Oh, Eugene. We love you, we really do. For as much as we criticize, cajole and complain, this town of ours is near and dear to our hearts. EW considers Best of Eugene a giant shout-out to our Emerald City, and this year, we’re taking it a step further by using our staff picks to highlight some examples of what we think Eugene is doing right. It isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, and we could fill pages extolling the accomplishments that Eugeneans have made this year: We banned neonicotinoids to help save the bees, opened a one-of-a-kind skatepark in the Whit and added another gem to our crown of award-winning breweries with Elk Horn Brewery, voted Best New Business and Best New Restaurant this year. The Eug life is a pretty good one, and we’re happy to present your top picks for 2014.
His calm, measured tones discussing coal mine safety or preventable grain silo deaths can make the heart of any news geek with an NPR tote bag go pitter-pat. National Public Radio listeners have heard Howard Berkes’ voice on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition and will hear that voice in the coming weeks when his latest investigation into mine safety hits the airwaves.
The extended summer dry spell has turned into a warm rainy period. No frost yet, nor even any really cold nights, although the average first frost date is long past. It means the leaves on the bigleaf maples haven’t been triggered to produce the golden color seen in most years. Instead, the dry leaves just turn brown and fall off while the rest are still green. The tar spot fungus doesn’t have its usual green halo on a golden background because its spores are maturing early, sustained by the whole green leaf.
Former county administrator Liane Inkster (previously Richardson) was fired by Lane County more than a year ago, but questions from her uneasy departure still linger, most recently due to a letter from the Oregon State Bar (OSB) clearing her in a disciplinary investigation.
Everybody sleeps. But for people who are unhoused, sleeping can be controversial and even illegal, due to city ordinances that ban lying down, sleeping or camping.
Those ordinances might be based on bad philosophy, according to Chad Kautzer, an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, who argues that such ordinances outlaw activities that are fundamental to survival.
The city of Eugene recently sent the following Eugene businesses “pre-enforcement notices” for violating the Clean Water Act by failing to conduct required monitoring of industrial stormwater discharges from their facilities: Al’s Sheet Metal, Apex Machinery, Armur Coatings, Bulk Handling Systems (two locations), Mohawk Metal Company, Rolling Frito-Lay Sales, The Truss Company, Tyree Oil and Zip-O-Log Mills (two locations).
• It was ugly out there across America Tuesday night, but let’s give a cheer for Oregon, Washington and California, the left bank. Our state voted for legalized marijuana, for equal rights for women and against top-two primaries. We made some mistakes such as voting against increased student financial aid and denying legal driving to immigrants. We held the Democratic Legislature and supported reasonable people like Phil Barnhart, Peter DeFazio, Jeff Merkley and John Kitzhaber.
A Whiteaker neighborhood building and land at 252 Lawrence St., across the street from Crux Rock Climbing Gym, has been sold to Rick Wright, the CEO of Market of Choice, to become an events center, and we heard from one small business being evicted, Bohemia Café & Apothecary. Co-owner Felicia Parra-Colden tells us the eviction was given with short notice, but she was able to negotiate more time to relocate.
Councilor Alan Zelenka’s Oct. 16 Viewpoint was a good summary of the Eugene City Council majority’s rationalizations about tearing down and replacing City Hall. The smaller building would be more energy efficient. We wouldn’t need to consolidate city services in the future at City Hall because no one was complaining and people were getting used to running around town.
• Supreme Court journalist and author Garrett Epps is back in Eugene this week to speak about his new book, American Justice 2014: Nine Clashing Visions on the Supreme Court. Epps will speak at 4:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 6, at the Knight Law Center Wayne Morse Commons. Epps is a former UO law professor who now teaches at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He covers the Supreme Court for The Atlantic and contributes to The American Prospect. See waynemorsecenter.uo.edu.
There are 85 miles of trail that cross nearly every part of the Waldo Lake Wilderness, but the Black Creek Trail is one of the best. After a short walk through an older plantation, the forest quickly transitions to a very impressive forest dominated by ancient Douglas fir nearly 7 feet in diameter and 250 feet tall.
Before discussing indie-rock siren Frankie Rose, one must ask: Which Frankie Rose are we talking about? The founding member of garage-rock acts Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls or Vivian Girls? Or the Brooklyn-based songwriter rumored to be related to legendary hard rocker and mouthpiece for Guns ‘n’ Roses, Axl Rose?
People who worry about classical music’s future point to its aging, dwindling audiences; stale, predictable repertoire (the same old pieces by the same old long-dead European composers); stuffy atmosphere (tuxedos! No unauthorized clapping!); dull, rote performances. Then come glimmers of hope like PROJECT Trio.
Sample “Till It’s Gone” from Southern rapper Yelawolf’s yet-to-be-released Love Story, and you might be surprised — first by the rich, oaky acoustic guitar line that kicks the track off and next by what the bluesy, looping arpeggios recall: the piano figure introducing Nina Simone’s classic “Sinnerman.”
Many of us have been told that we use something every day because it is safer, faster and more convenient. There is a cost to this luxury of modern technology that needs to be realized. As a manager of a small business here in town I can tell you that at the end of the year 2013, our profits were cut down by the usual suspects — wages, energy expenses and maintenance — but what surprised me most was the charges incurred by customers using their debit/credit cards. In fact, we were charged nearly $24,000 last year.
Who can resist a story that starts with a trio of children flying out the bedroom window to a land where you never grow up? Add a fearsome, hook-handed sea captain and a mischievous fairy, and you are solidly in the grasp of the marvelous adventure of Peter Pan, a version of which — Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. — opens Friday, Nov. 7, at Churchill High School under the auspices of Rose Children’s Theatre.
Is this even Dan? Probably not, probably an assistant, but maybe this will eventually get to him. I have a spanking fetish. I love to be spanked. I live in Oakland, California, so San Francisco is 10 minutes away. Seems like I’m in one of the best places in the country to have a kink, but I’m having a hard time figuring out where I can find a spanking community. I know there are BDSM clubs, but is there another way I can connect with spanking people? Any suggestions or resources?
Slumped against the grimy wall, I rode the wheezing elevator, creaking and clanking, to the 15th floor of the old high-rise in downtown Eugene, then ambled down the hall, dodging peeling linoleum, stopped at our office door, Wine Investigations, flaking black letters on frosted glass. The door was ajar, Mole obviously already at work. I pushed in, tossed my ragged fedora on a hook, surveyed our “lab.” I couldn’t suppress the dread that rose in my chest.
One peek at the trailer for Listen Up Philip and you’d think it was another painfully indie, pseudo-intellectual film in which nothing happens — and, for the most part, this is accurate. The movie follows the despicably self-centered mind of aberrant Jewish novelist Philip Lewis Friedman, played by Jason Schwartzman (no stranger to neurotic roles, or even neurotic Jewish novelist roles).
Emblazened on the wall of the University of Oregon Moshofsky Center — the first indoor practice facility on the West Coast — this mantra calling for the complete abandonment of tradition could have been written about the Ducks uniforms.
The Nike-Ducks partnership has revolutionized the cycle of change for uniforms in college athletics. During the 2013 season, Oregon wore seven unique jerseys and six unique helmet and pant designs — compare this to the one home jersey and one away jersey from the pre-Nike games of the early ’90s.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that former Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy’s complaint against the county and against former administrator Liane Richardson (now Inkster) and Commissioners Sid Leiken, Faye Stewart and Jay Bozievich for undermining “his ability to do his elected job” can be amended and move forward for a decision.