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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 Women’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? 

April 21, 2016

Bridges aren’t just transportation structures; they can be iconic parts of the landscape. Picture the Golden Gate or any of Lane County’s covered bridges. But what happens when the structure is no longer usable? 

Rather than simply demolish the 1930s art deco railings of Hwy. 101 Siuslaw River Bridge as the bridge is retrofitted by the Oregon Department of Transportation, BRING Recycling is finding new homes for the decorative railings, which span 24 feet and weigh 4 to 5 tons.

April 21, 2016

Would you believe there are beavers, otters, herons and a variety of other species living along Amazon Creek in Eugene? 

It’s true, thanks to a growing number of local businesses that are becoming certified by the Long Tom Watershed Council’s (LTWC) Trout Friendly Landscapes program. The goal of the program is to make habitat and water quality improvements in private lands that will, in turn, support native aquatic life in Amazon Creek and the Willamette River. 

April 21, 2016

When it comes to weed, a clutch of competing cannabis mythologies seems to guide our collective imagination, each one containing seeds of truth and shakes of misinformation and ignorance.

One of the more subtle myths surrounding cannabis goes something like this: “Dude, it’s all good. Weed is a product of the earth, God-given, and we are meant simply to grow it, smoke it and enjoy. Unlike alcohol, weed never hurt anybody. It’s just a plant, for goodness sake.”

April 14, 2016

There’s something odd about 13th and Olive. Better known as Crap, er, Capstone, it’s a pretty blunt edition to downtown Eugene. But something about it just doesn’t quite make sense. A handful of the first-floor rooms are completely uninhabited, and yet they’re all done up: televisions turned on, beds made, journals on the desks and one or two lone T-shirts hanging in the closet. 

It’s a little creepy.

April 7, 2016
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March 31, 2016

Peggy Wolfheart was rescued from Valley River Center yesterday after the lifelong Eugene resident got lost on her way to The Kiva and found herself smack in the middle of Eugene’s largest mall.

Wolfheart, who had never before left downtown Eugene, says she quickly became overwhelmed after entering the retail shopping center.

“Who knew that anything existed beyond Skinner Butte?” she says, adding that she had heard of north Eugene but avoided the area because it was too “commercial.”

March 31, 2016

When Floomf and Schmorple descended upon Earth, it was for one specific reason: To investigate a claim made by the city of Eugene in the early aughts.

The two were inspectors for the highly regarded Associated Stars Systems for Cross-cultural Outerspace Propagation (ASSCOP) located in the Boopz Galaxy, and their satellite scanner had intercepted the message:

Eugene is The World’s Greatest City for the Arts and Outdoors.

March 31, 2016

I don’t like myself very much.

For me, self-loathing is a matter of principle. It’s not so much that I see myself as unlovable; it’s more to the point that I consider myself utterly unworthy, and I experience human attention of any sort, much less gestures of affection and compassion, as a kind of assault on my very being. Abuse, derision and outright neglect are my real life’s blood. I thrive on being ignored. And when you up and shit on me, it ratifies my low self-esteem, as though all is right in the world.