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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. 

Film in Eugene is a different animal from the sleek, ultra-refined cinematic beast of Hollywood. What reigns supreme in this dank, rugged environment is something truly unique and truly Cascadian. Let’s face it; in Oregon things are just a little different — a little more grimy, a little more earthbound and a little more badass. This weekend at the Eugene Celebration, the award-winning work of local filmmakers will be screened for all to see, acquainting Eugene with varied and eccentrically diverse hometown cinema talent. Here are a few choice picks for film fanatics to groove on.

Walking the streets of downtown Eugene can be an adventure. On any given day you might encounter a unicycle-riding cowboy, a man tattooed from head to toe, exotic animals (or at least a cat on a leash), pierced people, painted people, naked people and most definitely bearded people. Now there’s a forum for all those hairy folk to go head-to-head in a contest at the Eugene Celebration’s Beard and Mustache Competition. 

Clad in a worn tan Carhartt jacket and rubber boots as insurance against the rain threatened by a slate-gray, wind-wiped spring afternoon, Derek Brandow is in his element — multiple elements, really. Today, the former elementary school teacher’s classroom is a field of knee-high grass, his young student a potential customer for the community-supported agriculture (CSA) subscriptions that Our Family Farm, his poultry operation, is selling. After raising backyard laying hens for two years and learning about the horrors of factory-scale poultry farms, that customer-to-be, a precocious preteen girl, is determined not to eat chicken unless she can inspect the farm herself and see that the flock is raised under humane conditions and allowed to express their avian nature, their very chicken-ness.

With one look at Kelton you know she is unusually beautiful. But there’s more to her than long legs, a thin shape, gorgeous hair and stunning complexion. She may be beautiful but she’s got substance, she’s got spunk and she’s ready to kick ass. She effortlessly proves all of the typical assumptions about fashion models false.

EW first profiled Alli Ditson in 2009 when she was a 20-year-old designer, just getting started. Three years later, she’s still going strong.

The streets of Eugene are filled with treasures: free boxes overflowing, Dumpsters unlocked and waiting to be searched, all of it yours for the taking. All you need is a good eye, a little bit of imagination and maybe some rubber gloves. All of these clothes were found in free boxes around Eugene and have been dressed up with shoes and accessories from my collection.

Revivall Clothing by Laura Lee Laroux

Spandex Body by Marcia Lent-Knee

Make Me by Rebecca Welton

Revivall Clothing by Laura Lee Laroux

Spandex Body by Marcia Lent-Knee

Rooster Baby Va Va Vie by Renne

Spandex Body by Marcia Lent-Knee art by Dr. Julien

FORM by Laurel Pearcy

Rooster Baby photos by Rob Sydor • robsydor.com