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

In a flurry of sawdust and activity, the Urban Lumber Company Workshop in Springfield buzzes with the sounds of drilling and sawing. Towering branches, stumps and logs fill the workspace, each waiting its turn to become the next work of art carved into existence by owner Seth San Filippo and his fellow woodworkers, Josh Krute and Christian Jensen. These pieces of lumber, salvaged, reclaimed or sustainably harvested from all over the Eugene-Springfield area, are trees reincarnate. Instead of harvesting fresh timber from wild areas, Urban Lumber seeks out city trees that are dying, pose a threat to surrounding buildings or create some other kind of safety hazard. Rather than scrapping the lumber or sending it to landfills, Urban Lumber steps in and gives the wood another chance, collaborating with local businesses and individuals to create tables, doors, bed frames, countertops and everything else imaginable. 

On Feb. 4, the newly renamed Dove Medical Pregnancy Diagnosis Clinic, a crisis pregnancy center (CPC), held a grand opening celebration. Pro-choice advocates such as Planned Parenthood have criticized CPCs for giving patients false information about abortion, including that abortion causes breast cancer, can lead to sterility and is psychologically damaging. 

Comments on the stormwater pollution control plan for Natron Wood Products LLC’s facility in Jasper are due to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by 5 pm on Feb. 10. Visit goo.gl/ScwdH to see stormwater the plan and goo.gl/iMDQb to comment. Comments to DEQ regarding the erosion and sediment control plan for Phase 3 of Willamalane’s Sports Park on South 32nd Street in Springfield are due by 5 pm on Feb. 11. Visit goo.gl/Yp4iAK for information on how to make arrangements to view the plan and comment.

It’s looking like a good week for Oregon’s native little fish and its potato-shaped sea birds. News that the diminutive Oregon chub is slated to be removed from the endangered species list is making big headlines, and a just-announced settlement between the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and environmental groups means more hope for the threatened marbled murrelet, a sea bird that nests in Oregon’s coastal old-growth forests. 

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon (PPAO) will provide a twist to the normal Valentine’s Day festivities with its third annual “It’s Not Me, It’s You: Stories From the Dark Side of Dating” event on Friday, Feb. 7.

Jennifer Sparklebritches, a local stand-up comedian, will be hosting the event for the first time with a lineup of other stand-up comedians, writers and more who will be talking about their nightmarish dating experiences.

One speaker’s stance on gender identity is causing controversy around an upcoming environmental conference at the UO. Among its keynote speakers, the 32nd annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) Feb. 27 to March 2 will feature radical feminist Lierre Keith of Deep Green Resistance (DGR). A heated debate on PIELC’s Facebook event page (http://wkly.ws/1on) about Keith’s position that people who are transgender aren’t really the gender with which they identify has generated hundreds of comments.

Civic Stadium may survive the wrecking ball after all. It’s a wise leadership move by 4J Schools Superintendent Shelley Berman to support the city of Eugene’s offer to open an avenue for both the YMCA and a restored Civic Stadium on the 10.2 acres in south Eugene. Next, the School Board should follow his lead with a positive vote on Feb. 19. Only the city of Eugene’s proposal of $4.5 million includes reusing the historic stadium and the opportunity for a new Y on the site.

Greater Goods is closing after 23 years in Eugene. Joan Kleban is retiring and she has been a good friend to EW and a consistent advertiser all these years. We wish her well and expect she will continue to be a positive force in our community. We also appreciate her dedication to offering fair trade, hand-made products and folk art from around the world. Fair trade goods promote social and environmental sustainability, rare qualities in developing countries and even here at home.

City Club of Eugene will look at “Working Together on the BEST Outcomes for Kids” at its luncheon at noon Friday, Feb. 7, at the Downtown Athletic Club third floor ballroom, 999 Willamette. Speakers include Raquel Gwynn, Sharon Tabor and Randy Bernstein from School District 4J and Peter Chavannes of the city. $5 for nonmembers. 

Raised on a farm in southern Oregon, Sherry Whitmore graduated from Eagle Point High School and worked at a Sizzler restaurant in Medford. “I came up here for management training and met Brian Whitmore,” she says. “Three months later, I moved to Eugene.” She got married, spent summers as a forest firefighter, then had three kids, Shelby, Maddie and Trevor, and became a stay-at-home mom. “I coached volleyball for 13 years, at Kidsports and at South Eugene,” she notes.

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

Half of LA-based indie rock group Warpaint is Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman — lifelong friends from Eugene. Warpaint has always surrounded itself with talent: John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) produced Warpaint’s debut EP; Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, REM) and Flood (U2, Depeche Mode) worked on the group’s second, self-titled, full-length album released Jan. 17 on Rough Trade Records. 

Amy Helm is still quite taken with one of the views her late father — famed drummer and singer Levon Helm — had about the deeply profound effect that music can have on people’s lives.

You might expect a band named Desert Noises to give their music a stark, arid edge, something grim and dry. In reality, though, the only thing truly dry about this Utah-hailed indie rock outfit is their hometown. By all accounts, Desert Noises is wet.

Veteran singer-songwriter Boz Scaggs recorded 2013’s Memphis at the late Willie Mitchell’s Memphis studio — a place where Mitchell once put to tape heavyweights like Al Green, among others. Memphis is almost entirely covers showing Scaggs’ deep and enduring appreciation for the broad spectrum of American music, whether it’s blues, gospel, soul or rock ’n’ roll.

WHO BENEFITS?

I first noticed it several years ago at a community forum on health care. “It” came in the form of a union representative arguing against an inclusive single-payer health care model that would benefit us all. I wondered why unions would not support such progressive policy. Others in attendance educated me: Health insurance is a bargaining issue. Unions include it in contracts and appreciative members pay their union dues.

John Cariani’s 2004 romantic comedy, Almost, Maine, flopped when it opened in New York but is now the most produced play in our high schools, which might just tell you everything you need to know about this play that is beseechingly quaint and cosmically cute but not altogether lacking in bite.

What is the best way to sanitize a latex dildo? At least I think it’s a latex dildo. I actually don’t know. I had a yeast infection a few months ago, and before I knew what was up, I used my toy. Now I’m afraid to touch it until I know it won’t reinfect me!

Inserting This Chances Harm

 

This being the month when we celebrate the pursuit of Eros, Amor, love in all its forms — oddly appropriated to the name of a saint (Valentine/Valentinus martyred by beheading on Feb. 14, 273 CE) — we want to send some love to two figures whose passionate pursuits add pleasures to our lives. 

The Great Beauty is a glorious jumble, which is fitting for a movie that’s about life, the universe and everything (to borrow a very useful phrase from Douglas Adams) — and a little bit about nothing at the same time. Plot-wise, there’s not much to it: After turning 65, novelist-turned-journalist Jep (Toni Servillo) has a bit of an existential crisis about his shiny, glamorous life. Sort of. (In an interview, director Paolo Sorrentino aptly called his film’s plot “fragile.”)

Oscar prep: Who has two hours for a movie anymore (or three hours, ahem, The Wolf of Wall Street)? Bijou Art Cinemas (on 13th) and the Bijou Metro (downtown) begin screening 2014 Oscar-nominated short films Jan. 31, including animated, live action and documentary films. EW picks: The Lady in Number 6 about Alice Herz Sommer, the world’s oldest pianist and Holocaust survivor at 109 years old; the Steampunk-inspired animated hijinx of Mr.

Some 65 dams came down for various reasons in the U.S. in 2012, according to National Geographic, and Oregon rivers are averaging three or four intentional dam breaches a year. But one troublesome dam, Soda Springs, still remains on the North Umpqua River, despite recommendations for its removal by a federal agency, numerous environmental organizations and even a study funded by the project’s owner, PacifiCorp. The story of why this remote dam remains standing is not widely known, and it boils down to corporate profits versus the environment, with bad timing thrown in.

Rod Coronado believes that the best thing he’s ever accomplished for animal rights was when he played an instrumental role in sinking two Icelandic whaling ships through Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which uses direct action to protect marine habitat and wildlife. Now, the animal rights activist and ex-convict is going on his “Hungry like the Wolf 2014” tour and will be making a stop here in Eugene on Feb. 2.