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After the fireworks, there’s still the smoke. The legalization of retail weed in Oregon — a real Fourth of July moment for potheads — has left in its wake an enduring fug of legal, political and commercial questions that can make prohibition look like a cheerful stroll to the neighborhood dealer in comparison.

One of the major selling points for going legal, at least from the legislative standpoint, was the notion that hauling weed aboveboard would put the screws to the black market, eventually paralyzing all the criminal shenanigans that come with the illegal distribution of drugs.

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Like a horror movie zombie, the logging plan for about 2.5 million acres of Oregon’s public forests known as the “Whopper” is back, and within days of its Aug. 5 announcement, enviros and the timber industry filed lawsuits against it. 

Celebrants at the 25th annual Eugene-Springfield Pride Festival braved the hot temperatures Saturday, Aug. 13, at Alton Baker Park

Contrary to Oregon’s generally retail-tax-free-and-proud lifestyle, Eugeneans pay sales tax on four common purchases: alcohol, tobacco, gasoline and pot. 

Since recreational pot sales went legit last year, Oregonians pay a whopping 25 percent state sales tax on recreational marijuana.

Local attorney Michael Arnold was the guest speaker at the monthly 9-12 Project Lane County meeting discussing constitutional law Aug. 9. 

Arnold is known for his high-profile cases such as defending mixed martial artist Gerald Strebendt in his murder trial and briefly becoming Ammon Bundy’s attorney after traveling to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during its occupation earlier this year. 

A blistering report by the U.S. Justice Department finds that “the Baltimore Police Department for years has hounded black residents who make up most of the city’s population, systematically stopping, searching and arresting them, often with little provocation or rationale,” The New York Times reports.

If renowned astrophysicist and admitted pot smoker Carl Sagan could toke up before expanding our grasp of the known universe, who’s to say you can’t lead a successful career while relishing the latest indica strain?

• While we welcome the recent re-embracing of long-form journalism, we weren’t impressed by The Oregonian’s recent and massive “Firestorm” piece. Fire is a huge concern in Oregon, but The O put thousands of words into laying blame on how the Malheur National Forest attacked last year’s Canyon Complex fires on Oregon’s east side, accusing firefighters of being timid, rather than examining how climate change and a lack of fire let those fires get so big in the first place.

• The Oregon Responsible Edibles Council announces the launch of its initial public education campaign, “Try 5.” OREC, formed in late 2015, says it “is a non-profit trade association of Oregon edible marijuana processors, with a mission of educating the public regarding the safe and responsible usage of edible marijuana products for adults 21 and over.” The Try 5 campaign “will be able to teach the public about proper dosage levels and help prevent accidental over-ingestion for consumers new to cannabis-infused edibles.” It encourages people t

• Organizers of Eugene/Springfield’s “new homegrown, non-commercial, progressive, all-volunteer community radio station” meet at 7 pm every Thursday on the 2nd floor of the Growers Market building, 454 Willamette; next to Morning Glory Café.

I’m not a fan of HRC. 

But I’m no Bernie-for-the-revolution person either. 

No election will bring us the revolution we need. Even electing Jill Stein or Sanders would do the same as electing the “Hope” and “Change” of Obama. 

There is the letter of the law, then there’s the spirit. Rep. Lew Frederick, the Oregon House’s only African American legislator, was the guiding force behind two new Oregon laws: HB 2655 (the testing opt-out bill of rights) and HB 2713 (the testing cost audit bill). 

The spirit behind the two new laws is clear: To honestly examine the costs, both financial and otherwise, of the standardized testing that dominates Oregon education and to allow parents and students to make their own informed decisions about what kind of education is best for them. 

“I started guitar lessons in third grade,” says Linda Burden-Williams, who grew up in Marysville, Washington, and played bass guitar for 15 years in Puget Sound-area rock bands. “Shady Lady, She, Ship of Fools, City Slicker,” she enumerates. “We changed names regularly. We played music on the road, six months at a time. We traveled with eight people, two dogs and a monkey in a school bus with a VW van on top.” 

Bustin’ Jieber, a local jazz band with rock 'n' roll tendencies (plus a song about nipples), is bidding adieu to Eugene. For the past five years, the trio has been jamming in venues like Luckey’s and Sam Bond’s Garage — and maybe your neighbor’s basement — as well as the Whiteaker Block Party. Susan Lucia (drums), Dusty Carlson (bass) and Andy Page (sax) have created a niche for themselves by consistently playing high-energy shows that exude genuine fun. 

Sometimes a band’s strength lies not in its particular sound but in each player’s ability to unite fully behind the sound, to present a single battlefront, to commit individual expression to one common purpose — to communicate, combust and even, at times, self-immolate as a whole.

As an accidental theater critic for the past 15 years or so, first in Seattle and now in Eugene, I’ve had the great good fortune to see Shakespeare performed in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings, professional and otherwise. Often upon the stage it’s just a poor player strutting and fretting, signifying very little, yet other times the work is divine beyond all reason. I’ve seen the infinite riches of Hamlet flattened to a pulp in the unventilated August swelter of a third-floor studio, and I once watched a flamboyant young actor embody Iago with such malignant glee that I never wanted to see Othello again, it was so perfect.

INITIATIVE ATTACK

Our right to decide which initiatives we can vote on is under attack by four out of five Lane County commissioners. Pete Sorenson, the only attorney on the commission, understands that the county cannot legally weigh in on initiatives until after the new laws are passed. That this is a constitutionally protected provision of the initiative process is the argument Sorenson made to his fellow commissioners. 

DEAR READERS: I’m on vacation for three weeks—but you won’t be reading old columns in my absence, and you won’t be reading columns by anyone who isn’t Dan Savage. You’ll be reading new columns, all of them written by Dan Savage, none of them written by me.

Mike Leckie was lugging an armful of his hand-cast sculptures of athlete Ashton Eaton up the stairs at the 2012 Olympic Trials at Hayward Field when someone from above offered him a hand. 

It was Eaton himself, the new world-champion decathlon runner. Oddly enough, Leckie was bringing the sculptures up the stairs as a gift to Eaton and his mother for the racer’s new 2012 world record.

It goes without saying that horror, strictly speaking, is not among cinema’s most expansive genres. Most times, it’s as conservative and formulaic as porn, and its requisite elements are as familiar as a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Mac DeMarco

 

Adia Victoria backstage

 

Yemen Blues

 

While planning EW’s second annual PRIDE issue, we made no deliberate decision to focus on trans women; the stories just emerged organically. Why? we wondered.

The answer was obvious to many trans women, scholars and activists who contributed to this issue. 

“Trans women are in the spotlight nationally, especially with Caitlyn Jenner and her entire show,” says Jam Tolles, a local artist beginning her transition. 

It would be cliché to say that transitioning is no day at the beach. It would also be wrong.