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Serving up morsels of Eugene food and drink news

“My mom is white and my dad is black,” says Rena Dunbar, who learned about racism first-hand, growing up along with her twin sister Leah in Fort Wayne, Ind., a segregated steel mill industrial town. “Seeing discrimination made us activists.” The twins won scholarships to DePauw University in southern Indiana. They majored in English, started a chapter of Amnesty International and protested the first Gulf War. After graduation in 1994, Rena followed the Grateful Dead on tour as far as Autzen Stadium shows in June, and decided to stay on in Eugene.

It’s tough to convey unbridled enthusiasm via email, but Trevor Straub of Pookie and The Poodlez (of Oakland, Calif.) comes close: “Yeah, I can do that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,” Straub responds to my email interview request. 

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley

When hard-pressed to describe Pigeon John’s sound, I choose “soul-rap” — living somewhere between early Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder (hard to listen to and not smile) and uplifting indie West Coast hip hop. 

We welcome you all, to a world where no paper currency exists, no dreams of the afterlife are sought after and everyone is together, striving to form a unified consciousness. That’s not a snippet of The Communist Manifesto, but the opening line to the comic book Bustin’ Jieber vs. The Gravy Robbers.

In the U.S. your freedom of — and from — religion is protected. Everyone’s is. Under federal law, you have the right to believe or disbelieve whatever you want, to practice (or not) any religion you choose, and to attend the church, synagogue, mosque, temple, coven, or faerie circle of your liking — if any. That’s a lot of freedom.

According to the National Survey of High School Biology Teachers, 13 percent of American high school bio teachers explicitly teach creationism in the classroom. Sixty percent give evolution very little class time and 17 percent don’t even touch the subject at all, wanting to avoid the whole controversy. These statistics speak to the state of radical religious interference with education, which gives a ’50s play new relevance in the 21st century.

THE POWER OF SEXISM

The emergence of sexuality in the teen and early adult years is confusing for all of us. For women, the situation is complicated by their position on the victim end of sexism. Many young women, myself included, enter this period with a belief that men and women are equal, and that their wishes regarding their own bodies will be generally respected by others. It is a shock to find out that this is not true.

I’m a 25-year-old straight guy. Last month, I was in the locker room at my gym. It was 4 a.m., and I was the only one around. I was getting ready to leave, when I noticed someone exiting the showers. He kinda caught me looking (he was very well-endowed), and I quickly turned my head, embarrassed. About 20 seconds later, he came around the corner and said, “Hey, how ya doin’?” He was still naked, and it was obvious that he was wondering if I wanted to try something.

By some fateful collision of time, situation and personality, certain individuals come to represent the places where they live, in such a way that the association becomes nearly mythological: Lou Reed symbolizes the junky glam of the East Village, Harvey Milk is forever Mayor of the Castro District, Saul Bellow haunts Chicago’s Humboldt Park.

Days of Future Past opens in a dark future, a world devastated by war. A ragtag band of mutants, led by Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellan), puts up a decent fight against the Sentinels, but they have zero hope of victory against the shape-shifting, mutant-hunting robots. 

Water, timber and minerals are natural resources with which we, as Oregonians, are familiar. Often, communities come into conflict when deciding whether to use or preserve these natural resources. But there is one natural resource that is frequently overlooked yet always available: the sound of quiet.

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

Galloping down the beach, the wind in your hair and whipping through your horse’s flying mane as her hooves splash in the frothy waves — I’ve daydreamed about it, and I know I’m not the only one. Even non-horse owners get caught up in the romance of thundering across the sand and water à la The Black Stallion

Anna V. Smith

 et al.

Hayley Oakland 22, UO student 

Have you been following the UO rape investigation?

Yes.

Do you think the UO is handling the investigation well? What about the police and the district attorney?

Originally the Santiam Wagon Road was built to move wild horses from near Sisters to Halsey for auction. It was also part of the first transcontinental car race in 1907; the Sevenmile Section near Tombstone Pass was the steepest of the entire race.

Ultramarathon runners push themselves hard, running up to 100 miles at a time and ascending thousands of feet. A deep passion for what they do and strong commitment to running turns a hobby into a lifestyle, and Eugene is home to some of the highest-placing ultramarathon contestants.

The city of Eugene opened its first 18-hole disc golf course at Alton Baker Park just over a year ago and there has been a steady stream of nubby rubber discs flying ever since. Andrew Rich, the course’s operator, says that on a rainy day the course will see about 50 rounds of play, and on a sunny day those numbers shoot upward of 250.

 “We still have a long ways to go,” says Tad Shannon, Eugene Education Association president after last week’s bargaining session between the EEA and Eugene School District 4J and EEA. Shannon says the session brought the groups closer to agreement, with a closed budget gap and 3.7 percent wage increase for about 60 percent of teachers, but refinements to the proposed contract, including a section that lists added health insurance benefits to teachers as a last priority, left teachers not yet ready to sign.

ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Highways I-5, 36, 58, 99, 101, 105, 126 and Beltline were sprayed recently.

• Rosboro LLC, 746-8411 plans to hire Dole Land Management Inc. to spray 211 acres near Quartz Creek and McKenzie River tributaries with imazapyr. See ODF notices 2014-771-00413 and 2014-771-00414, call Tim Meehan at 726-3588 with questions.

Some neighborhood leaders are saying that the city of Eugene has not included neighborhoods enough in decisions about new property tax exemption rules for housing developments of five or more units, aka the MUPTE (Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption) program.

MUPTE is aimed at increasing the amount of multi-unit housing in order to prepare for projected population growth and it exempts developers from paying property taxes for up to 10 years. The program was suspended last year so the Eugene City Council can revise the eligibility requirements. 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently sent Hollingsworth & Vose Fiber Company a pre-enforcement notice following an inspection of Hollingsworth’s Corvallis facility, which is classified as a large-quantity generator of hazardous waste. DEQ’s letter cites Hollingsworth for failing to close containers of hazardous waste, failing to develop and execute weekly inspections of hazardous waste storage containers and failing to cleanup spills.

The recent rape investigation at the University of Oregon has not only triggered a spate of articles about the issue locally and across the nation, it’s also triggering requests for emails, contracts and other information from UO staff who might be involved in the investigation or its handling. As a state institution the UO, like other government entities, is subject to Oregon’s Public Records Law.