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Susan Cox was born in South Korea and grew up in Brownsville, Oregon with her adoptive parents. She was one of the first to serve on the Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Washington, D.C., during the first term of the Clinton administration. That’s when she met Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“The idea that Mrs. Clinton is not inspiring — I just find that astonishing,” Cox says. “When I watch her victory speeches, and she talks about what she would do, I find it very inspiring.”

The side channels of the upper McKenzie River near the town of Blue River are “magical,” Joe Moll says, draped in mosses and lined with massive cottonwoods. The channels are home to spawning spring Chinook and hungry bull trout. 

The recent acquisition of these lands, known as McKenzie Camp, near Finn Rock Boat Launch, is one of the many reasons to celebrate at McKenzie River Trust’s fifth annual “McKenzie Memories” event April 1, says Moll, MRT’s executive director. 

According to Oregon’s Quality Education Model, Oregon is shortchanging its schools by about $2 billion every two years. On March 29, a panel of education funding experts will convene at the University of Oregon to discuss “Solving Oregon’s K-12 Funding Crisis: Where We’ve Been and Solutions for the Future.”

After moss samples showing heavy metal hot spots near Portland art glass companies drew attention to the possible dangers associated with colored glass manufacturing, anxious local citizens called the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency to see if they had anything to worry about. 

Bus tickets to ship off homeless people? We hear the city of Portland is looking at allocating $30,000 to buy one-way bus fares for indigent residents who are stuck in Portland and want to go home, or at least to a place where they have the support of family or friends. San Francisco has a similar program called Homeward Bound. At first glance, this seems like a cynical way to get rid of “problem” people and pass them along to other cities.

• The Jazz Station at 124 W. Broadway has a jazzy new neon marquee that makes the all-ages music venue easier to find downtown. The sign was built by Neal Conner of Neon Latitudes with funding by a Lane County Cultural Coalition grant with matching funds from the nonprofit Willamette Jazz Society. Rich and Marilyn Linton, the current WJS president and his spouse, contributed financially to the project as well as providing oversight. The Jazz Station, a project of WJS, promotes touring musicians and bands, local talent and youth performers and provides rehearsal space.

• A weekly “Food Not Fences” community lunch series will begin at noon Thursday, March 24, at the newly constructed fences at Washington Jefferson Park on 1st and Jefferson. Organized by Badass Freedom Fighters and Humanity First, the gatherings are in solidarity with “our unhoused community members and in search for solutions.” Email ourhumanityfirst@gmail.com or cryswebb1975@gmail.com.

It was one of those moments when I felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. I had entered the Growler Underground in anticipation of meeting several friends and hearing lots of great music at the weekly open mic on Main Street in Springfield. As soon as I walked in, someone handed me the latest issue of Eugene Weekly and said, “Look what they did to Springfield.”

“Someone told me Oregon was beautiful,” says Chris Veloon, who grew up in Grafton, Wisconsin, and studied occupational therapy (OT) at the University of Wisconsin, “and that Eugene was a lot like Madison.” Since she arrived at age 27, Veloon has worked for PeaceHealth and McKenzie-Willamette hospitals, and, for the past 10 years, for Cascade Health Solutions, a nonprofit community health agency. “I’m an OT in home health,” she says. “Two of us cover the county. We mostly see elderly people with health issues.

OK, enough about Oregon’s February legislative session. Nothing happened except the minimum wage increased and Oregon banned coal as an energy source. Democrats bragged about those issues and about fixing Portland’s affordable housing crisis. In their press releases, Republicans described February as “the most destructive month in Oregon legislative history,” and predictably bragged about their obstruction and attacked the “one-party” Democrats. Whatever. I’m still pissed that the Democrats used a Trojan Horse bill to make Canis lupus a sacrificial lamb. Bad biology, governor.

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

Blue Man Adam Erdossy has spent much of the last 10 years being … blue. 

“It’s a special shade called ‘Blue Man blue’” Erdossy says. “It gets pretty much everywhere, which is actually pretty fun.” 

On the night of March 30, Sam Bond’s Garage is going to be painted with some funkadelic jams, man. Lucy Arnell and Holly Bowling are bringing tunes laced with Phish-y influences and classic experimental sounds.

Young Florida rapper Denzel Curry — he turned 21 in February — is returning to WOW Hall as a headliner after his last stop in 2015 opening for Joey Bada$$ and Mick Jenkins.

A BETTER INVESTMENT

I work with an organization that delivers food to Eugeneans experiencing homelessness, including those who sleep in Washington Jefferson Park. The city of Eugene just spent $67,000 to build fences that push these individuals out of the park. The reasons cited by the city have to do with safety and health hazards. To respond:

I’m a 24-year-old male, married three years, monogamous. My wife and I are religious and were both virgins when we got married. I’m sexually frustrated with two things. (1) How can I get her to give me oral sex? (She has never given and I have never received oral sex. I regularly give her oral sex.) She is afraid to try it, saying she’s not ready yet. About every six months, I bring it up and it leads to a fight. She is a germophobe, but I think she believes fellatio is done only in porn.

Shot in lavish black-and-white, Embrace of the Serpent drops you immediately into the humid nightmare of colonial devastation. A lone shaman, Karamakate (Nilbio Torres), squats silently on the banks of the Amazon River in the Colombian jungle. A canoe approaches, carrying a Colombian guide, Manduca (Yauenkü Miguee), and Theo (Jan Bijvoet), a German anthropologist dying of an unspecified disease.

While Oregon’s drippy March has us all feeling a little soggy, water isn’t as widely available as it seems.

A panel at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon earlier this month explored the privatization of water and how it has limited accessibility to this vital resource.

While Oregon’s drippy March has us all feeling a little soggy, water isn’t as widely available as it seems.

A panel at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon earlier this month explored the privatization of water and how it has limited accessibility to this vital resource.

The Republican race for the presidential nomination has been compared to a clown car with its circus of candidates. No one expected Donald Trump to be more than a joke. Now he might seriously get the nomination. 

The Eugene mayoral race might also lend itself to clown car comparisons, with its plethora of candidates. Thus far two candidates have stood out the most: Lucy Vinis, because she reflects Eugene’s concern for social issues and the environment, and Mike Clark, because his votes show he does not. 

Progressive Values Lucy Vinis has a liberal track record 

Councilor Clark and his 10-year track record 

Scott Landfield The anti-establishment candidate 

Bob Cassidy Wants Your Vote

Five candidates for mayor of Eugene — four men and one woman — lined the stage at First Christian Church March 3. When asked if they believed in human-caused climate change, candidate Lucy Vinis’ answer stood out from the rest: “I don’t think it’s a matter of belief,” she responded. Take a look at the facts, Vinis said: They show that human activity has caused climate change. 

Vinis, who worked at housing nonprofit ShelterCare as developmental director before retiring and deciding to run for mayor, was the first to file as a candidate last September. She has limited political experience, but she says her background in working for environmental and humanitarian nonprofits has helped hone her skills in bringing people together, a strategy she says she would use as mayor to find solutions to Eugene’s problems.

“When you’re dealing with God and country, nothing in Eugene is easy,” says a Fox News story about Eugene City Councilor Mike Clark’s 2011 effort to force the council to say the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting. 

It would seem hard to believe that green-Eugene would even consider voting into office a conservative candidate who has voted against helping the homeless, against combatting climate change and against environmental ordinances. 

But when you’re dealing with social issues and the environment, nothing in Eugene city politics is easy, either. 

If Scott Landfield, owner of Tsunami Books, is elected mayor of Eugene come November, what will be the top item on his agenda?

“The first thing I’ll do is demand a recount,” Landfield tells EW. He’s only half-joking. 

In an election year when it’s become trendy, nationwide, for candidates to puff out their chests and claim to be the anti-establishment choice, this designation seems to actually ring true for Landfield.

For starters, Landfield says he’s not looking for endorsements or sniffing out campaign contributions.

The big question surrounding the current mayoral election is: Will the wide field of Democratic candidates help sweep Republican Mike Clark into the mayor’s office this May? Former EWEB commissioner and current mayoral candidate Bob Cassidy doesn’t think so.

Cassidy doubts his conservative opponent can stitch together the just-more-than 50 percent of the ballots he’ll need in order to settle this race in May’s primary. Nor does Cassidy think Democrat Lucy Vinis can match Clark’s experience or name recognition in the general election.