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The duckweed and mosquito fern have been blown to the southeast corner of the pond. It means the wind is coming out of the northwest and it will be cold and rainy. I can feel it in the air; I can smell it swirling around me. It is the source of my joy of walking outdoors. I believe that the feel and smell of nature constitute a subliminal elixir to counteract the poisons of urban living. 

In the spacious yurt at the center of Opportunity Village Eugene (OVE), Father Brent Was rummages through his bag with a red-and-white “OCCUPY” screenprint safety-pinned to it. Seated in a wobbly plastic chair, the bearded Episcopal reverend pulls out a simple wooden rosary and begins thumbing the blue beads from his left hand to his right, listening intently to the villager’s council meeting. 

Marcie Stout says if she knew then what she knows now, she would have stood in the lobby at Sacred Heart Medical Center screaming that December night until they admitted her brother, Darwin Stout, even if it meant she too would wind up on a psychiatric hold.

To UO landscape architecture student Gwynne Mhuireach, the seemingly clear air in Eugene is vibrantly alive. “There are all sizes of particles floating around,” the doctoral student says. “The heavier ones tend to stay more locally dispersed, and the lighter ones tend to be more long distance — there are some particles we’ve been getting from Japan.” 

Registered nurse Matthew Calzia works 12-hour shifts in the ICU at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend, where he cares for critically ill patients. Calzia says that due to staffing shortages over the past few years, he and his fellow nurses have consistently worked at a frantic pace and skipped breaks in order to provide patients with the care they need. 

In September, following up on rumors that a private jet had been donated to the University of Oregon, EW made a public records request for “non-monetary gifts/donations made to the UO, the UO Athletic Department and the UO Foundation valued over $10,000 from Jan. 1, 2013 through Aug. 2014.”

Carly Aquilino has been doing standup for less than three years and she’s already got a hit show — millennial favorite Girl Code, a comedy series where women in entertainment “weigh in on the sisterhood that all girls share” — and a cult following: In a recent episode, a fan gets Aquilino’s face tattooed on her thigh (another fan shaved her face into his back…). EW caught up with Aquilino over the phone from her New York apartment. She brings her act to Eugene for the first time Dec. 6 at McDonald Theatre.

• The Graduate Teaching Fellows’ strike on the UO campus is still on as we go to press this week. Our sympathies have been with the GTF Federation since negotiations began, and we are baffled by the UO administration’s response, considering interim President Scott Coltrane’s background. Coltrane is described in a recent New York Times article as a sociologist who has done extensive research on issues central to these negotiations. He should have led the way in giving the GTFs two weeks of paid sick  and parental leave and a pay raise.

Who’s who and what’s what in dance this month

A background in and understanding of grand juries has led me to be very suspicious about the recent grand jury proceedings regarding Darren Wilson, the police officer who murdered 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Over the last 17 years I have represented dozens and dozens of clients who were subpoenaed to testify as witnesses at state and federal grand juries regarding government investigations. 

• The Metropolitan Policy Committee meets 11:30 am to 1:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Eugene Public Library. On the agenda is the Oregon Transportation Forum legislative priorities. Contact is Paul Thompson, 682-4405.

• A town hall on the VA Roseburg Healthcare System will be from 5:30 to 7:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Elks Lodge, 2470 W. 11th Ave. Veterans, their families and other stakeholders are invited to an open dialog on VA health care issues locally and statewide. 

SHOW CANCELED. What would legendary Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr now in his fifties — say to his 19-year-old self, just about to embark on a career that would lead him to become one of the most widely acclaimed and respected rock musicians of his generation? 

Seattle in the ’90s was the kingdom of super fuzz and big muff, as greasy-haired white boys in skinny jeans crunched out Neanderthalic riffs like The Kinks on horse ludes. And through all that nevermind noise, this beardy old dude with a froggy voice and clangy guitar continued to ply his strange old-timey stylings, laying down this wonky-doodle groove that was like a surreal vaudeville patter horned through the swordfish trombone.

Much has changed since we last caught up with Portland darling Sallie Ford a year ago. Most notably, she’s no longer with The Sound Outside, her all-dude backing band (they broke up amicably). Ford simplified her band moniker to just Sallie Ford and pulled in a team of PNW musicians — Cristina Cano on drums, Anita Lee Elliott on bass and Amanda Spring on drums.

’Tis the season and all, but before we get to the holiday shows, let’s note the secular sounds.

Sports are funny. If folks in this country cared half as much about the political process as they do about football, we’d all be living in some elegant utopia right now.

ANGELS AND TURKEYS

We thoroughly enjoyed our attendance at a few of the community gatherings on Thanksgiving, those being at the old Whiteaker School and Friendly Street Church. 

While the food, service and, in the case of the former, great live musical entertainment was excellent, it is all of the wonderful volunteers across the entire spectrum of operations and who gave their time and energy helping those of us in need, who are the true angels of humanity in society today.       

I have been insecure about the way my vagina looks for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I would fantasize about the day I would grow pubic hair long enough to cover its unsightliness. That day never came, and I was left with an enormous insecurity about it. My labia minora is oversize quite a bit. I know that this is not uncommon, but its unattractiveness holds me back from receiving oral sex. I don’t even let my long-term boyfriend go down on me because I’m afraid he’ll think it’s gross and ugly.

Christmas? Already? Light the lights, jingle those bells, let’s wassail all season long. It’s a love fest. Quick switch from giving thanks for our gifts, to giving gifts, with our thanks — and lots of love.

Nightcrawler begins as a sleek, beautifully filmed portrait of desperation in uncertain times. Under Los Angeles’ flickering lights, people are desperate to keep their jobs, or to find jobs, and a degree of dubiousness is par for the course. 

Eugene will celebrate International Human Rights Day Dec. 10. Once again we will listen to city officials talk about how Eugene is (or aspires to be) a human rights city that follows the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But the reality is quite different on the streets where around 2,000 people survive without shelter, (un)aware that they have human rights, treated as criminals by the city. 

The Dexter Lake Club closed Nov. 17 and the land and building are for sale for $279,000, according to the nightclub and café’s Facebook page and website. The club was featured in Animal House in 1977 and has been in operation along Highway 58 since 1949. The business has changed hands nearly a dozen times, most recently in 2011 when Greg and Shannon Stewart took over the roadhouse from Michael McCann. Hundreds of local musicians have performed there over the years.

Post-punk. Post-war. Postmodern. Post-gender. Post-queer? With the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the recent state victories for marriage equality and a rising generation of people whose fluid identities don’t fit neatly into the he-she binary, we could be on the cusp of a post-queer moment, but that depends on whom you ask. 

“You have this incredible fluidity and it’s made it really difficult to define even what that culture looks like," says Andrew Clark, a local social worker in the LGBT community. “What’s happening is, during what we would identify as the gay and lesbian rights movement, you have very clearly defined identity categories. They were very rigid: You were a gay man; you were a lesbian; you were bisexual, you were transgender.” 

The search is on. Earlier this month, the Eugene 4J School Board hired a professional executive search firm to find a replacement for outgoing 4J Superintendent Sheldon Berman. Board Chairman Jim Torrey says the board hopes to finalize a candidate by the end of March 2015. He says the board is working with the firm to prioritize candidates from the Pacific Northwest “first and foremost,” and the next step is getting input from stakeholders and the community.