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I survive mainly on kombucha, coffee and hard liquor. Mixing coffee with whiskey is kind of a no-brainer. I’m perky and buzzed — what could go wrong? Kombucha, in large doses, has a similar effect on me. Given my predilection for caffeine and adult beverages, kombucha cocktails strike me as pure genius. 

OUR FINE CITY HALL

Though unintentional, Jerry Diethelm’s history of city governance’s relationship with its constituents is misleading [“Design Matters,” 3/6]. Twice, in May 1994 and then in November 1994, voters rejected the new library measure. Did City Hall give voters a chance for final approval? Similarly, Eugeneans twice voted and twice voted down a new police facility. Again, was it funded with voter approval?

Donie Smith started working at the Horsehead Bar about a year ago, but that was enough time to garner her a “sexiest bartender” win. A Cottage Grove native, Smith says she was a bit surprised to hear she had won. She shouldn’t be, because voters raved about her “perfect smile,” “great personality” and “sweet-ass tats.” 

Spiritual fracture and cultural alienation are at the heart of Ecstasy: A Water Fable, a play by Egyptian-American writer Denmo Ibrahim based on the Sufi tale “When the Waters Were Changed.” Directed by Michael Malek Najjar, UO’s University Theatre’s production of Ibrahim’s work — a triptych that flashes among three characters all seeking some form of reconnection with their origins — is technically adept and swift, clocking in at about 90 minutes. It is pretty to look at, and the traditional music, played live on several Arabic instruments (such as the zurna, ney and djembe) by local band Americanistan is hypnotic and, at times, haunting.

The people behind popular Eugene restaurant Party Downtown, located at 55 W. Broadway, apply a “make-it-in-house” ethic to everything they do, from curing meats to baking bread. Bartender James West is particularly passionate about house-made liqueurs — distilled spirits infused with the flavors of fruit, berries, herbs or even flowers. 

I have a slowly terminal disease and don’t have more than five or six years left. I haven’t told my wife, which brings me to my problem. We had lived together for seven years when she cheated on me the first time. We worked things out, we got back together, but we continued to live separately. Then I cheated on her. We got back together again but continued living apart. After a year of therapy, we got married, but again we kept our households separate.

Mainly just to scare the shit outta myself, I spent most of a Saturday afternoon in one of the UO’s new science lecture halls, listening to three paleontologists describing the effects of climate change — warming — in Oregon, over the next century. The room was half-filled, mostly with very serious people, furiously taking notes. I looked for wild-eyed, barking-mad deniers but saw none.

Ben Lundberg, 33, was born and raised in Eugene and has been tending bar at the Starlight Lounge for more than four years. In his spare time, he’s a photographer, which adds to the list of admirable qualities that voters mentioned, including his “boyish charm” and “phenomenal personality.” One voter opined that Lundberg is “downright a good person.” What could be sexier?

My dad approached parenting in his own way. When my older brother Taylor started wearing obscene clothing during his rebellious youth, my dad responded by wearing a brown bag over his head like a chef’s hat the next time the two of them went grocery shopping. He’s a maverick in just about every way except his fashion, so it makes sense he made me attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting after I was caught drinking during high school.

From food cart to store front, Red Wagon Creamery has come a long way. The ice cream shop is well known for wonderfully eclectic, handmade ice cream flavors like carrot jalapeño, peach rosemary and Saturday Morning, meant to taste like the milk left over after a bowl of Fruit Loops. But stick around after 10 pm on Friday and Saturday, and the creamery transforms into Red Wagon After Dark, where bartender Amanda Hoffman throws booze into the mix of creamy deliciousness. 

A “Hunger Banquet” educational fundraiser is planned for 6 to 8 pm Thursday, March 13, at Unitarian Universalist Church at 13th and Chambers. Sponsored by OSPIRG, ShelterCare and others. All donations will go to the Rainy Day Food Pantry at LCC. Call Zack Wright of OSPIRG at 255-5364.

Much of Eugene is proud of Opportunity Village, the self-governing community of formerly homeless people living in tiny homes. But these people are only one aspect of the tiny house movement, a nationwide trend of people eschewing big abodes for simpler living with a smaller carbon footprint.

Planning is one of the most important elements of gardening. It is also one of the easiest steps to overlook, especially for the beginner. Knowing a few months ahead of time when you’re going to need to plant and harvest your vegetables can save you serious heartache in the long run. Having your seeds, starts and preservation methods prepped and ready will ensure you the longest growing seasons, the most fruitful crops and the longest lasting life from your produce.

Four hours after the factory shut down, the worker who had crawled into the depths of the conveyer belt finally finds the plastic bag that caused all the commotion. Carefully removing the bag, the worker wriggles free. “It’s dangerous work,” says Lane County Waste Reduction Specialist Sarah Grimm. “It’s time consuming and the whole time the whole sort quality is compromised.”

March is the month when the valley woodlands begin greening up. Two shrubs, osoberry and snowberry, are the first to give a light green wash to the understory. The osoberry (also known as Indian plum) flowers at the same time as leaf-out but snowberry saves flowering for late spring. My favorite color is spring green, the color of freshly emerged leaves. I am particularly fond of vine maple because its leaves stay this fresh, spring green throughout the summer, especially under a forest canopy.

Do you eat almonds? I do — lots of them. But for how long? California almonds are just part of the 70 percent of our food supply that depends on honeybees for pollination. But colony collapse disorder (CCD) has made life tough for bees and for beekeepers, who have struggled in recent years to supply the hives needed to pollinate crops.

Although people consider the downed trees from the recent ice storm to be an unfortunate and unsightly look around Eugene, Anna and Noah Wemple of Cougar Mountain Farm know of a sustainable use for the remnants. With the help of Jude Hobbs, permaculture expert, teacher and co-founder of Cascadia Permaculture Institute, the Wemples will host a Shiitake Mushroom Log Inoculation Workshop 10 am to 4 pm Saturday, March 15, at Cougar Mountain Farm, 33737 Witcher Gateway in Cottage Grove.

Anyone can grow fresh food year-round, even apartment dwellers. It just takes a bit of know-how and planning. Amy Doherty, a master gardener and graduate of the UO Landscape Architecture program, specializes in adaptive urban gardens. “There’s a lot you can do with container gardening on a sunny balcony or in a window,” Doherty says. “The only limit is how much space you have and how much light you can get.”

Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz has recommended cutting $250,000 from Human Services discretionary funding as part of balancing the city budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1. These cuts would manifest as “reductions in support to local nonprofit agencies such as Looking Glass, St. Vincent de Paul, Womenspace, Lane ShelterCare and a myriad of others,” according to Human Services Commission (HSC) Chair Pat Farr.

Just as LGBTQ activists are celebrating Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s decision to not defend Oregon’s gay marriage ban and celebrating Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of that state’s anti-gay discrimination bill, along comes the reminder that the Oregon Family Council wants to throw a little cold water on the gey celebration.

More precisely, OFC is the primary sponsor of an initiative that wants to dampen any future gay weddings in Oregon by allowing businesses to refuse “supporting same-sex ceremonies in violation of deeply held religious beliefs.” 

The fight against genetically modified crops in Lane County is in the hands of Circuit Court Judge Charles Carlson, who is expected to rule on whether the Local Food System Ordinance complied with state constitutional requirements.

Grupo Latino de Acción Directa (GLAD)’s Feb. 28 forum at St. Alice’s church in Springfield focused on public safety. More than 140 members of the Latino community attended, including Timothy Doney, the new Springfield police chief and Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner, according to one of GLAD’s founders, Phil Carrasco.

GLAD is hosting evening and luncheon forums as well as “Café con” (Coffee with) events that politically engage a broad spectrum of the Latino community, Carrasco says. These forums let people show up and speak their piece, without others speaking for them, he says. 

International Women’s Day is Saturday, March 8, and events in the Eugene area welcome writers, rockers, artists, healers and more to celebrate this day and Women’s History Month.

Oregon wolves are on the move. Just last week, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) confirmed that wolf tracks were found on Mount Hood last December. Oregon has enough suitable habitat for 1,450 wolves. So why did the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) remove federal protections for gray wolves in 2011 in the eastern third of the state when there are currently only 64 wild wolves in Oregon? Wolf reintroduction advocates discussed this quandary and more at “Wolfshop,” part of the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference on Feb. 28.