You know what’s punk rock? Helping people. Local punk bands Bad Luck Blackouts and Silence Mill are joined by Portland’s Old City for a benefit for CAHOOTS 8 pm Thursday, March 10, at Sam Bond’s Garage, 407 Blair Boulevard. CAHOOTS is renowned nationally for its mental health first response in crises involving mental illness, homelessness and addiction. That work requires a lot of effort and money, and needs support. The event is 21 and over and a $10 suggested donation and proof of COVID vaccine or negative test must be provided.
• We note with sadness the passing of Herb Wisner, a biologist and birdwatcher in Eugene, who died Feb. 20 a month short of his 100th birthday. A former biology teacher at the University of Oregon, Wisner was mentor and guide to decades of young birders. He and his late wife of 70 years, Ruth Wisner, maintained a private nature and ornithology museum in a 1,000-square-foot outbuilding at their home in south Eugene. The fascinating, musty collection was begun more than half a century ago by his uncle, Edmund Wisner, at the family home in New Jersey, and Herb Wisner always meant for its taxidermied animals, including an extinct passenger pigeon — as well as old field guides, historic documents, photographs and 8mm films — to go to a university or museum. Alas, that never came to pass, and the collection is being parted out to individuals and a few schools. At Wisner’s request, donations in his memory can be made to Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Lane County Audubon, Eugene Natural History Society or the Eugene YMCA.
• Here are some important dates to remember: On March 18, the City Club of Eugene will produce its first primary election program, dealing with contested Eugene City Council races. On April 28, ballots will go out (and Eugene Weekly will issue our endorsements around then, too). And on May 17, the votes are counted and the primary election takes place. Remember, many of the nonpartisan offices in Oregon’s primary can basically be decided in May if a candidate gets 50 percent plus one of the vote. Also remember that Oregon’s primaries are closed, meaning you can only vote in the Democratic primary if you are registered Dem.
• As we watch the invasion unfold in Ukraine, and hope for a peaceful end, we also urge you to fact check posts and photos before you share. Sharing misinformation undermines the causes you seek to support. And yes, a group of Ukrainian border guards stationed on Snake Island in the Black Sea really did say, “Russian warship, go fuck yourself,” when ordered to surrender under threat of attack. The latest reports say the guards survived. One good source to check out is the English language journalism of The Kyiv Independent, KyivIndependent.com.
• What we’re reading: Helen Macdonald’s terrific little book Vesper Flights. Best known for her book H is for Hawk, Macdonald — a writer, poet, illustrator and naturalist — pens these little essays about the natural world. As NPR said, “A book that offers hope to a world in desperate need of it. An essential collection.”
• What’s next for Nick? In a Feb. 28 op-ed in The Oregonian, Nicholas Kristof said he intends to remain in Oregon public life, as The O’s editorial writers urged him to do in their own opinion piece when he was ruled out of the primary for governor because of residency problems. He writes, “I’m in,” continuing with “while I don’t know precisely what my next chapter will be, I will continue to wrestle with the challenges we see around us.” We wonder about that next chapter, too.
• What we’re watching: The new Saturday Night Live on Feb. 26 was brilliant and worth watching every minute. We can’t wait until next SNL — we need that! Another fascinating TV show is CNN’s documentary LBJ: Triumph and Tragedy on Lyndon Johnson showing him as the great president he was until he was destroyed by the Vietnam War. It was a surprise to us that LBJ was only in his mid-60s when he died. He seemed so much older.