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• Our little Kesey Square has garnered the attention of the Wall Street Journal. National writer and Eugene native (now based in New York) Mary Pilon conducted interviews at the square the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 8, with Zane Kesey and company, as well as Ken Darling, a direct descendant of our city’s founding father Eugene Skinner. Both Kesey and Darling are opposed to putting a building on the square and would like to see it preserved and improved instead.

It appears WINGS Seminars, based in Eugene and facilitating personal development seminars and related training for more than 25 years, will be shutting down soon, or evolving. Founder and President Kris King has not made a formal statement, but she has used social media to tell her community that she conducted her last Personal Effectiveness Seminar (PES) in Sacramento in late November. King and her office manager did not respond to an EW request for comment by press time. 

The Eugene Sustainability Commission Climate Change Committee will meet at 2 pm Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Atrium Building, Room 250, 99 W. 10th Ave.
Call 682-5017 or email babe.osullivan@ci.eugene.or.us.

• The Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet at 5:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Atrium Building, Sloat Room, 99 W. 10th Ave. Call 682-5471 or email lee.shoemaker@ci.eugene.or.us.

As programmer of the summer film screenings and the All Hallows’ Eugene downtown Halloween event that attract “students, families, Eugeneans of all stripes” (“A Sense of Place” cover story, 11/19), I do not endorse or support any anti-development effort toward Kesey Square. Broadway Plaza is not a well-utilized public space. Instead, it is a remnant of failed urban planning whose greatest defenders lack the imagination and determination to champion a better-conceived common area for political and cultural activity. 

“The prison experience was a blessing for me,” says Garvar Brummett, who left his San Fernando Valley home at age 17 to escape an abusive stepdad and an alcoholic mother. He fell into a cycle of addiction, alcoholism, homelessness, bank robbery and incarceration that lasted 20 years. He served five years in prison, part of it in Illinois, the rest at the Sheridan federal prison in Oregon. “I read a lot of self-help books and religious texts,” he says. “I started going to AA meetings.

For all the fringe, Western flair and Loretta-Lynn inflection, Jenny Don’t — of Jenny Don’t and The Spurs — is a punk rocker at heart. 

Friday at Hi-Fi Music Hall will showcase a fantastic fuzzy spectrum of garage rock, from the surf pop of Seattle’s Tacocat to the ever-evolving punk-rock soul of Portland’s Sallie Ford.

Despite much wishful thinking since the U.S. hosted the 1994 World Cup, soccer fans remain marginalized in this country. Soccer rarely receives the attention and accommodation given to the three (or four) hegemonic sports in the U.S. — American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey (what Andrei Markovits and Steven Hellerman refer to as the “big three and one-half”).

PUBLIC BONFIRE NEEDED

Each morning as I ride the bus to downtown, it takes me through the center of the Capstone project. Almost every morning, including some recent ones where a burn ban is in effect and, memorably, when the Egan Warming Center was shut, there is a gas bonfire burning in an empty courtyard that is gated off from the public. No one who really needs to stay warm could access it even if they wanted to. In my mind it has become symbolic of the taxes that I, as a lucky homeowner, get to pay to support this city.

I’m a 24-year-old gay male with few resources and no “marketable” skills. I have made a lot of bad choices and now I struggle to make ends meet in a crappy dead-end job, living paycheck to paycheck in an expensive East Coast city. Recently, someone on Grindr offered me $3,000 to have sex with him. He is homely and nearly three times my age, but he seems kind and respectful. I could really use that money. I have no moral opposition to prostitution, but the few friends I’ve spoken to were horrified.

Traditionally, we use our December column to explore wine-related gifting for Christmas. This year, my wife — lovely Kat Chinn, a superb cook — asked, “Whatchagot for Kwanzaa and Hanukkah?” Ooops. She set off a firestorm of eye-opening research.

Spotlight is a brilliant piece of meta-storytelling: a film that tells a story about how another story was found. In early 2002, the The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team published a story uncovering years of hidden abuse by Catholic priests. That piece is out there, online, for anyone to read. But what director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent) and his co-writer Josh Singer tease out, in a movie that plays like a quiet, tense thriller, is how that story came to be — and how it took decades to come to light. 

For more than a decade we’ve watched Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman blow things up in the name of science on their critically acclaimed TV series MythBusters, which will end next season. This weekend, audiences will have the chance to see these geeky heroes live onstage when “MythBusters: Jamie & Adam Unleashed” hits the Hult Center Dec. 12.

You just want a bra. You want to get in, buy a bra and get on with your life. But the next thing you know you’re shoved into some tiny space halfway between a broom closet and a dressing room with a powerfully strong older lady. Aggressively this woman bends you over and pulls you up and actually, physically pushes your breasts around with her hands, then calls the other women in the shop over to have a look.

Angela Webber, one-half of Portland nerd-folk duo The Doubleclicks, says we’re living in a golden age of geek culture. “The creation of the internet definitely helped nerds find each other,” Webber tells EW.

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

Indra cuddles up every night in the passenger seat of her family van. A mountain of library books and drawing pads are stacked on the console next to her little bed, which is veiled from the outside world by a baby blanket draped over the door window. Each night, her mother, two sisters and brother also stretch out beside her in the quiet van, sleeping on the piles of clothes that cushion the seats. 

Indra was 12 when her mother announced the family would be driving from Pennsylvania to Eugene. Excited, Indra immediately called shotgun for the road trip. They arrived in Eugene five months ago in June, their dog and three-week-old baby sister Prema in tow. 

Now 13, Indra still sleeps every night in that shotgun seat, as the family has yet to find housing here.

 Indra joins the other 2,148 homeless children counted throughout Lane County’s various school systems for this past school year, according to the Oregon Department of Education. That figure does not include younger children not yet attending school. 

Early morning sun comes through a south window these days, blinding me when I read the paper. In summer the blinding morning sun shines through a window about ten feet north. The two windows create a seasonal sundial. Sunny mornings are pretty scarce this time of the year, even when days end up sunny. By sunset the the air is filled with moisture. Cool nights and a chilly dawn turns moist air into dense fog in the valley floor. Only after the sun warms the fog banks late in the morning does a sunny day show its predicted blue skies.

As the debate about Kesey Square’s future heats up, voices in favor of keeping the space public downtown are coming to the forefront, from a business on the square to community meetings sprouting up. The outcry was prompted by a proposal City Manager Jon Ruiz passed on to the Eugene City Council this fall from private developers who want to purchase Kesey Square and build apartments in its place, with retail on the ground floor.

The rolling hills of the King Estate vineyards and winery south of Eugene on Territorial Road have become a magnet for birds of all kinds, from migrating songbirds to raptors, that breed, rest and feed on its sprawling acres, but some birds have been crashing into the big windows at the pavilion building. 

Students at UO rallied Nov. 30 in response to the backlash aimed at Syrian refugees. More than four million Syrians, three-quarters of them women and children according to the U.N., are fleeing civil war in that country. 

In the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130, at least 24 U.S. governors have said they would refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to resettle refugees, citing security concerns. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown was not one of them. 

• It was disturbing to see that the Egan Warming Centers were not activated during the most frigid nights we’ve seen so far this season, and we’ve heard reports of frostbite cases among the homeless on Eugene streets. “We have exhausted our pool of willing and able volunteers and several host sites are not available,” organizers reported.

• One of the pleasures of the holidays in Eugene is our chance to visit the studios and homes of talented artists. That includes potter Faith Rahill whose holiday studio sale runs from 5 to 8 pm Friday, Dec. 4, at 2581 Monroe Street; potter Ken Stanhardt whose home studio sale is from 5 to 8 pm Friday, Dec. 4, at 55 W. 27th Ave.; jeweler Hannah Goldrich and painter Mike Pease who open the Pease home for their annual show and sale from 11 am to 4 pm Saturday, Dec. 5, at 768 W. 10th Ave.; plus so many others listed in our Calendar. Enjoy.

Bid adieu to 2015 and ring in 2016 with dance!