• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |


Nattali Rize is a tender-spoken reggae artist who packs a political punch. Rize puts themes of love and hope front and center in her songs with her soulful vocals. By tying together her multicultural identity with her global travels, Rize has carved out her own mantra of putting humanity first and politics second.

Choosing a new Eugene Symphony music director is big news here, of course, but it’s also national news. That’s because our little symphony, in a middling-sized town far from cultural centers, has launched the careers of three important American conductors: Marin Alsop (the first woman to lead a major American orchestra, in Baltimore), Miguel Harth-Bedoya (who now leads the Fort Worth Symphony and his own Latin American classical music ensemble and guest conducts other major orchestras) and Giancarlo Guerrero (winning an international reputation for showcasing new music with his Nashville Symphony).


Another magnificent, tall fir has been reclaimed by the forest with the passing of University of Oregon Emeritus Professor Edwin Leon Coleman. The University of Oregon and the Eugene community have been enriched by this kind, courageous and remarkable man’s life, service, friendship and example to all people of good will.

Tony Award-winning musical comedy Avenue Q — written by Jeff Marx, Robert Lopez and Jeff Whitty (an Oregon native and University of Oregon grad) — is like Sesame Street for the quarter-life-crisis set. Complete with Jim Henson-style puppetry, the show, which debuted in 2003, offers advice for getting through that tough, post-college patch.

I am quite the follower on social media—Facebook and Twitter in particular. I make no trolling comments, no #MAGA hashtags; I just look with my male gaze. Like Laura Mulvey says, the male gaze is only natural. I’ve lost interest in pornography, so I use everyday pictures of women, typically selfies. It helps me to know the story behind the face and body. None of these pics are pornographic—just feel-good selfies by young women posted on social media. I don’t communicate with these people, because that would be creepy. I’m not worried about whether this is abnormal.

The traditional holy book of Islam has been defaced, burned, defecated on and denounced in the decade and a half that’s followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by Islamic extremists on New York and Washington. 

A new exhibition opening Friday and running through March 19 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art presents a very different American reaction to the Qur’an.

In American Qur’an, the museum’s spacious main gallery will be full to bursting with the scores of original paintings that make up Los Angeles painter and lifelong surfer Sandow Birk’s reflection on the Qur’an.

As Eugene’s downtown continues to thrive, it’s easy to forget that only a couple years ago the urban core was widely regarded as lacking a sense of place. It was a downtown without being a downtown center. 

More recently, Eugene has been a city and a downtown without a City Hall, ever since the City Council approved demolishing its central public building in 2014.

Seventeen states, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, still pay the federal minimum wage of $2.13 per hour to workers who receive more than $30 in tips per month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Saru Jayaraman, a professor at the University of California at Berkley, will address food industry wage inequality and what’s happening more broadly within the economy in a Jan. 23 talk “Food First: Justice, Security, and Sovereignty” at the University of Oregon.

In a 2007 interview about her Ward 7 Eugene City Council seat, Andrea Ortiz told EW that something she treasured about Eugene was this: “We put such a high value on humans, how we live our lives, the quality of education and the environment.”

Ortiz, who was born May 4, 1957, in Riverside, California, died Jan. 20 of bronchitis that turned into pneumonia. As the outpouring on social media shows, her fellow humans put a high value on the former city councilor and longtime community activist.

Look around and see signs of political burnout, in more than just eyes red and raw from excessive newsfeed scrolling. Listen and hear it in voices: nervous laughter, talk of fascism and edgy jokes about leaving the country.

And all this is amongst folks who arguably have the least to lose with the election of Donald Trump. 

For less comfortable Americans, this malaise — this Trump Funk, if you will — is more like abject terror, a genuine nervous exhaustion. A quick Google search produces a sea of how-to articles about dealing with post-election anxiety. 


Hult Center


Feb. 24 Kathleen Madigan

March 24 The Naked Magicians


McDonald Theatre


March 2 Adam Devine



Spoken Word


Hult Center


Ringing in the new year, Ballet Fantastique (BFan) launches two exciting premieres, with stagings of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Aladdin.

EW recently caught up with the company’s mother-daughter artistic team, Donna Marisa Bontrager and Hannah Bontrager, to learn about their collective vision for bringing these beloved tales to life.

Legend has it that when a team of British archaeologists outfitted themselves to excavate the tomb of King Tutankhamen, their journey began with an errand to London’s famed Fortnum & Mason, purveyors of biscuits and tinned meats to the Queen since 1707.

In fact, the spoils of the archaeologists’ successful journey to the North African desert were then packed in the now-empty picnic tins and wooden crates they schlepped to Egypt: untold treasures, millennia-old, brought back to the waiting Empire in crocks labeled “Potted Stilton” and “Waxed Cheddar Truckle.” (Because, if we’re going to the colonies, we bloody well better have our cheeses.) 

What makes Hitchcock Hitchcock? Or, put more fancifully, what do we mean when we call something Hitchcockian?

Certainly the British director of such classics of psychological suspense as Vertigo and Psycho was a master formalist — a tyrannical perfectionist in terms of framing, technique and narrative thrust.

If you’ve sidled by the University of Oregon campus just west of the Pioneer Cemetery recently, you’ve undoubtedly seen a huge construction project underway. The building, Berwick Hall, will serve as new digs for the Oregon Bach Festival (OBF), and the stalwart group’s leaders couldn’t be more pleased. 

Before binge-watching, there was binge-listening, and NPR’s This American Life damn near invented the practice. To some, the hugely popular show might seem ponderous and overly introspective (and to many others, these traits may even be considered faults). 

Nevertheless, the program, hosted by Ira Glass, has been exploring different facets of the American psyche since 1995, with subject matters ranging from Hurricane Katrina to an episode called “Kid Logic” entirely devoted to the reasoning abilities of children. 

• Let the games begin! Pete Sorenson’s announcement that this is his last four-year term as Lane County commissioner opens the floodgates for candidates to step up in his progressive South Eugene district. Not an easy job for a progressive, it does now pay $84,457 annually, making it the best political pay prospect in the county. We wonder if Andy Stahl will run again or if a smart, strong woman will try to join the current men’s club? Kudos to Pete for making this announcement four years out.

Dear Community Alliance for  Public Education:

Every year we hear about this “opting out” business. We aren’t big fans of standardized tests, but we don’t want our child to lose out. It says on the opt-out form that we will be missing “valuable information” about our child’s progress if she doesn’t take the test. 

Would I be preventing her teachers from knowing how she’s doing academically? 

Sincerely, A Curious & Cautious Parent

Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” I’ve always lived by that view. Today is no different.

And today is the sixth time I’ve been sworn in to a four year term as Lane County commissioner for the South Eugene District. I’ve also been sworn in twice as Oregon state senator and sworn in three times as Lane Community College board member. I’ve been privileged and honored to be called to public service.

We each bring all our past, including childhood traumas we have been working to heal from, to every experience we have, every day. Being arrested adds an intense fight or flight physical and psychological response that brings all of who you are into sharp focus. At least it did for me. As a child who’d been beaten with leather belts by an abusive father, I felt much of that same terror as an activist blocking oil trains from refineries in Washington state last May on the morning the police arrived in a military assault fashion at dawn, while our camp slept.

“I studied for a year at the University of Dakar in Senegal,” says Michael Fuller, who was at the time a philosophy major at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. His graduation requirements included study abroad and work-study at home, so he also taught outdoor school in his home state of Maine. After graduation, Fuller returned to Ocean Park, Maine, to continue teaching outdoor school. He moved to Eugene four years later, in 1986.

At the moment, 21st-century America’s immediate future is looking a little scary. Maybe for just a few days, let’s try — musically at least — living in the past.

Now and then, in order to make ends meet, a musician picks up an odd job. For some, that means waiting tables. And for others, like Phoenix-born songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews, it means singing backup for the Belgian pop star known as Milow. 


I appreciated Shawn Boles’ clear-eyed viewpoint on the Nancy Shurtz Halloween party flap [12/29].

The professor was, perhaps unwisely, injecting her professorial role into a party environment, which seemed to get everybody confused. Seems she surprised her guests with an unscheduled pop quiz on a book regarding white privilege that she hadn’t assigned them to recognize, much less read.