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• Black Friday, Nov. 28, will bring a protest outside Walmart on West 11th Ave. beginning around noon.  Organizers say the Walton family that owns the mega-chain is the richest family in the country, yet they pay the majority of their employees less than $25,000 a year and manipulate employee hours so many don’t qualify for benefits. Sponsored by Raging Grannies, UFCW, ESSN and others. For more information, email essn@efn.org or call 736-9041.

Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Motorhead. Amidst the club of hardcore metal band names, Asking Alexandria doesn’t seem to fit. But don’t let their name fool you. Listen to “Don’t Pray For Me,” the first song on their latest album From Death to Destiny, and it’s clear the British band is a force of its own.

Canadian electronica producer Ryan Hemsworth describes his most recent single, “Snow in Newark,” as something he made to “get back to my first love, emo music.” This may come as a shocking change of pace to those accustomed to hearing Hemsworth either throw down thick, hawkish hip-hop remixes or candy-coated, J-poppy originals. 

“We have some great friends from Eugene,” says Sam Owens of Brooklyn-based indie-rock trio Celestial Shore. “All of them are wonderful people and talented musicians. There must be something in the water.”

What a difference a weekend makes in the fickle, fanatical world of college football, where the panic and pandemonium of winning and losing wreck havoc with all cool reckonings. It’s all so hard to grasp, much less parse and parlay. A single game can overthrow the whole shebang, sending the number-crunchers scrambling for a new paradigm.

Each year at this time in the month of November

I like to take stock, settle back and remember

The good things in life, all the stuff I hold dear

So I stop to say “Thanks!” as Thanksgiving draws near

BLAMING THE POOR

While talking with friends I dissed white middle-class values, and they asked why? Well, the conversation about the homeless camp’s trash by the river is a good example. Good appearances and respecting the law are white middle-class values. So homeless people breaking the law by existing and littering is, by those mores, bad. 

There’s something fuzzy and bittersweet about that old populist daydream of an adorable orphan so possessed by optimism that her mere presence can sand down the rough edges of a capitalist tycoon and compel an embattled president to launch the New Deal.

I am a bi male in my early 20s who until recently was in the closet. I have been exploring my sexuality for the past year, and I didn’t want to label myself and open a Pandora’s box of oppression in the American South before I knew who I was for sure. I learned through my exploration that I have a few kinks and I have been acting on those kinks, seeing what I am and am not into. I may have been too trusting, because someone I interacted with decided that he was having none of me.

Mockingjay, on first read, wasn’t my favorite book in the Hunger Games series — not by a long shot. A long trudge to a deadly battle, it was initially memorable for all the time Katniss seemed to spend crying in a closet, worrying about Peeta Mellark, who was captured at the end of Catching Fire’s Quarter Quell. I didn’t want crying Katniss; I wanted victorious Katniss, angry Katniss, a Katniss who would lead the rebellion against the Capital.

As a doctoral candidate in the Department of Romance Languages at the UO, I have dedicated the past four years of my academic career to research and writing on Chicano theater and performance. Central to my dissertation project is the history of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, during which time farm workers in California organized and participated in the five-year Delano Grape Strike. This unprecedented strike culminated in the first major victory for the United Farm Workers, which remains an active labor union today.

“That’s what she said.” When students walk into Denise Velasco’s sex education classroom at Network Charter School, they see this phrase on a poster. This appeal to juvenile humor is not what it seems: Look closer and you’ll see two women kissing beneath a word in bold letters — “Yes.” As corny as the poster is, it sends a clear message about sex.

“Consent is talked about on an almost daily basis in my class because I can incorporate it into every lesson in some way, shape or form,” says Velasco, who has taught sex ed at Network Charter School for 10 years. “It’s a big part of my program.”

On the evening of Nov. 17, a group gathered at Lane Independent Living Alliance (LILA) in downtown Eugene for a panel of six people, who identify as trans*, sharing stories and answering questions, which included everything from dating to experiences with Eugene’s healthcare system. Trans* is a term that refers to trans and gender non-conforming people. It encompasses all identities within the gender spectrum.

Ryan, who sleeps in a tent at the new Whoville homeless protest camp north of the U.S. Courthouse, says that he and his fellow campers are “managing” through the recent freezing nights. “It was cold last night,” Ryan says, declining to give his last name for fear of repercussions. “It was really cold last night. We could always use more blankets.” 

Christopher John Bartels (doing business as Bartels Packing) has been cited for violations once again by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

For years rural residents along Highway 36 near Triangle Lake in Oregon’s Coast Range have been asking, even demanding, that someone look into the chemicals drifting from airplanes and onto their farms, and into their homes and drinking water. They’ve complained of the health effects on themselves and their children. They’ve had their own urine tested for the herbicides atrazine and 2,4-D. 

Years before Opportunity Village came to life at the north end of Garfield Street, the idea of a transitional tiny house community was percolating in Andrew Heben’s head. While writing his senior thesis at the University of Cincinnati on the value of tent cities, Heben lived for a month at Camp Take Notice, a forested tent camp in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in which residents were involved in a complex process of self-governance.

Running for elected office can be a rollercoaster of ups and downs, but local green alley advocate Jeff Luers had a ride that was shorter and more abrupt than most. In the end, despite more than 6,000 write-in votes in the race, the votes for Upper Willamette Conservation Soil and Water District (SWCD) will not be tallied for reasons that Luers say “certainly contradict our understanding of democracy in this country.”

• The fundraising effort to save historic Civic Stadium as a community center for kids’ sports, soccer and other activities is close to a Dec. 1 deadline and we urge everyone to contribute financially or volunteer to help raise money. USL Pro and W-League soccer at Civic would be a big economic boost for Eugene and Lane County. Soccer is popular across the economic divide, filling stadiums in the Northwest, and Eugene could be next.

2014 Holiday Happenings Calendar

Tsunami Books on south Willamette was given notice earlier this fall that the building was going on the market and the longtime independent book store and performance venue would likely need to find a new home (see Biz Beat, 9/25). But we heard from store owner Scott Landfield that the building is now in the process of being sold to someone who supports the store staying put for at least a couple of years.

What combines dancing penguins, tightrope-walking snowmen, gravity-defying aerial feats, illusion, acrobatics and some good old-fashioned song and dance?

Wanna catch a show? Holiday theater abounds in our suddenly festive town. This year local theaters are offering fun, family-friendly shows that aren’t necessarily Christmas-focused. Your options are as follows...

The Eugene Ballet Company has steadfastly delivered heartwarming performances of The Nutcracker in every one of its 35 seasons. Usually things go off without a hitch, though over the years there have been a few mishaps. “This is live performance,” says Toni Pimble, artistic director for EBC. “And the unexpected is always upon us.”