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No American playwright — and perhaps no playwright ever — was as adept as Tennessee Williams at pulling apart the icky, sticky tangle of hurt that one furiously guarded secret can exact on a family. In the humid atmosphere of a Williams play, a single skeleton in the closet can level an entire clan for generations down the line, by way of recrimination, jealousy, resentment, obsession, addiction and, most of all, fear.

For many college students, conflicts in the Middle East and tragedies in Africa are something they might click by in their news feeds. But for a group of University of Oregon students, rules that govern conflicts such as the Geneva Conventions aren’t just an abstract theory. 

Those couple days of icy, freezing temperatures last February might stick out in your mind, but while a brief spell of cold days may affect your personal impression of the weather, don’t forget that the climate is heating up across the globe, thanks to rising levels of greenhouse gases. 

Overall, 2014 was Oregon’s second hottest year since record keeping started in 1895, according to researchers with the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University. The average statewide temperature in Oregon in 2014 was 3 degrees above the average for the 20th century.

• Zemas LLC, 231-5363, plans to hire Andrew Albert Bluhm, 974-2021, to spray Glyphosate 5.4 with Foam Buster on 35 acres between Conger Creek and Wolf Creek Road. See ODF notification 2015-781-01508, and call Dan Menk at 935-2283 with questions. 

As a transgender man who identifies as queer, Emmett Ellingson-Ford says adolescence was difficult enough navigating his gender identity, and the fact that high schools focus on heteronormative sex education didn’t help. Now, Ellingson-Ford, as president of the student-run Gender & Sexuality Alliance at Lane Community College, is hosting LCC’s first-ever Sex Symposium Jan. 23.

The state legislative session begins Feb. 2. Several bills have already been introduced, and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) confirmed at City Club of Eugene last Friday that education will take top priority. The topic could prove divisive, even in Oregon’s Legislature with its Democratic majority.

Just a few hours south on I-5 exists a dulcet community that my family has re-named “The Magical Twinkly Fairyland.” For the uninitiated, the village I’m referring to is Ashland, where good restaurants abound, creeks babble, deer wander and, from February through November, some of the finest theater glimmers across the stages of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

When the community loses an artist, it’s first felt acutely in his mortal absence, and then in the slow, aching realization that he will never again be there to sing another song or paint another picture — or dance just one more dance.

In the iconic 1980 movie 9 to 5, workaday heroines Doralee Rhodes, Judy Bernly and Violet Newstead (played by Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) suffer under — and ultimately triumph over — their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss, Mr. Hart (rendered to oily perfection by Dabney Coleman). It’s a classic film, with a title song that’s been scientifically proven to be the foremost go-to karaoke anthem of all time.

EW lost a trusted friend and critic when Arnold Ismach died on Jan. 16 at age 84. Ismach was dean of the UO School of Journalism and Communication from 1985 to 1994 and has criticized us for “too much entertainment — not enough news.” But his most recent observation, maybe two weeks before his death, was “I read the Weekly Thursday nights and it makes me feel good.” Ismach was a lifelong journalist, one whose curiosity and passion for the world around him lasted long past his retirement from the UO.

If you go online to search for Prudential Real Estate in Lane County you will automatically be rerouted to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Billionaire Warren Buffet recently bought Prudential and associated businesses for an undisclosed amount and brought them under his Berkshire brand. Buffett’s purchase is considered to be another indication that the housing sector of the economy is recovering.

• Volunteers are needed to help in the annual count of homeless people in Lane County and a training is planned for 5:30 to 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 22, at Health and Human Services, Charnelton Room, 151 W. 7th Ave. The count date is Wednesday, Jan. 28. Organized by CALC, call 485-1755 or email calcoffice@gmail.com. 

• Rep. Phil Barnhart will host a town hall at 11 am Saturday, Jan. 24, at Esslinger Hall, Room 112, on the UO campus. RSVP to rep.philbarnhart@state.or.us or call 968-1411.

The Slow Money movement is about transitioning from an economy based on extraction and consumption to an economy based on conservation and renewal. It is about investing close to home and seeing your dollars make tangible change in your community. Following on the heels of the international Slow Food movement, which was begun by Italians to defend regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure and a slow pace of life, Slow Money is based on the premise that we should be investing in the future of our food, i.e., the soil, the farms and the food businesses populating our local food systems. 

Eugene foodies were out in full force Sunday, Jan. 18, as patrons gathered to enjoy “Oaxaca,” the third collaboration dinner put on by Party Downtown and Belly.

In Afghanistan

• 2,356 U.S. troops killed (2,356 last month)

• 20,066 U.S. troops wounded in action (20,060)

• 1,582 U.S. contractors killed (1,559)

• 16,179 civilians killed (updates NA)

• $778.8 billion cost of war ($770.2 billion)

• $308.5 million cost to Eugene taxpayers ($303.4 million)

 

Against ISIS

• $1.7 billion cost of military action ($1.7 billion)

• $672,403 cost to Eugene taxpayers ($564,706)

A third-generation Eugenean, Dan Gleason attended Harris Elementary, Spencer Butte Middle School, South Eugene High and the UO, where he got a degree in biology and took a particular interest in birds. After a couple of years as a substitute teacher, he returned to the UO in 1972 for a job, preparing student labs for a variety of biology courses. Every summer since then, even after his retirement in 2004, he has taught a four-week field ornithology course for seniors and grad students.

Escape the winter doldrums with two nights of hot jazz for the 11th Annual Oregon Jazz Festival Jan. 23 and 24 at University of Oregon and Lane Community College.

“We’ve been gravitating toward a New Orleans jazz kind of sound,” says Mad Caddies founding member Sascha Lazor, “while still keeping the reggae, ska and rock aspect to the band.” The Mad Caddies are returning to Eugene in support of their 2014 Fat Wreck Chords release Dirty Rice, perhaps the band’s most nuanced and varied record to date.

Memo to the members of the EPUD board: Get it together, people! You were elected to make policy for a public utility — not to create an episode for Saturday Night Live.

There’s no telling what she’ll spin, but it’s likely that Megan James’ goal is to make you dance. The singer for Canada’s ghostly electro-pop duo Purity Ring has dabbled in the DJ booth for a couple years now. As she told the Santa Barbara Independent, “I’m just looking for what makes me dance.”

Philly-based musician Jeremy Quentin is one of those guy-that’s-a-band/band-that’s-just-one-guy types. He performs under the name Small Houses. The album art for Small Houses’ 2013 release Exactly Where You Wanted to Be shows Quentin standing alone, suitcase in his hand, staring into the middle distance, mustachioed like your dad in 1978. He could be laid-over at a Greyhound station — on his way to somewhere he’s dreading. 

Like many UO graduates, Marcus Mariota needs a job. But Marcus won’t be reading Eugene Weekly’s help wanted ads. He will wait for the National Football League draft to learn where he will be working.

MARCUS AND WE

Just when you think you’ve seen it all at Reality Kitchen, we recently had a special visit from a very special friend, UO Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota! 

Playing devil’s advocate, I ask art collector Jordan Schnitzer how contemporary art can possibly fulfill us in an age of flickering screens and attention spans. Immediately I regret siding with the devil, even if only momentarily. Schnitzer’s response is so passionate, so righteous and, frankly, so absolutely correct that his indignation at the thought that art could ever be irrelevant reverberates through the phone.