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June 11, 2012 09:39 PM

Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind?

June 11, 2012 10:57 PM

First there were face-eating zombies. Now the plague.

Highlights from the press release below include "People should contact their health care provider if plague is suspected" and "Avoid sick or dead rodents, rabbits and squirrels, and their nests and burrows." No problem.

Probable Case of Human Plague in Crook County Resident

Crook County is reporting a probable case of human plague. The individual is being hospitalized. Contacts of this individual have been notified and are receiving preventive antibiotics. Plague cases are rare in Oregon. It is spread to humans or animals through a bite from an infected flea or by contact with an animal sick with the disease.

People can protect themselves, their family members and their pets by using flea treatments on your pets to prevent them from bringing fleas into your home.  Plague is serious but it is treatable with antibiotics if caught early. A domestic cat in Crook County tested positive for bubonic plague a year ago.

Only three human cases have been diagnosed in Oregon since 1995. According to Karen Yeargain, L.P.N., Communicable Disease Coordinator at the Crook County Health Department, the 1995 case was in a Deschutes County resident who was exposed to plague-infected fleas from household cats that hunted rodents in the fields. Two of three cats in that household also tested positive for plague exposure. In 2010, two human cases of plague were diagnosed in Lake County. Further investigation revealed that the family dog had also been exposed to plague. In 2011, an additional case with exposures in Lake County was diagnosed. There were no fatalities in humans or household animals in these cases. 

Symptoms of plague typically develop within one to four days after exposure and include fever, chills, headache, weakness and a bloody or watery cough due to infection. Three clinical syndromes have been described; bubonic (lymph node infection), septicemic (blood infection), and pneumonic (lung infection).   Bubonic plague is the most common form and is characterized by high temperatures, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes, most commonly in the neck and under the jaw. Infected lymph nodes may spontaneously abscess and drain. 

People should contact their health care provider if plague is suspected and a veterinarian if pets or other animals exhibit symptoms consistent with the plague.  Early treatment for pets and people with appropriate antibiotics is essential to curing plague infections. Untreated plague can be fatal for animals and people. Antibiotics to prevent or treat plague should be used only under the direction of a health care provider.

Plague can be passed from fleas feeding on infected wild mammals to pets such as cats and to their human owners. "To protect your pets, avoid allowing them access to areas with fleas or to other pets carrying fleas, and treat your pets for fleas to help prevent this disease," Yeargain said. "Call your local veterinarians for assistance in which products are safe for use in pets, because some treatments may be toxic to your pet."

Some additional steps to prevent flea bites are to wear insect repellant, tuck pant cuffs into socks when in areas heavily occupied by rodents, and avoid contact with wildlife including rodents. Pet owners are encouraged to keep cats indoors. Also, do not handle ill-appearing stray or wild animals.

Health authorities offer the following recommendations to prevent plague:

  • Avoid sick or dead rodents, rabbits and squirrels, and their nests and burrows.
  • Keep your pets from roaming and hunting.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about using an appropriate flea control product on your pets.
  • Clean up areas near the house where rodents could live, such as woodpiles, brush piles, junk and abandoned vehicles.
  • Sick pets should be examined promptly by a veterinarian.
  • See your doctor about any unexplained illness involving a sudden and severe fever.
  • Put hay, wood, and compost piles as far as possible from your home.
  • Don’t leave your pet’s food and water where mice can get to it.
  • Veterinarians and their staff are at higher risk and should take precautions when seeing suspect animal plague cases.

Source: Crook County, State Public Health Veterinarian

June 6, 2012 12:52 PM

June 6, 2012 11:31 AM

Dr. Richard Jackson will be speaking at the Eugene Public Library June 19. A reception will be at 5 pm and his lecture will be at 5:45.

June 6, 2012 09:33 AM

The Emerald City Roller Girls are hosting their final bout of the 2012 season at 6 pm Saturday, June 9, at the Lane Events Center. This year’s season championship is a rematch from last year pitting the three-time defending champion Andromedolls (3-1) against the Church of Sk8in (2-2). This bout to determine the winner of the Big Emerald trophy is preceded by a match between the Snake Pit Derby Dames of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Emerald City’s third-place finisher Flat Track Furies. Proceeds from the bout will go to help maintain the Cascade Raptor Center.


The June 9 event will be the third time the Andromedolls and Church of Sk8in have met this year in an always exciting rivalry. In the first bout in March, the Andromedolls won in the final seconds 103-99 before a sell-out crowd at the Lane Events Center. The ‘Dolls were also victorious 85-66 in a bout closed to the public earlier this month.


In the opening bout, the Snake Pit Derby Dames, who have never played an Emerald City team, are skating against the home-town Flat Track Furies. The Furies ended the ‘Dolls’ three-year winning streak earlier this season. Snake Pit is blossoming in its third year of skating.


The first 200 fans through the door Saturday night get free Emerald City Roller Girls seat cushions. Doors open at 5 pm. Action starts at 6. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, and free for children 5 and under. VIP seating is available for $17.


Tickets are at Emerald City Skates, The Redoux Parlour and Ninkasi Tasting Room or on-line at Brown Paper Tickets. Ninkasi beer will be on tap. Fans can stick around after the bout to meet their favorite derby girl.


For more info visit emeraldcityrollergirls.com

(Thanks to James Brains for providing this information.)

May 31, 2012 05:13 PM

May 30, 2012 04:15 PM

Oh hello, Coos County Courthouse, what a delicious aroma you have. The World, a paper out of Coos Bay, reports that "An overabundance of confiscated marijuana, combined with poor ventilation, has left the county courthouse smelling a little wacky this spring." The Beaver Hill incinerator isn't burning anymore, so lockers are actually overflowing with weed. And Coos Bay just is a short 2-hour drive from Eugene...

Read more at The World.

May 30, 2012 05:12 PM

If you haven't already heard about the face-eating zombie in Miami, then you're lucky. The details are gross. So I will balance out posting about that fascinating little tidbit with a little news item about UNICORNS. 

Over the weekend the Miami Herald reported that right outside its building a naked man was found eating another naked man's face. True story. They even got parts of it on security camera. 

That's right, the Miami Herald, not the Weekly World News, though rumors abound that this is the first sign of the zombie apocalypse.

I'm going to tell you right now, if you're squeamish, skip right down to the unicorns.

There's been a lot of speculation about just what caused Rudy Eugene to eat Ronald Poppo's face for 18 minutes — cocaine, LSD and bath salts are all options (the cops had a theory about these things "baking" you on the inside thus leading Eugene to get naked). Bath salts apparently don't make you smell good and relax in the tub (no, they make you eat people's faces off) rather they are some weird form of meth, or so says the National Institures of Health, which also warns:

… these products have been reported to trigger intense cravings not unlike those experienced by methamphetamine users … 

Right, intense cravings to eat someone's face. I'm going to skip ever trying bath salts as a pick-me-up and stick with caffeine.

Gory details: The Miami Herald reports (and again, I warned you):

"He had his face eaten down to his goatee. The forehead was just bone. No nose, no mouth," said Sgt. Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police. "In my opinion, he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said it was one of the bloodiest "and goriest scenes I've ever been to."

"It was not only grotesque, it was just very sad, the amount of blood. It was very sad to see what happened to this gentleman that had his face eaten," Ortiz said.

And of course one unlucky dude happened to be cycling by:

Larry Vega was riding his bicycle off the causeway, which connects downtown Miami with Miami Beach, when he saw the attack.

"The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, 'Get off!'" Vega told Miami television station WSVN (http://bit.ly/L6kwWt). "The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin."

Vega flagged down the Miami police officer, who can be seen exiting his car on the Herald video. Vega said the officer repeatedly ordered the attacker to get off. Eugene just picked his head up and growled at the officer before continuing to maul his victim, Vega said.

The officer shot Eugene, but he just kept chewing, Vega said. The officer fired again, killing Eugene.


Ok, well, I lied. It's really politics. CNN is reporting that a group satirizing "birthers" (those folks who still insist Obama is a damn foreigner) has asked Arizona to prove Mitt Romney is not a unicorn. 

Without such proof, the group Left Action argues with tongue in cheek, Romney may indeed be a unicorn -- his dark mane hiding a horn -- and therefore ineligible to be on the presidential ballot in November.

The group called Left Action says it has 19,000 emails already. 

May 30, 2012 06:18 PM



On Saturday June 2nd the Whiteaker’s unofficial community center, Reality Kitchen, will be hosting a meeting to discuss railroad pollution, with Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson scheduled to attend and speak on the issue at 6:30 pm.

Jim Evangelista, who started Reality Kitchen, a learning center for adults with developmental disabilities, says the community has had ongoing concerns about the train cars passing through the neighborhood.

“It is a critical issue for us and certainly other neighborhood residents,” he says. Evangelista adds that part of Reality Kitchen’s mission is “creating a space that is available to the community,” a place for neighborhood residents to gather and discuss issues such as this one. The hope is to create a “community inclusion space” for people, he says.

Some of the concerns that brought about the meeting pertain to the threat of pollution wafting through the neighborhood streets. If proposed coal extraction takes place (see “Coal Train” 1-19), the dirty fossil fuel could be dumped on freight cars and hauled through the neighborhood train tracks on the way to Coos Bay.

“The noise pollution and the physical pollution and the impact on the neighborhood continues unabated,” Evangelista says. “It’s been an ongoing issue.”

At the Saturday meeting, handouts will be provided as well as displays to give residents a better understanding of the issue.

“Many folks are going to do what they can to bring information, to make it available, and so this is why we’re [having the meeting],” says Evangelista. 

May 26, 2012 10:33 PM

Portland actor Isaac Lamb proposed to his girlfriend on Wednesday. The video's already gone viral.  It's worth a watch — cute but not in the way that makes you wince. It makes you giggle.

And as long as we're on the topic. It's about to be June and that IS wedding season after all … Head's up, some of these are corny (you know, cute, but corny). And I can't help but to wonder how the heck are these guys so organized? Number 2 is the best one.

May 24, 2012 02:30 PM


It seems indie music is experiencing a movement of flannel-clad gents strumming vintage guitars while tugging at scruffy beards. A token petite blonde with amazing pipes singing backup over sweeping, rootsy tales about vagabonds is standard fair. But if you can wade past all the skinny jeans and saddle shoes you will find your way to Hey Marseilles, and you won’t be sorry.

This Seattle-based group is unafraid to throw an instrumental or two alongside heartstring-tugging ballads. What sets Hey Marseilles apart isn’t just the classically trained string aficionados Jacob and Samuel Anderson; it’s also the soul-searching lyrics of Matt Bishop, Nick Ward’s guitar and drumbourine, Patrick Brannon’s trumpet, Philip Kobernik’s accordion and Colin Richey’s drum set.

 Originally a trio, Hey Marseilles was formed in 2006. Guitarist and lead vocalist Matt Bishop said in an interview during 2012’s SXSW Festival that they “added musicians until we couldn’t fit anyone else onstage.” Give a listen to their intoxicating 2010 album To Travels & Trunksand try to imagine the sound without all seven; it’s near impossible.

They’ve got a little bit of something for everybody; gypsy-inspired accordion, maudlin jazz trumpet, mournful viola and even a joyful beat here and there. However, it’s not all heartache and missed connections with Hey Marseilles. There is a sense of joy in each note strummed or sung, regardless of subject matter. Take the song “Rio,” a vibrant, hand-clapping exultation of love and optimism sure to make you smile, for example.

Touring now in support of its two-song single Elegy, the adorable new age boy band will make a stop at Cozmic on Friday, May 25. Get there early to catch Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox, otherwise known as the dream-pop duo Lemolo. I have a feeling the pairing will feel a little like having dessert before dinner.

Hey Marseilles plays with Lemolo 9 pm Friday, May 25, at Cozmic; $10 adv., $12 door.

— Jackie Varriano

May 24, 2012 05:48 PM


Nine months after embarking on the original journey to the Mother Coffee tree [as chronicled in this week’s cover story], I had the opportunity to hike to the oldest Coffea arabica tree in the world once again. This time I would do make the approach coming in the opposite direction: a two-day journey coursing through a rocky river valley, relying only on a hastily printed map, my fuzzy memory, and a handful of helpful locals. Again I would wonder: Why all this hardship to make it to a tree?

Luckily it was the tail end of the dry season, and the un-dammed rivers were well below their flood levels. And, more thankfully, I was with a trio of gung-ho American dudes who would risk their skin for an adventure into the Kafa Biosphere Reserve. We followed animal trails along the river, ducking under vines and squeezing through dense foliage for as long as it stayed true. But then, abruptly, the trails ended, and there was only the river as a guide. We leapt from boulder to boulder, afraid of the parasites and bacterium that might afflict us if we fell into the dirty brown river. (The biggest threat was schisto, a worm parasite that is easily acquired in lakes and streams in Ethiopia.)

Oftentimes we had to boulder around sheer dropoffs, or duck under natural bridges and caves. One misstep and a rolled or broken ankle would’ve spelled disaster. No cellphone network. No passing locals. No Coast Guard helicopters rushing to our aid. If someone couldn’t walk, he’d have to be carried out of the gorge. This predicament only got worse when we exhausted all options and, at the cooling hour of 4 pm, had to hitch up our pants and wade through the waist-deep river, up and up the river valley.

Finally, at dusk, we found a suitable place to camp on a rocky sandbar on the side of the river. With moldy feet we pitched our tent, made soup over an open fire, and roasted marshmallows under a night sky with a million beads of starlight dripping on our heads. The next morning, after a harrowing traverse of waist-deep rapids and an uphill climb into foothills, we finally found the “road” that led us to the Mother Coffee tree. Once again, the tree itself was an underwhelming goal, but something occurred to me while I scooped tuna fish out of a can with glucose biscuits while sitting under the Great Tree: No destination is worth its weight in gold if it’s a cakewalk to get to. Mother Coffee was just a landmark we could slap and then turn around and trudge the rest of the way back to the main road, where a 4x4 vehicle awaited us. The route to get there was the trial and tribulation. The coffee trail was the destination.

When the four of us white boys spilled onto the main road, exhausted, hungry, soaking wet … a local elder stopped on the opposite side of the road and stared at us for a very long time. He leaned heavily on his walking stick. He contemplated our very existence. What were we doing here? Where did we come from? Where were we going? Long after the 4x4 LandCruiser spirited us away back to Bonga, the man stood silently on the side of the road, looking on, utterly baffled.  

Follow more of Chuck’s ramblings and adventures at Narrantology http://chuckadams.tumblr.com/ and read more about the Kafa Biosphere Reserve at http://www.kafa-biosphere.com/