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Author and social activist Harsha Walia is best known for co-founding the Vancouver chapter of the movement No One Is Illegal, a network of anti-racist groups that campaign for and represent non-resident immigrants. Her book explores immigrant rights movements through an international look at capitalism, labor exploitation, settler colonialism, state building and racialized empire. In it, she offers strategies for social movement organizers to develop strong communities whose ultimate goal is liberation.

Just eight months ago, the campaign for the failed city service fee focused on the non-essential spending that the city could curtail before increasing taxes or fees on residents and businesses or cutting essential services. But the city, enabled by the Financial Investigative Team (FIT, mostly connected insiders), has taken all the strategies that resonated with voters off the table. The 2015 Options for Budget Reductions are almost identical to the city’s original ballot proposal: recycled service cuts and a new fee. Neither is necessary.

The Hult Center stands as the Grand Dame of the Lane County performing arts scene — known more for highbrow ballet, opera and classical music than contemporary or avant-garde work. Brad Garner of the Eugene-based interdisciplinary arts organization Harmonic Laboratory hopes to change that … well, at least in the lobby.

The Eugene Ballet Company is perhaps best known for its professional approach to traditional ballets, perfecting performances like The Nutcracker for the past 32 years. Yet occasionally, artistic director Toni Pimble likes to shake things up by exploring a new artistic vision or collaboration. Following collaborations with bands The Freudian Slips, Pink Martini and The Jazz Kings, the EBC will team up with local boys the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies for Zoot Suit Riot, a visual storytelling told through dance and set to the tune of the band’s extensive musical cache.

More than 40 percent of people who are transgender have attempted suicide, and about 80 percent have considered it. The attempt rate is 1.6 percent for the general population, and mental health experts say ongoing discrimination is one contributor to the large disparity. On Monday, Jan. 27, the Eugene City Council is scheduled to vote on amending the city code and adding gender identity to the definition of sexual orientation. The amendment applies to protections against discrimination in areas such as employment, housing and public accommodation.

All the Whos down in Whoville are hoping the city of Eugene’s heart grows a couple sizes very soon. The city has posted notices that the site of the homeless protest camp at Hilyard and Broadway is no longer open for public use and it will “clear and clean the site,” according to a press release that went out to the media before the campers themselves were notified, a move Alley Valkyrie of the Nightingale Public Advocacy Collective called “disrespectful and dehumanizing.”

Divas and prima donnas rule the opera stage. But in real life, not so much, no matter what happens with Hillary in 2016. On Feb. 8 and 9, the University of Oregon Opera Ensemble presents “A Tale of Two Women: The Old Maid and the Thief and Trouble in Tahiti,” a pair of delightful American one-act operas that explore — sometimes hilariously, ultimately poignantly — the psychology of mid-20th-century women and their roles in a changing America.

• Packed audiences at the local Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations heard speakers from Rep. Peter DeFazio and the UO’s President Michael Gottfredson to Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad honoring MLK’s legacy. Less honorable were the folks who showed up at the Springfield celebration holding a sign that read “‘Diversity’ is a code word for white genocide.” We posted the picture on our blog, which became inundated with defenders of white pride.

Birbiglia became the poster boy for REM (rapid eye movement) behavior disorder and self-deprecating laughs after cataloging his slumbering escapades (like jumping through a second-story window) in Sleepwalk With Me. Now, Birbiglia is on a 100-city tour — his biggest yet — for the new comedy special Thank God for Jokes; he’s still making the everyday hilarious, e.g., kissing is weird when you really think about it. EW caught up with the comedian on the road.

Rental owners in Eugene can take advantage of EWEB’s renewed zero-interest loans and rebates for ductless heat pumps and other upgrades. A lot of older rental units have electric ceiling heat, baseboard heat or wall units that suck a lot of juice. Renters usually get stuck with the high EWEB bills, but we know some rental owners who approached their tenants and asked them if they would be willing to pay more rent in exchange for cheaper, better heat and air conditioning. The deal can pencil out well and add property value.

 • A film screening of Ocean Frontiers will begin about 5:45 pm Thursday, Jan. 23, at the UO School of Law, Room 175. Mayor Kitty Piercy will introduce the film and a panel of local experts will discuss the film at about 7 pm, followed by a reception. Live music, beer, wine and refreshments are planned. $5 suggested donation. See ocean-frontiers.org for more information.

When I pointed out to EW that Sen. Ron Wyden’s recently released O&C forestlands bill (SB 1784) includes a “land exchange” loophole (Sec. 117) big enough to drive public wilderness and old-growth forests into private hands, Seneca Sawmill’s general manager Todd Payne objected. Payne says that Seneca “does not consume old-growth timber in any of its manufacturing facilities,” and my “implication” that it does “is just a continuation of the ‘fear-based’ messaging by environmental organizations as they know they can’t stand behind the truth.”

“I started work as a bus boy when I was 14,” says Mike Grudzien, then a Catholic-school kid in Northwest Chicago. “I’ve never not worked.” A straight-A student, he pumped gas during high school, put in a year at Wright College, then joined the Marines. “I was looking for adventure and college benefits,” says Grudzien, who served on embassy security duty in Bucharest, Romania. He made sergeant in 22 months, but he left active duty to return to college and earned a master’s degree in advertising from the University of Illinois.

Those who think the city has no plan for dealing with the Whoville homeless camp are wrong. The city has a well-thought-out plan. Step one is to let the camp operate for several months while keeping an eye on it. If only a few problems show up, close the camp down. For best results, close it before there is an alternative site available. This way 50 homeless people get dumped onto the downtown streets where they can get busy actually creating some problems. The beauty of it would impress Chris Christie.

What’s the most informative debut album title, you ask? Why, 2002’s Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz, of course. The title says it all, and what better way to announce yourself in the hip hop scene than that? Take three racially charged foodstuffs, slap ’em on a sleeve and call yourself Nappy Roots. Yes folks, it’s that country rap you’ve loved since Birdman, Nelly or Ludacris first pimp-slapped your brain. Jangly piano, minimalist beats, red-beans-and-rice-style hooks: It’s all you’ve ever wanted from the dirty South and more.

Ask Pete Bernhard, the guitarist and lead singer for The Devil Makes Three, what surprised him most about the band’s recently released album I’m A Stranger Here, and he’ll tell you how easy the experience was.

Look around at your next house party. Doesn’t everyone look the same? Isn’t everyone there for the same damn reason? If there’s a band, and they aren’t playing Elliott Smith covers, there’s a good chance everyone’s there to dance. Nothing else. That’s it. Dance.

The Autumn Defense features Patrick Sansone and John Stirratt of Wilco, a titanic modern rock band that casts a long shadow to escape from under. But now, with the release of its fifth studio record (out Jan. 28 on Yep Roc Records and aptly named Fifth), Autumn Defense deserves to be considered a band rather than merely a side project. 

PAINS OF DISPLACEMENT

The most world-respected literary personage from our area is Ken Kesey. He is principally known for his novel One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962). It develops a common theme where individual and group clash, both losing. In this case, we like to give the edge to the skill of the first-person artist who renders us the depiction.

“I don’t understand what you are trying to say. I have never understood anything you are trying to say,” says George, the protagonist of The Language Archive.

Can you love language but have no words for love? George is a passionate linguist but a passive spouse. He cannot express his love for Mary. She, in turn, hides odd little poems about her unhappiness and then denies ever writing them, such as, “Husband or throw pillow? Wife or hot-water bottle? Marriage or an old cardigan? Love or explaining how to use the remote control?”

 

Recently both EW and the R-G have been covering the problems facing downtown Eugene. Here are some changes I would make to improve the situation, focusing on inclusivity, safety and getting the most bang for the city’s buck.

First, I would replace the Downtown Guides with a pedestrian team of CAHOOTS-style crisis-intervention workers. I would expect this change to have a quick effect, and it wouldn’t cost the city a penny more.

I’m a straight 24-year-old female, and I just recently lost my virginity. I’ve had sex only three times (not with a monogamous partner) and have found each time to be incredibly painful—even when the guy’s just using his fingers. I’ve always been extremely sensitive. In the past, I’ve had guys run their hands over my jeans, and even that hurts. I brought this up when I went to my first ob-gyn appointment, and my doctor assured me that everything was normal down there.

From his early career until now, director Martin Scorsese has been documenting the dark and devious side of The American Dream, where success achieved in bad faith leads to spectacular crashes and spiritual bankruptcy. Scorsese is obsessed with the Cinderella story in reverse, where the magic slipper shatters into killing shards of glass. Like some degenerate Catholic reincarnation of Orson Welles, this great American artist keeps making slightly different version of Citizen Kane, each one set in some vicious gritty sewer of our grandiose culture: pro sports with Raging Bull, the Italian-American mob with Goodfellas, Las Vegas with Casino, celebrity with his unheralded masterpiece, The King of Comedy.

The burden of the history is something to keep in mind when face to face with Kara Walker’s elegant, complex and challenging silhouettes depicting the horrors of the antebellum South — images that have been described as an “apocalyptic carnival” — that will be on display for the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art’s upcoming exhibit Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power opening 6 pm Friday, Jan. 24. Emancipating the Past is the first-ever solo exhibit by an African-American artist at the JSMA.