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In Afghanistan

• 1,881 U.S. troops killed* (1,880)

• 15,322 U.S. troops wounded in action (15,310)

• 1,095 U.S. contractors killed (1,095)

• $500.9 billion cost of war ($498.8 billion)

• $147.9 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($147.3 million)

In Iraq

Well, it’s more like beauties, beats, brass and bass when MarchFourth Marching Band (M4) is in town. For those unfamiliar, the Portland-based improv troupe is an experience of ruffled burlesque panties, bass guitar and the sonic blaring of saxophone.

There’s plenty of classical music played around town this month. The Eugene Symphony on Feb. 16 at the Hult performs a couple of popular chestnuts.

Without motor boats, Waldo Lake is serene. With motor boats, it is Fern Ridge Reservoir, but without the convenience of the Shell station and the Dixie Cafe.  

Is I Am Gemini a concept album or a rock opera? “People can call it whatever they feel comfortable calling it,” says Cursive vocalist and primary songwriter Tim Kasher of his group’s upcoming release. 

As far as contemporary hyper-relevance goes, Sazon Booyah is another supernova internet meme, exploding before discovery and peppering pop culture with the remnants.

Today’s musical generation has transcended guitar. There are probably a thousand objectors who could claim this statement is erroneous, but long gone are the days when guitar gods were held at the highest tier of mainstream music.

The Midtown Throwdown III on Feb. 11 showcased Eugene’s mixed-martial arts talent in masse. Local gyms pitted gutsy competitors against each other in fight after fight in what proved to be a gripping series of contests — with each combatant hungry to further propel his nascent career into what has now become the world’s fastest-growing sport. 

NOT WORTH DISCUSSING?

I watched the Feb. 8 proceedings of the Lane County Commissioners, stunned, as three of our elected officials (Jay Bozievich, Sid Leiken, and Faye Stewart) thwarted the efforts of Commissioner Rob Handy to have the board even consider possible salary reductions for county employees earning more than $90,000 a year. 

Aren’t these dire economic times for the county? Why should any area of the budget be immune from discussion?

Robert Young, Eugene

 

VACANT PROMISE

I headed north last week to do Savage Love Live — a rapid-fire, slightly tipsy Q&A session — at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It was my third visit to UAA and it was a blast. All of the questions in this week’s column were submitted to me by UAA students and staffers.


Should I go ahead and divorce my fantastic wife of 23 years now because gay marriage is going to destroy it eventually anyway?  — Tony From Wasilla

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front cuts from dramatic media footage, including the burning of a $12-million ski resort at Vail, Colo., and the arson at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture, to the streets of New York City, where activist and ecosaboteur Daniel McGowan was living in 2005.

 

In 2007, Dee Rees wrote and directed a short film, Pariah, about a black teen in Brooklyn struggling to come to terms with her identity as a lesbian.

The Oregon Legislature must soon decide to fund or not to fund the construction of a state mental hospital proposed to be sited south of Junction City. That decision will determine the focus of treatment for Oregon’s mentally ill population for years to come. 

To prepare for Valentine’s day EW staffers decided to cleanse

The place looks like a dojo. It is clean, well lit and spartan. No frills. On the front door is a sign that warning not to enter unless they are willing to commit 100 percent to the workout. Inside are signs that say things like, “it’s suppose to be brutal,” “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional,” and, perhaps most foreboding, hanging in the bathroom: “Adapt or perish.”

You know that condescending look people in relationships give single people right before they dispense dating advice? I get that a lot. It’s usually followed by something like, “If you want to find someone, then you need to leave Eugene.”

People glance at themselves in windows, take pictures of themselves, and ask each other, “How do I look?” They scrutinize their bodies through a network of literal and figurative mirrors. In a culture that elevates a narrow vision of physical beauty, it can be hard to love the different realities that are reflected — there is pressure from society to mentally paint bodies over with imperfections, and to sketch in innumerable critiques.

Chemical trespass is what the rural residents of Triangle Lake say they experience when a timber company sprays toxic pesticides that drift onto their properties, often affecting the health of those living there, their gardens and drinking water.

There will be two rallies against chemical trespass on Feb. 11. In Lane County, the rally will start at noon on the shores of Triangle Lake on Highway 36. The other rally starts at 10 am in another heavily sprayed and clearcut area, Lake Selmac, along Highway 199 near Selma in Josephine County.

During the wee hours of the morning on Feb. 10, members of Cascadia Forest Defenders used dead Christmas trees to block the driveway of the governor’s mansion in Salem. 

Occupy Eugene is tired of all the talk about the state of America’s health care system and is taking action by treating those in need of medical care for free and connecting them with other community services.

On Sunday, Feb. 5, at the corner of 7th and Pearl, OE organizers set up a medical tent outside the old Federal Building with doctors and nurses available for basic medical treatment, and the group has a long-term plan to continue on every Sunday.

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) doesn’t spread to dogs or humans, yet Sheriff, a stout, short-haired orange tabby with the disease, is waiting at West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue (WCDC) for a home, most likely because people fear he is contagious. This Valentine’s Day weekend WCDC hopes that will change.

• Western Lane County: Little Lake Logging, Jeffrey Newman (927-3339 and 927-3384) plans to spray Garlon 4 Ultra and Tordon in sections 17 and 18 of Township 16S Range 07W and Section 13 of Township 16S Range 08W in the Coast Range on Little Lake Stream near Triangle Lake. Notices 2011-781-00468C and 2011-781-00469C.

Oregon’s diminishing coffers have put many social services at risk, and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) is no exception. Money has been set aside for the program, but advocates fear it will get lost in the budget fray.

ERDC subsidizes the day care costs of low-income families using a formula that accounts for income and child care costs in a family’s zip code. The income ceiling for a family of four is $40,800 a year.