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About $24 million in federal funding for the West Eugene EmX project passed the Metropolitan Policy Committee unanimously last week, according to Rob Zako, executive director of Better Eugene-Springfield Transit (BEST). “We are looking forward to work proceeding efficiently with minimal impacts, and to seeing the new EmX line open in just over two years,” he says. BEST has been holding “listening sessions” with the community over recent months and plans to release a report next month. An online survey is at best-oregon.org. 

While you’ve been getting ahead of that bumper crop of zucchinis, local dance-makers have been busy building new pieces to perform this month.

Eugene is a beautiful, sleepy town, a place where, to quote Garrison Keillor on his recent Prairie Home Companion rebroadcast, “People are more concerned with living well than getting ahead.” The city is many things: eco-activists fed on local organics flourishing alongside a swoosh-tattooed sports empire of sparkle and grandeur, a town whose seeming ’60s Bohemianism is often driven by trustafarii dollars from L.A. and the Bay Area. 

Eugene PeaceWorks/Eugene Media Action will host a reception with refreshments from 6 to 8 pm Thursday, Sept. 11, upstairs in the Growers Market, 454 Willamette, celebrating its new office space and an FCC-approved, low-power FM radio station. The group is working to “get progressive voices on the air focusing on environmental sustainability, economic justice and music made in the Northwest.” Call Craig at 505-2564. 

The airlines now pack their planes so tightly that the only reasons I fly anymore are to watch fights over reclining seats or to get my clothes pressed.

Hats off to gardeners who grow a fall and winter vegetable garden from seed. You have to get started at the height of summer, when watering and harvesting are at their most demanding. Sowing in situ is often impractical, so starts must be raised under shade cloth or in some cool part of the garden not occupied by summers’s heat-loving crops. 

It’s hard to believe that the band that helped to give voice to the fertile musical ground of Laurel Canyon, California, in the late ’60s is still going strong. There must have been something in the water back then. 

Brian McWhorter is by any measure one of Eugene’s most creative artists. Before returning to town to take a faculty position at the University of Oregon, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, the trumpeter/composer/improviser earned acclaim as a member of New York’s Meridian Arts Ensemble, making guest appearances with orchestras and ensembles around the country. 

Featuring members of the popular, now-defunct Portland group Dirty Martini, Swan Sovereign plays taut, guitar-based indie pop, mixing ’60s girl-group harmonies with the sound of ’90s-era rock bands like Throwing Muses, Belly and The Breeders. 


To the Eugene mayor and council: I’m very much in favor of Eugene building a new City Hall, but I don’t believe you have to waste the present building’s combined economic and historical worth in the process to do it.

I also don’t think Eugeneans presently understand or would approve of the total cost commitment of your two-phase, headquarters-hindquarters concept if they did. 

I am a man who tends to ejaculate prematurely. Not all the time—but at least 50 percent of the time, I’m good for two to three minutes and then I REALLY have to be careful. I’ve learned to manage it and work around it (like, stop if I’m too close and eat her out to give me some time to relax, etc.), but it’s still a pain in the ass. I have a theory about this: I am not circumcised. I know that circumcised cocks are more desensitized, as they tend to rub on everything all the time.

Let’s keep the movies about female musicians, shall we? Yes to 20 Feet from Stardom; yes to Begin Again; a hearty punk-rock yowl of approval to We Are the Best! And a quieter, more introspective yes to God Help the Girl, a whimsical, fey, intimate movie about music, friendship and moving forward. 

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

Do you know the three reasons Eugene City Hall should not be torn down?

September is a subtle month. Its changes creep up without being readily noticed. Daylength shortens most rapidly around the equinoctes. We come to realize that summer is over and fall is practically upon us. It is typically a sunny month, one of the best for hiking in the mountains. Nights can be quite chilly but the absence of mosquitoes makes watching the campfire a treat.

The sixth annual Next Big Thing contest proved once again that small-town Eugene is home to an incredibly talented and prolific music scene — so prolific that the competition has been divided into three categories for the first time: single/duo, band/group and youth (18 and under). 

After a raging competition of 16 finalists, the best band category was conquered by the funk machine that is Soul Vibrator. In the youth section, Bailee Jordyn won by engaging her audience with a stripped-down vocals and guitar arrangement. Acoustic guitar virtuoso Will Brown nabbed the top single/duo spot.

Eugene, meet your town’s rising music stars.

This November, Oregonians have the chance to make their state the first to require genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled as such. In the wake of failed GMO-labeling ballot initiatives in Washington and California, representatives of Oregon’s “Yes on 92” campaign have invited biologist Michael Hansen to drum up support for the measure.

In 2003 the Lane County Commission voted to move to a “last resort” program in using herbicides on county roadsides. The plan to put a moratorium on pesticide use was in response to concerns for human health as well as concerns for Willamette River steelhead and Chinook salmon. On Sept. 9, with impetus from Commissioner Jay Bozievich and with the encouragement of pro-pesticide group Oregonians for Food and Shelter, the county’s Integrated Vegetation Management Program “last resort” policy will be up for discussion. 

Lane County Commissioners are meeting at 9 am Tuesday, Sept. 9, to consider the use of herbicides along county roads. Chemical agriculture lobbying groups want the county to use toxic sprays. Sign up at Harris Hall at 8:45 am to voice your concerns.

• Giustina Land & Timber, 345-2301, plans to hire Western Helicopter Services, Inc., 503-538-9469, to aerially spray 43 acres near Crow Creek with aminopyralid, glyphosate, imazapyr, metsulfuron methyl and/or sulfometuron methyl. See ODF notification 2014-781-00875, call Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.

Oregon DEQ has settled Christopher John Bartels’ appeal of the civil penalty assessed against him by DEQ in July of 2013 for illegally discharging wastewater from his meat processing and packing facility to ditches flowing to Fern Ridge wetlands on two occasions in 2011 (EW 6/27/13, goo.gl/Xb41PD), by reducing the $15,600 penalty originally assessed to $10,200. DEQ’s settlement with Bartels also includes an additional $7,600 penalty for illegal discharges of blood waste to Fern Ridge Reservoir in February of this year (EW 5/8, goo.gl/BhX5vP).

Park goers might have noticed an oily sheen hugging the banks of Delta Ponds these past few weeks, oozing only a few wing flaps away from the hunting green herons and basking Western pond turtles that frequent the wetlands across from Valley River Center. Don’t worry, says Jonathan Wilson, a stormwater regulatory compliance coordinator for the city of Eugene — it’s just a natural form of shiny bacteria.

Our Pop Quiz on City Hall this week is an attempt to look more closely at the predicament we have gotten ourselves in regarding the fate of City Hall. Is destruction imminent? We hear the city has not yet acquired a demolition permit. Meanwhile, some new information is being batted around this week about estimates for remodeling that were done a couple of years ago by Turner Construction’s Portland office. Was the Eugene City Council given an accurate analysis of the true costs of renovating City Hall vs. tearing it down and rebuilding?

We hear that nearly 90 percent of the 1,300 beds at the Capstone housing project called 13th & Olive are leased and new leases are expected to be signed through September. The construction work that remains will be completed by move-in around Sept. 23.

• A town hall meeting on “Elder Abuse Prevention” will be from 6:30 to 7:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 4, at the Viking Sal Senior Center, 245 W. 5th Ave. in Junction City. Reps. Val Hoyle and Vic Gilliam and attorney Sylvia Sycamore will be on the panel.