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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.

March 24, 2016
Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in 2008 at South Eugene High School. Photo by Todd Cooper.

 

March 17, 2016

The big question surrounding the current mayoral election is: Will the wide field of Democratic candidates help sweep Republican Mike Clark into the mayor’s office this May? Former EWEB commissioner and current mayoral candidate Bob Cassidy doesn’t think so.

Cassidy doubts his conservative opponent can stitch together the just-more-than 50 percent of the ballots he’ll need in order to settle this race in May’s primary. Nor does Cassidy think Democrat Lucy Vinis can match Clark’s experience or name recognition in the general election. 

March 17, 2016

“When you’re dealing with God and country, nothing in Eugene is easy,” says a Fox News story about Eugene City Councilor Mike Clark’s 2011 effort to force the council to say the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting. 

March 17, 2016

Five candidates for mayor of Eugene — four men and one woman — lined the stage at First Christian Church March 3. When asked if they believed in human-caused climate change, candidate Lucy Vinis’ answer stood out from the rest: “I don’t think it’s a matter of belief,” she responded. Take a look at the facts, Vinis said: They show that human activity has caused climate change. 

March 17, 2016

If Scott Landfield, owner of Tsunami Books, is elected mayor of Eugene come November, what will be the top item on his agenda?

“The first thing I’ll do is demand a recount,” Landfield tells EW. He’s only half-joking. 

In an election year when it’s become trendy, nationwide, for candidates to puff out their chests and claim to be the anti-establishment choice, this designation seems to actually ring true for Landfield.

March 17, 2016

The Republican race for the presidential nomination has been compared to a clown car with its circus of candidates. No one expected Donald Trump to be more than a joke. Now he might seriously get the nomination. 

The Eugene mayoral race might also lend itself to clown car comparisons, with its plethora of candidates. Thus far two candidates have stood out the most: Lucy Vinis, because she reflects Eugene’s concern for social issues and the environment, and Mike Clark, because his votes show he does not. 

March 10, 2016

Your individual choices affect climate change — if you drive a car, or what car you buy, what products you consume and if you reuse and recycle. 

At the same time, major corporations have spent millions of dollars denying climate change. As Big Tobacco once denied cigarette smoke is unhealthy, corporations such as the Koch Industries and ExxonMobile have spent millions to sow doubt about climate change, despite knowing the science is real. 

March 3, 2016

“Wear argyle socks,” the website insisted. Apparently this is a real requirement for those actually competing in the American FootGolf league. Also, this league is a real thing.

Unfortunately, I do not have argyle socks, so I am not eligible to go pro as a FootGolfer.