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• The group City Accountability says it has less than two weeks to complete signature gathering to put a Charter Amendment on the ballot amending Eugene’s Charter to establish an office of an independent elected city auditor. To sign the petition, look for their volunteers in turquoise T-shirts at Sundance, Kiva, the downtown library, the Saturday Market and also at LCC center building Oct 3-6. For more info: cityaccountability.org


My biggest fears from a presidential election gone horribly wrong are coming to pass. 

For me, the major issue for a president has always been appointments to run the federal agencies. Our current president is doing what I expected him to do, appointing people who will gut the agencies everyone relies on to protect their health, safety, and the environment. It’s been one horrible appointment and executive order after another. Clean air and water regulations go out the window to provide profits to polluters.

On the weekend of Sept. 22 through 24, Eugene’s Very Little Theatre Stage Left hosted three staged readings of a brand-new play — Now I am Your Neighbor — written by Nancy Hopps, directed by Carol Dennis, produced by Community Alliance of Lane County and based on real-life stories of immigrants living in Lane County. One of the featured immigrants is Rosie Hernandez of Springfield, who wrote a poem for the presentation. Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, she moved with her family to Mexico City when she was 12 years old. “I went to middle and high school in Mexico City,” she says.

Most gardeners would like to do a little less routine yard maintenance and spend more time being creative, or even relaxing. But the low maintenance garden, while a seductive idea, is not always easy to achieve. 

It’s partly a matter of design decisions and the materials you use. If your starting point is an existing garden, you can make it a bit easier to care for by paying attention to where you spend most of your uncreative time, then eliminating or modifying the features that create the demand.

The music and aesthetic of London-via-New York musician Gustav Ahr, better known as Lil Peep, is such a Frankenstein’s monster of rap, emo and indie rock that it’s tempting to suspect it came from a coldly calculating music industry boardroom rather than the creative voice of an independent artist. 

Margaret Butler, singer with Milwaukee-based electropop act GGOOLLDD, calls her band’s music “dungeon disco glam.” (Pronounced “gold,” the unusual spelling of the band name comes from Butler’s trying to differentiate her band in Google searches. Entering “Gold band” into Google brought up a bunch of wedding rings.)

PESTICIDE REFORM

It’s fine for writers like Mark Robinowitz to express their opinions, but opinions should never be presented as facts.

In his “Ban Aerial Spray” letter to the editor (Sept. 14), Mark claims that Beyond Toxics doesn’t endorse a ban on aerial spray, which is not true. I wrote a blog earlier in September announcing the Beyond Toxics board of directors formally voted to endorse the Lane County ballot initiative to ban aerial spray introduced by the Freedom From Aerial Herbicides Alliance.

Will Eno’s Middletown, playing now at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, is a masterfully written, beautifully produced effort that seeks the extraordinary in the everyday. 

Directed by Tara Wibrew, Middletown is like a metaphysical global positioning system that the playwright uses to orient us to a cosmological map of seemingly ordinary moments.

I had a blast hosting Savage Lovecast Live at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. Audience members submitted questions before the show, and I consumed a large pot edible right after the curtain went up and then raced to give as much decent sex advice as I could before it took effect. Here are some of the questions I didn’t get to before my judgment became too impaired to operate a sex-and-relationship-advice podcast.

 

I’ve been on the dating apps a while. What’s up with serial first daters?

Half a century ago in Los Angeles, Jim Tronson was a young architect fresh out of the University of Arizona and seeking his fortune. He landed an apprenticeship with Gruen Associates, one of the biggest architectural firms in the world. Its founder, Victor Gruen, is credited with inventing the shopping mall.

For my money, Lady Macbeth is second only to Iago among Shakespeare’s depictions of pure Machiavellian evil. She is delicious — a monster of insidious intent and malevolent manipulation, fueled to bloody purpose by an ambition that turns obstacles to mincemeat. “Art thou afeard,” she whispers in her husband’s ear, “to be the same in thine own act and valour as thou art in desire?”

Translation: Kill ’em all, and take the throne.

Oodles of music fans around the world recognize the voice of Eugene musician Halie Loren — that smooth, rich, pitch-perfect instrument that’s graced nine album’s worth of pop and jazz. Fewer, it would seem, are aware that Loren is also a crackerjack songwriter, but one listen to “Butterfly” from her most recent album, Butterfly Blue, reveals a sophisticated composer and lyricist who seems poised to soar solely on the strength of her own originals.

Driving up 30th, you may have noticed a massive gash in the forest next to Lane Community College. The clearcut adjacent to LCC may soon be home to McMansions, thanks to a few well-known land profiteers who operate in the area: the McDougal brothers. But LandWatch Lane County has filed an appeal to fight the planned development there.

Timothy Burns is 27 years old. Before age 3, he underwent six open-heart surgeries for a congenital heart condition — mirror-image dextrocardia. 

“I have no center wall of my heart, and my heart planks to the right side,” Burns says. “My oxidized and unoxidized blood mix, so I’m in a constant flux of a high heart rate and a low heart rate.”

Some days Burns feels exhausted and doesn’t have the energy to be physically active. During the last few weeks, when Eugene’s air quality was deemed hazardous because of nearby wildfires, Burns and his wife spent a day passing out masks to the homeless. 

Lane County has announced plans for a housing complex for the homeless adjacent to the Lane County Behavioral Health building near Autzen Stadium. The plans follow a “housing first” model, and while Lane County has done housing first on a small scale, according to the county’s human services manager Steve Manela, the new 50-unit complex would be the largest effort yet. 

Despite the sunny weather on a Thursday morning, Scobert Gardens Park on 4th and Van Buren is mostly empty. On one of the first smoke-free days from the wildfires burning across Oregon, there is more garbage in the park than anything else.

• Seeing our name in the New York Times doesn’t happen every day. In fact, we’re not sure Eugene Weekly has ever been mentioned in the Gray Lady until this week, when NYT classical music writer Michael Cooper credited us for breaking the story of the Oregon Bach Festival’s firing of Matthew Halls. His extensive piece, “A Firing and a Question of Race Roil the Oregon Bach Festival” (Sept.

Impact Your Health Eugene, a free community health care event, returns to the Lane Events Center, 9 am to 5 pm, Sept. 24 and 25. Organizers say the event is “intended to serve those who need and could never hope to pay” for health care necessities including free diabetes screenings, consultations with medical doctors and eye doctors, and free dental exams, cleanings, fillings and extractions. There will also be representatives from local drug and alcohol recovery support groups. Volunteer medical professionals from any field are still needed; equipment will be provided.

Kindergarten: It’s German for “children’s garden.”

Kindergarten is traditionally based on playing, singing, story-time, creative activities and social interaction. Not in the “corporate model” education era, however. Now, during their first three weeks of school, Oregon’s 40,000 kindergarten kids are given standardized assessments in math, literacy and interpersonal skills.

How on earth did we get from the “children’s garden” to the Oregon Kindergarten Assessment (OKA)? House Bill 4165 (2012) established early learning standards for children age 3 to 5. It empowered Oregon’s Early Learning Council that “supports practice-based evidence and data-driven decision-making and accountability for realistic, measurable outcomes for children...”

Before it was a band, Nerve was a jam session at a little New York bar that quickly grew into a regular dance party at a bigger club and then became a touring band (bass, drums, keyboard, DJ/mix) that blends jazz, electronic music and various experimental strains into a true 21st-century sound.

It’s propelled by Zurich-born one-time jazz “drum god” JoJo Mayer, who in his youth backed legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Nina Simone, Sonny Fortune and Monty Alexander.

Back in 2007, rapper Lil Wayne no-showed for a concert at MacArthur Court on the University of Oregon campus. Katie Matthews, life-long hip hop fan and employee at Skip’s Records & CD World in west Eugene, says she’s “still a little bitter about it.” 

At the time, Wayne was considered the greatest rapper in the game. Fans loved his free-associative and surrealist lyrical style and bad-boy image. Detractors labeled him cartoonish, but many found his madness inspired.

Michelle Zauner, who writes music under the moniker Japanese Breakfast, was born in Seoul, Korea, but grew up right here in Eugene. “I feel like I got my start there,” Zauner tells Eugene Weekly over the phone.

Zauner started writing music at 16 and took guitar lessons at Guitar Center’s Lesson Factory. She played her first shows, in a band called Little Girl Big Spoon, at Cozmic Pizza (now Whirled Pies) open mics, WOW Hall and South Eugene High School (where she attended school).

James Mercer has been listening to David Bowie.

Now based in Portland, Mercer is the primary songwriter and sole remaining original member of The Shins lineup. A quirky, indie-pop guitar act, the Shins were first heard by many on the soundtrack of the 2004 Zach Braff film Garden State

SCORCHED EARTH

Rebuild? Do we understand this is a new world and we have to change where we can live? Do we understand that this is only a beginning of hurricanes and floods and fires, and rebuilding is a huge waste?

We are too late.  

Ruth Duemler, Eugene


FAKE VICTIM

In response to the political truth jackass claiming to be targeted by Antifa (Letters, Sept. 14), let’s make a couple things clear: