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The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued fines on Dec. 5 to food processing equipment manufacturer A & K Development Co. and to G & R Auto Wreckers, Inc. for Clean Water Act violations at Eugene facilities. DEQ fined A & K $6,427 for failure to monitor for copper and zinc at its facility at 410 Chambers Street, and fined G & R $10,106 for failure to monitor for pH at its Pick-A-Part facility at 90579 Highway 99 North.

So, I asked my friend Rosie Scenario: I know you just sold your prediction business for a big loss after the last election, but what would you do now about City Hall?

 “Well, I wouldn’t move to EWEB," she says, “even if that siren sounds like a cheap and easy way out for people grown weary and ready to stuff six pounds of wax in their ears.”

• Listening to Mayor Kitty Piercy give her farewell to the City Club of Eugene on Dec. 9 made us grateful that we live in this blue bubble in the wake of the recent presidential election. In recapping her 12 years as mayor, she laid out a progressive value system exactly the opposite of Donald Trump’s. She said it was her policy “to never take public potshots at anyone,” a policy designed to bring factions together to inch forward in a caring sustainable society.

• Brails on 5th has opened! After the venerable Keystone Café shut its doors in May 2015, Sang Joo (Joy) Knudtson of Brails Restaurant on Willamette stepped in. The new Brails is located at the former Keystone Café, 395 W. 5th Avenue, just on the edge of the Whiteaker.

Local democratic control over education has been under assault for three decades. Sometimes this takes the form of federal mandates to use “Common Core” curriculum and high stakes standardized tests. These have been implemented largely without regard for local feedback and by using empty threats to school funding to silence parent and teacher objections to these policies. 

The road to becoming Sonic Bent is long and winding. The self-described “progressive jam with a splash of cry-in-your-beer Americana” band — featuring Jeff Alberts (drums, vocals), Keenan Dorn (guitar, vocals), Noah Kamrat (bass, vocals) and Patrick Kavaney (guitar, vocals) — got its start in 2011. Founding members Kamrat and Kavaney (who met in middle school), however, have been carving the cross-country path to Sonic Bent, dabbling in other music outfits that laid the groundwork for this one, over decades.

Last summer, Portland (and former Eugene) musician Joel Magid admitted on social media he was a sexual predator. The shocking confession garnered national attention, shining a spotlight on sexual assault in music scenes and their subcultures. A cohort of Eugene musicians, led by Jennifer Cheddar, Stephen Buettler and Nick Gamer (Pancho + The Factory), took the opportunity to galvanize. 

If someone makes a movie about the Standing Rock Lakota fighting back against Big Oil, that filmmaker might find the soundtrack at 7:30 pm Friday, Dec. 16, when the Riverside Chamber Symphony premieres Water is Life at Springfield’s Wildish Theater. When he began writing the 10-minute one-movement orchestral work, the composer, UO grad student Justin Ralls, couldn’t have known about the impending protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

SPREADING KINDNESS

It’s easier to share with Lane County neighbors in need of food thanks to Capella Market’s new cashier station signage. Cappella staffers Reisa and Rhonda worked with FOOD for Lane County to put eye-catching signage next to the cashiers, so that customers can donate in $1, $5 or $10 increments when they check out.

Perhaps you’re not the best person to ask, being a cis white man, but as a queer woman of color, the election had an extremely detrimental effect on my relationships with my white partners. I love and care for them, but looking at those results has me wondering why the fuck they didn’t do better in reaching out to their shitty relatives? I’m sick of living at the whim of white America. I’m aware this is the blame stage of processing, but it’s left me unable to orgasm with my white partners.

There came a moment early in Kenneth Lonergan’s new film when I knew I was in trouble, emotionally speaking: Led by the doctor into a viewing of his brother’s corpse on the hospital table, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) stands stiffly at the threshold of the room, incapable of approaching, his body coiled, his hands flexing and fidgeting before he slides them uncertainly into the pockets of his jeans.

Whether it’s escapism through fiction or a dive into a nonfiction tome because you want to learn more about the world, the digital age hasn’t stopped us from reading and loving books. Whether we’re on a plane reading history on a Kindle or dropping ketchup on the paper pages of a novel we can’t put down, even to eat, at the kitchen table, books let us live more lives than just our own. Books provide us with a mimesis — a representation of reality — a lifetime in 250 pages. Every year Eugene Weekly staff and writers read the books that we love, or hate, and present them to you in our Winter Reading issue in hopes you curl up, read us, then read some more books.

Winter Reading 2016 - Fiction Reviews

Winter Reading 2016 - Nonfiction Reviews

Winter Reading 2016 - Even More Reviews

Winter Reading 2016 - Top Ten Lists

Read Local: A Roundup

Misfit. A Q&A with Lidia Yuknavitch

Read Electronically with the Eugene Public Library

After 21 years in business at its 2585 Willamette Street location, Tsunami Books is hoping it can hang on for another 20. But it’s going to take a bit of a Hail Mary, Tsunami proprietor Scott Landfield says. 

A 700-strong pool of part-time city employees are earning wages that barely pass federal poverty line standards. A Jan. 18 city work session has been called to address this ongoing issue. 

People filled chairs, lined walls and sat on the floor for the duration of the special meeting of the city of Eugene Human Rights Commission (HRC) on Monday, Dec. 5. Professors, public school teachers, community members and activists were vocal in their concerns for undocumented people in their communities, classrooms and schools.

The future of the Elliott State Forest still hangs in the balance and local environmental groups are dubious about a proposal to be discussed at an upcoming meeting of Oregon’s State Land Board.

Lidia Yuknavitch is a beast of an author. Her writing is raw, uncensored and has a strength that can only come from living one hell of a life (check out her Ted Talk “The Beauty of Being a Misfit”). Yuknavitch — a University of Oregon graduate and current literature workshop teacher in Portland — has gone from being a professional swimmer to a mother whose daughter died, and from a dazed lover of substances to a best-selling novelist. Her craft has always been constant in her life: She must write. 

The Eugene Public Library says when it comes to reading, it’s going to stay out of the fray over print ebook versus audio. “In practice, most people enjoy books in each of these ways at different times,” the library’s director, Connie Bennett, says, adding: “At Eugene Public Library, we believe in freedom of format!”

When it comes to “buy local,” that suggestion can apply to your reading as well. Throughout the year, local authors drop off their books at EW or send links to their e-published work. We can’t read them all, but somebody should. So we offer you our annual self-published roundup.

fiction

Willful Disregard: A Novel About Love by Lena Andersson, translated Sarah Death. Other Press, $15.95.

essays

 

If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: The Graduation speeches and Other Words to Live By by Kurt Vonnegut. Seven Stories Press, $23.95.

nonfiction

 

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West. Hachette Books, $29.95.

Tsunami Books 

 

Favorites

2585 Willamette Street

541-345-8986

tsunamibooks.org

 

Scott Landfield’s staff pick: 

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. Simon and Schuster, $32.50.

 

Store Favorites:  

Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig. Riverhead Books, $28.95.

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem. Random House, $18.

• It’s time to celebrate the victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe after the Department of the Army announced Dec. 4 that it will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Congratulations to Native Americans, allies, veterans (particularly Native veterans), who impressively gathered to stand up to the pipelines. As they, and we, celebrate this win in the fight for clean water and indigenous rights, celebrants are rightfully also cautious.