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June 18, 2016 07:54 AM

GARNERDANCES premiered Strings! An Evening of Dance, at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, June 17.

            The evening’s length work featured dancers Shannon Mockli, Laura Katzmann, Mariah Melson, Suzanne Haag, Antonio Anacan, and Cory Betts, with choreography, costumes and lighting design by Brad Garner.

            The first standout to mention is the space itself: This was our first time seeing OCT adapted for dance, and it works, and works beautifully.

            The simple black Marley dance floor visually stretches the stage, hurling dancers practically into the front row of the audience. The exquisite, thoughtful lighting plot allows for moments of genuine intimacy, and total exuberance.

            Eugene has needed a venue to see dance that is this shape and size. It’s perfect for contemporary pieces, dance and performance art, that could be drowned out, or lost in a cavernous concert hall.

            And there’s something exciting about seeing work that’s nestled into an audience on three sides, instead of the dreary proscenium. For some reason, it feels more awake and alive, like the audience is almost a participant.

            To OCT, a challenge: More, more, more dance, please. And to Garner: Bravo for choosing this space. Great spot to premier your work.

            The evening’s work played with strings, starting with a strong ensemble set to Vivaldi, entitled “Flora”. Bold, florid, the piece interweaves traveling patterns and relational patterns, a delightful confection. (The post-performance Q&A confirmed this dance history buff’s running thoughts while watching the lush work, which borrows heavily from titans of 20th century dance.)

            But who cares? It works. Playing with signature riffs and static shapes, the piece is a vibrant, fresh hook: Inviting the viewer into the experience.

            Mariah Melson dances a keening solo in “Shrine”, and Mockli and Garner share a duet in “Sanctum” that is simultaneously powerful and vulnerable.

            Garner uses the space smartly, allowing for entrances and exits not only from the upstage wings, but also from the theater’s two voms. Costume changes accompany every piece, and at times, he has the dancers themselves provide the light source.

            Suzanne Haag, Antonio Anacan, and Cory Betts explore weight and rhythm in “Pendulum”.

            Garner incorporates animation by Eric Toucheleaume in “Anatomy of a Tropical Home”, playing with the resonance between and among the architectural shaping that dancers create, and the riveting process of building structures.

            Dynamically, Garner’s work is approachable and easy to watch. He has a confident hand, but clearly allows for dancers to exude their own swag, their own mastery and to make their own contributions. As a viewer, that’s exciting. That is what makes dance live.

            “Torch (for Orlando)” was a crowd favorite, an ensemble piece about the simple connections made in moments of flirtation.

            As an ensemble, the GARNERDANCE Company melds well. Though they may have differing professional backgrounds, the “ballet” dancers and “modern” dancers in Garner’s company mesh and balance each other.



June 16, 2016 02:18 PM

Last week, former Oregon governor John Kitzhaber made a lengthy post on his Facebook page, criticizing Gov. Kate Brown's neutral stance on Initiative Petition 28, which proposes taxing corporations with annual Oregon sales of more than $25 million to fund schools and senior and health services. 

"With all due respect," writes Kitzhaber, who resigned last year as governor in the midst of an ethics scandal involving his fiancee, "I find it hard to understand how any public official or candidate for statewide office could be neutral on a measure that would bring about the most sweeping change in Oregon's tax system since Ballot Measure 5 passed in 1990."

Measure 5 capped property taxes in Oregon and shifted school funding from the local level to the state level, helping to bring about Oregon's current school funding crisis.

IP 28 has qualified as a ballot measure, and voters will decide its outcome in the November election. Businesses are rallying to oppose the measure, while teachers' unions and other backers of IP 28 argue that the tax is the only way to ensure that corporations in Oregon and paying their "fair share." According to Oregon's Quality Education Commission, Oregon is underfunding its schools by about $1 billion a year. 

In his social media post, Kitzhaber acknowledges Oregon's "disinvestment in education," but he alleges that "the measure was written by pollsters rather than economists, and is the product of ballot title shopping."

He continues:

It is not my purpose today to analyze the measure but simply to point out that there is still time, although not much, for our elected leadership to convene labor and business and work out a compromise measure that has a broader tax base, is less regressive and will avoid the kind of divisive campaign for which we are now setting the stage. I urge the governor to do so. Ballot Measures 66 and 67 tore our state apart in the depths of the Great Recession and did not solve the problem of chronic underfunding in our system of public education. We are heading for something much worse in terms of the bitterness and polarization that a multi-million dollar IP 28 campaign will generate.

The collateral damage from the campaign itself will mean that — whether the measure passes or fails — Oregon will lose in terms of its ability to come together and effectively address the challenges that will confront our state in 2017 and beyond. Many of the provisions in the governor's plan to spend the IP 28 revenue seem to be focused on mitigating the many unintended consequences of the measure itself. Pulling that off in a deeply divided and polarized legislature is problematic at best. 

Kitzhaber concludes his post by saying that just because the measure has made the ballot does not mean Oregonians need to "resign ourselves," ending with another push toward compromise and asking for strong leadership and courage.

So far, no such compromise has emerged.

June 14, 2016 12:22 PM

Mark Baker, longtime reporter, "Living Here" columnist and member of the Baker family, appears to have parted ways with The Register-Guard.

The daily paper is owned and primarily run by the Baker family, and Mark Baker is is the youngest grandchild of Alton F. Baker Sr., The Register-Guard's publisher from 1927 to 1961, according to an RG newstory about Baker's hiring as East Region reporter in 2002.

Several sources notified EW of Baker's departure but not the details of the split. As of June 14, Baker's name no longer appears listed on the RG's online masthead and his "Living Here" column is no longer on the online dropdown news menu where it previously appeared. 

EW has reached out to Mark Baker for comment, as well as to Wendy Baker, the RG's director of Human Resources, but has not received a reply from Mark Baker. When asked if she could confirm whether Mark is employed or affiliated with the paper, Wendy Baker responded, "No, thank you."

Mark Baker has made no statements on the issue an his Facebook or Twitter accounts as of the posting of this blog. Baker's "Living Here" columns appeared frequently on the paper's front page. His Facebook profile still lists him as a senior writer at the RG.

June 12, 2016 02:27 PM


[Above: John O'Malley of The Wayward Lamb (front row, second from left) with staff and supporters.]

Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American man, shot and killed 49 people at a nightclub  in Orlando in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12; many more were injured. The shooter was also killed, bringing the toll to 50. It is the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The nightclub was PULSE Orlando, a dedicated queer space and venue in Orlando.

June is national PRIDE month in the U.S.

John O'Malley, marketing manager for The Wayward Lamb — a queer space and bar in downtown Eugene, spoke about the Orlando tragedy outside the Lamb early Sunday afternoon. O'Malley attended college in Orlando and had been a patron of the club, even hosting his graduation celebration there. See video below.

There will also be a candlelight vigil for the victims of the mass murder at 8 pm tonight in Kesey Square, at the crossroads of Willamette and Broadway.

"Our freedoms began in dedicated queer spaces," O'Malley told a small crowd gathered at the Lamb, pointing out that the LGBTQIA community is no stranger to violent attacks, recalling Stonewall, The Upstairs Lounge fire in New Orleans, the Backstreet Cafe shooting and many more.

"Our deepest condolences to all the individuals affected by this unspeakable tragedy," O'Malley continued. "To the owners and staff of Pulse Orlando, and especialy the LGBTQIA community of Orange County, Florida, and the impact this will have on all of them moving forward."

He added: "Stay strong and stay proud. The Wayward Lamb family and the LGBTQIA community of Lane County stand in solidarity."

When KEZI asked O'Malley about the security of the LGBTQIA community locally he responded:

"It affects all of us. It happened in Orlando; it could happen anywhere."  He explained that Eugene has a welcoming community, but so does Orlando.

"The unfortunate part about it is it can happen anywhere at anytime."

Watch  video below:

[Editor's note: This blog post has been changed to reflect the updated count of victims.]

June 9, 2016 05:31 PM

If you're a fan of tea — scratch that — if you like tasty liquids, get yourself over to J-Tea's new Oolong Bar on 19th Avenue just south of the University of Oregon campus. It opened on May 20, and owner Josh Chamberlain says it's been thriving ever since. 

"Our first shop was meant to lead the industry and be a place where tea education and workshops take place," Chamberlain says, referring to J-Tea's Friendly Street location. "Here, we just want to make you an awesome cup of tea. It's more user-friendly and more of what I've experienced customers want."

J-Tea's first location on Friendly Street offers an educational tea-making experience, while this new location makes room for innovation and new tastes.

Even an entrenched coffee lover couldn't resist the choices on the Oolong Bar's menu. For hot days, the long list of iced teas promise thirst-quenching goodness. 

"Lemon Honey Green" ($5) is a favorite for cooling down, Chamberlain says, with Green Spring tea, lemon and honey. The "Starry Night" ($3) includes hibiscus, clove, lemongrass, orange peel, stevia, licorice and lavender in a caffeine-free herbal blend.

For caffeine addicts, Oolong Bar has you covered. Try "Iced Earl Grey Latte," with Earl Grey tea and organic milk over ice. 

Then there're the bubble drinks. I sampled a concoction of house-made peach compote and tapioca pearls with black tea, served in a mason jar. The first drink tasted like biting into a juicy peach — one sip provides a mouthful of sweet compote, punchy tea and chewy tapioca pearls.

The food menu is small, with only one item. But it's a pretty good item. Called Æbleskiver, the little round balls of dough are pancakes in disguise. Dutch in origin, they are especially tasty with housemade fruit compote drizzled over the top. Chamberlain says Oolong Bar's food menu will soon expand as they experiment with different offerings.

For cool days, hot drinks are available, including a Matcha latte and the eclectic-sounding "Fruity Pebbles" latte, with mango honeybush tea and steamed organic milk.

Chamberlain and manager Benjamin Wilkinson say they're excited about this new tea venture and hope people will drop by to check out the newest member of Eugene's growing tea culture. Chamberlain says with tea, it's all about blending flavors.

"I learned from the beer world that there's no point in blending two things unless the first thing and the second thing together create an even better thing," Chamberlain says.

And from this food writer's view, Chamberlain has created a pretty delicious thing.

Visit the Oolong Bar at 1607 E. 19th Avenue in Eugene. Learn more at jteainternational.com.

June 9, 2016 04:22 PM

[Above: The former home of Cascade Presbyterian Church on Willamette in South Eugene.]

There’s no question that the crisis of the unhoused, the homeless, people on the street, "travelers" — however we want to designate those in need — has reached a critical mass moment in Eugene and Lane County.

Of this group, kids and teens are the most vulnerable.

St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) wants to begin tackling this pervasive issue. The nonprofit human services org has a four-month option to buy the property at 3350 Willamette Street, the former home to the Cascade Presbyterian Church, which has moved its congregation to meet on Sunday mornings at Hi-Fi Music Hall. SVdP would use the property as residential facility for homeless youth.

“We just learned about the availability last week,” Paul Neville tells EW. “We’re going to take that four months and we’re going to try to secure funding.”

The four-month option means that St. Vinnies, exclusively, has four months to raise the money to buy the property.

“It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a long time,” Neville says. “This would be a facility that would serve homeless youth that are still in high school.”

Nevile says the target demographic is homeless youth ages 16 to 18, a population he says is very vulnerable.

The idea stems from St. Vincent’s Job program for youth, the brainchild of SVdP’s executive director Terry McDonald. Nevile says there are 40 kids currently in the program. The program employs teens in SVdP and works together with the kids’ schools.

“We provide them with some income,” Neville says. “We provide a steady presence in their lives.”

He adds: “We have a foundational base in this that helped inspire the idea for an actual residential facility.”

The facility would house anywhere from 12 to 20 teens at a time. Neville says they will continue to work closely with local schools, as well as the city of Eugene, Springfield and the county.

Neville says human trafficking, and the sex trade up and down I-5, of Lane County youth is a very real problem.

“If you can take these kids at an extremely vulnerable age and provide them with intense case management you can save them from something like that,” he says.

Neville brings up the street kids who hang out up and down Broadway downtown, especially at the corner of Broadway and Olive.

“There’s been a lot of concern for years about kids hanging down at the mall,” he says, referring to the downtown strip’s old nickname.Not much has been done to address the underlying cause.”

SVdP hopes this facility will be a beginning in addressing the root causes of local youth homelessness.

Neville says the next four months will be a “mad scramble” to raise the money, but they’re optimistic. Securing funds is only piece of the puzzle, however. Neville says during the next four months SVdP is looking to develop partnerships, design a program, design a residential facility in a former church and work with neighbors.

“We’ve got the experience and the contacts to pull this off,” he says. “I think there’s going to be strong community support for something like this.”

June 3, 2016 02:16 PM

Hood River News is reporting a multi-car oil train derailment at the town of Mosier near the Columbia River. Flames and smoke are visbile. Mosier School and 60-70 homes are under evacuation. I-84 has been shut down both directions. The Oregonian is also posting updates.

Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue tweeted out this photo.

Reports say it is a Union Pacific train involving 11 cars filled with oil, with several burning. The train was carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota. It's unclear if any oil has spilled into the river.

Environmentalists have long predicted the possible disastrous effects of an oil train derailment near the Columbia River.

Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign Director Lena Moffitt released the following statement:

“The Sierra Club’s thoughts and prayers are with the train’s crew, their families, and the families of the communities affected by this disaster. “History has repeatedly shown just how deadly and dangerous oil train crashes can be. Simply put, transporting oil by rail -- or by any method -- is a disaster waiting to happen. The safety and wellbeing of our communities must be put ahead of profits for Big Oil.”

Sen. Ron Wyden has also issued a statement:

“It’s clear with this crash – as it has been for years – that more must be done to protect our communities from trains carrying explosive hazardous fuels. That’s why I’ve repeatedly called for more resources and notification for first responders, and why I’m continuing to push for my bill to move unsafe cars off the tracks and away from communities.”

Update: According to the latest press release from the Oregon Department of Transportation, 14 cars were involved, booms have been placed in the Columbia to contain the sheen of oil that can be seen in the river, no people or structures were harmed. 

The press release links to a Union Pacific website giving updates. It says the DOT-111 railcars had been upgraded to the higher CPC 1232 standard. 

Think-tank Sightline Institute says that higher standard is no safer than the older railcars.

May 27, 2016 04:38 PM

Eugene Weekly — an award-winning alternative newspaper in the beautiful Pacific Northwest — seeks a 30 hour-per-week calendar editor with a news reporter’s sensibility to edit EW’s “What’s Happening” calendar. Our calendar fills Lane County in on the area’s vibrant arts, music, political, entertainment and everything-in-between scene. 

EW is looking for a person who can handle the doldrums of data entry (the bulk of the job) but is hoping to move up to a career in news reporting and feature writing.

The calendar editor should be excited to highlight both highbrow and grassroots events in the community in short, fun blurbs each week in addition to the data entry.

The ideal candidate will be highly interested in news reporting, organized, detail-oriented, determined and versatile as well as have infinite amounts of patience.

Copyediting skills a plus. Must not be married to the Oxford comma. The position starts as soon as it is filled.

We’re a feisty office with a fierce dedication to covering community issues with an alternative flare. 

This opportunity comes with a $15 an hour salary, excellent non-financial perks (mainly free food and endless coffee).

The job starts at 30 hours a week but will become a full-time position with benefits. Send resume, cover letter and clips by June 10 to editor@eugeneweekly.com as an MS word or a .pdf attachment by June 10. Web links are also accepted. EW is an equal opportunity employer. 

May 18, 2016 10:42 AM

In the May 17 Oregon primary election, local county commissioner Faye Stewart was trounced by perennial candidate Mark Callahan in the Republican race to challenge incumbent Democrat Ron Wyden in the fall. Callahan has run for president, switched parties, running as a Pacific Greena and a Dem, and generally been more of a sideshow than a strong candidate.


We have to wonder if Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah-Gate back in 2014 gave Callahan enough of name recognition push to get that 37 percent of the vote in the four-way race. Stewart got 19 percent.

During a 2014 endorsement interview, Callahan spotted Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Nigel Jaquiss writing "blah, blah, blah" in his notebook as fellow candidate Jo Rae Perkins talked abut climate change . (Perkins just lost to nuke-loving wingnut Art Robinson in the Repub primary to face Peter DeFazio. We are losing count of how many times Robinson has run against DeFaz.)

Highlights: Callahan losing it over blah, blah, blah, then saying climate change is myth. "Where are you on the Easter Bunny?" Jaquiss asks. 

What's not funny is realizing that, even if we think Callahan doesn't have a chance in the fall, Oregon Republicans voted for a climate change denier.

May 17, 2016 07:21 PM

Required reporting: If a student is sexually assaulted and tells her or his professor, then under University of Oregon rules the professor must report what happened, whether or not the student wants it reported.

For some, required reporting is the best way to handle discrimination and harassment. Others, such as UO psychology professor Jennifer Freyd, say mandatory reporting can cause more harm than good.

The University of Oregon Faulty Senate votes May 18 on a required reporting policy that is causing contention on campus among those who work on the issue of sexual violence. According to the proposed motion, “sexual harassment and other forms of prohibited discrimination are prohibited by law and the University has a duty to do its utmost to protect its students and employees from discriminatory harassment, and most particularly from sexual assault.”

Freyd, who is nationally known for her research on institutional betrayal, has this to say:

“This is a human rights issue and I have faith that in time we will all understand it that way. For me I fight this locally and nationally. It may take awhile but I think with effort this movement will succeed — as human rights movements tend to do eventually — and in the meantime I will not make bargains that sell my integrity for political expediency.

I ask myself:

Is my duty to the institution? or to my students?
Is my duty to appease those in power? or to the core mission of knowledge production and dissemination?

Do I succumb to illegitimate threats of power-over that attempt to coerce a vote? or do I model integrity or process?

Am I an agent of the system? or an individual with an educated mind and a commitment to truth and justice?

I don't find these very hard questions to answer. I will do what I believe is right on this matter even if I'm the only one in the room doing so (but I would sure love support) and even though I know I may very likely trade being popular, politic or comfortable.”

In its rationale for the policy, University Committee on Sexual and Gender Based Violence says that while not all the supporters agree “its terms are mandated by federal law,” the committee majority “accepts that it is clearly permitted and, indeed, contemplated by federal law.”

UO professor and University Committee on Sexual and Gender Based Violence co-chair Carole Stabile spoke before the Faculty Senate on May 11. She said the mandatory reporting policy that came out under former UO president Gottfredson was unclear. And that under the revised policy, survivors have options, such as disclosing to confidential reporters such as counselors.

Gottfredson was UO president at the time of the UO basketball rape allegations and the school was heavily criticized for how it handled that case.

The committee writes that it “rejects the view that this policy is designed institutional risk management reasons and believes that it is a reasonable response both to OCR [U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights] guidance as well as the needs of the university community.”

With regard to the concerns raised by Freyd and others, the committee states that it “recognizes that there are serious arguments raised in opposition to this policy, especially with regard to its potential for discouraging some survivors of sexual violence from seeking confidential assistance.”

It continues, “However, the committee believes, given the substantial resources recently deployed in support of survivors of sexual violence, and the reasonable protections instituted by the university so that survivors continue to control the process of healing and resolution, that it is imperative that such survivors avail themselves of these resources.”

Required reporters go to the Title IX Coordinator or to the Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services with their information. Former UO student and rape survivor Laura Hanson says when she went to Penny Daugherty, the Title IX coordinator, she was told not to report her assualt to the police because it was a "he-said she-said" situation.

Sexual assault survivor and activist Brenda Tracy who has worked with OSU to improve its sexual assault policies says she is coming to Eugene to testify against required reporting before the Senate at the May 18 meeting, which is from 3:30 - 5:30 pm in 156 Straub Hall. 

May 16, 2016 05:04 PM

Voters in Portland over the weekend might have been stymied by a beer fest. Go home Portlandia, you're drunk.

Activist Alley Valkyrie, formerly of Eugene, snapped this photo in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square, posted on social media and commented, "Two days before ballots are due, and the downtown ballot box was blocked by a beer fest. Democracy in action, folks …"

According to the square's website, it was Widmer Hefe Day on May 15.

Lane County residents can find their ballot dropsites here. Ballots can no longer be mailed and are due by 8 pm May 17.

May 16, 2016 09:17 PM

As we get ready to tally our ballots May 17, candidates have been pushing their platforms locally. While our state is generally not seen as a massive battleground state, the May 6 Donald Trump rally in Eugene certainly showcased that not everyone is on the same side.

Amidst hip-hop music blaring from what appeared to be a car parked on West 13th Avenue, cheers, chants and trumpets competed for airtime at the Lane Events Center on that Friday evening. A man cruised proudly by on a bike that, to put it gently, had been outfitted with a long cylindrical fixture protruding from the bike seat between his legs. At its tip was a replica of Donald Trump’s head. 

It is impossible to know exactly how many bodies came out in force, but a lot can be said for what they brought to the table. The protesters numbered a significant portion of the attendees as the evening progressed, while ever more Trump supporters gathered near the gates on 13th Avenue hoping to see him in the flesh.

The rally represented a variety of political views. While Sanders’ recent appearance on the UO campus was fodder for guess-who-I-saw-today bragging from many of my peers, the knowledge of having Trump in town was cause for anger among others.

Some students I talked to supported Hillary, others Bernie; some for Trump, others Republican but against him.

One individual, a 28-year-old University of Oregon student hailing from New Orleans, stood among the crowd in support of the Republican frontrunner. “[I’m] hoping to get a hug from Donald Trump,” he said. “He looks very huggable.” An 18-year-old high school student had come from Corvallis to also see his candidate of choice, and stuck around to “soak up” the political atmosphere.

As the loudspeakers periodically reminded the crowd that the gates were closed and it was futile to wait for entrance, the message fell on impassioned, deaf ears. Protests and shows of support continued all the same.

Patrick, another UO student, came to the rally without ascribing allegiance to any particular candidate. “Honestly, I just thought it’d be entertaining,” he said.

As I observed and chatted with students in the crowd, a surprising number of them had come for the same reason: the spectacle. Though many people came out to the rally to proclaim a political view or allegiance to a party, many more students might as well have brought popcorn.

It was surreal, watching the carnival that had sprung from such a serious calling. It was never more evident that this election season has brought with it such fanfare and tactics reminiscent of the reality TV to which Trump is so accustomed. At some point in the night, I watched as people on both sides lost themselves in the argument, subsumed by the drama and the energy that surrounds this campaign season.

Multiple attendees I talked to argued that there was more aggressiveness from the protesters than the supporters. One young Trump supporter commented, “The anti-Trump supporters are negative. Very negative.”

Personally, I witnessed two attendees slow dance to the music in the middle of it all, swinging their arms while they rested their cardboard signs on their shoulders. This is why having a candidate like Trump come through Eugene creates such a perfect storm for entertainment.  

Having been to both a Sanders rally and a Trump rally, I can attest that the entertainment value is marked for rallies in this election period. While blood stained the ground outside the Trump protest after an apparent altercation, the most offensive thing I witnessed at the Sanders crowd was a sign that read “Show me your caucus.” There were cheers, there were yells, there was dancing, but there was a noticeable absence of protest.

Whereas Sanders volunteers had ushered us through security gates for the Democrat’s event, black SUVs and police officers maintained the area in force at Trump’s. The hostility of the Trump rally, from all sides, was palpable. Fear, hate, pain, bitterness, ashamedness, betrayal, pride, patriotism, excitement: All these emotions blended into a sort of sick Long Island Iced tea.

As we head into our elections this Tuesday, I understand that this race is for many people a chess game, a stratagem whose end is not necessarily progress but the prevention of another candidate taking office.  I can’t help but wonder how many of my neighbors will be inking their selections out of faith, out of love, out of hope; and out of pride, out of spite, out of hate, out of fear.

I am both grateful to and anxious about those who will be casting ballots this week. I am equally conflicted about those who have decided not to: about what hand the political system will deal us, given (or perhaps regardless of) how we as voters play it.

If nothing else, the May 6 showing indicates that Oregonians aren't aren't apathetic about their politics.  

The last student of the night that I talked to was Trevor, a 24-year-old Eugene native. His reason for going out to the rally seemed to bring a sense of peace to an otherwise anything-goes contest. “[I’m] not a big fan of hate,” he said. “I don’t think they’ll listen, but as long as we stand here to show them what we’re here for, it’s worth something.”

Hannah Golden is a writer graduating with degrees in journalism and Spanish from the University of Oregon. A California native, she has lived in Eugene for the past four years.

May 13, 2016 04:47 PM

Eugene’s first all gluten-free restaurant opened this week, and EW dropped by to check it out. Sundial Café is tucked into the corner of 24th and Hilyard just south of the UO campus, next to Sundance Natural Foods — look for the storefront with the red door.

Owner and chef Alex Moon, a longtime member of the Eugene food community who used to work at Belly Taqueria and Morning Glory Café, launched a Kickstarter campaign over a year ago to get a gluten-free restaurant up and running in Eugene. It took a while to find the right space, but May 11 was Sundial Café’s first day.

Outdoor seating covers the front area, which is shared with neighbor Humble Bagel, and inside, a cute collection of chairs and tables fills a space with a country farm house vibe. The interior has the gleam of a newly built restaurant, with a cozy atmosphere generated by the elegant but slightly worn décor.

OK, but you’re really here for the food, right?

Moon is currently only serving lunch and dinner right now, but she plans to start serving breakfast starting next weekend. Currently, the menu offers an appealing array of dishes, from chips and guac to salads, pastas and burgers.

The Spencer’s Butte burger comes with a one-third pound beef patty and options to add jalapenos, barbecue sauce, fried egg, avocado and more.

The beverages list includes a full assortment of coffees, like lattes, mochas and espresso. Further down you’ll find a handful of smoothies — the PB & J smoothie is light pink, frothy and perfect in consistency, easy to slurp down with a straw but far from watery. Expect a sweet strawberry taste with rich, peanut butter undertones.

And you don’t want to miss the dessert menu. Take the “Pink Cloud,” for example: “a strawberry shake topped with fresh berries and marshmallows with a rainbow sugar rim.”

Lauren Hay, one of the restaurant’s employees, says although Sundial has only been open for two days, it’s been a fun experience. “I’ve never been part of a start-up before, but it’s all been really positive,” she says.

Check out Sundial’s Facebook page for more updates, and visit sundialcafeeugene.com to see a full menu.

May 12, 2016 11:37 AM

The race for EWEB Wards 6&7 just got a little strange and ugly with this attack mailing against Sonya Carlson.

Carlson is running against Gary Malone in the position. EW reached out to Carlson and Malone for comment.

Malone at first responded: "Sans commentaires, Ne pas oublier de voter." (No comments, Don't forget to vote).

He did not explain why his response was in French.

Carlson has issued a statement:

"The Eugene Chamber of Commerce, the Register-Guard, the Eugene Weekly and dozens of elected officials and other community members across the political spectrum have publicly endorsed my campaign for EWEB. I am proud of the broad range of support I have garnered. Yesterday, I was informed that my opponent turned to negative campaigning. It is unfortunate, but I am confident that voters will see the hit piece for what it is. My husband and I purchased our home in a working class neighborhood in Santa Clara almost seven years ago. I graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2005 and had been in the workforce for nearly a decade before I decided to return to school to pursue my masters degree in business administration. As a mother, it was a difficult decision to make, as we would be living on one income. Likewise, choosing to run for EWEB was not a decision I took lightly, but I have been honored and humbled by the encouragement I have received. "

Later on Friday. May 13, Malone said he did have comments after all, writing:

"I do have comments. The flyer did come from my campaign. I apologize to Sonya Carlson and anyone else who may have been offended and would ask for their forgiveness. The intent was to educate the voter. I am saddened to say one more piece was mailed that I tried to stop that reflects the same style. I have taken steps to ensure this type of campaigning will not happen in the future."