High school is a terrible time to be different or stand out, and without support from mentors and peers, LGBTQ students face issues that don’t affect straight students in the same way. Bullying, homophobia and prejudice are all struggles that LGBTQ kids have to deal with on a regular basis.
That’s why UOTeachOUT, an annual conference that confronts homophobia in schools, is entering its fourth year tomorrow, May 15. UOTeachOUT involves UO education majors, local K-12 teachers and students, and it will feature assemblies and leadership summits at Unitarian Universalist Church and North Eugene High School. According to Jim Barlow, UO public affairs communicator, on the UO’s website:
On Thursday, 9 a.m.-noon, students in the homophobia course will help host the fourth annual Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Youth Leadership Summit that Heffernan and Gutierez-Schmich founded. The summit will be at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene, 1685 W. 13th Ave. It brings together approximately 150 LGBT middle and high school students from the Bethel, Eugene, Springfield and Cottage Grove school districts for a creative writing workshop with author and youth activist and storyteller Ivan Coyote. UO students also will lead healthy teen activities under the supervision of the Lane County Public Health's Prevention Program.
On Thursday, 1:40 p.m.-3 p.m., UOTeachOUT goes to North Eugene High School, 200 Silver Lane, for an all-school assembly centered on anti-bullying and anti-oppression. The school's junior class this year has been studying civil rights, oppression and social justice issues. Coyote will the main speaker, addressing oppression related to social bullying in a talk titled "One in Every Crowd."
See the UOTeachOut webpage for more info.
Before telling the crowd at the Hult Saturday night “I consider myself a citizen of the world, but I was born in Eugene, Oregon” (to huge applause), RJD2 said what was on everyone’s mind: “This is really fucking awesome.”
(Photo collage by Athena Delene)
The show started with a few hiccups; backstage, several of the musicians, dancers and artists of the 100-plus motley crew seemed confused about where to be and when. And for the first third of the show, there were more people partying in the lobby then there were in the concert hall. But, once the show gained momentum, it took off like a rocket.
Here are some of the highlights:
-The guys of Medium Troy sported some sweet Sgt. Pepper-style waist coasts. JoJo Ferreira’s coat was embellished with splashes of gold sequins — he had to wear something to match his gold-sequined thong (worn over pantaloons, mind you).
-The band brought bundles of energy to the stage, sending the audience along on a beautiful, crazy trip. And the guest vocals of Bettreena Jaeger (the Betty of Betty and the Boy) brought their music to a new, ephemeral level.
-Devin the Dude (pictured below) added a playful hip-hop edge to the evening, driving the fans in front (the first 30 rows of seats were cleared for a dance floor) absolutely batty. And then he lit up on stage, soliciting roars from the crowd, filling the hall with puffs of smoke that floated up to Light at Play’s LED Radiance Dome, emitting a certain sweet aroma. Word is that Devin the Dude filmed a music video with local production company Artistic Outlet Media while he was in town.
-The Space Invaders (a local breakdancing crew) and contemporary ballet dancer Katie Scherman’s whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their Chopin-meets-glitch-hop dance numbers. When they came back for an encore performance during RJD2’s set, RJD2 threw up his arms in can-you-believe-this-is-happening amusement, turning around to see if the Dub Orchestra had the same reaction.
-Harmonic Laboratory composer and conductor Jeremy Schropp, outfitted in a bright yellow Sgt. Pepper coat, led the Dub Orchestra to RJD2’s 1976 with RJD2 (pictured below). This ushered in the finale with hot and punchy performances by Work Dance Company, Broadway Revue Burlesque, Red Moon Rising and many more.
-The Aerial Silks dancer defied gravity and human limitations 20 feet above the stage during many of the music sets.
-The costumes. Eugene brought it with costumes ranging from raver chic to 19th-century dapper dub.
And for good measure, here's a shot of RJD2's vinyl stash that he was pulling from throughout the show (photo by Robyn Louden):
More pictures coming soon.
After an eight-year break, Lafa Taylor (who now resides in a "bus/solar-powered mobile studio" in Oakland, Calif.) recently released Not One Thing with a special valentine to his hometown: "Eugene (feat. Marv Ellis)."
Taylor writes of the song, "I made this song in Eugene when I was visiting for a few weeks last summer. I swear it was one of the most beautiful Oregon summers I had witnessed in a long time, I really wanted to capture that essence and give a shout out to my gorgeous home town."
Some key Eug lyrics:
Lafa Taylor made an appearance Saturday night at the Bohemian Dub Ball. He will be back June 21 to play the grand opening of the WJ Skatepark. His website says a music video is coming soon.
Supporters of marriage equality are planning to show up outside the U.S. Courthouse in Eugene Wednesday morning, May 14. Federal Judge Michael McShane will be hearing oral arguments regarding Oregon's ban on same-sex marriages. He will also be considering an effort by the National Organization for Marriage, a national anti-gay group, to intervene in the case.
Supporters will be gathering at 8 am and the hearing is scheduled at 9 am. The proceedings will be livestreamed to an overflow room in the courthouse.
After the hearing, about 11 am, a joint press conference is planned featuring plaintiffs in the case, their lawyers and leaders of Basic Rights Oregon and the ACLU of Oregon.
Contact Peter Zuckerman at (310) 507-4689 or email email@example.com
Tonight Slow Food Eugene hosts Paul Durant and Libby Clow, who will talk about creating an olive oil culture in the Pacific Northwest. High-quality olive oil is much more palatable than the average grocery store stuff; there will be a tasting aftward to prove it. Learn more about cool climate varietals and Oregon Olive Mill's experimental crop at 7 pm at 16 Tons Cafe, 2864 Willamette. Come early to grab a spot.
Here's more on the speakers:
Paul Durant is a fourth generation Oregon farmer. In farming olive groves in the cool climate of the Willamette Valley, he is carrying on his family's pioneer farming tradition dating to 1915. Today the Durant family is producing premier quality Extra Virgin Olive Oils by farming on the edge to develop the ultimate in aromatic flavor expression.
Libby Clow is the Olive Oil Program Ambassador for the Oregon Olive Mill. A Pacific Northwest native, her passion for food led her to work a decade ago as a shepherdess and vineyard hand on a sustainable estate in Tuscany. Prior to joining the Oregon Olive Mill team last August, she has had an extensive career in the food industry.
Learn more about Slow Food Eugene's parent organization, Slow Food USA, here.
"I can't hear you over the weight of scientific consensus!"
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver rocks the climate change debate — or lack of it, as Oliver points out, it's really not a debate at all. He says polling people to see if they believe in climate change is kind of like asking "Do owls exist?" or "Are there hats?"
It seemed as if the concert bookers of Eugene had opened the floodgates for live music that catered to the college-aged masses last weekend. UO students and the Eugene community were able to see Medium Troy, RJD2 and Devin the Dude at the Bohemian Dub Ball at the Hult Center on Saturday. Others chose to attend Night Beats, Wampire and a DJ competition for the Willamette Valley Music Festival all through the night on campus as well.
But the highest-profile name to come through Eugene for the weekend (that is, if you weren’t seeing Steve Martin at the Hult) was rapper-comedian-actor Donald Glover’s, who performed as Childish Gambino at Cuthbert Friday night.
Many are quick to label Gambino as the “hip-hop alter ego” of the television and comedy star, and with good reason. Glover, of course, was a “world star before rap”—as he sings on “World Star” from 2013 release Because The Internet.
Glover may have first earned his fame from his work on television with starring in Community and writing for 30 Rock, or comedy with Derek Comedy and his standup on Comedy Central. But when he performed in front of a packed crowd in Eugene, the audience was able to enjoy the concert through the lens of his identity as a rapper. The crowd may have been aware of his previous accolades, but they were certainly at the Childish Gambino concert to see a hip-hop performance.
Danny Brown initially set the mood for a rap show at The Cuthbert early in the night, throwing down with the crowd to songs like “25 Bucks” (which uses a beat produced by indie-electro pop band Purity Ring) and a freestyle track that sampled a song from Watch The Throne by Kanye West and Jay-Z.
After Danny Brown finished his set and as the rain began to come down hard, live DJ Stefan Ponce helped keep the party going.
Right off the bat, he announced that it would “take more than rain” to stop Childish Gambino from performing tonight. Energy stayed high in the building, and the DJ played music by Drake, Chance The Rapper, Kendrick Lamar and even MIA, Snoop Dogg and Michael Jackson.
When Ponce finished his set, the “digital experience” of Childish Gambino’s Deep Web Tour was set to begin. Most notably, fans were encouraged to download the Deep Web App, in which the crowd was able to draw messages that would appear on the stage screen. This feature was received much better than the dial tone that blared through the venue while fans waited for Gambino to take the stage.
When Gambino did begin his show, however, the energy was much higher than many would have expected considering that Community had been cancelled earlier that day, and that he was performing in a rainy college town. But while rocking a crewneck and white shorts in the rain, Gambino and his live band dished out a suitable mix of his more sentimental music to chase down the party-atmosphere bangers for the crowd.
The live 7-piece band was also a refreshing change of pace for a hip-hop show in 2014, and fans seemed to appreciate the sincerity that came with the real-life instrumentation.
Another interesting feature of the gig was an additional scrim and chandelier that were lowered during the show. Recalling the interactivity of the set, the audience was also able to participate in a mid-concert poll in which they indicated that they were feeling “some type of way” — like the song by Rich Homie Quan.
Between each chant of “World Star!” that emerged from the crowd during the show, Gambino’s energy gave everyone in attendance a constant reminder as to why Donald Glover has remained the Internet star that we know and love. — Bryan Kalbrosky
After years of fruitless searching in southern Oregon and northern California, the wolf known as Journey or OR-7 has partnered up. It's not a sure thing, but according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, remote cameras in the Cascade Mountains of southwest Oregon captured what appears to be a female wolf, roaming close to Journey's current location. The same cameras recently snapped pictures of Journey himself.
According to the press release:
"This information is not definitive, but it is likely that this new wolf and OR7 have paired up. More localized GPS collar data from OR7 is an indicator that they may have denned," said John Stephenson, Service wolf biologist. "If that is correct, they would be rearing pus at this time of year."
The Service and ODFW probably won't be able to confirm the presence of pups until June or later, the earliest pup surveys are conducted, so as not to disturb them at such a young age. Wolf pups are generally born in mid-April, so any pups would be less than a month old at this time.
It's a big step for a wolf who traveled over 1,000 miles to look for a mate in an area where wolves were systematically slaughtered and eradicated in the 20th century. Here's to hoping that the remote camera catches some images of Journey's wolf pups soon!
The Ashland City Council voted this week in favor of a ban on plastic bags. Plastic bag bans have seen growing public support in Oregon, with the cities of Portland, Corvallis, and Eugene adopting similar bag bans since 2011.
Here's a press release from Environment Oregon:
Last night, Ashland took a big step by joining the growing list of plastic bag-free cities by passing the ordinance with a vote. The approved ordinance bans the use of single use plastic bag and assesses a 10-cent fee for paper bags.
Ashland has become the first city in Southern Oregon to ban plastic bags and is setting an example of sustainable leadership for the city of 20,000 people.
Last year, the Ashland Conservation Commission took up the issue, encouraging the City Council to pursue a ban on plastic bags. In November, when the full City Council first discussed a potential citywide ban on plastic bags, Ashland citizens and local businesses turned out in droves to demonstrate their support. And just last month, at the first reading of the ordinance, the council chambers were filled to capacity with supportive Ashland residents.
Over the last year, Environment Oregon collected more than 500 signatures from citizens in support of a plastic bag ban, as well as endorsements from nearly 100 local businesses. This support laid the groundwork for Tuesday’s vote and exemplifies the community support for environmental leadership in Oregon.
“The growing support for plastic bag bans is evident, with cities from Portland to Ashland passing local bans on plastic bags,” said Rikki Seguin, conservation advocate with Environment Oregon. “We look forward to working with additional cities that wish to stand up for the health of our waterways by banning plastic bags.”
Plastic pollution is a huge environmental concern; Oregonians are estimated to use more than 1.7 billion bags a year, too many of which end up as pollution in Oregon’s waterways, like the Rogue River, and ultimately the Pacific Ocean. Plastic pollution is especially harmful to wildlife, killing thousands of birds and marine animals every year. Local plastic bag bans keep more disposable plastic bags out of our waste stream and away from our waterways, thereby decreasing the threat posed to wildlife.
The documentary DamNation is now showing in Portland and we hope it makes it to Eugene soon. The film looks at dams and their impact on not only fish runs but entire ecosystems and cultures in America. Rogue River dams are featured. High production values in this film by Patagonia.
What can I say about the fashion scene in Eugene? It's slowly but surely growing up. Last Sunday night, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art hosted St. Vinnie's Metamorphose Upcycling Design challenge: 10 local designers on a $40 material budget to be spent at St Vincent de Paul were tasked to create three runway-ready looks in the categories of Ready-to-Wear, Evening Wear and Designer’s Choice. You can see the winners from this week’s EW “Project Runway” photo spread here.
All the designers get kudos for creating anything that wasn't just a bunch of sock puppets on that tight of a budget with unconventional material options. The levels of execution of the 30 looks ranged from student work to professional and ready to hit the stores — at least from my vantage point — but all the designs had a wonderful sense of whimsy and spontaneity. I sat next to Portland Fashion Week ambassador Ryan May, who had high marks for Vanessa Froehling (Stiches by V); her strapless fishtail gown (below) made from a lace-patterned bed sheet took home the prize for Evening Wear. “It was exciting for me because I’ve never made a dress like that before. I’m not used to doing something so elegant,” Froehling told me over the phone.
Myself, and several in the audience, were struck by the designs (seen below, model Cathryn Clover with Wade) of Seams Legit designer Courtney Wade, who didn’t take home any prizes but was the EW pick in this week’s issue. Her slick, black dress designs, styled perfectly with simple black heals and a fat white blossom in the model’s chignon, did not look “recycled.” After the show, I got to chat with Wade about her approach.
“I wanted to stick with a classic look,” Wade says, that was “neutral in color but used a lot of texture.” This is a departure from her typically colorful, more embellished designs. She called it vintage glamour and a “grown-up version” of herself.
I was also struck by the Ready-to-Wear (seen below) look by Julia Paige of Tufflove Designs. The beautiful mix of clashing bold patterns, along with a wide trouser pant and fantastic fabric hoop earings, Paige’s look was one of the most on-the-fashion-pulse designs.
Perhaps the most avant-garde ensembles of the night came from Rhiannon Dark of RHI. Dark took home the prize for Ready-to-Wear made from a wool blanket. “There were holes in it,” Dark says. “It had the feel that maybe someone on the street had worn it, which felt punk to me.”
The outfit was edgy and fresh, but for me, her Evening Wear entry (below) was incredibly memorable. She transformed model Savannah Best into a character à la Tilda Swinton in The Chronicles of Narnia: textured hair, ghostly makeup and some truly imaginative outfits — a sort of punk fairytale.
“My husband lived in Amsterdam for a while,” Dark says of her partner, who was immersed in the Dutch punk subculture. “When we got together I got way into it.”
Kendra Brock (seen below with model Desiree Kuenkele - someone's gotta get this woman a role on Mad Men, right?) of Kendra Grace Designs nabbed the prize for Designer’s Choice with her signature playful take on a t-shirt dress. “It was really nice for me that it did win because it’s what I do most of the time, which is making dresses from upcycled t-shirts. It fit her perfectly,” Brock told me the morning after the show. It was great to see Brock, whose background is in sculpture, push herself to work with other fabrics like linen and denim. But it’s also easy to see the appeal of her dresses: they’re easy, fun and oh-so Eugene.
Hosanna Haines of Royal Macabre, the dark horse of the show, had some show-stopping looks as well. The detailing on her collars and backlines (below) were edgy, fashion-forward and completely different than anything else on the catwalk that night.
Overall, it was a great night for Eugene fashion leaving me hungry for Eugene Fashion Week this fall.
(All photos thanks to the marvelous and talented Athena Delene.)
Kinda behind on posting these but I caught up with Bombadil before their show last week at Sam Bond's. We took some photos in the studio and around the Whit. One of the live shots made Rolling Stone's Hottest Live Photos of 2014.
In this week's EW election coverage I write about who donated how much money to which campaign. One of the first rules of journalism (and keep in mind there are a lot of "number one rules of journalism") is follow the money.
Want to do a little Oregon campaign stalking yourself? Here's how.
Go to the Oregon Secretary of State's web site. Then click "elections." From there choose (conveniently enough) the link that says "follow the money in Orestar." ("Campaign finance violations" is another fun one to surf.)
I usually search the "Committee/filer search by name" tab and type the name of the person running into the box labeled "committee/filer name."
Here, typing in "Bozievich" gets you West Lane Commissioner candidate Jay Bozievich's "Friends of Jay Bozievich" committee.
The committe page tells you who filed the committee, who the treasurer is and contact information. It also gives you links to the data.
Clicking "account summary" gets you this year's totals of what was spent and what came in. Hitting previous at the bottom of that page gets you the numbers from previous years. As of today, Bozievich is reporting more than $109,000 in donations in 2014 and more than $115,000 in expenditures. There are a couple reasons a candidate may have spent more than he or she has brought in, and one is there is sometimes a (legal) lag time in when candidates report money after they get it.
To see who gave money and how much, click the "campaign finance activity" link on the committee page.
Here we can see that Bozievich's most recent donations include $25o from Reed's Trucking and $14,500 from the Community Action Network. He's spent $15,000 with New Media Northwest — probably on television commericials.
Want to know who's behind the Community Action Network and has all that money? Type Community Action Network into the box where you typed Bozievich's name on your original search. That gets you the committe page telling you it was created by Dennis Morgan. Clicking the "campaign finance activity" link shows you who gave money (cash contribution) and where CAN spent money (expenditure). Looks like a lot of the money came from the timber industry: Giustina, Murphy Company and Delta Construction, to name a few. Now go have fun web-stalking campaign donations.