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Ultramarathon runners push themselves hard, running up to 100 miles at a time and ascending thousands of feet. A deep passion for what they do and strong commitment to running turns a hobby into a lifestyle, and Eugene is home to some of the highest-placing ultramarathon contestants.

The city of Eugene opened its first 18-hole disc golf course at Alton Baker Park just over a year ago and there has been a steady stream of nubby rubber discs flying ever since. Andrew Rich, the course’s operator, says that on a rainy day the course will see about 50 rounds of play, and on a sunny day those numbers shoot upward of 250.

 “We still have a long ways to go,” says Tad Shannon, Eugene Education Association president after last week’s bargaining session between the EEA and Eugene School District 4J and EEA. Shannon says the session brought the groups closer to agreement, with a closed budget gap and 3.7 percent wage increase for about 60 percent of teachers, but refinements to the proposed contract, including a section that lists added health insurance benefits to teachers as a last priority, left teachers not yet ready to sign.

ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Highways I-5, 36, 58, 99, 101, 105, 126 and Beltline were sprayed recently.

• Rosboro LLC, 746-8411 plans to hire Dole Land Management Inc. to spray 211 acres near Quartz Creek and McKenzie River tributaries with imazapyr. See ODF notices 2014-771-00413 and 2014-771-00414, call Tim Meehan at 726-3588 with questions.

Some neighborhood leaders are saying that the city of Eugene has not included neighborhoods enough in decisions about new property tax exemption rules for housing developments of five or more units, aka the MUPTE (Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption) program.

MUPTE is aimed at increasing the amount of multi-unit housing in order to prepare for projected population growth and it exempts developers from paying property taxes for up to 10 years. The program was suspended last year so the Eugene City Council can revise the eligibility requirements. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently sent Hollingsworth & Vose Fiber Company a pre-enforcement notice following an inspection of Hollingsworth’s Corvallis facility, which is classified as a large-quantity generator of hazardous waste. DEQ’s letter cites Hollingsworth for failing to close containers of hazardous waste, failing to develop and execute weekly inspections of hazardous waste storage containers and failing to cleanup spills.

The recent rape investigation at the University of Oregon has not only triggered a spate of articles about the issue locally and across the nation, it’s also triggering requests for emails, contracts and other information from UO staff who might be involved in the investigation or its handling. As a state institution the UO, like other government entities, is subject to Oregon’s Public Records Law.

In a scene about two-thirds of the way through his debut memoir The Wax Bullet War (Ooligan Press. 2014. $16.95), Sean Davis finds himself standing — hungover and “clouded with drugs”— on a stage at Walker Middle School in Salem, Oregon. Davis, who only months before had been critically injured by an IED attack in Iraq, an attack that also claimed the life of his closest friend, is at the school to share some of his experiences, as well as to generate support for the troops who are still deployed. 

If you’re driving south into Eugene from I-105, look east to the foot of Skinner Butte and you may just see a rainbow. Stripes of color framing a mural shoot upward from Lincoln Alley, which, as of May 9, was still an impenetrable knot of blackberry bushes scattered with broken glass and garbage. By May 12, however, the strip of land housed a blue picnic table, a community mural and garden beds filled with the seeds of sunflowers, irises, lemon balm, Jerusalem artichoke, raspberries, bleeding heart and other plants. This is the Secret Garden of the Commons.

• Will the status quo hold? Lots of nail gnawing as we watched the local election results Tuesday night. As we go to press Wednesday morning, incumbent Jay Bozievich is only 45 votes ahead of Dawn Lesley in the West Lane County commissioner race and Faye Stewart has only a 33 vote margin to avoid a November runoff with Kevin Matthews for the East Lane County commissioner race. More ballots are yet to be hand counted. If the Bozievich-Lesley contest gets any closer in the final count, it could trigger an automatic recount.

If I am honest, I will tell you that for a period of my life Army Wives was my favorite TV show. I would make great efforts to be home or wake up at odd hours so that I could watch it on the Armed Forces Network (AFN), a TV station provided to American service members and their families living overseas. AFN also showed wonderfully hokey commercials about how not to stand out in your host country and the important distinctions between general and special powers of attorney for those deploying. AFN was great and entertaining television. 

Kush MMD and Reign Inc. have opened a state-licensed and regulated medical marijuana facility (MFF) and wellness center at 221 W. 10th Ave. in downtown Eugene. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house was held May 12. The business has a provisional MMF license and “will wait until receiving the official state registration from the state before engaging in cannabis commerce,” says General Manager Lisa Della Croce.

• Oregon Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) will host a discussion about four teen activists and writers who have captured the group’s attention. The free gathering will be at 7 pm Thursday, May 22, at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St. Call 683-1350 or visit oregonwand.org.

In Afghanistan

• 2,320 U.S. troops killed (2,314 last month)

• 19,765 U.S. troops wounded in action (19,701)

• 1,510 U.S. contractors killed (1,510)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $718.6 billion cost of war ($712 billion)

• $297.1 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($294.4 million)

 

In Iraq

• 4,423 U.S. troops killed, 31,941 wounded

• 1,607 U.S. contractors killed (1,605)

• 137,533 to 1.2 million civilians killed* (136,608)

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley

When Josh Harvey and Bettreena Jaeger met in 2008 in northwest Montana, they drank PBR and watched Pulp Fiction until Harvey grew terribly sick from the flu and fell asleep in Jaeger’s bed for a three-day recovery. 

A cappella singing — that is, voices without instruments — is probably the oldest form of music, but today’s a cappella music scene feels fresh, thanks in part to the latest revival that started on college campuses in the 1990s. Although the tradition never really went away (as demonstrated by classical groups like Anonymous 4 and Chanticleer and neo-doo-woppers like The Persuasions, The Bobs and Take 6), these days find a cappella on TV, in the movies (Pitch Perfect) and on more than 1,000 college campuses. 

When we last checked in with The Crescendo Show, the Corvallis quartet was gearing up to record Jackal’s Kiss — the band’s first studio album. Ricky Carlson (banjo, guitar, drums, backup vocals) says working with professionals, over nine studio sessions at Portland’s Jackpot! Recording Studio, pushed the band to the next level.

After Oklahoma botched an execution using lethal injection, at least one other state is thinking about bringing back the firing squad. That might actually be a step forward if juries that impose the death penalty are required to serve as members of the squad.

Talkative emerges from the same squishy indie-rock primordial ooze as Animal Collective. The Portland-via-Eugene art freaks are test-driving material from their new LP Hot Fruit Barbecue May 23 at Tiny Tavern in the Whit. 

SPORTS VS. DECENCY

I want to know why the three basketball players are not being prosecuted for rape. I find it unfathomable that their word would be taken over the victim’s. Could it be because they are men playing a sport at UO? Just as Josh Huff, UO wide receiver who, despite being clocked at 50 mph down 18th, and having a urine sample that came up positive was acquitted of all charges — and picked up at the jail by a former UO chief of staff.

I am a genetic male with recurrent questions about my gender identity. Straddling desires to maintain my stature in the professional world, keep my wife at my side, and become who I feel like I am, I have experimented with crossdressing, chastity, antiandrogens, and, prior to all that, steroids. While the matrimonial veto has been enacted for some feminine expressions, my wife and I have reached a middle ground where I can pursue sexual and aesthetic androgyny. I have started wearing unisex clothes, stepped up cardio to sculpt a more feminine shape, and am getting hair removal done.

It’s impossible for me to assess my attributes as a film critic, though I can say I’ve mentored with some of the best. My dear friend Richard Jameson, former editor of Film Comment, has taught me more about movies, and how to watch and discuss them, than the thousands of pages I’ve read over the years

Bikes are born in Eugene. Eugene’s relatively good riding conditions draw cyclists to the area, where many innovate and stay. These are three bike builders in Eugene committed to building a bike economy.