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Photo by Gary Hale / Forestland Dwellers


Eugene lost a culinary legend with the passing of chef Gabriel Gil last week. Known best for his influence on local restaurants past and present, including Rabbit Bistro and Bar, Soubise and Tacovore, Gil was a friend and inspiration to many in the local restaurant community. 

Gil was 43 years old and died after suffering a medical crisis.

His partner in life and work, Amy Hand, says working with Gil was “challenging but rewarding. I learned a tremendous amount from him — he upped my personal game. It was inspiring to work with him.”

Oregon Department of Transportation is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwy. 36 near Mapleton and Hwy. 99 near Eugene were recently sprayed.

Portland author Patrick deWitt is a pig for romance. 

“I’m an old softy, you know,” deWitt tells EW, “a fool for love and all that; a pig for it.” 

Civic Education in Oregon was the topic at the City Club of Eugene Sept. 11, but important as civic education is, the elephant in the room that day was funding for public schools in Oregon. Superintendent Jodi O’Mara of the Mapleton School District spoke of her desire to return the kids to a five-day week; they only go four days this fall. Superintendent Colt Gill of the Bethel District said 60 percent of his kids are in poverty. What additional demand does that put on his schools?

We hear Pacific Recycling has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is currently closed. The scrap metal processor based at 3300 Cross Street in Eugene had employed an average of 55 full-time workers. It listed assets and liabilities ranging between $10 million and $50 million in a petition filed in Oregon Bankruptcy Court, according to a story Aug. 31 in the industry newsletter American Metal Market. Company President Rod Shultz told AMM that “we’ve overcome many obstacles while heavily investing in new capital improvements.

An open letter to Springfield Councilor Dave Ralston: I was elected this year as the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens. Formed in 1929, LULAC is responsible for the formations of the American GI Forum and Head Start schools. It also helped pave the way for the Brown V. Board of Education ruling.

• The South Willamette Special Zone Area is the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Sept. 18, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette Street. Planning consultant Eben Fodor and local architect and Planning Commission Chairman Bill Randall will be the speakers. The discussion is in advance of an Oct. 19 public hearing before the City Council on the proposal to create a long-range development plan along the Willamette corridor between 23rd and 32nd avenues. Fodor is a critic of the plan and its impact on the neighborhood and Randall helped craft the plan.

In Afghanistan

• 2,363 U.S. troops killed (2,355 last month)

• 20,071 U.S. troops wounded in action (updates NA)

• 1,599 U.S. contractors killed (1,599)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $713.4 billion cost of war ($709.4 billion)

• $285.4 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($283.8 million)


Against ISIS

• $6 billion cost of military action ($5.4 billion)

• $2.4 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($2.2 million)

The Oregon Legislature got out of Dodge quickly, leaving a lot of unfinished business. No transportation plan, no real plan for higher ed funding, no minimum wage reform, no affordable housing — all left on the table. Some blame Senate President Peter Courtney, some blame Speaker Tina Kotek. 

California-based progressive bluegrass group Front Country has a new connection to Eugene. “Our fiddle player [Leif Karlstrom] just moved up here,” guitarist Jacob Groopman tells EW. “I always like coming to Eugene. It’s a nice town.”

Blackalicious needed two decades to establish themselves as one of underground hip hop’s most progressive, impressive and beloved groups. But it took Harry Potter to make them famous.

Eugene is the first city in the country to consider ways to keep travelers out of its downtown.

Los Angeles band Period Bomb is an anarcho-feminist project recalling protest punk like Bikini Kill and straightforward, curled-upper-lip rock ‘n’ roll like The Runaways. 

We’ve all played this game: If you could share a drink with one person from history, living or dead, who would you choose? For music fans in general and jazz fans in particular, the answer is often Billie Holiday. 


My son, who is almost 30 years old, was married four years ago. He just shared with us that for the last three years, he and his wife have been practicing polyamory. They are committed to their relationship but have each had relationships with both men and women. We are trying to get our heads around this, as we come from a more traditional background (we’ve been married 40 years in a loving and respectful relationship), and we find ourselves feeling very sad. We are accepting and nonjudgmental, just trying to understand how he came to this decision.

Miami Mike’s head swung slowly back and forth as he eyed the pretty girls sauntering past his hotel on their way to work.

In Mike’s defense, little else goes on in the sun-bleached corner of Panama where he opened up shop.

Swaying woozily beside him, I stared vacantly ahead into the daybreak, sunlight glaring off a set of chrome hubcaps parked at the curb. My fever had broken and the spells of delirium had abated.

Having lived here going on eight years now, Eugene has become like family for me: I love it, but sometimes I don’t like it very much. For all the ballyhooed benefits of its artsy liberal veneer and outdoorsy appeal, Eugene remains, at its core, a small town steeped in vice, fractured by disarray and floundering in untapped potential — sorta dirty, kinda unpretty and altogether a tad menacing and drug-addled, like a white utopia revved up on the downslide.

Eugene and Springfield have a lot to offer in terms of activities — one look at our weekly events calendar will tell you that. But since this is the travel issue, we’re encouraging you to take a step outside Lane County and check out what the rest of Oregon has going on this fall. From storytelling festivals to boat parades, hop on a bus or carpool to these autumn escapades. 

I’m the kind of person who squeaks gleefully at the sight of tiny, rodent-like creatures in their natural habitat. In this, Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve meets every expectation. Also, the caves are amazing. 

Found within the Siskiyou Mountains in the southwestern portion of the state, the Oregon Caves lure in about 80,000 visitors a year to tour the glistening marble caverns and relish in the drippy delight that being underground can bring. 

From journalist Nellie Bly’s 1890 trip around the world in 72 days to Cheryl Strayed’s 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995, women have been destroying the stigma of female solo travel for more than 100 years. 

Although there’s always some risk to traveling (as there is to getting in your car to drive to the airport), the idea that women shouldn’t travel alone is just plain antiquated. 

Among the several pleasures of writer-director Paul Weitz’s new film Grandma is watching Lily Tomlin drop a petulant teenage slacker to the floor with a hockey stick to the nuts. The aggression is not unfounded: Elle (Tomlin) is simply avenging her newly pregnant granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner), who is trying to collect enough money for her abortion appointment, and her baby daddy (Nat Wolff) won’t cough up his share.

In theater, the imaginary barrier separating an audience from the action on stage is called the fourth wall — a sort of make-believe TV screen that, by mutual agreement, keeps art on one side and spectators on the other.