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Two couples, one reeling from the horrific murder of their only daughter, the other coping with a terminal illness that is reaching its late stage, come together and confront their demons: This is the thumbiest of thumbnail sketches of The Quality of Life, a play by Jane Anderson that explores the specter of death, the lash of loss, the cycles of grief and how people make meaning amid chaos and crisis — in short, it’s about life itself.

I’m a 27-year-old, feminist, conventionally attractive, straightish, GGG woman. Over time, my tastes have changed, and now I find myself more of a kinkster. A few years ago, my desire for kinkier sex and my willingness to take a chance came together in a mutually beneficial, exciting D/s relationship. I’ll be honest: I wasn’t as smart as I could have been. I met this guy on Tinder, and after verifying his identity, I told some friends where I’d be and I met up with him.

Wine is just fermented grape juice. So what’s all the fuss and chatter?

There’s a prize in every bottle of good wine. And the prize can be very special, one that connects to memory, one that draws friends closer, one that opens experience. There’s often synergy with food: Wine makes food taste better, food makes wine taste better. 

Mustang opens on the last day of school. A young student cries, hugging her teacher, who gives the girl her address. The girl, Lale (Günes Sensoy), is swept up by four other girls who can only be her sisters; they have endless manes of brown hair, and they show intense comfort with each other as they tumble out of the schoolyard and onto the beach, where they splash into the water, fully clothed. It’s like the beginning of so many school-aged summers: open, beautiful, full of possibility.

The 2016 Lane County Propagation Fair will take place from 11 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27, at the old Whiteaker School, now the Whiteaker Head Start Building, 21 N. Grand Street. There will be outdoor workshops on a variety of topics on Sunday, March 27.

Your individual choices affect climate change — if you drive a car, or what car you buy, what products you consume and if you reuse and recycle. 

At the same time, major corporations have spent millions of dollars denying climate change. As Big Tobacco once denied cigarette smoke is unhealthy, corporations such as the Koch Industries and ExxonMobile have spent millions to sow doubt about climate change, despite knowing the science is real. 

The fossil fuel industry would like you to think it’s all your fault. Climate change gets blamed on consumer choices, not corporate misdeeds. Can you affect climate change? Yes, and you can fight it. As anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals.”

The panel was “Leisure Time, Life Satisfaction and the Environment.” The name that was added to the March 5 panel after the conference brochure came out was “Cylvia Hayes, CEO 3E Strategies, former First Lady of Oregon.”

Attendees at last week’s Public Interest Environmental Law Conference who happened to look at the PIELC 2016 addendum would have noticed that former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s fiancée was listed as a speaker alongside John de Graaf of Take Back Your Time and Randall Burtz, a professor of recreation. 

Three new parking lots have opened in the Whiteaker neighborhood, courtesy of the political strategizing by the Whiteaker Community Council (WCC), which is leasing the properties with funds donated by a coalition of local businesses.

The fate of Kesey Square still hangs in the balance. Will Eugene City Council members vote to develop it or won’t they? Will they improve it for the public to use or leave it without management? Meanwhile, community members have expressed interest in hosting events at the city square also known as Broadway Plaza, which was deeded to the public “forever” by the Eugene Urban Renewal Agency in 1971. 

• Oregon Department of Transportation will soon be spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call 1-888-996-8080 for herbicide application information. 

• Giustina Resources, 726-3588, plans to hire Strata Forestry Inc, 726-0845, to spot spray a total of 287.5 acres at seven sites near Mount Zion and Lost Creek south of Dexter Lake and one site near Bear Creek, southeast of Cottage Grove with hexazinone, clopyralid, sulfometuron methyl and/or 2,4-D. See ODF notification 2016-771-02653, call Tim Meehan at 726-3588 with questions. 

• The Oregon Legislature wrapped up its short session last week, and with the leadership of Dems, some decent legislation made it through, and some bad bills got shelved. The governor might not sign every bill into law. The graduated and tiered minimum wage hike is inadequate, as we noted last week, but it’s a step in the right direction. Legislation to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2030 is another step, but let’s keep in mind that burning trees is also a nasty way to generate power.

“Twenty-five years seems like a significant milestone,” Denise Gilbertson says. 

That’s perhaps the understatement of the new year for the silver anniversary of the Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene (MEDGE), of which Gilberston is a member. For any nonprofit arts group to reach the decade milepost, let alone the quarter-century mark, is cause for celebration.

• The NAACP of Lane County’s “Community Conversations: Building Unity in our Community” series of public meetings on race, privilege and equity continues from 5:30 to 8 pm Thursday, March 10, at the EWEB Community Room, North Building, 500 E. 4th Ave. The meeting begins with a light dinner at 5:30. Additional meetings in the series will be at the same time and place on the second Thursday of each month through May. Reservations are requested through naacplanecounty.org or the Facebook page. Call 682-5619.

Warning: This column contains graphic depictions of political sausage-making and may cause an involuntary gag reflex.

I followed the fate of HB 4040 as it approached its final vote in the Oregon Senate last week. HB 4040 puts in statute a requirement that the Legislature ratify last year’s decision by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to de-list wolves as an endangered species. That decision provoked a lawsuit by environmentalists and animal rights advocates who contend that ODFW’s decision was based on bad science and didn’t follow the requirements of the state’s wolf management plan. 

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

Musical traditions, like cuisine, say a lot about a culture. Pay attention and learn of pinnacles, invasions, conquests and declines. The recipe for great music and food is often the contradiction of outsiders celebrating their own lousy situation, mixing in ingredients that in different contexts might not make sense. New York’s Gogol Bordello has long been one of rock’s tastiest stews — a culture unto themselves. 

We usually hear one dimension of Peter Tchaikovsky: his melody-drenched ballet scores, especially that one that cracks up every Christmas.

But along with famous concertos and symphonies, the great Russian Romantic composer also wrote operas, and this Friday and Saturday, March 11-12, Eugene Opera presents one of the most popular, Eugene Onegin, at the Hult Center. Based on Pushkin’s novel of romantic reversals — girl wants boy, boy rejects girl, then changes his mind, with tragic consequences — Tchaikovsky’s 1888 lyric opera has everything fans cherish in his music: sumptuous melodies, emotional drama, even dance in all three acts, choreographed here by Antonio Anacan and performed by a half-dozen Eugene Ballet dancers.

The Dexter Lake Club is iconic. The roadhouse-esque building sitting near the shore of Dexter Reservoir looks about the same as it did in the 1978 film Animal House when Otis Day called out to the film audience, “It feels so good to be back here at the Dexter Lake Club.”

It does feel good to be back at the DLC. The movie history has long drawn visitors the 12 or so miles out Hwy. 58 to the DLC, but for locals in the Dexter, Lowell and Pleasant Hill area, it’s also the fact it’s the hometown bar that draws people back each week. And while the building has remained largely the same since the days of John Belushi, the DLC’s ownership and management have switched hands over the years. 


I am an older woman now, not the little girl who played in the fountain on the Broadway Street pedestrian mall, but I still feel just as safe and happy when I go downtown. I am a member of two knitting clubs that meet in the evenings less than a block from Kesey Square, and as I walk to my destination, I see interesting people. I like to pet their dogs and ask them about their lives. 

With perfect political timing, a new dinner theater company brings Murder on the Campaign Trail to town

The newly minted Mystery Mayhem Theater Company’s dinner show, Murder on the Campaign Trail, opens in Springfield this weekend, with a sendup of the political process and whodunit rolled into one. 

Two Turtles releases the spring-loaded plunger, and a small steel ball rockets up the chute and begins its arcing trajectory across the candy-colored table. Wearing a beard and T-shirt that reads “I’m kind of a big deal,” Turtles’ focus is locked on the dazzling array of lights glowing from a 40-year-old pinball machine called “Wizard!”

Turtles is a regular here, a fixture on Wednesday nights when Blairally hosts Pinball Knights, its weekly double-elimination pinball tournament. And he’s destroying me. 

Dear Oregon: You, or rather your drinking habits, are moving up in the world. In last year’s edition of Swizzle, EW reported that, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), Oregonians bought Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey more than any other distilled spirit in 2014. 

Clocking in at nearly four hours, University Theatre’s production of Scorched is something of an endurance test, and the stamina it requires is more than just physical. Bloody and unrelenting, the play transports the audience front and center to hell on earth, and its emotional impact is undeniable, like a seizure of post-traumatic stress that won’t let you go.

Late-night bar trivia is only fun if you occasionally know an answer or two. Otherwise you end up quietly resenting your teammates for knowing so much about 1980s sports and leisure. Not that I’m speaking from experience.

So when I heard about Star One, Eugene’s science fiction and fantasy happy hour at Starlight Lounge downtown, I squeaked with delight. The nature of the event varies month to month, but when I attended in February, trivia maven Dr. Seven Phoenix had taken the helm and was orchestrating a killer game of science fiction-themed trivia.