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June 11, 2014 01:33 PM

The event we've all been waiting for... The World Naked Bike Ride is happening at 4:30 pm Saturday, June 14, and this year the ride was gather at 4 pm at the east end of Skinner Butte Park, just north of the Campbell Community Center. If you need a GPS, the rough address is 200 E. Cheshire.

The flyer says, "We will join thousands of other cyclists around the world to protest oil dependence and celebrate the power and individuality of our bodies ... We will ride nude (or nearly nude) to symbolize the fact that bicyclists are vulnerable sharing the road with 2-ton metal monsters spewing toxic fumes and all of us are vulnerable because of our addiction to fossil fuels. "

For more information, call Jain at 484-1680 or Ralph at 954-9465. See also http://wiki.worldnakedbikeride.org/index.php?title=Eugene

June 10, 2014 03:49 PM

A note from the arts editor: As the summer festival circuit revs up, EW arts intern Bryan Kalbrosky reflects on a very special weekend at Washington's Gorge Amphitheater for Sasquatch! music festival — a weekend filled with a smorgasbord of contemporary music giants. With Pickathon, What the Festival, Oregon Country Fair, MusicfestNW, Willamette Country Music Festival, High Sierra Music Fest, Outside Lands and Burning Man on the horizon, here's a friendly reminder to drink lots of water and watch out for the nosebleeds (read below).

Musings by Bryan Kalbrosky

Images by Brinkley Capriola

When I think about Sasquatch 2014, I’ll always remember the text written on Andre 3000’s jumpsuit during OutKast’s opening night gig: “Everything is Temporary.”

It’s important for festival-goers to remember that the Sasquatch! music festival at The Gorge in Washington exists in its own alternate universe. It’s not every day, of course, that one is able to wake up in the morning at sunrise to a bizarre blend of blaring electronic dance music mixed with the mooing of cows. The unique location situated along the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest blesses those that make the pilgrimage to Sasquatch with a sensory overload of breathtaking rolling hills, where vibrant green trees meet the sharp crispness of the nearby river.

Sasquatch, it seems, truly brings people closer together; we become more appreciative and accepting in this sacred environment. When one rocks the infamous Sasquatch wristband, nothing feels quite like reality; it always feels better.

That’s why my trusted moleskin — originally packed with the intent of taking reminder notes about the weekend — is inscribed only with the same wise words shared with us by Andre 3000. When you’re at Sasquatch, the celestial beauty of the universe is temporary.

But pictures floating around the Internet capture memories inspired by everything from the morning pre-breakfast 24 oz. of Rolling Rock at the campsite to highlights from each stage, colorful face paint, daisy chains, oversized floppy hats and (most significantly) the blissful smiles of friends and strangers gathered together as one.


After a group of UO students began a noticeably loud “Go Ducks!” chant in line on Friday afternoon before the festival began, the first show that I saw was De La Soul. While the veteran group was unable to hide the fact that they had been performing together for 25 years, it was awesome to relive their long history in hip hop. Later, they shouted out Chance The Rapper — who fans would be seeing just a few hours later.

While Chance may be on the opposite end of the hip-hop spectrum, the 21-year-old Chicago native instantly became a festival favorite. Chance had been sick for the previous month, even missing weekend two of Coachella. The emerging star, however, stole the show with soulful renditions of originals like “Everybody’s Something” from Acid Rap as well as “Prom Night” from the 10 Day mixtape.

Like many others, I lost my mind when he covered the theme from the cartoon Arthur. During this song, he pleaded with the crowd at one of the biggest shows of his budding career to chant the hook (“Everyday it could be wonderful!”) along with him over and over, and over again. Chance appeared humbled to be spreading positive vibes, comfortable and eager to be back playing on stage.

Two of the most underrated shows at the festival occurred back-to-back on Friday evening, including a Phantogram show underneath dancing pink clouds during sunset at the Bigfoot Stage as well as a jaw-dropping performance by Classixx at the EDM tent (“El Chupacabra”) once night had fallen. “Fall In Love” by Phantogram and the psychedelic Classixx remix of “Psychic City” by YACHT — featuring an interactive projection of YACHT singer-songwriter Claire L. Evans blowing kisses at the crowd — stick out as highlights.

OutKast, however, was the absolute showstopper for Sasquatch this year. Andre 3000, Big Boi and their live band had the crowd singing along to hit after hit, including killer performances of “Roses,” “The Whole World,” “Ms. Jackson” and “Hey Ya!” The recently reunited Atlanta funk legends threw a party for the festival, already considered to be a much more genuine celebration of their impressive catalog than their Coachella gig had been.

Those reeling from an incredible performance by OutKast that looked to keep dancing could pick between Rudimental (London-based electronic collective known for boasting a live band, including a horns section) and South African rap-rave duo Die Antwoord to end the night. Depending on where you were in your head on Friday night, one band could have been a significantly wiser choice than the other.


The vibes on Saturday were more rock ‘n’ roll than the hip hop of the previous day, which meant that the Dodos were a perfect band to start off the afternoon.

Their performance under the beating sun at the Bigfoot stage was more danceable than I would have first predicted, and they got me feeling ready for performances by the Growlers, Violent Femmes and Washed Out later in the day. Comedian Eric Andre from Adult Swim also offered his humorous observations about the festival (and the drugs that come with it) for those that wished to chill out a bit between sets.

Perhaps the most exciting stretch of the weekend, though, came around sunset on Saturday night when M.I.A. helped spark one of the biggest dance parties of the weekend on the fest’s main lawn.

Her spirited energy helped spill into the crowd at the neighboring EDM tent for Chet Faker, whose sweet melodies and relaxing beats had the crowd feeling good and ready for another long night. The next set was my favorite surprise show of the weekend, in which female disc jockey TOKiMONSTA — from Flying Lotus’s record label Brainfeeder — threw down remixes of pop music’s most fun tracks.

The National, which headlined on Saturday, proved to be the perfect band to listen to and absorb their emotions while relaxing under the night stars after another long day.
While it felt like every part of my soul was clinging on to the idea of staying at Sasquatch forever by the time Sunday had hit, a heartwarming performance by tUnE-yArDs to open the afternoon on the main stage kept my spirits high. Merrill Garbus, frontwoman, shared her set list of polarizing loops and a mind-boggling global influence that had the entire festival feeling delighted.

After receiving a tip from a trusted friend, I hurried over to Brooklyn-based Lucius at the Yeti Stage. I found myself immediately obsessed with their charming stage presence, where the two lead female vocalists wore all black and matching bleached bob haircuts. They showcased remarkable and charming band chemistry, as well as gorgeous 5-part harmonies and three different drumbeats to keep rhythm. “Don’t Just Sit There” and “Go Home” were two of the most startlingly phenomenal songs I had seen since arriving at the festival.

I was also glad to thank them for their show when I ran into them on the main lawn at the Cold War Kids before the (brilliant) comedy performance by Demetri Martin.

Following the lineage of impressive female vocalists on Sunday, SoCal sisters HAIM dominated the main stage with powerful rock music and a West Coast sound that the crowd completely ate up. Their refreshing set the tone for quality shows on the main stage on Sunday, followed by Kid Cudi and Queens of the Stone Age.


Parquet Courts and Portugal. The Man were met with two awesome mosh pits for their shows, and both had me dancing through the night until I suffered a random nosebleed. The nosebleed, however, helped me remember that the folks at Sasquatch are quite literally some of the nicest in the world and one woman even offered to help me wash my hands as I patched myself up before heading back out to the dance floor.

Before returning to the campsite for the final night, I was able to catch electronic sets by Tycho and Major Lazer. While the gigs literally could not have been any more different if they tried, they both offered fantastic nightcaps to an incredible weekend — with one even featuring fireworks and twerking.

Sasquatch 2014 was one of the most unforgettable journeys that I will ever experience. While I know the entire experience may have been a temporary “portal” into euphoric bliss, I also learned that everyday it could be wonderful if we allow ourselves to find the joy around us. Of course it helps to be surrouned by some the best contemporary musicians in the world.
 

June 10, 2014 05:35 PM

An online survey regarding the city of Springfield’s historic places is now open for comments. See http://wkly.ws/1rz

The survey is being conducted by the Springfield Historic Commission which invites residents, business owners, property owners and anyone who has an interest in the importance and future of Springfield’s historic places. The survey will close June 30.

Contact Molly Markarian, senior planner, at 726-4611 or email  mmarkarian@springfield-or.gov for more information.

June 6, 2014 09:53 AM

"A Spirited Bourrée" Concert and Exhibition Tour will be at 2 pm Saturday, June 7, at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on campus. Free. UO voice instructor Laura Wayte and her students will perform a recital of Catalan and Spanish songs. We had a wrong date for this concert in Brett Campbell's column this week.

June 5, 2014 10:53 AM

Whistleblowers get encouragement from a new organization supporting the release of information exposing constitutional violations, corporate corruption and secrets that are not in the public interest. The group is called Exposed Facts. Video features Norman Solomon, Jessalyn Radack, Daniel Ellsberg and Kirk Wiebe.

June 4, 2014 05:00 PM

Local rock-grass band Alder Street is hosting their CD release party Friday, June 6, for the new album Americannibal (read story on Alder Street here). Take a look at the album art when you get a chance because the front jacket of the CD was created by well known French illustrator Olivier Bonhomme. Bonhomme often illustrates political cartoons for Le Monde, perhaps the mostly widely read newspaper in France.

In fact, Alder Street guitar player and singer-songwriter Ian Royer spent much of his youth in Montpellier, a university city in Southern France, and he speaks French fluently. 

"I'm half French. I grew up in the South of France," Royer tells me over the phone. "[Bonhomme] was a high school buddy of mine. He was actually in my first band. He's truly talented."

Royer says that when he does visit France, his French friends tease him about playing bluegrass music. "My friends purposefully annoy me by calling it country," he says, laughing. 

Royer plans to return this summer. To see more of Bonhomme's artwork, find his portfolio here.

June 4, 2014 12:53 PM

Credit Oregon's land use regulations or Eugene's efforts to keep within its urban growth boundary or our economic recession. Regardless, Eugene is ranked fourth in the nation in a new University of Utah analysis of cities in terms of "smart growth" and resisting sprawl.

See http://wkly.ws/1rr

June 4, 2014 04:08 PM

It’s official: Wolf OR-7 and his lover have been busy making magic together and are now the proud parents of at least two wolf-lings, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Adorable baby wolves are good news in general, but OR-7 is particularly important because his love affair resulted in the first known wolf reproduction in the Oregon Cascades since the 1940s. Oh what a night!

Meanwhile, the California Fish and Game Commission voted today to include gray wolves in the California Endangered Species Act, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. If OR-7 and his family want to take a trip down to California, they can now do so under the state's protection.

As Journey’s family helps rebound the gray wolf population in Southern Oregon, keep in mind that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended that gray wolves be removed from the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act. As Rep. Peter DeFazio says in a statement released today, “If the Service delists the gray wolf, states could declare open season on gray wolves like OR-7, his mate and these new pups.” The final decision will come later this year. 

June 3, 2014 10:22 AM

After David Minor died in a biking accident in 2008, friends and family paid tribute to the social justice activist in a number of ways, from naming the David Minor Theater in his honor to establishing the David Minor Memorial Fund with the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, helping improve access to healthy, locally grown foods for low-income people.

Eugene City Bakery is helping support that goal by donating a portion of the night's proceeds to the David Minor Memorial Fund Thursday, June 5. Drop by, nosh on some pizza and listen to the Joanne Broh Trio from 5 to 8 pm. More at the event's Facebook page.

June 3, 2014 03:59 PM

Rumors that the Eugene Celebration and parade are being canceled this year are true, according to Brendan Releford of Kesey Enterprises, the private organization that runs the celebration along with the McDonald Theater and Cuthbert Theater. A press release is expected to be sent out to media at about 5:30 pm today (Tuesday, May 3)

Releford says the event was financially successful last year for the first time but crowds downtown at evening peak times were a problem. "The size of the event doesn't fit the core anymore," he says. "We tried to come up with a footprint this year that makes sense and we've hit roadblocks at every turn."

"We want to come back strong next year," he says. The parade has also been canceled for now, but doing just the parade is "not out of the question."

June 3, 2014 11:45 AM

My first question when I saw this scam alert was: Who the heck would have "extra asphalt" that they would just go romping around rural Lane County trying to smear on your driveway? 

WATCH OUT FOR PAVING SCAMS IN LANE COUNTY

News Release from Construction Contractors Board

Posted on FlashAlert: June 3rd, 2014 11:14 AM

Salem - Paving scammers may be at work in the rural Lane County. Property owners should be wary of people who show up on their doorstep with "extra asphalt" they offer up in a deal. 

The state Construction Contractors Board (CCB) recently learned of a property owner in Marcola who was approached earlier this year with an offer to pave his driveway. An investigation is under way. 

Call the CCB at 503-378-4621 if anyone contacts you for paving you didn't solicit. Legitimate contractors typically do not solicit work door-to-door. 

Meanwhile, here are some ways to spot scammers: 

* You don't call them - they show up at your doorstep. 

* Their vehicles often show out-of-state license plates. 

* They say they have leftover materials so they can give you a great price. 

* They quote an initial low price, then demand more to finish the project. 

* Generally, they are not licensed with the CCB. 

 

### 

About the CCB 

The CCB is the state agency licensing 33,000 contractors. Anyone who is paid to repair, improve or build a home must be licensed. Learn more about how to have a successful project at www.oregon.gov/ccb.

Contact Info:

Cheryl Martinis, 503-934-2195

May 29, 2014 05:43 PM

I would have taken more science in college if my profs had sung to me. Dr. Richard Alley brings together my love for folklore with the dangers of climate change in this glacier-oriented version of  "The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night."

Alley created this video and others like "Peaceful, Easy Obduction" for his Geology of the National Parks course, according to his YouTube page

"The Great Penguin Waltz" was apparently not for his class, but is educational nonethless — points for rhyming the words "Aptenodytes patagonicus look good in their nighties."

May 28, 2014 12:24 PM

The Common Core approacheth: Starting with the 2014-15 school year, Oregon public schools will do away with the old OAKS testing and usher in the Smarter Balanced Assessment, a new standardized test that evaluates student performance by Common Core standards. If you're not sure what the Common Core is or wondering why it has parents, teachers and students all out of sorts, check out EW's story here first, but then come back and hop onto NPR's Common Core FAQ, published yesterday. In it, you'll find all sorts of interesting answers to questions, such as, "Where did the Common Core come from?" Turns out, the standards have surprising connections to corporations like Exxon Mobil and Microsoft. Or, there's this little bit of information:

21) Who is making money off of Common Core?
 
Potentially lots of people. The size of the K-12 instructional materials market in the U.S. was estimated at $20 billion in 2012 (PDF). By comparison, the size of the trade publishing market was $6.53 billion in 2012. According to a survey last year, 68 percent of school districts planned to purchase new materials aligned with Common Core.
 
The transition to Common Core coincides with the ongoing transition to digital educational materials like apps and e-books. That means that it's not just the traditional textbook publishers and test makers, like Pearson and CTB/McGraw-Hill, that are lining up to create Common Core-stamped products. It's also big technology companies like Apple and startups like Amplify — a brand owned by News Corp. that produces a tablet designed for classroom use and a multimedia Common Core-aligned curriculum.
 
Other potential profit centers from the Common Core will be in professional development for teachers to prepare them to teach the standards, and extra tutoring and test prep for students to help them learn the more rigorous standards and pass the new, harder tests. Parents already spend an estimated $11 billion (PDF) on tutoring, test prep and counseling services.
 
Also of note: Earlier this month, Oregon's teacher's union, the Oregon Education Assocation, called for a moratorium on Smarter Balanced. "Oregon is moving forward with a new unproven, high stakes standarized test — Smarter Balanced — as soon as next spring," OEA president Hanna Vaandering says on OEA's website. "When the timeline doesn't allow for giving 100 percent to preparing our students, none of us should be suprised by the prediction that 65 percent of all students will fail the first test. This makes absolutely no sense. Why would we spend millions of dollars on a test that students are predicted to fail?"
 
 
 
 
May 28, 2014 10:47 AM

Western nations have been embroiled in Middle East politics for centuries, actually millenia, but do we really understand the complexities of that part of the world? The Bush-Cheney administration, for example, was clueless in getting us involved militarily in power struggles that have been going on for centuries. This Vox.com website has a series of historical maps that can shed a little light on why the Middle East is the way it is today.

http://wkly.ws/1rl