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Sniffing out what you shouldn't miss in the arts this week

Can coasters that test for date rape drugs help solve the University of Oregon’s sexual assault problem? Or are they a drop in the bucket of a larger institutional issue? 

The Courtside and Skybox apartments teamed up with local medical supply company Med-Tech Resource to provide current and potential residents with coasters that test for the date rape drugs ketamine and gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

On Sunday, April 10, dozens of people came to Kesey Square in downtown Eugene to memorialize a vibrant former member of the Eugene community with Cascadian flags, pine cones and other symbols of his years in activism, civic engagement, advocating for diversity and more.

There are many reasons to read Eugene author Melissa Hart’s new young adult fiction book, Avenging the Owl, but the multiple references to Eugene life and Oregon culture are chief among them for local readers.

Tsunami Books will host a book launch for Hart on April 17, with readings from the winners of her middle-school nature essay contest.

A weekly produce box from a local farm can cost a family of four $550 — for a 20-week supply of healthy food, it’s a real bargain. But it’s not something every family can afford.

On April 14, First United Methodist Church hosts That’s My Farmer, an annual fundraiser to support low-income families by providing access to local and organic food through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. Donations will go towards That’s My Farmer’s low-income fund, which subsidizes what families cannot afford to pay for a season of food shares.

There’s something odd about 13th and Olive. Better known as Crap, er, Capstone, it’s a pretty blunt edition to downtown Eugene. But something about it just doesn’t quite make sense. A handful of the first-floor rooms are completely uninhabited, and yet they’re all done up: televisions turned on, beds made, journals on the desks and one or two lone T-shirts hanging in the closet. 

It’s a little creepy.

Eugene has a handful of new apartment complexes popping up just like 13th and Olive, from campus onward. Most of these buildings seem like viable housing options for students. But does Eugene really need so many new units — or rising rent prices?

Maybe more apartments isn’t the only approach to better housing for students.

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. Highways I-5, 99, 101 and 126 East were recently sprayed.

• We are cheering the youth of Our Children’s Trust for their victory against the fossil fuel industry and a government that is dragging its feet on climate change! On April 8, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon, decided in favor of 21 young people and scientist James Hansen and on behalf of future generations.

• Lane Community College will hold its 26th Annual Job Fair on Thursday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Center for Meeting and Learning, Building 19, main campus, 4000 E. 30th Avenue, Eugene. This is a free event open to the public. Career and Employment Specialist Tina Hunter recommends that people come dressed as they would for a job interview, bring a resume and prepare a pitch. Participants can enter to win door prizes, including $100 gift certificates for classes and gift cards to the LCC Titan Store.

• The NAACP of Lane County’s “Community Conversations: Building Unity in our Community” series of public meetings on race, privilege and equity continues from 5:30 to 8 pm Thursday, April 14, at the EWEB Community Room, North Building, 500 E. 4th Ave. The meeting begins with a light dinner at 5:30. Additional meetings in the series will be at the same time and place on the second Thursday of each month through May. Reservations are requested through naacplanecounty.org or the Facebook page. Call 682-5619.

I’ve been the president of Oregon Roads, a leasing and finance company in Eugene, for 26 years. I’m married, have a son, daughter, daughter-in-law and a grandson. I have board-member and board-chair experience with corporations, nonprofits and municipal entities. I’ve been appointed to Eugene City Council committees and served on Lane Transit District’s steering committee. I volunteer my time as a habit. I believe that I have the qualifications to govern, so I humbly ask for your vote.

Music News & notes from down in the Willamette valley.

He descended on the Carter era of gas lines and bloody carpets and post-love funk like some infernal geek bastard child of Buddy Holly and Johnny Lydon, spitting out lyrical venom over gorgeous hooks and bellicose riffs that plumbed the deepest, darkest wells of pop music — billboard fuzz attacking itself with newborn impunity — all of it churned out with a churlish amphetamine sneer that belied his antediluvian genius for melodic universalism within the three-minute cliché of radio-radio rock.

Eugene has long been one of the beacons of so-called early music, which includes basically anything composed (in Europe) before J.S. Bach died and Mozart was born in the mid-18th century. The Oregon Bach Festival has been the big kahuna, but the city boasts an indie early music scene consisting of historically informed performance practice musicians in outfits like the Oregon Bach Collegium, Vox Resonat and the University of Oregon’s splendid early music program.

The (sub)Urban Projections Digital Art & Media Festival returns April 21 with a two-night multi-sensory, multi-discipline experience.

Sponsored by the city of Eugene in partnership with Harmonic Laboratory, the festival — now celebrating its fifth year — seeks to “champion emerging artists, cultivate community and generate vibrancy in downtown Eugene.” 

Off a major thoroughfare, the freshly painted storefront sits at one end of a well-lit parking lot, next door to a busy Dari Mart. A graying couple exits their parked Corolla, license plate registration sticker current. They hold hands, gold wedding bands glinting, as they cross the tarmac and push open the lobby door. They’re greeted by a friendly receptionist and ushered into the sales room.

It’s not necessarily downbeat to claim that a given theatrical production is completely carried by one performance in particular — to lavish praise on an actor who puts the play on her back and carts it expertly and, of equal importance, joyously from her first appearance on stage to the proverbial drop of the velvet curtain.

HIS MONEY, OUR DEMOCRACY

Bob Macherione, leader of the “Our Money Our Transit” opposition to the new West Eugene EmX bus line out W. 6th, 7th and 11th avenues, complains that the EW March 17 article “Don’t Let a Loser Win” shows “what is wrong with the U.S. and especially Eugene politics today: the lack of civil public discourse with others who may not agree with your point of view.” (Letters, March 31)

I’m a 49-year-old gay man. I’ve become friends with a 21-year-old straight guy. He’s really hot. He’s had to drop out of college and return home. I know he needs money, as he hasn’t found a job yet and has resorted to selling off old music equipment. I would love to have some sweaty clothes of his, namely his underwear, but I’d settle for a sweaty tank top. Is it legal to buy someone’s underwear? He’s a sweet guy, and I don’t want to freak him out by asking something so personal. How do I broach the subject?

It is a peculiarity of art that its failures are often more moving, more profoundly beautiful, than its successes, especially when the artist failing is a great one. Perfection has a monolithic aspect, airtight and intimidating; it can leave us cold. Better, sometimes, the flaw, the frayed end, which reveals the Icarus burn of lofty ambitions. Humanity, you might say, is never more humane than when it strives and crashes.

Eugene Weekly sat down with Grammy Award-winning comedian, activist and stoner legend Tommy Chong this week to discuss his views on cannabis regulation, 6-foot bong rips, the unveiling of “Chong’s Choice” and his comedy partner Cheech Marin overdoing it.

The world lost a beautiful, warm, generous, mischievous, wickedly smart and delightfully cantankerous soul the night of Saturday, April 2, when Oregon artist Rick Bartow passed away after battling congenital heart failure. He was 69. At EW, our hearts are full of sorrow. Bartow will be remembered for his mastery of color and gesture, and his spirited and unflinching work — paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture, found in museums and collections around the globe.

April is one of the two busiest months of spring in the Willamette Valley. The native wildflowers are blooming in greater and greater profusion, the peak burst extending into May. With the abundance of flowers, butterflies and other pollinators become increasingly visible.

This issue begins a new era in Eugene Weekly newsroom management as I turn over the editor’s desk to my able colleague Camilla Mortensen. It should be a smooth transition. Camilla has been on staff since March 2007 and knows the community and region well. She has been invaluable as reporter, news editor and associate editor while writing award-winning investigative stories that have made EW one of the leading environmental voices in the Northwest. She has unique qualifications — a Ph.D. in comparative literature and folklore, an inquiring mind, strength of character, organizational chops, a sharp sense of humor — qualities that will help carry this paper on to the next level.