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Survey Oregon Country Fair 2016’s music schedule and find African blues rock 'n' roll with Portland’s Dusu Mali Band (featuring Ibrahim Kelly, nephew of legendary Mali blues guitarist Ali Farka Toure) as well as homegrown indie rock from Eugene’s Ferns (featuring world-class guitar work from Jake Pavlak, like a red-bearded mix of Johnny Marr of The Smiths and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. Unconfirmed rumor has it Ferns are on hiatus after this show, so don’t miss 'em!) 

While the furor over the proposed sale of Kesey Square has died down, those who love public spaces have not forgotten that the corner of Broadway and Willamette Street is not officially safe from future development. 

By July, gardens are burgeoning with flowers and vegetables. They will thrive through the summer only if we pay diligent attention to adequate watering. Digital hose timers are great for extended trips out of town. We also have to deal with combatting weeds and pests. I wrestle with use of poisons. Slug bait offends my organic sensibilities but it seems the only effective way to keep snails away from our hostas and lilies.

Looking back over his first year as general manager (GM) for the Oregon Country Fair, Tom Gannon says the thing that’s surprised him the most is “how incredibly important ice is.” 

It might sound strange, but realize that the frosty lemonade you’re enjoying, or that tasty burrito with extra sour cream, or your gluten-free hemp seed salad with extra hemp seeds, were all made off the grid. No one operating a food booth has a fridge to plug in — there are no plugs.

Roo Vandegrift studies fungi. He recently received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and, like hundreds of other scientists, he is in need of money to fund his research.

I really do not understand Oregon Country Fair.

I’ve read the FAQ page, spoken with a handful of Fair-goers and have gotten the scoop on staying overnight. It’s been several years since I’ve moved to Eugene and yet the mystery of Fair remains: What’s the big deal?

The endless parade of the Oregon Country Fair

An ambient performer

To start a fire

Like sunburns and fannypacks, vaudeville-style comedy and variety shows are a part of the Oregon Country Fair experience. In fact, OCF devotes entire stages to all sorts of popular entertainment from the age of daguerreotypes like tap dancing, puppetry and poetry readings.

As you’re cruising around the loops at the Oregon Country Fair, be sure to stop by the new Dance Pavilion, featuring movement performances and workshops for all.  

“The dance space is for the exploration of dance and the movement arts,” says volunteer site coordinator Shawn Kahl. 

The Dance Pavilion stage and an adjacent outdoor studio, the “WorkIt Shop,” have concurrent but separate programming throughout the weekend. Both areas welcome and encourage participation.

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. Hwy. 36 was recently sprayed.

• The Portland daily newspaper is not known for its affection for the University of Oregon, but President Michael Schill clearly won over reporter Andrew Theen for his page one story in the July 1 Oregonian. It’s a good read, portraying the new pres as a smart, very hardworking, skilled fundraiser who truly intends to lift the academic side of the university. The closing sentence quotes a former colleague who says, “I think Oregon got really lucky.”

• Hollis Shostrom and his company Perpetual Motion Design have a fundraiser at gofundme.com/pmdeugene. Shostrom says he is raising money for the design of innovative new wheelchairs including the construction of his own chair. Email pmdeugene@gmail.com for more info.

Who's who and what’s what in dance this month

Here we go again — up to 30 more years of urban renewal, because “the city concludes that the entire urban renewal area is blighted.” After 48 years and approximately $130 million (surely over a quarter of a billion dollars adjusted for inflation), the total taxable valuation of all of the property in the district is not even equal to the inflation-adjusted tax money we have poured into it. 

• After Yi Shen Market and Restaurant on West 11th Avenue suffered repeated incidences of vandalism, friends of restaurant owner Phung Hsieh launched a Go Fund Me page to raise money so that she can purchase security cameras. With a goal of $4,000, the fundraiser has brought in $9,373 to help Hsieh, but the vandalism has continued at Yi Shen and other Asian restaurants in the area, including LZ Chinese Dish, Jade Palace and Lotus Garden.

In a recent review article about forest thinning and its effectiveness to reduce wildfire severity and spread in Forest Ecology and Management, the researchers came to a conclusion with regards to reducing fire risk and effects that “thinning alone had either less of an effect or none at all, compared to untreated sites.”

I want my country back. I want the country where “All My Relations” meant an expanded humanity that lives in kinship with other life forms as relatives, not resources. That recognizes that humans in particular are relatives to be nurtured and cared for, not resources to be enslaved or exploited. When enslavement, exploitation or terror happens, that the solution to oppression is to become more humane than your oppressors. 

After 16 years, Boss Hog, a side project of Jon Spencer of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, has returned with the Brood Star EP, a self-described amuse-bouche to the band’s forthcoming full-length album Brood X

Kneeling at the altar of The Kinks, The Pixies and Nirvana, Season One!, the debut album from popular Eugene garage-rock trio VCR, has finally arrived. And rest assured, it’s fantastic. 

Last week I called up my 69-year-old white mum in Minnesota with a special request: Listen to Die Antwoord’s new mixtape Suck On This and let me interview you about it. 

Die Antwoord would probably top the list of music you shouldn’t listen to with your mother, or vice versa, but, like a boss, my mum accepted the challenge.

The Elena Leona Project (ELP) is sizzle, spice and everything nice. Like the lovechild of Lauren Hill and Etta James, this band is funky.

CAPSTONE 2.0?

Regarding the removal of trees and the new apartment building on Orchard and East 15th Avenue, 12 mature trees were removed. Will this be another Capstone project, which is widely regarded to have been a debacle with minimal plantings and inadequate setbacks from the street? Is anyone from the city monitoring this?

George Evans, Eugene


LOVE NOT WRATH

My wife and I have been married for 14 years and in a committed (I assumed) relationship for 17 years. Sex between us (often kinky) has always been great. We have a wonderful life together and two perfect children. I thought we were good; turns out things were too good to be true. I learned recently that my wife has been unfaithful to me throughout our marriage. She began an affair with an older man soon before we were married, and they were physically intimate for five years, including bondage and a Master/sub relationship.

In our lab, Mole was vigorously pulling corks and polishing rimless glasses: Time for our annual “Rosé Report.”

In the last few years, rosés have really come out of the closet. Well, they never actually went into the deep closet; they just got buried (in U.S. markets anyway) under the flood of white zinfandels, sweet pink (“blush”) wines mass-produced and marketed by Cali vintners.