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Lead Stories

The past year produced some incredible graphic novels, especially in the science fiction arena. One of 2012’s strongest premieres is Saga, Vol. 1 (Image Comics, $9.99).

EUGENE, Ore., April 2015: The fifth annual Eugene Fashion Week is only days away and the Eugene Garment House is a beehive of activity. Frenzied designers dart around the open space on the third floor of the Woolworth Building overlooking Willamette Street, colorful swatches of fabric tucked under their arms and pincushions wrapped around their wrists. Apprentices hurriedly reorganize racks of fluttering paper patterns and sample garments while production sewers put the finishing touches on a pair of couture overalls and a hemp wedding gown. At one station, a team of interns dyes a line of jersey dresses. In the corner, set up as a mock catwalk, local designer Mitra Chester is fitting a local model in an edgy, tailored three-piece skirt suit made out of repurposed, studded leather. “Where are my recycled couch-brocade fabric cigarette pants?” one designer yells above the din.

The pistol wasn’t the first gun given to me as a gift, but it was probably the most unexpected. My father usually gives books for Christmas, and that was what I was anticipating. Dad even disguised the gun by packaging it up to look like the box had a novel inside. Imagine my surprise when, thinking I was getting a copy of the latest Book of the Month Club selection, I pulled a .22 semi-auto out of the wrapping paper. My proud parent, dressed as Santa Claus for the occasion, had a camera at ready to capture the moment.

Project Censored has been documenting inadequate media coverage of crucial stories since it began in 1967 at Sonoma State University. Each year, the group considers hundreds of news stories submitted by readers, evaluating their merits. Students search LexisNexis and other databases to see if the stories were underreported, and if so, the stories are fact-checked by professors and experts in relevant fields.

It flows through the city; it flows past parks, gravel pits and buildings, but unless it’s rising up in a winter flood or we happen to glance down while driving over the I-5 bridge, the Willamette River rarely seems to flow through our minds. Eugene is a river city; the Coast Fork Willamette and the Middle Fork come together to the south and the McKenzie River, the source of Eugene’s drinking water, has its confluence with the Willamette to the north. The river goes through the heart of town, carrying our waste, our stormwater and sometimes ourselves — in fishing boats and on inner tubes. It winds its way northward past Corvallis and to Portland where it joins the Columbia and spills out to sea. The river, literally and figuratively, defines us, but the majority of us never think very much about it at all. 

Earlier this year Travis Williams of Willamette Riverkeeper was floating down the river near Halsey —  13 river miles south of Corvallis’ drinking water intake — when he noticed a murky, smelly patch in the river. Williams discovered the murky patch was the mixing zone for two pulp mills, Cascade Pacific Pulp and Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products. Williams and attorney Doug Quirke of the Oregon Clean Water Action Project (OCWAP) think that the dark effluent is in violation of the mills’ permit to pollute.

Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Axe and Fiddle was an event 40 years in the making. Hundreds of people filled the pub, occupying every table, lining the staircase overlooking the stage and some even finding spots on the wood floor. Hundreds of faces, basked in the glow of flickering tea lights, gazed upon the stage as a soft voice filled the cavernous space. Wayne Drury, squeezing his blue eyes shut, leans forward in his wheelchair to the mic as he sings “Cimarron Rose” over the strumming of his former band mates, Rob Anderson on guitar and Randy Crawford on banjo.


When southeast Eugene voters mark their ballots in this election, they will make a familiar choice: four-term City Councilor Betty Taylor or an opponent? Taylor, a veteran progressive, is seeking her fifth term on the council, while Social Security Administration counselor Juan Carlos Valle is running in his first public election.

Ballots go in the mail beginning Friday, Oct. 19, for the Nov. 6 general election. The deadline for voter registration passed Oct. 16. Here are our selected picks in contested races and issues. See our recent news stories, Slant comments and letters for more information, along with the Voters’ Pamphlet and websites for candidates and measures. We’ll have more stories next week. Campaign finance information can be found at ORESTAR on the Oregon secretary of state’s website. 

A spirit of revolution stirred on the UO campus in the spring of 2007. 

That’s when a small group of activist professors — led by math’s Marie Vitulli and political science’s Gordon Lafer — began meeting in vacant classrooms to discuss starting a faculty union. 

College parties — they’re a rite of passage, and very, very few students make it through years of university without attending a wild house party or two. Sometimes that means the cops show up. But even if you’re partying, you still have rights.

There are house parties and there are bars littered around the University of Oregon, but for once there is an environment in which drinking responsibly is promoted on campus. Every week, on Thursday nights, “Pub Night” will be held at the Erb Memorial Union with emphasis on limiting consumption and having a good time. It is an event that will incorporate underage and of age students, creating an all-encompassing atmosphere. 

As a fifth-year university student and smoker, I wandered onto campus last week with a lit cigarette in hand, puffing away as normal. I turned a corner, expecting to find one of the many green, designated-smoking-area pillars (whose locations I have memorized), but instead found a stern-looking woman who pointed me toward a large sign at campus edge. That’s when I remembered the smoking ban. For students like me, who have smoking on campus ingrained in them, it is a task simply remembering that we are no longer allowed to light up. Countless times throughout the last two weeks I have spied folks bringing a lighter to the tip of their cigarette only to snap their arms away again as they pass a large sign, declaring: “For a healthier community and cleaner environment, the University of Oregon is smoke and tobacco-free.”

Long before Nadia Raza thought about getting a graduate degree and teaching at a college, she was a student at a community college, and that’s where she first encountered an honors class. While at Costa Mesa Community College in California she signed up for an evening course and found herself enrolled in the school’s pilot honors program. She stayed in the course and says it was “a transformative experience in understanding myself as being able to make meaningful contributions in an academic environment.” She went on to transfer to UCLA for undergrad, got a master’s degree and is now getting a doctorate at the University of Oregon while teaching at LCC. She was also one of the core group developing the new Honors Program that is kicking off its second year at Lane Community College. 

Sexual harassment is a serious problem. But UO professor Cheyney Ryan says that without knowledge of available resources and student rights, the problem is more damaging than it has to be.

Lena Macomson

Hometown: Olympia, Wash.
Major: Applied economics and business

What do you plan to do with your degree? I’m hoping to start an MBA in sports marketing next year. 

What should the president’s number one priority be? Dang.      I don’t know  ...  world peace. Getting America back on track. 

What would a Mitt Romney presidency look like? Not much change from the current tax plan. 

Who is the “Black Mamba”? De’Anthony Thomas or a very dangerous snake. 

Can you name a female student athlete? MYSELF! I play tennis! 

What’s a good place to hang out with friends in Eugene if you’re under 21? Alton Baker Park when it’s nice out. 

Downtown Eugene: On a spring evening in 1938, Shirley Temple, Laurel and Hardy, Mae West, Ginger Rogers and the Three Stooges could be seen posing for the paparazzi under the bright lights of the Heilig Theater marquee where the Hult Center now stands. OK, they were actually local actors hired by the theater for the “Hollywood Premiere and Follies,” a show replicating the Hollywood glamour of an opening night at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater and slated by The Register-Guard as “one of the biggest social and theatrical events ever seen in this city.”

Joanne Gross is a stay-at-home mom with two sons. She and her husband, Scott, bought a house in west Eugene where Scott can bike to work, and she can grow food in her garden. Standing in front of her house on a hot summer evening, while her sons, Ian and Connor, play with their friends on the quiet street, Joanne points to the food she grows in her front yard. What look like decorative shrubs are sweet potatoes, artichokes and herbs. Hops wend their way up the chimney — Scott is a home brewer — and kiwis, figs and grapes adorn the yard. Joanne says it’s the garden that lets them afford to have her stay home, and Scott’s bike commute to the mill keeps him in shape and keeps them a one-car family.

Joanne Gross just wishes she knew a little more about what pollutants are in the soil. If the soil is contaminated, what about the food she feeds her kids? 

In an age when money is speech and corporations are people, following the money doesn’t always produce a clear, well-documented trail of dollars. The opposition to Eugene’s planned West 11th EmX extension is no exception. Now the issue is heating up in anticipation of a Sept. 26 City Council work session.

It was a battle of opposites at Eugene Weekly’s Next Big Thing finals this year. First up: Paul Quillen — his brooding, acoustic ballads turned Celebration-goer heads who were otherwise occupied on a perfect late-summer Saturday in Eugene with Cart De Frisco and Ninkasi. It ain’t easy filling up an outdoor stage with just voice and guitar, and Quillen had us all holding our breath, listening intently. A relative newcomer to Eugene, Quillen is perfect for the area’s small, intimate venues. Welcome to town, Paul.

On Colgan’s Island there are roses and a vegetable garden to attend to. There’s music blaring from a stereo in a workshop barn. There’s a gang of chickens and a tail-wagging black Labrador. There’s a former slaughterhouse and there’s a bright blue cottage. At the moment, this equally peaceful and industrious setting is the scene of many ongoing changes, and they all have to do with stoves. 

She is an emissary of the arts — a thread-spinning, yarn-whirling ambassador of costume — and a die-hard advocate for keeping Eugene wonderfully weird. Queen Sadie Slimy Stitches is Eugene’s new 2012 SLUG Queen, the official royal representative of the Society for the Legitimization of the Ubiquitous Gastropod. It’s a Eugene thing, and this queen wears it well.

It’s almost time again to “Raise the Roof” in celebration of all things Eugene at the 30th annual Eugene Celebration. While you’re sure to be busy stuffing your face at one of the food carts, or rooting for your favorite mustachioed contestant, don’t forget to take in at least one musical performance.