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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.

What happens when a community of potters, already having mastered the art of kiln-fired ceramics, delves into pizza? It’s completely logical: They build ovens in their backyards and soon have pizzas with perfect super-heated crusts.

No less an enlightened American than Benjamin Franklin was royally pissed that the U.S. Congress, after six long years of deliberation, declared our national bird to be the bald eagle. Franklin, inventor of bifocals and the lightning rod, suggested a bird of a different feather altogether. In place of the dishonest, lazy raptor of “bad moral character” that is the bald eagle, this Founding Father suggested a fowl he deemed far less foul — the wild turkey.

As the days of waking up to the sound of rain pattering on the metal top of my Airstream trailer grow fewer and fewer, and the mornings where sunshine peers through my curtains happen more and more, I often lay in bed and think to myself: “Wow, I really need to replace those curtains.” 

Something about spring seems to bring out the nesting instinct in birds and humans alike. You start looking around your home and garden, get tired of claiming your place is shabby-chic and begin thinking about all the things you can renovate in your house and plant in your garden. I look around the Airstream and imagine anything from new homemade curtains to ripping out the carpet and replacing it with bamboo floors. 

While not all grow rooms are created equal — size does matter — there are a few aspects you don’t want to skimp on, no matter what. Sure, a great deal of your setup is dependent upon both what you are growing and on how much of it you intend to grow, but some factors remain universal to producing a good crop inside the house. Let’s take a quick look at what you can do to really pimp out your grow room this season.

asparagus

Cultivation: Plant 1- or 2-year-old crowns during March, spacing them 12 inches apart in trenches 8 inches deep. Hold off on harvesting spears during the first year for stronger plants the following year.

Soil/Sun: Loose, rich, well-drained soil with a high pH. Full sun to partial shade.

Suggested Varieties: Mary Washington, Jersey Giant, Jersey Knight.

 

beans