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Do spay and neuter your pet. Don’t leave your pet in a hot car. Do use an identification chip and update its information. Do report abuse or neglect. Don’t opt for cheap flea and tick medication

Pets have been popping up in art for millennia. Nearly 20,000 years ago, people of the Paleolithic era painted at least seven cats deep in the caves of Lascaux, now known as the Chamber of Felines. A fuzzy Brussels Griffon pup appears front and center in Jan van Eyck’s iconic 1434 Arnolfini wedding portrait. There’s an entire book devoted to cats and dogs in Impressionist art; Frida Kahlo painted her self-portrait with a dog and monkey (“Self Portrait with Small Monkey,” 1945) and Andrew Wyeth captures a dog snoozing on a white bed in “Master Bedroom” (1965).

Alex Notman

 et al.

There was a time when the thump thump thump of electronic dance music was confined to abandoned warehouses and private basements or tucked away deep in the Willamette Valley’s forests and mountains. Jordan Cogburn likens finding a rave in the ’90s to a scavenger hunt. Step one: Find the party’s flyer (through a friend or at a record store). Step two: Call the number.

“You’d call the number on the flyer and they’d tell you to go to this spot. You’d go over to this spot and there would be a dude waiting in a car,” says Cogburn, drummer for local bands Dirty Spoon and Breakers Yard. “He’d hand you a map and he’s like, ‘OK, you gotta go to this other spot.’ Then you’d go to this other spot. Then they’d tell you where the party was actually at. Then you’d go out to that party.” He continues, “You get there and it’s out in the sticks, out in the middle of nowhere. You’re driving up this dirt road; you can’t see anything except for what’s in your headlights. Then you get out there, you’re partying, partying, having a good time. All of a sudden the sun starts coming up and you realize you’re on a 150-foot cliff!”

Grammar be damned; there’s no such thing as “the Fair.” “Are you going to Fair?” they’ll ask you, quite correctly. “Happy Fair!” you’ll hear and say innumerably. To the uninitiated, idiosyncrasy and eccentricity abound, but all are quick to adapt.

When you give to the Fair, the Fair gives back. For starters: The first Oregon Country Fair in 1969 was a fundraiser for the Eugene Alternative School. From its very beginning, the Fair has reached out to the Fern Ridge and Veneta areas, as well as the larger community of Lane County. And with its programs devoted to philanthropy, donating a combined total of about $50,000 every year, OCF and its impact extend beyond the famed three days of summer celebration.

Lawrence Taylor may be in his 30th year cleaning toilets at the Oregon Country Fair, but there is more to his story than sanitation. This criminal defender once held demonstrations with President Barack Obama at Harvard Law and, if that wasn’t enough, drove His Holiness the Dalai Lama around Portland during his recent visit.

Amid all the fervor and hoopla surrounding Fair, it’s easy to forget the event is a venerable and respected (hippie-centric) music fest; this year the entertainment lineup for the 44th Annual OCF is full of some pleasant surprises, old friends and just enough ’60s revivalism to please the old-time Fair faithful.

For many years at the main stage area of the Oregon Country Fair, a sign that says “Dick Stewart Memorial Kiosk” has hung above a recycling stand. It’s a nice tribute, but a bit misleading — Dick Stewart is alive and well.

Even in Utopia, shit happens. Take, for instance, the Oregon Country Fair, that vaunted Northwest gathering of boho spirits and fandango oglers, where the freak flag is flown as a testament to some netherworld normalcy. Even here, at peace-loving OCF, where the ’60s spirit of freedom, expression and communal OK-ness reigns in benevolent wooded anarchy, it might happen that you step on a bumblebee, sprain an ankle or suffer some kind of respiratory distress. It’s all fun and games until you forget your insulin.

Whether you treat snack time as a treasure hunt or plan out your prospective meals months in advance, the Oregon Country Fair offers something for every taste, with a cross section of world cuisine from Afghan fare to Peruvian cuisine, Greek standbys and everything in between. With 66 food booths plus a handful of strolling vendors, OCF boasts myriad options for fairgoers who work up an appetite.

Darcy DuRuz created Girl Circus in 2001, an all-age, almost all-female circus that performs every year at the Oregon Country Fair. Featuring performers in a variety of abilities from ballet to aerial silk, Girl Circus offers high-quality family entertainment.

Shanna Trumbly was lying on the sand with her eyes closed, the water lapping at her legs. She could hear her girlfriends splashing and laughing in the “sweet little lake” in southern Oregon where they had been coming every summer as teenagers. The soft patter of footsteps in the sand caught her attention and she opened her eyes, expecting to see one of the girls. The footsteps, however, belonged to a tiny fawn. The fawn tottered right up to Trumbly. She looked out at the water where her friends had gone silent as they watched the scene unfold: The young deer pushed its little snout into her face, gently circling it with its black nose, and then tottered away.

“The deer has always been my animal,” Trumbly explains, remembering the scene at the shore. “It was such a magical experience.” 

Rahul Choudhary and his work sound like the basis for a Bollywood meets Erin Brockovich film — a tall, dark and handsome Indian attorney fights dirty coal, polluting industries and problematic dams while saving lions and elephants. Environmental protection in India may be undergoing a sea change, and Choudhary and fellow attorneys at the Legal Initiative for Forest & Environment (LIFE), based in New Delhi, are leading the charge. The attorneys of LIFE are successfully arguing cases in front of India’s Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal (NGT) that are saving endangered animals, giving a voice to communities and protecting people, land and water from industries that could harm them. Choudhary recently came to Oregon to meet with the staff of the Eugene offices of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) and tour Lane County’s dumps, wetlands and enviro initiatives.

Walking through downtown, it’s easy to miss Eugene’s wayward waterway, hidden in culverts and secreted away behind swathes of pavement and sidewalk. Though Amazon Creek shares its name with a mighty South American river, the comparisons stop there. It once provided a connective pathway for fish and other wildlife traveling from its headwaters near Spencer Butte to the Long Tom River, which further connects to the Willamette River and drains all the way to the Pacific Ocean. But after heavy restructuring in the 1940s and ’50s to mitigate stormwater flooding, Amazon Creek took on an entirely different persona. 

Over the decades, the creek has succumbed to the pressures of its urban lifestyle. Stormwater drains directly into this tributary of the Willamette, carrying with it pesticides, heavy metals from parking lots and motor oil from leaky cars. Algae grows in the stagnant waters near South Eugene High School, forming a thick layer of slime during the summer, and the canals that redirect Amazon Creek’s flow seem more like stagnant moats than a corridor in a healthy ecosystem. 

The U.S. is approaching a defining moment of change in transportation, and Eugene is no exception. For the first decade of the last six, the average American is beginning to cut vehicle miles traveled, and the demand for a shorter commute is on the rise with younger generations. Biking is on the rise nationwide. In the last eight years, Oregon’s gas and diesel tax revenue has dropped by about 1 percent, while the amount coming from Eugene has dropped by 15 percent. Changes are afoot.

Blossoms fly loose in humid draughts, skitter across sidewalks and smile up at the sun, and all the while the temperature rises. Listen closely; can’t you hear it? The sprinkler hiss and lawnmower drone, the river goading you gently to its banks to crack that first summer ale and float away? Whether you’ve scrimped and saved for a five-day wine tour, polished your hot rod for that car show or jogged through the cold in preparation for one special race, the time for fun is finally nigh. Eugene, meet summer 2013; we’re sure it’s bound to be the best one yet.

Shannon Finnell

 et al.

Every summer, the Whiteaker Block Party (pictured, 8/3) seems to grow by another block. Check out our 8/1 issue for a rundown of the music, food, art and more that heat up the Whit in the dog days of summer. And don’t forget the Oregon Country Fair (7/12-7/14) and Eugene Celebration (8/23-8/25) for more awesome local culture.

Looking for ideas for what to do this summer? Look no further.

With long summer days come equally rewarding mild evenings. So what better way is there to enjoy those mild nights than to hang up a white sheet, pick up a projector and pop open a bottle of wine with friends and enjoy a movie in the comfort of your yard?

The first thing we noticed was the quiet. Even the wind seemed muted as it whipped through the tall grass. Five friends had traveled 340 miles east from Eugene to find the ghost town of Whitney, and now we stood at a dirt crossroad, reading a sign with a horse-drawn carriage painted next to a steam engine. “Rails of the Sumpter Valley R. R. reached Whitney Valley June 1, 1901,” we read, squinting in the hot July sun. “At one time 150 people called Whitney their home. When the railway was abandoned in 1947, the town closed down.” 

Outside is the place to be when summer weather is officially here to stay, and many of the options to comfortably enjoy the heat in Eugene involve water. Take a dip in swimming holes in the area, or travel to a water park and enjoy all it has to offer. Eugene and its surrounding areas have it covered, with refreshing activities that cater to both adults and children. 

Climate experts insist we’d better reduce carbon emissions by 6 percent a year if we hope for a livable planet, but politicians continue to greenlight coal mining, fracking, oil drilling and a Keystone pipeline expansion that former NASA climatologist James Hansen says means “game over” for the atmosphere. 

 Most of my friends, if they discuss the politics of global warming at all, shake their heads in disgust, then in despair and, finally, with a statement of resignation along the lines of, “We are so screwed.”

But Kathleen Dean Moore says we don’t get to sit this one out. 

Some might say that running is Eugene’s claim to fame, but the art of running while kicking a soccer ball has legions of fans in this town. Known as the world’s game, the sport has taken center stage in the states, particularly in the Northwest. It has grown so big in Eugene that some of Italy’s best female players have hopped on a plane to join in on the fun, while more and more of the city’s youth are getting into the game. And, if that isn’t enough, the possibility of Civic Stadium turning into a soccer field only adds to the buzz.

Convening in the parking lot of an unspecified hardware store, passing around “vessels” filled with delicious beer and cracking sexually explicit jokes at any given moment, the Eugene Hash House Harriers will really throw you for a loop if you’re unfamiliar with the tradition (or if you can’t take a joke). The “hounds” do their best to follow the madcap path laid by the “hare,” and once they reach the end, it’s time for more fraternizing.