• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Lead Story

May 21, 2015 01:00 AM

In May, as the sun sets each evening, thousands of small birds swarm above the brown brick chimney of Agate Hall on the University of Oregon campus. They are Vaux’s swifts, newly arrived from Central America. When the light begins to die, the cloud flies together and spins into a funnel above the chimney mouth and the swifts dive down to roost for the night.

In May, as the sun sets each evening, thousands of small birds swarm above the brown brick chimney of Agate Hall on the University of Oregon campus. They are Vaux’s swifts, newly arrived from Central America. When the light begins to die, the cloud flies together and spins into a funnel above the chimney mouth and the swifts dive down to roost for the night.

Below in the parking lot, a dozen people watch the show, including Maeve Sowles, president of Lane County Audubon Society.

May 21, 2015 01:00 AM

For most Eugeneans, “foraging” means a trip to Market of Choice or The Kiva. But the ability to forage for food in the wild, a throwback from our hunter-gatherer days, has a certain appeal and lets food-intrepid adventurers connect their nourishment to the outdoors. 

For most Eugeneans, “foraging” means a trip to Market of Choice or The Kiva. But the ability to forage for food in the wild, a throwback from our hunter-gatherer days, has a certain appeal and lets food-intrepid adventurers connect their nourishment to the outdoors. 

Pat Patterson, currently a volunteer master gardener with Lane County’s Oregon State University Extension, has been foraging since her grandmother tasked her with gathering stinging nettle and other wild greens when she was young. Foraging is “very in,” Patterson says. 

May 21, 2015 01:00 AM

Despite the potentially disastrous effects a multiyear, recording-breaking drought will have on the people and wildlife of western Oregon, there is a small consolation prize: early season hiking near the Cascade Crest.

Despite the potentially disastrous effects a multiyear, recording-breaking drought will have on the people and wildlife of western Oregon, there is a small consolation prize: early season hiking near the Cascade Crest.

Typically trails in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness are under snow through late June, but with snowpack in the Willamette Basin at an abysmal 8 percent of the normal snowpack for that area, the majority of snow below 6,000 feet has already melted. 

May 21, 2015 01:00 AM

Forget this remote BLM campground north of Bend if you hate bad roads, rattlesnakes, ticks, heat and bugs the size of your thumb that crawl up inside your pant legs. And forget your dog. This time of year brings acres of foxtails, nasty little barbed seedpods that can get up dog snouts and work their way into dog brains.

Forget this remote BLM campground north of Bend if you hate bad roads, rattlesnakes, ticks, heat and bugs the size of your thumb that crawl up inside your pant legs. And forget your dog. This time of year brings acres of foxtails, nasty little barbed seedpods that can get up dog snouts and work their way into dog brains.

May 14, 2015 01:00 AM

There’s a pub on the outskirts of London that will forever hold a piece of Colin Graham’s heart. Though he moved away from London in 2012, Graham can easily picture his old neighborhood watering hole, the Two Brewers, down to the nitty-gritty details — a chipped tile here, a spray of graffiti there. He remembers the kindhearted staff and his friend performing drag in its cabaret, as well as the stroll home at the end of the night to his flat. It’s the spot where he’d bring visiting friends and family and where he met the father of his children.

John O’Malley (kneeling with suitcase, front row left) and Colin Graham (holding disco ball, back row right) with the community in front of the future Hammered Lamb Pub. Photo by Athena Delene.

 

May 7, 2015 01:00 AM

In ancient times, a traditional Roman town often had two major streets: the cardo and the decumanus. Where those two streets intersected, Romans built a forum or public space that marked the intersection as significant. In Eugene, says UO professor of architecture James Tice, Willamette Street is the cardo, and Broadway is the decumanus.

In ancient times, a traditional Roman town often had two major streets: the cardo and the decumanus. Where those two streets intersected, Romans built a forum or public space that marked the intersection as significant. 

In Eugene, says UO professor of architecture James Tice, Willamette Street is the cardo, and Broadway is the decumanus.

“Whether people know it or not, the placement of Kesey Square is highly appropriate, and it’s an echo of that impulse to mark those two important streets,” Tice says. 

April 30, 2015 01:00 AM

Like so many of us, I grew up on Sesame Street, that magical Manhattan block where fuzzy puppets and real people cooperate and collaborate and teach the ABCs of life. Seated before the television in my pajamas, laughing at Ernie’s antics and wondering what it was like inside Oscar’s garbage can, I was gifted the rudiments of an education that was at once practical and deeply moral.

Like so many of us, I grew up on Sesame Street, that magical Manhattan block where fuzzy puppets and real people cooperate and collaborate and teach the ABCs of life. Seated before the television in my pajamas, laughing at Ernie’s antics and wondering what it was like inside Oscar’s garbage can, I was gifted the rudiments of an education that was at once practical and deeply moral.

Big Bird still breaks my heart. Oscar still makes me giggle.

April 23, 2015 01:00 AM

“I didn’t choose to teach low-income, first-generation college students because the work was lucrative, but because it was meaningful,” Michael Copperman writes in a letter to the University of Oregon English Department, where he teaches composition to at-risk students of color.

When Copperman took his full-time position nine years ago, he writes, “I made barely $25,000 a year.” 

The UO, like schools across the country, has long relied on part-time and non-career-track faculty, in addition to its full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty, to teach its students, but these adjunct, contingent and non-career faculty — the names are varied and confusing — often make far less money, with little to no opportunity for advancement or job security. 

The university ‘can’t get together a respectful offer to those who teach thousands and
thousands of students and run research labs.’  — Michael Dreiling, United Academics

 

April 16, 2015 01:00 AM

A lot of money goes into denying climate change, and yet despite the best efforts of corporations to deny it, Oregon just had its warmest winter on record, according to the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI): “Eugene was 4.6 degrees warmer than average in December, 2.9 degrees warmer in January, and 5.3 degrees in February.” 

Eugene had a record high of 68 in January, and February had five days of temperatures in the 60s.  This might feel good for now, but its implications for our seas, plants, animals and water supply are huge, from wolverines who can’t survive in warming wild places to the drought in California and in five Oregon counties.

A lot of money goes into denying climate change, and yet despite the best efforts of corporations to deny it, Oregon just had its warmest winter on record, according to the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI): “Eugene was 4.6 degrees warmer than average in December, 2.9 degrees warmer in January, and 5.3 degrees in February.” 

April 16, 2015 01:00 AM

Frogs really don’t stay in a pot of slowly boiling water and die. Given a chance to jump out, they will. That anecdote has been used endlessly to describe people who simply don’t react to negative changes if they happen gradually. And it would be a useful one to describe Oregonians and our changing climate … if it were true. 

Frogs really don’t stay in a pot of slowly boiling water and die. Given a chance to jump out, they will. That anecdote has been used endlessly to describe people who simply don’t react to negative changes if they happen gradually. And it would be a useful one to describe Oregonians and our changing climate … if it were true. 

Slow boiling frogs might be apocryphal, but our changing climate is real.

April 16, 2015 01:00 AM

In 1994, when astronomer Carl Sagan called our home planet a “pale blue dot,” he described the essence of our fragility. Viewed from Voyager 1, millions of miles away, our entire existence is reduced to a single speck. 

Longnose butterflyfish in a coral reef off the Philippine Islands. Photo Dwayne Meadows, NOAA.

 

April 9, 2015 01:00 AM

If Rick Bartow reads this — which he won’t, he already told me so — he would probably furrow his brow and mutter something about the article being too “woo-woo,” a term he often uses when talk gets too reverent or lofty, usually in discussions of art or religion. 

Many call him a national treasure, but the artist is not precious about himself or his work. Nor does Bartow like to be romanticized, for his Native Wiyot heritage or for struggles with addiction and PTSD, both of which inspired some of his most poignant work, housed in over 50 museums around the world, including two 20-plus feet cedar columns installed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

If Rick Bartow reads this — which he won’t, he already told me so — he would probably furrow his brow and mutter something about the article being too “woo-woo,” a term he often uses when talk gets too reverent or lofty, usually in discussions of art or religion. 

April 2, 2015 01:00 AM

It was a whim when I entered a crop-eared, scarred-up pitbull named Biggie in the Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship at the Oregon Truffle Festival in January. 

I knew nothing about truffles — only that truffle fries are amazing — and that the objects in question were fungus-related, not chocolate-related, bits of deliciousness. I also knew that, in the past, the Truffle Festival had put on truffle dog training seminars, and truffle hunting sounded fun. 

Not to mention, training a dog to truffle hunt sounded less stressful than teaching one to search for missing people or illegal drugs.

Kris Jacobson of Umami Truffle Dogs displays dog-harvested truffles. Photo courtesy Jeff Kastner

 

March 26, 2015 01:00 AM

Eighty-eight-year-old Greg Giustina says he can remember attending World War II bond rallies at Civic Stadium in the 1940s. “They would bring war heroes to the field, and the early [bond] campaigns of the war would come through and speak,” Giustina says. “When you’re smaller, those things stick to you.”

At the time, bond rallies toured the country, racking up millions of dollars for the war effort and planting memories in the minds of children like Giustina, whose family was entwined with the building and use of Civic Stadium. Giustina Bros. Lumber Co. (now Giustina Resources) donated old-growth beams for the construction of the facility and sponsored the Giustina Reds, who played baseball at Civic in the Cascade League during the ’30s and ’40s, long before the Emeralds even formed. 

Jim watson of Friends of civic stadium stands beneath the stadium’s wooden beams. Photo by Trask Bedortha.

 

March 26, 2015 01:00 AM

Crossing 20th Avenue and heading south on Willamette, the back walls of Civic Stadium seem to rise from the east side of the street. Most who pass it on their daily commute probably no longer notice; others might deem it a ramshackle eyesore. 

Or as Greg Ausland, of the Eugene Civic Alliance, puts it: “Right now, it looks like a beached whale.” 

If you’re a creative type, however, you don’t see a long, drab wall — you see a canvas and the opportunity for great art. And for the imaginative folks familiar with Eugene Civic Alliance’s proposed plan for the entire 10.2-acre parcel of land — a renovated grandstand, a Kidsports fieldhouse, a plaza, new stands, concessions, bike paths and a small park — the Civic site becomes a playground of art possibilities. 

Crossing 20th Avenue and heading south on Willamette, the back walls of Civic Stadium seem to rise from the east side of the street. Most who pass it on their daily commute probably no longer notice; others might deem it a ramshackle eyesore. 

Or as Greg Ausland, of the Eugene Civic Alliance, puts it: “Right now, it looks like a beached whale.” 

March 19, 2015 01:00 AM

We are first and foremost a nation of consumers, and marijuana — which begins its fitful journey into recreational legality in Oregon on July 1 — might be the ultimate consumer product. Like opium and sugar in the early history of this country, marijuana is an addictive, renewable and flexible resource whose uses seem endlessly adaptable to the contingencies of capitalism, where the trick is not to sell the product to the consumer but the consumer to the product.

Slowly but surely, the idea of legal weed is being sold to the American public. But legalization is not decriminalization — not by a long shot. Decriminalizing weed would put it on the same status as potatoes, of which you can grow and eat and trade as many as you like without anyone really batting an eye.

Trimming weed at a eugene dispensary. Photos by Todd Cooper.

 

March 12, 2015 01:00 AM

Why lock people up?

Informed by the frequent press releases from the sheriff’s office, local media began to describe Lane County Jail as a “revolving door” and underfunded to the point that it regularly released even Measure 11 offenders — those who commit serious violent or sex-related crimes — for lack of holding capacity. 

By a margin of 14 percent, Lane County voters approved a five-year levy to double the number of beds at the jail.

Why lock people up?

In the spring of 2013, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office began to give a persuasive reason for putting people behind bars: to keep the dangerous ones away from the public. 

Informed by the frequent press releases from the sheriff’s office, local media began to describe Lane County Jail as a “revolving door” and underfunded to the point that it regularly released even Measure 11 offenders — those who commit serious violent or sex-related crimes — for lack of holding capacity. 

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

Some people dream of sparkling granite countertops, spacious pantries and glossy whirlpool tubs set next to enormous showers tricked out with the latest technology.

Rhonda would just like a bathroom, and Emerald Village Eugene (EVE), a new proposed village of tiny houses, could give her that along with the stability she and others need to get back on their feet. Currently, she lives in Opportunity Village Eugene, but because subsidized, low-income housing is difficult to find, she and her husband need another transitional step — which is where EVE comes in.

Some people dream of sparkling granite countertops, spacious pantries and glossy whirlpool tubs set next to enormous showers tricked out with the latest technology.

Rhonda would just like a bathroom, and Emerald Village Eugene (EVE), a new proposed village of tiny houses, could give her that along with the stability she and others need to get back on their feet. Currently, she lives in Opportunity Village Eugene, but because subsidized, low-income housing is difficult to find, she and her husband need another transitional step — which is where EVE comes in.

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

These days, you can grow apples without the hard work, responsibilities or space required by full-size apple trees.Cute and amazingly compact, columnar apple trees can grow up to 10 feet tall or higher while remaining barely 2 feet wide, and they can be spaced as close as 2 feet apart. The trees need minimal to no pruning, because the few side branches they produce grow vertically and can be removed, shortened or left to increase the crop. 

These days, you can grow apples without the hard work, responsibilities or space required by full-size apple trees.

Cute and amazingly compact, columnar apple trees can grow up to 10 feet tall or higher while remaining barely 2 feet wide, and they can be spaced as close as 2 feet apart. The trees need minimal to no pruning, because the few side branches they produce grow vertically and can be removed, shortened or left to increase the crop. 

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

It’s Garden Love Month here in Lane County, a time to show your affection for rosy radishes and leafy greens. And there’s hardly a better way to share your love for all things vegetable than to volunteer for the School Garden Project, a local nonprofit dedicated to bringing the joy of gardening to kids in 16 schools spread through the Eugene 4J, Bethel, Springfield and Crow-Applegate-Lorane school districts. 

It’s Garden Love Month here in Lane County, a time to show your affection for rosy radishes and leafy greens. And there’s hardly a better way to share your love for all things vegetable than to volunteer for the School Garden Project, a local nonprofit dedicated to bringing the joy of gardening to kids in 16 schools spread through the Eugene 4J, Bethel, Springfield and Crow-Applegate-Lorane school districts. 

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

The iconic space-age cartoon The Jetsons features a technologically advanced home, complete with a robot housekeeper and a home full of futuristic gadgets. The show first aired in 1962, and while houses still don’t brush your teeth for you or make breakfast with the press of a button, technology now enables us to do some advanced home control, like dimming your living room lights from miles away. 

The iconic space-age cartoon The Jetsons features a technologically advanced home, complete with a robot housekeeper and a home full of futuristic gadgets. The show first aired in 1962, and while houses still don’t brush your teeth for you or make breakfast with the press of a button, technology now enables us to do some advanced home control, like dimming your living room lights from miles away. 

Home automation systems have arrived. Along with compost, urban gardens and solar panels, they’re the future of sustainability. 

March 5, 2015 01:00 AM

Warm summer days picking apples for homemade applesauce and canning with Grandma in a hot kitchen are memories Annika Parrott cherishes — ones she hopes to pass on to her daughters. Parrott is one of the many people living in Eugene who has turned back the clocks 100 years and started urban homesteading. 

Warm summer days picking apples for homemade applesauce and canning with Grandma in a hot kitchen are memories Annika Parrott cherishes — ones she hopes to pass on to her daughters. Parrott is one of the many people living in Eugene who has turned back the clocks 100 years and started urban homesteading. 

An urban homestead is a household that produces a significant part of the foods, including produce and livestock, that are consumed by its family, with a focus on the family’s desire to live in a more environmentally conscientious manner.

February 26, 2015 01:00 AM

$7 million — that’s about how much a new standardized test for Oregon students will cost the state of Oregon this school year. The Smarter Balanced Assessment, rolling out for the first time this spring, is meant to measure how well Oregon K-12 schools are teaching in alignment with the Common Core State Standards, adopted in 2010.

But critics say the test is stressful for children because most students are predicted to fail. The test provides little valuable information to individual students, and some say it doesn’t accurately measure a school’s performance.

Left to right: 4J parent Heather Kliever and her son Aiden Turpin, UO Education professor and 4J parent Jerry Rosiek, Fern Ridge High School Teacher geoff barrett

 

February 26, 2015 01:00 AM

Of the three school districts in the Eugene-Springfield area, Bethel School District, with 5,700 students in northwest Eugene, is considered more diminutive than the rest. That’s not entirely accurate, Bethel Superintendent Colt Gill says, when you take a look at the bigger picture. “There are just under 200 school districts in Oregon, and out of those 200, Bethel is the 24th largest school district,” he says. “So in the area, we’re considered kind of small, but in the state, we’re considered one of the largest districts because we’re in the top 25.”

Of the three school districts in the Eugene-Springfield area, Bethel School District, with 5,700 students in northwest Eugene, is considered more diminutive than the rest. That’s not entirely accurate, Bethel Superintendent Colt Gill says, when you take a look at the bigger picture. “There are just under 200 school districts in Oregon, and out of those 200, Bethel is the 24th largest school district,” he says.