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For the first 30 minutes or so, Passengers is a decent film. If you like Chris Pratt, you’ll probably raise that decent to a “good” or “interesting,” as the first section is essentially a solo act for one of America’s Favorite Chrises.

Barely two weeks after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in, Oregon’s regular legislative session will begin Feb. 1. 

Multiple bills being drafted aim to address civil rights, human rights and health care. And while some bills are also being designed to protect existing state laws, others are being proposed to fill in the gaps in federal laws and protections that could be affected by the Trump administration. 

The first stop for many newly arrived Latino immigrants, many of whom don’t speak English, is Centro Latino Americano on 5th Avenue. This nonprofit describes itself as a safety net for the Latino community in our region, one that is even more necessary in light of President-elect Donald Trump denouncing Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals.

Give a thousand people the same camera and tell them to shoot the same thing, and maybe five will hit that thousand-word mark. I call this quality “soul,” for lack of a better word — that magical something that only a handful of photographers reveal in their work. You know it when you see it.

EW photographers Trask Bedortha, Todd Cooper and Athena Delene all have this unteachable skill. They belong in that rarified category of photographers who not only capture reality but somehow magnify it, enhance it, elevate it. Each of them, in their own particular way, brings a passion and intelligence to picture-taking that suffuses the subject with the dignity it deserves. Beyond just having “a good eye” — a mere matter of composition, timing, framing, etc. — they exhibit a sense of curiosity and concern for their subjects that can only be called humanity.

The Electoral College confirmed Donald Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States Dec. 19, but many of the millions who voted against him have not given up hope and they plan to rally in the streets the day after Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) fined Eugene-based Apex Machinery, Inc. $6,095 on Dec.14 for Clean Water Act violations at its facility located at 100 Polk Street. DEQ fined Apex for failure to monitor for pH, oil & grease, suspended solids, copper, lead and zinc. DEQ noted that “the system that protects water quality in Oregon is highly dependent on permit registrants complying with the monitoring requirements of their permits,” and that failure to comply with these requirements is “considered to be among the most serious of violations.”

• “Community” and “neighborhood” have been the key words through the ice storm still bedeviling some of us. We were impressed by the Holiday Inn Express at Gateway in Springfield that allows pets to sign in with their owners. Twenty-three dogs, three cats and one rabbit settled into warm rooms rented at an emergency rate to their owners for the first night. Huge thanks, too, for the hard-working EWEB crews who have continued to be courteous and considerate to cranky climate refugees.

At 7 pm Wednesday, Dec. 28, there will be a public meeting regarding The Future of Tsunami Books. The lease for Tsunami Books is up June 30, 2017, Scott Landfield of Tsunami says. Will it continue at its present location, will it be moved, or will it dissolve? The facts will be presented, followed by a facilitated question and answer, and discussion period. An as-yet unscheduled second meeting by invite will be held to deal with specific financial issues. Email tsunami1@opusnet.com with questions or comments.

There is an old story about a village that dedicated itself to pulling children out of a river, until one day one of their members left the project and began walking up stream. “Where are you going?” someone asks. “We need you here!”  

The deserter replies, “I am going to find out who is throwing these children into the river!” 

I am one of those who fancied going upstream to stop the growing tide of homelessness, but I am increasingly finding that I must devote my time to pulling people out of the river. I cite just this one example from the day I write this, Dec. 8.

“As a kid, I did drama, music and dance,” says Via Filipe, who grew up in Salt Lake City. “At first, my mom didn’t allow sports.” But her mother later relented, and in high school Filipe excelled at volleyball, basketball and track. She won a volleyball scholarship to the University of South Alabama in Mobile, and also played for the USA Junior National Team in Europe and for a pro team in South America.

Dear reader, I’ve missed you. We each made our own decisions prior to Election Day regarding what we might do based on the outcome. I voted by mail and chose knee replacement surgery before the election. My doctor then placed me on planet Norco 5, otherwise known as Vicodinville, for eight weeks of recovery. Apparently, something big happened while I was gone.

Singer-songwriter Phoebe Blume offers an eerily breathtaking setting — much like this winter itself — in her dark and moody oeuvre. 

“I don’t have a choice. I’m definitely dark,” Blume says. “But that is my happy; that’s my light. It’s a very honest approach that I take, which is just the essence of who I am.”

Eugene actor David Stuart Bull was born and raised in England, just over the border from Wales. And for 30 years, Bull has brought a piece of his childhood to Lane County, performing Dylan Thomas’ timeless classic, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, at Café Soriah. 

‘TIS THE SEASON

Let’s take a diversion of comments on Trump, Eugene City Council, pot, election results, healthcare, housing, etc., and declare a “Merry Christmas, Best Wishes  & Happy 2017!”

 Stace Webb, Eugene

 

ALL HAIL TRUMPTOPIA

A quote from Marine Gen. James Mattis (Trump’s pick for Secretary of Defense): “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

I’m having an issue with my boyfriend, and I don’t know if I am the crazy, paranoid, controlling party here. We have been together for more than a year and a half. We had troubles early on because he has a low sex drive. It made me very insecure, and I think that’s why, at the time, I became extremely jealous of his friendship with his very attractive intern. I fully owned up to my irrational jealousy and decided on my own that it was my responsibility to overcome that. She eventually stopped working with him, and they haven’t been in contact for over sex months.

There’s never been a Star Wars movie as simply beautiful to look at as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Whatever his other flaws as a director, Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) has set the bar on just how breathtaking this universe can be. The varied landscapes glimmer; a Rebel ship sets down gracefully on a desert world; a moon-sized weapon eclipses a distant sun. Costumes are practical; locations feel heavy and real.

Years of deliberation, millions of tax dollars spent, and still nothing to show but a city block of gravel flats and an angry clutch of frustrated taxpayers: A sharply divided Eugene City Council agreed last week to pursue a costly plan (of as-of-yet dubious legal merit) to erect a shiny new City Hall building on a county-owned plot north of the Park Blocks downtown.

This year, to help battle the hate, we are using our annual Give Guide to highlight nonprofits and groups that are pro-women, pro-immigrant, pro-minority, pro-LGBTQ, pro-environment, anti-bigotry and anti-hate. 

Donate to positive ways to fight the Trump agenda. Some groups could use your tax-deductible donations, others need warm clothes or able bodies. 

Dig deep, and give these people some love.

 

Spite Trump, Save the Earth

Social Issues

Fight for Women and LGBTQ

The NAACP Removes Barriers

Invest in the Arts

As the clock ticks down to the inauguration, and the president-elect continues to play fast and loose with Chinese diplomacy, it’s an apt time to go check out Proletarian Revolution: 20th-Century Chinese Propaganda at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. The exhibit features the monumental state-sanctioned puffery of China before, after and during its Cultural Revolution (1966-76). Study it, internalize it, prepare for it, because we have a new POTUS who has already shown a penchant for self-aggrandizing portraits, like the $20,000 Trump portrait paid for via his Donald J.

Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio wants to hold President-elect Donald Trump responsible for his “drain the swamp,” campaign promise, in which Trump said he would impose tougher lobbying restrictions as well as lifetime lobbying bans. 

Ninety-three years ago, cheeky cubist Pablo Picasso reflected on his career choice, on a life spent scratching away at reality. 

“We all know that art is not truth,” he said. “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.”

Oh, the truth. In 2016, that pesky know-it-all took a punch to the gut. Facts have been shoved to the back of the line behind our aunt’s Facebook rants and the president-elects gas-lighting Twitter feed. 

Fortunately, the arts don’t care about popular or unpopular opinion. Art won’t coddle insularity. Art is an act of revolution. Art keeps us honest.

On the heels of the presidential inauguration, an event is coming that will allow community members to show solidarity and share their support for those who may be most affected by this transition of power.

Giving to the Civil Liberties Defense and American Civil Liberties Union

What civil rights, right? President-erect Donald Trump — who thinks the Bill of Rights is a crisp twenty — has already tweeted (tweeted, for Christ’s sake) that he would like to either jail people who burn the American flag or revoke their citizenship. For real? Likely we’re heading for one serious clampdown on civil liberties, with the biggest assault coming at our First Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of the press, peaceable assembly, etc.