• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Lead Stories

Of the three school districts in the Eugene-Springfield area, Bethel School District, with 5,700 students in northwest Eugene, is considered more diminutive than the rest. That’s not entirely accurate, Bethel Superintendent Colt Gill says, when you take a look at the bigger picture. “There are just under 200 school districts in Oregon, and out of those 200, Bethel is the 24th largest school district,” he says. “So in the area, we’re considered kind of small, but in the state, we’re considered one of the largest districts because we’re in the top 25.”

The first thing a visitor notices about the Saraha Children’s School is the peace and quiet. Nestled in a dappled oak savannah in Eugene’s South Hills, the Tibetan Buddhist K-8 school currently serves just four children with two full-time teachers, although it has the capacity for someday accommodating 30 students. The atmosphere is downright relaxing. 

As a younger child, I attended three elementary schools: Edison Elementary School, Parker Elementary School and Camas Ridge Community School. I always had to get used to making new friends, getting a new routine and getting used to a new school. 

Back in elementary school, I never thought I would be this close to high school. All I was thinking about was when recess was going to be and if I should yell at boys to stop being so annoying. Now I have to think about the next four years of my life until I graduate and possibly go to college. 

Graduate high school. Think about your future career. Get a profession.  That is Leticia Gonzalez’s advice for her daughters. She is sitting with them at the kitchen table in their Springfield home, and they banter with each other about school, work and family.

“Sometimes I think they get tired of listening to me say ‘Go to college,’” Gonzalez says, who requested to speak with EW via an interpreter because she feels more comfortable with Spanish. “It’s the reality: work and study.” 

Sparkling sunlight pours through the panoramic windows of the courthouse, lighting the faces of an unprecedented gathering of movers and shakers from across the state and nation — all of them women.

With Mount Hood on the horizon, perhaps these women’s faces should be carved into its slopes, a sort of counterpoint to Mount Rushmore.

For a Wednesday night, it’s a good scene — a burly, handsome scene. I may be recently hitched, but I still get a little hot and bothered at the sight of some 30 men fraternizing in the dim light of Jameson’s, carousing at the long wood bar and slapping each other heartily on the back. 

Then there are the bear hugs. And by bear hug, I mean both in the sense of big, beautiful embraces and bear hugs — as in the subculture in the gay community of men who embrace a more conventional, rugged masculinity, at least as far as appearances go. The terms “lumberjack” and “biker” are a good place to start; however, the community, I find, is much more nuanced. 

With all the dazzling marriage proposals on YouTube, it’s getting more and more difficult to be original — how can you compete with flash mobs, scavenger hunts and musical ensembles? Forty-year-old McMinnville resident Daniel Evans found a way — and he used a copy of Eugene Weekly to do it.

This Valentine’s season, say goodbye to chocolates and flowers and consider treating yourself — with or without a partner — to a safe, sex-savvy workshop. 

Kim Marks, owner of the new gender-inclusive eco-conscious sex shop As You Like It, wants you to have a good sex life. And in addition to providing the toys and treats to do so, the shop will present workshops with professional sex educators covering everything from sex toys to the G-spot.  

Dating is hard for me. But I actually feel like my bar isn’t set that high: Writer/professor type ISO decent-looking man who doesn’t mind that my pitbull sleeps on the bed and that I come home most nights smelling like a horse. Must be able to construct complete sentences and spell. 

I feel like this last part is where I go awry, and my criteria even seems to offend people. Not the pitbull part — the spelling test. Potential suitors see that caveat and take it as a writer’s form of cock block. Writer’s cock block. 

“Best-kept secret” doesn’t begin to describe Eugene’s Telephone Pioneer Museum. Though visibly situated next to the CenturyLink building downtown on East 10th Avenue, the place is only identifiable from the street by an oblong window displaying rotary telephones and a small, red-lettered sign on the door reading: “MUSEUM.”

And “museum” isn’t quite the right description, either. Walking inside the rectangular room feels more like stepping into the crowded attic of some aged and nostalgic collector.

Sit beside the river and sip a glass of wine after a long day at work. Lay yourself down by the river and relax after a long run. Go fishing, go rafting, go wading, go birdwatching. 

As winter slowly starts to wind down, our river dreams start to flow. The Willamette River winds through Eugene and Springfield, and the McKenzie flows on the outskirts of town, but how often do we really see it from our urban streets? 

What is today’s best use for the 10.2 prime acres of land including the historic stadium in the center of Eugene?

And how do we pay for it?

Our community has grappled with those civic questions for decades, going back as far as the mid-1930s depth of the Great Depression, when citizens of Eugene voted for a bond measure to buy the property and build a grandstand.

More than 80 years later, the 2015 Eugene City Council soon will respond to citizen proposals for today’s best use.  EW writers Camilla Mortensen and Amy Schneider interview Bev Smith, executive director of Kidsports, and Dave Galas, managing director of Lane United Football Club (soccer), two leaders of today’s citizen efforts. 

“Gaining weight was the worst possible thing that could happen,” says 17-year-old South Eugene High School senior Sophie Kreitzberg. Returning from a 500-mile walk along Spain’s Camino de Santiago, Kreitzberg had never been so thin. “I got so much attention,” she remembers, noting that she experienced her first romance, was cast in plays and that social interaction was just easier as a thin woman. 

It has always struck me as one of the great injustices of womanhood — the monthly bloodbath from a body part that is normally reserved for sexytime (not a baby corridor just yet, thank you very much). I try to tell myself that it’s some great honor, an ancient rite of femininity that brings me closer to nature and the goddess within us all. 

We’ve all rubbed a salve into a sore muscle or joint and breathed a sweet sigh of relief.  There are the old standbys, Icy Hot or BenGay. Tiger balm has saved my lower back with its cool, soothing cloud of numbness. 

Nia is a form of exercise that mixes yoga, martial arts and dance techniques, but never mind what it is exactly: That analyzing part of your brain has no place here. Nia is about the joy of having arms and legs and knees and shoulders. It’s exploring the movements that your body loves. 

Your smartphone lets you listen to music, read the newspaper, filter your photos and find people to date. It can also help you lose weight and stay fit. If your New Year’s resolution is to have less screen time and more gym time, you might want to think again — turn your phone time to fitness time with these free apps. 

What do you dream? This year, in our second annual “I Dream of Eugene” issue, we asked for your dreams for education, for music and for rivers in our city and Lane County. And from rivers made of chocolate to downtown streets full of percussion instruments, Eugeneans (and some folks from Springfield and Corvallis too) gave us their dreams, from the funny to the poetic to the political and wonky. Hold fast to your dreams, Eugene, and thank you for sharing them.

Alex V. Cipolle

 et al.

I’m a sucker for A Charlie Brown Christmas, and as a kid I managed to tune out the whole birth of Christ thing at the end and just focus on that sad little tree  becoming beautiful once everyone comes together to decorate and nurture it (and nurture Charlie Brown himself). 

The holidays, whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Winter Solstice or don’t celebrate anything at all, bring a focus on giving — sometimes it’s the crass commercialism bemoaned by Charlie Brown, sometimes it’s gifts of love or kindness and, sometimes, it’s because you just realized the year is about to end and it’s time to donate and get a tax write-off.

Whatever your reason for giving, donating or volunteering, Give Guide is our annual offering of local nonprofits worth giving to.

It always begins this way — with a moment of mystical clarity and ease, eyes closing of their own accord. The head starts to sway side to side with the steady pizzicato of the upright bass. A sound so open and full, you could stand in it. 

Then comes the circular sound of brushes on a snare drum — fluid, guitar and piano key flavors, and finally, floating on top, a voice: Oh, I hate to see the evening sun go down, ’cause my lovin’ baby done left this town

EW's annual book issue.

The title of her new book is Falling from Horses, Oregon author Molly Gloss clarifies, not Falling off Horses. The preposition might seem to be a fine distinction, but Gloss says the title is meant as a metaphor — when you say falling off a horse, it is just about falling off a horse, she says. But there is “something subtle in the use of the other preposition, a more complicated question of not just the physical act of falling off a horse,” but instead a metaphor of “falling away” — falling away not only from horses but also from the heroism inherent in the cowboy mythology of the West.

Many of the best graphic novels published this year detail stories of expanding frontiers. Some of these transgressed borders are physical, while others are spiritual or emotional. All of these books, however, celebrate the spirit of exploration that comics so vividly bring to life.

fiction

 

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss. DAW Books, Inc., $18.95.