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Ninkasi Brewing Company is putting Eugene on the extraterrestrial map. Get ready for the release of Ground Control — an imperial stout made with yeast that has traveled in a rocket ship through outer space. The beer premieres with a hand-drawn, sci-fi label from local artist Neal Williams.

“The first time I saw a rocket launch into space — I think there’s something there that changes you,” says Jamie Floyd, brewer and cofounder of Ninkasi. “It’s powerful. I had no idea how awesome it was until I watched it.”

Willamette Riverkeeper sent a 60-day notice of intent to sue Bartels Packing (Bartels Farms), a natural and organic beef supplier and slaughterhouse located west of Eugene near Fern Ridge Reservoir. Travis Williams, executive director of Willamette Riverkeeper, says the letter was prompted by a history and pattern of water violations. 

Enforcement of new and highly stringent rules out of the Eugene Fire Marshal’s Office regarding outdoor canopies, tents and booths appear to be the cause of the cancellation of Eugene’s traditional Earth Day Celebration event April 18. The popular event has been held at EWEB Plaza since about 1999.

• After listening to Phyllis Barkhurst and Jeff Todahl at City Club of Eugene last week talk about 90by30, their initiative that seeks to reduce child abuse 90 percent by 2030, we’re even more convinced that we need more teachers, more counselors, more school nurses, more frontline professionals who interact with children and can recognize signals of abuse. To date, the education budget being debated in the Oregon Legislature this week doesn’t bring that about. We’re looking for the leadership that will.

Whole Foods is preparing to begin construction in April for its new store downtown that will take up one full block near The Shedd Institute at 8th and Broadway. Two buildings on the site will come down and the new store of about 38,000 square feet is expected to open in March 2016. This project has been relatively uncontroversial. Whole Foods made headlines in 2006 when the company proposed a 50,000-square-foot building in the same area, but required city subsidies of $8 million for a 500-car adjacent parking garage to be shared with the city.

“I like new contemporary work that will push me to the next level,” says D.C.-based Washington Ballet’s Jared Nelson, who was in town last fall to set a demanding new dance on the Eugene Ballet Company. 

• The proposed Lane County Vehicle Registration Fee, Ballot Measure 20-231, will be the topic at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, April 10, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette St. Speakers will include County Commissioner Pete Sorensen and Lane County Transportation Planning Program Supervisor Lydia McKinney. Cost is $5 for nonmembers. See cityclubofeugene.org for more information.

“My dad worked for Rhythm and Blooms,” says Alex Ruiz, who was born in Eugene, two months before his parents moved back to their hometown of Santiago Apóstol in Oaxaca, Mexico. “They wanted me to be a U.S. citizen.” Ruiz returned to Oregon at age 11, lived with his older brother Lorenso and began sixth grade at Cal Young Middle School. “I didn’t know English,” he says. “It was challenging.” He took ELL classes and learned the language, but got into trouble with friends who were experimenting with drugs.

A few years back, House Republican Julie Parish blew the whistle on a group of Republican House caucus good old boys who went down to Palm Springs to get close to some “harmless visual stimuli” at a G-string circus. Sort of an adult Spring Break! This year, Republicans decided to clean up their act. It appears every Republican in the capitol is headed to Las Vegas this year instead to catch a Penn and Teller magic show. There’s no reason for a Grand Bargain this time around, so they came back with a Grand Illusion: The Disappearing Secret Budget Act  — more fun than a pole dance! 

There’s a new sound in the underground and it’s taking foothold in Eugene. The sound is called electro swing, or e-swing, a blending of modern techno, bass and house music with vintage jazz and swing music of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. For Eugene’s plentiful, dance-hungry audiences, this combo is a no-brainer.

Straight-edge bands get a bad rap. Often unfairly branded as a general crankiness toward all things fun, the straight-edge, or “sXe,” movement is largely anti bar, house party or any other place where drugs or alcohol might rear their ugly heads. It isn’t a scene particularly synonymous with “ragers.” 

Colorado producer, DJ and electronic musician Michal Menert is called “the Godfather of Electro-Soul.”  “It’s a title the fans have given me,” Menert tells EW via email. He says his work with trendsetting artist Pretty Lights put him at the forefront of the white-hot EDM scene.

If music is the universal language, the voice is the universal instrument.

MORE TO THE STORY

The EW ”Meaty Controversy” article March 19 about the Bartels Farms slaughterhouse was highly disturbing in its exposure of continuing environmental and animal abuses. Unfortunately, there is more. 

“We’re sort of a road-hardened, long-running, tight theater ensemble,” says Hand2Mouth Theatre’s artistic director Jonathan Walters. “Our shows are sophisticated, structured and incredibly interactive.” Founded in 2000, Portland-based Hand2Mouth sails into town for one-night-only, Sunday, April 19, at Oregon Contemporary Theatre. 

I’m a straight male kinkster who used to do live performances as a rope bondage top, but I recently jumped out of the kink community. I just think I’ll have better luck finding a long-term relationship with a girl from the vanilla world. So long as she’s GGG, I can live with it. As much as I loved the sex/kink with people I met in “the scene,” I never found anything/anyone for the “long term.” My question: I’m unsure of how much I should share about my past. Should I tell vanilla girls that I performed at bondage shows?

It’s not often that one gets to enjoy — honestly enjoy — the seventh movie in a series, but Furious 7 is one of those times.

It’s rare that college students watch a senate hearing on C-SPAN and then decide to try and change the world. After comedian Seth Rogen delivered a statement on Alzheimer’s Research in February 2014, however, it was hard not to sympathize with his cause. Rogen explained that more than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s (including his own mother-in-law) and that nearly 16 million Americans will have the disease in the next 35 years.

It was a whim when I entered a crop-eared, scarred-up pitbull named Biggie in the Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship at the Oregon Truffle Festival in January. 

I knew nothing about truffles — only that truffle fries are amazing — and that the objects in question were fungus-related, not chocolate-related, bits of deliciousness. I also knew that, in the past, the Truffle Festival had put on truffle dog training seminars, and truffle hunting sounded fun. 

Not to mention, training a dog to truffle hunt sounded less stressful than teaching one to search for missing people or illegal drugs.

Do birds return to the same nest year after year? All winter, when the deciduous trees are bare, I look at clots of debris high in their branches and try to pick out which are just clumps of leaves and which are nests. The obstacle to solving this puzzle is that the old nests are obscured by leaves by the time birds might come back. 

In March of 1957, the gates of The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River closed and Celilo Falls, 8 miles upstream, was covered up within six hours. A March 6 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference panel explored the environmental damage stemming from the flooding of the falls and discussed solutions.

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call 1-888-996-8080 for herbicide application information. Highways I-5, 58 near Pleasant Hill, 99, 105, 126 in Springfield and Beltline were sprayed recently.

• M Three Timber Co., 767-3785, plans to spray its roadsides in Lane County with Accord XRT II, Garlon 3A and/or Induce. See ODF notifications 2015-781-05361 and 2015-781-05364, call Brian Peterson or Brian Dally at 726-3588 or 935-2283 with questions.

Current laws in Oregon make it illegal to pay people of opposite sex different wages to do the same job. There are also federal protections. However, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) conducted a study between 2011 and 2014 and found that women in Oregon make an average 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments on two applications for Clean Water Act construction discharge permits until 5 pm Thursday, April 9. Both projects involve the disturbance of 5 acres or more of land. The first project is at Swanson Group’s Springfield Plywood/Veneer Facility, located at 1651 South F St., and the other project is at Roosevelt Middle School (located at 680 E. 24th Ave. in Eugene). Visit goo.gl/Yp4iAK for information on how to submit comments.