In 1994, when astronomer Carl Sagan called our home planet a “pale blue dot,” he described the essence of our fragility. Viewed from Voyager 1, millions of miles away, our entire existence is reduced to a single speck.
If Rick Bartow reads this — which he won’t, he already told me so — he would probably furrow his brow and mutter something about the article being too “woo-woo,” a term he often uses when talk gets too reverent or lofty, usually in discussions of art or religion.
Many call him a national treasure, but the artist is not precious about himself or his work. Nor does Bartow like to be romanticized, for his Native Wiyot heritage or for struggles with addiction and PTSD, both of which inspired some of his most poignant work, housed in over 50 museums around the world, including two 20-plus feet cedar columns installed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
It was a whim when I entered a crop-eared, scarred-up pitbull named Biggie in the Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship at the Oregon Truffle Festival in January.
I knew nothing about truffles — only that truffle fries are amazing — and that the objects in question were fungus-related, not chocolate-related, bits of deliciousness. I also knew that, in the past, the Truffle Festival had put on truffle dog training seminars, and truffle hunting sounded fun.
Not to mention, training a dog to truffle hunt sounded less stressful than teaching one to search for missing people or illegal drugs.
Eighty-eight-year-old Greg Giustina says he can remember attending World War II bond rallies at Civic Stadium in the 1940s. “They would bring war heroes to the field, and the early [bond] campaigns of the war would come through and speak,” Giustina says. “When you’re smaller, those things stick to you.”
At the time, bond rallies toured the country, racking up millions of dollars for the war effort and planting memories in the minds of children like Giustina, whose family was entwined with the building and use of Civic Stadium. Giustina Bros. Lumber Co. (now Giustina Resources) donated old-growth beams for the construction of the facility and sponsored the Giustina Reds, who played baseball at Civic in the Cascade League during the ’30s and ’40s, long before the Emeralds even formed.
Crossing 20th Avenue and heading south on Willamette, the back walls of Civic Stadium seem to rise from the east side of the street. Most who pass it on their daily commute probably no longer notice; others might deem it a ramshackle eyesore.
Or as Greg Ausland, of the Eugene Civic Alliance, puts it: “Right now, it looks like a beached whale.”
If you’re a creative type, however, you don’t see a long, drab wall — you see a canvas and the opportunity for great art. And for the imaginative folks familiar with Eugene Civic Alliance’s proposed plan for the entire 10.2-acre parcel of land — a renovated grandstand, a Kidsports fieldhouse, a plaza, new stands, concessions, bike paths and a small park — the Civic site becomes a playground of art possibilities.
We are first and foremost a nation of consumers, and marijuana — which begins its fitful journey into recreational legality in Oregon on July 1 — might be the ultimate consumer product. Like opium and sugar in the early history of this country, marijuana is an addictive, renewable and flexible resource whose uses seem endlessly adaptable to the contingencies of capitalism, where the trick is not to sell the product to the consumer but the consumer to the product.
Slowly but surely, the idea of legal weed is being sold to the American public. But legalization is not decriminalization — not by a long shot. Decriminalizing weed would put it on the same status as potatoes, of which you can grow and eat and trade as many as you like without anyone really batting an eye.
Informed by the frequent press releases from the sheriff’s office, local media began to describe Lane County Jail as a “revolving door” and underfunded to the point that it regularly released even Measure 11 offenders — those who commit serious violent or sex-related crimes — for lack of holding capacity.
By a margin of 14 percent, Lane County voters approved a five-year levy to double the number of beds at the jail.
Some people dream of sparkling granite countertops, spacious pantries and glossy whirlpool tubs set next to enormous showers tricked out with the latest technology.
Rhonda would just like a bathroom, and Emerald Village Eugene (EVE), a new proposed village of tiny houses, could give her that along with the stability she and others need to get back on their feet. Currently, she lives in Opportunity Village Eugene, but because subsidized, low-income housing is difficult to find, she and her husband need another transitional step — which is where EVE comes in.
These days, you can grow apples without the hard work, responsibilities or space required by full-size apple trees.Cute and amazingly compact, columnar apple trees can grow up to 10 feet tall or higher while remaining barely 2 feet wide, and they can be spaced as close as 2 feet apart. The trees need minimal to no pruning, because the few side branches they produce grow vertically and can be removed, shortened or left to increase the crop.
It’s Garden Love Month here in Lane County, a time to show your affection for rosy radishes and leafy greens. And there’s hardly a better way to share your love for all things vegetable than to volunteer for the School Garden Project, a local nonprofit dedicated to bringing the joy of gardening to kids in 16 schools spread through the Eugene 4J, Bethel, Springfield and Crow-Applegate-Lorane school districts.
The iconic space-age cartoon The Jetsons features a technologically advanced home, complete with a robot housekeeper and a home full of futuristic gadgets. The show first aired in 1962, and while houses still don’t brush your teeth for you or make breakfast with the press of a button, technology now enables us to do some advanced home control, like dimming your living room lights from miles away.
Warm summer days picking apples for homemade applesauce and canning with Grandma in a hot kitchen are memories Annika Parrott cherishes — ones she hopes to pass on to her daughters. Parrott is one of the many people living in Eugene who has turned back the clocks 100 years and started urban homesteading.
$7 million — that’s about how much a new standardized test for Oregon students will cost the state of Oregon this school year. The Smarter Balanced Assessment, rolling out for the first time this spring, is meant to measure how well Oregon K-12 schools are teaching in alignment with the Common Core State Standards, adopted in 2010.
But critics say the test is stressful for children because most students are predicted to fail. The test provides little valuable information to individual students, and some say it doesn’t accurately measure a school’s performance.
Of the three school districts in the Eugene-Springfield area, Bethel School District, with 5,700 students in northwest Eugene, is considered more diminutive than the rest. That’s not entirely accurate, Bethel Superintendent Colt Gill says, when you take a look at the bigger picture. “There are just under 200 school districts in Oregon, and out of those 200, Bethel is the 24th largest school district,” he says. “So in the area, we’re considered kind of small, but in the state, we’re considered one of the largest districts because we’re in the top 25.”
The first thing a visitor notices about the Saraha Children’s School is the peace and quiet. Nestled in a dappled oak savannah in Eugene’s South Hills, the Tibetan Buddhist K-8 school currently serves just four children with two full-time teachers, although it has the capacity for someday accommodating 30 students. The atmosphere is downright relaxing.
As a younger child, I attended three elementary schools: Edison Elementary School, Parker Elementary School and Camas Ridge Community School. I always had to get used to making new friends, getting a new routine and getting used to a new school.
Back in elementary school, I never thought I would be this close to high school. All I was thinking about was when recess was going to be and if I should yell at boys to stop being so annoying. Now I have to think about the next four years of my life until I graduate and possibly go to college.
Graduate high school. Think about your future career. Get a profession. That is Leticia Gonzalez’s advice for her daughters. She is sitting with them at the kitchen table in their Springfield home, and they banter with each other about school, work and family.
“Sometimes I think they get tired of listening to me say ‘Go to college,’” Gonzalez says, who requested to speak with EW via an interpreter because she feels more comfortable with Spanish. “It’s the reality: work and study.”
For a Wednesday night, it’s a good scene — a burly, handsome scene. I may be recently hitched, but I still get a little hot and bothered at the sight of some 30 men fraternizing in the dim light of Jameson’s, carousing at the long wood bar and slapping each other heartily on the back.
Then there are the bear hugs. And by bear hug, I mean both in the sense of big, beautiful embraces and bear hugs — as in the subculture in the gay community of men who embrace a more conventional, rugged masculinity, at least as far as appearances go. The terms “lumberjack” and “biker” are a good place to start; however, the community, I find, is much more nuanced.
With all the dazzling marriage proposals on YouTube, it’s getting more and more difficult to be original — how can you compete with flash mobs, scavenger hunts and musical ensembles? Forty-year-old McMinnville resident Daniel Evans found a way — and he used a copy of Eugene Weekly to do it.
This Valentine’s season, say goodbye to chocolates and flowersand consider treating yourself — with or without a partner — to a safe, sex-savvy workshop.
Kim Marks, owner of the new gender-inclusive eco-conscious sex shop As You Like It, wants you to have a good sex life. And in addition to providing the toys and treats to do so, the shop will present workshops with professional sex educators covering everything from sex toys to the G-spot.
Dating is hard for me. But I actually feel like my bar isn’t set that high: Writer/professor type ISO decent-looking man who doesn’t mind that my pitbull sleeps on the bed and that I come home most nights smelling like a horse. Must be able to construct complete sentences and spell.
I feel like this last part is where I go awry, and my criteria even seems to offend people. Not the pitbull part — the spelling test. Potential suitors see that caveat and take it as a writer’s form of cock block. Writer’s cock block.
“Best-kept secret” doesn’t begin to describe Eugene’s Telephone Pioneer Museum. Though visibly situated next to the CenturyLink building downtown on East 10th Avenue, the place is only identifiable from the street by an oblong window displaying rotary telephones and a small, red-lettered sign on the door reading: “MUSEUM.”
And “museum” isn’t quite the right description, either. Walking inside the rectangular room feels more like stepping into the crowded attic of some aged and nostalgic collector.
Sit beside the river and sip a glass of wine after a long day at work. Lay yourself down by the river and relax after a long run. Go fishing, go rafting, go wading, go birdwatching.
As winter slowly starts to wind down, our river dreams start to flow. The Willamette River winds through Eugene and Springfield, and the McKenzie flows on the outskirts of town, but how often do we really see it from our urban streets?
What is today’s best use for the 10.2 prime acres of land including the historic stadium in the center of Eugene?
And how do we pay for it?
Our community has grappled with those civic questions for decades, going back as far as the mid-1930s depth of the Great Depression, when citizens of Eugene voted for a bond measure to buy the property and build a grandstand.
More than 80 years later, the 2015 Eugene City Council soon will respond to citizen proposals for today’s best use. EW writers Camilla Mortensen and Amy Schneider interview Bev Smith, executive director of Kidsports, and Dave Galas, managing director of Lane United Football Club (soccer), two leaders of today’s citizen efforts.