Miles O'Malley (Colin Lawrence) and two cult members (Aloura DiGiallonardo and Stephanie Morgan) look at some sea life. Photo by Ariel Ogden

Sea Life, Earthy and Full of Fire
UO cast rides The Highest Tide
by Suzi Steffen

At almost every turn, The Highest Tide surprises and delights its audience. A coming of age tale that resembles The Catcher in the Rye not in the slightest, Tide works the mind and heart with honesty and acknowledgement of life’s salty mix of joy and bitterness.

That’s thanks to book author Jim Lynch, book-to-play adapter Jane Jones of Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle and the actors and director of University Theatre’s fine production. Director Bobby Vrtis pulls excellent performances from several of his cast members and keeps the action, even in this told-in-the-past-tense play, moving along.

Like strands of kelp intertwined on the beach, threads and themes braid through the story. Science, religion and belief, desire, loss and love form a potent brew, and the play demands a large, flexible cast — something much more manageable in a university than a professional theater.

(Read the rest after the jump!)

According to an EPA press release today, the pesticide-caused death of a Florence women is only worth $4550. That's the maximum penalty the EPA can seek under FIFRA, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Swanson’s Pest Management, Inc., of Eugene reached a $4550 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the alleged misapplication of pesticides led to the death of 76 year old Florence Kolbeck in 2005. Her husband and several other people who entered the home also became sick.

Scott Downey, EPA Pesticides and Toxics Unit Manager in Seattle, said "the facts of the case are startling…and tragic," according to the EPA's press release.

Downey said, "We believe that three serious mistakes were made: the pesticide wasn’t mixed according to directions, it was misapplied as a fine mist instead of a coarse spray, and the home was not adequately ventilated after application. Sadly, when someone entered the home over two hours later, they were overcome by the fumes and tragically died as a result."

The pesticide was Conquer Residential Insecticide Concentrate, active ingredient esfenvalerate, and ULD BP-100 Contact Insecticide, active ingredient pyrethrin.

Swanson's Pest Control is the same company that caused an uproar also in 2005 when when it rid a Creswell mobile home park of cats by trapping and shooting them.

My advice to the last remaining hominids who still insist on using a fax machine to send communications — and, more importantly, calendar listings — to the Eugene Weekly: FOR! THE! LOVE! OF! GOD! Please stop! And please learn how to send an email. For starters, your submissions are always too late. To wit, today I got a listing for an event happening on Jan. 14, which is 11 days late! And to add insult to injury, the release came from a building across the street from EW's offices...ugh! Fax machines are a waste of time, a huge waste of natural resources and will always, always, always malfunction when you (seemingly) need it the most. Please recycle your fax machine ASAP and get with the 21st century. Thanks.

Please email all calendar, gallery or nightlife listings to:
Deadline is noon on the Thursday prior to the Thursday edition you want your event listed.

A car struck and killed a cyclist Monday, June 2 at 13th and Willamette.

The Eugene Police Department reported that a car driven by Latasha Ann Williams, 31, of Eugene struck and killed cyclist David Matthew Minor, 27, of Eugene at 3:47 in the afternoon.

An EPD press release states: "A very preliminary review of the investigative information indicates that speed does not appear to have been a factor. It appears that both parties likely had green lights, and that the bicyclist made a left-hand turn into the vehicle’s path."

Cyclists worried about the death may want to check out this web site on defensive riding:

The site covers many common hazards, but doesn't have much on safe left turns at busy intersections. Such turns are perhaps one of the most difficult urban cycling challenges for cyclists.

According to this site, one approach is to behave like a car and wait in the middle of the intersection for a gap in traffic. With tons of lethal hunks of metal hurtling all around, that could require some bravery and muscles for quick acceleration. Another approach is to go to the curb at the right-hand corner, turn your bike and then wait for the green to go the other direction. That may be safer and less frightening but requires twice the wait at the light.

A traffic engineering fix could involve a traffic island in the center of the intersection for bikes. Cyclists could take refuge there while waiting for a safe gap to turn left. The island would have to be designed so drivers could maneuver around it.

The city might also consider reexaming its heavy use of one way streets downtown. Such streets can cause dangerous confusion and are designed mostly to maximize car speeds. That's an odd goal in urban settings where the city is trying to reduce speeding for safety and get people to enjoy downtown. Many cities are converting one-way streets to two-way to increase safety and make downtowns more than just a place to speed through.

Many cities have also installed "bike boxes" to reduce "right hook" accidents where cars and trucks turn across bike lanes. Eugene has had one on High Street near City Hall for years. The boxes could allow a cyclist at a light to more safely shift to the left for a left turn. When painted brightly, these boxes could also help left turns by alerting motorists to watch for cyclists. But Eugene's box isn't painted.

Here's a bike box video showing Portland's brightly painted approach:

In contrast to Portland's highly visible bike safety improvements, below is a tiny street marking the city of Eugene recently put on a bike way through town. It's hard to see how a motorist would know what it is.

Meanwhile, the site of David Minor's death in Eugene has collected a highly visible, growing pile of flowers.

Two Master European Filmmakers Vanished From This World Yesterday

Ingmar Bergman, Swedish stage and film director (b. 1918)

Michelangelo Antonioni, Italian film director (b. 1912)

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