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August 29, 2014 04:53 PM

We just heard that Tom Peter, noted journalist, author and foreign correspondent, will be speaking at noon Sunday, Aug. 31, at First Church-Christ Scientist, 13th and Pearl in Eugene. Peter has most recently been covering Syria, and before that Afghanistan and Iraq. See http://www.tomapeter.com/

August 27, 2014 05:13 PM

The 2014-2015 school year marks the first year that students will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, a standardized test aligned with the new Common Core State Standards. The Eugene School District 4J recently shared Smarter Balanced's request for community members to weigh in on how difficult the test questions are, in light of the fact that "the state of Oregon and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium want to ensure Smarter Balanced achievement levels reflect challenging but fair expectations for all Oregon students."

Groups like the Oregon Education Association, which called for a moritorium on the test, feel that the implementation is too rushed, and some say the standards were not tested on children before they were implemented

Although students will be the ones taking the test, the Smarter Balanced Consortium is asking "educators, parents and business leaders" to "recommend achievement levels after reviewing test questions from selected English and math tests."

The Smarter Balanced website says volunteer reviewers will have the opportunity to "review actual test items, recommend proficiency scores and help establish consistent measures of student progress." In order to participate, register here by Sept. 19.

August 24, 2014 01:39 PM

Dr. Samuel Metz explains how single payer health insurance could work in Oregon.

August 15, 2014 01:09 PM

August 14, 2014 04:48 PM

Gender disparity in the tech field: It's still there. That's why Portland-based Janice Levenhagen-Seeley, an alum of Oregon State University, created ChickTech, a group dedicated to fostering opportunities for women and girls to pursue robotics, coding or any other aspect of the computer science world that is traditionally dominated by men. 

A free, upcoming workshop for high school girls, Aug. 23-24 at OSU, will offer robot-building classes, video game programming, smartphone application designing and more. Girls get to stay overnight at the dorms, and on Aug. 24, they'll display their newly-made projects at Kelley Engineering Center on OSU campus. 

According to OSU's website: 

The event is designed as a fun, positive learning experience to build participants’ confidence in their technical abilities, provide positive role models, and create connections with other young women from the area.


For more info and registration forms, see ChickTech's website.

August 14, 2014 05:49 PM

Last night at the Summer in the City runway show, the team behind Eugene Fashion Week announced the new location of the next fashion week: Ninkasi's new administration palace, err, building in the Whit. Eugene Fashion Week will take place the second week of October this year, rather than its usual springtime dates, shortly after Portland Fashion Week (Sept. 29-Oct.  2).

Eugene Fashion Week has also added a fourth show to the festivities this year. In addition to lingerie/swimwear, ready to wear, and couture, audiences will also see a retail show.

Until then, enjoy these pictures from last night's packed show featuring all-local designs in the lobby of the Hult Center:

August 13, 2014 11:37 AM

This short blurb quoting Peter Van Buren was sent out today by the Institute for Public Accuracy, http://www.accuracy.org/

Peter Van Buren is a 24-year veteran of the State Department who spent a year in Iraq. Following his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, the Department of State began proceedings against him. The book, published in 2011, called out the State Department for failing to reduce the root problems in Iraq, both the Sunni-Shia tribal/political/religious divides as well as the failed civil and municipal infrastructures that underlay widespread discontent with the Iraqi government. Instead of reviewing Van Buren's arguments, the State Department sought to prosecute him as a whistleblower, until the intercession of the Government Accountability Project and the ACLU allowed Van Buren to depart his 24 years of government service on his own terms.

He wrote the piece “Why Air Strikes in Iraq Are a Mistake,” in “the Dissenter” blog at Firedoglake, which stresses the need to "Understand how deep the U.S. is already in. It is highly likely that U.S. Special Forces are active on the ground, conducting reconnaissance missions and laser-designating targets for circling U.S. aircraft. If U.S. planes are overhead, U.S. search and rescue assets are not far away, perhaps in desert forward operating positions. This is how bigger wars begin. Go Google 'Vietnam War,' say starting about 1963.

"The U.S. media is playing the meme that the U.S. is worried about Christian minority in Iraq, as a way to engorge the American people with blood. But the media fails to note that over half of Iraq’s Christians were killed or fled during the U.S. occupation. ... Separating the people from the insurgents is CounterInsurgency 101. Instead, via airstrikes, the U.S. has gone all-in on side of Iraqi Shias and Kurds. You cannot bomb away a political movement. You cannot kill an idea that motivates millions of people with a Hellfire missile."

August 13, 2014 11:20 AM

Seattle singer-songwriter and rising star Shelby Earl will be hitting up Sam Bond’s Sunday night, Aug.17 (see “Burn Boats, Not Bridges” in the Aug. 14 issue of Eugene Weekly). While catching up with Earl over the phone last week, I had to ask her about the music video (posted below) for her hit song “Swift Arrows,” a video that is at once a hilarious, heartbreaking and disturbing David Lynchian vignette of a couple’s anniversary gone awry.

“Essentially, it is in no way autobiographical,” Earl says, laughing. “The guy who directed it, Neil Ferron — we were sitting drinking wine one night coming up with ideas. And he’s a weirdo. He’s kind of a weird genius.”

Earl and Ferron, a Seattle-based writer and filmmaker, discussed the goal of music videos. “Why make a music video unless it’s going to be really interesting and have depth.”

Ferron pitched the anniversary idea to Earl.

“It struck this chord with me. It made me feel the way the song makes me feel. It’s an outrageous thing,” Earl says. “The storyline is absurd. The song came from a life that’s absurd — a stranger-than-fiction type thing.”

 Earl says that all the actors are professional Seattle theatre people. Amy Thone, an actor and casting director for the Seattle Shakespeare Company, plays the lead and steals the show. Peter Crook’s shit-eating grin as the adulterous husband also deserves a nod.

“I was on set for all the filming. I just started to bawl,” Earl says of Thone’s performance. “She gets it.”

Photo by Francisco Macias

August 13, 2014 01:17 PM

Polaroids by Dmitri von Klein.

Visit his Pickathon gallery to view more.

Valerie June Unknown Mortal Orchestra People Under The Stairs Warpaint on the Mountain View Stage Cahalen Morrison Bobby Patterson Shakey Graves Those Darlins Warpaint The infamous kitchen jam!!  


Photos by Todd Cooper

View more in SPIN's Best of Pickathon gallery or on my site.

The War on Drugs Angel Olsen Bobby Patterson Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer Diarrhea Planet Diarrhea Planet melting brains at the Woods stage EDJ Foxygen Julianna Barwick Lonnie Holley telling us about our "cold titty mama". Mac De Marco People Under The Stairs Shakey Graves Son Little The Sadies Those Darlins Unknown Mortal Orchestra   Valerie June Warpaint

August 13, 2014 10:17 AM

“We’ve got a nice long rock ‘n’ roll show for you tonight,” Tom Petty said from the stage of Eugene’s Matthew Knight Arena Aug. 7. “So call the babysitter and tell her you’re gonna be late.”

Most of the audience at the Tom Petty/Steve Winwood concert was — shall we say — of a certain vintage. So the babysitter joke solicited a groaning chuckle from the crowd. My wife and I looked at one another, thinking of our own daughter at home with a sitter. We high-fived bemusedly: “I guess we’re old enough to get that joke now.”

“Her boyfriend’s just getting up-in-there about now, anyway,” Petty quipped and the chuckle became a roar. Oh, Tom — you salty dog.

That’s not to say the Tom Petty/Steve Winwood show was strictly for the blue-hairs. A buzzing mix of people attended the effectively sold-out show, the excitement palpable from outside the venue. Winwood’s set might’ve been better in a more intimate blues club, but his signature voice was in fine form and as he brought the house down with his hit “Higher Love.”

Petty and his long-time backing band The Heartbreakers took the stage with a youthful spring to their step, a bunch of old buddies and it felt that way. What followed was a dizzying selection of Petty hits from his nearly 40 years in the business — hits from all the different Toms: power-pop Petty (“Refugee” and “American Girl”), country-rock Tom (“Into the Great Wide Open”), blues-rock Tom (“Runnin’ Down A Dream”), classic rock Tom (“Last Dance with Mary Jane”) and even Traveling Wilbury’s Tom. Looking around the crowd every man and woman, young and old, knew every word to every song. Petty and his band even worked their way ably through some tracks from their latest release Hypnotic Eye and an Elvis and Byrds cover for good measure.

Matthew Knight Arena is a great place to see a show of this scale. The sound was clear and present — particularly lead-guitarist Mike Campbell’s virtuosity — and the venue large and intimate at the same time. Petty’s Dylan-esque sing-talk delivery is as distinctive as ever. I hope we continue to see acts of Petty’s caliber come through town.

I found myself thinking: did everything this guy write become a hit? I could think of another 12 hit songs the guy didn’t play. Did Petty quietly and subtly soundtrack an American generation? What is it about Tom Petty that makes him so undeniably likeable?

And in “Free-fallin’” Petty sang: “I’m a bad boy/ ’cause I don’t even miss her/ I’m a bad boy, for breaking her heart.” Then I knew: if you can keep the fire in your belly alive, rock ‘n’ roll does keep you young. Petty sings for the underdog, the down-and-out, the American romantic, the brokenhearted and the brokenhearted romantic. Tom Petty doesn’t grow up because, try as we might, we all have to.

August 12, 2014 04:27 PM

Sarah Palin appears to be quite intoxicated in this video, but is it fake? Maybe not.

August 7, 2014 04:06 PM

Too stoned to read EW's recent marijuana coverage? (Or simply an "inexperienced consumer? Sorry, pot legalization is no laughing matter but there's something about weed that just gives us the giggles). Eugene Cannabis TV, which is sort of the Grateful Dead meets Between Two Ferns, is here to get you updated on the world of weed. Episode 541 includes a reading of an EW article covering our Stirring the Pot forum that clears up some misconceptions about upcoming marijuana legalization measures.