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Photo by Rick Levin

 

Since its debut in 1964, Fiddler on the Roof has held a certain special status among Broadway shows. It is the Beastie Boys of musicals — beloved, offbeat, wise and wiseacre-ish, slapstick hip. More times than I can count, the mere mention of Fiddler has caused a friend to break out in baritone: “If I were a rich man, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum…”

A soul stolen by a photograph, a tree-worshiping Christian camper and five wildly different folks stuck in a box: It can only be the Northwest Festival of Ten-Minute Plays, the fascinating evening that feels like flipping up rocks and seeing a pulsating world beneath, then moving to the next. NW10 encompasses all the grand excitement of sharing art without any of the pretension.

GOODBYE, WHOVILLE

As I came to your location on my daily visit to you and the trains, you were pretty much gone. The big machines were doing their job of scooping up everything in their path and slamming it in the waiting Dumpster. The police were gathered out front, their numbers indicating a “point” was being made. The “jail” van was still there, blocking Hilyard (it was sealed off from both directions).

Irene Hardwicke Olivieri and Jo Hamilton may not be native Oregonians, but their art seems to spring from the earthy soul of this region. Both artists’ work has strong ties to craft movements, activism and community (whether that consists of people or animals). Now living in Oregon, Olivieri and Hamilton also both work in a large-scale format and display an immaculate attention to detail. However, their work is wildly different — Olivieri creates nature-infused oil paintings and Hamilton constructs urban “crochet paintings” of people and cityscapes.

I’m an old guy, fast approaching geezerdom. After 45 years of marriage to the same woman, the sex has fallen off to zero. We otherwise have a great and comfortable relationship. If I want any at all these days, the only options are masturbation or professional service providers. I was very nervous the first time I paid for sex. Curiously and surprisingly, considering my Christian upbringing, I didn’t feel at all guilty. I now find the urge gets stronger as the body gets weaker.

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley

I decided to walk to the Oregon Coast from my house downtown, out past Fern Ridge, up to Triangle Lake, down through Deadwood and Mapleton, and out to the beach south of Florence — 72 miles. Walking it would be a definitive act, yes! But this tired old body would have to walk 24 miles a day for three days. My wife, Louise, suggested I might want to get my legs in shape, so I started walking a 5-mile loop on the Riverbank Path. In a few weeks I got my time down from 95 minutes to 70, but then I stopped.

Months later, one day in February, I just got up out of my reading chair, where I more or less live, and went back to the park. This time I took a camera, and instead of trying to walk faster I decided to walk longer. In a few weeks I extended my loop from 5 to 7 miles, then 9, 11, and finally 12 and a half at a leisurely 3 mph; the first time I walked all 12 and a half miles it took 4 hours, 10 minutes. Oddly, I’d never walk it that fast again. 

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

The romantic song of chickadees cheering up the morning is living proof of the arrival of spring. When the sun comes out after a heavy rain shower, all the birds sing joyfully. There will be more and more vegetable starts in racks outside the local market while the neighborhood gardens are dominated by spring blooming flowers. It is really too early to plant much besides peas and onions. It is not too early to clean up the beds to stay ahead of the weeds.

Almost 13 years after starting at Eugene’s local daily paper, The Register-Guard, reporter Serena Markstrom Nugent was fired while on pregnancy disability leave from the paper where she had worked since college. Another employee cleaned out Markstrom Nugent’s desk for her, and she was told she could pick up her belongings in the reception area. “It felt like getting punched in the stomach,” Markstrom Nugent says. About 30 current and former employees and supporters gathered to say goodbye in the rain on the sidewalk outside the R-G’s offices on Chad Drive March 27 with signs of support and balloons.

• Weyerhaeuser, 744-4600, plans to backpack spray 8 acres near Norris Creek with Velpar L, Velpar DF, Transline and/or Forestry Garlon XRT with additives methylated seed oil and/or non-ionic surfactant. See ODF notice 2014-781-00306, call Stewardship Forester Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.

Kevin Sullivan

 et al.

Thanks to a disagreement over Robert’s Rules of Order, the Lane County Republicans have recently acquired new leadership in the form of chair, vice-chair and secretary to fill the seats of Paul Barnett, Bill Young and Kristy Cooper, who have all resigned. This split happened as the races heat up for three Lane County Commission seats in the May primary.

The city of Eugene sent “request for corrective action” letters to three Eugene businesses, A&K Development Company, Oregon Ice Cream Company and Oregon Tread Rubber Company, in late February for various Clean Water Act violations.

“Here we go again. Big money moves into a neighborhood and excavates 40 feet into the ground near the river,” Wende Hitchcock says in exasperation. She says a gravel site along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River near Delight Valley Road has applied to the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) to expand its operations, including excavation and asphalt production. Hitchcock and other neighbors fear impacts to the rural community from noise and trucks to possible affects on wildlife and water.

Unhoused Eugeneans will speak at a panel during an April 7 event that the Eugene Human Rights Commission’s (HRC) Homelessness Work Group hopes will help deconstruct stereotypes people commonly apply to the homeless.

Six people who currently reside at Whoville, Opportunity Village Eugene and the city-approved rest stop at the intersection of Garfield and Roosevelt Streets will respond to a prompt and then answer questions from the audience. 

Jody Runge should be a name high on the list of applicants to coach the UO women’s basketball team. She’s interested in returning to Eugene, where she coached from 1993 to 2001, winning two Pac-10 titles, 69 percent of her games, and taking the team to the NCAA tourney in each of her eight seasons.

Sustainable Cottage Grove and the Oregon Food Bank are holding a community event called FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions, Together) from 10 am to 4 pm Saturday, April 5, at the Cottage Grove Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs. The event focuses on promoting and supporting local food systems.

• A Eugene Police Commission public forum will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at the Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Ave. The commission will take comments on professional police stops policy and bias-based policing. Call 682-5852 or email carter.r.hawley@ci.eugene.or.us.

350.org Climate Activists are holding their first general monthly chapter meeting at 7 pm Thursday, April 3, at First United Methodist Church, 13th and Olive. Email 350eug@riseup.net for find them on Facebook.

After breaking into the modern rock and alternative worlds in 2011 with hit singles like “Cough Syrup” and “My Body” from its self-titled debut record, Young the Giant needed to decompress before starting work on its 2014 release Mind Over Matter.

Don’t be surprised if Future Islands comes snapping out of 5th Alley like a gang of dancing street toughs from 1955. The North Carolina-founded, Baltimore-based synth-pop trio has grooves to spare, and lead vocalist Samuel T. Herring has some dance moves that will make you feel inadequate.

“Like a Stranger,” track one off L.A. band Kitten’s 2013 release of the same name, is romantic ’80s dance-pop to the max — all smoke machines, teased bangs and the distinctive electric-boogaloo beat of the era; think Madonna’s “Lucky Star” meets Pet Shop Boys remixed by early hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash.

Eugene City Councilor Chris Pryor claims that for purposes of city aid there are the people homeless by circumstances and people homeless by choice. The first group deserves some city help, as long as it costs no money. The second group does not deserve the time of day, and as the theory goes, they are not technically homeless. Its members have chosen to sleep in doorways and under bridges in rain and snow — presumably, for the hell of it.

For the first time in school history, the 13th ranked UO disc golf team is sending its men’s A-team, men’s B-team and a women’s team to the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships April 16-19 in North Augusta, S.C. The team is holding a fundraising tournament Saturday April 5 to raise money for the trip. The “Duck Chuck” begins at 9 am and holes will span much of campus. Anyone is welcome to participate.