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“I started this journey curious about a bizarre sport called competitive endurance tickling,” says New Zealand journalist David Farrier near the conclusion of his strange and upsetting documentary Tickled. “But I now think this was never even about tickling. This is about power, control and harassment. It’s about one person’s twistedness and how far that can go.”

If you’ve come for the Oregon Country Fair (July 8-10), the Oregon Bach Festival (June 23-July 10) or the 2016 U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials (July 1-10), welcome to the Eug. If you already live here, well, welcome to some bigger crowds around town than we might be used to and a reminder that we live in a pretty nice place.

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

In no particular order, the following locales are highly recommended places to grab a bite to eat or plunk down for a microbrew.

Rick Levin

 et al.

Every good city needs a strong, vibrant public space, and Kesey Square — located in the heart of downtown Eugene at Broadway and Willamette — is ground zero for the open interaction of a metropolis and its community. On any given day, the red brick plaza of Kesey Square (named for its iconic statue of legendary local author Ken Kesey) is bustling with food carts, street musicians and folks just passing through, from local business people to shoppers to skateboarding youth.

Crisis workers in Eugene say they are still seeing repeat cases of severely mentally ill people being discharged back to the community by the jail and PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District’s emergency room, despite a 2015 Oregon bill that changed the language describing how people can be committed to a state mental institution.

That’s because House Bill 3347 didn’t really usher in any new legislation, according to Andrea Williams, one of two civil commitment investigators for Lane County Behavioral Health Services.

“In my experience, it’s not really going to change anything for us as far as how we process holds that come through the hospital. That provision has always been there. They’ve just changed the language of it,” Williams says.

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Tired of sitting around and watching other people run (or standing and screaming for them, as the case may be)? Want to meditate on the joys of J.S. Bach among Oregon’s greenery? Lane County is not lacking in places close in or a little way out of town to take a summer walk on a break from town.

Wendy Wheeler-Coltrane first had the idea to form a local philanthropy group five years ago. A busy schedule and lack of contacts held her back until last year, when Wheeler-Coltrane and Jean Lee began working to found the Eugene-Springfield chapter of 100+ Women Who Care (100+WWC), a group of women who donate to local charities that provide a service for the community. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say “there is no known safe level of lead in a child’s blood.” Effects of lead poisoning include developmental delays, memory loss and brain damage.

The discovery of lead in drinking water in Portland public schools so soon after the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, ignited alarm in schools across the state of Oregon, including those in Lane County. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on May 27 sent a warning letter to Jason and Rachel Shannon of Veneta for illegally discharging sewage to the ground at their property on East Bolton Road in Veneta. DEQ’s letter requested that the Shannons take steps to prevent additional illegal discharges, cordon off the affected area “to prevent human and animal contact,” and disinfect the affected area.

• The Lane County Board of Commissioners’ June 28 discussion of giving themselves the authority to block some local ballot measures has us floored. Did it get forgotten by four of the five commissioners that Oregon citizens have a right to the initiative process that is protected in the state Constitution? Read more here.

 

• More than 4 million acres of Oregon’s forests have been converted into single-species tree plantations, enviro-justice group Beyond Toxics tells EW. Those plantations are helicopter sprayed with herbicides affecting our drinking water, salmon and health. Climate change means our forests, both public and private plantations, are more at risk for fire and drought.

Summer is here, with heat that is ripening berries and tomatoes. For we locavores, lovers and eaters of local food, paradise is at hand. However, local farm fresh foods are still far from the default choice for most, and for many households, fresh produce is unaffordable. 

To help get more locally grown fruits and vegetables into the hands of those struggling to put food on the table, Willamette Farm and Food Coalition is partnering with the Lane County Farmers Market to bring Double Up Food Bucks to Lane County. 

Ever since 1999, when the Rooster Man, aka Gavin Fox, long-time host of KLCC’s Saturday afternoon Blues Power program, was struck down by ALS, Skip Jones has kept the weekly Rooster’s Blues Jam alive. “Rooster hired me to be the house drummer in 1990,” says Jones, a regular at the Monday night jams at Taylor’s Bar. After years of hopscotching from club to club, the jam has enjoyed a stable venue for the past six years, Tuesday nights at Mac’s at the Vet’s Club, 1626 Willamette Street. Admission is free. 

One of Eugene’s newest breweries features some familiar faces: Matt Van Wyk and Brian Coombs, formerly of acclaimed local brewery Oakshire. In 2015, Van Wyk and Coombs, along with Coomb’s brother Doug, struck out on their own, launching Alesong Brewing & Blending, a company with a unique emphasis on barrel-aged beer.

If toe-tapping and swingin’ beats with eerie, Romanian undertones are your thing, check out Hot Damn Scandal

When the Oregon Bach Festival commissioned what turned out to be his European Requiem back in 2012, James MacMillan couldn’t have known how prophetic that title might have turned out to be. The 57-year-old Scottish composer’s big choral orchestral work premieres July 2 at the Hult Center — just more than a week after his compatriots voted to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union, a move that might in turn provoke MacMillan’s homeland to seek independence from the U.K. Given speculation that other countries might follow the U.K.’s secessionist lead, MacMillan’s new composition may indeed turn out to be a requiem for the ideal of a united Europe.

Amy Klarup

 et al.

Brews, news and events from around Eugene, the Willamette Valley and beyond

A brand new Eugene band, Ghost Tour, debuts Saturday, July 2, at Hi-Fi Music Hall’s Lounge. Ghost Tour features several familiar faces for Eugene music fans, such as Olive DelSol (Bohemian Dub Orchestra) on keyboards and vocals, and Michael Steinkirchner (Caitlin Jemma & The Goodness) on lead guitar. 

Brothers Stephen and Dan Hughes want their brewery to honor community members who sacrifice a lot and don’t get much recognition — namely, teachers and medical workers.

“Healthcare workers and teachers are probably two of the most unrecognized professions I can think of,” says Dan Hughes, who opened ColdFire Brewing Company with his brother in January. 

“There are a lot of unsung heroes out there, and we definitely wanted to recognize that those people are an important part of our community,” Stephen Hughes adds.

That’s why teachers and healthcare workers get a discount day each week at ColdFire.

In his office at Oakshire Brewing, Eric Keskeys flips through a weathered paperback revealing hundreds of ancient shapes and patterns. The room is dark, save for the glow from his dual computer screens, where working templates of beer labels have been put on pause. 

He stops on a page to point out some trefoils in what he calls a design bible — the Handbook of Designs and Devices: 1836 Basic Designs and Their Variations, originally printed in 1946.

I have two sisters, much younger than me, the offspring of my father’s second marriage. I love them both dearly, but when they were little girls and I was in my 20s, they drove me batshit crazy — especially with their fanatical devotion to all things Disney. Both of them possess gorgeous singing voices, always have, and traipsing around the house they would suddenly stop, raise their arms with operatic urgency and begin belting out some saccharine ballad from The Lion King or The Little Mermaid.

WORTHY SHEEP

The June 23 EW provided a striking example of how humans compartmentalize nonhuman animals: Some species are treated as companions, while others are viewed as mere resources for human use. 

A two-page spread (plus cover photo) involved lovely photos being used to increase the adoption rate of pit bulls. Subsequent pages included two large promotions for the “Black Sheep Gathering,” celebrating an industry that is anything but innocuous.

Is it a super douchey move to pretend to be a lesbian to avoid unwanted male attention? I’m a straight single woman in my mid-thirties and a very plausible lesbian in terms of sartorial stereotypes. Occasionally a guy will hit on me in an awkward or creepy way and I’ll trot out a line about “not being into men.” Most recently I used this pose when a courier broke down in my driveway and I invited him in for a glass of water while he waited for the tow truck. It was really uncomfortable and a little threatening when—after establishing that I lived alone—he asked me out.