• Welcome to our annual Best of Eugene issue, sometimes affectionately called the “Beast of Eugene” since it is our biggest honking issue of the year and demands brain-numbing weeks of labor by our writers and photogs, and thousands of ballots submitted by our readers. This is our fattest Beast issue ever at 76 pages with near-record ad revenue, so we have to thank our loyal advertisers as well. They recognize that EW print ads provide the most bang for the buck. You simply have to be in EW to build a crowd for your business or event.
Eugeneans are still pondering the boom in student housing and wondering when it will end. In light of the overbuilding (see our cover story Oct. 10) we predict several big projects on the drawing board will be shelved before groundbreaking. College enrollment has peaked, so the big out-of-state investors have been counting on drawing tenants from existing apartments and houses all over town. That’s happening to a degree, but Eugene is not a typical college town.
• ODOT is holding a series of open houses about intercity passenger rail service between the Eugene-Springfield area and Portland-Vancouver, Wash., and providing input on the evaluation results. The next meeting will be from 5 to 7 pm Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Linn-Benton Community College Calapooia Center, 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW in Albany. See OregonPassengerRail.org or contact Jill Pearson, (503) 986-3313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
After I’d heard that a hedge fund manager was spending big bucks in 2012 to convince voters to toss out Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, I wrote a check for thousands of dollars to DeFazio for Congress. I was terrified that Republican candidate Art Robinson would pillage the public’s forests, waters and wildlife. It turns out I should have also feared the incumbent on that score.
It’s been three years since local singer-songwriter Anna Gilbert was dubbed Eugene Weekly’s Next Big Thing, and she has been busy. Since then, she has released an acoustic-themed holiday release, spent time writing country songs for other artists and now she is back with a new album, The Able Heart, which was released Nov. 5.
I am a kinky, youthful 72-year-old guy. I grew up in the Pleistocene era, when there was virtually no way to meet a kinky woman. I’ve had two vanilla marriages, and three months ago I ended a four-year vanilla relationship with the best woman I’ve ever met. I just couldn’t take not being a BDSM person anymore, and I broke up with this wonderful woman so I could do BDSM. I’ve had some fun, but no candidate for a possible LTR has come along. In the meantime, my most recent ex (I’ll call her “Mel”) and I have both been bereft over our split.
Give thanks. Go ahead and feast, share a grand meal with friends and family. Sure, it’s not easy to feel celebratory in these times. Tea Party Republicans did all they could to undermine our confidence, to extol Ayn Rand’s absurd “virtue of selfishness” and to profane the very concept of communion. But this season and the impulses behind it are ancient: We celebrate the harvest.
The blow to the head that occurs during the opening scenes of Concussion has so little to do with what this smart, subtle movie is really about that the title almost seems like, at best, a MacGuffin. It just so happens, however, that Passon herself, just before writing the screenplay, suffered a mild concussion. Art is funny that way: From pain is born investigation and inspiration, and in this case, a knock on the noggin has resulted in a very fine film about sexual politics and personal freedom, or lack thereof.
The mood was slightly tense at the North Eugene High School gym last week as parents, teachers, children and college students prepared to meet Nancy Golden, Oregon’s new chief education officer for the Oregon Education Investment Board and former superintendent of the Springfield School District.
On the Billboard Hot 100 charts — ranking song popularity across genres — the top three slots are currently filled by Lorde (“Royals”), Katy Perry (“Roar”) and Miley Cyrus (“Wrecking Ball”). On the radio, that trio plus Lady Gaga and Lana Del Ray all place in the top 10 played artists. Over the past year, other female-centric acts have made many more a top 10 list: Alabama Shakes, Beyoncé, Fiona Apple, Cher, Norah Jones, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Beach House, CHVRCHES. These trends, however, are not reflected in the Eugene music scene.
Yet another non-partisan contender is in the running for the East Lane County Commissioner position currently held by Faye Stewart. Jack Schoolcraft will also be facing Jose Ortal, Joann Ernst and Kevin Matthews in the May 2014 primary.
The battle over Oregon’s federal O&C forestlands isn’t just taking place in the backrooms and hallways of Washington, D.C., it’s playing out on the internet, in emails and on video. A new video about the O&C lands out of Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office has made it through the House Franking Commission, which has to approve “unsolicited mailings of 500 or more pieces of the same matter” before taxpayer money is used to send it.
• ODOT is now doing fall roadside spraying in Lane County. Details for Highway 36 are listed below, Highways 99, 126 and others have been sprayed recently. You may reach District 5 offices at (541) 744-8080 or call their automated information line at (888) 996-8080 for more information.
• Highway 36 was sprayed by ODOT on Oct. 15 and 17 except for an 8-mile stretch adopted by Members of Beyond Toxics where weeds were cut and pulled by hand on Oct. 17.
Oregon’s vote on marriage equality is approaching T-minus one year and counting, and Oregon United for Marriage (OUM) is thriving. Eugeneans will mark the countdown with several house parties in the area and 100 throughout the state. The statewide campaign has hired a new director, and a Students United for Marriage chapter has been active in Eugene since late September. Statewide, petitioners have gathered 104,908 of 116,284 signatures required to make the November 2014 ballot.
Bee advocates and pesticide foes have been slowly gaining traction in their fight against neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides that many believe is contributing to the dramatic declines in honeybee populations. Groups such as Eugene-based Oregon Sustainable Beekeepers (OSB) and Beyond Toxics have been fighting to have local businesses remove neonics from their shelves and, while they haven’t fully succeeded, they have persuaded some local businesses to distribute information about the toxics.
Pelada Football Academy, a youth soccer academy founded as a nonprofit in February, aims to give more kids the opportunity to play and learn while seeking to complement and not compete with other soccer clubs by bringing in kids and their families who find recreational soccer too recreational or competitive soccer too competitive. These kids, in addition to clinics and scrimmages, will have a chance to play more than just soccer.
• What do Eugeneans want to see happen at Civic Stadium? The public, as documented in a recent Lindholm Company phone survey, appears to favor selling it to the city and preserving the historic stadium as a soccer field and public park. The survey found that 60 percent of respondents supported selling Civic to the city and 28 percent opposed. We wager that more people will come around, especially as the prospect of swapping an important historic recreational site for a big-box store right in the middle of town looks worse and worse.
Residential property sales are up significantly in Lane County, comparing last September with this September, according to a Regional Multiple Listing Service report passed along to us by Prudential broker Sally Nunn. The median residential sales price is up 15 percent, the number of new listings is up 15 percent and the number of closed sales is up 16.8 percent. Neighborhoods leading in average price change are Mohawk Valley, Springfield, McKenzie Valley, River Road, Coburg/I-5 and southwest Eugene.