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 • Reality Kitchen, a nonprofit bakery that employs young adults with learning disabilities, is holding its inaugural “Dough Raiser” 3 pm Sunday, June 5, at Rye restaurant, 444 E. 3rd Ave. Reality Kitchen founder Jim Evangelista says the fundraiser will include a raffle and live music, as well as free hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine. For more info, call 541-337-1323 or email realitykitchen@gmail.com.

May was National Preservation Month. I’m a little late writing this, as I’ve been so distracted with the elections and gardening. I’m also still peeved by that hatchet job on Springfield EW recently published, so writing this got sidetracked. 

On April 10, Eugene First Christian Church celebrated its 150th anniversary. You’ve probably seen the church building — white columns under a massive dome, bronze-capped bell tower, stained glass windows everywhere you look. 

And maybe you’ve even heard about some of the work this congregation does: the Helping Hands Room, the Interfaith Shelter and Egan Warming Center (side by side with other outstanding local congregations) and, most recently, its sponsorship of Opportunity Village. 

Sometimes extremely revealing insights pop up in places where you least expect them. Such was the case of a recent Fairmount Neighborhood Association meeting. City Councilor Alan Zelenka gave a report on a variety of current topics facing the Eugene City Council, and in the process revealed some very dark and disturbing insights into the dysfunctions in our local government, particularly regarding the controversy surrounding the newly revealed information that there were $7 million of previously unaccounted-for overruns in the construction of the new Eugene City Hall.

Growing up in Nevada City in Northern California, Lisa Shea-Blanchard got her start in community theater at age 9 with the Foothill Theatre Company. “It was a big part of my childhood,” she says. “My sister and my parents were involved.” Shea studied for a degree in theater at UC Davis and an MFA at the University of Wisconsin, then moved to Seattle and took a job at the Museum of Flight, where she met exhibit manager Ken Blanchard. They got married and moved to Eugene in 1995. 

The scene for Oregon’s November general election just got clearer with the primary results. Although I haven’t seen detailed demographics, one statewide fact sticks out: Democrats turned out; Republicans didn’t. According to the Oregon secretary of state’s office, Dems turned out more than 66 percent of their party members, while R’s turned out less than 58 percent. Doesn’t sound like much of a margin until you consider that statewide the D’s turned out more than 230,000 more voters than the R’s. 

It was the early 2010s when the fountain of indie and alternative bands touring Eugene started to run dry. The new decade instead spewed more touring hip-hop, rap and pop artists until the floodgates finally burst with the eruption of the EDM scene. 

While certain politicians make political hay by advocating divisions among Americans based on race, language and origin, artists and musicians are demonstrating the value of joining diverse American traditions. 

Over the phone, Ruth Moody very sweetly and very quietly asks me to remind people that she recently collaborated with Mark Knopfler, as in of the Dire Straits, and as in: She thinks she needs the extra cred to fill the seats at Moody’s show June 9 at Tsunami Books.

In any era, Bob Dylan is a transcending icon of cool. Other ’60s-era musicians tried to break the rules but Dylan, rebellious and irreverent, made up a whole new game. At this point, Dylan is everywhere; many of his tunes are as ubiquitous as “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.”

Almost everyone’s life seems to intersect with this jangly-limbed trickster from Minnesota. So the question is not so much are you a Dylan fan, but what is your Dylan discovery story? 

POWER TO THE PEOPLE

There’s this boy—he’s 29; I’m 46 and female. We met when we were 23 and 41. I was not and am not into little boys. The Kid chased me, and I turned him down for months—until I got drunk one night and caved. It was supposed to be a one-night stand, but it isn’t anymore. We’ve never been “together,” because the Kid wants kids and happily ever after and all that horseshit, and I don’t (and I’m too old even if I did).

The most terrifying villains are never monsters, only men — a fact that Green Room writer-director Jeremy Saulnier reiterates, most effectively, with his third feature film.

It’s not the fault of X-Men: Apocalypse that its villain, with his plan to destroy the world and all the puny people in it, feels extra tired just now. The filmmakers surely didn’t know that a very similar plot would play out in DC’s televised universe this season: On Arrow, a TV show based on comic-book character Green Arrow, the terrorist kingpin Damien Darhk wanted to do away with most of humanity.

In sports, a championship is the ultimate indicator of accomplishment. The greats are judged by how many rings, jackets, belts, cups or giant crystal balls they have won in their careers before the statistics, first-team selections and all of that other filler is brought into consideration.

Especially in team sports are titles touted at such heights. It is the American way — the laissez-faire meritocracy of a sports field boils down to one result at the end of a match and, in the case of championships, the end of a season. 

Earlier this year, Gov. Kate Brown sat down with Bethel School District Superintendent Colt Gill and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: She asked him to join the effort to raise Oregon’s flagging graduation rate — one of the lowest in the country at 74 percent — by becoming Oregon’s first education innovation officer.

In May 2013, when Lane County was attempting to pass a jail levy — a tax to increase the number of open beds at the Lane County Jail — the focus was on incarceration. Criminals were being released due to a lack of capacity, proponents said.

This story begins with a simple request for information. Before long, it veers into murky waters about freedom of information and the public trust, and potential violations of both in Eugene and statewide. 

The story ends in a snarl of unfortunate answers with, perhaps, a shard of hope.

Little did we know that one narrow request would end with a tumble down the rabbit hole into the absurd world of public records law in Oregon, leaving us with the question: Do you, as a citizen in a democracy, have the right to know?

At the University of Oregon, if a student is sexually assaulted and tells her or his instructor, then the professor or graduate teaching fellow must report what happened, whether or not the student wants it reported. This is required reporting, also known as mandatory reporting. Reports go to the UO’s Title IX coordinator.

It’s come to light since last week’s Pollution Update that in addition to the warning letter the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently sent to the Springfield Target Store (store number 612, located at Gateway Mall) for hazardous waste law violations, the Springfield Target was one of four Oregon Target stores that were assessed a penalty of $6,850 by DEQ on May 13 for failing to obtain authorization for “underground injection control” (UIC) systems.

• If EW or a member of the public files a public records request about City Hall, could we trust the findings provided by the city? Could we afford to file the request if the city deemed it not in the “public interest?” And what about Kesey Square (aka Broadway Plaza)? Is it safe from becoming an apartment building? How do we have confidence in our government if decisions that affect our community seem to be made in secret?

 • The city of Eugene received an application for a 10-year property tax exemption under the Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) Program and it is taking public comments on the proposal. According to the city, “The Olive Lofts in Eugene is a proposed 5-story, 36-unit housing with ground floor commercial space at 844 Olive Street.

With heated discussions about rezoning in South Eugene, disputes about Kesey Square, confusion about what offices should be in the proposed City Hall and questions about the placing of an expanded farmers market, it has become obvious that planning in Eugene is not functioning well. 

I’m writing this letter because I feel I need to talk about what is going on at the University of Oregon right now, perhaps echoing other people’s concerns.