• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Articles

Congressman Peter DeFazio got a rousing reception Feb. 25 at Lane Community College, with attendees chanting “Thank you! Thank you!” when he entered the gymnasium. The standing-room-only crowd of more than 2,000 repeatedly voiced its appreciation for DeFazio’s vociferous opposition to the Trump Administration and its chaotic, backward agenda.

The community forum was followed by a health care rally with Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Oregon has been home to standoffs over public lands during the past few decades. Armed militias carried out the takeovers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016, the Sugar Pine Mine in 2015 and the headgate standoff during the Klamath water crisis in 2001, says Steve Pedery of Oregon Wild.

“These militia groups are homegrown — this isn’t something that was imported to Oregon from somewhere else.” 

Advocates for the Elliott State Forest had high hopes in February when Gov. Kate Brown released her plan to keep the state forest in public hands. But that optimism was dashed when newly elected Democratic State Treasurer Tobias Read voted with Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson to go ahead with a sale proposal to Lone Rock Resources.

The Elliott is a coastal rainforest and home to the marbled murrelet, a threatened seabird species. It is also tied to the Common School Fund, which provides money for K-12 school children. 

They said they wanted to cut off his head and tear his heart out of his chest.

The car Alfred Lahai Brownell was traveling in was stopped by a roadblock and surrounded by 150 men wielding guns and machetes, “all kinds of weapons,” Brownell remembers. The men were members of a security force allegedly hired by palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia. They were drunk, had lit a fire and were dancing around the vehicle, breaking into it and slashing its tires. 

“I prayed to God,” Brownell says, reliving the nightmare that occurred in his native Liberia in 2014. 

Brownell and about 100 other attorneys and environmental advocates who are partners of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) came to Eugene for the nonprofit’s annual meeting shortly before this week’s University of Oregon’s March 2-5 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC). 

This year, ELAW communications director Maggie Keenan says a key focus of the gathering is “defending the defenders.” 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) cited Sacred Heart Medical Center on Feb. 3 for monitoring and recordkeeping violations related to an underground storage tank at its facility on Hilyard Street in Eugene. DEQ also sent Kingsford Manufacturing Company a warning letter on Feb. 3 for 23 days worth of Clean Water Act violations at its Springfield facility, specifically for discharging high-temperature wastewater. DEQ sent Christian Church Homes of Oregon a pre-enforcement notice on Feb.

• When Trump was elected in November, who could have imagined that a few short months later The New York Times would be running full-page ads in its first section in the defense of truth? The lead ad on Feb. 26 said only “Truth. It’s more important now than ever.” And who could have imagined that former President George W. Bush’s defense of the free press in a democracy would strike such a chord across this country? Yet another heartening note comes from a Feb 16-21 Quinnipiac University survey of 1,323 voters.

When people come to Eugene for the 2021 World Track and Field Championships, they will, like all tourists, spend a large majority of their time in our outdoor public spaces. The most charitable way to describe our present situation is that we are not yet quite ready for them downtown.

In the summer of 2015, Wes Hurd was in a melancholy place. 

“My mom and dad had passed away, and artistically, I wanted to work on some fresh territory,” says the visual artist. 

Hurd decided to challenge himself with a series of large, abstract paintings, each with the same size — 51 by 47 inches — and a unifying palette of black, white and gray. 

We hear University of Oregon professor of dance and Dance in Dialogue co-founder Shannon Mockli recently participated in an open showing at Seattle’s renowned center for contemporary performance On the Boards (OtB). 

“It was an informal showing, so I had to really pare down my work, Finding a Way of Being, to fit within a short timeframe,” Mockli says. “It is so good to show work elsewhere, among a community that doesn’t know you. There is no back history and that means I have to consider new ways in.” 

•The GTFF (Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation) is hosting a Know Your Rights Training for activists and international students, presented by the Civil Liberties Defense Center 5 pm Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 609 E. 13th Street. This event is open to the public and free.

Haven’t heard Ty Segall’s last few records? Don’t worry, he’ll release a few more next week. That’s how it seems with the California singer and guitarist’s wildly prolific output. Segall’s stuff is mischievously tossed-off, with a reckless genius despite Segall’s intentions. Like Ryan Adams — if Adams could give up on his Austin City Limits tendencies. 

Audiences perhaps best know Eugene musician and guitarist Gerry Rempel as resident composer with local ballet company, Ballet Fantastique. Now Rempel, along with his group Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate, is celebrating his third release: Sketches from the Underground, a collection of all-original jazz compositions. 

We burst out of the trees, gallop up to a log and jump into a pond of water, then we leap up over the bank before hurtling on to the next obstacle. My horse, Queen of Cairo, flicks her small brown ears back at me, then pricks them forward as she hunts for the next jump.

When I tell people my hobby is competing my horse, I think they picture suit-jacketed velvet-capped champagne-sipping equestrians cantering across manicured lawns. 

But when we are talking about the sport of three-day eventing, it’s more like adrenaline junkies wearing helmets and flak jackets. 

Sweat dripping off his scruffy beard, Zane Sandborg hops over logs on the choker course at Oregon State University’s logging sports arena in the otherwise serene Peavy Arboretum. Teammates Robin Wortman and Calvin Kerr compete to see who can balance longest on a slippery log that revolves a few inches off the ground on a sturdy metal spit. Meanwhile, Morgan Kawakami sends a heavy axe cartwheeling through the air as she refines her axe throw technique.

People collapse. Toenails are turning black and falling off all the time.

And still, long-distance relay races attract enough runners to sell out in Oregon.

In my early relay race outings I’ve tripped, rolled ankles, blacked out, nearly puked and slept like a corpse propped up against walls and in open fields. At one point, after running 11 miles uphill in the sand, my mind left my body; I somehow found myself back in the team van without any recollection of how I got there.

SE BUSCA AYUNDANTE

While walking down a narrow aisle at a local store, I passed a young Latino family. Dad moved aside and mom clutched her young son. Fear was in their eyes. 

Based on Trump-incited anti-immigrant behavior and new immigration policies, their fear is reasonable. Any encounter that may draw attention — a false accusation, a traffic ticket, a misunderstanding or a cheating employer — could lead to jail, deportation and family separation.

Sarah Ruhl is an interesting playwright. Her work achieves emotional valences that, for me, are completely contradicted by her style — a style I find myself hard pressed to describe with any satisfying accuracy. Mamet on anti-depressants? Chekhov lite? Swift with a Swiffer?

Fortyish, straight, white dude here. I have this weird (possibly misogynistic) belief that, when it comes to sex, I can’t win. Actually, I think men in general can’t win. Thoughtful, well-meaning men at least. It comes down to this: During sex, if the man doesn’t come, it’s the man’s fault, because he clearly has problems with his dick and is barely even a man and should be ashamed of himself. If the woman doesn’t come, it’s also the man’s fault, because he’s clearly bad at sex and doesn’t even care and is barely even a man and should be ashamed of himself.

Get Out’s opening scene appears, at first, disconnected from the main story — a moment that simply sets the stage. As a young black man lost on suburban streets jokes on his phone, a car pulls up alongside him. Just that is already creepy; it should remind you of countless images of horror — from the movies, and from real life.

How this scene connects to the rest of writer-director Jordan Peele’s debut feature film isn’t immediately clear, but the tone is deftly, elegantly set: What looks like a cozy quiet neighborhood to a white person looks like something else entirely if you’re black.

“If you teach ethnic studies to students, teach them about their culture, get them involved, they start caring more about their education and are able to succeed,” says Johanis Tadeo, organizer of Springfield/Eugene’s City Wide MEChA and community organizer at Community Alliance of Lane County. 

Tadeo organizes for the local chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, a nation-wide student-run organization. MEChA focuses on education and history, specifically Chicano history — a curriculum that isn’t taught in most classrooms.

“I was contacted by a student a year ago, around this time, they were talking about how they were facing a lot of racism and discrimination,” Tadeo says. Meeting the Latino students at Thurston High School was life changing. The students had no support at all and didn’t know what their identities were, he says. 

Kelly Kenoyer

 et al.

This past September, Brenda went to pick up her 5-year-old son from kindergarten at McCormick grade school. “The principal said he was at the office and to come get him,” she says. Brenda followed the principal to an office containing her son, locked in and crying. "She felt like he was going to hurt her and she said she didn’t know what to do,” Brenda says. 

Her son ended up suspended within a week of joining the kindergarten class and was removed to a one-on-one program at Fox Hollow Elementary School. He was the only Hispanic student in the class at McCormick. 

Local marijuana retailers have been waiting close to a year for the city of Eugene to adopt an ordinance requiring a 1,000-foot buffer between dispensaries. 

Eugene remains the only major municipality in the state that has yet to adopt a buffer, and while City Council is deliberating the issue, corporate-owned dispensaries with out-of-state money are flooding into the market, and local businesses say they are being displaced.

Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden entered a crowded Lane Community College gymnasium Feb. 19 with the statement that “no topic is off limits.” He was met with loud applause and cheering from the packed town hall meeting. 

An estimated 1,500 people showed up at LCC on Sunday afternoon. Since the inauguration, thousands of people in the Eugene community have shown up to protests, marches and activism workshops to denounce recent actions taken by President Donald Trump.

Candidates in the race for the Eugene’s 4J School District board — a four-year-long commitment — are not happy about the Feb. 7 appointment of Betsy DeVos as the nation’s secretary of education.

Add to this the recent protests of Latino families lobbying the 4J school board to do more against the harassment of immigrants, and the May 16 board election has some weighty issues to address.