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Among the salves, tinctures and bits of shatter, crumble and jars of flower, you’ll see snack items that at first glance would not appear out of place on a shelf at Safeway. These are known as medibles — a portmanteau of marijuana and edible — and they take the form of cookies, gummies, taffy and even soda.

Most American businesses are led by men — only 7 percent of the CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies are women. Academics don’t fare much better. According to the American Association of University Women, “As of 2012, only 26 percent of colleges and universities were headed by women.” That same study showed that only 1 in 5 members of Congress is a woman. 

So what’s it like to be bisexual? Henry Osborne, 22, says it can be confusing. “It’s weird to be attracted to both, and people don’t believe you a lot of the time,” he says. “People will give you kind of a look if you say you’re bi. Especially people in queer circles — they don’t really believe you.”

Bisexual people, despite having a stable sexual orientation of their own, are often assumed to be “going through a phase” instead of being permanently bi. Some may assume they’re only halfway out of the closet, while others will say they “went through a phase in college” if they end up with a member of the opposite sex. 

Normally, Pride festivals take place in the downtown sector of big cities, or at least nearby — take Portland Pride along the waterfront or Seattle Pride along Fourth Avenue, for example. They’re also traditionally held during June, National LGBT Pride Month. But we all know Eugene isn’t normal. 

As a part of what seems to be Eugene’s tradition for operating outside the norm, the Eugene/Springfield Pride Festival has been held in various spots around town throughout the years, but most recently its home has been in Alton Baker Park. It also traditionally takes place in August.

Dr. Seuss’s classic tale of contrived differences and ultimate acceptance got a fabulous telling at Eugene’s Barnes and Noble store Aug. 5. Faye Kit-Knightly, a debutante of the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Emerald Empire, a local drag queen organization, read The Sneetches and The Zaxs to a crowd of parents and children that swelled to around 70. 

Am I allowed to fall in love with a 60-plus gay man on the dance floor? Can I do that?

I, a person who identifies as a girl, went to a gay square dancing club on July 16 in Springfield with my own partner, who identifies as a boy. I have the dance skills of a large hyena. This soon became apparent as the caller paired us off with separate partners. 

As a student at a local Christian college, I am probably the most conservative person at Eugene Weekly. I want to attend Pride to show my neighbors that they and their concerns are important to me. I suggest other conservatives to do the same.

The 26th annual Eugene/Springfield Pride Festival welcomes hundreds of attendees, especially families, to its Aug. 12 celebration. “This is the one Pride event that is kid friendly, positive and not alcohol focused. Have a good time and make sure we enjoy each other’s company,” says volunteer coordinator Vince Mays. “We are a community of minorities that come together on an annual basis to express who we are and ensure a safe space to celebrate our culture. We welcome everyone.” 

Don Andre hacks at an overgrown trail with a machete on a 17-acre community-owned forest, within earshot of Highway 20 a couple miles east of Newport. The machete, which his father found at a yard sale years ago, curves forward at the tip, which helps power the overhead volleys he directs at the branches. 

Andre spent much of his youth exploring forests like this one outside his family’s home in Agate Beach north of Newport. The giant old trees of the coastal rainforest provided an endless playground where he was free to tramp around until his mom called him back home by laying on the horn of the family’s Chevy truck. 

After leaving the sleepy Oregon Coast to travel and pursue higher education, in the mid-’70s Andre came home to a shock: The forest of his youth, where his imagination and young legs once ran wild, was no more. The clearcut land so dismayed and infuriated Andre that, to this day, he’d rather not visit. 

What are “pets,” anyway?

Humans have kept animals around for just about as long as we’ve been human. Dogs helped us hunt. Cats guarded the granaries.

But the notion of having animals strictly as companions, as opposed to four-legged workers, wasn’t too common until an economic middle class — that stratum between the 1 percent and the serfs — came into its own in the 19th century. That meant a lot of people had the resources to own and take care of animals that weren’t, strictly speaking, useful.

And with the middle class came the idea of pets: Animals with names and individual personalities. Animals we care about for other than utilitarian reasons.

On a stifling summer day in Oregon’s high desert, I drive past several ranches with cattle, horses, goats and a few llamas or alpacas. I arrive at a large gate, where I’m buzzed in, and park at the end of a long rocky driveway.

Massive fences and hot wires mark the boundaries of this animal sanctuary. They tower dozens of feet above me as I walk to meet Marla O’Donnell, the executive director. As we begin our tour, we walk by the window of an indoor habitat and are interrupted by a sudden but distinct raspberry sound. 

Thank you to everyone who entered this year’s Pet Photo Contest. Submissions were judged by our staff, with winners selected for the categories of Cutest Pet, Most Intelligent (Looking) Pet and Best Action Shot. Watch for next year’s contest, and be sure to enter your pet-. They just might find themselves in print! Categories may change from year to year.

When you’re looking to adopt a dog, you’re probably thinking of a sweet, quiet dog that comes right up to the cage and gives you those big puppy eyes that plead “take me home!”

But the shelter environment isn’t necessarily conducive to that, says Sasha Elliott, Greenhill Humane Society’s communication and events manager. She says Greenhill’s design, built in the ’50s, is outdated, meaning the kennels are “all facing each other, which can be extremely stressful for dogs that don’t know each other.”

Humans, if we’re very lucky, get to retire in some comfort. Horses — some of humankind’s closest companions for thousands of years — have to be extremely fortunate to be cared for past their productive years.

On 70 rolling acres a little west of Eugene, a former Eugene city councilor and his wife have spent the past five years, with the help of a small army of paid staffers, volunteers and donors, providing what amounts to a retirement home for dozens of lucky horses who might otherwise have been put down.

At a recent Eugene Husky/Malamute Meet-Up at Amazon dog park, 50 or more huskies and malamutes play like there’s no tomorrow — running in giant circles, climbing on tables, splashing in the kiddie pool and pausing for plenty of pats from the charmed crowd.  

The meet-up does more than hold regular gatherings. “Our group promotes and facilitates adoptions,” co-founder Helen Lindell says. “We scour Craigslist and pet pages for fuzzies needing new homes.”  

Google “Oregon street artist” and you get just two results, both seemingly generated by bots. That puts us a bit behind Alabama (7 results) and Kentucky (4), well behind Washington (170,000) and California (161,000), and a nose ahead of Idaho and Wyoming (both 0).

Oregon is not exactly a national center for street art, the subversive guerilla art form that grew out of tagging and other illegal urban graffiti in the 1970s and became popularized by such documentary films as Exit Through the Gift Shop and Style Wars. We’re talking Banksy and Shepherd Fairey here, not cozy New Age murals of whales and owls.

By 1829, nearly 80 years after his death, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach had fallen out of fashion. Think of what we were listening to 80 years ago: Bing Crosby, Count Basie and Benny Goodman. (And yes, someday your music will feel tired to your children’s children. Deal with it. It’s entropy. You’re programmed for irrelevance.)

It’s that time of year again: the smell of fresh cut grass in the breeze, children flying kites and playing in the park for summer break, and thousands of hippies descending on a well-loved property near Veneta. It’s summer in Eugene, and that means the Oregon Country Fair is back. This year, we’re looking forward to ogling the usual fun array of circus acts, dancing to great music like Chris Robinson Brotherhood and High Step Society, and reflecting on how the Fair comes together each year, bringing the community together with it. OCF not your thing? We’ve got you covered there too. Regardless, it’s shaping up to be another beautiful summer weekend here in Oregon.

Everyone loves a circus. Acrobats, contortionists, clowns — the whole shebang. And now that the folks at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus have taken their final bow, the demand for a clever circus act is on the rise. 

Fortunately, there is no better place to see Big Top-type acts than this year’s Oregon Country Fair, and unlike Ringling, the acts at the Fair don’t exploit animals.

Imagine a ghost town. The skeletons of buildings, stripped of their roofs and siding, are overgrown with trees and vines. Light shining through the rafters allows grass to grow and wildflowers to bloom in the shells of the structures.  

It seems as if a hurricane passed through, if only hurricanes neatly stacked the boards of the buildings they tore apart.

I’m going to take a sec and highjack this piece on 2017’s OCF music lineup to complain that Lane County — and Eugene specifically — needs, nay deserves, a true music festival: a Pickathon, a Bumbershoot, a Treefort or, at the very least, a resurrected Eugene Celebration that settles its identity crisis, putting it at odds with itself as a community street fair versus an event focused on music worthy of drawing an audience. 

Crowds, dust and scorching temperatures aren’t for everyone. So if you’re like me and want to avoid gaggles of people at the Oregon Country Fair, use the empty streets of Eugene as your catbird seat.

If, like me, you happen to find yourself on some clear summer night seated just about dead center of the orchestra level at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s tremendous outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, and it happens to be late into the second act of The Odyssey, with the sun fallen and the gloaming past, darkness pushing down on the ghostly radiance of the lights, the actors strutting and fretting their moment on stage, the whole wide world in abeyance, its awful tempest and clangoring tumult silenced, just you and your itty-bitty mortal consciousness beholding the enactment of a text that is ten-thousand years old, take a moment and look up.

Behold the cosmos. The Big Dipper hangs suspended in space, eternally tilted and framed perfectly by the walls of the theater. It’s a stunning sight, somehow liberating and terrifying and humbling all at once.

It’s like something out of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 — firefighters set trees ablaze and fan flames across the grassland. This is the cutting edge in wildfire management and forest ecology: prescribing fires as medicine for sick forests. 

Fire was a political tool in Bradbury’s novel — a means of destroying literature and controlling the population. Today, wildfire and prescribed fire are politicized as well. What once was a force of nature is now beaten back, choked out and stamped by the great paws of Smokey Bear.

It was at Anice Thigpen’s lowest emotional point that the protagonist in her new opera The Woman of Salt came to her. 

“I was walking in the woods. And she took the wind out of the firs and made that the voice for the first song,” she says. 

The Woman of Salt — Thigpen’s first opera — was born from deep trauma.