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Daniel Borson has known that Bulbus Slimebledore was the stuff of queens since 2009. He was taken by the idea of a slug wizard, but allowed it to take backseat to some other magnetic personalities he’s pulled out for SLUG (Society for the Legitimization of the Ubiquitous Gastropod) queen competitions over the years. 

In 2008, Borson competed in the SLUG queen coronation as Ambassador Mucous Mulloscadia — a half-man, half-woman hybrid representing slugs’ hermaphroditic nature. In 2009, he killed as Slimus O’Mulloskin, a singing leprechaun. In 2010, he played Little Orphan Sluggie, based loosely on the character from the musical Annie. And after a suspenseful two-year hiatus, Borson returned to the contest in 2013 in the robes of Slimebledore, shark-eyed and intent on winning. But with stiff competition from Queen Professor Doctor Mildred Slugwak Dresselhaus, Borson came up short once more. 

This coming weekend will be a time to celebrate Eugene even if some of the names, venues and entertainment are not quite what we have been accustomed to in past decades. But Eugeneans are flexible, right?

Familiar will be the Eugene Celebration Parade and Pet Parade Saturday, Aug. 23, followed by something new, a gathering outside Civic Stadium at the end of the parade for a rally. And Festival of Eugene is still happening as we go to press despite some moments of uncertainty as the new festival came together. Here’s what we know to help you plan your weekend:

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

With the Eugene Celebration on hiatus, local music freaks are lamenting the loss of one of the southern Willamette Valley’s oldest and biggest music festivals. But Eugeneans are nothing if not resourceful, and upstart Festival of Eugene, Aug. 22-23 at Skinner Butte Park, was quickly born. The free event has a schedule of local music to satisfy even the most desperate music junkie jonesin’ for a live fix.

The data is in: Kids benefit academically when they attend kindergarten all day instead of half the day. An Oregon bill mandating that the state must pay for full-day kindergarten goes into effect in the 2015-2016 school year, and while the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) says it will fund the transition, some worry the funds won’t cover the full cost of implementation when districts switch from half-day to full-day. 

Weyerhaeuser is a name long associated with timber, but back in 2010 the company became a REIT — real estate investment trust. Local land-preservation advocates from LandWatch Lane County say that Weyerhaeuser is one of the many landowners in the region moving property lines around on forestland to allow more houses to be built on what’s called an “impacted forest zone” on the edges of towns in Oregon.

• Coast Range Conifers, 335-1472, plans to hire Western Helicopter Services, Inc., (503) 538-9469, to aerially spray Escort, Oust, Oust Extra and/or Surfactant L-11 or LI-700 on 60 acres near Swartz Creek, using a helicopter landing pad on BLM land. See ODF notification 2014-781-00754, call Robin L. Biesecker at 935-2283 with questions. 

In Springfield on Tuesday, Aug. 12, a dog named Kiki was shot in the head by a Springfield police officer responding to what police say was a vicious dog call. Such shootings have happened all over the country — in July, a police officer in Idaho shot a Labrador through the glass window of a van it was sitting in. The window was partially open and the officer thought it was lunging at him. 

• If you are worried about public safety in Lane County, consider that this county has received $2,736,425 worth of surplus military equipment from the Department of Defense —  more than any other Oregon county. That’s according to an Aug. 15 Associated Press story in The Oregonian. Equipment includes one wheeled combat vehicle, 91 infrared illuminators, two ordnance disposal robots and 15 rifles. Coming free to cops across America, this surplus stuff was manufactured with our tax dollars.

Join the Eugene SLUG Queens as they slime around downtown Eugene visiting local businesses. The SLUG Crawl departs Kesey Square at 4 pm, but you can stop by participating businesses any time on Aug. 23 and use the secret code “SLUG Queen” to enjoy a special discount. Participating businesses include: Townshend’s Tea, MECCA, Harlequin Beads, Heritage Drygoods, Party Downtown, Out on a Limb Gallery and more. 

My nerve held until I landed in San Antonio. But with my family a single two-hour flight away after 10 months deployed and two weeks of traveling, I panicked. Racing to an airport gift shop, I searched madly for something to win over my daughter when I arrived home.

Though unsure at seeing me, pure joy greeted the stuffed brown horsie. Definitely the best $8.99 I ever spent. 

• A free gathering to commemorate the 94th anniversary of women’s suffrage will be at 3 pm Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Eugene Public Library. Kirk Taylor and Livvie Taylor-Young will present a scripted Power Point documentary complete with original music and photographs dating as far back as the 1800s. 

 

Along Seavey Loop Road winding all the way to Hwy. 58, “Stop Seavey Loop Industrial Zone” signs have cropped up over the past few weeks on almost every property. The two-lane blacktop runs through floodplain rich in farmland and natural areas nurtured by the Coast Fork of the Willamette River and Oxley Slough and overseen by Mount Pisgah rising gently in the east.

In Greenville, Michigan, where Frank Gibson grew up, the major local employer was the Gibson Refrigerator Company. “My great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father ran the company,” Gibson says, but the factory was sold when he was a child. 

With its Harvest Records 2014 debut Badillac, popular SoCal pop-punk act together PANGEA take a huge sonic leap forward, beyond simple-minded garage-punk into more depth and sincerity.

“We love playing house concerts because it’s always a listening audience,” says Jeff Poynter, vocalist and accordion player for Victoria, B.C.-based indie-folk outfit West My Friend. “We’re not really a bar band, and so we like audiences that show up to hear music. 

COUNTING 

Kevin Sullivan made a stab at class analysis in “And Inequality For All,” (Aug. 7), saying “It is near impossible, however, to draw a bead on the wealthiest Eugeneans.” That’s not the “end of story,” however. Colorful income maps for all of Oregon show wealth distribution patterns by sections of neighborhood, city and county. Pie charts break it down for cities.

I’m a twentysomething genetic male. I thought for a while that I might be trans, but I ended up deciding that while I hate my masculine features and like girl clothes and want to be “cute,” I have no desire to be female and don’t want to have breasts or a vagina. I also don’t identify with a particular sexual orientation, as I don’t find the concept useful. I’ve been with both boys and girls, and currently I’m with a trans girl.

For a man currently wedged between a rock and that proverbial hard place, Eugene artist Joe Mross appears surprisingly serene. Mross, a metalsmith and perhaps this town’s foremost purveyor of the steampunk aesthetic, has but a handful of days to complete the grandest and most ambitious project of his life thus far — a 5,000-plus lbs. metallurgic behemoth of rivets, Plexiglas, fabricated steel and sandblasted wood that must be trucked down and set up for Nevada’s legendary Burning Man festival by Aug. 25.

In what would become his final film role, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman inhabits a classic fictional persona, that of the downbeat institutional man. As Günther Bachmann, a career spy heading an anti-terrorism unit in Hamburg, Hoffman puts an ingenious modern spin on the existential anti-hero who, against all odds and caught up in a tangle of lies and deceit, tries to do the right thing.

Music teacher Tim Walter swings his arms through the air with gusto, directing a throng of Madison Middle School band members as a jazzy rendition of “Oye Como Va” rings from their instruments. Walter’s junior high students are performing the song for eighth-grade procession, where family members and friends pack the bleachers of the gym.

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

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

National high school graduation rates are on the rise: A recent report from the U.S. Department of Education found that high school graduation rates in 2012 marked an unprecedented high of 80 percent. However, last year in Eugene, roughly only 64 percent of high school students graduated in four years in the 4J School District.