• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Articles

February is a very interesting month for the Willamette Valley. Although it’s midwinter in the northern hemisphere, we have spring activity gearing up, with expectations of first native wildflowers blooming.

In 1994, Oregonians voted to ban the use of dogs to hunt cougars and bears. In legislative sessions following the passage of that ballot measure, however, lawmakers have introduced bills aiming to dismantle and weaken Measure 18. 

What, we wondered, will happen around here exactly if the Trump regime manages — as he promised in January — to abolish the 62-year-old National Endowment for the Arts? Oregon — and Lane County — will lose a bunch of money.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently sent a warning letter to Arclin USA concerning numerous hazardous waste law violations observed by DEQ during an unannounced inspection at Arclin’s Springfield facility in December. Violations included failure to make arrangements with emergency responders, failure to post emergency information, failure to label hazardous wastes, failure to inspect hazardous wastes, failure to manage hazardous wastes in proper containers and failure to train employees in hazardous waste handling.

EW attended the Sunday, Jan. 29, rally at the federal courthouse downtown, a response to President Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending the U.S. refugee program for those seeking asylum from a list of seven Muslim nations. (Apparently Muslim is no longer a religious designation but a political one, which begs the question about the so-call Christians now in the White House.) Such a protest, which saw estimated crowds of 1,000 or more, is a right and proper democratic response to such xenophobic, unconstitutional nonsense, and it feels good to gather and vent.

The days are getting a little bit longer, and dance is starting to bloom. 

Eugene Ballet Company fulfills a vital role in our community by regularly commissioning and presenting contemporary dance. This season, EBC’s Midsummer Night’s Dream shares the billing with two rising stars: EBC’s own Suzanne Haag and Chicago-based choreographer Stephanie Martinez

• We’ve been running our Activist Alert updates for years, but now more than ever we realize that as people get “woke” they need to turn their frustration and anger into action and activism. Got an activist event planned? Send it to editor@eugeneweekly.com as well as to our calendar at cal@eugeneweekly.com.

What if you were born to live in this time, in these times? Choosing to incarnate, burdened by terrible conditions, strengthened by an indigenous strength, native to any human who can tap into it. Strength training is built on resistance. 

The daughter of a pair of Methodist missionaries, Sarah Swofford grew up from age three to eight in Montevideo, Uruguay. “I was old enough to keep my Spanish,” she notes. Back in the U.S., the family settled in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri. “After high school, I lived in Bolivia for a year,” she says. “I volunteered with a women and children’s social project in a rented garage. The director and I helped them find medical and legal resources.

Ever since summer 1983, less than a year after Eugene’s Hult Center for the Performing Arts opened for business the previous fall, the Oregon Bach Festival has held its opening concert each year in the Hult’s Silva Concert Hall. Opening night featured festivities in the Hult lobby — often a performance by a children’s choir — followed by a major choral performance in the 2,450-seat Silva.

Every band dreams of touring the world, but even when given the opportunity, the question remains for the artists: “What if, on the other side of the planet, nobody shows up to our show?”

Alt-pop band TV Girl brings summer vibes to The Boreal

Slamming doors, pretending to be statues, hiding under tables: These theatrical devices are as old as theater itself, and they’re in great supply in J.K. Rogers’ directorial debut The Emperor of the Moon, playing now at the University Theatre. 

HONORING ED COLEMAN

The Black Student Union and the contingent that supported it during the recent process to consider renaming Deady Hall at the University of Oregon now has the opportunity to put its own stamp on history and the UO campus.

The new Black Student Center will need a name. I propose that the person most deserving of that honor would be the late Dr. Edwin L. Coleman II.

I am a 26-year-old heterosexual European man. I have been for four years in a monogamous relationship with my girlfriend. Recently she cheated on me. When she told me what she did, I felt a very strong pain, even stronger than I expected. After a few days of pain, however, I found that the sexual attraction for my girlfriend, instead of decreasing, increased after her adventure. In particular, I am now having a cuckold fantasy.

I’m in my late 20s, and I watch a lot of professional wrestling. 

Now that I’ve broken some major news, let me add that I’m pretty excited for the World Wrestling Entertainment to come to Eugene on Feb. 5. I’m so excited that I used my “power of the media” card to convince the company to arrange an interview with one of their wrestlers. 

Lynne Fessenden is stepping down from her decade-long position as the executive director of the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, a nonprofit focused on developing a sustainable food system in Lane County. But she says her passion for educating the community about local foods is still as strong as ever. “It’s been ten years, and that’s long enough,” she says. 

To understand the future of the Willamette Valley as a food-producing region, it’s a good idea to look at its history. And to get a good look at its history, you have to go back about 50 million years. 

Before the Pacific Northwest as we know it was formed, a series of volcanic islands known as the Siletzia Island Chain sprouted up, forming the backbone of what we now think of as the Coast Range. 

Flash-forward 10 million years, and “the Siletzia block was accreted onto the North American Plate and covered with a thick pile of sediments,” says Leland O’Driscoll, a research associate at the University of Oregon’s Department of Earth Sciences.

Lack of funding in recent years has led to cracked pavement, aging playground equipment that needs to be replaced and other maintenance needs in Eugene’s parks. City parks officials plan to bring this issue before the City Council as soon as March.

On Jan. 21, a sea of pink pussyhats and vibrant signs promoting women’s rights and denouncing President Donald Trump swelled across the nation. Cries of “We need a leader! Not a creepy tweeter!” and “This is what Democracy looks like” echoed in the streets as the Women’s March surged beyond expectations. 

• We note with sadness the death on Jan. 20 of Edwin Coleman, jazz musician, professor of English and outspoken civil rights advocate in Eugene. He died at age 84 from complications of flu. As a jazz guitarist, Coleman backed up such musicians as Ella Fitzgerald, Vince Guaraldi and Peter, Paul and Mary. As a civil rights advocate he met the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. As a professor at the University of Oregon, he stood for equality and tolerance, bringing his love of African-American literature, folklore and drama to generations of Oregon students.

From the opening moments of High Step Society’s eponymous debut LP, the listener is dropped down a dust-cloaked chute and spit into a netherworld of speakeasy freedom. The astoundingly visual 10-track album depicts a fever dream of futurist phantasmagoria — robotics at war with compressed air and brass.

Any scholar of South African music can tell you Ladysmith Black Mambazo — who perform at the WOW Hall Friday, Jan. 27 — are a force to be reckoned with.