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December 8, 2016 12:00 AM

Lidia Yuknavitch is a beast of an author. Her writing is raw, uncensored and has a strength that can only come from living one hell of a life (check out her Ted Talk “The Beauty of Being a Misfit”). Yuknavitch — a University of Oregon graduate and current literature workshop teacher in Portland — has gone from being a professional swimmer to a mother whose daughter died, and from a dazed lover of substances to a best-selling novelist. Her craft has always been constant in her life: She must write. 

Lidia Yuknavitch is a beast of an author. Her writing is raw, uncensored and has a strength that can only come from living one hell of a life (check out her Ted Talk “The Beauty of Being a Misfit”). Yuknavitch — a University of Oregon graduate and current literature workshop teacher in Portland — has gone from being a professional swimmer to a mother whose daughter died, and from a dazed lover of substances to a best-selling novelist. Her craft has always been constant in her life: She must write. 

December 8, 2016 12:00 AM

The Eugene Public Library says when it comes to reading, it’s going to stay out of the fray over print ebook versus audio. “In practice, most people enjoy books in each of these ways at different times,” the library’s director, Connie Bennett, says, adding: “At Eugene Public Library, we believe in freedom of format!”

The Eugene Public Library says when it comes to reading, it’s going to stay out of the fray over print ebook versus audio. “In practice, most people enjoy books in each of these ways at different times,” the library’s director, Connie Bennett, says, adding: “At Eugene Public Library, we believe in freedom of format!”

December 8, 2016 12:00 AM

When it comes to “buy local,” that suggestion can apply to your reading as well. Throughout the year, local authors drop off their books at EW or send links to their e-published work. We can’t read them all, but somebody should. So we offer you our annual self-published roundup.

When it comes to “buy local,” that suggestion can apply to your reading as well. Throughout the year, local authors drop off their books at EW or send links to their e-published work. We can’t read them all, but somebody should. So we offer you our annual self-published roundup.

December 8, 2016 12:00 AM

fiction

Willful Disregard: A Novel About Love by Lena Andersson, translated Sarah Death. Other Press, $15.95.

December 8, 2016 12:00 AM

essays

 

If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: The Graduation speeches and Other Words to Live By by Kurt Vonnegut. Seven Stories Press, $23.95.

December 8, 2016 12:00 AM

nonfiction

 

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West. Hachette Books, $29.95.

December 8, 2016 12:00 AM

Tsunami Books 

 

Favorites

2585 Willamette Street

541-345-8986

tsunamibooks.org

 

Scott Landfield’s staff pick: 

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. Simon and Schuster, $32.50.

 

Store Favorites:  

Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig. Riverhead Books, $28.95.

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem. Random House, $18.

December 1, 2016 12:00 AM

We hear it all the time: People pick up Eugene Weekly for the letters. That’s great news. A local paper with readers who are engaged enough to write in and read what others have to say is healthy for democracy, even if it’s one more conspiracy letter about the chemtrail dragons spraying wrath upon our fair, naïve valley. 

This year we wanted to thank our engaged readership by collecting our favorite letters (and online feedback) of 2016 so far, whether they be poignant, inspirational, irreverent, angry, hilarious, compassionate, conspiratorial, offensive or insightful, because they are, after all, a reflection of our community, for better or worse. It’s also a swell and, at times, jarring way to take one last stroll through 2016, an unprecedented year in many ways. Hindsight is 2020.

We hear it all the time: People pick up Eugene Weekly for the letters. That’s great news. A local paper with readers who are engaged enough to write in and read what others have to say is healthy for democracy, even if it’s one more conspiracy letter about the chemtrail dragons spraying wrath upon our fair, naïve valley. 

November 23, 2016 12:00 AM

A massive earthquake, a toxic chemical spill, a huge forest fire. If a disaster strikes the McKenzie River, it strikes Eugene’s sole source of drinking water. There is also the possibility of a “malevolent attack on the water system,” EWEB says. 

In these worst-case scenarios the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) has only one or two days of drinking water in its 94 million gallons of storage during the summer months.

And to put it simply: Without water, people die.

A massive earthquake, a toxic chemical spill, a huge forest fire. If a disaster strikes the McKenzie River, it strikes Eugene’s sole source of drinking water. There is also the possibility of a “malevolent attack on the water system,” EWEB says. 

In these worst-case scenarios the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) has only one or two days of drinking water in its 94 million gallons of storage during the summer months.

And to put it simply: Without water, people die.

November 17, 2016 12:00 AM

On a hot July afternoon, 23-year-old Nicholas Kaasa travels down Broadway in his power wheelchair. The chair is a machine to behold, tank-like, with three gray wheels on each side. It’s outfitted with headlights and red circular taillights, along with orange hazard lights that flash when needed.

With the push of a button, Kaasa can go vertical: A hydraulic seat lift raises him half a foot from the chair’s base. On the left side is attached a black leather, metal-studded saddlebag of the kind more often found on a Harley; it has a Seattle Seahawks logo and silver letters that spell "ICK." “I should probably find that ‘N,’” Kaasa says.

Kaasa — who has cerebral palsy and vision impairment — cannot walk and uses the wheelchair to get around. When I ask him how fast it can go, he responds: “You want to check that?” And then he’s gone, shooting down the sidewalk at warp speed. His answer when I catch up: “Fast.”

Nicholas Kaasa

 

November 10, 2016 12:00 AM

Every other year, University of Oregon professor Marc Schlossberg takes his students to the Netherlands or Denmark — Copenhagen is a bicycling utopia, where 45 percent of people commute by bike. It’s a cyclist’s dream come true.

Students from Eugene explore the European streets by bike, opening their eyes to a world where people take cycling seriously. 

“My mind was blown by the things I saw in Copenhagen,” writes student Holly Hixon in a 2015 compilation of the students’ reflections on the class. “The cycle track system is so complete, comfortable, heavily used by every type of person you can imagine and is ingrained in their way of life as a major form of transportation.”

Illustration by Sarah Decker

 

November 3, 2016 12:00 AM

Filching a page from one of the most baffling political campaigns of the modern era, we asked you to help us Make Eugene Great Again by voting in our annual Best of Eugene readers’ poll. The trouble with governing Eugene by consensus is getting a city of punks, losers, college kids, transients, misfits, strays, normals, hillbillies, skippers, artists, techies and hippies to agree on one definition of greatness. Maybe you prefer Eugene to be a dingy crater with reasonable rents. Could be you’d like to see Eugene clean up its act once and for all. Rather than doing much research or studying trends or even lifting a finger to determine the will of the people, we printed (again for the 20th time, or so) a ballot in the pages of our newspaper and waited. And a few thousand of you responded. Some of you maybe even voted your consciences.

Filching a page from one of the most baffling political campaigns of the modern era, we asked you to help us Make Eugene Great Again by voting in our annual Best of Eugene readers’ poll. The trouble with governing Eugene by consensus is getting a city of punks, losers, college kids, transients, misfits, strays, normals, hillbillies, skippers, artists, techies and hippies to agree on one definition of greatness. Maybe you prefer Eugene to be a dingy crater with reasonable rents. Could be you’d like to see Eugene clean up its act once and for all.

November 3, 2016 12:00 AM

 

 

Best desserts

1. Sweet Life Patisserie 755 Monroe St., 1609 E. 19th Ave. 683-5676. sweetlifedesserts.com.

2. Noisette Pastry Kitchen 200 W. Broadway. 654-5257. noisettepk.com.

November 3, 2016 12:00 AM

 

 

Best artist

1. Shanna Trumbly trumblydesigns.com.

2. Ila Rose ilarose.com.

3. Sarah Sedwick sarahsedwick.com.

 

October 27, 2016 12:00 AM

On a misty October afternoon, six of us — adults ages 27 to 45 — stand in a strip mall parking lot, high-fiving, wiping sweat from our brows and giggling, rowdy from the silliness and mental acrobatics of the past few hours. We stroll over to nearby Dizzy Dean’s Donuts to reward and replenish ourselves with sticky treats for unraveling an ancient Egyptian mystery and surviving a bloodthirsty zombie attack. 

I mean, come on folks, how much do you accomplish in a workday?

On a misty October afternoon, six of us — adults ages 27 to 45 — stand in a strip mall parking lot, high-fiving, wiping sweat from our brows and giggling, rowdy from the silliness and mental acrobatics of the past few hours. We stroll over to nearby Dizzy Dean’s Donuts to reward and replenish ourselves with sticky treats for unraveling an ancient Egyptian mystery and surviving a bloodthirsty zombie attack. 

I mean, come on folks, how much do you accomplish in a workday?

October 27, 2016 12:00 AM

October 27, 2016 12:00 AM

Police in August responded to calls from a South Carolina school saying that scary clowns tried luring some kids into the nearby woods. Around the same time and not far away, goofballs in face paint and fright wigs taunted a little boy outside the apartment complex where he lives.

Law enforcement agencies from Eugene to Florida, and beyond, are fielding panicked calls from traumatized parents who say demented jokers are harassing their little ones.

Police in August responded to calls from a South Carolina school saying that scary clowns tried luring some kids into the nearby woods. Around the same time and not far away, goofballs in face paint and fright wigs taunted a little boy outside the apartment complex where he lives.

Law enforcement agencies from Eugene to Florida, and beyond, are fielding panicked calls from traumatized parents who say demented jokers are harassing their little ones.

Clowns in Alabama sent schools into total lockdown by making vague death threats on Facebook.

October 27, 2016 12:00 AM

Local writer and filmmaker Henry Weintraub suspects that the horror genre has come to a dead end.

“Modern horror movies don’t really capture me too much,” Weintraub says. “It’s so formulaic. I don’t love a horror movie that’s come out in the last 20 years.”

This, coming from an independent filmmaker whose first full-length feature movie was a zombie flick (Melvin, 2009) followed by a gritty noir thriller (The Darkest Side of Paradise, 2010) and a dark comedy about a wanna-be serial killer (Killing Me, 2012). With these films, promising as they are for such a young talent, Weintraub feels that he’s gone about as far as he can go in a genre that is now dominated by big-budget rehash, like the Saw franchise.

Local writer and filmmaker Henry Weintraub suspects that the horror genre has come to a dead end.

“Modern horror movies don’t really capture me too much,” Weintraub says. “It’s so formulaic. I don’t love a horror movie that’s come out in the last 20 years.”

October 20, 2016 12:00 AM

U.S. President 

Hillary Clinton (D) vs. Donald Trump (R), Gary Johnson (L), Jill Stein (G)

October 20, 2016 12:00 AM

This election year feels toxic. The current rhetoric and anger of the presidential race seems to be permeating everything. How did we wind up with a reality TV star, who admits to grabbing at the vaginas of women he finds attractive, running for our highest office? Where did all the starry-eyed Berners go? Where are we going, and how did we get in this handbasket?

As former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’̓Neil once said, “all politics is local,” and if we want better politicians at the top, we need to start getting involved in politics at the local level. But jumping into politics can be intimidating — just understanding how our Eugene City Council operates can be confusing. 

So we present you with this brief guide to local politics, how to get involved and how to watchdog your government.

Don’t let this election get you down. Instead, let it be the spark to make positive change. — Camilla Mortensen

Who runs the city?

Public records keep the government transparent

Why care about the county commission?

School board powers and planning

Why don't you run for office?

This election year feels toxic. The current rhetoric and anger of the presidential race seems to be permeating everything. How did we wind up with a reality TV star, who admits to grabbing at the vaginas of women he finds attractive, running for our highest office? Where did all the starry-eyed Berners go? Where are we going, and how did we get in this handbasket?

October 20, 2016 12:00 AM

The federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has allowed the public to request documents from any federal agency since 1967. In 1973, Oregon enacted its own Public Records and Public Meetings Laws, modeling it on the FOIA. These laws allow the media and the public to act as “watchdogs” over government, though Oregon’s law has weakened over the years.

The federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has allowed the public to request documents from any federal agency since 1967. In 1973, Oregon enacted its own Public Records and Public Meetings Laws, modeling it on the FOIA. These laws allow the media and the public to act as “watchdogs” over government, though Oregon’s law has weakened over the years.

October 20, 2016 12:00 AM

The workings of a school district can appear mysterious to the uninitiated. School boards most often appear in the public eye when they make a controversial decision or take a position on something of a political nature, like a ballot measure or federal mandate.

In its most rudimentary function, a school board sets a school district’s budget, chooses its superintendent and sets policy, but local school board members say there’s a lot more to it than that.

The workings of a school district can appear mysterious to the uninitiated. School boards most often appear in the public eye when they make a controversial decision or take a position on something of a political nature, like a ballot measure or federal mandate.

In its most rudimentary function, a school board sets a school district’s budget, chooses its superintendent and sets policy, but local school board members say there’s a lot more to it than that.

October 20, 2016 12:00 AM

With elections just around the corner, it’s time to examine how Eugene’s city government works, and what we’re electing these folks to do.

Eugene has a city manager form of government, meaning that the City Council and mayor decide legislative goals and ordinances, and then hire a city manager (Eugene’s is John Ruiz) to see those goals through and run the day-to-day bureaucracy of government. The city manager is one of only three direct employees to the council and mayor, and he is in charge of the city staff in all departments. Councilors and the mayor go through the city manager to work within departments. 

With elections just around the corner, it’s time to examine how Eugene’s city government works, and what we’re electing these folks to do.

October 20, 2016 12:00 AM

The five member Lane County Commission administers the approximately $450 million that federal, state and local taxpayers provide to Lane County, South Lane Commissioner Pete Sorenson tells EW

The five member Lane County Commission administers the approximately $450 million that federal, state and local taxpayers provide to Lane County, South Lane Commissioner Pete Sorenson tells EW