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DRAW OF THE CASCADES

There’s a trickle on the back side of Belknap, up there in the wild Cascades. Up where it wanders west towards Clear Lake. Up where it joins the slick parade of the marching McKenzie River. Up where time and trout are one. Where you can hook and land eternity in one prismatic flash of sun. Up where a school of fish becomes a mess of fish. Up where living takes up all your time. Up where the Doug firs set their skirts a-swish.

Yesterday, I found my 5-year-old son putting things up his butt in the bath. This isn’t the first time—and it’s not just a “Hey! There’s a hole here! Let’s put things in there!” kind of thing. The little dude was rocking quite the stiffy while he did it. I’m well aware of how sexual kids can be (I freaking was!), although I wasn’t quite expecting to be catching him exploring anal at this young age.

The apocalypse has come, and it’s the work of men. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, after three Mad Max movies that saw the world getting progressively darker (even as the third movie went to a strangely playful place that felt more Goonies than Road Warrior).

On Saturday, May 23, Lane County residents will participate in the worldwide March Against Monsanto for World Food Day (see details below). Over 600 cities around the world are scheduling events on that day. The UN has named this the “Year of the Soils” and in Eugene we will hold a march to declare our right to protect and restore the soils upon which our food, the climate, and all life ultimately depends.

The plaza at Broadway and Willamette (Kesey Square) has been around since urban renewal in the late 1960s. An old drugstore building was on the site and was condemned because of its unsafe condition. Located at what was then the “100 percent corner” of downtown, the planners of the now long-gone downtown mall decided to put a plaza there. 

There’s a pub on the outskirts of London that will forever hold a piece of Colin Graham’s heart. Though he moved away from London in 2012, Graham can easily picture his old neighborhood watering hole, the Two Brewers, down to the nitty-gritty details — a chipped tile here, a spray of graffiti there. He remembers the kindhearted staff and his friend performing drag in its cabaret, as well as the stroll home at the end of the night to his flat. It’s the spot where he’d bring visiting friends and family and where he met the father of his children.

Who came up with the vehicle registration fee (VRF) measure on the May 19 ballot and why were other, more palatable options not suggested? Judging by letters to the editor in EW and The Register-Guard, these questions remain unanswered in the minds of many voters as the Tuesday voting deadline approaches.

“The proposal was not generated or authored by any one person,” says Lane County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky. “In fact, it was a citizen panel that recommended the fee to the board.” 

Completed ballots need to be at the elections office or in white ballot boxes around town and campus by 8 pm Tuesday, May 19. If you didn’t get your ballot, call Lane County Elections at 682-4234 or visit lanecounty.org/elections. Below are our endorsements in selected races and money measures. Find additional information in last week’s EW and in your Voters’ Pamphlet.

 

Lane ESD Director Position 7 (at large)

Linda Hamilton or John A. Baumann

The April 25 earthquake that struck near Kathmandu, Nepal, followed by a second earthquake near Mount Everest on May 12, brought the tiny South Asian country to the forefront of the national conscience and brought out Eugene’s generous donors. 

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwys. I-5, 99, 101, 105, 126, Territorial, Beltline and Hwy. 36 from Hwy. 99 to 1 mile east of Blachly were sprayed recently; ODOT may spray the rest of Hwy. 36 soon.

In the wake of police shootings across the country, several bills regarding police body cameras were proposed in this year’s Oregon legislative session. Only one major bill is left, focusing on the issue of the body cams and public records. 

Rep. Lew Frederick (D-Portland) started with a bill mandating that every law enforcement agency in the state equip its officers with body cameras. It quickly became clear that would be financially impossible for many counties and rural areas in Oregon. 

In 1998, Brenda Tracy reported to the police that she was sexually assaulted — gang-raped — by four men, two of them Oregon State football players. More than 16 years after the ordeal, Tracy is speaking out and working to change Oregon laws dealing with campus sexual assault. 

The University of Oregon Intercollegiate Athletics Committee is sponsoring a talk by Tracy on Thursday, May 14.

• As of May 12, only about 15 percent of voters have turned in ballots for the May 19 Special Election, which is surprising. We figured the Lane County vehicle registration fee and recent controversies on the 4J School Board would crank up interest in this election. But it’s not too late to get those ballots dropped off at one of those handy white ballot boxes around town. Procrastination appears to be an exclusively human frailty.

We’re hearing some grumbles about the Glenwood Refinement Project and some residents and businesses that might be affected or even displaced. One drawing of the new Franklin Boulevard Project through Glenwood shows four roundabouts within 1 mile, requiring widening in several places that would take out entire buildings and business frontage. The new Planned Parenthood building could lose part of its setback from the street.

Wolf Night: A benefit for Cascadia Wildlands’ work to restore wolves in the Cascades, will begin at 9 pm Friday, May 15, at Luckey’s Club, 933 Olive St. Suggested donation of $5 to $500.

When someone asked me to help her design a grazing garden, my first thought was, “Wow, I’ve never done that.” But I quickly realized that I have my own grazing garden at home. I didn’t design it for that purpose, but it’s rare for me to go into the garden without nibbling on something. My friend’s request put me on the spot, though: How would I define and plan a grazing garden?

“I learned to read at age 4,” says Isabelle Rogers, who entered first grade at Oak Hill School a year later. She skipped kindergarten and eighth grade on her way to high school graduation from Oak Hill this year at age 16. Rogers started writing stories when she was 7. She won a Glitterary Award from the Young Writer’s Association the next year for her story “If It Rained Down Soda.” “I liked to write,” she says. “My parents encouraged me. I still bounce ideas off my parents.” 

During the last six regular sessions of the Oregon Legislature, I have had the honor and privilege of serving with Marla Rae and Jon Chandler — two of the most profanely funny bipartisan lobbyists in the business — as a judge in the Golden Gobbler Awards honoring the worst bills introduced each session. This party has been around forever, hosted by Pamela Jones, Mark Nelson and his lobby firm, Public Affairs Counsel, at their beautiful home on the Willamette. Mark invites legislators, staff and lobbyists, and the price of admission is a sense of humor and a bill that should not be. Four frozen rock Cornish game hens and a frozen turkey were the prizes. And yes, the lobbyists have to report themselves to the Oregon Ethics Commission.

Fresh-faced musician and visual artist Elspeth Summers plays psychedelic folk, modern Americana and country music. Her voice is feisty and youthful while also conveying a road-hard-and-put-away-wet wisdom and weariness. 

Shortly after a Eugene School Board member declared at a recent meeting, "We deeply regret [the] appearance of a lack of transparency" [in the past], the board went into a nonpublic session to discuss whether to dismiss a moot lawsuit against the local paper. Would someone send a dictionary over to the board?

To the casual observer it might appear that, in 2015, every metal band in the known world is a doom metal band. To be fair, fans of the genre might share a similar impression. Doom is undergoing something of a revival, finally becoming as huge now as the Black Sabbaths and Saint Vituses (Vitae?) that spawned it. 

A LITTLE NOW, OR MORE LATER

Please join me in voting “yes” on Lane County’s vehicle registration fee. It is needed, fair and Lane County’s only practical option.

“I am a physical storyteller,” performer Bill Bowers says. “I am interested in the study of ‘How would you say something if you couldn’t use words?’” Bowers visits Lane Community College this week for a residency that includes a free workshop for the public May 27 and a performance of Bowers’ critically acclaimed Beyond Words May 30.