• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Lead Stories

Bisexuals don’t eat cheeseburgers.

This thought had never crossed my mind in 20 years of advocating for LGBTQ people and issues. But having come out of the closet as a bisexual just a few days earlier, it seemed like this might be true.

Beth Pinkerton’s first time performing standup comedy was in March. As of June 28, she was opening for a national act — comedian Jen Kirkman — at Cozmic, where Pinkerton brought down the house with her outsider views of Eugene. It takes some serious chutzpah to tell a Chaco-wearing, CSA-subscribing crowd of the hippie noblesse that you buy your produce at Walmart, you eat at Taco Bell and that you, Eugene, can go fuck yourself already. 

On the morning of Friday, June 26, my girlfriend coaxed me awake, smiling, eager for me to hear the decision from SCOTUS that state-level bans on same-sex marriage were declared unconstitutional. In our groggy relief, we held each other quietly, then got ready for the day.

It was hot — three-digits hot — and we were on our way to a friend’s wedding rehearsal dinner. Our phones buzzed with texts and updates. My ex-husband called, excitedly asking me if I heard the news. 

Standing beneath the oculus of the church dome with lazy afternoon sunlight filtering through its circular opening, artist Daniel Balter points to a 6-foot-tall figure he sketched in charcoal on the walls the night before. It’s archangel Michael, complete with flowing robes, wings and halo. 

The Whiteaker Block Party will not be televised.

As an annual expression of the contested soul of the Whit, the block party is a shot in the arm for the communal side of neighborhood living, in all its sloppy, carnal, artistic glory. It’s at the Whiteaker Block Party that seething, sweaty mobs — gawkers and gackers, locals and carpetbaggers, heps and asshats — coalesce in celebration of the creativity that springs up when a once-and-former slum becomes home to a ragtag coalition of beautiful losers.

The real G-spot of the block party isn’t just at the G-Spot stage, but rather among all those dwellings lining the Whiteaker streets that host shows featuring everything from screamo country to good ol’ garage rock.

At one end, the blue-and-white Tacovore calavera grins down upon tattooed neo-yuppies lined up to swill cocktails and scarf quasi-Mexican style grub. Follow the acrid scent of fermenting mash north to where the brilliant Ninkasi marquee lights up the sidewalk. Late-model cars stamped with Lexus and Mercedes logos pepper the side streets along the way. On a Saturday evening, Eugeneans from all corners of the city crisscross the northern stretch of Blair Boulevard, comparing lengthy waiting lists at boutique restaurants.

Billy the Jack Russell terrier mix bounds fearlessly over a stream bank and into the water, plunging after a stick and bringing it back to the feet of Briana Kemp, who tosses the stick back into the water. Elsewhere, Norwich terrier mix Penny has her nose to the ground, sniffing out all there is to sniff. 

Lane County dog owners have plenty of off-leash dog park options when it comes to letting their pooches run free. 

And who better to explore our many dog park choices than my trusty canine interns: Huckleberry, a teddy bear-Ewok hybrid from the shelter, and Togo, an Alaskan husky with legs like stilts.

With cooped birds all around me, I wasn’t prepared when pigeon enthusiast Rod Workman quickly encouraged his two doves to jump from his hands to my shoulder and arm. But there they sat, one with a single wing stretched out lazily, soaking up the sun as it perched on my shoulder. 

Inevitably when I come home from a horse show and my friends ask me how I fared, my response starts off with, “Well, my dressage score sucked.” Or I tell them, “I swear that judge hates my horse.” (It’s more probable my high-strung horse Cairo hates dressage, a sport of athleticism and endless patience. She sorely lacks the latter.)

Congrats to the furry, fluffy and adorable winners of our photo contest, and thank you to all who entered!

Cats are winning. As I write this, my cat, Elsie, slinks around my legs, looking up at me, knowingly. Cats have always known they were winners; it just took society, with a helpful boop from the internet, some time to catch up.

Most of us have figured out by now that we are toast: Humanity will be wiped out by an asteroid, supernova, massive volcanic eruptions, global axis shift, some untreatable virus, nuclear war or climate change. Our sun is going supernova. We’ve seen the disaster movies, read the books and laughed at the cartoons. 

But how quickly?

Just a few weeks back on a hot Friday morning, I stood in a field with outgoing Oregon Country Fair general manager Charlie Ruff and his replacement, Tom Gannon, the three of us surveying the “New Area,” a 6-acre expanse that opens this year as a brand new part of the Fair’s general stomping grounds.

“The thing I love most about the Fair,” says Charlie Ruff, Oregon Country Fair’s outgoing general manager “is that, at its best, as a community, people can come and be themselves — they can express themselves in an environment as free from judgment as you’ll find.” 

Shirley Musgrove is a costume designer and puppeteer, most known for her elaborate Oregon Country Fair costumes, which include a unicorn and fiery phoenix. One year, she dressed as a wolf and made people howl if they wanted a photo with her. 

You’ve bought a ticket to the Oregon Country Fair and chances are high that at some point during the three-day odyssey, you will develop the munchies, suddenly needing a place to satiate this supernatural hunger.

Walking down the trodden dirt path of the Oregon Country Fair can be intimidating at first. To your left, there’s a beeswax candle merchant; to your right is a group of leather-clad didgeridoo players. Straight ahead, on a wooden stage in a meadow, a jam band that may or not be the Grateful Dead reincarnated plays.

The Fair offers a ton of great live music from which to chose, and here are a few acts you won't want to miss. 

“Childcare has been a part of the Oregon Country Fair for 37 years,” co-coordinator Johnny Whiddon says. “Parents need a break, kids need a break. We try to provide a Fair experience, tailored to the little guys.” 

In 1994, I was one year old, sitting in the grass wearing a blue floral dress and eating a Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Peace Pop. This made sense: Like many children of Deadheads, my parents had brought me to the Grateful Dead show at Autzen Stadium on June 17, 1994. 

My parents met in the summer of ’88 on their way to a Dead show at Autzen. My mom had never been to Oregon and needed a ride from Los Angeles; my dad gave her one. 

Five years later, I was born and they were taking me to Grateful Dead concerts.  

Well, Oregon, we’ve come a long way. As of July 1, recreational marijuana use is legal for adults. Prohibition ends at last. Reefer madness, at least for now, has found its antidote, and it turns out it was legal, regulated marijuana all along.

We hope that this will be the start of a greener, brighter chapter in pot’s problematic history — an era in which cannabis research proliferates and the number of people in prison for marijuana offenses drops off; when all the benefits of marijuana are explored without fear or resistance.

In this special issue, we give you the lowdown on legalization (“Legal Weed 101”), designer marijuana strains and customizing your high (“Smoke the Rainbow”), the effects of marijuana on the developing brain (“No Brainer”) and the growing issue of pesticide use on marijuana, especially in concentrated forms like butane hash oil (“Dirty Medicine”). 

But, buyer beware. On the eve of the repeal of prohibition, moonshiners still abound. And if the history of commodification tells us anything, when a substance goes from illicit to legal, snake oil salesmen will creep out of every capitalist corner. In a gold rush, or rather a green rush, it’s every man for himself.

So inhale, exhale, enjoy, be safe and educate yourself. Marijuana is a mighty substance, but we have a lot left to learn.

Five years ago a friend handed Will Thysell a piece of “shatter.” The glossy golden marijuana extract immediately intrigued him.

“I just had never seen anything like it,” Thysell says. “The look, the taste, the feel, was completely new.” He tried the potent extract and knew it could help a loved one in chronic pain. His godfather had scarring on his heart and lungs caused by severe shingles — a condition he described as a million burning-hot needles poking him.

“I gave him a dab of it and he just let out this relaxed breath, and he said, ‘It’s like a warm blanket evaporating my shingle pain,” remembers Thysell, who owns Next Level Wellness, a medical marijuana dispensary in South Eugene. “At that point I immediately knew I was going to take it upon myself to do two things: make sure he had enough of it as he needed and that it was going to be as clean as a product that it possibly could be.”

Legalize it …” Peter Tosh sang in 1976 and, nearly 40 years later, Oregon did.

Thanks to the passing of Measure 91, all you covert recreational puffers can, as of July 1, take a deep breath and partake legally of recreational marijuana.