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The city is spending a lot of money to see what happens if it shuts down two of the four travel lanes on South Willamette and adds bike lanes on the outer edges. Motorists turning right would need to cross a bike lane, thereby setting up a risky auto/bike dance. One result is likely to be a hike in insurance premiums. But what are the mysterious unmet needs this plan is trying to address? If I had to guess, it would be: 1) Motorists want more than a shopping experience along South Willamette. They also want a memorable driving experience.

I’ve got a question I doubt you’ve ever gotten before. It has a bit of everything: sex-work etiquette, long-distance phone interaction, and a het cis chick anxious not to lose her tolerance badge. Here it goes: A few months ago, I started getting hang-up calls from numbers I didn’t recognize in Boston. Then weird texts started showing up, trying to set up “dates.” I responded to the first few because I figured someone was giving out a fake number that just happened to be mine.

In the U.S. your freedom of — and from — religion is protected. Everyone’s is. Under federal law, you have the right to believe or disbelieve whatever you want, to practice (or not) any religion you choose, and to attend the church, synagogue, mosque, temple, coven, or faerie circle of your liking — if any. That’s a lot of freedom.

I’m a 25-year-old straight guy. Last month, I was in the locker room at my gym. It was 4 a.m., and I was the only one around. I was getting ready to leave, when I noticed someone exiting the showers. He kinda caught me looking (he was very well-endowed), and I quickly turned my head, embarrassed. About 20 seconds later, he came around the corner and said, “Hey, how ya doin’?” He was still naked, and it was obvious that he was wondering if I wanted to try something.

After Oklahoma botched an execution using lethal injection, at least one other state is thinking about bringing back the firing squad. That might actually be a step forward if juries that impose the death penalty are required to serve as members of the squad.

I am a genetic male with recurrent questions about my gender identity. Straddling desires to maintain my stature in the professional world, keep my wife at my side, and become who I feel like I am, I have experimented with crossdressing, chastity, antiandrogens, and, prior to all that, steroids. While the matrimonial veto has been enacted for some feminine expressions, my wife and I have reached a middle ground where I can pursue sexual and aesthetic androgyny. I have started wearing unisex clothes, stepped up cardio to sculpt a more feminine shape, and am getting hair removal done.

I’m a 21-year-old straight male, and I’m mildly autistic. This means that I have difficulty picking up on social cues. I’ve learned to manage my disability in most areas of my life, but I’ve recently become concerned about how it pertains to hooking up. My approach to hooking up is how I imagine most other people’s must be: find someone who I can have a flowing conversation with, attempt to flirt with them, and then awkwardly make a move. But a few weeks ago at a party, I was flirting with a girl when I suddenly realized that she was wasted.

As an environmental studies major at the UO I’ve gotten very used to discussing issues of injustice and land degradation through a scholarly/ objective lens; however, I had never drawn these connections back to myself and how they affect me as an Oregonian. Never would I have imagined that a trip out to interview a community affected by pesticide drift — a predominantly middle class, white conservative community in Gold Beach — would connect directly to the working-class Latino-immigrant farmer community I grew up with in the Rogue Valley.

Any driverless car Google develops that successfully navigates city streets while avoiding jaywalkers, weaving bicyclists, distracted drivers and loose animals, is qualified to be president.

I’m a 26-year-old lesbian 18 months out of an eight-year relationship. She was my first girlfriend. I do not want to be in another monogamous relationship. I want to have a couple of sex buddies or, preferably, a couple of friends with benefits. In the last 18 months, I have had three FWB “arrangements” with different girls. The problem is, about two or three months in, each girl developed serious like/love feelings and began talking about a future together and how they want to be with me exclusively.

I believe there is no bird call more joyous than a robin at sunrise. Chickadees are definitely cheery this season but robins deserve the main stage for pure joy. Enthusiastic males declare to any lady robin in hearing distance that he offers the best territory. Once eggs are laid, it is the crowing of fatherhood.

University of Oregon students voted recently to urge the UO Foundation to divest its fossil fuel stocks. The vote to divest — which prevailed with yes votes of roughly 73 percent — should spur the foundation to sell the fossil fuel stocks that reportedly make up roughly 1 percent of the foundation’s holdings. 

On April 26, 1986, in Pripyat, Ukraine, Chernobyl Reactor #4 suffered a power increase, which caused the whole plant to burn. On the night of the incident, Chernobyl's staff ran a safety drill. An automatic shutdown was supposed to happen in case of low water levels. But operators, who lacked proper training, blocked the automatic shutdown mechanism, because they thought the shutdown would abort the test. The coolant started boiling in the reactor, and reactor power slowly increased, which caused Reactor #4 to explode.

I’ve heard your calls for bisexuals to come out to their friends and family, and I think it’s a great idea. Here’s my conundrum: I’m not sure I technically classify as “bisexual.” I’m a 40-year-old guy who strongly prefers sex with women to men (percentage-wise I’m 70/30). I’ve had sex with dudes in the past (five or six times) and loved it, though I’ve never had the same emotional attachment and attraction that I’ve had with women.

I’m looking at two memos that I wrote in July of 1991 when I worked for Congressman Peter DeFazio as a natural resource policy advisor. The memos were written on two consecutive days to reflect two meetings, one with the timber industry and the other with the environmental community. Earlier that year, all timber harvests on federal forests were halted by a federal court injunction. Thousands of jobs were at risk and the economies for many rural communities were in limbo. The two meetings were to determine if any form of compromise legislation was possible and what level of support we could expect from either side in the controversy.

If you are going to create a monopoly on beverage sales at the UO, Bigfoot is the right name for the company to run it.

My son is 19, but due to some physical and social disabilities (mostly unseen), his emotional maturity level is closer to 14, though he is quite intelligent. After a lifetime of therapists, specialized education, and other interventions, he is now a freshman in college far from home. His dad and I are paying for his tuition, room and board, and books. He was expected to use his summer job earnings for personal expenses.

Pete Sorenson

 et al.

We were talking several times over the past few months about the U.S. government's spying on the German leaders and on how most Americans associate their country with freedom. Commissioner Sorenson visited our sister county, St. Wendel in the Saarland (a German state in southwest Germany) in 2006. Because of this relationship Sorenson has some familiarity with Germans and their public policy. The German side of this relationship has also responded: our German local government counterpart visited Lane County in 2009. President Obama, who held a rally in Berlin in 2008 while campaigning for the presidency, was, in 2008 and 2009 very popular in Germany, both among leaders and the German people.

We decided that we have unique perspectives on this national relationship. So, we collaborated on this short article about spying on the American people and spying by the U.S. government on Germany's leaders.

There are signs everywhere that the modern dream of hyper-individualism, unlimited growth and consumption, is coming to an end. Its pathologies are overwhelming our future. To maintain this dream, we are told by our nation’s military leaders to expect perpetual war for at least three generations. To maintain this dream, our governments are increasingly controlled by corporations which are given constitutional rights at the same time that the rights of natural people are restricted and denied.

Parents want to trust the schools where they send their children. Teachers, like myself, want to trust the learning criteria set before us by the state. And I believe most of us want to trust our government to make the best decisions possible for the children of our nation. The problem in trusting the newly implemented Common Core Standards and Assessments is that there are too many unanswered questions for it to feel safe on any of these levels. By themselves, standards are great and teachers strive to reach them. Unfortunately, many problems are introduced when working with the standards and assessments contained in the Common Core. Here are three questions that come to mind about Common Core in our schools.

We’ve been at this equality and justice thing for a long time now. Seems like we should start prepping for our “Mission Accomplished” photo op. We’ve come so far.

But nope. Sorry. We’re not there yet. 

The Eugene City Council won’t be nominated for a Mother Teresa award this year. A few days ago the city tore down a functioning homeless camp — before having an alternative site available — and dumped the camp’s desperate residents on the street. The technical term for the thinking behind such a move is DUMB, DUMB, DUMB. Don’t we already get enough dumb from the Supreme Court? 

I’m an old guy, fast approaching geezerdom. After 45 years of marriage to the same woman, the sex has fallen off to zero. We otherwise have a great and comfortable relationship. If I want any at all these days, the only options are masturbation or professional service providers. I was very nervous the first time I paid for sex. Curiously and surprisingly, considering my Christian upbringing, I didn’t feel at all guilty. I now find the urge gets stronger as the body gets weaker.

The romantic song of chickadees cheering up the morning is living proof of the arrival of spring. When the sun comes out after a heavy rain shower, all the birds sing joyfully. There will be more and more vegetable starts in racks outside the local market while the neighborhood gardens are dominated by spring blooming flowers. It is really too early to plant much besides peas and onions. It is not too early to clean up the beds to stay ahead of the weeds.