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K. Flay’s music is an old fashioned that’s been spiked with a mystery upper: It has an edge you can’t quite put your finger on, but you can’t get enough of it either. This alternative hip-hop artist is casually strolling to the top of the scene with her refreshing twist on a crowded genre.

There are songs, and then there are “art songs.” I hate the latter term, mostly applied to vocal works written by 19th-century classical composers, because it implicitly suggests that all those other songs — y’know, the ones everyone actually listens to on their computers and phones and radios all day — are somehow not capital-A ART.

MINING TV BUTTE

The Lane County Board of Commissioners has approved the land use change on a 4-1 vote, allowing for the destruction of a Native historical landmark, TV Butte, near Oakridge. This, against the protests of locals who live nearby and of our fellow Americans who are native to this land.

Shame on them, I say!

Nightingale Health Sanctuary (NHS), a city-sanctioned rest stop, needs help from its supporters. 

There’s nothing quite like very short plays to whet or renew your appetite for live theater. Don’t like what you’re watching? Wait a few minutes, and you get a brand-new story.

That constant variety helps explain the popularity of the Northwest Festival of Ten-Minute Plays, which premiered its ninth annual incarnation last weekend with an evening of eight 10-minute new plays at Oregon Contemporary Theatre.

The White Lotus Gallery has put up a new show, replacing an exhibit of contemporary art with Japanese paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. The beautiful paintings will be up until April 1, and then they will come down, about 20 works altogether, and another group of artworks will replace them. 

I recently spoke at Curious Minds Weekend in Toronto at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Audience members submitted questions on cards before the show—anonymously—but the moderator, Lisan Jutras of the Globe and Mail, and I were having so much fun talking with each other that we didn’t get to many cards. So I’m going to quickly answer as many of the questions from the audience at Curious Minds as I can this week.


March is Wine Month in Washington (that state north of ours). Unless you have a passion for wine, that fact is not very important.

There shouldn’t be anything more enjoyable than watching David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike making their way through a biopic deftly directed by Amma Asante (Belle). Oyelowo has played compelling leaders before, with his should-have-been-Oscar-nominated performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma; Pike’s last role was an unexpected breakout, after a decade of work, as the scheming Amy Dunne in Gone Girl.

It goes without saying: Mainstream media are hardly without blame when it comes to the passionate partisan distrust now swamping the so-called news, and the “truths” it reports, in slippery muck of moral relativism. As the world burns, Good Morning America pimps the latest fad diet as though such ethereal concerns stood equal footing with weapons of mass destruction.

For decades now, our major news sources have been drifting away from earnestness and investigative wherewithal and into the über-commercialized realm of sensationalism, crowd-pleasing and ratings cowardice, while on the flip side the general population, perhaps lacking superior critical faculties, is seized by a kind of sensory overload that somehow puts facts and fiction toe to toe.

House Bill 2921 would repeal Oregon’s sanctuary state law and mandate that Oregon law enforcement agencies assist in federal immigration enforcement. The bill would also prohibit cities and counties from establishing sanctuary protections. 

But Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican from Independence, who is one of the bill’s chief sponsors, says he doesn’t expect HB 2921 to receive a hearing, instead Nearing is working on a petition to make the repeal a ballot measure to put before the voters in 2018.

EW talked to Samantha Swindler, a columnist for The Oregonian and president of the Oregon Territory chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, to get her take on the media chaos.

Did you absolutely love that article you read about Bernie Sanders on Occupy Democrats and agree with every word? Did you hate that story on NPR because the public radio network reported on the timber industry as if it had valid points on cutting down trees?

Before you pull a Trump and scream “fake news!” and before you post “media blackout!” on your Facebook feed and accuse the media of not covering a specific news topic, take a minute to think about what fake news actually is. 

Indivisible Eugene is playing defense against the Trump administration. The local chapter of a grassroots effort of politically active individuals looks to pressure Oregon’s political representatives in Congress to continue their opposition against the new president. 

For the past six months or so, some animal has been digging holes next to the path along the ponds on the east side of Delta Highway. Tracks left in mud on the path after a winter rain finally gave us a clue: nutria. Their distinctive tracks include a tail streak between footprints. Nutria are well known to dig up roots, worms and bugs. They seem to have been eating lots of roots of poison hemlock since its leaves have appeared. Considering how deadly it is to humans, I wondered how nutria could survive.

Late last year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency tried adding an obscure herbal leaf with narcotic effects called kratom to its list of banned substances. Public outcry in support of the mysterious painkiller, as well as a September 2016 letter penned by a small handful of U.S. senators — including Oregon’s Ron Wyden — convinced the DEA to back down for the time being.

Oregon State Sen. Jeff Kruse updates his email newsletter weekly. On Feb. 3, the Roseburg Republican wrote that he wanted to focus on the executive order issued by President Donald Trump on immigration. “The reaction to the order by the media, special interest groups and many politicians is a perfect example of the campaign of misinformation and lies being waged against this administration,” he writes.

Kruse is not alone in his rhetoric, Trump has lambasted the media ad nauseam at a national level. On Feb. 17, the president tweeted, “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @NYTimes @CNN @NBCNews) and many more is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK!” He later deleted the tweet, according to The New York Times

When the president of your country talks violently about women, what message does that send? That was one of the niggling questions that came out of the March 10 City Club of Eugene program on “Cruelty to Women, Here and Now.” Rachel Collins of Womenspace and Dr. Don Davies from the McKenzie River Men’s Center rolled out the cruel data: One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes; more than nine percent of our homeless are there because of domestic violence; globally, more deaths result from domestic violence than from wars. What to do about it?

The Lane Community College Dance Department’s annual Collaborations concert earlier this month offered three performances by LCC students and faculty as well as Eugene Ballet Academy’s company, Eugene Youth Ballet. 

The March 2 concert opened with Happening, by choreographer Sarah Ebert, set on dancers from Eugene Youth Ballet.

Join 350 Eugene Thursday, March 16, for a spring membership potluck and meet-up at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street. Bring food to share at 6 pm. At 7 pm the meet-up will include “campaign updates, work group news, action break outs, music and more,” according to organizer Betzi Hitz, as well as recruit people to help plan the April 29  “March for a Climate of Safety” in Eugene. Go to world.350.org/eugene for more info.

Take a drive out Highway 99 to Clear Lake Road and turn west. As soon as you leave the busy industrial highway you are in another world, instantly surrounded by green, open farmland. You experience a vista that stretches all the way to the Coast Range to the west. 

That’s what I see, and maybe that’s what you see, but that’s not what the city of Eugene sees. Instead of prime farmland and green open space, Eugene envisions a 924-acre industrial park. 

One way the news media demonstrate bias is by what they report and what they leave out.

Another is the negative or positive content of articles that do make it to print. A vital role of the media is to be a watchdog and a check on power, but not enough attention is given to monitoring the fairness of our local media’s narrative.

Planning is one of the most important elements of gardening. It is also one of the easiest steps to overlook, especially for the beginner. Knowing a few months ahead of time when you’re going to need to plant and harvest your vegetables can save you serious heartache in the long run. Having your seeds, starts and preservation methods prepped and ready will ensure you the longest growing seasons, the most fruitful crops and the longest lasting life from your produce.

Old school California punk band Social Distortion, together since the late-`70s, has, over time, and not unlike The Clash, adopted the patina of classic rock from their era. But stopping at terms “punk” or “classic rock” sells Social D a little short.