• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Lead Stories

They grow up so fast. The Whiteaker Block Party turns 10 this year and it’s bound to be one for the books — more than 120 years after Oregon’s first governor, John Whiteaker, procured 10 blocks in the neighborhood. To celebrate, EW pays homage to some of the people who keep the Whiteaker weird, whimsical, wayward and wonderful, as well as offering some tips to squeezing the most out of your block party experience. Here’s to the next 10 years.

The greatest cultural riches of the Whiteaker reside in the neighborhood’s nooks and crannies and offbeat details — the funky designs on a painted mailbox, the kitschy pop art on a hillbilly porch, a makeshift lounge plopped along the sidewalk. 

The same goes for the Whiteaker Block Party, returning for its 10th year noon to 10 pm Saturday, Aug. 6; FREE. If you stick to the beaten path of the hoi polloi trudging between Ninkasi and Oakshire, you’re going to miss just about everything that makes the Whit so unique. Be an urban adventurer: Keep an eye out for renegade backyard parties, check out the side streets and alleyways, and stay alert to what’s behind the hedge and down the path least taken. 

we live in a very pet-friendly area with many restaurants that allow customers to dine with their dogs … or cats. When I first got my dog a little more than a year ago, she was an 8-week-old rescue puppy with a boxer face and blue heeler paws, and I never wanted to leave her home alone. So she went everywhere with me.

Chihuahuas weigh an average of 4 to 6 pounds — that’s about the size of a large bunny. The puppies tip the scale at only a few ounces, and yet, Chihuahuas are all canine, descendants of Canis lupus, just like huskies, malamutes and Irish wolfhounds. 

I own a tiny grey alpaca named Shimmer. I bought her for $250 two winters ago and she hasn’t stopped costing me money since. I’m building a small fiber business, selling Oregon yarn and hand knits online. I’m about wool. One year into my ambitious little alpaca fiber program, I thought Shimmer would be 1) pregnant by now 2) friendlier to me and 3) well … friendlier to me. 

Seventeen-year-old Courtney Scott stands by the arena at a well-maintained stable in Goshen, a few miles southeast of Eugene. She’s on crutches, her left leg in a cast due to stress fractures from dancing, but her eyes sparkle as she waits for her horse to be brought out for her to ride. The crutches make her weekly ride a little more challenging, but Scott doesn’t care.

“Here kitty, kitty. Come put on this rosary and sit next to this golden chalice like you’re taking communion.”

So it goes for BooBoo, a 17-pound Eugene tabby whose dress-up antics have earned him five million views on the website Pretty 52 and his own greeting card Etsy shop (79 sales and counting!). 

Readers, you’ve outdone yourselves. We asked for pet photos, and did we ever receive. With more than 200 submissions, it was incredibly difficult to choose the absolute best.

Pets are kind of like practice kids for some of us or, for people like me, they are straight up in lieu of bearing children — just please don’t call them fur-babies; that’s gross. 

In 2014, Crystal Webb left Alabama, landed in Eugene and moved in with a friend to kick her opiate and crystal meth addiction. 

Making the decision to get distance from an environment in which she found herself intertwined with drugs and dealers was a significant step if she wanted to get clean. Webb says she locked herself away for a month and slept. 

“It was painful, but so was using, so I guess maybe I might have been a little conditioned,” she says. “When using, every come-down was painful, so I knew what to expect, just not how long it would take.” 

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.