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Cowbucker is a new hat business celebrating its grand opening from noon to 6 pm Thursday, Dec. 17, at 222 E. 11th Ave., the former site of Creative Minds Alternative School. This will be the first permanent retail outlet for the business that started with an office in March, followed by a warehouse. Cowbucker offers two styles of hats at this time, including a cowboy/trucker hat, and hats for schools, breweries and states. Three UO MBA students started the business.

Kesey Square will be the replacement program at City Club of Eugene at noon Friday, Dec. 18, at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette Street. (UO President Michael Schill canceled his scheduled talk Dec. 11.) The title of the program is “Distinctive, Creative and Active Uses for Broadway Plaza,” and speakers include landscape architect David Dougherty and Brittany Quick-Warner of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. Other informed advocates on different sides of the issue have been invited to join the discussion. See cityclubofeugene.org. $5 for non-members.

A number of letters and comments have appeared recently regarding local developers’ proposal to solve the traveler/transient problem in downtown by filling Kesey Square with a five-story apartment building. Downtown Eugene Inc. and the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce have both come out in favor of this closing of the commons and privatizing of our public land. 

“They didn’t just kill Rabin, they didn’t just shoot the messenger. They killed the concept of peace,” my friend proclaims over Shabbat dinner in Tel Aviv. “The sad part is that they succeeded — the right wing. They killed Rabin and got what they wanted. Look at Israel now.” 

As Oregonians, we should all be alarmed at the numerous signs of a great calamity to come: the mass migration of Californians to our state. The climate-change-induced drought in that region has pushed California’s 38 million residents to the brink of social collapse, with millions on the verge of fleeing the devastation.

In Afghanistan

• 2,349 U.S. troops killed (2,349 last month)

• 20,071 U.S. troops wounded in action (20,071)

• 1,616 U.S. contractors killed (1,616)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $722.1 billion cost of war ($719.5 billion)

• $288.8 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($286.4 million)

 

Against ISIS

• $7.4 billion cost of military action ($7 billion last month)

• $2.9 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($2.6 million)

For the past four years, the husband-and-wife team of singer and guitarist Jen Johnson and drummer Mike Latulippe have fronted Velah, a rather excellent Boston-area indie-rock outfit. Johnson went on record saying that Pale Hands, the duo’s barely year-old electronic band, came about after they wrote a bunch of songs that just couldn’t work for Velah. It’s the sort of thing you’re supposed to say when launching an electronic side project (see: Broken Bells, Postal Service), even if it’s not altogether true. 

“I met Sam Cooke and his wife Barbara, and he turned to her and said, ‘Why don’t you bring her to America with us? We like her,’” Norma Fraser recounts, bursting into laughter.  

Fraser has lived in Eugene for a decade and has a lifetime of stories like this, including recording with Bob Marley.

The last chance for Eugeneans to hear Patchy Sanders live in all its folksy glory will be this Saturday, Dec. 19. The popular and critically acclaimed indie troupe with Eugene roots is calling it quits after three years.

If it’s fiddles you fancy, this holiday season will be merry and bright, because we’re seeing a phalanx of fine fiddlers on Eugene stages to close out 2015. 

MAKE IT POSSIBLE

I have been reading with concern of the proposals and letters to the editor concerning the future of Kesey Square. I have been living in a senior apartment community, Olive Plaza, in downtown Eugene. Many of us walk for our exercise and refreshment. There are no places where we can go and sit. There is no green, no small park near the area where we live. A new City Hall park is much too far away. Kesey Square remains the one place where we could go, but the benches have been removed.

I’m a straight 26-year-old man who wants advice on helping my fiancée realize a particular fantasy. We have been dating for three years and are in a happy monogamous relationship. I was always vanilla, but she enjoys rougher sex and light bondage. We’ve incorporated some of this into our sex lives, and we are both happy with how fun it is. She has expressed interest in a rape fantasy. Both of us want to be safe when we do this, and we trust each other completely.

The Klamath Agreements may to be on their final days. Walden (R- Hood River) is rumored to attempt to slam through fraudulent legislation for the Klamath agreement this week. The bill as is no longer includes language for dam removal, a primary bargained for benefit to signatory tribes.

Macbeth might not be Shakespeare’s most sophisticated play — it is nasty, brutish and short — and yet, among the tragedies, it remains my personal favorite, if only because it contains the most blunt and chilling expression of nihilism yet registered in the English language.

Yule fire is all about the hearth, Gwendolyn Iris says. 

“It’s about taking care of each other during the hardest time of the year,” she explains. Iris hosted the first Yule Fire, Feast and Ritual event two years ago at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza. It all started with an Occupy Eugene party in 2013 that Iris and other activists brought down to the SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) camp based there at the time. It was a hit.

The joy of racing to the end of an amazing book is soon marred by the realization you are closing the page on a world you’ve been living in for hours, days or weeks. You hope for a sequel (one that doesn’t kill off your favorite characters) and the hunt begins for the next dive deep into another time, place or reality. I’m so reading obsessed, I get a little depressed if I realize that I don’t have a book to come home to. I hoard books, share them, get them back and reread them. Here at EW we are delighted each year to share what we’ve been reading all year in our annual Winter Reading issue.

Coloring ain’t just for kids anymore. In fact, coloring books have been deemed a bonafide stress reliever for adults and the phenomenon is catching on. In 2015, the benefits and rising popularity of coloring books for adults were touted by The New Yorker  and The New York Times

Every once in a while something crazy happens: Someone self-publishes a book and it takes off. The Celestine Prophecy started that way as did Still Alice, and 50 Shades of Grey started off as internet-published Twilight fan fiction. Lane County has a whole host of writers publishing themselves or getting published by a “vanity” press (Hey, it’s not vanity if it’s good!). They, and we, hope one of these books takes off. Here’s just a smidge of what got dropped off at EW this year.

Once upon a time, and not all that terribly far back, Jeff Geiger was undergoing what he now describes as “a dark night of the soul.”

The Eugene writer had arrived at the artistic crossroads. “I’d been working for, I’d say, at least a decade as what I’d consider to be a serious writer,” he says. Deciding that he was most passionate about young adult fiction, Geiger wrote two such novels that came up bust. They had heart, but “they weren’t selling. It was an incredibly frustrating experience,” he recalls.

 

= Oregon author or Oregon-centric book

 

fiction

 

Local Libraries and Bookstores staff pics and top ten lists

Update: For coverage of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce endorsement vote, see our blog's "The story behind the chamber of commerce vote to privatize Kesey Square."

Some readers call us Eugene Weedly thanks to our pot ads, so it’s no surprise EW has gotten calls from other media wondering if a recent U.S. Postal Service (USPS) notice about pot advertisements will affect the paper. 

On Nov. 27, the Portland district of the USPS gave the Chinook Observer, a small coastal newspaper in Longview, Washington, a warning that if a “mailpiece” contains ads for marijuana, it is “nonmailable.” The Observer is published by EO Media Group, which also publishes papers in Oregon. 

There’s a growing list of names for downtown Eugene’s houseless population, and the word “travelers” is the latest description. The houseless and their advocates say that identifying the unhoused as travelers is a distraction from the real problem. 

“I think that’s the denial that every community has,” says Sue Sierralupe, Occupy Medical clinic manager, “that these are strangers.”