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Philando Castile, Alton Sterling. And before them Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland. Those are among the names we know, whose cases in the last three years came to media attention because a video of their deaths went viral or the protests were loud enough to finally draw the lens of the media. 

After a string of violent shootings across the nation last week, hundreds of people convened on the University of Oregon campus Friday, July 8, to remember black lives lost at the hands of police officers, including Alton Sterling of Louisiana and Philando Castile of Minnesota. At the vigil, leaders also mourned the lives of five police officers killed in Dallas, Texas.

Members of the Eugene/Springfield NAACP, the University of Oregon’s Black Student Union and the Black Women of Achievement organized the vigil, while members of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Springfield-Eugene chapter attended in support. 

As a former police officer, I recall that each day I went to work my family expected me to return home after my duty shift. I have a lot of friends and colleagues who are police officers and are serving their communities with the highest distinction and honor. Their families expect for them to return home after their duty shift, too.

Eugene Weekly photographer Todd Cooper arrived in Dallas on the night of July 7 shootings of police officers at a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally. While in Dallas, Cooper went to the memorial for the five slain officers and photographed the flowers and other mementos contributed by the community.Dallas Police Detective Ira Carter gave Cooper permission to photograph him as he held a rose given to him by a supporter.

 It ain’t just for hippies and trippers no more. In fact, it hasn’t been an exclusively extended drug orgy for a long time (see “Notes of a Fair Virgin” for a hilarious meditation by a non-Fair goer), if it ever was. Yes, the Fair channels the communal, carnivalesque spirit of the Age of Aquarius, but over the years it has evolved and developed into something a bit more mainstream, a bit less narcotic and yet an event unique unto itself: a distinctly Northwest dream of utopia, a self-sustaining alternative village gripped by a kind of kaleidoscopic Renaissance spirit, where folks give free reign to their artsy-craftsy eccentric selves.

 

Variety, the spice of life

 

It's All About the Ice

 

You Should Be Dancing

 

Fairly Local

 

Beauty and the Breasts 

 

Notes of a Fair Virgin

Oregon Country Fair in Pictures

The forecast for Oregon Country Fair includes a definite chance of breasts — different shapes, sizes and protruding from bodies of all kinds.

This year, however, we’re getting down to business about boobs. Katelyn Carey, author of the recently published Beauty After Breast Cancer, is giving a talk about this increasingly common milestone for women.

Survey Oregon Country Fair 2016’s music schedule and find African blues rock 'n' roll with Portland’s Dusu Mali Band (featuring Ibrahim Kelly, nephew of legendary Mali blues guitarist Ali Farka Toure) as well as homegrown indie rock from Eugene’s Ferns (featuring world-class guitar work from Jake Pavlak, like a red-bearded mix of Johnny Marr of The Smiths and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. Unconfirmed rumor has it Ferns are on hiatus after this show, so don’t miss 'em!) 

Looking back over his first year as general manager (GM) for the Oregon Country Fair, Tom Gannon says the thing that’s surprised him the most is “how incredibly important ice is.” 

It might sound strange, but realize that the frosty lemonade you’re enjoying, or that tasty burrito with extra sour cream, or your gluten-free hemp seed salad with extra hemp seeds, were all made off the grid. No one operating a food booth has a fridge to plug in — there are no plugs.

I really do not understand Oregon Country Fair.

I’ve read the FAQ page, spoken with a handful of Fair-goers and have gotten the scoop on staying overnight. It’s been several years since I’ve moved to Eugene and yet the mystery of Fair remains: What’s the big deal?

The endless parade of the Oregon Country Fair

An ambient performer

To start a fire

Like sunburns and fannypacks, vaudeville-style comedy and variety shows are a part of the Oregon Country Fair experience. In fact, OCF devotes entire stages to all sorts of popular entertainment from the age of daguerreotypes like tap dancing, puppetry and poetry readings.

As you’re cruising around the loops at the Oregon Country Fair, be sure to stop by the new Dance Pavilion, featuring movement performances and workshops for all.  

“The dance space is for the exploration of dance and the movement arts,” says volunteer site coordinator Shawn Kahl. 

The Dance Pavilion stage and an adjacent outdoor studio, the “WorkIt Shop,” have concurrent but separate programming throughout the weekend. Both areas welcome and encourage participation.

If you’ve come for the Oregon Country Fair (July 8-10), the Oregon Bach Festival (June 23-July 10) or the 2016 U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials (July 1-10), welcome to the Eug. If you already live here, well, welcome to some bigger crowds around town than we might be used to and a reminder that we live in a pretty nice place.

In no particular order, the following locales are highly recommended places to grab a bite to eat or plunk down for a microbrew.

Rick Levin

 et al.

Every good city needs a strong, vibrant public space, and Kesey Square — located in the heart of downtown Eugene at Broadway and Willamette — is ground zero for the open interaction of a metropolis and its community. On any given day, the red brick plaza of Kesey Square (named for its iconic statue of legendary local author Ken Kesey) is bustling with food carts, street musicians and folks just passing through, from local business people to shoppers to skateboarding youth.

Tired of sitting around and watching other people run (or standing and screaming for them, as the case may be)? Want to meditate on the joys of J.S. Bach among Oregon’s greenery? Lane County is not lacking in places close in or a little way out of town to take a summer walk on a break from town.

Journey was pregnant when she was dumped at a high-kill shelter in California. Eugene-based Luvable Dog Rescue saved her just hours before she was due to be euthanized, together with her unborn puppies. 

Months later and miles from that crowded shelter, Journey and her puppies have been living at Luvable’s dog haven in the south hills and have had their portraits done wearing crowns of flowers by famed photographer Sophie Gamand. 

Gamand and Luvable’s executive director, Liesl Wilhardt, hope that Gamand’s soft and sweet portraits will help maligned pit bulls like Journey find their forever homes through the magic of the photos and social media. Gamand made a trip to Eugene in June to photograph the dogs of Luvable. 

Eugene painter Ellen Gabehart’s home is far from a Martha Stewart-esque suburban rambler stocked with Ikea purchases. Gabehart has art covering every inch of her cozy space, furniture included. She reminds me to check the art in the bathroom before we sit down in her studio.

Gabehart strikes me as the epitome of a Eugene artist with a history of activist work, community building and a mix of both trippy and political art pieces. 

“Realism with impressionism,” she says of her style. “I’m not photographic, but you’ll recognize my works.”

The current Republican front-runner has vowed, if elected president, he will build a wall along America’s southern border, claiming its construction would be done at Mexico’s expense.

Donald Trump has accused Mexico of “sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us.”

The presumptive Republican nominee also accused a community that makes up 12.5 percent of Oregon’s population and 17.4 percent of the nation’s population of “bringing drugs” in his 2015 presidential announcement speech. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson inspires millions, not with hype and bravado, but with intergalactic levels of cool. 

Through Tyson’s work as an astrophysicist, author, museum director, television and radio host, even the most novice among us can imagine the birth of stars; we can envision dwarf planets and ponder the very structures that define our home, the Milky Way. 

Simply put, he makes science accessible and fun. 

And local audiences will have a chance to see Tyson in person, when “Neil deGrasse Tyson: An Astrophysicist Goes To The Movies” lights up the Hult Center 7:30 pm Thursday, June 16.

Our summer kicks off in the most perfect way possible — a visit from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on June 16. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. We’ve worked hard to make sure these pages are chockfull of all the best, most summery activities imaginable. Food festivals, hikes, arts, swimming, bike rides, movies: Let’s just say we’ve got you covered for the next four months. 

 

Wet Hot Art-merican Summer
EW's top summer picks for the visual arts

Coming To America
Copa América soccer

The Tastes of Summer
Eat, drink and be merry with new food-centric gatherings

Local soccer fans will be spoiled this summer with several Lane United FC matches at the Willamalane Center as well as the July 24 International Champions Cup match between Paris Saint-Germain and F.C. Internazionale Milano, to be played in Autzen Stadium.

And yet, if Eugene soccer fans are as passionate about the beautiful game as I am, they might be most excited about the Copa América, to be hosted in the U.S. for the first time in its long and influential history, with the closest matches being played in Seattle and Santa Clara, California.

The tastes of summer beckon — this year, two brand-new foodie shindigs splash onto the scene. Look forward to a season’s worth of eating, drinking and living it up. And the best part is, you don’t even have to trek to Portland.

Many head for the hills, beaches, mountains and rivers to bask in what is the Great Oregon Summer. Others run for their paints, chalks, clays, sewing machines and cameras to capture the spirit of summer. Or dive into exhibits in museums and galleries (mmm, air conditioning). Summer in Oregon is  prime time to explore the arts, from Springfield to Coos Bay to Portland. Here are EW’s top summer picks for the arts.