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Had Yelawolf never elevated his game beyond the flush of his furious 2010 mixtape Trunk Muzik, which contained at least one bona-fide masterpiece in “Pop the Trunk,” he’d yet remain a significant footnote in the history of modern hip hop — an Alabama-born rapper of manic intensity and talent who gnawed his initials into the rusty proud husk of Southern culture on the skids of the 21st century.

It’s a troubling contradiction that today’s music business — ostensibly an industry of songs — could make a quality songwriter like Ron Sexsmith feel antiquated and out of place. 

Originally from Wainfleet, Ontario, neo-folk quintet Great Lake Swimmers play music as idyllic as their scenic rural hometown. Frontman Tony Dekker’s light, sweet voice and melody-driven songwriting is partnered with familiar bluegrass backing instruments: acoustic guitar, banjo, upright bass and violin.

The drums beat, heavy and slow at first, then picking up speed like a heartbeat. The rhythm pushes for answers, for ancestry. Dontrell cannot escape the dreams calling him to this quest — dreams of a forebearer who leapt to his death from a slave ship during the Middle Passage.

ONLY ONE OF MANY

I am writing to applaud Camilla Mortensen’s as always thorough, informed and situated story May 28 about sexual assault survivors and the UO. The article demonstrates how sadly typical it is for something truly terrible to happen before anything is done that could prevent future tragedies. The UO, caught between worries about perceptions of prospective students, their parents and, above everyone else, donors, hoped this would just go away. It did not. 

I’m a 35-year-old divorced man. I’ve been on plenty of dates since my marriage ended, but I invariably get asked this question on or before date #2: “Why did you get divorced?” This is where everything goes to shit. I’m honest: “We got divorced because I cheated on my wife.

Over the weekend hundreds of participants along the Klamath River gathered in ceremony for the 2015 Great SalmonR un of the Klamath-Trinity Rivers. For the first time this year, the Klamath Tribes participated in the run, which has been extended to Chiloquin, Oregon. Members and descendants from all the Klamath Basin river tribes took part in the ceremonial event, beginning May 29 at at the Pacific Ocean and concluding in Chiloquin June 1.

A fine and fascinating new documentary, Sunshine Superman provides an intimate portrait of the founder of a movement in which participants — perhaps I should say followers — commit protracted suicide in circus-like gestures that are public and grandiose and defiantly illegal. And for these gestures they are widely heralded as free-spirited heroes whose failed attempts to burst the bonds of human limitation are considered tragic evidence of their own greatness.

“$30,000. That’s the going rate for rape these days.”

When Laura Hanson settled her case against the University of Oregon for mishandling her allegations of sexual assault against a fraternity brother, the money was not the point. Hanson wanted — and still wants — the UO to fix its broken system of dealing with sexual assault and to support survivors.

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Highways I-5, 101, 126 from 7 miles west of Walton to Florence. ODOT may spray Highway 36 soon. 

Eugene has 23 neighborhood associations, and each one works with neighbors, businesses and local government to solve issues in its respective neighborhood. They also work together with the city of Eugene’s Office of Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement (HRNI) to secure matching grants for community projects. 

The controversial Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing (OMC) planned unit development off River Road next to the Willamette River will go back for additional public comment following a decision May 15 by the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). 

DEQ is accepting comments through 8 am on June 1 on the proposed cleanup of the trichloroethylene-contaminated Evanite Fiber site along the Willamette River in Corvallis. Visit goo.gl/nbbpQp for more information.

There’s no shortage of demand for good homes in Eugene these days, especially for those with low or little income. Now the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International has its fingers crossed that the nonprofit will be able to put up a few more houses every year if the Oregon Legislature passes House Bill 2690-1 this summer. 

• We wonder if the High Line elevated park in Manhattan gives us some clues for using the EWEB property by the Willamette River now that the chosen developer, the UO Foundation, has left it in limbo. We know, Eugene is not New York City, but a private-public partnership shaped a mile-and-a-half abandoned elevated railway in the meat-packing district into the most amazing public park, attracting millions of visitors all seasons. Special events and attractions are scheduled, but mostly visitors just come to walk the High Line and see the view.

We wrote about the opening of Big Slice Pizza in this column May 14, but now we see the business is closed and owner Glenn Eitelman has not returned an email or answered the store’s phone. The “hole-in-the-wall” pizza joint is on 13th next to Big City Gamin’ and across from the downtown fire station. A note on the door says, “The landlord has retaken possession of these premises, and claims a landlord’s lien on all the property of the tenant located herein.” Building owner John Hammer declined to comment when called. 

• Environmental advocate Paul Scott, co-founder of Plug In America, will speak on “Autonomous Vehicles and the Future of Sustainable Transportation” at 6 pm Thursday, May 28, at the EWEB North Building, 500 E. 4th Ave. Free. Scott is a former BRING Recycling worker who has gone on to gain national attention in the field of electric vehicles. He was featured in the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?

Oregonians for Industrial Hemp will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Thursday, May 28, at Growers Market, 454 Willamette St. Find the group on Facebook.

On April 26 The Register-Guard ran a story about efforts to re-invent the Lane Metro Partnership as the South Lane Economic Development Corp. The article claims the Lane Metro Partnership had to go away because its director, Jack Roberts, was “not producing meaningful results,” and his board of directors had become “disenchanted” with him because he was not “doing enough to bring new business to the region.” None of that is true. Job performance had nothing to do with why Roberts had to go or why Metro is being replaced.

Memorial Day has its roots in the aftermath of the Civil War when Americans searched for a way to honor and remember the three-quarters of a million people who died in that horrific conflict. The original declaration in 1868 called for “strewing of flowers or otherwise decorating the graves” of the war dead, hence its original name, Decoration Day.

“My original plan was to be a high school choir director,” says Mo Robeson, who studied music and art at her hometown school, San Diego State University. “That’s where I met Denny Robeson.” They got married, he joined the Coast Guard and she finished up her degree at the University of West Florida in Pensacola while he went to flight school. She sang with the Honolulu Chorale and Symphony when he was stationed in Hawaii as a search and rescue pilot. They spent five years in Aberdeen, Washington, where he worked in air traffic control and she taught at Grays Harbor College.

No, unfortunately for you, dear readers, it’s not “Last Writes.” Yes, sports fans, the geezer moment has come. If you open your May 28 EW and read this after 5 pm, I will officially be free at last! 

It’s fitting for a band obsessed with Anne Frank to be reclusive. After a 12-year vanishing act, Neutral Milk Hotel is touring again. The group has entered a gilded age, and rightly so. 

REMEMBERING THE RIV

This is about “The Hammered Lamb” cover story May 14. It may or may not be true that it is the first-ever gay/gay-owned bar. In the 1970s, there was a gay bar/disco here — the Riviera Room — on 10th between Willamette and Olive, just down from what was then Seymour’s Cafe (where the Cabaret Theatre is now). This was a seriously gay bar, but I have no idea if the owner was gay or not; the employees certainly were.

How is it the board game Clue has so captured our imaginations? One would never consider creating a film out of Chutes and Ladders, and I can feel my eye start to twitch just thinking about what Monopoly: The Musical might look like.