• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Articles

It’s mid-October and I’m on The Nature Conservancy’s 9,000-acre Staten Island, part of the 46,000 acre Cosumnes River Preserve, in California’s Sacramento River Delta. Owned by the Conservancy, the island is all farmland, farmed for the benefit of migrating birds. I’m looking over fields of harvested wheat, corn and potatoes as hundreds of 5-foot-tall greater sandhill cranes jump and dance in the fields. As I watch, hundreds more arrive with their haunting, gurgling call.

I’m not one to usually complain. I typically see both sides of the equation. But this nonsense of raising the minimum wage to $13.50 an hour! How come I didn’t get a vote on this? 

Wolf update: Gov. Kate Brown signed HB 4040 into law on March 15. Opponents of the original de-listing (and this bill) believed the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) previously broke the law when it removed state endangered species protections from gray wolves; so they sued. They contend de-listing was premature and not supported by independent scientific review: bad science, bad bill.

"Bang," "quack" and "sizzle" are onomatopoeias. If a band name were ever onomatopoeic, it would be Mexico-via-L.A.’s Metalachi — the self-proclaimed first and only heavy metal mariachi band in the world. 

The Minneapolis-based Davina and the Vagabonds have swagger — circa 1920s swagger, the kind found in the midst of big-band jazz and the blues.

When the Eugene Symphony chose a young, little-known conductor named Marin Alsop as its music director in 1989, both she and the orchestra were at best marginal micro-planets orbiting the farthest reaches of the American classical music solar system.

Ah, Paradise: What an orchard of happiness. Endless green, endless time and endless innocence, unsullied by death and the knowledge of it. What’s not to like? But God, in his infinite wisdom, looked upon Eden’s immaculate expanse and thought unto himself: Needs something. Needs a beholder to appreciate my handiwork and artistry, my Godness. Needs people.

DONE WITH HIDING

The fencing of places where homeless people camp isn’t really about trash. If it was, the city would be providing trashcans and portable potties at locations all over Eugene, along with a lot more managed shelter. Instead it spends money on services that people have to walk to, carrying all of their possessions, and policing to keep them from camping.

I was honored to speak at JCCSF—Jewish Community Center of San Francisco—last week as a part of their “Uninhibited: About Sex” lecture series. The audience submitted questions on cards, which were ably put to me by Jourdan Abel, who was wearing a wonderful uterus-themed sweater. (Check out my Instagram account—@dansavage—to see Abel’s sweater!) Here are some of the questions submitted by the uninhibited JCCSF audience that Abel and I didn’t manage to get to during our conversation.

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that superhero movies must feature massive amounts of property damage. Rather hilariously, we are all spending a lot of time talking about this, not about cool fight scenes (harder and harder to come by) or daring ways our heroes have saved the day.

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

Susan Cox was born in South Korea and grew up in Brownsville, Oregon with her adoptive parents. She was one of the first to serve on the Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Washington, D.C., during the first term of the Clinton administration. That’s when she met Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“The idea that Mrs. Clinton is not inspiring — I just find that astonishing,” Cox says. “When I watch her victory speeches, and she talks about what she would do, I find it very inspiring.”

The side channels of the upper McKenzie River near the town of Blue River are “magical,” Joe Moll says, draped in mosses and lined with massive cottonwoods. The channels are home to spawning spring Chinook and hungry bull trout. 

The recent acquisition of these lands, known as McKenzie Camp, near Finn Rock Boat Launch, is one of the many reasons to celebrate at McKenzie River Trust’s fifth annual “McKenzie Memories” event April 1, says Moll, MRT’s executive director. 

According to Oregon’s Quality Education Model, Oregon is shortchanging its schools by about $2 billion every two years. On March 29, a panel of education funding experts will convene at the University of Oregon to discuss “Solving Oregon’s K-12 Funding Crisis: Where We’ve Been and Solutions for the Future.”

After moss samples showing heavy metal hot spots near Portland art glass companies drew attention to the possible dangers associated with colored glass manufacturing, anxious local citizens called the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency to see if they had anything to worry about. 

Bus tickets to ship off homeless people? We hear the city of Portland is looking at allocating $30,000 to buy one-way bus fares for indigent residents who are stuck in Portland and want to go home, or at least to a place where they have the support of family or friends. San Francisco has a similar program called Homeward Bound. At first glance, this seems like a cynical way to get rid of “problem” people and pass them along to other cities.

• The Jazz Station at 124 W. Broadway has a jazzy new neon marquee that makes the all-ages music venue easier to find downtown. The sign was built by Neal Conner of Neon Latitudes with funding by a Lane County Cultural Coalition grant with matching funds from the nonprofit Willamette Jazz Society. Rich and Marilyn Linton, the current WJS president and his spouse, contributed financially to the project as well as providing oversight. The Jazz Station, a project of WJS, promotes touring musicians and bands, local talent and youth performers and provides rehearsal space.

• A weekly “Food Not Fences” community lunch series will begin at noon Thursday, March 24, at the newly constructed fences at Washington Jefferson Park on 1st and Jefferson. Organized by Badass Freedom Fighters and Humanity First, the gatherings are in solidarity with “our unhoused community members and in search for solutions.” Email ourhumanityfirst@gmail.com or cryswebb1975@gmail.com.

It was one of those moments when I felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. I had entered the Growler Underground in anticipation of meeting several friends and hearing lots of great music at the weekly open mic on Main Street in Springfield. As soon as I walked in, someone handed me the latest issue of Eugene Weekly and said, “Look what they did to Springfield.”

“Someone told me Oregon was beautiful,” says Chris Veloon, who grew up in Grafton, Wisconsin, and studied occupational therapy (OT) at the University of Wisconsin, “and that Eugene was a lot like Madison.” Since she arrived at age 27, Veloon has worked for PeaceHealth and McKenzie-Willamette hospitals, and, for the past 10 years, for Cascade Health Solutions, a nonprofit community health agency. “I’m an OT in home health,” she says. “Two of us cover the county. We mostly see elderly people with health issues.

OK, enough about Oregon’s February legislative session. Nothing happened except the minimum wage increased and Oregon banned coal as an energy source. Democrats bragged about those issues and about fixing Portland’s affordable housing crisis. In their press releases, Republicans described February as “the most destructive month in Oregon legislative history,” and predictably bragged about their obstruction and attacked the “one-party” Democrats. Whatever. I’m still pissed that the Democrats used a Trojan Horse bill to make Canis lupus a sacrificial lamb. Bad biology, governor.

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

Blue Man Adam Erdossy has spent much of the last 10 years being … blue. 

“It’s a special shade called ‘Blue Man blue’” Erdossy says. “It gets pretty much everywhere, which is actually pretty fun.” 

On the night of March 30, Sam Bond’s Garage is going to be painted with some funkadelic jams, man. Lucy Arnell and Holly Bowling are bringing tunes laced with Phish-y influences and classic experimental sounds.