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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.

As the Democratic National Convention meets in Pennsylvania July 25-28, the Philadelphia Inquirer predicted 35,000 to 50,000 protesters would descend upon its city. Eugene-based CodePink activist Jennefer Harper traveled to the DNC as an EW freelancer to report upon events. CodePink is a women-led grassroots organization that includes in its focus working to end U.S. wars and militarism and supporting peace and human rights initiatives. Delegate Julie Fahey went to the DNC to cast her vote for Hillary Clinton.

A legislative committee came to Lane County July 20 to hear from ordinary Oregonians about their daily transportation needs. Whether you drive a car, ride the bus, bicycle, walk, use a mobility device, telecommute or a combination of the above, what’s your story? What problems do you experience getting from place to place? What transportation investments would make it better?

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. 

Oregon Department of Transportation is spraying roadsides. Call 503-986-3010 to talk with a vegetation management coordinator or call 1-888-996-8080 for recent herbicide application information. Hwys. I-5, 36, 105 and 126 were recently sprayed.

Big changes are shaping up that could turn a faltering Eugene City Hall process into a real win for downtown. Perhaps it will yet turn out to be a good thing that the old City Hall was torn down prematurely before there was a solid master plan for the city’s block or a true and reliable estimate for what a City Hall replacement was going to cost.

• We’re proud to be a part of the political revolution led by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley and millions of other Americans, many of them young and new to political action. And, as they passionately advise, this November we should do everything that we can to defeat Donald Trump and to elect Hillary Clinton. Clinton should handily win blue Oregon, but what can we do to help her outside our state? And what can we do to elect Democrats in the Senate? We especially feel the urgency when it comes to Supreme Court appointments.


• The nonprofit Community Veterinary Center on Hwy 99 in Eugene provides low-cost veterinary services for 1,500 animals each year whose families are low-income. The clinic, which opened in 2012, mainly focuses on animals in Lane County. CVC has a special capital campaign to raise money to add a sterile surgery because currently clients needing such surgery are sent to private veterinarians, and CVC must then raise additional money to help its clients with that.

The Lane County Board of Commissioners, at the behest of Dennis Morgan, a local businessman and conservative political activist, is considering a proposal to grant themselves authority to review Lane County citizen initiatives, which have met all legal standards for placement on the ballot. The proposal would allow the board to declare that an initiative does not meet the board standard for “county concern” and, thereby, to bar it from the ballot. 

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley

Bright young talents conquer Broadway with hip new streetwise music: Seven decades before Hamilton, 25-year-old composer Leonard Bernstein and his upstart young (average age 27) drinking buddies — singer-songwriter-comedians Betty Comden and Adolph Green and choreographer Jerome Robbins — blitzed wartime Broadway with On the Town.

A fun game: Listen to "Weird Al" Yankovic and take him deadly serious. Forget that he’s built a career lifting popular tunes from artists like Michael Jackson or Pharrell Williams. In 1988, Weird Al lampooned Jackson’s “Bad” with “Fat,” and on Yankovic’s 2014 release Mandatory Fun, he borrowed Pharrell’s “Happy” and made it “Tacky.” 

If you’re sailing down the Willamette River through Corvallis, don’t be surprised when you hear distant piano music. No, it’s not some river ghost — it’s probably the Barker Gypsies. 

If you’ve spent time in a city, even little Eugene, you know the main characters on the sidewalk: the kid looking to bum a cigarette; the person staked out on a corner trying to convince you that the world is doomed; and the folks just angling to get you to buy their stuff. 


I read with great interest the recent cover story [“Black Lives Matter,” 7/14], particularly the article by Camilla Mortensen in which she described an unspoken but implied fourth word: “Black lives matter, too.” That is certainly the way I have always heard the slogan.

I’m 28 years old and live in the Midwest. I’m intersex, but I identify as female. I am not out about being born intersex. Due to surgeries and hormones, I look like a fairly attractive female. I have been hanging out with a chill hetero guy, and things are getting very flirty. Is it unethical of me to not disclose my intersex-ness to him?

In New Terrific Erotic Romance

Star Trek Beyond soared into theaters last weekend under the weight of 50 years of expectations. Some were notably lower after the mess that was 2013’s Star Trek: Into Darkness. Some can never be met; those belong to the old guard who would rather the movies be more like (one of) the series. When Justin Lin was announced as Beyond’s director, there was a certain amount of groaning online: “It’s just going to be Fast and Furious in space!” 

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

The only thing certain about Eugene City Hall right now is that the city doesn’t have one. What the city does have are some ideas about how a new City Hall can be integrated into planning the land swap with Lane County.

The old City Hall building was torn down last year, and the price for building a new one is mounting. After the latest bid came in from McKenzie Commercial Contractors for $18.2 million, about $3 million more than anticipated — bringing the total cost up to around $28 million factoring in design and demolition — the Eugene City Council voted 7-1 to reject the bid at a July 18 meeting.

Toxins are everywhere. In Portland, the discovery and subsequent cover-up of high levels of lead in the drinking water of public schools led to Portland Superintendent Carole Smith’s resignation July 18.

Here in Lane County, school districts are in the midst of testing drinking fountains and faucets for elevated levels of lead.

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.”