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

What started as a small crowd partying in an empty parking lot in the Whiteaker among amps and beer kegs has grown, in eight short years, into a neighborhood-encompassing celebration of community and unique Eugene culture. Featuring a couple dozen local bands, food and craft vendors, an art and kid zone, carnival games, a dunk tank, beer gardens and even a bike valet, on Saturday, Aug. 2, from noon to 10 pm — it’s the Whiteaker Block Party (WBP).

During the Whiteaker Block Party, parking is usually a pain, with drivers scouring residential streets for a spot, sometimes giving up and parking illegally. This year, the Whiteaker Community Council is trying to alleviate the problem by opening up at least two gravel lots in the neighborhood for $5 per car. The WCC will use its share of the funds for a big long-term goal: a public parking lot in the Whit.

• Oregon Department of Forestry, 935-2283, plans to hire Nick’s Timber Services Inc., 503-910-1120, to spray herbicides including Rodeo, Accord XRT II, Polaris SP, Element 4, MSM 60, Sulfomet XP with additives including LI700, MSO and red or blue dye for site prep and release on a total of 356 acres near Liebre, Gall, Nelson and Wildcat creeks and tributaries. See ODF notification 2014-781-00727, call ODF at 935-2283 with questions.

Legalization of marijuana for adult use qualified for the November ballot the same day a panel of legalization advocates outlined how the new Measure 53 will work if it passes. What will it do? How is it different from Washington’s and Colorado’s marijuana laws? What will be the impact on the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program? How will the tax revenues be allocated? What about hemp? What about the huge black market that currently distributes pot?

Kenneth MacPhearson, aka Kenny Mac, was featured in EW Oct. 10, 2013, as a homeless vet trying to get back on his feet with the help of local agencies, churches, nonprofits and Veterans Administration programs. After our story came out, Mac found six months of housing in a small apartment, but died July 13 following an apparent head injury sustained in the Whiteaker neighborhood. 

After allegations of a sexual assault by three Duck basketball players surfaced in May, UO President Michael Gottfredson announced he would appoint an independent review panel “to examine our practices for preventing and responding to sexual violence.” UO psychology professor Jennifer Freyd then emailed Gottfredson and suggested he appoint Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall to the panel. He did not.

• A majority of five of the Eugene City Council, backed by strong support from Mayor Kitty Piercy, showed that rare quality of leadership this week in passing both the sick leave law and a tighter climate recovery ordinance. Six councilors favored climate action. The Register-Guard, conservative councilors, the idiotic and out-of-touch Lane County Commission and, of course, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce all asked for either delays or no such action as sick leave for workers in this city.

Kaiser Permanente announced this week that it will open a medical office in Eugene in late 2015, according to a press release. Medical office sites are being evaluated to accommodate at least four primary care physicians and their staff. Kaiser Permanente is a nonprofit provider of integrated health care services and insurance plans, serving 9.3 million members, including about 495,000 members in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

• Two neighborhood annual picnics are Thursday, July 31. Jefferson Westside Neighbors gather at 5 pm at Monroe Park and Fairmount Neighbors gather at 6 pm at Hendricks Park.

• A memorial for longtime marijuana activist Jim Greig will be at 11 am Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Church of the Resurrection, 3925 Hilyard St. Following the service will be a gathering at Maurie Jacobs Park for a potluck and sharing of stories at the Jim Greig Inspirational Stage by the soccer field. For more information contact his sister Judi Greig at judigreig@gmail.com or call 543-6527.

The average constitution worldwide only lasts 19 years and Thomas Jefferson suggested we re-write our Constitution every 25 years. Perhaps it is time that we re-write ours. How would you change the Constitution if you could craft a new one?

There’s something about Warpaint’s double music video for “Disco//Very” and “Keep it Healthy” that rings of the 1996 alt-witch flick The Craft. Perhaps it’s four badasses walking towards the camera, or Theresa Wayman’s and Emily Kokal’s ode to ’90s fashion wearing a plaid mini skirt over jeans and a Chicago Bulls T-shirt respectively.

A major attraction of the Oregon Festival of American Music’s two-year exploration of the so-called American songbook in Hollywood is rediscovering the original incarnations of stories most of us remember only from the later movies they inspired. 

Tuscon, Arizona, duo Sweet Ghosts took their name from a poem by Jack Gilbert: “Again and again we put our sweet ghosts on small paper boats and sailed them back into their death …” And listening to Sweet Ghosts’ latest release Certain Truths, it is easy to imagine “sweet ghosts on small paper boats.” 

Alongside Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Tom Petty has one of the most distinctive voices in rock music. And when you have a distinctive voice, it gets spoofed a lot by comedians. So I ask Mike Campbell, longtime lead guitarist with Petty’s band The Heartbreakers, which comedian does the best Petty impersonation?

WHAT KIND OF FORCE?

I know it’s tilting at windmills, but I want to express a quibble I have long had with a phrase that policymakers and journalists alike seem to love to employ: “use(s) of force.”

The brief article about Eugene Police Department’s “‛sustained’ rate of misconduct,” [7-24] utilizes this phrase eight times. What does the speaker saying “use of force” intend to mean? The common assumption is violent force, i.e., coercive by employing pain and threat. 

I am wondering when the best time is to mention being in an open relationship to new girls. I’m a 27-year-old straight guy who’s been in an open relationship for six years. I often seek out extracurricular activities, but I am unsure of how to bring up my situation without doors closing. I wrote to a seduction blogger who often writes about open relationships, and his advice was to not mention it until I’ve had sex with the girl a few times and to not bring them to my apartment that I share with my girlfriend.

John Carney’s Once (2007) was a lovely, intimate film, the story of two musicians whose romance played out artistically. Once is now a Broadway powerhouse, made a little tidier but no less affecting, and Carney is back with a movie that’s almost Once again: two drifting, lovelorn souls brought together through musical collaboration.

According to Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” We agree. It’s also a warm kitty, a happy pig, a galloping horse or singing bird, to name a few of the many animals we have in our lives. Pet-lovers, we remind you, as always, to spay and neuter, and to check out Greenhill, First Avenue or any of the many caring rescues in Lane County when looking to add another non-human animal to your family. You can find rescues and available pets at PetFinder.com and find pets of the week here in EW’s pages. Don’t forget to have a collar and license on your beastie to make sure he finds the way back again, should he ever stray — because happiness for our domestic pets means a secure home, whatever form that may take, with food, care and love. 

Standing in Jud Turner’s kitchen, a gaggle of cats gobbling snacks at our feet, we hear a faint ting-a-ling coming from the basement.

“I think he just rang his bell,” Turner says, straining to hear. “He has a bell that he rings when he wants to go outside or wants to know what’s up.” Turner disappears down the stairs.

“What’s up, piggy?” I hear him say. He’s answered with some contented snorting.

While strolling around Eugene, if you look closely enough among the concert posters, job postings, graffiti and other ephemera tacked to poles, you may notice the heartache and hidden poetry of missing pet notices.

“You are unique. You want a unique pet. Everyone has German shepherd or Lab puppies for sale but that’s not You. You are amazing and You want a amazing pet. You want people to stop You wherever you go to ask about your animal.”

So reads an online advertisement claiming to sell wolfdog puppies (“GIANTS AVAILABLE!”), though most of the photos look like Siberian husky pups, and a few might have been mixed with a little something else.

Equestrian competitions are one of the few sports in which men and women compete on equal ground. Rider Karianne Boyce-Lockhart has been beating men and women alike, jumping her horses Hopscotch and Ferro DC over huge grand prix fences around the Northwest, California and Canada. A Eugene native, she won two grand prix competitions in a row in July and she came in sixth at a World Cup qualifier in June, jumping some fences over 5 feet tall. At a little more than 5 feet herself, she says when she’s on foot her eyes are level with some of the fences she rides her horses over.

After spending 30 stressful years working as a computer technician, Steve Walker found himself in his early sixties and looking for a career change that would facilitate both his retirement and his golfing hobby. Walker chose dog walking. 

A year and a half later and Walker’s “Top Dog” offers dog walking, pet sitting, vacation visits, pet transportation and errand running. The business has grown to the point that he occasionally turns down jobs to retain his partial retirement.