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The Fourth of July weekend’s shake and bake of high temperatures and a small earthquake may have caused some short-term fear and consternation, but both events are linked to longer-term causes.

On July 2, temperatures at the Eugene airport were a record setting 101 degrees, and temperatures hovered in the 90s through much of the holiday weekend. Then, many of those who managed to sleep late despite the heat were woken at 8:42 am July 4 by a 4.2 magnitude earthquake centered 9 miles east-northeast of Springfield.

Oregon’s seven public universities enter a new era this July: No more Oregon University System, no more Board of Higher Education and no more OUS chancellor. 

Instead Oregon state universities will be run by their own independent governing boards, as pioneered by the University of Oregon, Portland State and Oregon State University. Senate Bill 80, passed by both houses (not yet signed by governor as of this writing) will legally abolish the OUS.  

MUPTE may be going to the voters if the Eugene City Council votes to revive it this week just after we go to press. Opponents of the controversial Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption program were planning to submit initial paperwork to the city clerk this week for two citizen initiatives. Chief petitioner is Paul Conte.

What’s going on with Barnhart Associates Real Estate? We hear the Barnhart office building at 186 E. 14th Ave. has been sold to Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) and will be vacated soon, but the office phone goes unanswered and email queries are not being returned. The agency still has listings and is still advertising. Owners are Jim and Nancy Barnhart and David Holland, who became a full partner in 2004. The historic building, called the Soults-Westfall Duplex, is an elaborate bungalow dating to around 1915.

Who’s who and what’s what in dance this month

350 Eugene’s summer gathering will be from 7 to 8:45 pm Thursday, July 16, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St. “Hang out with fellow climate activists and jump into action-planning leading up to U.N. Climate Talks in Paris, and on to big actions next spring,”  organizers say. Email 350eug@riseup.net to get on the email list or call 343-5091. 

The daughter of artistically inclined parents, a woodworker and a flower farmer, Leda Hermecz grew up in tiny Silverhill, Alabama, located between Robertsdale, an agricultural town, and Fairhope, an artists’ colony on the shore of Mobile Bay. She left Robertsdale High School after two years in favor of home schooling.

I submitted this column at 9 am Monday, July 6. I just got off the phone with Val Hoyle, who has not been recalled … yet. As of 9 am the Oregon Legislature has the capability, but not the will, to be done. 

“People come to our shows because they want to hear what we do. It’s irrelevant what we play,” the 80-year-old Brit bluesman says, circumventing any specific commentary on his tour, his band, his audiences — anything.

Based in the Northeast, prog-rock dance band Dopapod are making a name in the jam band scene. This summer, the band embarks on its first West Coast tour. 

Chicago art-rock and post-hardcore act Shellac is hitting the road for its second tour in support of 2014’s phenomenal Dude Incredible. A supergroup comprised of members of Big Black, Mission of Burma, Rapeman and more, the power trio is helmed by revered underground godfather and producer Steve Albini.

Finding adequate lodging is a constant struggle for touring musicians. If a band is lucky, a generous local will offer up a free place to catch some shuteye before moving on to the next city. Last time the Birmingham, Alabama-based Southern rock sextet Banditos came through Eugene, the band learned an important lesson.  

Seattle post-punk trio Nostalgist is inspired by the atmosphere of film noir — a cinematic movement popular in the mid-twentieth century known for dark imagery and sinister storylines.

The Pitcher’s Mound
Celebrating the life of a Civic Stadium

In the city of Eugene, in the valley of the Willamette River, on a warm summer’s eve, a ball cracks on a bat. Tension builds in the shifting legs of the catcher and in the strengthened stance of the outfielder.

But nothing explodes the valley into joy as does the swelling sound of the crowds cheering, sound moving through the air, undulating like the swarm of honeybees into a new morning.

I entered into a civil union with another woman in Vermont in 2000. My ex and I were together until 2003, when we decided to go our separate ways. It is now 2015, and my new partner (who happens to be male) and I are expecting a baby and talking about getting married. We live in Texas. I know that there are ways to dissolve my civil union in Vermont, but I can’t get ahold of my ex (ex-wife? Ex-CUer?) to sign any of the forms. Neither do I want to, because frankly it was an abusive relationship and I still bear emotional scars.

A dozen years have passed since urban theorist Richard Florida argued that the U.S. has “an economy powered by human creativity.” In The Rise of the Creative Class, Florida writes, “In virtually every industry, from automobiles to fashion, food products and information technology itself, the winners in the long run are those who can create and keep creating.”

Asif Kapadia’s new documentary, Amy, does what nothing else could when Amy Winehouse was here, and so famous  — not the Rolling Stone interviews, the profiles, the photos, and definitely not the tabloids, the gossip, the cruel jokes. It turns Winehouse back into a person, letting her history speak for itself while quietly painting a damning picture of celebrity culture, particularly when that culture turns its gaze on young women.

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

In 1994, I was one year old, sitting in the grass wearing a blue floral dress and eating a Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Peace Pop. This made sense: Like many children of Deadheads, my parents had brought me to the Grateful Dead show at Autzen Stadium on June 17, 1994. 

My parents met in the summer of ’88 on their way to a Dead show at Autzen. My mom had never been to Oregon and needed a ride from Los Angeles; my dad gave her one. 

Five years later, I was born and they were taking me to Grateful Dead concerts.  

“She deserved a better ending,” Bev Smith said, standing not far from the still-smoldering remains of Civic Stadium’s once towering grandstand. 

Smith is the executive director of Kidsports and part of Eugene Civic Alliance, the group that came together to save and restore Eugene’s historic 1938 wooden baseball stadium. 

Hot weather is great for the bugs. Swallowtails and dragonflies dart around with incredible zip in the morning sun, their warm bodies full of energy. Spiders are getting prominent now, with dozens of little, baby spider webs all around our house. They protect us from mosquitoes. When approached they shake their webs vigorously, supposedly to make themselves appear a blur and not catchable by potential predators.

“Louder boys, louder! You have to believe we can win! Let ’em know you believe it out there in the outfield!” my dad called out over the crowd, encouraging my brothers and me as the summer evening light faded over the Willamette Valley.

As the sun disappeared, the old-style electric bulbs over Civic Stadium’s field would surge on, offering a flash of hope for the Emeralds that there was still a bit of game to be played. 

• The Lane County Metropolitan Policy Committee meets from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm Thursday, July 2, at Coburg City Hall Council Chambers. On the agenda is the Metropolitan Cable Television Commission. Contact Paul Thompson at 682-4405.

• The VA Roseburg Healthcare System has scheduled a town hall from 4:30 to 6:30 pm Thursday, July 2, at the Elks Lodge, 1701 Centennial Blvd. in Springfield. VA representatives will be available to answer questions and assist vets with current claims or filing new claims for disability compensation. 

A recent study shows that, for the first time in U.S. history, obese Americans outnumber merely overweight Americans. Head over to the city of Eugene’s Petersen Barn Community Center this summer to buck this trend through martial arts or dance.

If you only sign up for one of Petersen Barn’s multitude of classes — ballet, belly dance, fencing, yoga — martial-arts instructor Logan Flores wants you to take his class, “Kung Fu Lessons in Harmony.”