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A year ago the eastside Delta Ponds had already frozen solid. Ice was an inch thick under seven inches of snow and thawed completely by the New Year. In February another snowfall was accompanied by a freezing rain the likes of which we hadn’t seen for many years. It was hard on the birdwatchers and really hard on the birds. Hummingbird feeders froze.

Nia is a form of exercise that mixes yoga, martial arts and dance techniques, but never mind what it is exactly: That analyzing part of your brain has no place here. Nia is about the joy of having arms and legs and knees and shoulders. It’s exploring the movements that your body loves. 

Your smartphone lets you listen to music, read the newspaper, filter your photos and find people to date. It can also help you lose weight and stay fit. If your New Year’s resolution is to have less screen time and more gym time, you might want to think again — turn your phone time to fitness time with these free apps. 

In mid-November, Darla Clark began getting frantic calls about Dani, a young Tennessee Walker horse in Lane County who was so emaciated that her spine and ribs protruded through her muddy black hair. Clark, who runs Strawberry Mountain Rescue and Rehab, says people who called Lane County Animal Services about the horse were told an officer couldn’t make it out until after the holidays. 

Get ready to grow. Portland is focusing on infill to meet its growing population, but Eugene is looking to expand its city limits in the next few years. The sprawl is likely to happen despite the city’s commitment to make Eugene more bike and pedestrian friendly.

Five years of community input and technical analysis have led to Envision Eugene expansion plans that appear to be favored by the city administration and the majority on the council, including Mayor Kitty Piercy. 

Late last summer, the images captured of police responding to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, with red, laser-sighted assault rifles and hulking armored vehicles precipitated a congressional hearing to survey the federal programs that funnel surplus military equipment from the Defense Department to law enforcement departments around the country. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently followed up on the pre-enforcement notices it sent to Jeanne M. Burris and Michael & Rosemary Cress in November for illegal waste-tire storage at property owned by Burris at 29882 Kelso St. in Eugene (see EW 12/11, goo.gl/uGo453). DEQ sent Burris a civil penalty assessment in the amount of $15,041 on Dec. 31, and sent Michael Cress a civil penalty assessment in the amount of $19,755 the same day. Burris is the current owner of the property, while Michael Cress is a prior owner.

It may look like a Labradoodle, but the lagotto Romagnolo is actually an ancient dog breed, carefully selected and bred for its ability to sniff out truffles. Though rare, a handful of lagottos live in Eugene, and now they and other breeds have a chance to strut their stuff. For the first time ever, the Oregon Truffle Festival is holding The Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship, a sporting event for dog lovers and truffle fans alike. 

 “In the most elemental form, the faculty has traded its voice in internal government and management for the union’s voice, and the union’s only legal role involves terms and conditions of employment for bargaining unit members,” reads a May 2012 memo written by the University of Oregon’s then-legal counsel Randy Geller, calling to abolish the UO’s Faculty Senate and advisory committees that are a part of the university’s “shared governance.” In shared governance, a university’s faculty has a say in how the school is run.

• We’ve ranted against sprawl for decades and we will likely continue to do so ad nauseam. We are not against growth, per se. People have to live somewhere, and our population is growing for a number of reasons, mostly sex. But we see no reason to encourage growth (or sex) to line the pockets of land speculators and shoddy developers. As City Councilor Betty Taylor asks, “Who profits from these plans?” We’d rather see quality of life be our community priority instead of taxpayer-subsidized growth.

We hear the dramatically lower gas prices are good for local businesses. Transportation costs are down for everything that travels by car or truck, which improves profits now and maybe customers will benefit later. Car sales are up and more people are traveling. The downsides don’t get much attention. High fuel prices helped alternative transportation enterprises grow and kept our focus on locally produced goods. Will we see bike businesses and local farmers take a hit, and less support for cycling and pedestrians? We expect urgent care and ER rooms to get more business.

Who’s who and what’s what in dance this month.

• The Eugene Police Commission will meet at 5:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 8, at EPD Headquarters, 300 Country Club Road, Kilcullen Community Room. On the agenda is a closed circuit television proposal.

Seattle musician Whitney Monge calls her sound “alternative soul,” but don’t expect Aretha Franklin or Al Green — not quite, anyway.

Electronic dance music is hotter than ever, nowhere more so than in Eugene. “Eugene has been an incredibly supportive place for our band to really thrive and to develop our own unique sound,” says Nathan Asman, who alongside guitarist Keith Randel and drummer Travis Lien makes up the Eugene-based livetronica act Hamilton Beach

Doesn’t that name sound familiar? This Patch of Sky got its name from a Lord Leebrick Theatre sign in 2010. Since then, the six-member band has carved a neat place for itself in the haunting, wordless world of symphonic post-rock.

FROM THE OLD QUEEN

Happy New Year, y’all. Talk about a happy new year — our win over Florida State could not have started the year off better. Being part of the exuberant Duck fans was thrilling. I do declare, I’ve never seen so many outstanding plays and touchdowns! Wish I could go to Texas to witness us as the champions. Oh fiddle de dee, I’ll get to watch it with my mom back in Nashville, Tenn. She turns 90 the day after the game. She, too, loves the Ducks. I’m giving thanks for her endurance — and of course, our mighty Ducks.

I have been wearing bras and panties with stockings for so long now, it’s become a part of me, and I was wondering if you have heard of this before.

Sent From Samsung Mobile

People wearing bras and panties and stockings—that is something I’ve heard of before.

I have been wearing bras and panties with stockings for so long now, it’s become a part of me, and I was wondering if you have heard of this before.

Sent From Samsung Mobile

People wearing bras and panties and stockings—that is something I’ve heard of before.

At the heart of most Hollywood films is some perceived threat to the domestic tranquility of the nuclear family. Whether it’s a tsunami, invading aliens or a stampeding horde of zombies, the danger that rattles our cinematic daydreams is the impending chaos of social disintegration, and it typically befalls an unlikely hero to suddenly acquire a spine and ward off the forces of evil. 

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

What do you dream? This year, in our second annual “I Dream of Eugene” issue, we asked for your dreams for education, for music and for rivers in our city and Lane County. And from rivers made of chocolate to downtown streets full of percussion instruments, Eugeneans (and some folks from Springfield and Corvallis too) gave us their dreams, from the funny to the poetic to the political and wonky. Hold fast to your dreams, Eugene, and thank you for sharing them.

Oregon’s salmon might be moving toward Alaska at a rate of about 30 kilometers (19 miles) a decade, according to a study in the January 2015 issue of Progress in Oceanography. “Marine life is being affected by changes in ocean conditions resulting from changes in climate and chemistry triggered by combustion of fossil fuels,” the study says.

This news comes as Oregon continues to debate the oil trains, coal export and liquified natural gas (LNG) pipeline and export facilities that are jockeying for position throughout the state.