choice. The anti-choice position — particularly the dumb contention that “personhood” begins when sperm hits egg — is illogical and unappealing. It’s not the most unappealing quality I can think of in a partner, though — that would probably be dishonesty. Your advice last week to the young woman who discovered that her boyfriend is anti-choice was terrible. You advised LIFE to tell her boyfriend that she’s pregnant in order to see if that changes his position.

In the week before Oct. 15, 2011, word spread faster than anyone in Eugene expected. We knew something terribly wrong had been developing in America, but it took a Canadian activist group, Adbusters, to rivet attention on Wall Street — Ground Zero for the economic meltdown.

After reading the R-G’s editorial endorsing Juan Carlos Valle for City Council over Betty Taylor — where Taylor is described as “a woman of incorruptible conviction,” as a person who is “willing to stand for what she believes in,” and as unwilling to compromise those beliefs — I felt like moving to her ward just so I could vote for her.

I recently discovered that my boyfriend of seven months and I have opposing viewpoints on the whole “life begins at conception” issue. He’s not a crazy zealot, but he is strongly against abortion. And while he won’t go so far as to say abortion should be banned, he does believe in the whole “personhood” concept, i.e., that a fetus — from the moment of conception — is a person with the same rights as any other person. This shocked me, and I almost broke up with him.

Fifty years ago, on Oct. 12, 1962, the great Columbus Day Storm passed through Oregon. With winds surpassing 100 mph in most of the Willamette Valley, it was the most severe windstorm recorded, so powerful that many anemometers simply blew apart!

If the West Eugene EmX Extension is put to a public vote, be ready to stock up on NoDoz for the campaign.

Wifey biked home from work at her usual time, in the heat of a late summer afternoon. The screen door creaked. “Hi Honey, I’m homo!”

Last week, I appeared at a “Savage Love Live” event at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. Questions are submitted on index cards at SLL events, which allows questioners to remain anonymous and forces them to be succinct. The crowd at Radford was large and inquisitive. The students submitted more questions than I could possibly hope to answer in two hours—and Radford students also managed to stump me. Twice.

Once again we are seeing more than a thousand homes lost to a hurricane in Louisiana. This time around, some wise investments in infrastructure saved New Orleans, but what happens to those outside the new levee systems who have lost their homes?