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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. 

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

Sen. Jeff Merkley surprised Eugene City Councilor George Brown by picking Brown’s The Kiva grocery store downtown to hold a press conference Jan. 10 about big national issues of fair wages and extending unemployment benefits.

A cloud of suspicion around the departure of former administrator Liane Richardson still hangs over Lane County government, in part because the full details of the investigation into her unauthorized changes to her payroll have never been released. On Jan. 13, former Lane County Commissioner Bill Fleenor filed an open records lawsuit over the report by USO Consulting. The outside investigation was commissioned by the county and released with 29 pages blacked out. Fleenor, the R-G and EW were among those who made public records requests for copies of the report.

Lane County is plowing ahead with its plans to develop the rural industrial area of Goshen, which lies just south of Eugene. The county calls its plan to develop Goshen “GREAT” — the Goshen Region Employment and Transition plan — but land-use and environmental advocates have serious doubts about its greatness, and LandWatch Lane County has a case about Goshen before the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).

• USFS plans to spray riparian weeds in Sweet Home and along Middle Fork Willamette and McKenzie rivers for false brome and yellow archangel with Aquamaster by backpack and Japanese knotweed by injection with Imazapyr. USFS would like comments regarding alternatives by Jan. 31. The environmental assessment is expected to be completed for public review in April 2014. Contact USFS office in Springfield for more information.

It’s one thing to get ousted from office, but quite another when the ousting is based on false statements. That’s what recently recalled Lowell City Councilor Pam Bryant alleges in her Jan. 7 lawsuit against Kenneth Hern and Nancy Garratt, two members of the Recall for Lowell’s Future Committee that sought to remove her from office. 

In a time when government secrecy is becoming both more prominent and more criticized, it’s no longer hard to believe that Congress would “fast track” a vote on a secret document devised by international corporations. 

• City of Eugene public hearings on budget options are coming up Jan. 21 and 29 (see Activist Alert). Once again this year, popular city services are on the chopping block, and we don’t really know why. The alleged $3 million budget gap is based on assumptions made by the city manager and his staff, and we don’t even know what all of those assumptions are. Just this week the city released its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for 2013 and it looks like city net assets increased by $7.3 million over 2012. 

The David Minor Theater at 180 E. 5th Ave. is expanding and showing $3 matinees now that Ronny Goldfarb of Ronny’s Audio Vision next door retired the first of the year, according to Josh Goldfarb, Ronny’s son and the owner of DMT. “We are also in the process of expanding and maximizing the space now available to us. So stay tuned for updates!” he says. The DMT has been in business for the past four years. See davidminortheater.com or call 762-1700.

• A Grupo Latino de Acción Directa (GLAD) public safety forum is planned for 5:30 to 7:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 16, at César E. Chávez Elementary School, 1510 W. 14th Ave. Speakers include Police Chief Pete Kerns, District Attorney Alex Gardner and others. Find the event on Facebook.

The fate of Civic Stadium is unlikely to be decided in 2014. Yes, the members of the 4J School Board are committed to “disposing” of the structure as soon as they possibly can — they consider it a distraction from their mission. But, whether they choose to accept the offer of Kroger (Fred Meyer), the Y or the city of Eugene, it will almost certainly be a year or more before we know how the site will be used. The reasons differ for each of the bidders.

Recently, a new transplant to Eugene asked me why people are so emotional about Civic Stadium. What follows is my note to my new friend, Austin. I don’t know when you moved to Eugene but my guess is that it was after Civic Stadium was wrapped in mothballs and allowed to decay.

K to the C: Kansas City rapper Kutt Calhoun is a big name in underground rap, and also a compatriot and collaborator of many popular acts on Eugene stages like Tech N9ne, Krizz Kalico and more.  In 2013, Calhoun released Black Gold, featuring appearances from aforementioned artists as well as Brotha Lynch Hung. Hip hop blog HipHopDx gives the album three and a half stars, and it debuted at number one on the Billboard’s Heatseekers Album chart.

If the reason the Lane County commissioners are not releasing the Richardson report is to avoid lawsuits, what are they calling the court proceedings filed over the report first by the local paper and now by former commissioner Bill Fleenor?

Most musicians have been playing instruments for years. Ramune Nagisetty of Portland-based indie-pop trio Rocket 3 picked up the guitar just a few years ago. “I went out and bought an electric guitar,” Nagisetty says. “It was President’s Day. I found it fairly easy to play.” 

Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin are both solo singer-songwriters. They also happen to be in a relationship, but don’t always have time together since they have separate projects. For now, however, the songbird couple has discovered a solution to this problem.

The Jan. 16 Eugene Symphony concert at the Hult Center opens with some of the 20th century’s most powerfully dramatic music: the “Four Sea Interludes” from Benjamin Britten’s mighty opera Peter Grimes. This performance of one of the greatest English composers’ most popular concert works misses by just a few days cashing in on Britten’s centenary celebrations, but we don’t need no stinkin’ birthday excuse to enjoy his music.

WHAT THE FRACK?

“Does that burger taste funny to you?” Recently I learned that fracking chemicals might be in the meat and produce being distributed to a grocery store near me and near you.

“On a North Dakota farm, five cows died after fracking began in 32 wells within three miles from the farm,” according to Food and Water Watch. In New Mexico, petroleum residues were found in 54 out of 56 animals tested. Some cows lost their tails!

You can be in. You can be out. That goes for all of us, wherever we are. Every community, no matter how open, has its own rules and its own method of communication. Billy’s family is no different. 

My friend is in her late 20s and married, and she has two little kids. Her husband had a rough childhood and has some issues. Since their most recent child was conceived, they have not had sex. He says he believes there is a difference between a lover and a mother, and he refuses to have sex with his wife now because he thinks of her as a mother to their children and not as a lover. She is struggling with this and doesn’t know what to do. Any advice?

Miserable Undersexed Mom

 

“Jonathan? Melissa? Meet us on the lawn and close your eyes.”

Grinning staff members at the Cascades Raptor Center led us past our lopsided wedding cake to the grass outside the visitors’ center. “We have a gift for you … don’t peek.”

For years, we’d volunteered to clean mews, feed orphaned owls and medicate injured hawks at the nature center and wildlife hospital in Eugene. After Jonathan proposed, we asked to marry at the center. 

“Everywhere we travel we tell people there’s no better place to get married than Oregon,” says Ryan Welch, co-founder of Moetic Wedding Films, a high-end wedding film production company with offices in Eugene and McMinnville, Ore. “The problem is,” Welch continues, to take advantage of Oregon’s natural beauty “you’ve only got three months. We’re not going to film a wedding here in the Northwest until June.”

Renne Phillips sits perched on a stool in the Redoux Parlour’s workspace surrounded by scissors, paper patterns and sketches. Behind her, a dress form is mocked up with lace — the beginning of a gown she’ll complete for a summer wedding. She pulls out the garment’s sketch; sweeping lines resembling rose petals flow together creating a voluminous skirt, which is sprinkled with dots representing intricate beadwork.