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There are several spoilable things in The Fate of the Furious, and most of them have to do with family — “family” being the eight-film series’ touchstone, its go-to word when Vin Diesel needs to intone something meaningfully.

Method Man (of wu tang clan) kicked off the show with redman

 

With the vernal equinox just passed, lengthening days coupled with warmer temperatures means the rapid appearance of first blooms on the wildflowers of the Willamette Valley. When the blooming time is delayed by extreme cold weather, like this spring, the subsequent appearance is all the more dramatic. One week of warm weather will likely bring all species back on line with close to normal flowering time. April and May produce the peak of floral diversity in our region.

Music scenes are like phantoms: Point them out, and they disappear; name them and they shift; call out a great house-show venue and watch it evaporate.

It’s sometimes best to keep tabs on a scene from the corner of your eye, a silent interloper without much fanfare. 

Historically Eugene has had good music: a university breeding massive entrenched institutions for classical music and jazz; a history of blues and acoustic string music; scrappy rock bands with varying degrees of success. And let’s not forget those Grateful Dead shows. 

John Burns could feel the spray on his body from a helicopter applying a mixture of pesticides to a nearby clearcut. He describes the well-publicized October 2013 incident as nothing less than an attack on himself and his property. 

Landowners in Oregon like Burns, who have had their health, property or water supply damaged by pesticide spraying, are left with limited options to hold the sprayers accountable under state laws that protect agricultural and forestry industries over people.

To those who feared for their safety while passing those napping pit bulls on the sidewalks of downtown Eugene, fear no more: Dogs have been banned downtown.

The ordinance that many decry as an effort to force homeless people out of the area and that a lawyer argues raises “constitutional issues” over disparate treatment went into effect Monday, April 10. 

Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and federal civil rights laws, American women earn on average approximately 80 cents on the dollar compared to men — the gap widens for African American women who earn 63 cents and Hispanic women who earn 54 cents, according to a U.S. Senate news release. 

• Giustina Resources, 541-485-1500, plans to hire Strata Forestry, 541-726-0845, to ground spray 48.7 acres on three units south of Dexter Lake with hexazinone, sulfometuron methyl and High-Light Blue. See ODF notification 2017-771-03690, call Tim Meehan at 541-726-3588 with questions.

• It’s an oft-repeated accusation, a drum beaten by the Trumpians, that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes and are a drain on the U.S economy. The reverse is true.

• April is Jazz Appreciation Month (shouldn’t that be every month?) and the Willamette Jazz Society is celebrating. The nonprofit has been providing the Eugene area with live music since 2005 at the The Jazz Station, 124 W. Broadway. The all-ages concert venue includes an art gallery and community gathering space. The society also promotes jazz appreciation through outreach and scholarship programs for middle school through college. See thejazzstation.org for more information.

After years of dreaming and ideation, Eugene Ballet’s The Snow Queen premiered this weekend, a dazzling spectacle of stagecraft that was most compelling in its moments of pure, unadorned dance.

• Oregonians for Science and Reason is offering a three-part workshop to help attendees develop a more critical eye towards social media content and current news. OSR says that the classes are designed to arm you with skills to identify fallacies in reasoning, recognize fake news, fact-check information, find reliable sources and improve communication skills. The classes run 11 am to 2:30 pm Saturday April 15, April 29 and May 13 at the Amazon Community Center, multipurpose room, 2700 Hilyard Street in Eugene.

Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns recently announced he will retire in the next month or so. His departure affords our community a critical opportunity to ensure that the leadership of our local law enforcement maintains and instills the values we believe are essential to a just and fair city. 

One thing is for certain of Bilal: the neo-soul artist is surely on a journey of self-made greatness. 

Bilal says his story began in Philadelphia, where his funk-loving father constantly took him to various jazz clubs around the city. These outings were where Bilal’s lifelong love of music blossomed.

I ask Kevin Barnes from of Montreal whether early Bowie stuff or bands like T Rex were on his mind when writing and recording Innocence Reaches, the latest full-length from his long-running indie-rock act out of Athens, Georgia.

If there were ever rap raw enough to contend with a dish of five-star tartare, Ab-Soul would easily be the dollop of prime caviar served atop. Between his haunting beats and brutally blunt lyrics, this hip-hop artist is making waves colossal enough to tear through his competition in the scene.

On Thursday, April 20, the Portland actor, who has made a career of one-woman shows about strong women, comes back to town for a single performance of Eleanor Roosevelt: Across a Barrier of Fear at Springfield’s Wildish Theater.

There’s always something a bit queasy about the prospect of a community theater taking on a big and bouncy Broadway musical: Despite the best intentions, the inherent limitations of local theater, compounded by the complex requirements of such shows, often lead to a production that is uneven at best, disastrous at worst. Fiasco is forever waiting around the corner.

BEACH BEER!

If anybody enjoys drinking a beer or a glass of wine on the beach like free Oregonians have always been able to do, you’d better contact the following state legislators and tell them where they can stuff House Bill 3441. This ill thought out bill alleges to curb litter on the beaches by banning alcohol while ignoring the Cheeto bags, soda cans, fast food wrappers and other detritus that actually account for the bulk of the waste. Additionally, the ban ignores the fact that littering is already illegal.

I’ve read your column for as long as I had access to the internet and was interested in sex, so here goes: I’m a 27-year-old male with a 42-year-old girlfriend. We met at work; we were both going through divorce. At the beginning, holy moly! My dream girl in the bedroom. We’ve been together for a year, and the sex is still the best I’ve ever had—she says she feels the same—but it’s vanilla. I am assertive and in-control in the bedroom, which works for both of us, as she prefers to be passive and wants me to make moves or switch it up.

If you like art that keeps you looking, that brings you back for a second or third glance, then you will appreciate the art of Wendy Red Star, a Portland photographer and multimedia artist who was raised on the Apsáalooke reservation in Montana. An exhibit of her work is open at the state Capitol in Salem through May 11.

Across the wine-y world, Oregon is recognized for its cool climate, hugely hospitable to growing the pinot noir grape, considered by many wine-lovers to be the foundation for the greatest of wines. An indication of the global passion for this wine would have to be the 31st Annual International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) to be held this July 29-30 on the bucolic campus of Linfield College, McMinnville.

Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, released in 1996, felt instantly mythic. A grubby, inspired adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel that stars a vibrant, nearly vibrating Ewan McGregor, the film felt new and breathless and terrifying, a movie about fuckup junkies that didn’t shy away from euphoric highs or moments of extreme bleakness.

Heron Mendez is nearly 70 years old. He thinks. He’s not sure. But what he does know is that he’s been boxing since he was 5 years old. And boxing is all that he knows.