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• Sen. John McCain voted in favor of beginning the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act. McCain returned to the Senate floor with stitches above his eye and visible bruising to his face after undergoing a craniotomy to remove a brain tumor last week. Would his constituents in Arizona who are uninsured be able to afford the same surgery? If the ACA is repealed without a plan to replace it, will cancer go back to being a pre-existing condition?

• The West Coast affordable housing shortage is raising rents and home sale prices to record levels, which is good news for property owners and investors, but is distinctly bad news for low-income and even moderate-income households looking to rent or buy in Lane County.

 The R-G editorial board has become an apologist for the Oregon Republican Party. Its viewpoints simply mirror recent press releases from the Republican House and Senate caucuses. So much for its stated policy of “impartial publication … candid but fair and helpful … a citizen of its community.”

Kilynn Lunsford, vocalist with noisy art-rock band Taiwan Housing Project, is feeling scattered as she talks to me on the phone from her home in Philadelphia. “It’s hot,” she says.

After seven years, Eugene Metal Celebration — a multi-night event held at Black Forest in downtown Eugene — is gaining attention from metal acts around the region and across the country.

This summer’s annual Oregon Festival of American Music is dedicated to the timeless hits from the 1920s-50s in 14 concerts, films, talks and the staged musical Good News!, which continues through this weekend.

The year is 1927. The Great War, which we now remember as World War I, is a distant memory. The stock market is booming. Life is good for the investing class. And football has become a happy obsession for students and their parents on college campuses across the United States.

HEALTHY POLITICS

Sen. Ron Wyden sets a great example of transparency and listening to the public with his town halls and the recent interview with the Eugene Weekly (July 13). His work against the Senate health care bill, along with the raised voices of citizens across the country, paid off: the bill was dropped.

In addition, the attempt to just repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) hit a dead end as well. Now it is time for both parties to work together for a bill that provides affordable care for all Americans.

I’m a reader in Kansas with two teenage daughters, 16 and 18. My girls recently met a boy where they work and both took an interest in him. The 18-year-old was devastated that he was more interested in her younger sister. I spoke to the 16-year-old about it, which is when I found out this boy is going to be a sophomore in college. The fact that he’s interested in a 16-year-old is a red flag. I asked the 16-year-old to keep her distance. She agreed, but I saw a shirtless photo he sent her.

A masterpiece can be a hard thing to overcome, especially when it occurs early in an artist’s career.

For my money, director Christopher Nolan’s second film, Memento (2000), is as nearly perfect as any movie released over the past, say, 40 years — a stunning existential thriller that begins exactly where it should end and then runs seamlessly backward from there.

Funding a summit for Eugene’s marginalized communities is among the many goals for the city in the recently published “Marginalized Voices in Eugene” report by the Eugene Human Rights Commission. 

Volunteers are “well on our way” to collecting 10,000 signatures to put an Office of Independent City Auditor on the Eugene ballot next May, according to David Monk, one of the chief petitioners along with Bonny McCornack and George Brown.

A meeting at the Eugene Weekly office on July 12 brought together city and county politicians and bureaucrats to discuss the future of downtown Eugene. A land swap approved by both the Lane County Board of Commissioners and Eugene City Council may soon transform the park blocks downtown. Lane County will buy the property of the previous city hall for $4 million, and Eugene will buy the butterfly lot for $1.88 million — finally creating a home for a new city hall.

Google “Oregon street artist” and you get just two results, both seemingly generated by bots. That puts us a bit behind Alabama (7 results) and Kentucky (4), well behind Washington (170,000) and California (161,000), and a nose ahead of Idaho and Wyoming (both 0).

Oregon is not exactly a national center for street art, the subversive guerilla art form that grew out of tagging and other illegal urban graffiti in the 1970s and became popularized by such documentary films as Exit Through the Gift Shop and Style Wars. We’re talking Banksy and Shepherd Fairey here, not cozy New Age murals of whales and owls.

Roseburg Resources, 541-679-3311, plans to spray 122.1 acres in Douglas and Lane Counties with a long list of chemicals on their lands south of Veneta and in the Oxbow Burn area. See ODF notification 2017-781-08835, call Dan Menk at 541-935-2283 with questions.

 

Franklin Clarkson Timber Co LLC, 541-214-1435, plans to spray 1641.9 acres south of Blue River and north of Dexter Lake with imazapyr, triclopyr, Crosshair, Foam Buster, Grounded, MSO Concentrate and/or No Foam. See ODF notification 2017-771-08761, call Brian Dally at 541-726-3588 with questions.

• When even our 10-year-old friend asks what’s going to happen on the old city hall/new county courthouse lot in downtown Eugene, it must be time to look for an answer.

Any suggestions? It will be at least three years, probably more, before ground breaks for a courthouse.

Should we have a garden? Or even trees around the edges? Remember those old-fashioned big-top circuses — wouldn’t that be fun? How about a giant art installation?

After relentless advocacy, the 82,500-acre Elliott State Forest in the Oregon Coast will remain in public ownership. To celebrate this environmentalist victory, Cascadia Wildlands, Mountain Rose Herbs and Thinking Tree Spirits are hosting a Victory Celebration for the Elliott State Forest from 6 to 10 pm Saturday, July 29. Musical entertainment includes Soul Vibrator, Tony Riedl’s La Famille and Norma Fraser Reggae Band, and there will be cocktails, food carts and face-painting for kids.

Why write a column about economic development? Lots of people just yawn when they hear the term. But, as they say, write about what you know, and I do know economic development. I did it for a living. And, besides, I actually find it interesting.

“My parents were apolitical,” says Shawn Donnille, who grew up in Orange County, California, a Republican stronghold. “Every summer we spent two weeks in Nevada City, an old mining community, and connected with plants and wildlife.” At age 15, Donnille started an environmental club at Villa Park High School. “We planted trees on campus,” he notes, “and organized monthly debates.” After high school, he moved to Nevada City and took part in Earth First! campaigns to save redwood forests and to ban sport hunting of cougars.

A wanderer of the woods always needs a compass and a map. Singer-songwriter Ayla Nereo sings with imagery thick as an old-growth forest and provides direction with her finely syncopated loop pedals and percussive rhythms.

“The problem with genres is you don’t get to pick,” Minnesota musician Charlie Parr tells me over the phone from his favorite Eugene café. He doesn’t play Eugene for a few days yet, but he’s pit-stopped here for lunch on his way to California. “They just assign you one,” he says. 

'BA-ROCK' SPIRIT AT BACH FEST

Applause for Will Kennedy’s “Bach for the 21st Century” (July 13). I especially appreciated Kennedy’s “outsider” probes about the festival’s relevance, audience and programming.

Paintings by Bets Cole on display through July at Karin Clarke Gallery show the long-time local artist at her relaxed, assured best.

I’m a 35-year-old straight woman, recently married, and everything is great. But I have been having problems reaching orgasm. When we first started dating, I had them all the time. It was only after we got engaged that it became an issue. He is not doing anything differently, and he works hard to give me oral pleasure, last longer, and include more foreplay. He’s sexy and attractive and has a great working penis. I am very aroused when we have sex, but I just can’t climax. It is weird because I used to very easily, and still can when I masturbate.