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Lane County is considering changes to its longtime ban on spraying roadsides with chemicals. 

The Lane County Vegetation Task Force proposes changing from the current “Roadside Vegetation Management and Last Resort Herbicide Use Policy” to the “Roadside Integrated Vegetation Management Plan” that takes into account using a limited amount of chemicals to control vegetation.

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 received faxed notification of upcoming spray on Hwy. 36 beginning April 14.

In the aftermath of the Arizona primary election fiasco, with voters waiting in long lines and ballots getting thrown out, Lane County voters are wondering how they can make sure their ballots get counted.

Concerned area residents have contacted EW saying their voter affiliation is incorrect and that they had registered as Democrats but recently received a notice from the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division saying they were unaffiliated.

On April 16, the Portland-based Women’s Foundation of Oregon will arrive in Eugene to listen to local women and girls as part of a statewide tour. The “Listen to Her” tour gives women all around Oregon a chance to share their concerns about pressing issues that affect their lives, including pay equity and living wage jobs, childcare and domestic violence. 

The stories shared on April 16 will be recorded, with permission from participants, and outlined in a Women’s Foundation of Oregon report that will name issues important to female Oregonians. 

• A local politico raises the old question of the city of Eugene buying the EWEB building on the river for the new Eugene City Hall instead of proceeding with the itty-bitty city hall on the former site with all its problems of money, space, seismic safety and so on. Back in the day Councilor Mike Clark (now mayoral candidate) favored buying the EWEB building.

 • Café Soriah at 384 W. 13th Ave. has expanded into the former dress shop next door, adding another dining room with 40 more seats. Owner Ib Hamide tells us Soriah plans to open for lunch Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays starting April 13,  from 11:30 am to 2 pm. The lunch menu will bring back much of what  Hamide served at Casablanca when it was in the 5th Street Public Market, he says, including falafel, shawarma, tabbouleh, hummus “as well as a few interesting and popular additions to complement the Mediterranean menu.” 

• A discussion on “Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon? A Hidden History Conversation Project” will be from 6:30 to 8:30 pm Friday, April 8, at the Cottage Grove Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs Ave. Speakers include PSU adjunct professor and author Walidah Imarisha. Sponsored by Cottage Grove Blackberry Pie Society, the Cottage Grove Library, the Rural Organizing Project and Oregon Humanities. Email blackberrypie@gmail.com for more information.

“I started my study of anthropology at home,” says Stephen Wooten, the youngest of nine children in an Irish Catholic family in Weymouth, Massachusetts. “My dad was on the police force. He was a beat cop, on his feet, building relationships with people.” Wooten continued his study at UMass Amherst and got his masters and Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Illinois. He’s been a professor at the UO since 2001. 

Get ready to feel some serious butterflies from the sensual rock tunes of Cape Cod’s Highly Suspect and Luz Elena Mendoza (of Y La Bamba) coming to WOW Hall April 9.

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley

G-Eazy is such a big deal that iconic rapper Lil Wayne remixed a song from his new album last week and NBA superstar Kobe Bryant greeted him at a recent Lakers game.

On Billboard’s website, Nielsen Music charts hip-hop and R&B songs using a metric that calculates radio airplay, streaming and music sales. Each week since Feb. 20, G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself & I” ranked higher than any other rap song save Drake’s “Summer 16” and Rihanna’s “Work” (which also features Drake).

From April 12-16, the UO is hosting its first free and open to the public early music conference, Musicking, which includes lecture series, master classes and other coaching opportunities, along with stars from the admittedly geeky early music world, scholarly sessions and, of course, concerts, not to mention a “period-instrument petting zoo.”

VOTE FOR LIVABILITY

I’ve lived in Eugene almost five years and one of the things I love best about this place is the one- and two-story homey feel of this friendly small town. I intend to stay. 

Unfortunately, powers-that-be are working to turn our downtown into Portland’s Pearl District. Yuck! Every time I turn around, City Council has said OK to another eight to 10 or 12 story apartment building close to or inside downtown. Save Kesey Square. The South Willamette scheme is a whole other discussion.

I am a twentysomething, straight, cis-female expat. How long do I have to wait to ask my German lover, who is übersensitive about the Holocaust, to indulge me in my greatest—and, until now, unrealized—fantasy: Nazi role-play? He is very delicate around me because I am a secular Jew and the descendant of Holocaust survivors. (Even though I’ve instructed him to watch The Believer, starring Ryan Gosling as a Jewish neo-Nazi, to get a better grasp on my relationship with Judaism.

Jonathan Gold is the first and only food critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. Let that marinate for a moment. 

Then disabuse yourself of any notions of what a food critic of that caliber might be like — perhaps an uptight gourmand enamored with his own palette or some self-important foodie. 

“It’s been some time that I’ve been wanting to have music that gives voice to those who’ve gone through Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” says Eugene Concert Choir artistic director and conductor Diane Retallack, who has poured her energies into making the world premier of composer Joan Szymko’Shadow & Light a reality.

When Floomf and Schmorple descended upon Earth, it was for one specific reason: To investigate a claim made by the city of Eugene in the early aughts.

The two were inspectors for the highly regarded Associated Stars Systems for Cross-cultural Outerspace Propagation (ASSCOP) located in the Boopz Galaxy, and their satellite scanner had intercepted the message:

Eugene is The World’s Greatest City for the Arts and Outdoors.

Come the evening of April 1, a Penske rental truck will be parked in Kesey Square as a makeshift gallery.

“There’s not many places in Eugene to show the work we want to show,” says Andrew Oslovar, one of 13 members of the “nomadic art collective” Tropical Contemporary. “Our goal as an art group is getting people to unlock their doors for us so we can put work in their unleased businesses. We can make an art gallery out of anything; we don’t care if it’s nice.”

Peggy Wolfheart was rescued from Valley River Center yesterday after the lifelong Eugene resident got lost on her way to The Kiva and found herself smack in the middle of Eugene’s largest mall.

Wolfheart, who had never before left downtown Eugene, says she quickly became overwhelmed after entering the retail shopping center.

I don’t like myself very much.

For me, self-loathing is a matter of principle. It’s not so much that I see myself as unlovable; it’s more to the point that I consider myself utterly unworthy, and I experience human attention of any sort, much less gestures of affection and compassion, as a kind of assault on my very being. Abuse, derision and outright neglect are my real life’s blood. I thrive on being ignored. And when you up and shit on me, it ratifies my low self-esteem, as though all is right in the world.

 • Saturday Market and Farmers Market will open their seasons Saturday, April 2, at the Park Blocks downtown. This hub of community activity will feature artisans, chefs, musicians and community members gathering to celebrate art, life and veggies in the southern Willamette Valley. Saturday Market will be open 33 Saturdays, more than 400 artisans will sell more than $1.5 million worth of handcrafted wares, nearly 500 local musicians will play on the stage and around the market, and 15 food booths will draw hungry crowds.

• The Cottage Grove Blackberry Pie Society will host Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp and Cottage Grove Interim Police Chief Scott Shepherd from 6:30 to 8 pm Thursday, March 31, in the Reception Room at the Cottage Grove Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs, Cottage Grove. Free and open to the public. Email blackberrypie@gmail.com for more information. 

I have lived in Israel for more than seven months now and I struggle to reconcile many residents’ opinions with current events and accounts of history. Eager to find opposing viewpoints — and not apt to withhold my own — I’m familiar with the proverbial “you’ll understand when you’re older.” Perhaps. Or perhaps one man’s naiveté is another’s objectivity. I keep wrestling with these arguments, nonetheless.