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Two years ago, I found a letter in my sister’s car informing her that the blood she gave during a charity blood drive had tested positive for HIV. I didn’t say anything to her at the time, because it was a really bad time, I wasn’t supposed to find out, and I didn’t know what to say. In the time since, there were a couple times that it sounded like she came close to telling me, but never did. I worry she never will.

Individualism is the antithesis of communalism and cooperation. It is a powerful idea, mostly a male notion, and it permeates our society. We are very likely the most individualistic society on the planet or in history. This essay is about the ways individualism works to prevent the mitigation of global warming.

I’ve been having a month-long email conversation with West Lane Commissioner Jay Bozievich regarding the termination of former county administrator Liane Richardson, the role she alleges he played in the activities leading to her firing and the now famous 29-plus pages of redaction of the Olson Report, which was the basis for the Richardson termination. May I share some information and some opinions based on that email conversation?

If President Lyndon Johnson had been around to see the House Republicans refusing to reopen the government until they got some concession for their efforts, he would have advised them, “While you’re saving your face you’re losing your ass.”

My girlfriend always responds positively when I initiate sex with her, but she hardly ever initiates sex with me. I’m a no-beat-around-the-bush kind of guy, but I realize that this can be a sensitive topic, and I don’t want to scare her by saying, “Please initiate sex more often!” So I do small things to coax her and let her know that I want her to initiate. I will lotion up in front of her after we shower.

The bad news is that the Congress members who shut down the government are still being paid. The good news is that the nation no longer needs an immigration plan. The Republicans have the country so screwed up that even immigrants here legally have begun to self-deport.

My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and we live together. Recently, his ex was killed in a car accident. They were not on good terms, and he often made scathing statements about her. I made the mistake of saying the following several days after her death (after offering him my sympathy on numerous occasions): “I don’t know how to help you grieve in this situation because you didn’t like her.” Obviously, that was a stupid, careless thing to say. I apologized numerous times, and he said that he forgave me. Fast-forward two weeks.

The chanterelle season got a bountiful start this year. A dry summer favors high production in this mushroom. Then rains followed by a warm spell made the first flush not only plentiful but with wonderful shape and form.

A large mural on the former Goodwill building in River Road illustrates what an eco-friendly cluster of neighborhood scale local businesses might look like. There is a cafe, a bakery and small grocery with boxes of veggies out front. 

The scene I painted 10 years ago is complete with images of real people from the neighborhood meeting and greeting each other and even favorite Eugene guitar player Eagle Park Slim.

What better time to celebrate the connections being made between kids and local food than October with the harvest season at its height and the school year in full swing. The Willamette Farm and Food Coalition’s Farm to School Program is actively working with the Bethel, Eugene, Springfield and Oakridge school districts to educate students about where their food comes from, provide their families with resources to access healthy, locally grown foods and assist district Nutrition Services in incorporating more locally grown foods into school meals. 

When you see the UO athletic department pricing ordinary fans out of Autzen and dumping local longtime suppliers of goods and services in favor of big out-of-state firms, you can tell that the Ducks have been winning too many games.

I visited Halifax, Nova Scotia, last week — for my geographically illiterate fellow Americans, Halifax is the biggest city on Canada’s Atlantic coast — to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Coast, Halifax’s kick-ass alternative weekly newspaper. The paper brought me to town to do Savage Love Live. I took questions for two hours in the auditorium of a brand-new Halifax high school that has a full bar.

I’m deeply involved in the Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing (OMC) project situated in the River Road area along the Willamette River and bike path. Planning is under way with the city of Eugene and we’re aiming to break ground June 2014. I’m also a River Road resident and OMC household member along with my wife and two boys – we currently live just a block away from the beautiful cohousing site where we’ve gathered many times with friends and family.

The only good that will come out of this government shutdown is that it will be much easier now to find parking in D.C.

Gotta hand it to the IRS. I don’t mean literally hand over your owed taxes — although unless you’re a valiant anti-war tax-resister doing civil disobedience, you probably should pay up, especially now that Obama is closing loopholes on tax-avoiding fat cats (no offense to felines of size). I’m saying hand some figurative credit to the Internal Revenue Service for growing a pair (that means ovaries, right?) and taking a stand for justice.

I am a straight male, 30, in a long-term monogamous relationship. I love my wife, we have good sex, and often. When we first got together, I had a mild foot fetish, and she has gorgeous pedis. We have done and still do foot play on occasion. But my fetish has grown stronger as time has passed, and I have grown thirstier for her appendages. They are all I can think about. I am still willing to do everything with my partner and make sure she is satisfied. I don’t want anyone else, and the relationship is wonderful other than this issue.

A recent survey ranked UO as 20th among the nation’s best party schools. With Capstone’s Animal House Plus coming on line, watch for Oregon to break into the top 10.

I’m a 23-year-old homo who came out one year ago. Life has done good and bad things to me. Good things include success in the intelligence lottery, a full ride to college, and now a job with a six-figure income. Sadly, I find that my place in life is different from the place occupied by most other young gay men.

I love the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Trail System. I use it almost every day to take walks with my son and dog. We love that where we live -— next to the West Bank section of the trail system — much of the trail is surrounded by the Willamette River Greenway, a mix of city parkland and open spaces. 

After the Lane County commissioners passed an ordinance setting the hours that the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza would be open (6 am to 11 pm) and cutting back its space to the smaller 71’ X 73’ terrace, they might as well have renamed it Jack in the Box Terrace. 

My question is one of etiquette. My lesbian wife and I live in an apartment. The noise pollution between flats can be pretty bad. Anyone who lives in the building is aware of this, and keeping noise down after certain hours is a common courtesy. I wouldn’t play loud music after a certain hour, or let doors slam, or break out the drum kit. If any of these things happen after around 11:30 p.m. on a work night, I don’t think I’d feel any qualms about going around to whoever is being inconsiderate and asking them to keep it down. But what about noisy sex?

It’s that time of year when the birds are getting restless. Migration is stirring in their bones — hollow bones evolved for long-distance flight. We expect thousands of Vaux’s swifts to roost in the old Agate Hall chimney for a week or so on their way south. Watch for the Audubon Society’s Friday night vigils Sept. 20 and 27 when that happens.

The equinox on Sept. 22 comes as the change in day length is at its greatest. After equinox the rate of change decelerates until the change is barely noticeable during the season of longest nights.

I’m a Savage Lovecast listener, but I’m sending this question to your column because my boyfriend would FOR SURE recognize my voice if I called the show. I’m 25, I live in Portland, and my boyfriend and I have been monogamous for five years. His dick is of average size. It’s not small enough for him to have dealt with the emotional baggage associated with “small dicks.” Yet, I’ve had sex with big dicks, and I would love to try one of those dick sheaths or extenders or whatever.

 As the Obama administration continues to market its planned war on Syria as a “limited” strike and “shot across the bow,” the language of the resolution the Congress is being asked to consider and the plans of the president’s national security team belie any such limited intention.