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Lead Stories

The struggle to protect the peace, quiet and purity of Waldo Lake and the surrounding forests has been going on for decades and it’s likely to continue a while longer as various factions and interests make their cases in court, in front of agencies, and out in the public arena. The fight has become so convoluted that it might take the Oregon Legislature to eventually resolve the conflicts over usage and jurisdiction.

The name “Waldo” is not poetic enough to describe the clear, pure water of this pristine lake high in the Cascades. Kayla Godowa-Tufti, of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, whose ancestors once lived in the mountains and valleys around Waldo Lake, wonders what the native peoples of the area called the translucent waters. 

It’s Saturday and I’m standing in a garage in Springfield and the guy next to me suddenly blurts out: “What is a euphemism for a necrophiliac for cars?”

This question, posed by a mechanic, isn’t rhetorical. No dirty punch line hovers expectantly in the air. He’s just curious.

Necro-vehicularization? Auto-necrotic-eroticization? Hooptie-humping? Piston-twistin’? Van-dallyism?

Cindy Littrell is in homeowner limbo. The proud grandmother and insurance franchise owner is stuck in a years-long process of applications, phone calls and negotiations, waiting to find out if her house will be foreclosed on.

What happens when a community of potters, already having mastered the art of kiln-fired ceramics, delves into pizza? It’s completely logical: They build ovens in their backyards and soon have pizzas with perfect super-heated crusts.

No less an enlightened American than Benjamin Franklin was royally pissed that the U.S. Congress, after six long years of deliberation, declared our national bird to be the bald eagle. Franklin, inventor of bifocals and the lightning rod, suggested a bird of a different feather altogether. In place of the dishonest, lazy raptor of “bad moral character” that is the bald eagle, this Founding Father suggested a fowl he deemed far less foul — the wild turkey.

As the days of waking up to the sound of rain pattering on the metal top of my Airstream trailer grow fewer and fewer, and the mornings where sunshine peers through my curtains happen more and more, I often lay in bed and think to myself: “Wow, I really need to replace those curtains.” 

Something about spring seems to bring out the nesting instinct in birds and humans alike. You start looking around your home and garden, get tired of claiming your place is shabby-chic and begin thinking about all the things you can renovate in your house and plant in your garden. I look around the Airstream and imagine anything from new homemade curtains to ripping out the carpet and replacing it with bamboo floors. 

While not all grow rooms are created equal — size does matter — there are a few aspects you don’t want to skimp on, no matter what. Sure, a great deal of your setup is dependent upon both what you are growing and on how much of it you intend to grow, but some factors remain universal to producing a good crop inside the house. Let’s take a quick look at what you can do to really pimp out your grow room this season.

asparagus

Cultivation: Plant 1- or 2-year-old crowns during March, spacing them 12 inches apart in trenches 8 inches deep. Hold off on harvesting spears during the first year for stronger plants the following year.

Soil/Sun: Loose, rich, well-drained soil with a high pH. Full sun to partial shade.

Suggested Varieties: Mary Washington, Jersey Giant, Jersey Knight.

 

beans

Plant sales are always fun — unless you hate crowds. Popular sales open with a rush of people who come early and know what they are looking for. Things slow down an hour or so after opening time, but be warned that the best plants and the best bargains may already be gone. Even so, arriving later can be advantageous if you would like advice on what to buy. There are often volunteers hovering, eager to answer questions and make suggestions for awkward garden spots. 

Tell your friends “I’m going to spend the weekend at a law conference” and they’ll figure you are in for a really horrible couple days. But when it comes to the UO’s Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC), attendees are actually in for some fun and excitement. 

And it shall come to pass that:

Mayor Kitty Piercy will leave all challengers by the side of the road and get four more years for littering.

In the Rose Bowl, the Ducks will play Ring Around the Badgers, who will all fall down.

Ellie Dumdi will have a great fall off a Park Block wall. The king’s men will accuse Commissioner Rob Handy of hiding some of the pieces, and Rob will be excoriated by the R-G for having doubts about the county benefit of reassembly.

“I got involved in what some people call activism, but I really don’t like that term,” Tim Lewis says. The tall, thin 55-year-old with piercing eyes prefers to simply be called a videographer. Lewis and his video camera have been everywhere when it comes to documenting protests and police wrongdoing in the Northwest — the WTO riots, the Warner Creek Blockade, the pepper spraying of downtown tree-sitters, the Tasering of pesticide protester Ian Van Ornum — Lewis documented all of it. The Tasering incident led to a grand jury subpoena that was later dropped, and the pepper spraying led to the Eugene Police Department being chided by human rights group Amnesty International.

Eugene can be a contradictory place. Some find numerous opportunities here, seeing Eugene as a community full of music, culture, good food and outdoor adventure. Others characterize the city more prosaically, as a nice place to live, but maybe a little … lacking in diversions.

Count cartoonist Michael Allred in the former category. “Growing up in Roseburg, Eugene was always the exciting place to go,” he says. Allred, creator of the independent critical-darling comic book Madman, moved on to college in Utah (where he met his wife, comic-book colorist Laura Allred) and eventually lived for a time in Eugene. He later relocated to various points all around the country, and even to Europe. But Eugene always held a special place in his heart.

To prepare for Valentine’s day EW staffers decided to cleanse

The place looks like a dojo. It is clean, well lit and spartan. No frills. On the front door is a sign that warning not to enter unless they are willing to commit 100 percent to the workout. Inside are signs that say things like, “it’s suppose to be brutal,” “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional,” and, perhaps most foreboding, hanging in the bathroom: “Adapt or perish.”

You know that condescending look people in relationships give single people right before they dispense dating advice? I get that a lot. It’s usually followed by something like, “If you want to find someone, then you need to leave Eugene.”

People glance at themselves in windows, take pictures of themselves, and ask each other, “How do I look?” They scrutinize their bodies through a network of literal and figurative mirrors. In a culture that elevates a narrow vision of physical beauty, it can be hard to love the different realities that are reflected — there is pressure from society to mentally paint bodies over with imperfections, and to sketch in innumerable critiques.

The city of Eugene has yet to participate in the UO’s ultimate “town and gown” collaboration on sustainability, but Springfield has jumped on it with enthusiasm.

 

The UO’s Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) is getting positive attention from The New York Times and Forbes magazine. Numerous universities around the country, and as far away as China and New Zealand, are interested in replicating what the UO has created, and the program is attracting both students and faculty to UO.

 

Being a rock star isn’t about playing rock music. It’s about the unabashed charisma that an exceptional performer guts out into the world and how that magnetism affects listeners and fans over the course of time. An authentic rock star can win our love from beyond the grave. 

That said, and given that rock stars are often fringe personalities who find themselves prematurely on the other side of mortality, there sure are a lot of dead ones. And there is perhaps nothing more romantic in our culture of arts and entertainment than the dead-rock-star archetype.

 

Coal doesn’t just burn hot, it burns dirty — it’s pretty much dirt that burns — and like most hot things, it just might burn you. 

No active commercial coal mines remain in Oregon, and the state plans to phase out coal from the Boardman coal-burning power plant in the Columbia Gorge by 2020. But if you thought coal wasn’t a concern for Oregonians, think again. Oregon is pretty dependent on coal — almost 40 percent of the state’s electricity comes from coal-burning power plants — and now Big Coal has plans to drive massive open trainloads of the grimy fossil fuel right through Eugene.

There is a high, lonesome, gravelly sound in the air. The sound is simple but by no means easy to play — and even harder to categorize. Traditional and alternative genres are merging, multiplying and mating. The acoustic strumming and picking of hybrid Americana roots music sloughes the edges of other genres adopting bits of punk, blues and country as the music flows from the instruments of younger musicians willing to experiment with it. The resurgence is national, and we have a Eugenean abundance.

 

Perry Graham sits at a small table at Espresso Roma at the edge of the UO campus with his brown dreadlocks pulled back into a frizzy ponytail. The 23-year-old scribbles in his notebook as he sips coffee out of a clear mug — all pretty normal for a college student on a gray fall afternoon. 

 

You could say that Graham is just another young hippie wannabe who probably thinks peace and freedom are achieved by smoking a lot of pot. What more could he be doing with his life? He’s only 23; he doesn’t care about politics or the community. He’s too young.