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Inevitably when I come home from a horse show and my friends ask me how I fared, my response starts off with, “Well, my dressage score sucked.” Or I tell them, “I swear that judge hates my horse.” (It’s more probable my high-strung horse Cairo hates dressage, a sport of athleticism and endless patience. She sorely lacks the latter.)

Congrats to the furry, fluffy and adorable winners of our photo contest, and thank you to all who entered!

Cats are winning. As I write this, my cat, Elsie, slinks around my legs, looking up at me, knowingly. Cats have always known they were winners; it just took society, with a helpful boop from the internet, some time to catch up.

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for often inaccurate herbicide application information. Highways recently sprayed include I-5, 36, 99 and Beltline.

• Weyerhaeuser, 744-4600, plans to helicopter and backpack spray 5.8 acres near Taylor Butte south of Cottage Grove with glyphosate, imazapyr, triclopyr, metsulfuron methyl, sulfometuron methyl, MSO Concentrate, Crosshair and/or No Foam. See ODF notification 2015-771-10308, call Tim Meehan at 726-3588 with questions.

If you hadn’t heard about the Cascadia Subduction Zone mega earthquake before now, the recent New Yorker article titled “The Really Big One” has probably popped up on your social media feed enough times to draw your attention.

Some people have known for decades about the predicted 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami threatening to devastate the Oregon Coast and beyond. 

A fenced-in parking lot complete with stripes on the gravel has appeared at the site of the leveled City Hall downtown, leading passers-by to wonder what’s going on. Turns out the parking will not be for the public or even the architects and engineers working on plans for the new City Hall.

“We had a request from the Federal Courthouse to accommodate overflow parking for jurors for two weeks,” says city spokesperson Laura Hammond. City Code 9.5800 “allows up to two weeks of temporary parking three times per year,” she says.

“Business has been booming,” says Jody Maddox, who owns Wags Dog Emporium off Coburg Road. This is no surprise, based on the $58.51 billion the American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimates Americans spent on their pets in 2014. 

Oregon happens to be near the top of the list for pet-owning states and ranks fourth overall, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation’s 2012 survey numbers, and those high ownership numbers seems to have translated to good business for pet-related industries operating in Eugene and Oregon in general.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments through 5 pm  Tuesday, July 28, on two proposed Clean Water Act permit modifications for Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products and Cascade Pacific Pulp, which both discharge pollution to the Willamette River via the same outfall near Halsey. The proposed modifications involve the relocation of the outfall approximately 1,300 feet downstream, and a decrease in the size of the “mixing zone” for the discharges.

• Looks like Eugene’s urban growth boundary will be expanding onto farmland in order to accommodate future industrial growth, along with some parkland and school land. The majority on the City Council this week gave a nod to the expansion, and it goes now to city and county planning commissions and public hearings. Why do we continue to develop and pave over prime farmland when such lands will become more valuable, even critically so, in the future?

Many Eugene downtown businesses will be open for the first Sunday Streets celebration from noon to 4 pm July 26. Streets will be blocked off from car traffic from the Park Blocks to Kesey Square and all the way down Broadway to Monroe Park. Participants can enjoy a relaxing bike ride, skate or stroll through a cornucopia of food, music, fitness classes and bike demos.

• The NAACP national convention was earlier in July, and City Club of Eugene will have a report at noon Friday, July 24, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette Street. Speakers will include Eric Richardson, president of the local NAACP, and members of the Eugene-Springfield faith and social justice communities. $5 for non-members.

The Southwest plane taxied on the runway as “Good Lovin’” blared through the sound system. The flight attendant playing with us, asked if any of us were here to see the shows and the passengers let out a collective hoot and holler. We were officially welcomed to Chicago. The Grateful Dead was the main attraction in the city of big shoulders, my birthplace, over Independence Day weekend. Last week I returned home with my 27-year-old son (born on the Fourth of July) and my brother and his oldest high school friend, almost 39 years to the day of our first Dead show June 26, 1976 at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater.

Something wonderful is happening: I’ve got Third Eye Blind’s cute-ass frontman Stephan Jenkins on the phone, and he’s asking me if I want to hang out.

If Las Vegas Weekly gave an award for “Band with Best Beards,” Sin City rock quartet Bobby Meader Music would surely win. In fact, based on beard weight alone, you might guess Bobby Meader Music hailed from the great, hairy Northwest instead of the glitz and glamor of Vegas. 

Donald Trump’s final outrage against the Republicans in his campaign for president will be to vote for Hillary Clinton.

In 1995, three partners — Todd Davis, Bart Caridio and Mark Jaeger — set out to build a brewpub based on a mutual love of the craft and the brew itself. The trio found a spot, once a garage operated by the grandson of Eugene pioneers Allen and Rachel Bond. The location fell short of the ideal size for a brewery, but after careful consideration and falling in love with the building and its history, Sam Bond’s Garage was born, or rather reborn.

Why do so many homeless people have dogs? This question comes up a lot in our town, where many people hang around downtown with their animals.

The first answer is a simple one: Homeless people have animals for all the same reasons housed people have them. It’s a great feeling to be loved and accepted without judgment, to have a warm companion to hug when you are feeling sad, and a friend who is always ready to walk with you—no matter how far you have to go.

THE BIGGEST MYSTERY

My wife and I have been together for more than 10 years, practicing some kind of nonmonogamy for more than seven. We tried different things—open, dating others, FWBs—but after a bi threesome with another guy a year ago, we knew that was our thing. For a while, everything was great, but roughly a month after that defining threesome, I came down with a bad case of mono. In a couple of months, we resumed our bi sexdates with our FWB, and I noticed I had a hard time getting horny and even had a hard time getting (and staying) hard.

The documentary Cartel Land is about the Mexican drug trade in the same way Moby Dick is about a fish — nominally, symbolically, as a single point of contact in a tale so monstrously bloated with violence, corruption and thwarted desire that it baffles comprehension at every turn. Just when you think you have a bead on this film, it wriggles free of easy assessment, turning morality inside-out to such an extent that life itself becomes a blur of guilt and complicity, every hand bloody.

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week.

Most of us have figured out by now that we are toast: Humanity will be wiped out by an asteroid, supernova, massive volcanic eruptions, global axis shift, some untreatable virus, nuclear war or climate change. Our sun is going supernova. We’ve seen the disaster movies, read the books and laughed at the cartoons. 

But how quickly?

Eugene 350’s Summer Meetup will be from 7 to 8:30 pm Thursday, July 16, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street. On the agenda is campaign organizing and arts projects, including giant banners and “Puppets for Climate Change.” Actions are being planned leading up to the U.N. climate talks in Paris. Email 350eugene@riseup.net or call 343-5091.

As fire season heats up in Oregon and across the West, debates over logging and forestry are staying hot in Congress. The House just passed HR 2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015, and Congressman Peter DeFazio is one of the Democrats who voted in favor of the bill.