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Sen. Floyd Prozanski will speak to the Cottage Grove Blackberry Pie Society at 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 15, at Hard Knocks Brewing, 1024 E. Main St. in Cottage Grove. 

Rep. Tina Kotek, speaker of the House in the Oregon Legislature, will speak at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Jan. 16, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette St. Her topic will be “An Opportunity Agenda for Oregonians,” including support for education, higher pay, equal pay and affordable housing. $5 for non-members. See cityclubofeugene.org.

How would you like to live in the area of Oregon that has the smallest babies born in the entire state? According to Oregon Office of Rural Health and OHSU, if you live along scenic Hwy. 36 from Junction City all the way to Swisshome, your newborn will be the smallest in the state. In fact, this Triangle Lake area far exceeds the state average. The same study states that low birthweight children are significantly more likely to have mental retardation, cerebral palsy, visual and hearing defects, lung disease and learning disabilities.

For every day since Jan. 7 — the day 12 people were murdered at the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo — I could write a book trying to explain the emotional rollercoaster I have been experiencing as a young French journalist. Let me start by paying a tribute to all the victims of the killings that took place in Paris last week. My thoughts go to all who were close to these journalists, cartoonists, employees, police officers, Jews, Muslims, atheists …

Since I work at home a lot of the time I frequently eat lunch there. Lunch usually means salad, and many of the components come from my own garden. For the past three years I’ve been recording, month-by-month, what goes from the garden into my salads. Picking garden greens for lunch on a nearly daily basis, all year round, turns out to be one of the real pleasures of having a vegetable garden, and I probably eat salad more often because of it.

Oliver Wood says you need to see his brother play the bass. “My brother is a world-class upright bass player,” he boasts. Wood, alongside his brother Chris Wood and drummer Jano Rixx, is one-third of hard-touring roots-Americana act, The Wood Brothers.

Of all the music events happening in Eugene this month, perhaps none is more valuable than the University of Oregon’s Music Today Festival. In contrast to most classical music institutions, which over the past century have turned into moldering antiquities, endlessly recycling well-known works by long dead Europeans, the Music Today Festival is devoted to incubating the creative work of Oregon’s next generation of composers.

Even via email, I got the sense musician Shawn Rosenblatt (aka Netherfriends) enjoys a good put-on. Listen to his music and hear a keen pop sensibility, a voracious musical sense of humor and stylistic attention-deficit disorder.

Whitey Morgan is no stranger. He’s played Eugene countless times. But no matter how well we think we know the man, he keeps coming up with new surprises. In late 2014 he released two records side by side, each of which offers its own clear window into Whitey’s soul.

HUMOR AS THE ENEMY

The Charlie Hebdo shooting is another example of lunatics with guns and bombs who think that killing or maiming people will solve the world’s problems. The perpetrators in this case are Islamic fundamentalists in Europe, but we see this same kind of violence all over the world from both state and non-state actors. In the U.S., we’ve had people like Timothy McVeigh and the Tsarnaev brothers or, arguably, George W. Bush when he launched the war in Iraq.

Ah, yes — when God finally arrives in all his glory to destroy the wicked and raise up the true believers in a dazzling city of eternal happiness, how beautiful it all will be! Right? Right?

My fiancée is extremely bothered by me looking at porn. It revolves around insecurities that have gotten so bad that even other girls bother her. (We can hardly go to a beach anymore.) I don’t have any weird relationship with porn—no addiction, no violent stuff, and I look pretty infrequently. She acknowledges that it’s a normal thing but is unable to get past it. She has gone through two counselors on her own, and we have gone through two couples counselors.

Ava DuVernay’s Selma starts off so calmly that, despite what history promises, it’s a shock when the first moment of violence arrives. Four little girls walk down the stairs of a church. You know what this means. But what happens next occurs in a flash, a moment never explained. 

“Gaining weight was the worst possible thing that could happen,” says 17-year-old South Eugene High School senior Sophie Kreitzberg. Returning from a 500-mile walk along Spain’s Camino de Santiago, Kreitzberg had never been so thin. “I got so much attention,” she remembers, noting that she experienced her first romance, was cast in plays and that social interaction was just easier as a thin woman. 

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

It has always struck me as one of the great injustices of womanhood — the monthly bloodbath from a body part that is normally reserved for sexytime (not a baby corridor just yet, thank you very much). I try to tell myself that it’s some great honor, an ancient rite of femininity that brings me closer to nature and the goddess within us all. 

We’ve all rubbed a salve into a sore muscle or joint and breathed a sweet sigh of relief.  There are the old standbys, Icy Hot or BenGay. Tiger balm has saved my lower back with its cool, soothing cloud of numbness. 

A year ago the eastside Delta Ponds had already frozen solid. Ice was an inch thick under seven inches of snow and thawed completely by the New Year. In February another snowfall was accompanied by a freezing rain the likes of which we hadn’t seen for many years. It was hard on the birdwatchers and really hard on the birds. Hummingbird feeders froze.

Nia is a form of exercise that mixes yoga, martial arts and dance techniques, but never mind what it is exactly: That analyzing part of your brain has no place here. Nia is about the joy of having arms and legs and knees and shoulders. It’s exploring the movements that your body loves. 

Your smartphone lets you listen to music, read the newspaper, filter your photos and find people to date. It can also help you lose weight and stay fit. If your New Year’s resolution is to have less screen time and more gym time, you might want to think again — turn your phone time to fitness time with these free apps. 

In mid-November, Darla Clark began getting frantic calls about Dani, a young Tennessee Walker horse in Lane County who was so emaciated that her spine and ribs protruded through her muddy black hair. Clark, who runs Strawberry Mountain Rescue and Rehab, says people who called Lane County Animal Services about the horse were told an officer couldn’t make it out until after the holidays. 

Get ready to grow. Portland is focusing on infill to meet its growing population, but Eugene is looking to expand its city limits in the next few years. The sprawl is likely to happen despite the city’s commitment to make Eugene more bike and pedestrian friendly.

Five years of community input and technical analysis have led to Envision Eugene expansion plans that appear to be favored by the city administration and the majority on the council, including Mayor Kitty Piercy. 

Late last summer, the images captured of police responding to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, with red, laser-sighted assault rifles and hulking armored vehicles precipitated a congressional hearing to survey the federal programs that funnel surplus military equipment from the Defense Department to law enforcement departments around the country. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently followed up on the pre-enforcement notices it sent to Jeanne M. Burris and Michael & Rosemary Cress in November for illegal waste-tire storage at property owned by Burris at 29882 Kelso St. in Eugene (see EW 12/11, goo.gl/uGo453). DEQ sent Burris a civil penalty assessment in the amount of $15,041 on Dec. 31, and sent Michael Cress a civil penalty assessment in the amount of $19,755 the same day. Burris is the current owner of the property, while Michael Cress is a prior owner.

It may look like a Labradoodle, but the lagotto Romagnolo is actually an ancient dog breed, carefully selected and bred for its ability to sniff out truffles. Though rare, a handful of lagottos live in Eugene, and now they and other breeds have a chance to strut their stuff. For the first time ever, the Oregon Truffle Festival is holding The Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship, a sporting event for dog lovers and truffle fans alike.