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In an attempt to perfectly fuse the retro-dynamics of classic arcade games with the mechanical and functional detail of modern games, one local indie game-maker has poured his artistic talent, knowledge of the industry and passion for gaming into an ’80s style, combat-filled, scientifically fixated game: “Kite.”  

“All in all, ‘Kite’ is what I would’ve loved to play at 14,” creator James Treneman says. 

There are 418 tech companies registered in Lane County, and many of them are hiring, according to Allison Weatherly, the event coordinator for Technology Association of Oregon (TAO). She says most of these tech companies are looking to shop local when they’re hiring, so several programs are setting up Lane County high school students to train for these jobs.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sent Quarren Avakian a warning letter Sept. 7 for failing to install certified vapor recovery equipment at Halsey Shell (west of I-5 at exit 216). Lack of vapor recovery equipment results in the escape of volatile organic compounds to the atmosphere, which in turn causes smog.

When Republican Jack Roberts and Democrat (and EW columnist) Tony Corcoran shared the stage at the City Club of Eugene on Sept. 22, the civility was shocking. Here are two prominent former office holders talking with a crowd of divergent political views and nobody was insulting, embarrassing or threatening anyone else. It was clear that Roberts and Tony Corcoran disagree on most things political except their shared contempt for Donald Trump.

Let’s see, what should we call Kesey Square? Last week the Eugene City Council voted 4-3 to form a committee to explore other names for the popular square and gave it 45 days to make a recommendation. 

Apparently, like the majority of the public, the councilors weren’t all that sanguine about the present, official, boring, anodyne name of Broadway Plaza either. But didn’t they skip a key step in the process if they were serious about renaming?

• 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...”