• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Articles

“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. 

What’s better than a Republican, a Democrat and a Libertarian running against each other for a spot on the Eugene 4J school board? Watching them debate. 

On April 30, the South Hills and Southeast Eugene neighborhood associations will host their 4J School Board Candidate Debate between incumbent Jim Torrey, Kevin Cronin and David Nickles for Position 5 on the school board. Eugene Weekly staff writer Rick Levin will moderate.

If you’ve been sulking over the cancellation of Eugene’s traditional Earth Day celebration, then dry those eyes, because now you’ve got options. 

A community group cleared the regulatory hurdles and is holding Earth Day in the Park — an Earth Day alternative. The goal of Earth Day in the Park, says event organizer Sabrina Siegel, is to bring Earth Day back to a park and to emphasize the urgency of the issues facing the Earth.

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call 1-888-996-8080 for herbicide application information. Highways I-5, 58, 99, 101, 105, 126 and Beltline were sprayed recently. ODOT also plans to spray the entire length of Highway 36 soon.

Mo Young’s 5-year-old daughter loves princesses. In fact, she “decided she was a princess,” says Young, a longtime community activist and parent. 

When Young’s daughter came home from a princess event in tears last year, crying because she “wished she were white,” Young says she felt “heartbroken.”

“She’s beautiful, and she has beautiful dark skin,” she says. “She doesn’t see that in Eugene a lot, or in Oregon a lot.”

Sparks could fly at the Community Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA), aka WOW Hall, annual membership meeting beginning at 6:30 pm Tuesday, April 28, at 291 W. 8th Ave. The agenda for the meeting includes board elections, a review of the year, the budget and likely a discussion of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis that’s critical of the nonprofit’s organization and procedures. 

• The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is facing a $32 million deficit in the next two-year budget cycle, and cuts are looming. The agency is in a bind due in part to its reliance on revenues from fishing and hunting licenses. It’s a quandary. Fishing license fees have gone up while there are fewer fish to catch, so fewer people go fishing. And hunting is no longer such a big part of Oregon’s culture, at least not in urban areas.

The pending sale of the Tsunami Books building at 2585 Willamette was announced in this column last fall, and it looks like the deal will finally close later this month. Owner Scott Landfield tells us “We will get at least two more years at this location, likely at a considerable increase in rent.” To help cover the rent boost and improvements to the bookstore and events venue, Landfield has launched a 50-day Indigogo crowdfunding campaign. Links can be found at the Tsunami Facebook page. 

April 26 through May 2 is National Preservation Week and most people don’t really know about it. We do appreciate the historic places around us. We can appreciate buildings from an earlier age for their quality of construction and materials, their remarkable and memorable shape and form or for what might have occurred behind their doors. Sometimes those buildings sit in the landscape, isolated and unique. Sometimes they’re found together in neighborhoods, or the several neighborhoods that make up a town. Each of these, when held in our memory, tells us the story of where we are and why we’re here.

• The Oregon Legislature’s Joint Committee on Ways and Means is holding a public hearing on the state budget during its meeting from 6:30 to 8 pm Thursday, April 23, at Springfield City Hall Council Chambers. Find budget materials and meeting schedules at wkly.ws/20a.

This year Lane Community College embarked on a Cultural Competency Professional Development initiative designed as educational programs for faculty and staff about the history, culture and current experiences of diverse peoples and communities. In this context, the Lane Peace Center Committee chose to focus our upcoming 8th annual Peace Symposium on indigenous peoples. Our purpose is to look at the history and culture of the United States from an indigenous perspective, to borrow a phrase from one of our keynote speakers, Suzan Harjo, “Seeing Red.”

Like the blossoms that have been emerging this spring, Oregon classical music is entering a period of renewal. 

Salt Lake City’s Heartless Breakers play a brand of bombastic, overwrought rock ‘n’ roll popularized at the turn of the millennium — a style known as emo. 

Sapient might just be the biggest rapper you’ve never heard of, which is a sad fact considering the Portland-based artist grew up here in Eugene. As one half of hip-hop duo Debaser, as well as a member of Sandpeople, he’s rubbed elbows with members of Hieroglyphics, Living Legends and Grayskul.

For the first time ever, the United States is sending a women’s team to the “touch rugby” world championships. UO club rugby player and Eugene resident Erika Farias is one of the women who will represent the nation at the Federation of International Touch’s 8th annual World Cup. 

Let’s be real: At least 80 percent of the time, taking on a production of Les Misérables is a bad idea. “Ambitious” doesn’t begin to describe this excruciatingly melodramatic 1,500-page historical novel-turned-stage musical. 

EWEB LISTENS

Being a public utility means listening to your customers. The Eugene Water & Electric Board did that last October when its elected commissioners adopted the first smart meter “opt-in” program in the nation. Customers who want to take advantage of new services (enhanced energy monitoring, new billing options, remote start and stop of service, better outage and leak detection, etc.) can choose to have a new meter installed to enable enhanced services.

Sight Unseen is an Obie award-winning play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies. The play, which opens this week at The Very Little Theatre, takes as its subject a renowned artist and strips him naked of all the trappings of success, leaving almost nothing where a man once was.

I’m an American woman living abroad and have started a relationship with a wonderful man from a Middle Eastern country. We are having a great time exploring what is a foreign country for both of us. The looming issue is sex, of course. He is a moderate Muslim, but he grew up in a strict conservative family and country. He’s 25 and has never even held hands with a woman. He is excited to change this now that he has broken away from his family. I have had many partners, both men and women, and am quite sexually experienced. I am curious about what to do when the time comes.

If 2013’s Frances Ha seemed a little nicer than writer-director Noah Baumbach’s usual fare — fewer pointed observations, more gentleness toward his characters, no matter how self-deluded — While We’re Young is a trip back to slightly rougher territory (though not quite as rough as Greenberg). Sly and self-aware, Baumbach is a deeply fair storyteller, giving his characters room to hang themselves and room to get their shit together all at once. 

D2 the dog was killed by a beaver trap on Friday, April 17, while on a walk at Hileman Landing County Park off River Road. Mo Strader and Vonnie Willard have owned and loved the black Lab since she was rehomed to them 10 months ago, and they want people to know that there could still be traps out there. 

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.

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

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.