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It’s Garden Love Month here in Lane County, a time to show your affection for rosy radishes and leafy greens. And there’s hardly a better way to share your love for all things vegetable than to volunteer for the School Garden Project, a local nonprofit dedicated to bringing the joy of gardening to kids in 16 schools spread through the Eugene 4J, Bethel, Springfield and Crow-Applegate-Lorane school districts. 

The iconic space-age cartoon The Jetsons features a technologically advanced home, complete with a robot housekeeper and a home full of futuristic gadgets. The show first aired in 1962, and while houses still don’t brush your teeth for you or make breakfast with the press of a button, technology now enables us to do some advanced home control, like dimming your living room lights from miles away. 

Warm summer days picking apples for homemade applesauce and canning with Grandma in a hot kitchen are memories Annika Parrott cherishes — ones she hopes to pass on to her daughters. Parrott is one of the many people living in Eugene who has turned back the clocks 100 years and started urban homesteading. 

Eugene’s six community garden sites, from Amazon Park to the Whit, brighten local neighborhoods with colorful bursts of tomatoes and chard. It takes a network of volunteers, nonprofits and city staff to keep the garden plots up and running. 

Last year, however, the city of Eugene reorganized its staffing and cut the staff time of the community gardens manager in half, from .5 full-time equivalent (FTE) to .25 FTE.

• Weyerhaeuser, 744-4600, plans to ground and aerial spray 6 acres located 1 mile southeast of Cottage Grove near Taylor Butte with Accord Concentrate, Atrazine 4L, Weedone LV6 EC, Velpar DF, Oust XP, Oust Extra, DMA4 IVM, Transline and/or Sulfomet XP. See ODF notification 2015-771-03472, call Tim Meehan at 726-3588 with questions.

Pacific Recycling has been fined yet again for environmental violations, this time involving asbestos. (For a listing of past appearances in this space go to goo.gl/fNr376.) The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assessed a civil penalty of $32,000 against Eugene-based Pacific Recycling on February 3 for asbestos violations associated with an abatement project at a facility in Independence, Oregon, owned by CPM Development Corporation. DEQ assessed a separate penalty of $10,400 against CPM.

“I’ve gotten better and better in the role of watchdog,” says Commissioner Pete Sorenson of his decision to run again for his long-time South Eugene seat on Lane County’s Board of Commissioners in the May 2016 primary. 

The election might be more than a year away, but Sorenson has already begun lining up endorsements, from local politicians — Mayor Kitty Piercy — to legislators in Salem — Rep. Phil Barnhart. 

An amazing cross-section of this community has come together to buy “the dirt,” 10.2 acres in the center of Eugene. This is the first and most difficult step in building a fieldhouse for kids, restoring a historic wooden stadium and installing a playing field for soccer and fun, adding a pocket park and a walking/biking path. What a lift in a world that seems to be coming apart more than coming together! 

Might be too late to reserve a seat, but we see the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a “Chamber 101” lunch at noon Thursday, March 5, in the Chamber’s conference room on Willamette Street. Pre-registration (free) is required and it appears the presentation is geared to new members. Everything is political in Eugene, and we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the participants raise political issues, such as why the U.S. Chamber has actively campaigned against reducing carbon pollution. 

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

• The Metropolitan Policy Committee meets from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm Thursday, March 5, at Springfield City Hall Library, 225 Fifth St. Scenario planning is on the agenda. Contact Paul Thompson, 682-4405.

• Author David Barsamian, founder of Alternative Radio, will speak at 1 pm Thursday, March 5, at Building 17, Room 309, on the main LCC campus. His topic is “Media and Democracy.”

I hope the community will take the time now, before it is too late, to visit the exposed structural frame of our City Hall. It currently has been reduced to the frame, structure or bones. It is very open, transparent, extravagant and architecturally significant. It is still a strong and valuable base one could build from anew if our city seriously embraced sustainability.

“My goal was to work at the Los Angeles Zoo,” says Karen DeBraal, who grew up in nearby Glendora. She earned a two-year vet tech degree, studied zoology at Cal Poly Pomona, then worked as a zookeeper for four years. “I was severely disillusioned,” she says. “I thought zoos should be genetic arks and participate in reintroduction.” DeBraal moved to Santa Cruz, where she worked for Greenpeace, served as media rep for Earth First! and returned to school at UCSC for a degree in environmental science.

“I want to say that no artist has mentioned Eugene, Oregon, more in songs,” Eugene-born folk-rock artist Mat Kearney tells EW

“You’re all a bunch of phonies” has long been one of punk rock’s favorite accusations. Providing a fresh and funny take on that old gripe are the firebrands from London, Ontario — Single Mothers

What does one do after breaking up a successful and influential band? If you’re Christopher Hall of The Dreaming, you start again, but this time as a supergroup. In the late ’90s, Hall’s previous project, Stabbing Westward, took modern-rock radio by storm with singles “Shame” and “Save Yourself” before calling it quits in 2002. Unwilling to remain idle, Hall and drummer Johnny Haro formed The Dreaming later that year. 

New York musician Marco Benevento recorded his 2014 release Swift about as far away from the big city as possible: Cottage Grove. 

RAPE IS A DISTRACTION?

I continue to be troubled by the way the UO is handling the rape of an 18-year-old freshman by three basketball players. The university keeps telling us they have done nothing wrong. It seems to me that the UO has done everything wrong!

When it comes to accessing the arts, sometimes money isn’t the only obstacle. Institutions like museums, theaters and concert halls may inadvertently express an air of exclusivity, creating an invisible barricade to community members who don’t fit the profile of “arts patron.” 

wife issues. lack of intimacy. cuckold, etc.

need help

While I typically encourage people to keep their questions brief, it is possible to be too brief, NH. But I’ve gotten so many questions from wannabe cuckolds with wife issues over the years that I’m going to hazard a series of guesses and take a shot at advising you…

Many of my colleagues wish 50 Shades of Grey had never been written. I wish it had been written thirty years ago. I’ve been doing BDSM since we called it S/M. (In the early ’90s, someone mashed together B&D for bondage and discipline, D/s for dominance and submission and S/M for sadomasochism to coin the acronym BDSM. I liked it better when it had fewer initials.) 

Sitting in Sweet Life Patisserie in the Whiteaker, Aydian Dowling discusses the meaning of “going viral” — or gaining instant fame via the internet. “Once we hit 200,000 views on just the Buzzfeed page,” he says, “we were like, ‘What does it mean to go viral?’” He laughs. “I think when we break a million, we’ll say that we went viral.”

$7 million — that’s about how much a new standardized test for Oregon students will cost the state of Oregon this school year. The Smarter Balanced Assessment, rolling out for the first time this spring, is meant to measure how well Oregon K-12 schools are teaching in alignment with the Common Core State Standards, adopted in 2010.

But critics say the test is stressful for children because most students are predicted to fail. The test provides little valuable information to individual students, and some say it doesn’t accurately measure a school’s performance.

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