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The Lane County Commission acted against Eugene’s paid sick leave ordinance before the city had its public hearing on the issue. The three ordinances that the county rushed to vote contain a typo in a reference to Oregon law, and they are similar to model legislation to preempt sick leave put forth at the state level by the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

While in Moscow last autumn, ballet dancer Rachel Richardson experienced a decidedly Russian moment at the gilded Kremlin Palace. 

“It was crazy,” she recalls with a laugh. “While we were backstage, 80 military men in the stereotypical fuzzy hats with their machine guns were marching through, literally right next to us as we were warming up.” 

Tonya Bunning became a single parent of two teenagers when her husband left. She remembers thinking, “Oh, crap. What do I do? Where do I go?” Bunning and her children went to live with her family in Arizona for a year and a half, but her severe asthma and unhappy children led her back to Oregon. The family of three sold all they could, fit the rest in their van and drove to Eugene.

Here in Oregon, Bunning says she was fired from Dari Mart after she developed a bone spur, despite having a doctor’s note in hand. She says the store told her it needed an employee with the use of both arms and, because of her injury, she only had use of one. They paid her for the extra half hour that it took to fire her and then she left. 

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

The first flock of wild turkeys showed up in our neighborhood last year. Adults and young together were nine. This year our flock has 22 chicks alone. Early in the morning they show little fear and are easy to count. I think it is the fruit trees in our neighborhood that they like. One of the birds really stands out; its feathers are pure white, an inescapable tag that draws attention.

An upcoming camp for teenagers presents an opportunity for kids to get involved in climate change justice. The Next Generation Climate Action Camp, hosted by the Civil Liberties Defense Center, is aimed at empowering youth to make change in their communities, according to Amber Mongan, associate director of CLDC. “We wanted to provide the sort of action camps that are available to adults, but specify it for teenagers,” Mongan says. “Public schools don’t cover this kind of stuff, so we want to fill that need.” 

M Three Timber Company LLC, 767-3785, plans to spray Polaris AC on 30 acres near Muslin Creek tributaries. See ODF notification 2014-781-00784, call Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.

Expansion of Lane Transit District’s EmX bus rapid system into west Eugene could run up utility costs to LTD exceeding $9.2 million, according to a memo sent July 28 to the EWEB board from EWEB Engineering Manager Mel Damewood and planner Jon Thomas. The memo was on the agenda for the Aug. 5 EWEB board meeting as an information item and no board action was anticipated.

Louise Shimmel, executive director of the Cascade Raptor Center, recalls a great horned owl that was found in a pond last winter. “You could actually see the bruises on his neck where the blood was seeping out of his jugular because his blood was so thin and he was essentially bleeding to death,” she says. “We were not able to save that one.”

Beyond Toxics has been calling attention for years to what it says are the “disproportionate environmental and human health effects” of the Seneca biomass burning plant on nearby communities. Seneca Sustainable Energy is located in the West Eugene Industrial Corridor, an area with a higher-than-average number of low-income and Latino residents, according to Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics.

Does anybody remember Rudy Crew? He was the nationally known education expert hired by Gov. John Kitzhaber to figure out how to finance and fix Oregon’s public education system. He was a bust. It was soon apparent that he wasn’t that interested in Oregon kids and he was off to the next bigger job. The governor then wisely persuaded Nancy Golden, recently retired and much loved superintendent of Springfield schools, to become his education czar. Nobody doubts her competence or her dedication to Oregon kids. So, this is a cautionary tale.

Dramatic circulation drops in nearly all Oregon newspapers are documented in the new Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association directory. Looking at weekday subscriptions and weekday single-copy sales, The Register-Guard went from 51,040 last year to 43,663 this year.  The Oregonian went from 228,599 last year to 162,599 this year — what’s shocking is the stalwart Oregonian had weekday numbers approaching half a million in the 1990s. The Corvallis Gazette-Times went from 9,815 last year to 8,607 this year.

All That! Dance Company
Ballet, contemporary jazz, tap, hip hop, ballroom
allthatdancecompany.com
688-1523

Bryan Kalbrosky

 et al.

Peering through the fence at New Day Bakery in the Whiteaker on any second Wednesday, you may see the twirling of skirts, the shuffling of cowboy boots and dance partners shimmying to the sounds of accordion and washboard. If you squint and listen to the zydeco music, it almost feels like a bustling square in New Orleans. 

The Senior Moments Dance Team got its start when Richard Walker, retired owner of Champion Friction, issued a public invitation in The Register-Guard to join a seniors’ flashmob. Seventy-seven people showed up to that first rehearsal at the Vet’s Club in May of 2013, and the group’s been dazzling audiences ever since. 

Habib Iddrisu has a slender, compact body, an unlined, youthful face and a headful of small, short dreads. The University of Oregon adjunct dance professor travels the world with traditional African singing and dance groups and actively teaches African history. But he won’t reveal his age. “I keep that to myself,” he says. 

Susan Kincaid never thought she would take dance classes and perform on stage. But, at 44, she finally found herself “brave enough” to step out of her comfort zone and try tap dancing at Petersen Barn Community Center.

• “Viet Nam: An Inner View” is a live multi-media performance and book release at 7 pm Friday, Aug. 8, at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette. Advance tickets at $10 are available at Tsunami. Tickets day of the program are $11. The event marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, authorizing U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Marc C.

It’s summer, and that means rites-of-passage time when I do workshops for African-American related youth on preventing addiction and problems related to sexuality, whether or not you’re under the influence. I combine 21st-century knowledge with 25th-Dynasty wisdom, i.e. African Old School. It’s about keeping your spirits, your wits and your body safe, as well as safeguarding those around you. 

“I got tired of rain,” says Ron Buss, who grew up in the Seattle/Tacoma area, but spent high school summer vacations with his older brother in Modesto, California, moving furniture for Beacon Van Lines. “I started when I was 14.” After graduation, Buss moved south to work for his brother, then spent a decade at warehouse work. He eventually got a truck and a PUC license and returned to household moving. “I made  $100,000 a year,” says Buss, who was supporting a house, a wife and three kids.

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

Bruno Mars knows exactly what he is doing, and he does it better than just about anyone in the business. Not only has he released two chart-topping albums, sold over 100 million copies of his singles and albums and won multiple Grammys, but he’d made a name for himself prior to all of this as a songwriter and producer. 

Type “Soulja Boy” into YouTube, click the video for “Crank Dat” (with more than 158 million views, mind you) and dance along as you listen to the hip-hop song that took 2007 by storm.

Tone, taste and tenacity remain ZZ Top’s motto and rationale for their lasting popularity, lead guitarist Billy Gibbons tells EW