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June 16, 2016

Eugene painter Ellen Gabehart’s home is far from a Martha Stewart-esque suburban rambler stocked with Ikea purchases. Gabehart has art covering every inch of her cozy space, furniture included. She reminds me to check the art in the bathroom before we sit down in her studio.

Gabehart strikes me as the epitome of a Eugene artist with a history of activist work, community building and a mix of both trippy and political art pieces. 

June 9, 2016

The current Republican front-runner has vowed, if elected president, he will build a wall along America’s southern border, claiming its construction would be done at Mexico’s expense.

Donald Trump has accused Mexico of “sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us.”

June 2, 2016

Local soccer fans will be spoiled this summer with several Lane United FC matches at the Willamalane Center as well as the July 24 International Champions Cup match between Paris Saint-Germain and F.C. Internazionale Milano, to be played in Autzen Stadium.

And yet, if Eugene soccer fans are as passionate about the beautiful game as I am, they might be most excited about the Copa América, to be hosted in the U.S. for the first time in its long and influential history, with the closest matches being played in Seattle and Santa Clara, California.

June 2, 2016

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson inspires millions, not with hype and bravado, but with intergalactic levels of cool. 

Through Tyson’s work as an astrophysicist, author, museum director, television and radio host, even the most novice among us can imagine the birth of stars; we can envision dwarf planets and ponder the very structures that define our home, the Milky Way. 

Simply put, he makes science accessible and fun. 

June 2, 2016

June 2, 2016

The tastes of summer beckon — this year, two brand-new foodie shindigs splash onto the scene. Look forward to a season’s worth of eating, drinking and living it up. And the best part is, you don’t even have to trek to Portland.

First comes the Eugene Food Truck Fest, a delicious gathering invented by the Eugene Mission to raise awareness of homelessness during the summer months, when thoughts of shelter and housing tend to fade as the warm weather rolls in. 

June 2, 2016

Many head for the hills, beaches, mountains and rivers to bask in what is the Great Oregon Summer. Others run for their paints, chalks, clays, sewing machines and cameras to capture the spirit of summer. Or dive into exhibits in museums and galleries (mmm, air conditioning). Summer in Oregon is  prime time to explore the arts, from Springfield to Coos Bay to Portland. Here are EW’s top summer picks for the arts:

 

The BIG INK Express

May 26, 2016

This story begins with a simple request for information. Before long, it veers into murky waters about freedom of information and the public trust, and potential violations of both in Eugene and statewide. 

The story ends in a snarl of unfortunate answers with, perhaps, a shard of hope.

May 19, 2016

On a blazing hot spring afternoon, Becky Riley lifts her foot in the air and stomps it against her shovel, grabbing a pile of dirt with her gloved hands as she gently combs through a sea of soil, wriggling with earthworms. 

Riley stands in the middle of a mowed, grass walkway at the north end of Rasor Park off River Road, where she’s getting ready to go head-to-head with a legion of poison oak plants. The 58-year-old has spent the past two years of her life removing poison oak by hand from the grassy field as an alternative to chemical spray. 

May 19, 2016

Ah, Eugene, “a great city for the arts and outdoors,” especially if you have the right gear, training and financial means to actually get down and dirty in the area’s natural wonders.

One factor for enjoying the outdoors is having access in the first place. The Eugene Rec Outdoor Program provides just that for Eugeneans, and the organization’s 50th anniversary is right around the corner.

May 19, 2016

Denise Nervik leans back in her chair and smiles as she recalls hiking Bald Hill in 1993, when she first moved to Corvallis.

“I was walking up in my boots and found that I was sinking into the muck up to the boot tops,” she says. “I said to myself, ‘Now I know what I’m going to do here in Corvallis! I’m going to work on trails.’”

Her prediction was right: With fellow volunteers, Nervik has worked for the past 14 years to organize and build the Corvallis to the Sea (C2C) hiking trail. 

May 19, 2016

May in the Willamette Valley is a sight to behold — newly green trees burst with life; the waves of spring flowers make a splashy rainbow of our town; sunlight sets the river dazzling. Even the rain seems a little less oppressive with the promise of intermittent glimpses of sun.

Breathe a collective sigh of happiness, Oregon. These are the good months. 

May 19, 2016

River surfer and barber Elijah Mack has big dreams for Eugene. 

In 2004, EW ran a cover story on Mack — he talked about his difficult past, his love for river surfing and the potential for an outdoor wave park in Eugene. Mack, who is moving back to Eugene this summer from Portland, still wants to see a wave park in Eugene for surfers. In the past 14 years, river surfing and whitewater parks have taken off across the nation. 

May 19, 2016

If Cheryl Strayed had access to A Woman’s Guide to The Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook, she probably wouldn’t have had so many hardships on the Pacific Coast Trail to write about in her bestseller Wild

Instead of teetering under its weight, Strayed would have learned how to pack a backpack efficiently, specifically for a women’s body, which has a lower center of gravity than a man’s. She could have read up on the proper footwear for long-distance hiking, instead of wearing crappy boots that left her tootsies a bloody pulp.

May 19, 2016

Saturday morning, 8 am. The leaves are glowing green in the morning light, and a small group of runners follows the trail winding through the trees. It is mostly quiet, just the steady rhythm of footsteps, a few conversations shared in between breaths. 

The last Saturday of the month, downtown Eugene’s running shop, Run Hub Northwest, organizes a group trail run. Recently they met at the Martin Street trailhead in south Eugene and ran up to the Ridgeline Trail.

May 12, 2016

Comic book people do love their origin stories.

The tale of the University of Oregon program in comic studies dates back some seven years, to the 2009 opening reception of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art’s Faster Than a Speeding Bullet exhibition of superhero comic art. Then-UO President Richard Lariviere was on site to help launch the exhibition. 

“I don’t think he was terribly interested,” says Ben Saunders, UO professor of English and guest curator of the show. “I think he was doing due diligence.” 

May 5, 2016

To generate an aura of cosmic destiny or maybe invite messianic comparison, Bernie Sanders’ team capped off the candidate’s surprise rally on the green grass of Springfield’s Island Park last week by blasting David Bowie’s dire sci-fi rock hymn “Starman.” And out of the sea of wide-grinning Berners stretched thousands of small hands, whose tide swayed always in Sanders’ direction.

“He’d like to come and meet us,” Bowie wailed, “but he thinks he’d blow our minds.”

May 5, 2016

While Bernie Sanders may have a thing or two to say about the income inequality and power grabs of 17th-century Denmark, he very much enjoyed his Hamlet-themed introduction at Springfield’s Island Park.

“To Bern or not to Bern,” local Democrat Matt Keating poeticized to the crowd of 8,000. “Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the huff and bluster of the far right wing. Or to take on the status quo and organize against it.”

Keating’s soliloquy went on for several more stanzas before a smiling Sanders took the stage.

May 5, 2016

As a persona, Bernie Sanders is a stock character drawn directly from the agitprop literature of the ’40s and ’50s: He’s that frumpy, tweedy Marxist firebrand who leans on the podium with a finger perpetually raised, haranguing us about the evils of monopoly capitalism and political cronyism. As a standard-issue New Deal democrat in an Orwellian age, Sanders’ royal “We (the People)” is, ironically enough, a distinctly working-class entity, which is the only reason his message seems revolutionary right here, right now. 

May 5, 2016

Four writers, a photographer and various other staffers from Eugene Weekly joined the 8,000 Bernie Sanders fans who flooded Springfield’s Island Park on April 28, less than 24 hours after his visit was announced by his brilliant advance team.

We’re running their words and pictures a week later, long after mainstream media has dropped the details, because Sanders’ story transcends his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. 

May 5, 2016

For anyone following the Bernie Sanders campaign, the contents of Bernie’s speech in Springfield should ring familiar. Yes, there was much animated hand-waving and phrases uttered in his characteristic Brooklyn accent, but the words were also 100-percent Bernie. Here are five highlights that struck us as the most undeniably “Bernie-esque.”

 

“It’s hard to imagine anyone voting for the Republican agenda.”

April 28, 2016

When we opened up our Voters Pamphlets and saw Donald Trump’s mugshot, it felt a bit surreal. So this is what democracy looks like? The 2016 election from the local to the national is either amazing or crazy or both, depending on your perspective and political leanings.

April 21, 2016

Anywhere from 2.5 to 4 gallons of water per minute flow from a standard showerhead, says local inventor Erol Chandler. That’s a lot of water circling down the drain.

This past November, Chandler, who makes   artisan lamps locally and is a former science teacher, began engineering his most recent invention: the Shower Commander. 

Shower Commander is a foot-operated device designed to control when a person turns water on or off while showering, such as when shaving or when using less water due to budgetary or conservation reasons.

April 21, 2016

A huge proportion of seed production in the U.S. (80 percent-plus) and around the world (40 percent-plus) is controlled by a handful of corporations such as Monsanto and DuPont. Should you care? That depends. Do you like to save your own vegetable seed? How do you feel about giant monopolies, genetic engineering and the idea of plants as intellectual property?