Best of Eugene 2008-2009: The Kitchen Sink
Best all-ages hangout
|Best all-ages hangout: WOW Hall|
1. WOW Hall 291 W. 8th Ave. 687-2746.
2. Saturday Market 8th & Oak. 686-8885.
3. Cozmic Pizza 199 W. 8th Ave. 338-9333.
Best moment in local sports (Aug. ’07-Aug. ’08)
1. Olympic Trials
2. UO football team beats USC
3. UO football team’s Sun Bowl victory over South Florida
|Best moment in local sports: Olympic Trials|
After a 28-year hiatus, the U.S. Track and Field Team Trials triumphantly returned to Hayward Field that looked like it was pumped up on steroids. This walling in of Hayward with four temporary grandstands created an all-encompassing sound chamber that worked its magic best when boosting local talent on to glory, as witnessed (and voted for in this category) in the men’s 800m final, where three Oregon runners qualified for the Olympics in a sweep for the ages. To paraphrase our live-blog of the race: With Nick Symmonds pouring on the heat in the final 130 meters, his enormous kick virtually assuring his victory, all eyes turn to 6’ 5” UO sophomore Andrew Wheating, who is, as usual, taking longer to get into gear. He swings wide on the final curve. But the crowd’s roar is beyond enormous. Just literally apeshit Hayward-style. Wheating looks like he’s being carried to second place on angel wings and has little unicorns for shoes, his face emoting his own disbelief. The battle for the third seat to Beijing is a blur, with both Christian Smith and Khadevis Robinson face-planting on the finish line. According to technology only visible to a computer, Christian Smith has the faster face-plant. We keep watching this race on YouTube, and it gives us goosebumps every time.
Favorite roller derby player
1. Screamin’ Mimi
2. tie: Lady Lumps / One-Eyed Jack
3. Raggeddy Slamm
She’s 4 feet 11.5 inches tall with straight, long blonde hair. She’s tiny, but there’s no way you could miss this hellion on the track. Screamin’ Mimi is, or rather, sadly, was the fast-skatin’ point-scorin’ “jammer” for the Andromedolls. Why did our readers pick her as their fave athlete on wheels? “It’s because of the monster I turn into when I put on my skates!” says Screamin’ Mimi. Fans can see her easily “because I stand out,” she says.
Eugene’s favorite roller derby player recently moved to California, where she’s already helping to coach the Humboldt County Roller Girls, but a break from skating is probably on the horizon. “I’m pregnant, having a little roller derby baby on April 1!” she says. “I’m in California now, but I think Eugene will always be my home,” she says. “I’m just so pleased, and it kind of hurts because I feel like I left something really special, but I will never forget this roller derby adventure. It’s been great!”
Best way to improve Eugene
1. Make more of / clean up downtown
2. More bike friendly / bike paths / bike lanes
3. Fix roads / fill potholes
Downtown has never recovered from retail flight to the shopping malls built three decades ago with freeway subsidies. How to fix the problem? A public park with an interactive fountain across from the library would give the area a boost, as would the Beam project, a student dormitory, a big indoor farmers’ market, further growth of the nightlife scene and reining in urban sprawl. Eugene shouldn’t become another sprawling, Anywhere-USA mess without a there there. Eugene needs a heart.
Best local TV news
KMTR NewsSource 16 keeps winning big journalism awards and enjoys low newsroom turnover despite changes in ownership. The NBC affiliate lags a bit behind KEZI and KVAL in news viewers, but there’s only one Helmsley the Weather Dog, and hot reporters like Marc Mullins in the morning keep us coming back.
Best radio show or DJ
1. The Donkey Show (KFLY 101.5 FM)
2. The Girls Room (KWVA 88.1 FM)
3. De Ampy Soul Hama (KWVA 88.1 FM)
Best thing about Eugene Weekly
1. It’s free
2. “Savage Love”
3. Calendar / events listings
We like to think our readers would gladly shell out a buck a copy, but we love giving away our labor of love, casting our pearls among unicorns. And our advertisers delight in that EW is everywhere and read by just about everyone. Ah, the best things in life are free.
Worst thing about Eugene Weekly
1. Liberal bias
3. “¡Ask a Mexican!”
Guilty we be of leftward leanings. We remain shamelessly unbalanced in favor of environmental sanity, democracy, justice, transparent government, unfettered artistic expression, free speech and sex — and not particularly in that order.
Best category we didn’t include (and who’d win it)
Honestly? Counting — really counting, and doublechecking and everything — this category would have driven us, our interns and our significant others mad. Everybody voted for something different! Just proof of all the different voices in Eugene, we think. We would, however, like to take this chance to apologize to all the baristas out there. No one can figure out how the Best Barista category fell off the ballot, and we wish it hadn’t. If we screw this up again, you may flog one of us with a wet dish towel.
Apologies aside, a few people, places and things did get notably more votes than most other things, and they deserve a mention. Without further ado, and in no particular order:
Best Place to Make Out: Josh at the Horsehead. “He is plush, comfortable, and makes any session of loving much less awkward.” We’re not sure if we want to find out whether Josh is a person or a sweetly named piece of furniture, but we like your style, Josh-lovers.
Best Student Publication: South Eugene High School’s Inconspicuous Lit
Best Yoga Studio: Life Force Fitness
Best Delivery Driver: Sally from Emerald Valley Kitchen. Sally sent a letter making her case, but that’s not why she’s listed here (thought it certainly didn’t hurt); she earned quite a few votes beside her own. As Sally wrote of herself and her fellow delivery-makers, “We’re in and out of stores all over town — bringing everyone’s favorite locally made foods to the shelves while putting a face on our company’s presence as well.”