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Tap has long held both the glamour of Fred Astaire and the grit of early vaudeville. Even so, its popularity has been inconsistent in the history of dance.

Tap has enjoyed peaks on Broadway in the 1920s, the funk tap show Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk in the ’90s and even made appearances on So You Think You Can Dance as of late.

Although statewide results won’t become public until Sept. 17 for the Smarter Balanced Assessment — a standardized test Oregon students took this spring to determine if schools are teaching in alignment with the Common Core State Standards — preliminary results show that around 11 percent of Eugene School District 4J students did not take the test.

For local anti-testing group Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE), this statistic is good news. For school officials on the local and state level, the number strikes a more ominous tone. 

350 Eugene, a local climate activist group, will hold its fall gathering from 7 to 8:45 pm Thursday, Sept. 10, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street. The group is planning for the Paris 2015 United Nations climate summit Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. A global climate march is being planned in November.

• Oregon Department of Transportation is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call (888) 996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwy. 36 near Mapleton and Hwy. 99 near Eugene were recently sprayed.

• Sharon Kester, 520-0131, plans to hire Applebee Aviation, 866-311-4354, to aerially spray two units totaling 93 acres near Hawley Creek with Accord XRT II, Arsenal Applicator’s Concentrate, Oust XP and/or Syl-Tac. See ODF notification 2015-781-12122, call Brian Peterson at 935-2283 with questions.

Leasing water rights? Logging? What about bringing back Faerieworlds, the Dirty Dash and other events? Lane County’s park system is massive in scope — it encompasses 4,300 acres from the coast to the Cascades, including everything from marinas and campsites to hiking and horseback riding — and also massive is the draft master plan Lane County Parks produced last month.

For the first time since 1980, Lane County is updating its Parks and Open Space Master Plan, and the county is now taking public comment on the almost 300-page document. 

On Sept. 8, ShelterCare Development Director Lucy Vinis announced her candidacy for mayor of Eugene in the 2016 election, and she said three platforms drive her campaign: education, affordable living and climate change. 

Vinis, who worked with environmental nonprofit EarthShare of Oregon before her time at ShelterCare, said those three issues have emerged “consistently and repeatedly” as she’s talked with members of the community. 

“I want Eugene to be a city in which everyone has an opportunity to thrive,” she said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently entered into separate settlement agreements with Portland-based Cascade Petroleum Transportation, Inc. concerning a March 2012 truck crash near Westfir that resulted in the release of thousands of gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel to a ditch on the west side of Hwy. 58. The ditch flowed to Deception Creek, which in turn flowed to the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. Gasoline and diesel fuel also ended up in groundwater that supplies drinking water to nearby residents.

Mayor Kitty Piercy is concerned about the dozens of unkempt “travelers” sprawling on our sidewalks downtown with their dogs, guitars and harmonicas. We prefer to call them low-budget tourists, but regardless, they can be intimidating and offensive to some, and an irritation to storefront business owners who wish they would go away. Most will go away when the rain and cold returns; Eugene will be left with its regular population of 2,000 or so houseless folks.

Last week in this column we wrote about Barbara’s Soaps, a booth at Saturday Market, and we hear from owner Barbara Hascall that her booth has been banned from the market pending mediation. “We went to the board meeting Wednesday (Sept. 3) and thought we had a sympathetic audience,” Hascall says. “I’m still surprised by this.” The market had gotten complaints about excessive odors emanating from the booth with its 50 soaps, shampoos and lotions.

With wildfires raging across Oregon, it has become even more urgent for Gov. Kate Brown and U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to oppose the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and pipeline proposed for our state by a Canadian energy company. 

The Stouts Creek fire, one of the largest current blazes, is impacting at least 17 miles of the route the Pacific Connector pipeline would take to bring LNG from Canada and the Rockies to Coos Bay for export to Asia.

“I always knew, implicitly, that I was a musician,” says Scotty Perey, who took classical piano lessons from age 5 through high school in Billings, Montana. He sang in the school choir and taught himself guitar. He studied engineering for a year in Boulder before leaving that career path to study music at Montana State in Bozeman. He moved to Eugene in 1988 and finished a bachelor’s in music composition in 1994. He started giving music lessons at home in 1990, the same year he joined a new band, The Sugar Beets. “We met at the UO,” he says.

Mad Decent Block Party, the traveling circus of dirty bass selling out shows nationwide and making Rolling Stone’s list (again) of “Summer’s 50 Must-See Music Festivals,” returns to Cuthbert Sept. 12 to ensure you end your summer with a bass drop.

Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds are a seven-piece “hard-soul” band based out of New York. Sister Sparrow vocalist Arleigh Kincheloe calls her band’s sound “high energy — very much meant to make you get up and dance and have a good time.” 

Once upon a time, they made movies out of musicals. From the 1940s through the ’70s, once a show had proved its worth on Broadway, Hollywood came calling. In the past generation or so, however, as the big-budget blockbuster mentality infested theater, the process reversed. 

More than four decades into her career, Marcia Ball is a living blues legend as well as a popular fixture on blues-hungry Eugene stages. But last year, Ball missed her chance to promote her latest release, The Tattooed Lady and The Alligator Man, in our valley.

Not many band names are as accurate as Session Americana. The six-piece musical collective, made up of some of Boston’s best folk, rock and roots musicians, promises a gathering of down-home music.

I reach Ryan Kattner, better known as Man Man’s lead howler Honus Honus, at his home in L.A. Kattner is working out some new songs for the experimental rock band’s upcoming tour, a process he’s none too thrilled about.

Bands come and go, whether it be the dramatic fallout of One Direction or the breakup and subsequent makeup of No Doubt. But there’s one band we can count on to stay with us through it all, (with tough love) guiding generations through horrifying high school years with “High School Never Ends,” a rollercoaster relationship with “The Bitch Song” or a crappy day with “Shut Up and Smile.” 

Award-winning playwright Aaron Posner grew up in Eugene. And since Oregon Contemporary Theatre’s season opens with Posner’s Stupid F@#*ing Bird, it seemed a great excuse to ask this renowned artist about his old paper route.


Marijuana seems more illegal than ever for OMMP [Oregon Medical Marijuana Program] patients needing pain management. I have been an OMMP patient concomitantly with pain medications for five years, and I am currently on Social Security Disability. I was regularly drug-tested with THC in my system, which was never a problem. I then had to switch my primary care and was assigned to one of Lane County’s community health centers. 

Is it legal for a man to procure the services of a dominatrix? In the kind of session I have in mind, there’s no nudity or sexual activity or contact involved. There’s not even any whipping or flogging or caning or hardcore BDSM stuff. I just want to see what it would be like to be bound and gagged. That’s it. So is it against the law to pay a woman to tie me up?

Boy Into Nonsexual Domination

So much to worry about — The Big One, global warming, wine growth and change. And if we really want that thrill of fear, we only have to whisper: President Trump. Shivers and trembling, fear and loathing.

Noah Baumbach has been making delightful movies about white twentysomething angst for, well, 20 years. He aged up a little bit with this spring’s While We’re Young, which lovingly skewered both its fortysomething leads and the twentysomething “artists” they befriended. The director got a little sweeter with 2012’s Frances Ha, the first movie in which Greta Gerwig served as his star, co-writer and muse.

Combine Planet of the Apes, The Simpsons, electronic duo Disclosure and 20 burlesque dancers in silver bikinis and monkey masks — and you get the Blackheart Burlesque, a SuicideGirls show set out to beat back traditional beauty standards.