Yelawolf live at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

Yelawolf live at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

It was something more than a “moment” when Yelawolf hit the stage Sunday, May 29, at the Cuthbert. Short, sharp and explosive, the Alabama-born rapper’s shock-and-awe set was a furious, joyous burst of pyrotechnic charisma and mad talent — you could almost feel the tide turn on the whole scene when he decided to “get stupid” by stomping and helicoptering across the stage. Yela, a self-declared “Slumerican” and proud patriot from the trash side of the tracks, is keyed to boom skyward, and every bobbing body cramming the Cuthbert barrier could feel the crackle of his immanent launch. He ripped through a breathless set of hard-chopped syllables and catchy choruses, proving to all that his Southern trunk music has been immaculately elevated for the big show after a steady year of touring, an artistic education he compared to “boot camp.” And with his debut for Shady Records, Radioactive, set to drop late September, Yelawolf — his gutter-proud tread still cruising the dirty streets — is primed to cross over. “I’m so excited,” he said backstage after his set. “I want mainstream success with this record. I’ve spent my time in the underground and I want my shot at it. The records are going to reach people who’ve never heard of me before,” he said, adding that “my core fans are going to be so psyched.” Get ready to pop the trunk, people. Yela wants to play.
— Rick Levin

Yelawolf live at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

DJ Artime
Yelawolf live at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

Yelawolf live at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

Yelawolf live at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

Yelawolf live at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

Yelawolf live at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

Yelawolf live at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

Yelawolf live at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

Yelawolf at Cuthbert Amphitheater 5.29.11 | Photo by Todd Cooper

I think the video promotes a book. Dunno about the book, but the video is short, snarky and funny.

`60s Revivalists Making Old New Again

I could throw a lot of names at you to help describe Cotton Jones – names that belong in what these days is being called the “freak folk” scene. I could tell you they sound a bit like Devendra Banhart, or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. I could also throw a bunch of adjectives at you like psychedelic, country-rock and retro. I could do all of this, and still I wouldn’t be touching on the charm this band from Cumberland, Maryland, possesses. Yes, their sound heavily references the ‘60s – Phil Spector-esque walls of reverb, acid-folkie acoustic guitars, atmospheric organs, a Johnny and June interplay between vocalist Michael Nau and his wife Whitney McGraw. And yes, there are hipster trucker caps, scruffy beards and plaid shirts in abundance in this band (they’ve obviously spent some time scouring used vinyl bins for Flying Burrito Brothers and Graham Parson records). But there is also something so genuine and pure, so authentic, so downright catchy about Cotton Jones that it makes you forget that you’ve heard stuff like this a thousand times before, and enjoy it all over again. Cotton Jones plays with fellow `60s revivalists the Parson Redheads at 9 pm on Saturday May 28, at Sam Bond’s; $5. — William Kennedy

Oregonian political reporter and bike book author Jeff Mapes told Eugene bike advocates last week, "if you're not having anybody complain, then, frankly, you're not doing anything."

Mapes, who wrote Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities two years ago, credited the big jump in biking in Portland and other cities to an "iron triangle" of organized bike advocates, politicians and city transportation bureaucrats. Mapes spoke at Cozmic Pizza at an event sponsored by the UO group Live Move.

Mapes apologized that his book (NYT review here) didn't mention Eugene much because he didn't want to make it too Oregon-centric. "I purposely, when I was writing my book, didn't spend much time down here."

New York City's transportation bureaucrat Janette Sadik-Khan has become a celebrity by pushing the green, healthy, efficient and livable move to biking, according to Mapes. "She's someone in a powerful position and she doesn't say, ‘oh well, just do what's easy or little crumbs,'" he said. "She's been very aggressive."

Mapes said the increase in biking has lead to a "bikelash" in Portland, other cities and the Republican U.S. House as bikes compete for a share of road funding and space.

Multi-billion dollar road projects like a proposed bridge over the Columbia River to serve urban sprawl in Portland continue to garner support from Democrats due to lobbying by construction unions and truck freight interests, according to Mapes. Mapes said the expensive bridge may require a hike in the statewide gas tax. "You people down in Eugene will pay for it."

Bike advocates are a "small minority" but like NRA gun advocates they enjoy the advantage of focused intensity, Mapes said. "You are very passionate about cycling," he said. "They do pay attention when you are noisier."

But the biggest ongoing advantage for bike advocates may be generational. Mapes said that like gay marriage, young people show much stronger support for biking. The culture shift to bike transportation "is obviously not going to be easy, but I hope I'm around to see it," Mapes said.

Cascadia Wildlands, Western Environmental Law Center and Oregon Wild announced today that the Trapper timber sale, the proposed logging of an old-growth forest in the McKenzie River watershed, was halted in district court.

The sale, which was slated to be logged by Seneca, also the controversial owners and operators of a biomass plan in Eugene, has been the subject of legal cases and of protests by Cascadia Forest Defenders for years.

Conservation groups and community members today hailed a district court decision that declared the Trapper timber sale illegal. The timber sale, located in the McKenzie River watershed, the source of Eugene’s drinking water, would have logged 155 acres of never-before-logged mature forest in the Blue River area of the Willamette National Forest.

Federal Judge Tom Coffin ruled that in approving the timber sale the U.S. Forest Service violated a basic federal environmental law. Judge Coffin wrote: “The public is entitled to be accurately informed of the impact of the proposed action on the [northern spotted owl] and to have a meaningful opportunity to weigh in on the proposal… [A]pproval of the Trapper Timber Sale were based on a factual inaccuracy and the public has yet to be informed of the actual findings.”

The Forest Service cannot move forward with logging until the agency makes a new decision that meets the requirements of the law.

“The McKenzie is Eugene's backyard recreation paradise and its old forests filter our drinking water and shelter all kinds of wildlife,” says Kate Ritley, Executive Director of Cascadia Wildlands. “This logging proposal was flawed from the start when it was first issued a decade ago, and it’s high time we left it in the past."

The Forest Service first proposed the timber sale in 1998 and has failed to address significant new information that has arisen since the agency issued a decision on the project in 2003. In the ten years since the project was planned, a pair of threatened northern spotted owls has taken up residence in the vicinity of the timber sale.
The court said the agency relied on a flawed analysis of impacts to endangered species and failed to respond to a scientific critique of the project.

“It is past time the Forest Service permanently cancel this outdated logging project,” says Doug Heiken, Conservation and Restoration Coordinator with Oregon Wild. “The agency has a choice between logging mature and old-growth forests or identifying common-sense projects that thin young forests to benefit wildlife, protect the forest, and create jobs. It should be an easy choice.”

The Trapper timber sale has been the subject of controversy before. On two past occasions, Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon Wild successfully challenged the species impacts opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). USFWS is the federal agency in charge of recovering endangered species and had illegally issued opinions that would have allowed the Trapper timber sale to proceed despite negative effects to threatened wildlife.

"The fight to protect the ancient forests and wildlife found in the Trapper timber sale has been a long and hard one, but today that diligence has finally paid off,” says Susan Jane Brown, attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center.

The groups believe the Forest Service should be spending limited taxpayer dollars on projects that restore degraded landscapes, like restoration thinning in tree plantations resulting from past clear-cutting, decommissioning harmful roads, and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat.

The organizations are represented by Susan Jane Brown of the Western Environmental Law Center and Dan Kruse of Cascadia Wildlands.

EW was delighted when local community-driven news source MyEugene.org got a boost by being the first partner in The Oregonian's new news network.

According MyEugene:

MyEugene was recently selected to partner with The Oregonian – the largest news organization in the Pacific Northwest – for a one-year pilot program that is sponsored by J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism at American University, a non-profit organization funded with a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to spearhead the project.

Which is pretty awesome.

Another partner is the excellent source of bike info the BikePortland Blog.

But this week The O announced some more partners, and some of those, according to Our Oregon, an economic and social fairness nonprofit, unlike MyEugene, violate The Oregonian's own news standards.

Our Oregon writes on its blog that:

… the Oregon Capitol News is a project of Cascade Policy Institute, a right-wing think tank that pushes for "free market" solutions. That typically means they advocate against environmental regulations, for the privatization of schools, and against tax increases, particularly on corporations and the rich. Recently, Cascade Policy Institute has made a name for itself politically by opposing legislative efforts to ban Bisphenol-A in baby bottles.

The Oregonian has rules for news organizations that apply to by local and hyperlocal sources of news posted here.

Sites that do not qualify include:
tes that do not qualify include:

• Organs for institutions such as government agencies, political parties, non-profits.
• Public relations sites connected with another business
• Personal or opinion blogs
• Aggregators
• Sites that might otherwise qualify, but are not owner operated

For example, another new hyperlocal news source cropping up in Eugene featuring the ever popular weather guy Tim Chuey is Eugene Daily News, which has news stories of its own, but also sometimes functions as an aggregator when it pulls together headlines and stories from other sources as it does on this link.

Our Oregon focuses on the fact that Oregon Capitol News is described as "A Project of Cascade Policy Institute" and thus is an organ for an institution. In The Oregonian's story it describes it as "the Cascade Policy Institute’s independent reporting project."

In that same press release, North Coast Oregon is added as one of the new news sites. That site was the source of a lot of pro-liquified natural gas propaganda and attacks on those who oppose LNG. For more on LNG in Oregon, go to EW's May 2010 story on the issue.

North Coast Oregon went from an unfunded blog to a "news" source running "investigative" stories during the height of the LNG battle. Now that the hotly contested Bradwood Landing LNG terminal is no longer an issue, the "investigative" pieces have disappeared.

Our Oregon points the finger for picking up rightwing funded news sources as local partners at N. Christian Anderson III the new publisher, who Our Oregon says has a history with rightwing publications. Read Willamette Week's take on Anderson.

Are The Oregonian's efforts to go hyperlocal leading it to be a less credible news source?

Full disclosure:
EW is not an "objective" news source. It's advocacy journalism — reporting with a point of view. It's even in our mission statement (see below).

EW Mission Statement

Eugene Weekly serves the Eugene-Springfield and broader community with zest, passion and attitude as an alternative to the mainstream media. We proudly admit to practicing advocacy journalism with a point of view. The reality is that most media practices advocacy journalism with a point of view, but the owners and editors deny it. It's a big difference that we admit to our biases.

We are a watchdog for those institutions and leaders in all sectors who are protected by the traditional media, and we boldly challenge prevailing wisdom and authority. We are aligned with the progressive contingent of the community but are unafraid to take a strong independent stand. We support and celebrate unfettered artistic expression and the lively, free interchange of political and social ideas and opinions. We provide the most comprehensive and detailed guide to what’s really happening in the community, from backroom politics to leisure and cultural activities. We seek to provide a financially sound work environment for Eugene’s finest and most creative writers, artists and business people.

EW reader Johanna sent us this tale today:

Eugene has always had a special vibe, more than any other placed I have lived. What happened about a month ago is a prime example of how magical this town really is.

On my way home from work every day, I take West 11th heading West. For the past couple of years, I would pass by a house with an abstract picture of Matt Damon on the window. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but as the years went by, no matter what changed in my life, Matt Damon would always be there to greet me on my way home.
Then, suddenly, about a month ago, I noticed Matt Damon was gone. I knew it was inevitable, since we are a college town, that Matt Damon would eventually move. But the empty window that stared at me as I drove by it every day was beginning to eat away at me.

I decided to fill that void with an ad on craigslist under the missed connections. My original add went something like this:

Dear Abstract Picture of Matt Damon,
You have been the most consistent man in my life for many years. Other men would come and go in my life, but I knew once I took West 11th after work, you would be there to comfort me on good days and on bad days. Rainy days, sunny days, showers with a sun breaks....you'd always be there.

Then suddenly, you leave. No phone call, no forwarding address... I miss you!

Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

Funny enough, I got several responses. Some on craigslist and some via email. The original owners of Matt Damon contacted me to inform me that Matt Damon had moved to Portland. The new owners of the house also contacted me and were sympathetic enough to put a Titanic poster on the window to remind me that Matt Damon may be lost to history, but my love for Matt Damon will never be forgotten. For your enjoyment, I have attached the responses I got, as well as a final posting from me, ending this magical chapter in Eugene’s life.
***
I have it on good athority [sic] that Matt (and the boys that lived there) moved out. (11th and Jackson) It is now inhabited by a bunch of young chickies that either appriciate [sic] someone like Justin Bieber or are keeping Matt to themselves inside there. You may want to consider moving on... or knocking on the door. He may still be inside.
***
I thought I was the only one who noticed that picture on 11th. This post seriously made my day. Where in Eugene is Matt Damon? I guess we'll never know.
***
Sorry that we took away your sweet prince (Matt Damon). We have just received and Titanic poster that we were thinking about putting in the window. Maybe Leo could be your new man? Once again, sorry. — New members of the west 11th house
***
that was my old college house you are talking about!! i cannot express how happy it made me when a friend of mine found your posting on craigslist. truly an iconic part of west 11th!!
***
I just wanted to say that I know exactly the Abstract Picture of Matt Damon to which you are referring. His picture always stood out on the drive, haha. This posting made me laugh. Thanks!
***
Oh goodness, so funny! We always called that the "Matt Damon House" and by chance we met the guy who lived there. He said he posted it in the window to make it easier for friends to spot the house when driving by. Sadly he moved a while back :( Perhaps we'll see Matt sprout up elsewhere? This made me laugh to see that other people missed it as well!
***
I was surprised at how many responses I got from people who also missed Matt Damon. I actually got nine responses...all of whom also missed the poster. I'm glad I'm not the only one weird enough to miss a random picture of Matt Damon on the way home from work. It's moments like these that remind me of how much I love Eugene.

Alas, Matt Damon has moved to Portland....

The current renters were awesome enough to put a poster of the movie Titanic ... in memory of my Matt Damon picture ... who is lost to history, but our memory and our love will never be forgotten.

The Army Corps is not actually trying to be funny, but it is. And if you were wondering what former TV personality and political candidate Rick Dancer is up to these days, this answers your questions.

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