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I’m pretty weary of the usual holiday fare — the warbling moppets, the repentant codgers, the treacle, the tinsel. And after 2016’s punishing slog? Please. I just can’t. 

So thank goodness Oregon Contemporary Theatre offers plenty of light-hearted laughs this season, with The Santaland Diaries and a visit from America’s favorite Dragapella Beauty Shop Quartet, the Kinsey Sicks.

It may seem strange to suggest that the path to peace is to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty regenerating the soil in our gardens and around the world. But this is more than a metaphor suggesting that building peace is like growing a healthy garden. 

The wars we fight, the deplorable state of public health and the surpassing of planetary limits leading to climate change can all be traced back to how we grow our food and view the earth as a resource base to be turned into commodities for consumption.

On Sunday, Nov. 20, from noon-2 pm, Tsunami Books will host a book release celebration for Kristin K. Collier of Eugene, author of the memoir Housewife: Home-remaking in a Transgender Marriage. After high school graduation in Eureka, California, Collier’s planned odyssey to New York to study theater took her only as far as Wyoming, where she met the son of a rancher. They got married and moved to Eugene, where she studied English and he majored in architecture at the UO.

YG might not be a rapper that everyone has heard of, but his politically straightforward message echoed throughout cities across the nation last Tuesday night as results of the presidential election filtered in. The Compton rapper released his single “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)" back in March — and, in fact, someone drove down 13th Avenue repeatedly playing this during the Trump rally in May — but the catchphrase has remained a whopping battle-cry during this political cycle. 

Liat Lis and Kyle McGonegle — comprising the old-time folk duo — are a reminder that sometimes, musicians are made for each other. Beyond the lush, characteristic two-part vocal harmonies that carve a wake through Lake Toba’s music, there is songwriting and performance talent at work that Eugene has not seen since the string-band heyday of the previous decade. 

Comic book artist, musician and New York native Jeffrey Lewis comes to Eugene behind his 2015 release, the appropriately titled Manhattan. Like a lost Lou Reed album, Manhattan recalls a time when New York was friendlier to artists and freaks. 

Classical music institutions usually reach backward, content to be historical museums of music by long-dead composers. It wasn’t always thus: Composers like Bach and Beethoven would have been appalled to see how today’s orchestras play mostly yesterday’s music. Had that notion prevailed in their time, the music of those great composers wouldn’t have survived. That retro attitude, a product of the early-mid-20th century, has gradually been changing, and Eugene Symphony president Scott Freck wants his band to lead the way. 

BRAVE COVER

I am a senior at the University of Oregon majoring in journalism, history and political science. Thank you for your thoughtfulness in determining today’s cover. Given the grim results of the presidential election this week and the protests that proceeded, today’s cover could not have been more appropriate. I appreciate your bravery and journalistic integrity. This made my day.

Nicole Bales, Eugene

 

I’m a longtime fan—reader and listener—and part of the 47 percent of white women who did NOT vote for Donald Trump. To say I’m disappointed, horrified, scared, and mad about the election is woefully insufficient. I donated $100 to Planned Parenthood this morning because I honestly felt like there was nothing else I could do. That being said, I wanted to share that I had one of the most weirdly charged, hottest, and sexiest orgasms. A little buzzed (dealing with those election results) and sad, my boyfriend and I turned to each other for consolation.

If you’re looking for a distraction from the state of the world, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival both is and isn’t the movie you’re looking for. The film’s previews suggest an actiony alien invasion, and while there are aliens, they’re hardly the angry insects that infest so many science fiction films. Instead, they look like hands with too many fingers, suspended, tips down. They sound like whalesong mixed with the groans of a building in a storm — a language Louise Banks (Amy Adams) can hardly hope to speak.

According to local homeless advocates, 273 students in Eugene were homeless and living without a parent or guardian last year. On top of that, 90 students dropped out, and advocates believe they have moved to the streets.

In response to this, activists and the city of Eugene formed 15th Night, a collaborative approach to help prevent youth homelessness in the 4J and Bethel school districts.

Every other year, University of Oregon professor Marc Schlossberg takes his students to the Netherlands or Denmark — Copenhagen is a bicycling utopia, where 45 percent of people commute by bike. It’s a cyclist’s dream come true.

Students from Eugene explore the European streets by bike, opening their eyes to a world where people take cycling seriously. 

“My mind was blown by the things I saw in Copenhagen,” writes student Holly Hixon in a 2015 compilation of the students’ reflections on the class. “The cycle track system is so complete, comfortable, heavily used by every type of person you can imagine and is ingrained in their way of life as a major form of transportation.”

When Tiffany Triplett joined the Women in Transition (WIT) program at Lane Community College, she says she was recovering from addiction and a divorce. “I was in the drug court program when I was in the WIT classes and it complemented my treatment program so much,” she says.

Months after ballooning construction costs sent the Eugene City Council back to the drawing board, councilors and city staff continue to thumb through a confusing array of City Hall possibilities.

Without a clue to indicate what the different possibilities might cost taxpayers, the council is taking stabs in the dark. Councilor Chris Pryor likened the muddled process to playing with Legos at an Oct. 19 Joint Elected Officials Work Session.

The growing general-practice physician shortage in Oregon and across the country has become a troubling issue. Fewer new MDs are opting to become family practitioners or internists, preferring instead to go into diverse medical specialty practice areas. But many don’t realize that a shortage of qualified nurses also exists, and that shortage is growing so rapidly it equals or may even overshadows the lack of physicians in upcoming decades. An aging baby boomer population, placing increasing demands on the medical profession, and a nursing faculty that is rapidly aging out combine to exacerbate this dilemma.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent the Walmart Supercenter on Olympic Street in Springfield a warning letter for hazardous waste law violations Oct. 3. This facility generates between 220 pounds and 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste per month, and the violations were discovered by DEQ during an unannounced Sept. 28 inspection. Violations cited by DEQ include failure to properly store and label hazardous waste, failing to conduct weekly inspections of waste, and failing to post emergency information.

We are in shock at the dawning of a Trump presidency and all that we stand to lose: Roe v. Wade, civil rights, immigration reform, media freedom, minority representation, climate change, the list goes on. The path to resistance becomes clear.

• Through a partnership between Willamalane Park and Recreation District and the city of Springfield, there will be a new Veterans Memorial Plaza on the corner of Mohawk Boulevard and I Street in Springfield. The opening ceremony is 11:30 am Friday, Nov. 11, and will include a new Vietnam Memorial unveiling. Event parking is available on Mohawk Boulevard and on I Street; follow parking signage.

Homelessness and impoverishment are not law enforcement problems and cannot be mitigated by police actions. The Eugene City Council needs to stop dithering and being paralyzed by NIMBY trolls who could not care less that housing is a human right. 

“I grew up on the creek,” says Lane County native Corrina Welding, “out past Pleasant Hill on Lost Creek Road, a mile from the dead end.” Her father, Alfie Welding, was a welder. He had a structural steel construction business and managed a crew of employees, working mostly in Eugene and Springfield. He was also a Vietnam veteran who had been exposed to the insecticide Agent Orange. He developed cancer years later and died in 2010 at age 59. Following graduation from Pleasant Hill High School, Welding studied at the Cascade Institute of Massage and Body Therapies.

Skating Polly

 

When Andrew Katz, the drummer of alt-indie band Car Seat Headrest, was asked how he feels about returning to his hometown when touring, his response was: “God, it’s awful. I hate it.” 

Keep in mind that Katz is from Eugene, and grew up a mere eight blocks from the University of Oregon campus. 

Rising Appalachia adds an intoxicating recipe of banjo, blues and hip hop to old-time mountain folk. Front women and sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith are two songbirds (or swamp fairies) who poetically confront social, environmental and political injustices — all the while sticking to their filthy, dirty Southern roots. 

It’s been a particularly rainy autumn around these parts. Maggie Morris, vocalist and guitarist with Portland band Genders, says the weather feels like home. “Rainy as ever!” Morris emails from Portland. “But damn if it didn’t feel really great. It’s still beautiful and magical.”