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Article 24 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that every person has the right to leisure. For many people, leisure consists of playing soccer, especially with goals, referees, out-of-bounds lines and other standard conditions — including opponents. These things are not so easy to get at the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP), I discovered when I came to play there as an outsider in a prison soccer match.

Playwright David Ives (A Flea in Her Ear, Venus in Fur) calls his play The School for Lies a “translaptation” of French playwright Molière’s classic 1666 farce The Misanthrope. Lies is now playing at University Theatre under the direction of Tricia Rodley.

MISGUIDED TAX

The most hated tax in English history was called a head tax in which the lord of the manor and peasants were taxed at exactly the same amount. It’s remarkable that EWEB has seen fit to revive that very same concept with a basic charge of $20 a month, which they propose to increase to $25 a month whether you live in a mansion in the hills or in an apartment on 6th Avenue. 

I’m a hetero guy in need of advice. Back in college, I met this girl. Suffice it to say she was into me but I had some shit to work through. So we ended up being a missed connection, romantically. Despite that, we still became fast friends. I’m less awkward now, in large part because our friendship changed my life. We each married other people, and everything worked out great. Except I still love her. I think about her often, want to share things about my life with her, find myself wanting to rely on her when things are tough. I don’t know what to do with it.

James Bond is a real son-of-a-bitch. Emotionally withdrawn and given to bouts of depression, the agent known as 007 is a classic anti-hero — sadistic, taciturn and misanthropic, he is an assassin driven by the icy requisites of duty but given to the thrill of stepping outside the lines when he smells a rat within his own intelligence organization.

I can’t say I felt much when I read that the Jacobs Gallery was closing; having never visited, I only knew of it as “that gallery under the Hult.” I could envision the work they presented. You know, the kind of art that could easily hang in a “respectable gallery.” 

While that may seem malicious, I approach this prominent closure with the perspective that art here, for the most part, is meant for an older audience. Can you blame the owners of the Jacobs Gallery for giving up? Surveying the art scene of Eugene tells me it’s less relevant and more “over the hill,” at least with regard to its ability to be at all engaging. 

We all love Best of Eugene, readers and writers alike. We love seeing joyful social media posts when winners open the pages of this issue and see their names in print. We love the crazy photo shoots. We love all the hilarious and inappropriate votes we get to read.

But just like anything that is deeply beloved, Best of Eugene is so much fun to complain about. Here at EW headquarters, we enjoy complaining about the 40 hours of staff time it takes to count all those votes. Readers seem to revel in accusations of a rigged system and fabricated winners. But hey, what’s a Eugene event without a conspiracy theory?

Lovely readers, you are more than welcome to count the votes yourselves to assure you that we do, in fact, tally all the votes, even the votes for “your mom.” We get thousands of votes every year, but this only represents a small percentage of our readership. There are a whole lot of readers out there who don’t vote at all. This brings tears of sadness to our tired, ballot-counting eyes.

This year, we added a few new categories, and we’re pleased to see some fresh faces grace these pages. Best of Eugene isn’t about us — it’s about you. We love you, Eugene, and we hope this issue is everything you dreamed it would be. And if not, just remember that you have the power to change it next year. OK, OK, enough soapboxing. Let’s get to the fun!

November is the month to drain and roll up the garden hoses. It is important to take timers and other freezing sensitive equipment indoors for the winter. Be prepared to wrap the outside faucets. It wouldn’t hurt to give the plants in the yard one final, gentle feeding of fertilizer.  

When Ali Emami steps outside his store on Willamette Street, he can look into the neighboring public plaza and see the statue of Ken Kesey. He says he remembers chatting with sculptor Pete Helzer in 2003 when Helzer was working on the bronze artwork officially known as “The Storyteller.”

Kesey is a part of Eugene’s unique culture, Emami says, and that’s something the city should be building on, not tearing down. When Emami was in high school in Iran, he says, he read Kesey’s books. Now, years later, he owns the two properties that border the iconic square that is a landmark to the famed Northwest author. 

It’s halfway though fall term and Michael Schill has been UO president since July 1. He’s five months into his term as the fifth president (counting interim leaders, too) in five years, something that has led the Chronicle of Higher Education to call the Ducks’ leadership position a “revolving door.”

Schill met with members of EW’s editorial board Oct. 30 to talk about some of the UO’s current occupations.

Charles Ogletree has a vision for the Black Lives Matter movement, the youth of our country and even a vision for how to change the conditions of generational poverty featured on HBO’s The Wire. Ogletree, an activist and prominent Harvard law professor, will visit Eugene on Nov. 12 to give speeches on the Black Lives Matter movement. 

• ODOT is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwys. 36 and 99 were recently sprayed.

• Coos Bay Rail Link planned to begin spraying the rail line from Coos Bay to Eugene beginning Oct. 23. Call the office manager at 266-7245 for more information. 

Barbara’s Soaps is back at Saturday Market and will have its usual booth space at Holiday Market, according to owner Barbara Hascall and confirmed by Kimberley Cullen, Saturday Market’s general manager. Complaints about excessive aromas coming from the booth have apparently been resolved, though details about the mediation have not been disclosed. “To create a safe place that is conducive for effective mediation, it is standard procedure at the Center for Dialogue and Resolution to agree to confidentiality at the start of each session,” Cullen says.

• The documentary Exposed: USDA’s Secret War on Wildlife will be shown at 6 pm Thursday, Nov. 5, at Bijou Art Cinemas, 492 E. 13th Ave., along with The Imperiled American Wolf. A discussion will follow with cinematographer Paul Garrett and Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense. See encirclefilms.org. 

It seems like only yesterday, and not 20 years ago. And I don’t know why or how, but Lewis Puller’s suicide “got” to me. But, what I wrote 20-plus years ago still stands: Another Vietnam vet has committed suicide. I do not know the particular demons which finally drove Lewis Puller to kill himself. I do know I have a few of my own that propelled me to the edge in 1975. 

The City Council deftly headed off a major confrontation with residents of the South Willamette area by voting Oct. 21 to not rezone single-family homes in the area. It was the council’s first opportunity to provide guidance to city planners on the highly controversial South Willamette Special Area Zone. 

“I grew up playing in the woods and creeks,” says Laurie Trieger, who lived in Philadelphia with her mom, but attended the Miquon School out in the country, where her mother worked in administration. “It was very ’70s, a radical creative education. I learned critical thinking and never had a letter grade.” After high school, Trieger waited tables and also volunteered at the Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center for Women, then was hired there full-time. In 1982, she met Larry Coxe in Philly. Two years later, they sold everything and departed.

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

Mac Miller’s latest release, GO:OD AM, reminds us we can trust the 23-year-old rapper to rise after a period of adversity. The dark undertones from his last self-released album Faces, focusing on drug addiction, give us a peek into the culture that often comes with money and fame at such a young age.

Much of Oregon’s music is made by immigrants from back East, but a few native Oregonian musicians have reversed the process, going on to glory far from their native Northwest.

The “Rocky and Tyler” tour features A$AP Rocky and Tyler the Creator, but Vince Staples is the rising star to watch.

Jonny Lang made his name as a 16-year-old blues guitar prodigy. Since then, he’s dabbled in rock, blues, gospel and pop — all the while remaining one of the most respected guitar slingers in the business. 

In their 15-year career, the five members of Blitzen Trapper have traversed wide musical landscapes, from the layered, progressive rock of small dive bars to the rustic alt country of Appalachia. Even within individual albums, Trapper is known for a range of sound that varies dramatically from song to song.