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It’s oddly easy to forget how important Spider-Man is to the current superhero movie bonanza. 2002’s Spider-Man was the first movie with a $100-million opening weekend — a green light for the continuing superhero invasion. There’s a reason Spider-Man is now in his third incarnation: People really like their friendly neighborhood superhero.

It’s that time of year again: the smell of fresh cut grass in the breeze, children flying kites and playing in the park for summer break, and thousands of hippies descending on a well-loved property near Veneta. It’s summer in Eugene, and that means the Oregon Country Fair is back. This year, we’re looking forward to ogling the usual fun array of circus acts, dancing to great music like Chris Robinson Brotherhood and High Step Society, and reflecting on how the Fair comes together each year, bringing the community together with it. OCF not your thing? We’ve got you covered there too. Regardless, it’s shaping up to be another beautiful summer weekend here in Oregon.

Everyone loves a circus. Acrobats, contortionists, clowns — the whole shebang. And now that the folks at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus have taken their final bow, the demand for a clever circus act is on the rise. 

Fortunately, there is no better place to see Big Top-type acts than this year’s Oregon Country Fair, and unlike Ringling, the acts at the Fair don’t exploit animals.

Imagine a ghost town. The skeletons of buildings, stripped of their roofs and siding, are overgrown with trees and vines. Light shining through the rafters allows grass to grow and wildflowers to bloom in the shells of the structures.  

It seems as if a hurricane passed through, if only hurricanes neatly stacked the boards of the buildings they tore apart.

I’m going to take a sec and highjack this piece on 2017’s OCF music lineup to complain that Lane County — and Eugene specifically — needs, nay deserves, a true music festival: a Pickathon, a Bumbershoot, a Treefort or, at the very least, a resurrected Eugene Celebration that settles its identity crisis, putting it at odds with itself as a community street fair versus an event focused on music worthy of drawing an audience. 

Crowds, dust and scorching temperatures aren’t for everyone. So if you’re like me and want to avoid gaggles of people at the Oregon Country Fair, use the empty streets of Eugene as your catbird seat.

“This shouldn’t have taken so long because this is a pressing issue,” Phil Carrasco says. “People are feeling the fear and pressure right now, they’re missing appointments at Health and Human Services.”

For immigrant rights advocates like Carrasco, who has been one of the leaders in the campaign for sanctuary in Lane County, the expected July 11 vote by the Board of Commissioners on sanctuary measures has been a long time coming.

For the first time in several years our reservoirs are full. This is good news all around because it means that there has been a good rain year with higher than average snowpack in the mountains. Euphemistically called “lakes” by the Army Corps of Engineers, I always add “reservoir” to the names, as in “Dexter Lake Reservoir.”  Reservoirs are not the same water bodies as natural lakes and have distinctive ecological relationships worth remembering. Reservoirs built for flood control in the Willamette River watershed are subject to dramatic changes in water level every year.

Voters will see more precise and inclusive language in the initiative petition, Voters Pamphlet and ballot measure to create an Office of Independent City Auditor for Eugene, thanks to a July 3 court decision. 

The judge’s ruling followed court arguments June 29, which in turn were followed by multiple revisions by the opposing attorneys.

On June 26, the city of Eugene’s 2017-2018 proposed budget, presented by City Manager John Ruiz, was adopted by Eugene City Council. Before approving the budget, the City Council amended the budget to include $1 million to fund a homeless shelter from a settlement the city received from Comcast. 

Colton Evans of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) says it might be easier to define the organization by what it is against rather than what it’s for. “We’re anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist — and anti-capitalist, of course,” he says over drinks on Friday, June 30 at The Paddock. 

 

• The Oregon Country Fair is kicking off, and we treasure this quirky annual celebration and all it does to revel in the hippie culture that makes Eugene Eugene. And as with anything we treasure, we have to love it in all its flaws, whether those might be complaints about the dust or the music acts or something more painful such as the Ritz Sauna story pole debacle that hurt and offended native peoples. As the dust settles, we hope we will hear about efforts OCF makes to work with the native community to restore trust and build new bridges. 


KLCC public radio is seeing major changes this summer. A celebration of life was held July 1 for longtime Music Director Michael Canning who died May 14, a year after he retired. Program Director Don Hein retired June 30 after 40 years. News Director Tripp Sommer retired at the same time after 36 years, along with Development Director Cheryl Crumbley, who was with the station for six years. KLCC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

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

I know firsthand that running for political office costs money. As a candidate for House District 14 in West Eugene and Junction City, I made a lot of fundraising calls. I didn’t (and still don’t) mind raising money and I think I’m not too bad at it. Every candidate needs resources to explain to voters about why they’re running to serve and what ideas they have for fixing the biggest problems facing your community. 

Portland’s Jenny Don’t and The Spurs are on the road promoting their latest release, Call of the Road, out now on Mississippi Records. Guitarist, vocalist and primary songwriter Jenny Connors says her band’s “Western cowboy music” has an outlaw, Wild West attitude, “romanticizing the desert” and “vast openness where anything goes.”

When Callie Dean and Alex Yusimov — veteran employees of Portland-based record store, music venue and record label Mississippi Records — decided to go into business for themselves, they looked beyond Portland to Eugene.

HAIL QUEEN HILLARY

I enjoyed Rick Levin’s perceptive article about Ashland’s culture [“Taming of the Shrewd,” June 29], except for his line comparing Hillary Clinton to Lady Macbeth. Clinton is not a murderer, nor a woman who can only go mad when defeated. I would compare Hillary Clinton to Queen Catherine, first wife of Henry VIII.   

I’m a 29-year-old straight woman facing a dilemma. I dated this guy about a year ago, and in many ways he was exactly the guy I was looking for. The main hitch was sexual. Our sex was good, but he had a fetish where he wanted me to sleep with other guys. Basically, he gets off on a girl being a “slut.” He was also into threesomes or swapping with another couple. I experimented with all of that for a few months, and in a way I had fun with it, but I finally realized that this lifestyle is not for me. I want a more traditional, monogamous relationship. I broke it off with him.

Mírame Bien!” pleads the current photography exhibit in the Morris Graves gallery at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art — “Take a good look at me!” That’s sound advice when visiting any photo show, but particularly the diminutive prints of Edward Weston, Paul Strand and Manuel Alvarez Bravo.

You know the voice: a burbling purple baritone hung like a bass note plucked by the hand of God, a testosterone lullaby, a heavenly man-purr, canyon-deep in its middle passages and twisted at the bookends by a lispy twang that lops off syllables like a hot knife separating warm dough, altogether an emblem of life, liberty and pastoral beauty, like an echo resounding from the unconquered American West, at once primordial and ruggedly civilized.

Eugene Police Department has implemented a mandatory, department-wide $750,000 body camera program for all on-duty officers, but critics wonder if the new program will prevent police misconduct.

In 2015, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill allowing pharmacists to provide consultation and to dispense birth control to women who do not have a prescription. Sponsored by Rep. Knute Buehler, a Republican physician from Bend, the bill was signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown and took effect Jan. 1, 2016.