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Last week the Eugene/Springfield area held various events to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Students spent the days leading up to the celebration creating poems and artwork in their classrooms. They read stories and did assignments that described how Martin Luther King Jr. has influenced and inspired them.  In Springfield the MLK march made its way through downtown ending at Springfield High School. We gathered to see the student’s artwork, hear music and celebrate together as a community. The crowd walked together listening to the beautiful sounds of drumming and singing, by just one man at the march. He sang “Freedom” and other civil rights march music from the 1960s. Like many years before, it was a truly powerful and moving experience.

I’m what was once quaintly called a “woman of a certain age” who started reading your column to broaden my horizons. As a result, some curiosities peeped their heads over the boundaries of my once happily repressed existence. I summoned the courage to join an online BDSM dating site. I got a response almost immediately from a man who decided to fill me in on how things worked. He proceeded to tell me my name would henceforth be Sub, advised me that he was to be addressed as His Majesty King Something, and ordered me to phone him.

When I pointed out to EW that Sen. Ron Wyden’s recently released O&C forestlands bill (SB 1784) includes a “land exchange” loophole (Sec. 117) big enough to drive public wilderness and old-growth forests into private hands, Seneca Sawmill’s general manager Todd Payne objected. Payne says that Seneca “does not consume old-growth timber in any of its manufacturing facilities,” and my “implication” that it does “is just a continuation of the ‘fear-based’ messaging by environmental organizations as they know they can’t stand behind the truth.”

Those who think the city has no plan for dealing with the Whoville homeless camp are wrong. The city has a well-thought-out plan. Step one is to let the camp operate for several months while keeping an eye on it. If only a few problems show up, close the camp down. For best results, close it before there is an alternative site available. This way 50 homeless people get dumped onto the downtown streets where they can get busy actually creating some problems. The beauty of it would impress Chris Christie.

 

Recently both EW and the R-G have been covering the problems facing downtown Eugene. Here are some changes I would make to improve the situation, focusing on inclusivity, safety and getting the most bang for the city’s buck.

First, I would replace the Downtown Guides with a pedestrian team of CAHOOTS-style crisis-intervention workers. I would expect this change to have a quick effect, and it wouldn’t cost the city a penny more.

I’m a straight 24-year-old female, and I just recently lost my virginity. I’ve had sex only three times (not with a monogamous partner) and have found each time to be incredibly painful—even when the guy’s just using his fingers. I’ve always been extremely sensitive. In the past, I’ve had guys run their hands over my jeans, and even that hurts. I brought this up when I went to my first ob-gyn appointment, and my doctor assured me that everything was normal down there.

The fate of Civic Stadium is unlikely to be decided in 2014. Yes, the members of the 4J School Board are committed to “disposing” of the structure as soon as they possibly can — they consider it a distraction from their mission. But, whether they choose to accept the offer of Kroger (Fred Meyer), the Y or the city of Eugene, it will almost certainly be a year or more before we know how the site will be used. The reasons differ for each of the bidders.

Recently, a new transplant to Eugene asked me why people are so emotional about Civic Stadium. What follows is my note to my new friend, Austin. I don’t know when you moved to Eugene but my guess is that it was after Civic Stadium was wrapped in mothballs and allowed to decay.

If the reason the Lane County commissioners are not releasing the Richardson report is to avoid lawsuits, what are they calling the court proceedings filed over the report first by the local paper and now by former commissioner Bill Fleenor?

My friend is in her late 20s and married, and she has two little kids. Her husband had a rough childhood and has some issues. Since their most recent child was conceived, they have not had sex. He says he believes there is a difference between a lover and a mother, and he refuses to have sex with his wife now because he thinks of her as a mother to their children and not as a lover. She is struggling with this and doesn’t know what to do. Any advice?

Miserable Undersexed Mom

 

Last month the east Delta Ponds froze and then seven inches of snow fell, making for a rare and beautiful scene. When the snow melted on a single warm day, the ponds revealed dozens of patches of tapering, branching, clear lines radiating outwards from one point. These patterns were evenly spread across the ponds, three to 10 feet in diameter, over inch-thick ice. The mechanism behind the formation of these patterns is a topic of debate among my geophysical friends.

I am a product of Oregon’s school funding crisis. I was in first grade when Oregon voters approved Measure 5, the constitutional amendment that shifted the financing of public education from local communities to the state by capping property taxes in Oregon. For the next 12 years I saw my education opportunities diminish as teachers and school programs were continuously cut because of inadequate funding from the state.

Humor is everywhere. This came from a church bulletin: “The Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday from 7 to 8:30 pm. Please use the back door.”

Is there a term that is preferred to “transgendered”? I recently wrote an article that described a MTF person I know as transgendered. The article was positive about transgendered persons I have known (she is one of many). Upon seeing a draft prior to publication, this person flipped out so hard that I felt compelled to cut off all contact with her. I also killed the article. One of her complaints was that I used the word “transgendered” to describe her, and she identifies as something other than that.

This year marks my 30th year in Oregon. To celebrate, I took in a double feature which exemplifies the two poles of my Oregonian experience. 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, both films helmed by directors of color. 12 Years served to ground me in reality, while Gravity took me to my favorite fantasy: a world without borders, floating free among the stars. The reality of space, though, is that it has no breathable atmosphere, extremes of hot and cold and is always trying to kill you, nothing personal. Same with Oregon; sometimes we don’t like your kind.

Looking for a needle in a haystack is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Are you listening, NSA? 

The recent celebration of Occupy Wall Street’s (OWS) second anniversary triggered a series of blogs with pronouncements that ranged from “Occupy is dead,” to critiques of its organizational (non)structure, to suggestions how we should act in order to succeed (by those who claim we have failed). The question is, of course, how do we define success and what is Occupy’s aim? Ultimately, Occupy can succeed only if people provide support by donating time, money, materials, ideas and good will.

I’m a 34-year-old straight female. I am morbidly obese and have been for most of my life. I have never dated. I’ve been on a couple of dates, and only when I asked the guy out. From reading your columns and books, I am aware that some men are attracted to fat women. But since I never received any real sexual attention as a teen/twentysomething, I don’t know how to deal with men in a sexual way or in a way that would develop into a relationship. I also think my (lack of) experience has caused me to become bitter toward men.

I read that some countries are switching to plastic money. It’s about time. The stuff people will spend it on has been made out of plastic for years.

DEAR READERS: Sophia Wallace, the NYC-based conceptual artist behind the amazing Cliteracy project, was a guest on my podcast recently. (To hear our conversation, go to savagelovecast.com and look up episode 371.) During our chat, Wallace told me that a column I wrote years ago about the importance of the clit had a big impact on her as a teenager — in fact, she still had the copy of the column that she had clipped out of the newspaper.

Rush Limbaugh’s calling Pope Francis a Marxist for criticizing capitalism is no big deal. That’s just Rush getting bent out of shape when he feels someone has attacked his religion.

I’ve talked to my girlfriends, my mom, and his mom, but I need some unbiased advice. I’m a 28-year-old woman in a relationship for 3.5 years with a wonderful man, also 28. I hit the jackpot: He is loving, sweet, kind, driven, active, handsome, generous, etc. We’re very committed to each other and planning our future together. We’ve lived together for 2.5 years. Life is so great! Enter the issue: We’ve been discussing marriage since January of this year. Until May, he was opposed to it.

EW ran a feature on LCC’s “Creativity for Peace” program Oct. 17, including a photo of Israeli and Palestinian exchange students smiling happily in a semi-hug. It looked benign and hopeful. Until one looks more closely. The headline read, “Peacemakers: LCC Students from Israel and Palestine.” The story described how two young women from “opposite sides of a conflict” are being prepared “to pave the way for peace in their communities and across borders.” Unfortunately, this introduction seriously misrepresents the reality of the Israel/Palestine relationship. 

After this past weekend, I’m glad that most folks in the climate-change movement have stopped referring to it as global warming.