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I own a tiny grey alpaca named Shimmer. I bought her for $250 two winters ago and she hasn’t stopped costing me money since. I’m building a small fiber business, selling Oregon yarn and hand knits online. I’m about wool. One year into my ambitious little alpaca fiber program, I thought Shimmer would be 1) pregnant by now 2) friendlier to me and 3) well … friendlier to me. 

Seventeen-year-old Courtney Scott stands by the arena at a well-maintained stable in Goshen, a few miles southeast of Eugene. She’s on crutches, her left leg in a cast due to stress fractures from dancing, but her eyes sparkle as she waits for her horse to be brought out for her to ride. The crutches make her weekly ride a little more challenging, but Scott doesn’t care.

“Here kitty, kitty. Come put on this rosary and sit next to this golden chalice like you’re taking communion.”

So it goes for BooBoo, a 17-pound Eugene tabby whose dress-up antics have earned him five million views on the website Pretty 52 and his own greeting card Etsy shop (79 sales and counting!). 

Readers, you’ve outdone yourselves. We asked for pet photos, and did we ever receive. With more than 200 submissions, it was incredibly difficult to choose the absolute best.

Pets are kind of like practice kids for some of us or, for people like me, they are straight up in lieu of bearing children — just please don’t call them fur-babies; that’s gross. 

In 2014, Crystal Webb left Alabama, landed in Eugene and moved in with a friend to kick her opiate and crystal meth addiction. 

Making the decision to get distance from an environment in which she found herself intertwined with drugs and dealers was a significant step if she wanted to get clean. Webb says she locked herself away for a month and slept. 

“It was painful, but so was using, so I guess maybe I might have been a little conditioned,” she says. “When using, every come-down was painful, so I knew what to expect, just not how long it would take.” 

Philando Castile, Alton Sterling. And before them Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland. Those are among the names we know, whose cases in the last three years came to media attention because a video of their deaths went viral or the protests were loud enough to finally draw the lens of the media. 

After a string of violent shootings across the nation last week, hundreds of people convened on the University of Oregon campus Friday, July 8, to remember black lives lost at the hands of police officers, including Alton Sterling of Louisiana and Philando Castile of Minnesota. At the vigil, leaders also mourned the lives of five police officers killed in Dallas, Texas.

Members of the Eugene/Springfield NAACP, the University of Oregon’s Black Student Union and the Black Women of Achievement organized the vigil, while members of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Springfield-Eugene chapter attended in support. 

As a former police officer, I recall that each day I went to work my family expected me to return home after my duty shift. I have a lot of friends and colleagues who are police officers and are serving their communities with the highest distinction and honor. Their families expect for them to return home after their duty shift, too.

Eugene Weekly photographer Todd Cooper arrived in Dallas on the night of July 7 shootings of police officers at a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally. While in Dallas, Cooper went to the memorial for the five slain officers and photographed the flowers and other mementos contributed by the community.Dallas Police Detective Ira Carter gave Cooper permission to photograph him as he held a rose given to him by a supporter.

 It ain’t just for hippies and trippers no more. In fact, it hasn’t been an exclusively extended drug orgy for a long time (see “Notes of a Fair Virgin” for a hilarious meditation by a non-Fair goer), if it ever was. Yes, the Fair channels the communal, carnivalesque spirit of the Age of Aquarius, but over the years it has evolved and developed into something a bit more mainstream, a bit less narcotic and yet an event unique unto itself: a distinctly Northwest dream of utopia, a self-sustaining alternative village gripped by a kind of kaleidoscopic Renaissance spirit, where folks give free reign to their artsy-craftsy eccentric selves.

 

Variety, the spice of life

 

It's All About the Ice

 

You Should Be Dancing

 

Fairly Local

 

Beauty and the Breasts 

 

Notes of a Fair Virgin

Oregon Country Fair in Pictures

The forecast for Oregon Country Fair includes a definite chance of breasts — different shapes, sizes and protruding from bodies of all kinds.

This year, however, we’re getting down to business about boobs. Katelyn Carey, author of the recently published Beauty After Breast Cancer, is giving a talk about this increasingly common milestone for women.

Survey Oregon Country Fair 2016’s music schedule and find African blues rock 'n' roll with Portland’s Dusu Mali Band (featuring Ibrahim Kelly, nephew of legendary Mali blues guitarist Ali Farka Toure) as well as homegrown indie rock from Eugene’s Ferns (featuring world-class guitar work from Jake Pavlak, like a red-bearded mix of Johnny Marr of The Smiths and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. Unconfirmed rumor has it Ferns are on hiatus after this show, so don’t miss 'em!) 

Looking back over his first year as general manager (GM) for the Oregon Country Fair, Tom Gannon says the thing that’s surprised him the most is “how incredibly important ice is.” 

It might sound strange, but realize that the frosty lemonade you’re enjoying, or that tasty burrito with extra sour cream, or your gluten-free hemp seed salad with extra hemp seeds, were all made off the grid. No one operating a food booth has a fridge to plug in — there are no plugs.

I really do not understand Oregon Country Fair.

I’ve read the FAQ page, spoken with a handful of Fair-goers and have gotten the scoop on staying overnight. It’s been several years since I’ve moved to Eugene and yet the mystery of Fair remains: What’s the big deal?

The endless parade of the Oregon Country Fair

An ambient performer

To start a fire

Like sunburns and fannypacks, vaudeville-style comedy and variety shows are a part of the Oregon Country Fair experience. In fact, OCF devotes entire stages to all sorts of popular entertainment from the age of daguerreotypes like tap dancing, puppetry and poetry readings.

As you’re cruising around the loops at the Oregon Country Fair, be sure to stop by the new Dance Pavilion, featuring movement performances and workshops for all.  

“The dance space is for the exploration of dance and the movement arts,” says volunteer site coordinator Shawn Kahl. 

The Dance Pavilion stage and an adjacent outdoor studio, the “WorkIt Shop,” have concurrent but separate programming throughout the weekend. Both areas welcome and encourage participation.

If you’ve come for the Oregon Country Fair (July 8-10), the Oregon Bach Festival (June 23-July 10) or the 2016 U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials (July 1-10), welcome to the Eug. If you already live here, well, welcome to some bigger crowds around town than we might be used to and a reminder that we live in a pretty nice place.

In no particular order, the following locales are highly recommended places to grab a bite to eat or plunk down for a microbrew.

Rick Levin

 et al.

Every good city needs a strong, vibrant public space, and Kesey Square — located in the heart of downtown Eugene at Broadway and Willamette — is ground zero for the open interaction of a metropolis and its community. On any given day, the red brick plaza of Kesey Square (named for its iconic statue of legendary local author Ken Kesey) is bustling with food carts, street musicians and folks just passing through, from local business people to shoppers to skateboarding youth.

Tired of sitting around and watching other people run (or standing and screaming for them, as the case may be)? Want to meditate on the joys of J.S. Bach among Oregon’s greenery? Lane County is not lacking in places close in or a little way out of town to take a summer walk on a break from town.

Journey was pregnant when she was dumped at a high-kill shelter in California. Eugene-based Luvable Dog Rescue saved her just hours before she was due to be euthanized, together with her unborn puppies. 

Months later and miles from that crowded shelter, Journey and her puppies have been living at Luvable’s dog haven in the south hills and have had their portraits done wearing crowns of flowers by famed photographer Sophie Gamand. 

Gamand and Luvable’s executive director, Liesl Wilhardt, hope that Gamand’s soft and sweet portraits will help maligned pit bulls like Journey find their forever homes through the magic of the photos and social media. Gamand made a trip to Eugene in June to photograph the dogs of Luvable. 

Eugene painter Ellen Gabehart’s home is far from a Martha Stewart-esque suburban rambler stocked with Ikea purchases. Gabehart has art covering every inch of her cozy space, furniture included. She reminds me to check the art in the bathroom before we sit down in her studio.

Gabehart strikes me as the epitome of a Eugene artist with a history of activist work, community building and a mix of both trippy and political art pieces. 

“Realism with impressionism,” she says of her style. “I’m not photographic, but you’ll recognize my works.”