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Now celebrating its 14th season, The Shedd’s Magical Moombah serves up vaudevillian romps for kids as well as kids-at-heart. 

I chased down two of Moombah’s illustrious founders, Judith “Sparky” Roberts and Scotty Perey, to see what makes Moombah tick. 

REAL ISSUES

What a relief to have the election cycle end. Now the EW’s letters column can return to real issues instead of boosting candidates. D.H. Bucher wants to repel wealthy Californians from entering our state. Keep Eugene weird! And let’s hold onto our homeless. They aren’t messing things up by voting to raise taxes for infrastructure.

The irreverent postmodern humor of Monty Python — a stew of bawdy iconoclasm, parodic schmaltz and geek-boy cheekery — achieved perhaps its finest expression in the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This cult classic contains so many insider touchstones (the Knights Who Say Ni, Frenchmen who fart in your general direction, a homicidal rabbit) that, by now, it requires its own cultural thesaurus.

Chekov updated for a post-Prozac world in OCT’s uneven production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

As with writers David Mamet or Aaron Sorkin, to properly experience playwright Christopher Durang you first have to commit to the musical rhythms of his language. Durang’s humor, dark and cynical as it is, lies within that rhythm.

I am a 40-year-old woman; I came out when I was 16. When I was 17, I met M and we dated for eight years. M was a horrible human being—emotionally and occasionally physically abusive. M still sends me the occasional (creepy) e-mail, wishing me a happy birthday or giving me updates on people I don’t really recall. I don’t respond. A few years back, I got an e-mail saying that M was now “Mike.” I think it’s important to use the pronouns people want you to use for them. But Mike wasn’t Mike when he was in my life.

From the exact moment I spied Susan Sarandon rubbing lemons on her naked torso through the apartment window in Atlantic City, I was in love.

Indie video game developers from as far away as Seattle will showcase their work as part of Indie Game Play Test Night Friday, May 27, at Shoryuken League in downtown Eugene. Event coordinator Britt Brady says it’s crucial that game developers get their projects in front of a game playing audience as early as possible. 

Do you think the band’s founders went through other options before settling on the name Dayglo Abortions back in 1979? Given the Canadian punk trio’s penchant for offensive juvenilia, it would probably be an incredible list.

May in the Willamette Valley is a sight to behold — newly green trees burst with life; the waves of spring flowers make a splashy rainbow of our town; sunlight sets the river dazzling. Even the rain seems a little less oppressive with the promise of intermittent glimpses of sun.

Breathe a collective sigh of happiness, Oregon. These are the good months. 

That’s why EW’s annual outdoors issue touches on different ways you can enjoy nature, from walking in local parks and jogging on forest trails to surfing the river. It’s all there waiting for you, so grab a friend and explore. That computer screen can wait a little longer.

 

Journey to the Sea
The dream of a trail from Corvallis to the coast

A Day in the Park
Eugene volunteer Becky Riley works for chemical-free parks

To the Trails
Run Hub Northwest brings running to the forest

Surf's up
Elijah Mack shares the latest news in river surfing

The Broad Outdoors
Local writer Ruby McConnell pens a handy outdoor guide for women, but men should take a look, too

House on the River
Eugene’s River House celebrates 50 years

About 50 Lane County residents made the trek north the weekend of May 13-15 to join thousands more activists in 350.org’s Break Free Pacific Northwest weekend of action against the Shell and Tesoro refineries and the climate change-causing fossil fuel industry. Another 50 or so of the 2,000 protesters were arrested.

At Sky High Brewing in Corvallis a beer called Shiloh IPA is nearly always sold out. Perhaps its popularity stems from its namesake, Shiloh Sundstrom, a native of Deadwood, Oregon, student and conservationist who was killed in a hit-and-run last November. Charges were not filed in the case.

On a blazing hot spring afternoon, Becky Riley lifts her foot in the air and stomps it against her shovel, grabbing a pile of dirt with her gloved hands as she gently combs through a sea of soil, wriggling with earthworms. 

Riley stands in the middle of a mowed, grass walkway at the north end of Rasor Park off River Road, where she’s getting ready to go head-to-head with a legion of poison oak plants. The 58-year-old has spent the past two years of her life removing poison oak by hand from the grassy field as an alternative to chemical spray. 

The Maude Kerns Art Center opens Photography at Oregon Commitment to Vision: 50th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit 6 to 8 pm Friday, May 20. The late Bernard Freemesser, a longtime photography professor at the University of Oregon, started Photography at Oregon, a fine arts photography exhibit at the UO in 1966. The 50th anniversary show features the work of more than 80 artists including Ansel Adams, Brian Lanker, Barbara Morgan, Mary Ellen and Brett Weston.

Local businesses worry the cannanbis industry is edging them out.

While Oregon may still be the new kid on the legalization block, the two states that beat us to the punch, Washington and Colorado, might have a lesson or two to teach us about what’s to come.

Ah, Eugene, “a great city for the arts and outdoors,” especially if you have the right gear, training and financial means to actually get down and dirty in the area’s natural wonders.

One factor for enjoying the outdoors is having access in the first place. The Eugene Rec Outdoor Program provides just that for Eugeneans, and the organization’s 50th anniversary is right around the corner.

Denise Nervik leans back in her chair and smiles as she recalls hiking Bald Hill in 1993, when she first moved to Corvallis.

“I was walking up in my boots and found that I was sinking into the muck up to the boot tops,” she says. “I said to myself, ‘Now I know what I’m going to do here in Corvallis! I’m going to work on trails.’”

River surfer and barber Elijah Mack has big dreams for Eugene. 

In 2004, EW ran a cover story on Mack — he talked about his difficult past, his love for river surfing and the potential for an outdoor wave park in Eugene. Mack, who is moving back to Eugene this summer from Portland, still wants to see a wave park in Eugene for surfers. In the past 14 years, river surfing and whitewater parks have taken off across the nation. 

If Cheryl Strayed had access to A Woman’s Guide to The Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook, she probably wouldn’t have had so many hardships on the Pacific Coast Trail to write about in her bestseller Wild

Saturday morning, 8 am. The leaves are glowing green in the morning light, and a small group of runners follows the trail winding through the trees. It is mostly quiet, just the steady rhythm of footsteps, a few conversations shared in between breaths. 

• The PROM benefiting KindTree — Autism Rock’s Friends and Family Camp is 7 pm Saturday, May 21, at the Vet’s Club Ballroom. The PROM features The Joanne Broh Band with Paula Vaden and Teressa Cunningham and special MC is SLUG Queen Markalo Parkalo as well as a raffle, costume contest, limbo and more. Tickets are $15 presale at kindtree.org, or $18 at the door. 

Oregon Department of Transportation is spraying roadsides. Call 503-986-3010 to talk with a vegetation management coordinator or call 1-888-996-8080 for recent herbicide application information. Highways I-5, 58, 99, 105, 126 and Beltline were recently sprayed.

Cadore Timber, 485-1500, plans to hire Strata Forestry Inc., 726-0845, to backpack spray 41.3 acres south of Hwy. 58 near Noisy Creek with triclopyr, Brush & Basal Oil and MSO Concentrate, targeting Scotch broom. See ODF notification 2016-771-05938, call Tim Meehan at 541-726-3588 with questions.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently sent a warning letter to the Springfield Target Store (store # 612, located at Gateway Mall) for hazardous waste law violations. The store is designated as a “large quantity generator” of hazardous waste because it generates more than 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste per month. DEQ’s warning letter identifies reporting and inspection violations, and notes that DEQ had to contact Target Headquarters due to the unavailability of records at the Springfield store. DEQ also recently sent Maryland-based W.R. Grace & Co.

• Bernie fans whooped it up when Sanders won the primary in Oregon May 17. Also whooping it up, albeit more quietly, was Eugene mayoral candidate Lucy Vinis, who unofficially as of press time scored 52.82 percent of the vote, beating candidate Mike Clark and holding more than the 50-plus-one-percent of the vote needed to not face a challenger in the fall. 

• On Friday, May 20, J-Tea opens its second location on 19th Avenue, right next to the new Sweet Life Petite. Called “The Oolong Bar,” this location will serve “tea-inspired beverages and snacks” and will sell loose-leaf tea as well as made-to-order drinks and teas on nitro. The store will be open 9 am to 9 pm on May 20, and all attendees will receive coupons and free samples. The CABA Lion Dancers are booked to perform at 6:30 pm. See jteainternational.com for more info.