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University of Oregon students voted recently to urge the UO Foundation to divest its fossil fuel stocks. The vote to divest — which prevailed with yes votes of roughly 73 percent — should spur the foundation to sell the fossil fuel stocks that reportedly make up roughly 1 percent of the foundation’s holdings. 

On April 26, 1986, in Pripyat, Ukraine, Chernobyl Reactor #4 suffered a power increase, which caused the whole plant to burn. On the night of the incident, Chernobyl's staff ran a safety drill. An automatic shutdown was supposed to happen in case of low water levels. But operators, who lacked proper training, blocked the automatic shutdown mechanism, because they thought the shutdown would abort the test. The coolant started boiling in the reactor, and reactor power slowly increased, which caused Reactor #4 to explode.

I’ve heard your calls for bisexuals to come out to their friends and family, and I think it’s a great idea. Here’s my conundrum: I’m not sure I technically classify as “bisexual.” I’m a 40-year-old guy who strongly prefers sex with women to men (percentage-wise I’m 70/30). I’ve had sex with dudes in the past (five or six times) and loved it, though I’ve never had the same emotional attachment and attraction that I’ve had with women.

I’m looking at two memos that I wrote in July of 1991 when I worked for Congressman Peter DeFazio as a natural resource policy advisor. The memos were written on two consecutive days to reflect two meetings, one with the timber industry and the other with the environmental community. Earlier that year, all timber harvests on federal forests were halted by a federal court injunction. Thousands of jobs were at risk and the economies for many rural communities were in limbo. The two meetings were to determine if any form of compromise legislation was possible and what level of support we could expect from either side in the controversy.

If you are going to create a monopoly on beverage sales at the UO, Bigfoot is the right name for the company to run it.

My son is 19, but due to some physical and social disabilities (mostly unseen), his emotional maturity level is closer to 14, though he is quite intelligent. After a lifetime of therapists, specialized education, and other interventions, he is now a freshman in college far from home. His dad and I are paying for his tuition, room and board, and books. He was expected to use his summer job earnings for personal expenses.

Pete Sorenson

 et al.

We were talking several times over the past few months about the U.S. government's spying on the German leaders and on how most Americans associate their country with freedom. Commissioner Sorenson visited our sister county, St. Wendel in the Saarland (a German state in southwest Germany) in 2006. Because of this relationship Sorenson has some familiarity with Germans and their public policy. The German side of this relationship has also responded: our German local government counterpart visited Lane County in 2009. President Obama, who held a rally in Berlin in 2008 while campaigning for the presidency, was, in 2008 and 2009 very popular in Germany, both among leaders and the German people.

We decided that we have unique perspectives on this national relationship. So, we collaborated on this short article about spying on the American people and spying by the U.S. government on Germany's leaders.

There are signs everywhere that the modern dream of hyper-individualism, unlimited growth and consumption, is coming to an end. Its pathologies are overwhelming our future. To maintain this dream, we are told by our nation’s military leaders to expect perpetual war for at least three generations. To maintain this dream, our governments are increasingly controlled by corporations which are given constitutional rights at the same time that the rights of natural people are restricted and denied.

Parents want to trust the schools where they send their children. Teachers, like myself, want to trust the learning criteria set before us by the state. And I believe most of us want to trust our government to make the best decisions possible for the children of our nation. The problem in trusting the newly implemented Common Core Standards and Assessments is that there are too many unanswered questions for it to feel safe on any of these levels. By themselves, standards are great and teachers strive to reach them. Unfortunately, many problems are introduced when working with the standards and assessments contained in the Common Core. Here are three questions that come to mind about Common Core in our schools.

We’ve been at this equality and justice thing for a long time now. Seems like we should start prepping for our “Mission Accomplished” photo op. We’ve come so far.

But nope. Sorry. We’re not there yet. 

The Eugene City Council won’t be nominated for a Mother Teresa award this year. A few days ago the city tore down a functioning homeless camp — before having an alternative site available — and dumped the camp’s desperate residents on the street. The technical term for the thinking behind such a move is DUMB, DUMB, DUMB. Don’t we already get enough dumb from the Supreme Court? 

I’m an old guy, fast approaching geezerdom. After 45 years of marriage to the same woman, the sex has fallen off to zero. We otherwise have a great and comfortable relationship. If I want any at all these days, the only options are masturbation or professional service providers. I was very nervous the first time I paid for sex. Curiously and surprisingly, considering my Christian upbringing, I didn’t feel at all guilty. I now find the urge gets stronger as the body gets weaker.

The romantic song of chickadees cheering up the morning is living proof of the arrival of spring. When the sun comes out after a heavy rain shower, all the birds sing joyfully. There will be more and more vegetable starts in racks outside the local market while the neighborhood gardens are dominated by spring blooming flowers. It is really too early to plant much besides peas and onions. It is not too early to clean up the beds to stay ahead of the weeds.

Eugene City Councilor Chris Pryor claims that for purposes of city aid there are the people homeless by circumstances and people homeless by choice. The first group deserves some city help, as long as it costs no money. The second group does not deserve the time of day, and as the theory goes, they are not technically homeless. Its members have chosen to sleep in doorways and under bridges in rain and snow — presumably, for the hell of it.

My boyfriend of three months, “Marcus,” told me last week that he is a trans man. He has performed oral sex on me and fingered me, but he never let me reciprocate and told me he didn’t want to have penis-in-vagina sex yet because to him that was a large commitment. We go to college in a conservative part of the country, and almost no one here knows. He worried that if I found out, I would expose him to our friends and peers and perhaps even press charges (because we had sex when I did not know he was trans).

Friends of the late Janet Wentworth will gather from noon until 2 pm Sunday, April 6, at the Eugene Family YMCA, 2055 Patterson Street. All are welcome to that time of remembering Janet who died on March 6, 2014, a month shy of the 69th anniversary of her birth.

READERS: A crowd of smart, engaged students packed a theater for Savage Love Live at Centenary College of Louisiana last week. Centenary is a terrific liberal-arts school in Shreveport. Centenary students submitted more Qs than I could possibly A in the 90 minutes I had with them. So here are some bonus answers to questions I didn’t get to during my time there.

 

How does a young person learning to accept their sexuality come to terms with losing the unconditional love of their family?

You can’t lose something you never had.

Bank robbery photos are pretty bad. You would never want to frame one.

I am a liberal parent. I raised a daughter who is bi and poly. I always thought that I could accept anything that parenthood might throw at me. I knew that I could embrace my son if he were straight, gay, bi, trans, etc. If there is a controlling consciousness of the universe, it has a nasty sense of humor. Putting it bluntly: My son is sexually attracted to Pokémon. He dropped hints that I didn’t really pick up on. But over the last few years, I have stumbled across evidence of his browsing habits that left me pretty clear about his proclivities.

I have a slowly terminal disease and don’t have more than five or six years left. I haven’t told my wife, which brings me to my problem. We had lived together for seven years when she cheated on me the first time. We worked things out, we got back together, but we continued to live separately. Then I cheated on her. We got back together again but continued living apart. After a year of therapy, we got married, but again we kept our households separate.

March is the month when the valley woodlands begin greening up. Two shrubs, osoberry and snowberry, are the first to give a light green wash to the understory. The osoberry (also known as Indian plum) flowers at the same time as leaf-out but snowberry saves flowering for late spring. My favorite color is spring green, the color of freshly emerged leaves. I am particularly fond of vine maple because its leaves stay this fresh, spring green throughout the summer, especially under a forest canopy.

As Eugene looks for ways to avoid serious service cuts, the Revenue Committee struggles to identify timely, equitable and politically acceptable taxes to generate the necessary revenue. We have ample representation from the business community, but we lack vocal representation from disadvantaged segments of our community. This opens us to the risk that our recommendations will fall heavily on those least able to afford it. While business is the ox that pulls the cart of government, it is working families that keep that ox fed. Moving forward requires that we navigate a thicket of legal limits to give the City Council recommendations that put the interest of the community first.

Opponents of gay marriage are trying to get a measure before Oregon voters that would allow florists, photographers and bakers to refuse to provide goods or services for same-sex weddings. Supporters say that providing these things to such events would violate their members’ “deeply held religious beliefs.” I’m wondering what religion would cast a person into hell for baking a cake.

Straight female with a question. It’s about something that sometimes happens to me that I’ve never really told anyone about because it’s so weird and gross. It involves my bowel movements, so it’s not very sexy. (No offense to scat lovers, but I have zero interest in “poop play.”) After I have a normal bowel movement, I pull up my jeans. When I do that, the crotch seam presses on my clit as I begin to close the zipper, and I get what I can only describe as an intense mini-orgasm.