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Our Give Guide has expanded from less than a page in years past to the multiple pages you see this week. Eugene is home to hundreds of nonprofits doing exceptional work locally and around the world, so our list is far from complete. Why are we such a thriving center for nonprofits, much more so than other communities our size?

Where would Jesus eat? Many local restaurants will be closed Christmas Day. Among the businesses that will be open is Agate Alley Bistro & Bar at 1461 E. 19th Ave., but only from 5 to 10 pm so the staff can have Christmas morning off. If you are planning on dining out anywhere Christmas Day, we recommend calling ahead and leaving big tips. Going to the coast? We once showed up late and ravenous for a Christmas buffet at a fancy hotel near Depot Bay and found only scraps of salmon and halibut, but plenty of mystery meat, soggy broccoli and cold potatoes.

A woman with mild developmental disabilities finds herself in an abusive relationship with a man who is also the father of her 8-year-old daughter. Tired of the physical violence and verbal abuse, she files for a restraining order and has the man removed from their shared apartment in a Section-8 housing unit. 

“We had an amazing world-lit teacher who introduced us to Greek literature,” says Johanna Mitchell, who was then a high school senior in Miami. “There was a lot of mention of planets. That’s astrology!” Mitchell went to a bookstore and found Sun Signs by Linda Goodman. “I devoured that book,” she says. “I knew then that astrology was a vocation.” She spent a year at the University of Miami, but dropped out to protest the Vietnam War, and for 10 years worked at retail jobs in fabric and jewelry stores in Iowa City and Berkeley.

San Diego punk band Drug Control evokes the glory days of So Cal bands like Black Flag and Circle Jerks. “We take influences from older East and West coast bands and blend them into our style,” says vocalist Danny Lyerla. 

You know how your head always starts bobbing and your toes start tapping whenever you hear that certain song? Maybe it’s a Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis or Chuck Berry tune. Whatever it is, it makes you want to move. Daddy Rabbit falls into this category. 

In 1929, surrealist painter René Magritte scrawled under his painting of a pipe, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”), in his famously enigmatic painting The Treachery of Images. For Tree Branch Twig, a side project from Lindsey Keast of popular Eugene-based experimental group Lady Paw, there is a similar cognitive dissonance.

For people like me who are Jewish and queer

It’s especially hard at this time of the year

When gentiles assume that we all are alike

Like straight folks ignore that you’re really a dyke

 

When people around you are into a thing

That makes them rejoice, get nostalgic and sing

And all the whole time, it’s a thing that’s not yours

And YOUR thing’s a thing everybody ignores

 

Or else they just act like both things are the same

NOT THIS GREEN

Glad to see your mention in Slant last week [12/18] of the R-G’s littering — aka the viral green Emerald Valley Shopper every Wednesday — and in a town that actually “likes” green! Sure, it is a micro issue given all the major topics, but we do notice. I walk daily and I espied this hard-copy message on a south Eugene lawn in October. Someone just said NO! But does the R-G read?

Douglas Beauchamp, Eugene

 

MIRROR, MIRROR

I’m a short guy and I need advice. I don’t want a small paragraph’s worth of advice, like you gave “Below Their League” a few years ago. I need advice beyond “Women like men taller than them, get over it!” I get it. I’m short (five foot two), and most women are taller than me. And women like tall dudes just like I like slender women. Fat women may have it hard, but at least they have their fans and their own sex-object abbreviation: BBW. But where can a short guy go to feel appreciated?

Cheryl Strayed’s Wild is a story in which many of us can find a hook that reaches out and sinks into our skin, whether it’s the delicately imploding marriage, the rage, the grief, the attempts to find a way out of oneself, the knowledge that you’ve lost your way or the satisfaction that comes from letting go. 

The following is an extended interview conducted for eugeneweekly.com. The condensed print edition can be found here.

 

Former KVAL reporter Dan Carlin lives in the past. That is, at least when he’s working on Hardcore History, the podcast he delves into with fanboy fervor, humanizing the past with episodes about everything from Ancient Greece (“The Macedonian Soap Opera”) to World War I (“Blueprint for Armageddon”). Hardcore History, which he records in his home studio in Eugene, has been downloaded almost 3 million times and was recently named Best Classic Podcast in iTunes’ Best of 2014 awards. Carlin squeezed in a quick phone chat with EW in-between recording the 5th installment of the “Blueprint for Armageddon” (it’s due out before the end of December) and producing his other podcast, the current events-centered Common Sense

Appeared in the 12/24/2014 print edition of Eugene Weekly. An extended interview for the web can be found here.

Less than two weeks ago, I became one of the lucky viewers to see The Interview at a screening hosted by Harry Knowles, founder of Ain’t It Cool News, in Austin, Texas, with directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in tow. At the time, it didn’t seem odd to see the film a few weeks early.

It always begins this way — with a moment of mystical clarity and ease, eyes closing of their own accord. The head starts to sway side to side with the steady pizzicato of the upright bass. A sound so open and full, you could stand in it. 

Then comes the circular sound of brushes on a snare drum — fluid, guitar and piano key flavors, and finally, floating on top, a voice: Oh, I hate to see the evening sun go down, ’cause my lovin’ baby done left this town

To some river-lovers it’s the scariest place in Eugene: a longtime homeless camp along the Willamette River strewn with soggy mattresses and moldy rugs, used needles, bike parts, food packaging, wet books, even an old TV set. Trash and worse from campers have been collecting for years between the railroad tracks and the river, and a cleanup project is about to begin now that the camp has been abandoned (see photos on our website). 

On Dec. 16 Lane County commissioners discussed whether to question federal law and pass an ordinance that challenges two controversial sections of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

The NDAA, a sweeping defense bill that sets the budget for the military, dates back to the post-9/11 period and is renewed every year by Congress. The controversial sections of the bill include provisions to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism. The current version of the $585 billion NDAA passed the Senate Dec. 12.

Viewed from the little parking lot off West 11th, As You Like It looks like any artsy boutique in town; a wall of windows covered with delicate black-lace curtains reveal warm wood floors and beams and display shelves sparkling with treasures. The space is a far cry from the windowless shops around Eugene, but make no mistake, this is a sex store, or rather an “eco-conscious, green, gender-inclusive sex toy shop.”

Longtime Native American rights advocate Alfred Leo Smith died Nov. 19. Smith was from Chiloquin, was a member of the Klamath Tribe and was known in Native communities throughout the Northwest. He died shortly after celebrating his 95th birthday in Eugene. 

He’s remembered as a “loving husband, friend, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and fearless warrior,” says his wife of 34 years, Jane Farrell, in a statement sent to his supporters. “He will be missed and remembered for generations to come.”

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has once again found Pacific Recycling to be in violation of the Clean Water Act at its facility on Cross Street (near Roosevelt Boulevard) in Eugene (see EW 6/19, goo.gl/0Icqbj regarding a $327,686 fine assessed against Pacific Recycling in June). DEQ sent Pacific Recycling a warning letter in November for “failing to adequately stabilize or cover soil stockpiles.”  The stockpiles contain soil contaminated with wood treatment agents from neighboring J.H.

A decision on the future of Eugene’s Multiple-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) program has been delayed by the Eugene City Council until Jan. 26, since Councilor Claire Syrett could not make the Dec. 8 meeting. MUPTE has come under heavy criticism by citizens and some council members for giving big tax breaks to out-of-state developers for housing projects that might have been built even without the subsidies. The latest council action regarding MUPTE will focus on creating a review process.

• Parting is such sweet sorrow: Since Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Heisman last week — and won it decisively — he ceased to be just another great UO athlete. If he wasn’t already, Mariota is now a national celebrity, evidenced by his immediate appearance on network television  Dec. 15 when he read the Top Ten list on “Late Night with David Letterman.” Letterman introduced Mariota as “a good-looking kid” from “your University of Oregon Ducks,” and he wasn’t talking to us, Eugene.

Alice Doyle of Log House Plants in Cottage Grove has been working for the past five years with Dutch and American horticultural researchers to refine and market a “Ketchup ’n’ Fries” grafted plant that grows potatoes underground and tomatoes above ground. Potatoes and tomatoes are related, and the first such graft was recorded in the early 1900s by Luther Burbank. The local Territorial Seed Company will have a national exclusive to sell mail-order plants and “I’m sure they‘ll see quite a bit of action,” Doyle says.

The Human Rights Commission Homelessness Work Group meets at noon Thursday, Dec. 18, at the Atrium Building, 99 W. 10th Ave. On the agenda is the Homeless Bill of Rights and a forum on child homelessness. Call 682-5177 or email michael.j.kinnison@ci.eugene.or.us.