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Fred Taylor finished Washington High School and left his native Portland in 1946 to major in journalism at the University of Oregon. He worked in the news bureau and wrote for the Oregon Daily Emerald, rising to be co-sports editor.

But the dean of the journalism school told him that he would never make it in the field of journalism. He should get out of it.

Fred ignored him. That harsh advice to a college kid may have been just what G. Frederick Taylor needed to drive him into becoming what many colleagues have called “the best newsman in America” in his time.

Gregory Ahlijian says he doesn’t consider himself an author despite the two books he wrote and published himself, including his latest, An Elephant Would Be Wonderful.  

Ahlijian says he stumbled into the author role during his ongoing volunteer work in sixth and seventh grade classrooms at Jasper Mountain Center, a nonprofit in Springfield and Jasper that treats children with emotional and behavioral issues.

Get ready for Festival of Eugene 2.0 — this year’s celebration of all things Eugene, with music, poetry, food, vendors, a pet parade and more, is bigger and better than ever before, says Krysta Albert, the event’s producer. 

Granted, Festival of Eugene is only in its second year, but Albert says she and her planning committee had a whole year this time to work out the details.

The proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Coos Bay would produce 2.1 million metric tons of CO2 a year, according to its federal environmental analysis. And the project isn’t just an LNG terminal. It’s a gas liquefaction, storage and shipping facility with a 400-megawatt natural-gas-fired plant powering four super chillers. It will all be fed by a 36-inch-wide 232-mile natural gas pipeline extending halfway across Oregon. 

Oregon Department of Transportation is currently spraying roadsides. Call Tony Kilmer at ODOT District 5 at 744-8080 or call 1-888-996-8080 for herbicide application information. Hwy. 99 and Beltline were recently sprayed.

• You can “Bee Jazzy” and support Beyond Toxic’s efforts to save Oregon’s bees on Aug. 20 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm for $30 at Silvan Ridge Winery, 27012 Briggs Hill Road in Eugene. There will be wine tasting, live music with the Zac Wolfe Jazz Band and a silent auction. 

Late in the 19th century, we discovered and began to burn crude oil rather casually, as if an epoch-marking discovery of an incredible energy source was a routine event.

Five years ago Pantheon frontman Skyeler Williams saw an opportunity where others might have merely seen cause for complaint. He perceived what he calls “a consistent exclusion of heavy music at community events.” Luckily for Eugene’s metal scene, the hardcore vocalist is not the type to take things lying down. As the music booker and sound engineer at downtown bar The Black Forest, Williams decided to take advantage of the tools available to him and set out to change things. 

In 2008, songwriter Kimya Dawson’s caustic naiveté perfectly captured the precocious character Juno from the popular film of the same name. 

Dawson got her start alongside Adam Green in New York “anti-folk” duo Moldy Peaches. Together they made acoustic music that winked at folk and psychedelic idioms alongside sometimes surreal and sometimes hyper-real lyrics. 

Los Angeles hard-rock act Stitched Up Heart has a unique approach to self-promotion: They make music and share it live. With a handful of festivals and a few hundred shows under their belts since their 2010 inception, the band members shirk online promotion and big-hype tours in lieu of a simple work ethic and nose-to-grindstone approach. 

The members of Eugene post-rock band This Patch of Sky are just a bunch of romantics. “For a bunch of tattooed, bearded guys, we make pretty music,” guitarist Joshua Carlton jokes with EW. The band returns to the stage Aug. 22 at WOW Hall, alongside Hyding Jekyll, Children and Seattle’s Rishloo.

From the moment you take your seat at Cottage Theatre, waiting for the lights to dim, Quilters transports you into a quaint, home-lovin’ kind of feeling. Opening with old-time music with a heck of a lotta twang, the women of the musical burst in running and laughing — yee-haws and all — giving you a slight pause to ask: “What have I gotten myself into?” 


Regarding EW’s Aug. 6 Slant item on homeless camps and the river:

“The city spends about $250,000 a year cleaning up homeless camps … John Brown has some ideas. Anybody else?”

I’m a woman in a straight relationship. I woke up this morning, and my BF wasn’t in bed with me. He felt ill in the middle of the night and went to sleep in the spare room — where he found a condom in its wrapper behind the nightstand. Now my BF thinks I’m cheating on him. I haven’t cheated on him and have no desire to. I have an IUD and we are monogamous, so we don’t use condoms. But I used to keep condoms around to use on an old sex toy that I liked but was allergic to.

There was a time, not all that long ago, when writers could become cultural icons in this society — endangered emissaries who, like canaries in a coal mine, sniff out the poison seeping from the rank spigots of our popular culture. The late, great David Foster Wallace was such an author.

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Let’s produce ideas instead of timber.

That’s something FertiLab Thinkubator mentor Shane Johnson says could help transition Eugene and Springfield from resource-based communities to hubs of business and idea production.

 “There are a lot of people with ideas here,” Johnson says. “Culturally, getting the momentum to grow beyond Lane County is difficult. We’re an understated town, so even though there’s success here, it’s not visible and there aren’t a lot of models.”

Shawala Point at Riverfront Commemorative Park in Corvallis has a new play structure, one that memorializes the life of a young boy and honors the traditions of local indigenous people. 

The 50 or so people who came to the Aug. 4 dedication joined Nigel Rose Weber’s parents to watch as a Grand Ronde canoe family paddled up to Shawala Point on the hot August afternoon. Grand Ronde tribal members later drummed and sang. Native American activist and writer Winona LaDuke participated in the dedication, as did singer-songwriter Amy Ray. 

Eugene plays host to endless wine tastings and brew fests — now it’s time for distilleries to take the spotlight. The Hard Times Distillery Expo, featuring 17 Oregon distillers, takes place Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Hult Center. 

Oregon native bees now have a special day of their own. Gov. Kate Brown, at the urging of local nonprofit Beyond Toxics, has declared Aug. 15, 2015, as Oregon Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day. 

People should care about the welfare of bees, says Beyond Toxics Executive Director Lisa Arkin. Without bees, crops would have to be pollinated by hand, she says.

After working on The Beer Bible for nearly two years, author and beer writer Jeff Alworth says he gained a newfound appreciation for all kinds of beers, not just his old favorites.

“I had definite preferences before I started the book, but by the time I finished, it felt like they were my children, and I loved them equally,” he says, laughing. 

Alworth is visiting Eugene on Aug. 15 to promote The Beer Bible, a dizzyingly comprehensive guide to all things beer. 

Eleven youths from Oregon have joined with 10 other kids from across the country and with future generations of children to file a lawsuit that attorney Julia Olson says will challenge the U.S. government and ask the federal court system to make a decision as important as Brown v. Board of Education (racial equality) or Obergefell v. Hodges (marriage equality).

• Before Fred Taylor became one of the owners of Eugene Weekly, he was the managing editor and later executive editor of the Wall Street Journal. Earlier as a reporter, he wrote many of the long, front-page features that made the WSJ famous, and his thoughts on writing news stories and the use of photography are quoted again and again in books and articles. Over the years EW staff has reaped the benefit of his influence on this scrappy paper and its mission to make the world a better place. This week we mourn his passing Aug.