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W. Kamau Bell is a sociopolitical comedian and host of the CNN docu-series United Shades of America. Before launching the show last season, Bell was probably best known for his critically acclaimed — and criminally short-lived — comedy series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.

• Poppi’s Anatolia, the popular Greek and Indian eatery at 992 Willamette Street, will be closing on Tuesdays beginning May 16 to deal with “some deferred maintenance projects as we head into summer,” says owner George Schaefer. The casual restaurant has been open seven days a week for nearly 30 years. Schaefer says Tuesdays were chosen since they are “typically the quietest of days” at the restaurant. Find a menu and more information at poppisanatolia.com.

May has traditionally been National Historic Preservation Month, a time for communities to celebrate the successes of local efforts and to recall the losses. Last year was a milestone: fifty years since the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966! 

• A discussion of “White Supremacy, Anti-Semitism and Building a Resilient Community” is 5:45 pm Saturday, May 13, at Temple Beth Israel, 1175 E. 29th Avenue. 

• A campaign to divest the city of Eugene from US Bank is gearing up in May as part of a national effort to weaken the fossil fuels industry and “open up more space for climate solutions to flourish,” according to Community Alliance of Lane County. Contact Michael at CALC at 541-485-1755 or visit world.350Eugene.org.

 “I loved the mountains,” says Carter McKenzie, who spent her childhood in Colorado Springs. She studied English literature at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, on her way to a master’s from the University of Virginia, and she worked on American history projects in the Library of Congress. “I was writing poetry and short stories on my own,” says McKenzie, who got married and followed her husband’s theater production career from New York City to Berkeley.

In 18th-century poet William Blake’s invented mythology, the character Urizen embodies conventional reason and law, often depicted as a bearded old man carrying nets or architects’ tools. Blake was fascinated by the tension between enlightenment and humanity’s baser instincts — free love, for example — and through Urizen, the poet seems to present societal dictums as a trap or snare preventing humans from reaching their truest plane of existence.

California songwriter Chuck Prophet’s latest release, Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins, recalls an era when Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello back-flipped over metal’s devil horns and prog rock’s wizard hats, reviving a kind of pop songwriting traditionalism that at the time felt radical in its simplicity — a look back in order to move forward. 

BRINGING MARGINS TO CENTER

I want to thank the writers at EW for regular coverage of the activism and stories of people of color, local and abroad. I was touched by the “Unsung Hero” issue that covered Johanis Tadeo’s important work reconnecting Chicano youth with their heritage, particularly the vulnerability he showed when describing the effects of racism on his life and his dedication.

I hear a lot of people saying they wish they saw more positive news stories — that they’re tired of the gruesome, sad pieces they read online, or see on TV, about war and disease-stricken countries. I’m not going to lie and say that I enjoy those types of stories, though I do think they’re important. But maybe, as a journalist, I’m biased. 

My husband is nearly 20 years older than me, which was never an issue early in our relationship. However, for approximately the last eight years, we have not been able to have fulfilling sex because my husband can’t keep an erection for more than a few thrusts. I love my husband and I am committed to our family, but I miss full PIV sex. I’m still fairly young and I enjoy sex, but I feel like I am mourning the death of my sex life. I miss the intimate connection and powerful feeling of sex with a man.

Director Lone Scherfig’s new movie, Their Finest, made me giddy. Walking out of the Bijou, full of fellow feeling, I impulsively chatted up the older couple on the sidewalk in front of me. “They just don’t make movies like that anymore,” I said at one point. The woman turned to me with a smile. “I know,” she said. “But they just did.”

Whether you’re buying the spendy top-shelf corked wines or if the main criteria for your fermented grape drink is being able to unscrew its top with your bare hands, being a wine-drinker in the Willamette Valley doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money or have an educated palate. Turns out, screw-top wines are more than just a bargain, and you can partake in a wine tour without leaving downtown Eugene.

Kelly Kenoyer

 et al.

She moved into River Grove Memory Care in Lane County in October of 2016, needing a little more rehabilitation and care before she could go home with her husband. This 62-year-old woman had vascular dementia, but her diabetes was under control and she was able to walk more than 100 feet without stopping, a feat after spinal surgery in August 2013. 

Her husband hoped that she would be out of the facility in 6 months with proper care. 

Soon after Susan Bliven was admitted, the Oregon Department of Human Services forced the facility to restrict admissions. That means the facility was too far out of compliance with regulations to safely admit new residents, and the state had intervened to prevent new residents from coming in.

The election of President Donald Trump and the appointments he’s made since taking office have a silver lining: People are stepping up in ways large and small. They are marching, rallying and running for office. School boards might seem like a minor public office, but a good K-12 education is foundational to the growth of our state and this country.

You may have noticed Max and Julia’s Eugene Word Fill floating around Eugene. This free little puzzler is a local version of Mad Libs, a game first invented in 1958 — where a list of words blindly chosen by one player is filled into the blank spots in the story by the other player to create funky, humorous sentences. 

The University of Oregon took swift action to address unsafe levels of lead in its drinking water after it found lead-tainted fixtures in its dorms, office buildings and off-campus properties in June 2016. While officials found fixtures in newer buildings with almost no lead in the system, they also found fixtures with initial lead levels 48 times above the federal legal limits. 

Stargazing has been tough for the past few months. Precipitation is the culprit, with a new record set for the number of rainy days this year. I have recently been missing Orion from the evening sky and didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. Now I’m looking forward to the Big Triangle.

Our garden soil is still pretty soggy. We hope to get some more typical June weather in time to put out the vegetable starts.

A slow-motion collision between art and cultural politics led the Oregon Country Fair this week to cancel the planned installation of a 36-foot-tall Native-inspired carved story pole at its 280-acre site in Veneta.

Giustina Land & Timber, 541-345-2301, plans to hire Northwest Reforestation Services LLC, 541-520-6215, to ground spray 55.3 acres near Lookout Point Lake with glyphosate, triclopyr with ester and Crop Oil Concentrate. See ODF notification 2017-771-04978, call Tim Meehan at 541-726-3588 with questions.

• We heard lots of chatter at the Climate March and rally April 29 about next steps in the resistance. Clearly, we need to do what we can to defeat Trump loyalists in Congress, at the same time holding on to progressive majorities in Oregon. Congressman Greg Walden, the only Republican in Oregon’s delegation, needs a gutsy opponent in 2018, probably from Bend, Medford or Hood River. So far, no one has surfaced, although Walden has been the point man for Trump’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, not a popular position in Oregon.

 

The quality of a story’s substance isn’t necessarily the meat or the grit — sometimes it’s how a person chooses to tell it. Danny Yarborough of pop rock group Danny Fingers and the Thumbs chooses music as his creative medium and, boy howdy, does he have a story to tell.

“I sang before I talked,” laughs Kate Sawicki, lead singer of the richly eclectic band The Cabin Project. Sawicki and her solemn band mates string together a haunting sound that serves as a sweet catharsis — just in time to dust away those wintery blues.

Bluntly put, halie and the moon is a band comprising five crackerjack musicians whose creativity, chops and sophistication would be breathtaking to encounter in any setting, much less little old Eugene. Tapping a tradition of intricately orchestrated and yet infectiously catchy pop music — think Beach Boys, R.E.M., The Jayhawks — the band composes music that is at once earthy and disarmingly cosmic.