On Jan. 20, scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced 2015 as the hottest year on record since record-keeping began in 1880.
Oregon itself experienced its hottest year since the state's records began in 1895. Phil Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, says the state’s “average temperature in 2015 was 50.4 degrees, not only a record but far above the average yearly temperature for the 20th century, which was 47.8 degrees.” Mote attributes this to a combination of meteorological conditions and greenhouse gases.
On the corner of Lawrence Street sits a tiny white building that houses feisty nonprofit Beyond Toxics, which has advocated for environmental and social justice reforms in the state of Oregon since 2001 — you might remember it as Oregon Toxics Alliance.
On Feb. 5, Beyond Toxics will celebrate its 15th anniversary at Capitello Wine Bar in downtown Eugene, as well as introduce a state ballot petition banning aerial chemical sprays.
The American media has been paying a lot of attention to the clown car that makes up the pool of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. And on the Democratic side, the media has finally noticed that Bernie Sanders is making inroads into what many thought was a surefire Hillary Clinton ticket.
But lately, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein says, there’s been a little more oxygen in the room, and the media and American public have realized that Stein and the Greens have something to say.
Nadia Raza’s lawsuit against Lane Community College, filed Jan. 21, alleges that the administration failed to protect the tenured instructor from an aggressive student felon and stalker.
Raza’s 19-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene by attorney Jennifer Middleton, is not the first attempt to get the LCC administration to adopt immediate measures to better protect its staff from sexual advances and physical threats from students.
[Update: This article has been edited to include information about a petition to Save Kesey Square.]
Before the Eugene City Council meeting Jan. 25, the chants and drums of the Save Kesey Square rally could be heard from the nearby Harris Hall, growing louder as more than 100 protesters walked from Kesey Square to the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza while a council work session was in progress.
• Eugene City Councilor George Brown told us earlier this week that he will not be seeking re-election to a third term in the May Primary. It’s a decision he’s been pondering for a while, and in earlier conversations we tried to talk him out of it. His progressive, thoughtful voice on the council is in the minority and is vitally important to the future livability and prosperity of our community. But he’s grown weary.
• The independent private Oak Hill School will be the new home of Super Summer, a three-week academic enrichment program for advanced learners and Talent and Gifted students, and will expand to include sixth and seventh grade students. The popular program has been housed at the UO for the past 35 years. Super Summer will begin its permanent residency on the rural Oak Hill campus near LCC June 27. The application process will open Feb. 8. See oakhillschool.com or call 744-0954.
• Women’s Action for New Directions meets at 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 28, at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street, to talk about the Women for Peace: National WAND Biennial Conference Report. The conference was held recently in Washington, D.C. Speakers include Annette Rose. Free.
The daughter of an Alaskan Native airline pilot, who flew back and forth to Alaska, and a Norwegian mother from Minnesota, Sigvanna Topkok endured family fights at home and racist comments at school, as she grew up in several towns across Oregon, from Baker City to the coast. She spent childhood summers in her grandparents’ home village of Ambler, Alaska, where tribal traditions were suppressed in previous generations. “My grandmother was adopted out of the tribe,” she notes. “My dad passed away in a car crash when I was 11.
My, how the world of Oregon politics has changed in two years. Twenty-two months ago TheOregonian reported that John Kitzhaber, then preparing to run for an unprecedented fourth term in November 2014, held a press conference to announce a “grand bargain.” In a series of backroom meetings, Dr. John had persuaded rival union and business groups sponsoring several competing proposals to back off from going to the November ballot two years ago. In response to Kitzhaber’s public call for a mutual stand-down on looming 2014 ballot measure fights between unions and business interests, the state’s largest public employee unions and sponsors of right-to-work and dues check-off measures agreed to formally withdraw 12 measures from the 2014 ballot measure process.
Jessica Lea Mayfield is a chameleon. From her first folk-country release With Blasphemy, So Heartfelt (produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys) through her grunge-alternative record Make My Head Sing, Mayfield’s rural music, tinged with a Liz Phair sound, is ever changing — like a pink-haired glittery punk rocker with the heart of a country singer.
Another musical family, banjo masters Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, perform duets on Feb. 10 at The Shedd. Fleck’s incomparable skill, 15 Grammies and wide range of musical explorations, along with Washburn’s singing and songwriting promise a show that’s more than just pickin’ and grinnin’, although there’ll be plenty of both.
Saintseneca’s guitar-based music is sweetly earnest, exhibiting the infectious melodies and charmingly snotty lo-fi sensibilities of Pavement. In other words, Saintseneca are quintessential college rock.
Yes, technically speaking, Shabazz Palaces is a rap group. But that sort of classification is about as accurate as calling Bitches Brew a jazz record or Captain Beefheart a rock star. Sure, it gets you in the right galaxy, but it does nothing to describe the bizarre constellation of fractured beats, warped vocals and occult imagery the group has formed during their six years together.
From the creative team at South Park that brought you “Mister Hankey the Christmas Poo” comes The Book of Mormon, a brash send-up of Joseph Smith, the Church of Latter Day Saints and even theater itself.
No holds barred: There is nothing the ladies in Disenchanted aren’t willing to throw down in an effort to overturn society’s ideal of a Disney princess. From tirades about historical inaccuracies to really dirty Pinocchio jokes, all’s fair in Actors Cabaret of Eugene’s (ACE) production of Dennis T. Giacino’s irreverent musical.
There’s something slightly off about University Theatre’s current production of Water by the Spoonful, the Pulitzer-winning second installment in Quiara Alegría Hudes’ trilogy of plays about a returning Iraqi War vet who struggles to reintegrate himself into civilian life in the U.S.
Down to business: Christmas came and went, and every present I bought for my extraordinary husband could be opened in front of our children. He deserves better, and I have a particular gift in mind for Valentine’s Day. My husband has expressed an interest in sounding, something we’ve attempted only with my little finger. He seemed to enjoy it! But the last thing I want to do is damage his big beautiful dick. So is sounding a fun thing? Is sounding a safe thing? Recommendations for a beginner’s sounding kit?
The screenwriter and occasional director Charlie Kaufman has been delightfully gas-lighting moviegoers since 1999’s Being John Malkovich, a film that takes place, quite literally, inside the head of John Malkovich. Like Rod Serling before him, Kaufman loves to knock everything just slightly off kilter, creating an existential free fall that is at once exhilarating and upsetting. Using wry humor to offset his philosophical heebie-jeebies, Kaufman’s what-if movies pry open absurd cracks in accepted reality until a plausible explanation of our human condition emerges.
The chairs were organized in circles in the library of Eugene’s Temple Beth Israel, and the congregation was chatting, swelling the sound of their collective conversation. But as the rabbi entered, singing, the talking quickly faded and everyone began to take their seats.
It was the beginning of the havdalah, meaning distinction, a ritual that marks the end of holy time and transition back into ordinary life at the end of Shabbat or Sabbath, Judaism’s day of rest.
Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin Rubenstein was recently appointed head rabbi of this Eugene congregation that serves about 350 households in the area. Rubenstein was singing a niggun, a wordless melody intoned by a group or congregation. The niggun is meant to bring them to a place of meditation, she says.
Math gets a bad rap, says Gina Graham, owner of Eugene tutoring service Math Is Magic! “We have in our nation a predisposition to think math is yucky,” she says. “I think that’s a problem.”
The nation’s relationship with math grew even more complex with the onset of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). When the state of Oregon adopted CCSS in 2010, parents and students in Eugene School District 4J and other districts saw an internal shake-up as districts shifted from older, more direct methods of teaching to newer techniques in math instruction that fulfill learning requirements outlined by the Common Core.
Until last year, Eugene School District 4J did not have a policy in place to specifically protect transgender and gender non-conforming students.
When 4J school psychologist Brianna Stiller was developing 4J’s gender policy, which the 4J School Board passed in the spring of 2015, district lawyers told her that since 4J already had anti-harassment policies in place, it didn’t need a gender policy.
“I told them, ‘You’re missing the point,’” Stiller says.
Theresa May, associate professor of Theater Arts at the University of Oregon, is directing University Theatre’s current production of Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Pulitzer-winning drama, Water by the Spoonful. The play tells the story of an Iraq War veteran readjusting to civilian life.