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• Did you miss 350 Eugene’s Feb. 3, non-violent direct action training? No problem, EW will keep you informed about opportunities to get involved as Lane County responds to the Trump presidency. Eugene/Springfield Solidarity Network (ESSN) will host a series of four free workshops on non-violent direct action on Saturdays in February and March. The lectures focus on how to plan and implement non-violent direct actions to make change with causes you care about.

Eugene Ballet’s annual foray into more-contemporary work is always a treat to look forward to, and their performance this weekend was nothing short of breathtaking. The program brought out rich subtleties in EBC’s strong corps, and along with a familiar favorite, featured premieres by two notable choreographers.  

The Middle Eastern Dance Group of Eugene, or MEDGE, holds its Annual Alternative Night featuring Ann Shaffer, a member of the fusion dance group Tribalation. Catch belly dancers performing to funky '80s disco grooves, '60s R&B, Van Halen and more, at 8:30 pm Feb. 17 at Whirled Pies; $5.

What should we make of the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the U.S. Secretary of Education?

The answer is, perhaps, “Not very much.”

For professional educators, the choice of DeVos is a bummer but no surprise. Secretaries of education who champion the system have been rare. And yet our school system has been a robust and productive institution, worthy of pride. It does not yet live up to our dreams, but we have accomplished a great deal, plugging away at the local level.

The Eugene-Springfield Committee on Local Affairs (CoLA) of the American Institute of Architects – Southwestern Oregon Chapter commends the Eugene City Council for its decision to work with Lane County officials and pursue locating City Hall on the site of the current “butterfly” parking lot at 8th and Oak. 

We’re confident locating our new City Hall there can contribute significantly to downtown’s continued revitalization by capitalizing upon a synergy of established public open spaces, symbols of civic engagement, and community-defining facilities. This is a propitious moment worth embracing, an occasion that warrants a proactive and considered evaluation of the prospect at hand.

Toward this goal, we strongly encourage our government leaders to approach plans for City Hall with the following in mind:

When twins Joshua and Benjamin Phelps were four years old and living in Pittsburgh, their dad Randy Phelps taught them to build a circuit with a battery and a motor. “He got us interested,” Joshua says, and two years later the family moved to Eugene, their dad’s hometown. “Over the years, we’ve built many more complex circuits.” They ran wires throughout the house for an in-home telegraph system and built an electric airplane that flew five blocks before landing in a tree.

On the opening track “Appropriation,” from DC punk band Priests excellent 2017 release Nothing Feels Normal, vocalist Katie Alice Greer snarls like a toothy Debbie Harry: “It feels good to buy something you can’t afford.” Beneath her, the song propels over a jittery, anxious groove, falling somewhere between surf rock and early B-52s.

Riff Raff, the hip hop artist, takes his craft to the truest lengths of that definition. If you haven’t checked out his stash of both satirical (I think?) and serious music videos, you’re missing out on comedic gold. But who is this guy? Mix together some blatant appropriation of black hip-hop culture with a white trash millionaire aesthetic, and you’ve got Riff Raff.

In the midst of its 40th anniversary season, Eugene Opera announced in January that a $165,000 financial deficit would force cancelation of its spring shows — West Side Story and La Tragédie de Carmen — leaving the future of the company in doubt.

That bad news hasn’t slowed down some of the opera’s youngest supporters — the teenage members of the Eugene Opera Academy.

ANARCHIST WEIGHS IN

In Kelly Kenoyer’s article “Activism 101”, an informative and helpful piece of journalism, the author referred to non-violent direct action as possibly sounding like “some kind of anarchist crap.” 

Walk into the luscious new Louis Bunce retrospective at Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, and you’re immediately confronted with a 1932 self-portrait of the artist.

Wearing a banded fedora and sporting a 20-something’s raffish sneer, Bunce — whose career as an Oregon painter spanned the mid 20th century — glances forward through the decades as if to challenge the 21st century museum-goer: “You’ll never meet another artist quite like me,” he seems to say.

I’ve been reading your advice column in the Coast in Halifax for a while, and it seems that most solutions to relationship problems revolve around sex. Everyone wants it or needs it, we should fuck before dinner, or we can spice up our sex life in this certain way to be happy. What about someone who doesn’t want to have sex, ever? I’ve asked other people for advice, and the answer is usually “take one for the team,” have sex to keep them happy. Is that the only way I could find happiness in a relationship?

The great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky invented the modern suspense thriller with Crime and Punishment, the story of a poor college student who murders his landlady with an ax and is hounded throughout the rest of the book by his conscience and a dogged detective who baits him mercilessly until he confesses.

Nonviolent direct action”: This bit of political jargon might sound like some kind of anarchist crap, but it’s probably what you’ve been doing since the inauguration if you’re newly politically active. 

Those rallies you’ve attended, phone calls to senators, and petitions you’ve signed are all non-violent direct actions — actions taken by a group with the aim of revealing a problem, highlighting an alternative or demonstrating a solution to an issue. On Feb. 4, 350 Eugene put on a daylong series of training sessions attended by about 150 people to introduce new activists to the frontlines of making change. 

With a spate of hateful graffiti in the Whiteaker and anti-immigrant rhetoric on the national level, Lane County’s timing in establishing its Equity and Access Advisory Board is fortuitous.

Marijuana is a crutch on which many were hoping to lean for the next four years.

That alone explains why our bronzed chief executive might be looking to snatch it away. Why else would President Donald J. Trump select unabashed marijuana-phobe Jeff Sessions to run the Department of Justice?

Shirley Temple once paid a visit and may have rested her blonde ringlets on soft Hotel Benton pillows.

Symmetrically doomed presidential candidates John F. and Bobby Kennedy each stopped in, as did history’s great scurrying mole rat, Richard Nixon.

Built to capitalize on tourist traffic after the highway now known as Route 34 came through the middle of town about 100 years ago, connecting hayseed Corvallis to what’s now Interstate 5, the Hotel Benton was like a rural pageant queen — more stunning for the low brutish frontier edifices skirting her hem.

“It is difficult to measure the impact the Hotel Benton has had on social, commercial, political and cultural structure in Corvallis,” reads the building’s nomination form for the National Registry for Historical Places. “Being located within one block of the Southern Pacific Railroad station, ten blocks from the university and in the heart of the commercial core of Corvallis, the building served as host to nearly every conceivable event or convention for over 30 years.”

From Nazi swastikas on Old Nick’s Pub to fliers proclaiming “Diversity is white genocide” on cars, Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood was plastered with hate in the early hours of Feb. 4, and many in the area are up in arms. Some in the Whit are discussing doing their own policing.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently sent a warning letter to Dirk & Colleen Brainerd in Springfield for operating the wastewater treatment system without a permit at the Country Inn on County Farm Road in Eugene. DEQ classified this violation as a “Class I” violation (the most serious class of violations), and noted the human health and environmental problems that can be presented by human sewage. DEQ’s inspection also appeared to indicate a lack of maintenance of the treatment system.

Downtown Eugene is a point of contention again, with some groups advocating for cleaning up the streets of “travelers” and transients through smoking and dog bans. Eugene City Councilor Mike Clark has even called for an additional small jail right near our planned new City Hall. More jails won’t solve the problem and bans just push people out to become someone else’s problem. We need more shelters. We need a day shelter. If you can’t tell someone to go home, at least give people somewhere to go. 


Occasionally, there is a point in the history of a place that creates a before and after moment — an event that, in the aftermath, changes a place so significantly it renders it a totally different place from what it was before, forever. Like what the oil pipeline did to Alaska.  

With the election of Donald Trump we are witnessing a coup that combines white nationalism, finance capital and militarism.

The Lane Peace Center is bringing Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, to Eugene on Feb. 16. His talk, titled “Gandhi and Non-violence: Relevance for the 21st Century,” is well timed to help us gain perspective on these surreal and turbulent times.

Will Kennedy

 et al.

Match.com, OK Cupid, Craigslist, Tinder: Before online and phone app dating, there were personal ads. A couple lines of type in grey newsprint were all the room you had to find the love of your life. But from time to time they worked.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and given the state of affairs in this country, you might not be feeling as happy as you should — even if you’ve got a wonderful significant other.

But weed lube might help make up for this happiness deficit by spicing things up in the bedroom, and at a minimum, should help you briefly forget that one of our president’s nicknames is “Cheeto.”