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“I try not to paint eyelashes, unless they are really important,” says artist Lynda Lanker, whose portraits of women of the West are as intimate and forthright as the flesh-and-blood women they depict. Though some of Lanker’s work is so detailed that for a moment the portraits appear to be photographs, even her more abstract pieces capture a sense, a feeling, of these generations of ranch women and cowgirls. 

“Tough by Nature” represents almost 20 years’ worth of painting, sketching and interviewing 49 women in 13 western states. It captures not just a moment in time, but also a spirit. The exhibit, which is accompanied by a book featuring the portraits and interviews with the women, presents Lanker’s work in pencil and charcoal, oil pastel, egg tempera, plate and stone lithography, engraving and drypoint. “Tough by Nature” opens at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) at the University of Oregon on July 1.

Minutes after walking away from the oldest coffee tree in the world, Silje Heyland, a German college student studying fair-trade coffee practices in Ethiopia, had a sudden urge to go back. “Perhaps we can eat lunch under the tree,” she suggested. The rest of our expedition party — wet, tired, muddy, hungry — looked at her with unsympathetic eyes and decided it would be better to eat lunch at a nearby village, where there were primitive huts to duck into for shelter against the afternoon thunderstorm.

At first, it seemed possible that what started as a military mutiny on March 22 might simply blow over. After a few days of sheltering in my apartment, I emerged to find Bamako, the capital of the West African nation of Mali, just as I had left it. Besides an underlying uncertainty over just exactly how Mali’s government would shape out, the mood was bright and the city would be as colorful as always. At work, a USAID youth-development project, most of my colleagues insisted the coup could be a positive step for Mali. They believed Amadou Toumani Touré, Mali’s ousted president, to be the head of a horribly corrupt government that was a democracy in name only.

City Hall was a lauded public building when it was built in 1964, with wood fins symbolizing Oregon’s connection to the forests, a very public terrace and a design that bubbled with democratic values and encouraged a connection between government and citizenry that wasn’t dominated by an imposing tower.

But after years rusting in the garage, Eugene’s own City Chitty Bang Bang might be razed rather than remade into something special.

in the U.S., fútbol is a sport that’s overshadowed by football. Mainstream sports networks rarely cover soccer unless it is around the time of World Cup — and it’s no stretch of the imagination to say that there are more than a handful of Americans who have no idea when the next World Cup will be (2014, in Brazil). 

For the record, that World Cup is exclusively the domain of international men’s soccer teams — it’s probably even safer to say that a greater amount of Americans are unaware of when the next women’s World Cup is (2015, in Canada), or even that a women’s World Cup exists.  

Et tu, Andy Stahl? Political smears are hardly a modern phenomenon, nor is political intrigue. You can’t throw a stick at the corpus of Shakespearean tragedy without hitting one in which a character is killed or victimized through the evil machinations of another. To the audience of a play, it’s soon made clear who the true villains are, but in politics where we are not just the audience but actually part of the action — all the world’s a stage — who the good guys are can get a little unclear once the mud-slinging begins. 

Here are our selected picks for the May 15 primary. We have not included uncontested races. See our news stories, briefs and letters this week for more information, and most candidates have websites. Ballots can be mailed in by May 10 or dropped off at white ballot boxes around town up until 8 pm May 15.

The Friendly Area Neighbors association held a forum for EWEB candidates recently and only about 15 people showed up and most of them were family and friends of the two candidates, Steve Mital and Will Shaver. EW interviewed the two candidates a few days after the forum.

Lane County’s sometimes dramatic conflict between environmentalists and resource extraction interests is reflected in the race for the North Eugene position on the Lane Board of County Commissioners. Incumbent Commissioner Rob Handy is challenged by Eugene City Councilor and former state lawmaker Pat Farr and interpreter Nadia Sindi. Sindi is not raising money and is running a low-key campaign and, for lack of space, is not included in this discussion. 

If you can envision a city as a living organism, with its heart beating outward from the epicenter of downtown, and if you can picture the crosshatching of streets as comprising a kind of circulatory system pumping the blood of commerce, then you might consider taxi cabs to be the white blood cells of urban life. The analogy is clunky but not completely infelicitous: Cabs do serve a particular purpose and, like white blood cells, they can be launched against certain malignancies. Most notably, taxis are an easy cure for the routinely terminal affliction of driving drunk.

The idea of a community forest has been kicking around the Siskiyou Mountain hamlet of Williams, Ore., for a while. But it took an out-of-state landowner’s plan to slash forests safeguarding the town’s water supply to turn ideas into action.

Here’s the deal: If we don’t have this little “birds and bees” conversation, there won’t be too many birds or bees left. The planet we live on is threatened by a species of animal whose way of life destructively encroaches upon the habitats and prosperity of other creatures — we are that species, and we just keep coming.

The Goose Timber Sale near McKenzie Bridge is a large Forest Service logging operation posed as a beneficial project for the forest and the people. But local people aren’t buying the sales pitch. They say this giant timber sale will, in truth, be as bad for the forest as it will for them.

If you want to keep Eugeneans green and fit, you’ve got to start ‘em young. Shane MacRhodes, program manager for Eugene Safe Routes to School Program, says the program makes it safer for kids to walk and bike to school by use of the five E’s: education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement and evaluation. This tidy little description includes a wide swath of projects that shows just how many tools are required to build a bike culture safe enough for tykes.

Sometimes biking or using public transit isn’t a viable option, so people keep a car around just in case. But if that eats a hole in the old wallet or makes driving on the regular too tempting, now there’s the WeCar option. 

NextStep Recycling Executive Director Lorraine Kerwood wants to emphasize that there is no “away” in thrown away — all that crap we shove “out of sight, out of mind” remains on-site somewhere, perhaps in another state, another country, outer space. When it comes to waste, everything that disappears must re-emerge. This is especially true of what Kerwood calls “the tide of electronic waste going to shredders.”

The first thing outdoorsy newcomers to Eugene might want to know is “Where are the parks?” and “What hiking spots are nearby?” 

Cut a forest in half and nobody is happy — not the timber beasts, nor the treehuggers. 

You know why they teach sharing in kindergarten? Because it sucks to give something away without a promise you’ll get something better in return. Studies of little kids show that as they get older and develop their cognitive skills, they share more because they understand reciprocity better. 

 

Then those kids grow up to be loggers, environmentalists, politicians and policy wonks, and the sharing and compromise thing gets all messed up again. 

“I was on roller skates the whole time,” Alejandra Escalante recalls of an early acting experience. Escalante, who plays the lead in Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s current production of Romeo & Juliet, explains that everything “from the costumes to the script” in that early role was a fiasco. “It was embarrassing,” she says.

Achilles in camouflage, teens swigging poison and reptiles seducing pharmaceutical interns — yep, the 2012 season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is up and running. Planning a trip to the idyllic town of Ashland? Consider the following, and then grab your tickets.

The struggle to protect the peace, quiet and purity of Waldo Lake and the surrounding forests has been going on for decades and it’s likely to continue a while longer as various factions and interests make their cases in court, in front of agencies, and out in the public arena. The fight has become so convoluted that it might take the Oregon Legislature to eventually resolve the conflicts over usage and jurisdiction.

The name “Waldo” is not poetic enough to describe the clear, pure water of this pristine lake high in the Cascades. Kayla Godowa-Tufti, of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, whose ancestors once lived in the mountains and valleys around Waldo Lake, wonders what the native peoples of the area called the translucent waters. 

It’s Saturday and I’m standing in a garage in Springfield and the guy next to me suddenly blurts out: “What is a euphemism for a necrophiliac for cars?”

This question, posed by a mechanic, isn’t rhetorical. No dirty punch line hovers expectantly in the air. He’s just curious.

Necro-vehicularization? Auto-necrotic-eroticization? Hooptie-humping? Piston-twistin’? Van-dallyism?

Cindy Littrell is in homeowner limbo. The proud grandmother and insurance franchise owner is stuck in a years-long process of applications, phone calls and negotiations, waiting to find out if her house will be foreclosed on.