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WINTER 2015 /

VOL.7, ISSUE 2

/ FREE

DEAD f or SALE


in loving memory

M A R K LEW IS 1954 – 2014

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“look for the rainbows when others think only of clouds when it rains”


contents ETHOS MAGAZINE /

WINTER 2015

21 case closed In the third part of our investigative series on sex crimes in Oregon, state and federal law enforcement personnel work to combat sex and human trafficking.

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editor’s note

27 surfing oregon’s coast Year-round the Oregon Coast draws surfers looking for community and big waves.

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Aaron Porter replaced his alcohol addiction with running. Now, he plans to run the length of Japan to spread a message of recovery.

11 innovations A study conducted at the University of Oregon shows that our brains like to give - and more than we know.

13 forge Artists in the historic Whiteaker neighborhood struggle to preserve its unique character.

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photo essay Photographer Kyra Bailey captures the beauty and importance of Oregon’s bee population.


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“i’m not afraid to die at all” Meet five Mars One candidates: These citizen astronauts have volunteered for a one-way trip to the Red Planet. But is the mission feasible?

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51 motion Scientists and foragers alike appreciate fungi’s importance to Oregon’s forests.

journeys Writer Jonathan Bach tells of his time spent in Ukraine during its conflict with Russia.

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tastes Small, local breweries are often the fabric that knits neighborhoods together.

dead for sale In Eugene, two stores sell strange, fantastic, and at times freaky collectables.

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the last Writer Amber Cole tells of leaving her hometown in rural Nevada and its lasting influence on her life.

forum Is gluten sensitivity real? Scientists can’t reach a consensus. What is known is Americans have trouble eating healthy foods.

s PHOTO – Though devoid of surfers on this particular day, the stunning view from the South Jetty in Florence Beach of the Pacific Ocean shows a softer side of the Oregon Coast. / Angelina Hess Ethos is a multicultural student publication based at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. Ethos receives support from the ASUO. All content is legal property of Ethos, except when noted. Permission is required to copy, reprint, or use any content in Ethos. All views and opinions expressed are strictly those of the respective author or interviewee.


EDITOR’S NOTE

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s Ethos’ three-part series on sex trafficking in Oregon comes to an end in this issue, I feel it necessary to reflect on the immense amount of time, work, and energy our staff has spent on these stories. It was no small feat to produce nearly 10,000 words of student-led investigative journalism on an intensely sensitive matter: sex crimes. In part one (“In Plain Sight,” Vol. 6 Iss. 4), we told the stories of three women who have first hand experience in the sex industry. Their stories ranged from positive to downright frightening. What these stories showed was that every woman, no matter who, deserves a voice. In part two (“Speak Up!,” Vol. 7 Iss. 1), we learned about the advocates who make these voices heard. Without them, the public movement to combat sex trafficking and help its survivors would not be as strong and vibrant as it is. In this issue, part three, (“Case Closed,” Vol. 7, Iss. 2) tells a different side of the story: that of law enforcement. After speaking with a Portland detective, a Special Agent from the FBI, and a Multnomah County District Attorney, we learned firsthand about the struggle in Oregon to put sex traffickers behind bars. This series also represents the power of collegiate journalism. Travis Loose, its author, made incredible sacrifices along the way. Devin Ream, our photographer, was right there with Travis through all these months of interviews, re-interviews, editing, and endless meetings. And, without the work of our extensive team of behind the scenes staff, these stories would have never appeared in print. Nobody was paid to produce them and the staff had no help; these pieces are 100 percent produced by us. We didn’t do it for experience or clicks or even for fun — because it wasn’t always fun. We did it because we have a staff genuinely motivated to report on difficult issues because we care about bringing them to light. That speaks volumes to me. And, Ethos must thank its sources. Without them we wouldn’t be able to connect names and faces to the people who fight these terrible crimes and aid their survivors. Our largest thanks goes to the survivors who spoke with us directly. Your bravery is extraordinary and commendable. For that, we are forever grateful. This series is what Ethos is all about – telling stories via uncompromising and unembarrassed candor coupled with an incisive intolerance to embedded social injustice. It’s an honor to serve our community in that regard. On behalf of the Ethos staff, thank you for the opportunity.

s ON THE COVER On this issue’s cover, shot by Emily Albertson, are a skull and a stuffed crow for sale at Overcast Antiques in Eugene, Ore.

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GORDON FRIEDMAN EDITOR IN CHIEF


EDITOR IN CHIEF Gordon Friedman PUBLISHER Matthew Chiodo

editorial COPY CHIEF Amber Cole ASSOCIATE EDITORS Caroline Barrett, Rachel Davidson, Emily Weisz COPY EDITORS Hayla Beck, Jacqueline Escobar, Grant Pearson WRITERS Jonathan Bach, Gabrielle Deckelman, Melissa Epifano, Aliya Hall, Kyle Hentschel, Chris Herndon, Travis Loose, Franziska Monahan, Samantha Smargiassi, Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Kevin Trevellyan

photography PHOTO EDITOR Debra Josephson PHOTOGRAPHERS Emily Albertson, Nicole Allen, Kyra Bailey, Eric Cech, Charisson Chaiyabutr, Angelina Hess, Devin Ream, Sam Richards

art

web

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Delaney Pratt

WEB EDITOR Craig Garcia

DESIGNERS Danielle Allen, David Baggs, Gabriel Gomez, Brittany Hallin, Stephanie Lambirth, Marino Lapidus, Jeffrey Lonergan, Riley Morales, Brittney Reinholtz, Leslie Sharp

WEB MASTER Jamie Perry

ILLUSTRATORS Whitney Davis, Allie Witham

ETHOS LIVE! WRITERS Chandler Baker, Stephanie Lovell, Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

advertising AD DIRECTOR Emily Leadem AD REPS Sanam Alavizadeh, Madelyn Collins, Caleb Feist, Gretchen Henderson, Jaejin Lee

public relations PR DIRECTOR Lindsey Simmons

INTERNATIONAL COLUMNISTS Niria Garcia, Alison Goodwin, Jae Jensen, Haley Stupasky

ETHOS LIVE! PHOTOGRAPHERS Debra Josephson, Autumn Storholt, Virginia Werner

contact

ethosmag@gmail.com

what do you think? Have something you want to say? Submit a letter to the editor. Find the link to our submission form for on our website www.ethosmag.com

SOCIAL MEDIA Marissa Chu, Olivia Dietch, Makenna Huck, Caitlin Monohan FUNDRAISING Daniel Kantor, Madeleine Lindeman, Elena Tate, Lindsey Tucker, Emilie Weiss EVENTS Ally Allen, Olivia Kalk, Lydia Salvey, Nicole Winer

Congratulations to the Ethos staff, both past and present, for its award-winning work. For its previous issues, Ethos received multiple awards from the Associated Collegiate Press and Columbia Scholastic Press Association, including a 2013 and 2014 ACP Pacemaker Award for a Feature Magazine, its first Digital Magazine Silver Crown and two Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards. Generation Progress named Ethos Best Overall Publication in 2012-2013.

Ethos is printed on 70 percent post-consumer recycled paper Ethos thanks Campus Progress for helping support this student-run publication. Campus Progress, the youth division of the Center for American Progress, is a national progressive organization working to empower young people to make their voices heard. Published with support from Generation Progress.

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Aaron Porter plans to run the length of Japan to raise awareness about the tsunami and overcoming alcoholism

mr.

RUN JAPAN WORDS GABRIELLE DECKELMAN PHOTOS TAYLOR ELLIOT


IDENTITIES

“IT HAS BEEN TERMED RUNNING IS AN ADDICTION, BUT I KIND OF SWITCHED IT AROUND SAYING RUNNING IS MY RECOVERY,”

influenced these actions. “I started getting high at ten years old, so I started early,” Porter says. “I bought my first ounce of home grown weed when I was 10 years old, 1981 in southern Oregon.” Drinking became a daily ritual for him around 1992 or 1993 by starting off his morning with Kahlua in his coffee. Quickly, the only thing on his mind became was when was he going to get his next drink. “I just loved being hammered,” Porter says. “Not completely hammered to where I am shitty, but enough to where everything was just fun and happy and I was usually the happy drunk.” Eventually, Porter was told he was going to party with his brothers and ended up at home for an intervention. He found this day to be the hardest part of the entire recovery process. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned over time it’s to listen to the people around you as much as you can,” Porter says. “Don’t take stuff too personally because sometimes they are just trying to help and sometimes it doesn’t help. It never hurts to listen and when I mean listen it’s like listen and absorb and really take in the information you are given because sometimes there is going to be a little nugget out of all of it that is just going to hit home and really mean something to you.” After Porter said goodbye to drinking, running became a dominant activity in his life. “I call it my recovery,” he says. “Running is my 12 step program. It’s like my therapy when I’m out there. If I’m out there alone for three or four hours, it gives me a chance to, if I’m thinking about a million things at once, it gives me the time to get it down to one thing at a time and just filter it and when I get done with the run it’s like I’ve got a clear head, I can start over.”

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lcohol was Aaron Porter’s addiction. Now, in a way, he’s addicted to running. Some call it an addiction, he calls it recovery. Porter, a 43 year old non-traditional public relations student at the University of Oregon, will run the length of Japan as part of his efforts to spread recovery to others. “I’ve had this draw to go to Japan,” he says. “There’s something compelling me to go that direction. I’m not really a spiritual or religious guy but there’s some sort of draw that’s like I’ve got to get there and figure out why.” Porter first came up with the idea to run across Japan for a video project in an advertising class. He produced a video titled “See Aaron Run,” explaining his intent to raise money and awareness for the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami victims as well as his reason behind running. Months later, he posted the video online and it received immediate attention. He then felt he had no other option than to follow through with the plan. Not only does Porter want to help the victims of the tsunami, but he also wants to help suffering alcoholics. Sobriety has been a key element in Porter’s life since 1998, and he hopes to carry out the theme of alcoholism recovery throughout his journey. “Its been termed running is an addiction, but I kind of switched it around saying running is my recovery,” Porter says. “Now it’s not just for me, I can do it to help somebody else along the way.” Though he has yet to decide which organization he wants to raise money for, he thinks that Habitat for Humanity might be a good fit. “Habitat for Humanity is building some homes, and one of the ideas is to basically get people out of the shelter,” Porter says. “There are still hundreds of thousands of families in shelters and this is four years later. So I was thinking that maybe we can get a family and get them in a new home.” Porter plans to begin in January of 2016, running on average 20 miles a day. He will start on the south side of Japan in Kanagawa and reach Tokyo to run the Tokyo Marathon in February. Porter wants to arrive in Fukushima on March 11th for the anniversary of the tsunami and finish in Hokkaido, the eastern part of the island, in April. Porter hopes to have a support vehicle which he can chase throughout the day and plans on staying in small hotels and hostels. Considering he will be done earning his public relations degree by the time he begins, he’s been using some of those strategies to plan his trip. Porter is going to be blogging, hoping to capture the stories of locals he meets along the way. “If I can sit there and blog then that way you can actually see the expressions on my face, how I’m really feeling,” Porter says. “There are going to be moments where I just feel like shit, there’s going to be moments that are super hard and super challenging and there are going to be moments where it’s going to have that wonderful moment of amazing accomplishment.” It wasn’t until Porters now ex-wife started training for a marathon that he became interested in running. He found that through running, he was able to spend more time with his wife. Porter finished his first marathon, the San Diego marathon, in 2005 and has ran in multiple other marathons such as the Portland, Eugene, Victoria, Salmon Idaho, Pacific Crest and Boston Marathon. Though he has competed in many road races, he spends most of his time pursuing his love of trail running. “It just gives me a spot where I can go forever and allow me to think about everything that’s ever happened in my life, which is at this point a lot,” Porter says. “It just gives me an opportunity to sort through everything, it’s my own therapy in a sense, without having to pay someone to go sit in an office for an hour and spill my guts.” Running wasn’t always Porter’s therapy. He got involved with drugs and alcohol in junior high as his two older brothers

PHOTO – Aaron Porter, sober for 16 years, is proud that running can be part of his recovery from drinking.

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NO GOOD DEED

goes unpunished A study conducted at the University of Oregon shows that our brains like to give - and more than we know.

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ach year the holiday season brings about the gift of giving and the joy that comes with it. Salvation Army bells ring outside of thousands of stores, gift and food drives help the needy, and volunteering at soup kitchens are just some of the ways people give their time or money to help others. But why do people do it?

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WORDS CHRIS HERNDON PHOTOS KYRA BAILEY ILLUSTRATION WHITNEY DAVIS

The answer may be more selfish than previously thought, as shown in a recent study conducted by two University of Oregon professors, Dr. William Harbaugh, a professor of economics, and Dr. Ulrich Mayr, professor and Department Head of psychology. The study, “Neural Responses to Taxation and Voluntary Giving Reveal Motives for Charitable Donations,” published in Science, shows that when someone is altruistic, they are rewarded by their brain. The dopaminergic region of the brain - the brain’s “reward center” according to Harbaugh - releases the powerful chemical neurotransmitter dopamine, making a person feel good. Dopamine is also a hormone and serves several important functions within the body, but is mainly the checmical gatekeeper of the body’s reward-motivated behavior. The dopaminergic system, which is part of the brain that keeps track of positive rewards, is triggered when people donate money or act in an altruistic manner, according to the study. “When something good happens to you, or you get something good to eat, the reward center of the brain activates,” Harbaugh says. “The brain releases dopamine which makes you feel good. The evolutionary reason for this is that it encourages you to look for good food and so forth,” Harbaugh says. “It turns out that in humans you can also find that area of the brain activates when you give people money. Obviously they aren’t going to eat the money but they are thinking that they can do something that will make them happy with it. So we showed in this paper that that area is also activated when you told people that you are going to give money to the charity, to the food bank. When you think about it, it’s not obvious that that part of the brain would activate when you just know that somebody else is made better because it’s the part of the brain that was designed - evolved - for helping you figure out what is good for yourself,” Harbaugh says. Harbaugh and Mayr were able to show that for some people, the reward center of the brain was actually activated more when they gave to other people rather than when they kept the money for themselves. It is the same part of the brain that is activated when someone eats sweets or has sex. They were able to predict who would be more charitable by seeing how the test subject’s brain reward center reacted when they saw others being helped with money they donated. Harbaugh says, “That part of the brain does activate when you see other people being helped. Then what we did was take the relative amount of brain activation when you got money and compared it to the activation when you see somebody else get money. The people that show more activation seeing the charity get money than when they got money for themselves are more likely to be charitable.”


INNOVATIONS INNOVATIONS

WHEN SOMETHING GOOD HAPPENS TO YOU, OR YOU GET SOMETHING GOOD TO EAT, THE REWARD CENTER OF THE BRAIN ACTIVATES

The research conducted at the University of Oregon couldn’t have been done better anywhere else, according to Harbuagh. “The University has a really exceptionally good brain researching center. Unusually good. So doing the research somewhere else would be very difficult because of the equipment here.” The research that they did would’ve been impossible to do without the use of the University of Oregon’s fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) machine. The machine also happens to have been donated. The fMRI machine is key to the research process and allows the researchers to see, via images, what parts of the brain are activated when the participants responded to different questions and statements. The fMRI is also able to measure the amount of blood that goes to certain parts of the brain, which helps tell researchers what part of the brain is being activated. However, the research comes at a cost because the machine is very expensive to run, up to $1,000 per person. The expenses associated with the research were initially partially funded by the University of Oregon, and now have been funded by grants from The National Science Foundation and National Institutes For Health. Harbaugh did acknowledge that he wishes they would’ve been able to dig a little more deeper in his study. He thinks the wording of the study to participants may change the way that the brain reacts. For example, wording the statement that someone’s money is going to charity as, “You are losing X amount of dollars to this charity” versus “You are giving X amount of dollars to this charity” may result in activating and release dopamine in different amounts and possibly effect the brain in a different way. “I think it would definitely have an effect on their brain activity because it has a major effect on their behavior, so there would be at least some difference in brain activity,” Harbaugh says. He also would guess that giving to someone close may trigger a stronger dopamine response than giving to a stranger; this hasn’t yet been confirmed, though. The study is a couple years old now but Harbaugh and Mayr are going to publish a new study as an update to their research. The original study was done with college aged students and showed that some of them got a lot more reward out of giving than keeping the money for themselves. The new research is done with people ages 20 to 65 to see how their brains react to giving to other people as well. The research is important because it demonstrates just how flexible the human brain is. Through research, Harbaugh and Mayr discovered the evolution of the brain through social situations. Originally designed to help people discover good food, the brain has evolved to reward itself for good deeds and giving to others. The “reward center” of the brain wasn’t originally designed for social situations, but it has changed over time to fit the needs of humans. Giving is a unique gift that brings joy to many people throughout the world both on the receiving and giving end. The brain is a very flexible entity and will continue to evolve to reward people for different situations. The brain will also continue to send out dopamine and bring good feelings for giving throughout time.

s PHOTO – ABOVE: A patient prepares to enter the neuro-scanner. BELOW: Brain scans appear on the computer screen that is synced with the neuro-scanner.

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FORGE

a THE h e r t

s PHOTO – LEFT: Portrait of Ron Lafond in front of his outdoor mural inspired by nature in Oregon. RIGHT: Portrait of Dale Enzenbacher with his fantasy drawings and jewelry.

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OF


WHITEAKER

WORDS KYLE HENTSCHEL PHOTOS DEBRA JOSEPHSON

Artists in Eugene’s iconic Whiteaker neighborhood face challenges brought on by a new, pub-seeking demographic.

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u PHOTO – LEFT: Portrait of Sam Gorrin with his intricate pen and ink drawings covering the walls of his room. RIGHT: Detail of ink drawing by Sam Gorrin.

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ale Enzenbacher lives in a storage unit converted into an apartment. Within a complex of tan and green storage spaces, Enzenbacher’s stands alone. His front door is layered with a colorful collection of art and miscellaneous decorations around a sign stating, “The Creator Is Hidden in His Workshop.” Inside, his intricate fantasy and science fiction drawings cover the walls while trinkets and sculptures occupy nearly every surface. His mattress leans against the wall to create space for what becomes his art studio during the day. In a way, the clutter creates comfort. With the local radio on in the background, Enzenbacher sits down to focus on his art as he has done every day in this space for more than three years. “It’s where I feel peaceful doing my work. It has become very automatic, and after I work a while it’s just like meditating,” Enzenbacher says. He is part of the historically offbeat community of artists in Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood, many of whom are also struggling to maintain their footing as the neighborhood experiences a transition. What was first an anarchist, artistic, and activist hub is now one of the city’s top destinations for entertainment and nightlife. In 2007, Ninkasi Brewing Company moved into the Whiteaker and has since made four expansions including larger production facilities, offices, a tasting room, and a local distribution space. In the wake of Ninkasi’s success, other microbreweries, distilleries, wine bars, and restaurants have entered the scene. The changing demographics of businesses and patrons mark a transformation that is pricing out longtime Whiteaker residents and compromising the

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whimsical flavor of the community as the area slowly becomes Eugene’s “Brewery District”. “It’s sort of like a tourist attraction, it’s a circus show to them, taking pictures and pointing,” says Brian Schaffer, a Whiteaker resident for more than ten years. Schaffer previously lived across the street from Ninkasi in a building that is now a chic farm-totable restaurant. “You see more places opening who are catering to people who they want to bring into the neighborhood, people who don’t actually live here,” he says. Many of the artists experiencing the effects of accelerated changes in the Whiteaker possess an eccentric skill set, working within the category of Outsider Art. This style emerges when artists lack formal training and therefore reject traditional creative methods. Outsider artists create “raw art,” which has not yet been molded by instruction or cultural norms and often comes in the form of surrealist fantasy interpretations of the world. The genre came out of a realization in the early 19th century that psychiatric patients’ authentic content, independent from the art scene of the time, was a form of art in itself. Jean Dubuffet, a French painter and sculptor who helped lead the movement then called art brut (the term Outsider Art wasn’t coined until 1972 by art critic Roger Cardinal), believed this kind of expression was a more organic method of creation requiring raw skill. The result is highly imaginative art that, even in a world of advanced special effects, would be difficult to replicate. The Whiteaker is a local hub for this contemporary style of expression and is struggling to maintain this iconic creative culture.


IT’S SORT OF LIKE A TOURIST ATTRACTION, IT’S A CIRCUS SHOW TO THEM, TAKING PICTURES AND POINTING.

In an effort to preserve it, artists are converging to help one another stay afloat through neighborhood organizations like the Whiteaker Independent Visual Arts Council (WIVAC). WIVAC’s primary focus is on assisting artists in the promotion and sale of their artwork. “We hope the artists will be able to generate enough extra income to be able to stay housed in the neighborhood in the face of impending changes,” Haint Bradley, a Whiteaker artist and creator of the WIVAC, says. Many members of the group have fluctuating incomes, unstable housing arrangements, and lack access to fundamental promotional resources, such as the Internet. “The whole gist of the idea is to use the uniqueness of the art, the high concentration of visual artists, and the free spirited culture of the neighborhood to save its own self from gentrification,” Bradley says. But this is only the first step in a long process with the goal of developing the Whiteaker as a national destination for art. “I don’t want to make any money on anyone,” Bradley says. “I am just doing it for the sake of the art and the artists. That’s my payoff.” This dedication and diligence has come to define Eugene’s Outsider artists, who paint, draw, sculpt, and chisel because of a love for it rather than satisfying any extrinsic motivation. Ron LaFond, a Whiteaker resident and artist since 1980, has been involved with Bradley in the organization and promotion of the WIVAC. LaFond contributes to the neighborhood’s Outsider Art scene through his surrealist paintings and computer-generated artwork. For him, the recent development of the neighborhood reflects a pattern of art’s ability to attract newcomers.

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“T

his is going to happen to any town, and it usually happens where the artists live because the artists are the ones giving it character,” he says. Sam Gorrin is a local artist who has felt the positive impact of Bradley’s initiatives. When Bradley saw Gorrin and his work spread out on the ground in a local park, he was blown away. The WIVAC was able to locate a living arrangement with low rent where Gorrin can live and produce his artwork, a significant transition for someone who for years has bounced from place to place, unable to find stability. Inside the apartment found for Gorrin, a single set of floodlights reveal his detailed pen and ink drawings covering the walls. Boxes of his minimal belongings hug the corners around his makeshift mattress and art supplies; everything he owns is within this space, which is the best he can afford and the nicest place he has ever had. “There hasn’t been a single thing in my life that has been constant other than my art,” he says. “If I was going to have to be homeless in the back of my car and that’s what it took to sit there and draw, then fine.” Crouching down to twist metal for his jewelry projects, there is a sense of accomplishment written on Gorrin’s face. After years wandering, couch surfing, and living out of his car, he is now in a place where he can store and sell his work and sleep comfortably. Although his prices are low, Gorrin has even saved enough money for a drafting table which will be his first formal work station. “I spent a really long time feeling like there wasn’t anything I had to show for all my time here. Art reminds me that I’m here and that I actually did something with my time.”

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His progress and recent success is an unusual story in a pool of unfortunate instances in which artists aren’t able to establish themselves. They have to choose between living on the streets and moving out of the neighborhood to nearby areas such as Bethel or Trainsong. While the WIVAC works to avoid this, the forces of gentrification and the Whiteaker’s growing reputation as a pub paradise are proving difficult to work against. The Whiteaker is a small-scale example of gentrification happening in cities across the country where original culture is compromised and a new “character” takes hold. Businesses are drawn to areas with color and potential where they can feed off the energy in the community. Nicole Nelson is Ninkasi Brewing Company’s director of the “Beer is Love” program, which focuses on community outreach and support. Beer is Love involves donations, sponsorship of events, and participation in community activities. Nelson has worked for Ninkasi for five years and has experienced the challenges associated with integration into a neighborhood. “We are in a mixed industry and residential zone so sometimes you are stepping on peoples toes,” Nelson says. “We have done big expansions in a neighborhood that values small business. All of a sudden, we’re a really big business and there are some growing pains that go along with that.” While a substantial percentage of Ninkasi’s 100 employees do live in the Whiteaker, the large walls and growing national fan base of the company’s beer naturally create tension between the business and longtime residents who feel the company has changed. “We still view ourselves as the village brewer and Ninkasi be-


t PHOTO – LEFT: Portrait of

Haint Bradley with his artist companion, Littia, outside of their home in the Whiteaker district. RIGHT: Detail of Haint Bradley’s outdoor installation using playful recycled artifacts.

THE WHOLE GIST OF THE IDEA IS TO USE THE UNIQUENESS OF THE ART, THE HIGH CONCENTRATION OF VISUAL ARTISTS, AND THE FREE SPIRITED CULTURE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO SAVE ITS OWN SELF FROM GENTRIFICATION.

came what it is because the village supported us. That’s a hard part of development. As you expand and grow and more people try your product, sometimes it looks like you don’t hold the same values, but we do,” Nelson says. In a neighborhood where change seems inevitable, maintaining values and exercising them at an even deeper level could be imperative. The preservation of the Whiteaker’s colorful personality begins with addressing lesser-known artists and struggling members of the community. “It has got to be a mutual respect between the breweries and the artists, who were here first,” Enzenbacher says, who lives next door to Ninkasi’s brewery. “We can’t be scared of the word gentrification,” he adds, stating that we must address what this word means for the businesses and artists of the Whiteaker. Enzenbacher maintains a positive outlook on local support for artists, hoping the increasing volume of people entering the neighborhood to sample beer will result in more sales of local art. Although the Brewery District is strong and growing every day as trendy pubs crop up across the Whiteaker, the artists are becoming stronger as well. If any sort of cultural partnership between artist and business is going to take place, the clock is ticking and the artists are waiting. For now, the artists will keep creating and support will keep coming from organizations like WIVAC. “I’m never going to give up,” Enzenbacher says. “If you’re an artist, you have to stick with it and keep coming up with ideas. If something doesn’t work, just bend it and pursue the idea in a different way. You have to keep running up against the wall and eventually the wall will give way,” he says.

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case

CLOSED The trials of human trafficking extend beyond the stories of victims and bleed into the lives of the officials who combat this social issue

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FEATURE

“I

got into this job for a number of reasons, and whether you believe or care – whatever your preconceived notions about me are – does not matter to me. I’m going to do the same job for you as I would for anyone else. So, regardless of whatever you think of me, I’m going to help you if you’re being victimized.” – Detective Brendan McGuire, Portland Police Bureau - East Precinct Detective Brendan McGuire investigates sex crimes. He didn’t choose to be a police officer with that specific career path in mind, but that’s how it worked out. McGuire chose to do his job simply because he believes that it needs to be done. “I don’t do this for the recognition. The stock answer is the whole altruistic, ‘I got into it to help people,’ which – for firefighters and police – I think there’s a certain amount of that,” he says. “But I mostly got into this because I love puzzles, figuring things out, solving problems. And there’s nothing that makes a puzzle like human interaction.” The human interactions in sex crimes cases are elaborate; from inter-agency cooperation, to jurisdictional issues, to protecting and recovering victims off the streets, to actually building a case in front of a jury, Oregon’s detectives are the experts trying to stop local sex trafficking one day at a time.

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s PHOTO – LEFT: Denise Biehn, Special Agent for the FBI, is the coordinator of the Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF). RIGHT: Detective Brendan McGuire wears this badge and does his duty as a Portland Police detective, but also is part of the Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) – giving him deputized jurisdiction over federal cases related to the task force. streets locally.

s PHOTO – Detective Brendan McGuire has been a detective with the Portland Police since February of 1996 and was promoted to detective in the Portland Police Bureau’s Human Trafficking Unit (HTU) in January 2008. Interstate-5, stretching 1,255 miles from Seattle to San Diego, is the main west coast artery servicing human trafficker travel. Through the use of the I-5 corridor, adult and child sex trafficking victims are shuffled from city to city down myriad branching highways almost undetected. By accumulating information through a vast network of sources (online and offline), law enforcement personnel endeavor to keep tabs on trafficker and victim movements. It’s no small task. “We go at it with more intelligence in our back-pocket, instead of just buckshotting a bunch of [online] ads, and calling and hoping that we’ll recover a victim,” says Denise Biehn, Special Agent for the FBI and coordina-

I TAKE THE BADGE OFF AS OFTEN AS I CAN, BUT I WILL ADMIT THAT IT’S HARD.

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cGuire, 41, has been a member of the Portland law enforcement community since February 1996. Following 12 years as a patrol officer, he was promoted to detective in January 2008. Since then, McGuire has been the lead investigator for more than 225 cases, and has personally made more than 50 arrests. And though he’d worked different assignments as a detective prior to taking a position on the East Precinct’s Human Trafficking Unit (HTU), in 2011, as a result of his success on the HTU, McGuire was also assigned to the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) – giving him deputized jurisdiction over federal cases (e.g., child sex trafficking). Along with his duties as a detective, McGuire also has family responsibilities which can conflict with work. “I can easily slip into taking my cases home and working too much,” McGuire says. For this, he relies on his wife and 11-year-old son to help him disconnect from his cases while off duty. “I take the badge off as often as I can, but I will admit that it’s hard,” he says. “I’m more able to disconnect from the cop thing, but it’s definitely heightened that level of fatherly protection.” Being constantly immersed in the world of sex and human trafficking can be a challenge as anyone in the field will admit; but something consistent in each of their testimonials – the thing that transcends any apathetic or ambivalent feelings toward the issue at large – is their desire to make a difference in whatever way they can. In order to create change, they put themselves on the frontlines of the battle. The detectives are there and they live their cases. They remember each one. Really, they can’t forget. In 2003, the FBI along with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children established the Innocence Lost National Initiative. Intended to combat the sex trafficking of children in the United States, “The initiative has resulted in the development of 69 dedicated task forces and working groups throughout the US involving federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies working in tandem with US Attorney’s Offices,” according to an FBI press release. In Portland, the CETF is that federal task force. By working together in a more organized, coordinated effort, the US law enforcement community has made great strides in recovering underage and adult victims of sex and human trafficking. And, importantly, they have brought many traffickers to justice. In June 2014, 168 minors were recovered and 281 pimps [*See Editor’s Comment below] were arrested as a result of Operation Cross Country VIII – “a week-long enforcement action meant to address commercial child sex trafficking,” which utilizes 54 FBI field divisions in 106 US cities. Stemming from that operation’s efforts in Oregon, three individuals were arrested and charged with promoting prostitution: Joseph McKenzie, 41, by the Portland Police Bureau; Courtney L. Milan, 23, by the Beaverton Police Department; and Alexandra R. Roberts, 22, by the Eugene Police Department. In eight operations since 2008, Cross Country has been responsible for the recovery of 434 child victims and the arrest of 581 traffickers nationwide. In the 11 years since the implementation of the Innocence Lost Initiative, more than 3,500 children have been recovered and 1,450 convictions have been achieved. It’s national operations like this which help officers clean up their


s PHOTO – LEFT: Denise Biehn, Special Agent for the FBI, is the coordinator of the Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF). RIGHT: Detective Brendan McGuire wears this badge and does his duty as a Portland Police detective, but also is part of the Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) – giving him deputized jurisdiction over federal cases related to the task force. tor for the CETF. “We get information from a lot of sources. When we hear something, that’s when we focus on specific individuals.” Law enforcement agencies utilize informants and also follow online services like backpage.com to track victim movements. Backpage.com is like craigslist.org, the popular classified advertisements website, but with fewer regulations. This makes it possible for traffickers to post advertisements for escorts – a legal profession often used to belie engaging in prostitution. Anytime the Internet is used to solicit prostitution, traffic a minor, or transport trafficking victims across state lines, regardless of which state-level law enforcement agency initially investigates, the crime will fall under federal jurisdiction. However, jurisdiction is not always so clearly defined. “A case is rarely purely state or purely federal,” Biehn says. “It’s especially true in this arena where you have, at least most the time, an [online component] used, or some sort of conveyance of inter-state commerce. In theory, those could all be federal cases, but in practice they’re not because of capacity.” Simply put, the FBI does not have the resources necessary to take on every trafficking case it gets. To manage these jurisdictional issues there are detectives like McGuire who, although officially employed by the state, are given legal authority to handle some federal cases. One such case involves two traffickers from Washington State. The two men had brought two girls – a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old – from Tacoma to Portland hoping to find new clientele with a predilection for young girls, McGuire says. The pimps had been working the girls on

the streets around Seattle during the previous week, but sex trafficking minors requires pimps to change locations frequently to avoid detection. Upon their arrival in Portland, they rented a hotel room near Portland State University and quickly went to work putting up backpage. com ads for both girls. While on patrol in a Portland neighborhood, a Multnomah County deputy noticed the 16-year-old sitting on the porch of a house, looking lost. While speaking with the her, the deputy took notice of the two men from Tacoma as they drove by his police cruiser, looking hard at the girl. Recognizing the situation and reacting quickly, the deputy called for backup to track the men down. After being stopped, the two men explained that the girl (who they claimed was 19) was the driver’s girlfriend and that they had been trying to find her. Meanwhile, the girl was telling the deputy that she had no idea who the men were. As their stories began to unravel, she panicked and disclosed the real reason for being in Portland: she was being prostituted. The federal prosecution that stemmed from the resulting case took two years to wrap up, McGuire says. One of the men ended up turning on the other as part of a plea deal. “The first guy was very low-functioning,” McGuire says. “He was basically duped by the trafficker into being a driver for drugs.” The driver’s plea earned him four to five years, while the trafficker received a 15-year prison sentence. “The big success from that one was that the girl had never done it before,” McGuire says. “She got wrapped up in it for a week or so, had this happen, and hasn’t done it again since.” Whether or not the girls had winter 2015

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voluntarily put themselves into that situation to begin with wasn’t entirely clear. Cases of voluntary prostitution (i.e., prostitution without a pimp) are tricky to define. “Those who volunteer to put themselves out there on 82nd Ave. [a known prostitution zone in Portland] – it’s a misnomer,” says Glen ‘JR’ Ujifusa Jr., one of two Multnomah County District Attorneys assigned to the HTU and CETF at Portland’s East Precinct. “You have to look at the totality of why they’re out there. It may not be a trafficker with a baseball bat, but it may be a drug addiction, or a controlling boyfriend. It’s oversimplified to say whether it’s voluntary or not. We view these women as victims. We’ve tried to engage them in services rather than jail them and try to get them out of the life. We know that a majority of the time, there are traffickers behind it. Sometimes it can even be a family member.” To effectively combat the pervasive issue of sex and human trafficking, along with the psychological problems faced by the trafficking victims, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have teamed up with human resource departments, like the Department of Human Services, the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC), or Lifeworks NorthWest to incorporate mental and physical health specialists into the recovery process. Biehn says that they’ll often have a victim’s assistance specialist go along when they make a recovery (i.e., taking a victim out of the dangerous environment in which they’re being trafficked and leading them towards social services), in order to offer the victim help from the very beginning. Both McGuire and Biehn acknowledge that their areas of expertise only go so far as finding and recovering victims and bringing traffickers to justice. The need for people who are willing to help the victims after the initial recov-

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ery is equally great and every bit as important as recovering them in the first place. It’s not uncommon for a trafficking victim, even after being recovered, to find herself involved in the business of selling sex again – either through an associate of the trafficker, or of her own volition. “I’m never surprised when I need to find that individual again,” Biehn says. Because of the sometimes cyclical nature of sex trafficking, human service specialists are needed to handle much of the psychological repair that occurs after being recovered. For the officers, it’s reconciling the burden of trying to help versus what they’re actually capable of doing on a pragmatic level. Many of them admit they’re simply not capable of tackling the health and wellness challenges that many victims ultimately face. “You see the same girls over and over and over again,” McGuire says. “If I fixate on trying to get her into a better place, it just burns me out. That shouldn’t be my goal here because I’m not equipped to make that goal a reality.” One of the primary goals of detectives is to be a gateway for victims to find other options in life. However, often all they can do is encourage victims to seek out services that may help them change their lives for the better. “My number one goal is to recover that victim,” Biehn says. “But number two is building a case against that trafficker.” How successful building a case is depends upon how efficiently the men and women from these various sectors work together. Because it requires the involvement of multiple agencies across multiple states, counties, and cities, a constant, open communication must be maintained in order for all the separately moving parts to coordinate. Due to the heavy caseloads that both federal and


THE REALITY OF SEX TRAFFICKING CASES IS THAT THESE ARE NIGHTMARES.

state investigators share – with some instances of case overlap between departments – working with partners is vital. “[Ujifusa] runs a meeting that all taskforce members attend,” Biehn says. “We meet once a month and roundtable our cases and talk about issues we’re seeing, individuals that are popping up, trends. Whatever the issue of the day is.” Though she isn’t allowed to be specific, Biehn acknowledges that she’ll have “quite a few” cases open at any given time. Ujifusa says that he will have one or two dozen indicted cases that he’s working on, and perhaps an equal number of unindicted investigations. McGuire adds that he maintains 12 to 15 unindicted investigations on his own and that “less than a majority” ever make it to indictment. Ultimately, getting an indictment boils down to the victim’s willingness to testify against her trafficker. “It’s extremely rare that we have a case where we don’t need the victim,” Ujifusa says. “There are cases where it has been done, but most of these crimes occur behind closed doors. Trying to prove that a person used force or intimidation to compel her to engage in prostitution without her talking can be difficult.” Minimizing and mitigating the impact on the victim is always at the forefront of the detectives’ and prosecutors’ interests, but more often than not, McGuire says, they need the victim to take the stand and make an on the record statement. “We try to go the extra mile on the front end so the DA is in a much better position to negotiate a plea that doesn’t require a victim to take the stand at a trial,” McGuire says. Unfortunately, 95 times out of 100, they need the victim to testify. “Imagine telling your story in front of 12 strangers in a courtroom, under oath, in front of a judge, while having your trafficker watch you,” Ujifusa says. “You can imagine the type of stress and fear that these victims have.” It can be compared to a physically or psychologically abusive household. It’s brainwashing, it’s victim dissociation, and it can even be a form of Stockholm syndrome. “These women and these girls have spent a significant portion of their lives – certainly their formative years, in many cases – having every decision made for them,” McGuire says. Removing the victims from those environments has produced mixed results. Usually they appreciate the recovery, but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they’ll even return to their trafficker. And try as they may, law enforcement professionals cannot always help

survivors understand that they are victims. “The reality of sex trafficking cases is that these are nightmares for the men and women who have dealt with these situations. They have been forced to do horrible things at the hands of very manipulative and sometimes very clever individuals who sometimes use force, sometimes use intimidation to get them to do pretty horrific things, if you actually think about the details of these crimes,” Ujifusa says. “We try to lower that burden off their shoulders.” To do that, DAs will continue to work with detectives well after an arrest has been made in the interest of obtaining as much information for the case as possible. “It’s the way these cases have to be done because they’re so complex and there are so many moving parts,” Ujifusa says. “People think that once the handcuffs are on, the case is done. These cases just start when someone is in handcuffs, and they continue on through trial.” In the interest of building a stronger case or disproving defenses, the DA will often continue to send detectives out to scour for witnesses or more evidence throughout a trial. However, building a stronger case isn’t all that’s required while a trial is in progress. “The other thing that we work on a lot during trial is witness intimidation and tampering through associates, through the defendant themselves or through jail calls,” Ujifusa says. “In almost every case there is some form of attempted intimidation.” Even while incarcerated, a trafficker’s reach can be quite far. “The psyche of these traffickers is that everything in their life is about controlling someone else,” McGuire says. “Even if they’re not actively involved in sex trafficking, they’ll have people out boosting [stealing and reselling items] from 7-11 or doing other crimes for them.” There has even been a case where a victim has stopped engaging in prostitution because she gets a legitimate job, but will then send that money back to her jailed trafficker, Ujifusa says. Yet, even though they experience moments of frustration, Oregon’s detectives and prosecutors continue to fight the battle to end sex trafficking. What’s more, they work through lengthy, nuanced cases often unnamed and without thanks so that the community might be safer. “Trafficking is not accepted here, and the risks associated with trafficking are higher than the rewards,” Ujifusa says. “The community at large needs to be educated enough to know what the realities of trafficking are, what traffickers do – what actually happens to victims – so that they don’t tolerate it.” Cases open and cases close. Ujifusa, Biehn, and McGuire will continue to be there as they do. Someday, there may be no more traffickers to prosecute and no more victims to recover. For now, unfortunately, they’ve got their work cut out for them. *Editor’s Comment: There was some debate over whether to use the term “pimps” or “traffickers” to describe the criminals discussed in this story. “Pimp” is a colloquial term for “trafficker” generally not used by the legal system. However, because the FBI used the terms “pimp” and “trafficker” interchangeably in several press releases, Ethos used them interchangeably as well.

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PHOTO – Glen Ujifusa Jr. is the Deputy District Attorney for Portland’s East precinct in the Human Trafficking Team and the Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF).

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FEATURE


OREGON’S COAST WORDS FRANZISKA MONAHAN PHOTOS ANGELINA HESS & NICOLE ALLEN ILLUSTRATION ALLIE WITHAM

Despite frigid waters and rough swells, Oregon has become a destination for surfers of all levels.

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he water between the waves is static. Flickering and jagged, it’s as if hundreds of sharpened elbows are jabbing ruthlessly at the salty air before each swell erupts in a cascade of foam, leaving the surface behind for a mere moment, peacefully blank. A flock of silhouetted gulls fly in a lopsided V, their backs grazing the bellies of bloated rainclouds that hang heavy in the sky, blotting out the morning sun. Bobbing helplessly in the distance, a lone buoy whistles forlornly across the surf. Obscured by mist, far-off cliffs jut unforgivingly out into the water while coastal evergreens perch precariously along their rocky edges. Due to enduring years of abuse by heavy winds, the trees have been blown inland, giving them the appearance of leaning away from the cliff edge and the agitated waves below. The Oregon Coast is unpredictable. Today, the air is mostly calm, though only a few hours earlier, gusts of wind blew frigid raid sideways, and the waves unraveled into a discernable mass of swirling water, driving the few early beach-goers back to the shelter of their cars and away. However, the moment the wind died down and the waves returned to a steady and safe pulse, the sand was slowly repopulated. Carrying their boards safely under their arms, the sleek, wet-suited figures trail carefully down the slippery,

winding stairs of Devils Punchbowl State Park near Newport, Ore. Once on the beach, they huddle in groups and examine the water, searching for the current that will carry them out beyond the surf. Then, floating their boards in front of them, the surfers brave the waves head-on, slowly making their way deeper out into the Pacific Ocean. Surfing as a sport can be traced back through hundreds, possibly even thousands of years of Polynesian culture. However, surfing wasn’t introduced to North America until the late 1800s when three Hawaiian princes on vacation, David Kawananakoa, Edward Keliiahonui and Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole, took to the mild surf of Santa Cruz, Calif. on handmade redwood boards. By the 1950s, surfing had grown to be a favorite past time on both American coasts. However, it took the sport a bit longer to roll in north toward the chilly beaches of the Oregon Coast. According to Scott and Sandy Blackman, authors of Oregon Surfing: Central Coast, surfing finally took off in Oregon near Newport sometime in the 1960s when a group of young boys took to the frigid waves of Agate Beach without even the protective warmth of modern wetsuits. The group founded the Agate Beach Surf Club, and sought to discover and connect the other small surfing communities along the Oregon Coast. While not as conspicuous as in California and Hawaii, surfing thrives in Oregon and its community is active across the entire state. What drives them are the waves which and lure in hundreds of surfers year round. The Oregon Coast is home to numerous magnet surf spots, like Newport and Seaside, each of which has its own history, close-knit community, and uniquely treasured waves. The Coast is also home to a number of nationally recognized surf competitions, the most prominent being the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic (NRBWC.) The competition was established in 2005 by John Forse, a Santa Cruz, Calif. native, and one of the first surfers to take on the legendary waves of Nelscott Reef in 1995. Today, it attracts professional surfers from all over the world. In 2010, the NRBWC also became the first of its kind to offer a big wave contest for women. The success of the competition is testament to two things that Oregon surfers hold dear: the quality of their waves and the closeness of their community. Oregon surfing continues to develop its prominence

in the worldwide surfing community with the founding of contests such as NRBWC and its growing number of tourist surfers. But for the surfers who actually make the Oregon Coast their home, surfing is much more than just a hobby or a sport. Even for casual surfers in Oregon, surfing is a lifestyle. It’s a philosophy. It’s a relationship with nature and a spiritual experience that is uniquely Oregonian. “Surfing in Oregon is a mission,” University of Oregon student and surfer Luke Shimmon says. Shimmon was born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii, and grew up in the warm swells of tropical waves. He learned to surf as a small child and became an avid surfer during his junior year of high school. Shimmon says surfing in Oregon differs from surfing in Hawaii in a number of ways. Because of Oregon’s colder water temperatures that barely reach the mid 50s, even during the summertime, full-body wetsuits are essential when surfing in the Coast. “It’s almost like a different sport, ‘cause your movements are so different in a wetsuit,” Shimmon says. It’s been quite the change for him; he grew up surfing in nothing but board shorts year round. However, while the water is cold, Oregon’s beaches are far less crowded than those in Hawaii. That provides better chances to what what he came for: catch waves. “You can just drive up and down the Coast and no one’s in the water,” Shimmon says. Though he hopes to return to Hawaii one day to become a teacher, Shimmon says he’s caught some of the best waves of his life here in Oregon. He says that surfing will always be a part of his life because of the focus and the centeredness it’s given him over the years. “Every single wave you catch is always different. It’s unique every single time, and it’s all in the moment,” Shimmon says. “I can’t really describe the real feeling of it because when I’m on a wave, it’s instinctual. Every thought I have is in the moment.” What many of the surfers have in common is they find surfing to be a meditative experience because surfing requires total control and immersion of one’s body and mind in order to simply stay on the board. However, while that may be true for some, not all surfers strive for this sort of total selfawareness and peace when engaging in the sport. Contrary to the “laid-back” surfer stereotype, some surf communities defend their rights to the waves with fervor of legendary proportions. Seaside, Ore. is notorious for its awesome waves and viciously protective locals. Cautionary tales of Seaside localism permeate surf forums online, warning visitors of the consequences of venturing into Seaside’s waters. The mildest of stories tell mainly of verbal abuse and discourteousness by locals


EVERY SINGLE WAVE YOU CATCH IS ALWAYS DIFFERENT. IT’S UNIQUE EVERY SINGLE TIME, AND IT’S ALL IN THE MOMENT.

s PHOTO – PREVIOUS PAGE: Staring out at the ominously encroaching rain over the beach and subsequent water, a local waits patiently for the choice wave. / Angelina Hess ABOVE: Nicole Lock prepares to take on some prime waves at Otter Rock Beach, Sunday, November 9th. / Nicole Allen BELOW: Even when faced with a period of modest tide, Lock manages to make the most out of her time in the water. / Angelina Hess winter 2015

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to visitors in the water, like pushing other surfers out of waves. The more serious instances involve vandalism, sabotage, and even violence, such as slashing car tires and throwing rocks at visitors. These warnings extend to not only surfers, but also photographers, as there are several stories of professional and recreational photographers being confronted or having rocks thrown at them as a result of surfers defending their turf. Due to good surf locations on the Oregon Coast being often isolated and hard to get to, many localized surfing communities have secret spots that are informally reserved for the locals only. Surfers often refrain from publishing the names of these spots online, or even dropping them in casual conversation. To locals, a camera on their turf could mean the unveiling of their community’s secret waves to the hungry eyes of surfers across the country. Unfortunately, local aggression isn’t the only issue found within the surfing community. Women, now more than 33 percent of the surfing population, still look to be treated fairly within the community. According

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to Board-Trac, a board sports marketing research company, the percentage of women in the surfing population has jumped at least 14 percent. The economic data backs up these numbers as well. Between 1996 and 2006, Roxy, the largest surf apparel company for women, saw its sales jump from $20 million to $650 million. However, despite the increase in female participation within the worldwide surfing community, women still encounter barriers when it comes to getting involved with the sport, especially at the professional level. Women’s surf competitions have significantly smaller purses than men’s competitions; the Quicksilver Pro Tour (a men’s competition) has a top cash prize of $500,000. The Roxy Pro Tour (the women’s equivalent of the Quicksilver competition) has a prize of only $250,000. Mostly female participation in surfing is seen as an economic opportunity which ends in the unwelcome sexualization of female surfers. “In all the surf shops, all plastered along the walls, there’s always girls in bikinis,” Nicole Lock, a Media Studies masters student at University of Oregon, says. “There’s

never a woman standing in a full-on wetsuit, dominating a wave, or looking awesome on a board just because she’s awesome.” Lock says that while she’s never encountered sexism personally out in the water and surfing around men, she can’t help but notice the prevalence of it in surfing media. “When you get into the surfing culture, women are included in those communities, but they are always super sexualized,” she says. While there are problems within the global surfing community, it seems the majority of Oregon’s small yet thriving surf community wish only to share their joy and love of the activity. One of these individuals is Dan Hasselschwert, a man whose life has been molded by surfing since his early adulthood. Hasselschwert first discovered surfing when he moved to Corvallis as a middle school teacher, shortly after earning his teaching degree in Ohio. He had always been interested in board sports, however, having been landlocked his entire life, he had never gotten the opportunity to surf. He immediately fell in love with the sport and decided to move to the coast in order


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WHILE NOT AS CONSPICUOUS AS IN CALIFORNIA AND HAWAII, SURFING THRIVES IN OREGON AND ITS COMMUNITY IS ACTIVE ACROSS THE ENTIRE STATE.

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PHOTO – An adventurous OSU student braves the waves of the Oregon Coast, at Otter Rock Beach, November 9th. / Nicole Allen

PHOTO – University of Oregon School of Journalism Graduate Student, Nicole Lock catches her breath after going in for a last round of waves. Before going in she had asked a little wearily, “Should I go one more time?” She came out all smiles. / Angelina Hess

to be closer to the waves. He found another teaching job at Waldport Middle School, and settled into Newport, Ore. There, the town’s weathered green welcome sign proclaims Newport as “The Friendlist.” Hasselschwert began a middle school surfing club to promote the sport locally. Unfortunately, he began to notice that the attitudes towards new and aspiring surfers by locals were discouraging. Much of the negativity originated at the town’s local surf shops. “Not everyone is all about having fun and sharing,” Hasselschwert says. The locals expressed their concern that inviting inexperienced kids to the water would disrupt their quiet and serene surfing locale. “Waves are a limited resource and when it gets crowded you’re gonna get fewer waves,” Hasselschwert says. Disappointed by the community’s pessimism, he decided to take the initiative to begin to mend minds in the Newport surfing community. His solution to the problem: open a new and more inclusive surf shop where surfers of all types would be welcomed. “I saw a real need for rentals, and lessons, and opportunities to get the community involved,” he says. In 2000, Hasselschwert bought Ossie’s Surf Shop and began to share his love of surfing with the community. Now, fourteen years later, Hasselschwert has seen the attitudes among the Newport surfing community change drastically since the opening of his shop, returning the little town once more to its reputation as “The Friendliest.” Hasselschwert says that now he sees all types of surfers come into Ossie’s, ranging from land-locked beginners to seasoned surfing locals. The discouraging tension has mostly fallen away to a shared enthusiasm for surfing and love of the ocean among his customers and members of the community. Hasselschwert doesn’t like to think there is an ongoing rivalry between Ossie’s and the other surfs shops in town, though he does say with a chuckle, “If your goal is to discourage people, that’s probably not a very good business plan.” In many ways, the Oregon Coast is an ideal location to begin learning how to surf. Though the water might be colder than other places, and the weather slightly greyer, Oregon has a vast variety of different kinds of surf to choose from, and there is little competition when it comes to catching waves. But surfing isn’t easy anywhere. Learning how to surf requires determination, patience, courage, and an understanding of the ocean’s power, as well as one’s

own limitations. “At first it’s ridiculously frustrating.” Nora Willauer, a University of Oregon sophomore, says. “Before you can stand up on a board, you have to paddle out far enough and get squashed by about 25 waves.” Willauer began surfing in Oregon last year when she moved from her home state of Maine to Eugene to study music. She says she was obsessed with surfing for a couple years before moving to Oregon. However, despite growing up near water and being a knowledgeable sailor at a young age, she’d never had the opportunity to try surfing before moving west. Willauer says that moving to Oregon is what finally enabled her to try surfing. She says the Oregon Coast appealed to her because it is more geographically isolated, and the beaches are less crowded than in California or Hawaii. And, Willauer is used to the colder water temperatures, having grown up with them in Maine. At the beginning of her freshman year, Willauer and her roommate loaded themselves up into a friend’s Volkswagen Bus and headed to the coast for a week-long crash course in Oregon Coast surfing. Willauer recalls that week as being a mixed bag; it was a physically and mentally draining exercise in trial and error, though each evening it was met with beautiful sunsets. While surfing was new to her, working hard and practicing to learn a nuanced skill was not. “Being a musician teaches you how to learn new skills because you deal with frustration all day, everyday,” she says. Eventually, after umpteen disheartening attempts met only by unforgiving, watery beatings, Willauer finally managed to catch her first wave. She says that at that point, just for a moment, she could simply “forget about all of the bruising, and the egg-beatering, and the frustration.” Willauer and her friends now venture to the coast every weekend for what they have dubbed, “Surf Sunday.” She says she looks forward to Surf Sunday all week because it gives her a break from thinking about the grueling routine and stress of school. Willauer says that surfing always leaves her with a greater sense of perspective. “Being in the ocean is like being in something so powerful that you have absolutely no chance of controlling it,” she says. “When you get thrown off a wave, it’s the most humbling thing in the world, because you can’t fight it. It’s so good for your ego, and it’s so good for your soul.”

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PHOTO ESSAY

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ees are an integral part of Oregon’s biodiversity, but they are dying. Use of neonicotinoid pesticides have caused bee die-offs around the state, but local beekeepers still practice their craft with pride. Whether it’s a hobby or a profession, beekeepers love their busy, buzzing bees, their ability to pollinate our plants, and their delicious honey. winter 2015

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s PHOTO – Beekeeper Kris Neilson uses a smoker to calm the bees in one of her backyard beehives.

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t PHOTO – University of Oregon student Keeley Debar begins to extract a frame from a beehive for inspection.

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t PHOTO – Beekeeper Tom Harpole checks on one of his backyard beehives.

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s PHOTO – Honeybees gather inside one of Philip Smith’s many beehives.

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FEATURE

“I’M NOT AFRAID TO DIE AT ALL.”

A Dutch entrepreneur wants to colonize Mars and show it live on TV. Critics debate the plan’s feasibility but more than 200,000 people have volunteered for the mission. We spoke with five who have passed the first round of selections. WORDS RACHEL LACHAPELLE PHOTOS SAM RICHARDS ILLUSTRATION ALLIE WITHAM

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n A footprint in the red sands of Mars would soon be swept away. Winds whip the surface at hurricane speeds, raising a layer of rust as fine as smoke. Dust storms can cloak the planet in a cloud for days at a time. Behind the haze is a pair of dark moons dancing on the distant horizon, the peak of Olympus Mons, the tallest known mountain in the solar system at three times the height of Mount Everest, and a cratered landscape on which no human has set foot. If the Mars One mission succeeds, that first fleeting footprint could belong to Joshua Jonas. Jonas is one of the aspiring Mars One astronauts who might be counted among the ranks of the great explorers someday. “The idea of leaving my mark on history for the betterment of mankind inspires me,” Jonas, a 30-year-old applicant from Springfield, Oregon, says. The Mars One star-sailors plan to set course for the Red Planet in 2024 on a several months journey through space. Their mission: To establish a permanent human colony. Their ticket to Mars will be oneway. While NASA thinks it could take 19 years to develop technology that would allow human travel to Mars, the co-founders of the Dutch-based not-for-profit Mars One, Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders, believe they can get a spacecraft off the ground in a decade. Unhindered by the costs of a return trip, Lansdorp and Wielders have slashed NASA’s astronomical $100 billion price tag to a budget of $6 billion for the first team of four voluntary astronauts. They plan to fund the expedition by televising every aspect of the event, from the selection of the astronauts to their planetary progress, in what they hope will become a global media spectacle. With the countdown to liftoff just ten years away, Mars One is busy choosing the ideal candidates, six crews of four astronauts each to be launched over a period of ten years. But instead of selecting from the expected pool of highly trained scientists and engineers, Mars One opened its astronaut application to the public. More than 200,000 people from around the world ap-

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plied for the extraterrestrial opportunity. The applicant pool has since been narrowed to 663. The remaining candidates will be put through rigorous rounds of interviews, tests, and simulations to see which select few are fit for the challenges of life in a cosmo-colony. For the 663 possible interplanetary pioneers, the chance to live on Mars is no longer astronomical. Onaje Abayomi, Dan Carey, Bea Henington, Joshua Jonas, and Dianne McGrath are still in the running, and their odds of making the top twentyfour are 1 in 28. It might be easy to think that an open casting call for a televised one-way trip to Mars would provide eccentric candidates. But, if these five are in any way representative of the larger pool, then the Mars One applicants are decidedly normal. The open auditions to be an astronaut have drawn people with exceptional qualities: perhaps it’s intelligence, courage, drive, or the thrill of adventure that propels them forward and makes them well suited for space travel. Abayomi taught himself quantum mechanics and astrophysics while working at a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Henington is a high school teacher with police academy, firefighting and EMT training, who describes herself as the kind of person who runs into a fire when everyone else is running out. Carey is a sharp and experienced data architect. Jonas is a self-described “jack of all trades” whose Chinese language skills would be an asset on a multicultural Mars colony. McGrath, an adventurous Australian who grew up in the Outback, is used to the “red, sandy barrenness in the middle of the desert” that resembles her hopeful new home on Mars. These five and their compatriot candidates are people with ties here on Earth. Most have families and careers - things not easily given up. Carey is a happy husband and father, reluctant to leave his family but resolute that the mission is for the good of mankind. The candidates have concerned mothers who are still getting used to the idea of their child leaving the planet. Henington’s mom is fine with her daughter

going to Mars - as long as she doesn’t live to see the day. For those without familes leaving Earth raises tough questions as well: Do you start a family? Do you marry? Do you root yourself further into Earth through connections with others while the possibility of leaving forever hangs overhead? Besides their personal connections to Earth, they’ll miss the creature comforts too. Abayomi ranks playing video games and eating meat high on his list. “The things we take for granted, all those niceties in life, having a coffee with your best friend. We won’t get those lovely luxuries on Mars,” McGrath says. But she says it’s a small sacrifice to make for such an extraordinary experience.


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The purpose of the Mars One expedition is not just exploration, but emigration. The astronauts will attempt to establish a permanent human colony where they will live until, of course, they die. A group of MIT PhD students predict the Mars One astronauts could last about 68 days, and die from starvation, suffocation, or incineration. Whichever comes first. CEO Bas Lansdorp defended the mission’s feasibility after the MIT analysis, saying that the students had based their study on wrong assumptions and incomplete data. The students admitted this in the report stating, “As a result of the lack of relevant data and operational experience, several assumptions have had to be made to analyze the Mars One mission plan.” Mars One has yet to release complete technical plans for the mission. Until they do, it will be difficult for experts and engineers to accurately evaluate possible risks and the likelihood of its success. Greg Retallack, a professor of geology at the University of Oregon, has studied Martian soils using data collected by the Curiosity rover, the car-sized NASA robot that landed on Mars in August 2012. In samples of 3.7 billion-year-old soils, he has found evidence that Mars once had a much warmer and wetter climate that may have

been habitable for microbial life. Does this research imply that Mars could sustain life -- especially of the human variety -- at some point in the future? Not necessarily, but Retallack believes it may be possible, if the settlers can find water. Retallack compares the Martian landscape to the Atacama Desert in Chile or the dry valleys of Antarctica, the driest, most extreme places in the world. “The planet looks bone dry. Really, really parche,” he says. The Curiosity rover did find evidence of water and hydrated minerals in the soil, but the water on Mars is locked in permafrost deep within the ground making it difficult and expensive to extract. Ice could be mined in the polar zones and then brought back to thaw in the warmer equatorial areas. A successful Mars colony would need to be set up at an oasis of sorts where water is available. Will a human colony be established on Mars by 2024? Retallack’s answer: a matter-of-fact “Nope.” Rover exploration will continue, but human colonization is a different matter. “The technology isn’t there yet. We’re a long way from being able to put humans on Mars,” he says. Mars One claims the technology it needs for the mission already exists. They will purchase equipment from private contract-

ing aerospace companies such as Lockheed Martin and Space X. They will buy spaceships, rovers, landing capsules, communications systems, inflatable habitats, solar panels, and anything else needed to sustain life on Mars. The plan, as of now, is to send rovers before astronauts to set up the colony’s living quarters in advance. To facilitate survival of the astronauts, they will need space suits, food, and Life Support Units, which generate electricity, recycle water, grow food, and provide breathable air. Sustaining a colony on Mars is no small task, and there’s much room for error. “The more complex a system is, the more things there are that can go wrong,” Carey says. “We’re going to have very complex systems keeping us alive — getting up into space, going in transit to Mars, landing on Mars, and surviving on Mars. Something could go wrong anywhere.” Carey and the other candidates are interested in the technology, and they plan to evaluate it before trusting it with their lives. “If I’m not comfortable with all the technologies, I’m not going to go. I’m not going on a suicide mission,” Jonas says. “Ideally, I don’t want to be remembered for being blown up.” Lansdorp emphasizes that Mars One, as a company, is more concerned about winter 2015

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IF I’M NOT COMFORTABLE WITH ALL THE TECHNOLOGIES, I’M NOT GOING TO GO. I’M NOT GOING ON A SUICIDE MISSION. IDEALLY, I DON’T WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR BEING BLOWN UP.

the financial rather than the technological feasibility of the mission. Small application fees from each of the 200,000 applicants, a crowdfunding campaign, and contributions from private investors began their fundraising process. The Mars One business model hinges on creating a documentary television show that would become a global phenomenon, drawing billions of viewers and revenue from sponsorships and broadcasting rights. They’ve based their projected figures on the marketing revenues of the Olympic Games and believe the numbers will be sufficient to meet the majority of the $6 billion budget. To meet those goals, Mars One needs to attract widespread attention and public interest, and positive press coverage would help to provide that. So far, media buzz has been mixed: some of it critical, some of it sensationalist. In terms of space-celebrity endorsements, Mars One has won some and lost some: Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, has voiced his support, while Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield thinks the moon -- not Mars -should be humanity’s next home away from home. With ten years to go, Mars One still has some time to drum up funds and fix the technical specs. The world will have to wait and see what they can do. As for the candidates, they’re betting on success. 43

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Yes, the Mars One astronauts could die. At 27, Abayomi has a matter-of-fact outlook on death. “I’m not afraid to die at all. When I was younger, my dad told me, ‘Everyone is going to die. It’s going to happen. You can’t avoid it, there’s no point in trying to run from it. If you spend every day worrying about it, you’re just going to waste your life.’ It doesn’t bother me. It sounds morbid, but any way that I die, I will be okay, because I know it’s going to happen,” Abayomi says. For all they knew, the 15th century’s Age of Discovery explorers could have sailed off the edge of the world. That didn’t stop them from trying. In the same vein, the Mars One candidates seem unwilling to let the possibility of failure keep them from pursuing their dreams. “There are a million and one ways that this mission could fail, but what if it succeeds? I’d be an idiot not to take part when I had the opportunity, just because I didn’t have the same vision they had,” Henington says. The astronauts not only face the possibility of an untimely death, they also must be psychologically prepared to leave behind their families and friends — forever. “My wife looks at it like a kind of abandonment,” Carey says. “But she doesn’t want to be the reason I don’t go. That’s real love.” His kids will be in their early 30s by the time Mars One would launch. Carey says he wouldn’t consider leaving if they were not grown. And yet, Carey feels if he were to go to Mars he would be doing something worthwhile for human progress. “Every day, we ask people to give their time and talent and put their lives on the line for our communities,” Carey says. He says the Mars mission is no different, except in the scope of the community it serves. “This is the chance to dedicate our lives and our efforts to the improvement of all mankind.” Each of the five candidates echoes themes of making a difference and serving the greater good. “We seek to almost immortalize ourselves as a species. People do that by having children, that’s their legacy. I’m not going to have children, so what is my legacy?” McGrath says. “I guess it’s to do something bigger than myself, something extraordinary.” Along with the profound personal strug-

gles will come the day-to-day challenges of life off of Earth, not the least of which is being cooped up in a tin can for the entire duration of the six to eight month journey. Abayomi imagines his space travel companions will become his new best friends, and Henington agrees that a crew that can make each other laugh and work well as a team would be ideal. The astronauts would be under intense physical demands as well. Three hours of daily exercise is required in order to maintain muscle mass and strength in the reduced gravity of Mars. Exposure to radiation would have negative health effects, although the plan is to protect the astronauts from radiation in their habitat by covering it with several meters of Martian soil. The Mars One astronauts will subside on some rations brought from Earth, but then must begin growing plants to eat. “Growing our own food is going to be critical. We can’t just duck down the street and pick up some milk when we’re out,” McGrath says, who is currently pursuing a degree in food sustainability research. The Mars colonists will need to reuse, recycle, and reduce their waste, and McGrath sees her potential life on Mars as an opportunity to show people that more sustainable choices are possible. For the Mars One candidates, emigrating to the Red Planet is their dream. Imagining their success and the moment of liftoff brings a tangible, almost physical response from all five candidates. “I can imagine it to the point [that] I get butterflies in my stomach and the urge to pee. Flight or fight syndrome,” Carey says. “A rock in my stomach. Cold sweats. A plethora of emotions,” Jonas says. “I might be hyperventilating. My eyes would be wide open with what’s happening and what’s coming next,” Henington says. “I could feel the hair standing up on my arms. This will be a moment where I’m standing on a precipice, a moment of extreme challenge, it’s a moment when you either jump or get out of the way,” McGrath says. “I’m a bit of a jumper.” And for Abayomi: “My heart will be racing. I couldn’t put into words how excited I would be. That would be the single greatest moment in my life, knowing that I’m on a spaceship, when it takes off I leave Earth’s atmosphere and I will never come back.”


Eugene’s two obscure shops sell the bizarre, occult, and macabre to eager customers. WORDS HANNA STEINKOPF-FRANK & GORDON FRIEDMAN PHOTOS EMILY ALBERTSON & GORDON FRIEDMAN

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t smells like death and nachos in here,” says Adam Prawlocki, the osteo-preparator at Custom Cranium. It definitely smells, at the very least, like death. The aroma of nachos may be more subtle, subdued by the overpowering scent of decaying carcasses. Dermestid beetles eat away at the rotting flesh of a White-tailed deer skeleton, one source of the store’s undeniably putrid and indelible, thick smell. Another is a Jacob sheep skull that sits in a bath of hydrogen peroxide for bleaching. The bath is a pale yellow soup of organic material that simply reeks. Custom Cranium’s owner, Darian Baysinger, pulls the skull out from the soup to display how the sheep had four horns. It’s odd and rare, as is all the merchandise at Custom Cranium and its proprietors too. The smell of the store is what most customers react to first, according to Baysinger. “If it’s not the scent of our bugs up at the front it’s, ‘I...Where do you? What? Huh? Where do you get your bones?’” she says. People also react strongly to Custom Cranium “because nobody really thinks of putting a bunch of dead animals in a store,” Baysinger says. “You know there’s the pet store, this is the opposite of the pet store.”


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PHOTO – Adam Prawlocki relocated from Florida to Eugene to help open Custom Cranium in July 2014. / Emily Albertson

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PHOTO – ABOVE: Many of Custom Cranium’s pieces are donated, such as this kitten that was found on the side of the road. / Emily Albertson BELOW: Gerrity considers Overcast Antiques more of a hobby shop, since she and her husband still have to work other full-time jobs. / Emily Albertson

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I KNOW I’M WEIRD. I KNOW I’M ECCENTRIC...I’VE ALWAYS COPPED TO THAT AND I’VE ALWAYS BEEN OK WITH IT…

And although the store is covered wallto-wall in animal skulls, skins, bones, and taxidermy of all kinds, the most fascinating pale white ortho-vestiges of organic life are tucked away in a back corner cabinet, though they are for sale too. For a few hundred dollars, you can take home a human skull. And, for only $25, you can start your collection of genuine human vertebrae. Custom Cranium is one of Eugene’s new and curious oddities shops. Overcast Antiques, a shop that sells strange items like Masonic paraphernalia and 19th century medical equipment, is another. It’s only coincidental that both shops are only a block apart on Willamette Street in downtown. The two are one-offs, selling what at one time would have been considered inappropriate as nostalgia or collectables. Throughout history, the obscure and macabre have been pushed to the fringed edges of society, talked about in hushed tones, reserved for dark alleyways and red-light districts, or even literally burned at the stake. Today, the opposite is becoming true. While museums and history books preserve the essence of occult pastimes, shops like Custom Cranium and Overcast Antiques cater to those who are proud of their obsession with the weird, macabre, or heretical. And, business is booming.

At Overcast Antiques, owned by Jennifer Gerrity and her husband, the search for the perfect oddity is what motivates her passion for strange antiques. It’s easy to walk past Overcast Antiques. It doesn’t look like much from the outside – just a small, nondescript storefront – but once inside, a mystical homage to the occult presents itself: naturally mummified cats, Masonic memorabilia, old Pagan spell books and more bizarre accouterments occupy every nook of the shop. Boisterous opera music fills the store, which is only about the size of a dorm room. Despite its small scale, the Overcast Antiques represents Gerrity’s lifetime of collecting. “I remember going to flea markets at the age of seven and buying Tarot cards and Egyptian jewelry,” says Gerrity who is Pagan and particularly drawn to Pagan antiques. While Gerrity has always been a collector, for most of her life, her passion for antiques was only a hobby. By trade she’s a botanist, but in her spare time she’d travel to rural parts of the United States or Europe looking for unusual antiques. In Europe, France and Belgium are her favorite places to unearth the macabre items that fill her shop. “The small towns in Belgium are ridden with open markets on the weekends and France has some of the best flea

markets in the world,” she says. “They have one flea market that was established in the 1700s and is today a permanent part of the city. It’s the best place on Earth for me.” For Baysinger, finding her store’s products is an entirely different pursuit. Much of the animals they use for taxidermy are found as roadkill. Human bones are surprising easy to procure too, according to Baysinger. “Teaching skeletons, they get old, they start falling apart, the steel rods rot and they get parted out,” she says. But, although real human bones from teaching skeletons find their way into Custom Cranium, there’s another way to get human bones. “Some of the stuff we’ve got comes from old graveyards that are dug up overseas. They dig them up to build new roads or new apartment complexes, and they sell them because they don’t have grave records or nobody’s alive that cares.” Baysinger has an in with a network of buyers and sellers of human bones. According to her, there is a community of people who not only buy, but also sell legally exhumed bones from construction sites. “They don’t know what to do with them. They either sell them or take them and bury them in mass graves.” The most valuable human bones come from skeletons with deformities, Baysinger winter 2015

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PHOTO – ABOVE: Human skulls and bones, usually acquired when graveyards are exhumed for construction, are for sale at Custom Cranium. / Gordon Friedman BELOW: Mummified cats are often found in attics or barns, but at Custom Cranium they are specially preserved, and retail for $300 each. / Gordon Friedman

says. “We can find human bones all day long. But we can’t find say, a Down’s syndrome skull with the bone deformities.” Besides selling collectable human bones, Baysinger and Prawlocki also produce taxidermy of their own. Prawlocki’s background is in special effects and he holds a BFA from Florida State University. The two make anatomically correct articulations of animal skeletons and custom anthropomorphic pieces called “rogue taxidermy.” More of an artform than a scientific pursuit, rogue taxidermy pieces can be conceptually vague, humorous, or bizarre. “You can put a monkey in a leisure suit smoking a cigar. You’re going to be silly about it, but the goal is still to do it as skillfully as you can,” Prawlocki says. Another oddity available at Custom Cranium is usually found beneath houses or in old barns: mummified cats. “They’d crawl under there to die when they’re old,” Baysinger says. With their dark, paper-like skin, sunken eyes, and still bony tails, the store’s mummified cats are intriguing because of their preservation, yet bizarre. That they’re for sale at all raises the question of who buys them. Regardless of the customers, there is a demand for the cats. “Most of what comes in here is from HVAC guys who go up in people’s attics and under people’s houses to install systems or clean out systems and they bring us the mummies they find,” Baysinger says. “And we’ll pay them!” 49

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YOU CAN JUST SELL A MUMMY, BUT IT’LL CONTINUE TO ROT AND FALL APART AND WE KNOW HOW TO STOP THE BACTERIAL MOTION...WE CAN’T TELL YOU HOW. IT’S ONE OF THE TRADE SECRETS THAT WE DON’T GIVE AWAY. The cats retail for $300 each, but Baysinger adds there’s a caveat to that. “$300, if you know where to sell it,” she says. According to her, Ebay isn’t a good option for selling the mummies. And buyers on Craigslist “might just laugh at you” she says. It takes expertise to know not only where and to whom to sell the cats, but how. “You can just sell a mummy, but it’ll continue to rot and fall apart and we know how to stop the bacterial motion,” she says. And how to do they do that? “We can’t tell you how. It’s one of the trade secrets that we don’t give away.” At Overcast Antiques, mummified cats are also for sale, though the store’s unusual antiques are their focus. Gerrity, who is selftaught, uses knowledge from other dealers as well as information gathered from the Internet to hone her antiquing skills. She can tell the age of many antiques just by looking at their patina. She’s also skilled at analyzing post-mortem pictures, a Victorian custom in which people would take a photograph of their family members, usually children, right after they died. This was one of the few mementos these families had because photography was so expensive at the time. “There’s usually a blankness in the face and the arms. You can tell, they are kind of limp and not alive,” she says. “There’s no activity in their pose. It’s very much someone who posed them.” It is when Gerrity is explaining these intricacies, be it a picture of a dead child, a spellbook, or a vial used to collect tears at Victorian funerals, that she lights up. For her, these antiques were not only significant to their original owners, but to her as well. “Every once in a while I find a piece that is really mystical and those are the ones I have a really hard time selling because they are so rare and unusual. I know that it meant something to someone. That inspires me,” she says. At Custom Cranium, Baysinger’s inspiration comes from within. She’s needed to keep personally motivated because friends and family questioned her career choice. “My family all thinks I’m weird and that this is a phase, of course, a 25-year phase,” she says. “And they’re waiting for me to do something with my college degrees instead of this.” Although she has no plans to change her occupation, she understands it is bizarre to many. “I know I’m weird. I know I’m eccentric,” she says. “I’ve always copped to that and I’ve always been ok with it because I’ve just always had a different look on things and it has never really bothered me.” It’s Baysinger’s maverick attitude that in many respects defines her and Gerrity’s line of work. Each day they sell items which are atypical: bizarre antiques and art, homages to the deceased, or unusual taxidermies. Procuring, producing, and selling their wares isn’t always easy. And, there’s increasing numbers of curious customers to satisfy each day. In time, perhaps the macabre will become the mundane.


MOTION

FINDING

FUNGI Mushrooms offer stability to Oregon’s forests and a tasty treat to foragers WORDS SAM SMARGIASSI PHOTOS NICOLE ALLEN

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magine being deep in a thick forest with no real sense of direction. The air is cold and wet against your face while large drops of water fall on you from the tree limbs hanging above. There is no trail in sight and you trudge your way through the soft and nearly untouched forest floor. There are immeasurable amounts of life breathing around you. Creatures might be watching you because your eyes are glued to the ground; you wouldn’t dare miss out on that tempting, lush and, of course, delicious wild fungi. Whether you call it mushroom hunting, picking, foraging or even chasing, for those who love the forest there is nothing more rousing. “It is the easiest type of hunting ever because your prey doesn’t run away,” Muhammad Khalifa says. A self-taught mushroomhunter and biochemistry student at the University of Oregon, Khalifa has experienced most of his luck hunting mushrooms further from the forest than he anticipated. “We’ve driven hours and hours to go into the woods for chanterelles. We tried to go east of the Cascades to find morels. But, the most successful mushroom hunts we’ve had have been on campus,” he says.

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Some of the most delicious mushrooms remain frustratingly elusive for connoisseurs; many simply refuse to grow under farmed conditions. But as it turns out, the University of Oregon’s wet and arboraceous campus is extremely habitable for fungi. Fairy ring mushrooms are sprinkled all over campus, specifically around pine trees. But the area with the most variety and vitality is, ironically, the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery. Located just off campus, the 16-acre cemetery founded in 1872 is home to more than 5,000 burials. For fungi, the environment is perfect; for them, death leads to life. Without decomposing organic matter to feed on, mushrooms cannot grow. It’s in the cemetery that mushroom hunters find shaggy parasols, boletus, meadow mushrooms and a range of other fungal edibles. In truth, mushroom hunting can be easy: Find the right spot, look down, and pick. However, the importance of identification cannot be stressed enough. Some species of poisonous mushrooms are deceivingly similar in appearance to their delicious, edible, and safe cousins. Without the right knowledge or a good identification key,

mushroom hunting can be dangerous. All you need is a thick forest and an eye for fungi, some of which naturally camouflage themselves to the forest floor. For that reason, patience and skill are key. Mushrooming is more than a hobby — it can be a way of life for those inclined towards outdoor activities. At the annual Mount Pisgah Mushroom Festival, many come to learn foraging skills necessary for a hunt. A Bluegrass band plays as crowds of attendees float from stall to stall sampling mushrooms and wafting earthy smells into their noses. Gladly trudging through mud and hay, people of all types — from white-collar workers to eccentric aging hippies — make their way into the forest for the showcase of what nature has to offer. Molly Widmer and Chris Melotti, a couple whose relationship formed around their fascination with mushrooms, led a nature walk at the festival. Together, they harness a vast knowledge of numerous aspects of fungi, particularly in regards to identification. Widmer even wears a small magnifying glass around her neck to examine a mushroom’s cap, gills, and stem. She


t BELOW – Widmer carefully examines the fungus on a large maple leaf and educates fellow nature walkers at the Mount Pisgah Mushroom Festival, Sunday, October 26th.

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also carries a needle in the arm-pocket of her fleece so she can prick a mushroom to see if it might change color — a telltale identifier for some species. In this case, Widmer gently pricks a mushroom, hoping for it to change colors and it does. Widmer, is a botanist for the Bureau of Land Management and founding member of the Cascade Mycological Society, and Melotti is a wildlife biologist. The two became interested in fungi during the ‘90s as their fields of work began to examine mushrooms on a larger scale to better understand their importance to the ecosystems of Pacific Northwest forests. “Both professions started to catch on to the fact that fungi were not only terribly important in general, but in this specific way are important to Pacific Northwest forests and northern spotted owls,” Widmer says. “It was ‘The owl eats the flying squirrel, flying squirrel eats the fungi,’ and that really broke some stuff open.” During this time, the scientific community had done a lot of single species management, only recently beginning to look into habitats and the ways in which different species affect the forest. At this point it became clear that basic forest protection wasn’t taking care of small, yet important variables like fungi. As perspectives started to broaden to account for this issue, Widmer and Melotti started studying fungi

TOP RIGHT – Red Tree Brain fungus on decaying log in Spencer’s Butte Park, Eugene Oregon. BOTTOM RIGHT – Grouping of three Psilocybin mushrooms on a decaying log in Spencer’s Butte Park.

and spread awareness of their importance. Soon after, Widmer founded the Cascade Mycological Society to do just that. “We didn’t want to go get a PhD, we just wanted to be in the woods and learn more about mushrooms and their role,” Widmer says. Today, they teach about mushroom ecology and hunting, leading many to the prized chanterelle mushroom. Seasoned hunters use the phrase edible and incredible to describe the beloved chanterelle. The chanterelle is a beautiful, golden, flower-like mushroom that thrives around decomposing trees. They are so delicious that commercial pickers will pillage the forests, chasing down hundreds of dollars worth of mushrooms in a single day. For recreational picking it is best to find yourself as deep in the forest as possible, somewhere that hasn’t yet been reaped of its offerings. Though chanterelles are tasty and abundant in the Pacific Northwest, it is important to acknowledge how mushrooms came to be and how much they influence nature. “If you like chanterelles, you like forests. Same thing with boletus or any high, choice edible mushroom,” Melotti says. “You can’t have them if you cut the forest down. Just collecting mushrooms is one thing but paying attention to what’s feeding you is another.”

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FORUM

WORDS MELISSA EPIFANO PHOTOS ERIC CECH

FOOD FIGHT

Gluten intolerance: Is it all in our heads?

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here are Facebook pages dedicated to getting rid of it. Expos travel across the country to spread the word about its dangers. Grocery store shelves now display products proudly exclaiming that it is removed. Even some authors, bloggers, and doctors are dedicating their lives to proving how beneficial the absence of it is to consumers. “It” is a protein called gluten. An ingredient found in nearly everything that is eaten and in unexpected items, such as face wash and shampoo. After ten thousand years of human consumption of grains, a strange trend of alleged gluten intolerance has increased in

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the last fifty years. Regardless if doctors believe in gluten sensitivity or not, they all agree on the growing number of people announcing that they can’t tolerate the protein, reporting health problems such as bloating, diarrhea, inflammation, and skin irritation all from being being gluten intolerant. While the scientific research isn’t conclusive on whether gluten does cause many American’s digestive problems, what it does show is that Americans often don’t make healthy eating choices. It’s a case of the chicken and the egg: Gluten may or may not cause health issues, but mixed with the calorie-laden western diet

it likely doesn’t help. Still, brand name corporations and health-conscious folks alike have taken the supposed threat of gluten seriously and some businesses have completely banished it from their companies and products to cater to those avoiding the protein. And, products that never had gluten in the first place are now being labeled as gluten-free to get the attention of consumers as a marketing tool. And, it’s working. Many people do go on gluten-free diets and testify to the health benefits experienced after cutting the protein. Others claim seeing no difference in


“We should eliminate oral consumption of gluten in any form,” Perlmutter says. “If a person does not have celiac disease, it’s probably not critically important to seek out gluten-free shampoos, for example. But anything that’s ultimately consumed like toothpaste and lipstick would be best if it is gluten-free.” To Perlmutter, it’s best to be safe rather than sorry. Simply eliminating gluten from our diets could alleviate any negative symptoms caused by the protein. And, that’s exactly what much of the population is willing to do. A survey taken from the consumer research firm National Purchase Diary found that 30 percent of Americans are willing to try or have already been living a gluten-free lifestyle. It makes sense the anti-gluten sentiments and products are reaching the broader American populace, regardless of whether there are factual health benefits from them. It’s tough to avoid the trend with the vast amount of advertising geared towards gluten-free products and promotion for them by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Miley Cyrus. Perlmutter believes there is a definite economic opportunity for brands to increase sales by adding “gluten-free” to their packaging. He also sees the trend as a winwin; companies can make money from providing healthier products to consumers. “I think it is very important to offer consumers a level of security that specific foods are indeed gluten-free to allow them to make better choices and specifically avoid gluten,” Perlmutter says. While the trend of removal in products increases, so does the confusion. What is

it about gluten that poses a threat to consumers? According to those promoting gluten-free lifestyles, the microscopic protein causes a large issue in the body’s digestive system. Perlmutter says that gluten makes the gut more permeable, leading to intrusive bacteria, proteins, and viruses that enter the bloodstream; things that shouldn’t be there. The body sees these foreign invaders as threats and acts accordingly by attempting to fight them off. What starts out as minor, uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating and stomach pain can eventually lead to severe diseases that threaten a person’s nervous system. Unfortunately, these issues are based from observation and complaints by those who have problems with gluten, like celiac disease. Concrete answers have yet to surface for the average

ACCORDING TO THOSE PROMOTING GLUTEN-FREE LIFESTYLES, THE MICROSCOPIC PROTEIN CAUSES A LARGE ISSUE IN THE BODY’S DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.

their health after its removal. But what is gluten exactly? Should we all be avoiding it? And why has it caused so much confusion amongst the public, questioning everything we thought we knew about our diets? Gluten is a protein that gives foods containing wheat and other grains its shape and chewy consistency. When ingested, the body either absorbs it or, if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the body marks it as a hazard and digestive problems arise. Either way, according to neurologist, author, and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition David Perlmutter, gluten is dangerous for anyone. He says recent research done by the National Institutes of Health and medical journals like the New England Journal of Medicine indicates some level of gluten sensitivity in everyone.

citizen questioning whether gluten intolerance is real and if they should take part in a gluten-free diet. That’s where Dr. Peter Gibson, Director of Gastroenterology and Professor at Monash University and former President of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia, comes in. On the other side of the spectrum, he stands firm in his belief that there is no direct correlation between gluten and the symptoms those with self-perceived gluten intolerance are having. At Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, Gibson was able to conduct several intensive stud-

ies and came to the conclusion that gluten intolerance may be all in our heads. After feeding his test subjects three diets, one high in gluten, one low in gluten and one with no gluten, he found that everyone experienced the same side effects. Dr. Gibson stands firm in his belief that gluten does not cause the discomfort his subjects were feeling, and there hasn’t been much evidence to prove him wrong. But if gluten isn’t the culprit, then what is? Gibson says it is FODMAPs, a group of carbohydrates commonly found in the western diet that are poorly absorbed by our digestive systems. Gibson found that when FODMAPs were taken out of the diets of his subjects, he noticed improvements in their digestive processes. Shortly after his research concluded, he developed the low FODMAP diet. If the answer to the increasingly common digestive problems is gluten, or something completely different, it poses a question for society. Are Americans lacking in body and dietary awareness? According to an article from Psychology Today, a survey found that 52 percent of Americans find it less complicated to do taxes than eat healthfully. The same article explained that society on average eats 2,700 calories a day, 200 more than the recommended maximum. 63 percent of our diet is also excessive amounts of unnecessary food groups like caloric sweeteners and flours and grains. Where is America going wrong? As a nation, the United States has some of the best access health food options in the world, but ranks low in overall health. We have the ability to eat well, yet many choose to consume hazardous ingredients. There is plethora of possible culprits that lead to our never-ending dietary issues. Gluten, FODMAPS, refined carbs, sugars, and processed foods are all possible contributors, but maybe it is time to take a step back. Listening to our bodies could be beneficial; the inflammation, bloating, weight gain, and fatigue could be a cry for help. It’s the way the body tells us to put down the high calorie for something more nourishing. Ingredients in food are a large part of keeping a balanced diet, but so is what we select to place in our grocery carts. Gluten or no gluten, much of our health lays in what we decide to put in our mouths, a decision we ought to be more vigilant about.

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JOURNEYS

U K R A IN I A N DILEM M A WORDS JONATHAN BACH PHOTOS JONATHAN BACH, GORDON FRIEDMAN & DEBRA JOSEPHSON

As the conflict with Russia escalates, Ukranians struggle to maintain normalcy.

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s PHOTO – The bread and salt ceremony is a welcome greeting in many European cultures, such as Ukraine. Participants on Ukrainian Day in Springfield, Ore. wear traditional clothing to celebrate the culture at the Nativity of the Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church. / Debra Josephson


T

he border control officer clad in a navy blue uniform requested my passport. The digital clock on my cell read 2 am. After she disappeared down the hall with the passport, her partner appeared in the doorway of my sleeper car. Swiftly using a long baton to open a curtain that covered a small storage area in the sleeper, he looked for any suspicious items. Nothing. Later into the night, while mechanics finished changing the wheels of the train to accommodate the narrow-gauge tracks that would carry us to Lvov, the blonde officer clad in blue returned with the passport. She left without remark, and the train creaked to life, pushing into Ukraine. As we rolled through the countryside, probably while I lay asleep, a surface-to-air missile struck down a civilian airliner on the other side of the country, sending 298 passengers hurtling 33,000 feet downwards towards the wheat fields below. In the morning, I was awakened by a call from Oregon — from my mother, shocked. She said the plane had been blown out of the sky over east Ukraine. My destination was Lvov, a hilly city in west Ukraine, close to the Polish border. Donetsk is a city and region in the east, and that’s where much of the year’s fighting had concentrated in the last months. It’s also where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was shot down. All on board were killed, and with those deaths, the flight exploded into global headlines. Videos of the crash and debris soon appeared online. MH17 opened the eyes of the international community - finally. But for those in Ukraine, the conflict had been clear since the beginning of the year, if not before, when President Viktor Yakunovich decided against signing a trade agreement with the European Union: one that would signal closer ties to western Europe instead of Russia. After, in December of 2013, protesters were on the streets in throngs. Inde-

pendence Square, a monumental and symbolic meeting place in the capital city Kiev, was all but burned to the ground over the course of the demonstrations, and Yakunovich fled, being granted asylum in Russia. Right after MH17 crashed, Igor Strelkin, Defense Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, or the Donyetskaya Narodnaya Respublika (DNR) — the self-proclaimed republic comprised mostly of rebels that would see east Ukraine have stronger ties with Russia — claimed responsibility for the attack; though, after reports came in that the airliner wasn’t military, Strelkin doubled back and denied involvement. A former National Guardsman, Edward Robe taught English to pay for his two-story apartment in the heart of Lvov, where he lived with his eight-months-pregnant wife, Natasha, a Ukrainian national. The Seattle native rented a small but comfortable room out to travelers, charging ten dollars per night for clean sheets and all the coffee you could drink. Robe and I became fast friends, walking the city and spending time discussing the conflict. One night we stood in his kitchen, and I asked what he would do if the war spread to Lvov. He said he would probably go to Georgia, a country nearby. But then, he said with a laugh, the conflict would probably spread there, too. With a wife and child to think about he didn’t know if the move to Georgia would make much difference. He didn’t immediately say he would head back to America. It would no doubt take too much time for Natasha to get documents to live in the States. As I told him I was looking for people willing to talk about their experience of the war so far, he gave me the information for Zari Asanova, a woman who had come through his house on her way to Poland from Crimea, which had been annexed earlier in the year by Russia.

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AS WE ROLLED THROUGH THE COUNTRYSIDE, PROBABLY WHILE I LAY ASLEEP, A SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE STRUCK DOWN A CIVILIAN AIRLINER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTRY, SENDING 298 PASSENGERS HURTLING 33,000 FEET DOWNWARDS TOWARDS THE WHEAT FIELDS BELOW.

Walking the cobblestoned streets a few days into the trip, I saw painters putting to canvas a well-maintained Armenian church off the Plosha Rynok — the Market Square — and asked to photograph them in the process, introducing myself as an American journalist. Anna Styopina, a woman from Kiev who had a gentle smile, switched to flawless, barely accented English after I asked her in particular. Minutes into conversation, I felt a bond of trust had formed between us. To speak with Asanova I desperately needed a translator. Asanova didn’t speak English, and I had failed the night before to have a conversation with her solely in Russian. Styopina said she was free that night, so I gave her Robe’s address and prepared to meet her there. On March 16th, 2014, Crimea voted on whether the region would rejoin Russia. After he succeeded the loose cannon that was Joseph Stalin in 1954, Nikita Khrushchev gifted the Crimean Peninsula to the Ukrainian establishment in a move The Telegraph says was made to secure support

among Ukrainians, who were then living in part of the Soviet Union. Fresh out of a bloody war with Germany that cost scores of Russian lives, Stalin had ordered the deportation of ethnic Tatars from the Crimean Peninsula. He claimed those Tatars had aided the National Socialists, and in turn had them herded onto cattle carts and out of Crimea. Many died that May in 1944. Perhaps it was Stalin’s atrocious treatment of the Tatars that Khrushchev had tried to make up for. Maybe he didn’t want to deal with the peninsula any longer. Either way, ethnic Tatars had a sordid past on the peninsula. And despite its past, Crimea was part of Russia once again. Zari Asanova was an ethnic Tatar. Before the vote she owned a grocery store. After the referendum passed she lost her shop and lived off the cash of selling her car. She went to Poland to find work, but the conditions were substandard at best. Yet she planned to travel to Poland again, possibly to pick strawberries for money to pay for her son’s school supplies. It was al-

s PHOTO – A woman begs for money along Shevchenko Prospekt, the main street through Lvov. According to a 2010 estimate from the CIA World Factbook, 24.1% of Ukraine’s population lives below the poverty line. / Jonathan Bach

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s LEFT – Portrait of Bach. / Gordon Friedman RIGHT – A sign posted to a brick building reads “Ukraina Edina!” or “One Ukraine!” The Eastern European country has been embroiled in a conflict since early 2014, during which rebels from east Ukraine attempted to create their own republic. / Jonathan Bach

leged that those without a Russian passport such as Asanova were unable to hold jobs in Russian-held Crimea. Regardless of her lack of finances she invited me to come live with her for a while to assess the situation in her town. Though she seemed to feel the conflict more than we did in Lvov, she still extended that warm invitation, and part of me wishes I would have accepted it. But the conflict was real and so were the pressures of nationalism in a time when the country had seemed to fissure in two. Sergii Kachurovskyi, also from Kiev, was a member of the Salvation Army, a religious organization. He came to Lvov after he completed his work with a camp of Ukrainian and Romanian children. Like Robe, Kachurovskyi has a family to consider. Because of that, Kachurovskyi didn’t think himself less of a patriot for deciding not to enlist in the Ukrainian Army, though he had been harangued by fellow Ukrainians about the choice. The city of Lvov itself was rife with nationalistic fervor. Rolls of bath tissue printed with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s face and the abbreviation of an unkind slur under it were sold at the street markets. A sign was painted to the side of a brick building that read Ukraina Edina — “One Ukraine.” Some men walked along the sidewalks with the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag around their necks like capes. The papers confirmed that hairs had begun to rise within the international community over how to make sense of the Malaysia Airlines crash. Igor Ivanov, an op-ed contributor for the The New York Times, wrote that a mishandling of the political fallout from MH17 could lead to a new

Cold War — an extreme estimation, but one nonetheless worth considering. Arizona Senator John McCain responded by saying President Obama was running a “cowardly administration that failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves.” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott proposed sending federal police to the crash site to help reclaim it from DNR militants. In the month that followed my return to the United States, the situation in Ukraine headed into what pilots call a graveyard spiral — where all the pilot can do is hold onto the yoke and pray. The BBC labeled the conflict Ukraine’s worst since the breakup of the Soviet Union. An August 5th report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated 168,000 people had fled Ukraine for Russia. By August 23rd the death toll in east Ukraine had reached 2,000, with more than 330,000 people deserting their houses amidst firefights and shellings. Regardless of political leanings, eastern Ukrainians now made up 87 percent of the total displaced population in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Weekly reported that the country’s Gross Domestic Product had fallen by 1% in the first quarter, and was expected to plummet by 3-5% by year’s end. But some in Oregon had turned their eyes eastward. With her husband Robert, Erin Kerley, who worked at a Japanese imports store called Wabi Sabi in Bend, started to make arrangements for friends in the small eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk, the Petrenkos*, to come to America. “It’s all very shoestring, on-the-fly,” she said to me. The two aren’t by any means

wealthy — Erin designed clothes and worked part-time downtown — but they tried to help the family come to the United States regardless. The Petrenkos helped Erin and her husband when they stayed in Kramatorsk to adopt their children, Simon and Sarah. A driver, Roman Petrenko would see that Erin made it safely to and from the supermarket. The families became close over the three months the Kerleys spent in Kramatorsk wading through the adoption process, and Erin saw this as paying them back for their kindness. As August came to a close, the Kerley’s had managed to secure a home for the Petrenkos if and when they arrived. Erin sold clothes she had designed to a local consignment store, Refuge, to accrue enough credit at the shop so her friends were able to buy clothes if needed. The Petrenkos should have arrived in August, but didn’t. The goal was to have them seek asylum here, which would allow Roman and his family to work immediately after getting to the States. To claim asylum in the US, writes the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a candidate “must demonstrate that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion , political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.” For reasons unknown, the process failed. “At the moment,” said Erin, “we don’t know if they’ll be able to come over with refugee status.” *Name changed for the purpose of anonymity.

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KCAB BACK TO

HOME on the ROAD FALL 2014

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VOL.7, ISSUE 1

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Congrats to the 2013 and 2014 Ethos magazine staff for being a two-time winner of the ACP Magazine Pacemaker Award, student journalism’s highest honor.

FREE


TASTES

brewing a better community

WORDS KEVIN TREVELLYAN PHOTOS GORDON FRIEDMAN

S

am Bond’s Garage starts to fill up at nine o’clock. A lo-fi funk blues band called The Greyhounds takes the stage. The bar’s employees, indistinguishable from anyone else in the room except for their deliberate motions that indicate purpose, rearrange tables before the show starts. Wooden rafters span the bar’s ceiling like a barn. The air inside smells as

Sam Bond’s Brewing and Planktown Brewing connect community conscious locals to small batch brews.

crisp as the winter night outside, and the band begins to play. There’s a show almost every night, and tonight there’s as many people dancing on their feet as there are sitting in chairs. The L-shaped bar is full, and behind it a woman in a black dress serves beer and cocktails, her arms covered in tattoos and a smile on her face.

At Sam Bond’s there are seven craft beers and a hard cider on tap. Although that isn’t an extraordinary number compared to other bars in Eugene (The Bier Stein and First National Taphouse both have more than 20 on tap), craft beer’s prevalence in the region has exploded since Sam Bond’s Garage opened in 1995.

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t PHOTO – Planktown Brewing

head brewer Steve van Rossem and brewer John Crane pride themselves on creating innovative and local beers.

YOU COULDN’T PICK A BETTER SPOT TO BREW — THE WHOLE CLIMATE AND CULTURE BEHIND IT. IT HAS TO BE THE BEST PLACE ON THE PLANET FOR THE VARIETY OF BEERS BREWED HERE

“We were one of the only places to get a microbrew from River Road all the way to downtown. We were one of the pioneers in the neighborhood, at least in recent history,” Mark Jaeger, one of three Sam Bond’s owners, says. From the early 2000s onward, Ninkasi, Oakshire, and Hop Valley have all begun brewing craft beer in North Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood where Sam 61

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Bond’s is also located. They’re also joined by several wineries and bars. The recent economic transition to the Whiteaker being dominated by breweries has led some to nickname it The Fermentation District. The neighborhood has become a local mecca for the microbrew and craft beer inclined. The influx of brewing in Eugene reflects a larger economic trend happening all around Oregon; according to the Brewer’s Association, there’s 6.3 breweries in the state for every 100,000 adults. That statistic puts Oregon above every other state in terms of beer production per capita. And, more locally, although the comparatively larger breweries like Ninkasi and Oakshire have a stronger grip on the drinking crowd in Eugene, there’s more to the local scene than the big players. Although Jaeger’s bar has been open for nearly 20 years, Sam Bond’s only began their in-house brewing operation in 2013. The owners planned on brewing their own beer since opening their doors, but the idea was shelved once the Garage took off as a live music destination. However, after finding an open space in Eugene’s historic Foundry Building in 2013, the plan was put back into motion. Built in 1895, the Foundry Building was where early 20th century manholes and fire hydrants still found on the streets of Eu-

gene were cast. Today, cast iron municipal supplies have been traded for stainless steel fermentation tanks. Jim Montgomery, Sam Bond’s head brewer, has turned the building (located at 8th Avenue and Ferry St) into a brewery and tasting room. Although the aesthetics of the tasting room pay homage to the building’s history through repurposed metallurgy supplies from over 100 years ago, the identity of the space has yet to be determined. “We don’t know yet who will become the real core here, and it may be that it’s wide open, that it’s enjoyed by different people. That’s what we hope,” Jaeger says. Professionals from the Northwest Community Credit Union branch across the street stop into the tasting room for a beer, as do students, and the construction workers that are building a five-story housing complex down the street on Franklin Boulevard. It’s not a homogenous crowd. The future mix of customers and musical acts at Sam Bond’s Brewing is uncertain, but food and beer options have begun to take shape. Jaeger and the other owners focus on healthy, organic choices for patrons to dine on, like seared ahi salads and baked tofu pizzas. As for beer, Sam Bond’s choices read like a German dictionary — a Kölsch, an Altbier, and a Hefeweizen — sit on tap alongside Northwest-style IPAs, a stout, and a Red


Ale. Although Sam Bond’s keeps several standard styles on tap, Montgomery experiments with his beer by rotating what’s available. In 1995, rotating beers on tap was a novel concept, but it has “created a movement in the craft brewing industry where breweries need to be producing interesting new beers along with the classics,” Jaeger says. The diverse choices of food and drink, in contrast to the standardized experience offered by chain restaurants, represents a kind of craft atmosphere that’s popular in Eugene via brew pubs and bars.Thoughtful food, drink, and decor characterize these places as different than somewhere to simply eat or drink; they are places to feel like a part of the community. “I think it’s authentic,” Jaeger says. “You get individuals’ versions of how they would like to serve you, what they’d like to feed you, or present to you. It’s not so formulaic. It’s unique.” Another local craft brew pub is Plank Town Brewing (established in 2013), located three and a half miles east down Franklin Boulevard and across the Willamette River in Springfield. Saw blades hang on the brew pub’s earthy red walls along with flattened strips of lumber. Black and white photographs of Springfield’s past adorn the walls as well: portraits of bearded loggers in a newly developing town look outward, preserved in time. Even the pub’s name is a reference to the wooden boards that were laid down as sidewalks to keep people from walking on Springfield’s muddy streets an era ago during the city’s formative stages. “A lot of the theme is a nod to where Springfield came from, our background and our history,” Steve van Rossem, Plank Town’s head brewer, says. Weyerhaeuser, a prominent timber company in the Pacific Northwest, was a catalyst for economic prosperity in Springfield until over logging forced the closure of their plants in the 1990s. Since then, downtown Springfield’s commerce has been “a lot of smoke-filled bars,” according to van Rossem, who has lived in the area for 23 years. Plank Town provides a more balanced atmosphere in comparison — a comfortable environment where food is just as important as beer. Ingredients are sourced from local markets when possible, and pan-fried steelhead or braised rabbit are two of many menu choices that represent a departure from the common pub food that usually accompanies a pint of beer. Behind Plank Town’s angular wooden horseshoe-shaped bar are 12 beers on tap, all brewed in house. van Rossem leans toward English beers (like the Reggie IPA named after a British Duke), but also produces a pair of Northwest style IPAs, along

with lagers and pilsners. He, along with brewer John Crane, has also created a series of bourbon barrel aged beers, adding a bit of creative novelty to microbrewing. The variety in Plank Town’s offerings isn’t unusual for Oregon brewers. “You couldn’t pick a better spot to brew — the whole climate and culture behind it. It has to be the best place on the planet for the variety of beers brewed here,” says van Rossem. With an abundance of breweries in Lane County already, more than 14, Plank Town hopes that some will consider relocating to Springfield to have a drink. “We’re aware that there isn’t a lot over here, and that there’s still some room for growth in downtown Springfield,” Plank Town bar manager Curtis Phillips says. “Ideally we would love to see more breweries come down and join us.” Eugene micro brewery Claim 52 opened a tasting room just 470 feet from Plank Town on A Street this year. Agrarian Ales, Viking Braggot (both from Eugene as well), and the Brewer’s Union in Oakridge have also expressed interest in opening locations in Springfield. “People are turning out to support us, so that’s definitely putting a whole new focus on downtown. Other people with businesses are looking into the area too,” van Rossem says.

There are parallels between the Whiteaker’s past, and Springfield’s possible future. van Rossem and the rest of Plank Town’s staff see a changing climate in Springfield, not unlike what Sam Bond’s Garage started in 1995. “There’s really no reason why Springfield couldn’t do that on a much smaller scale, with the intimate experience that a smaller town can offer,” Phillips says. Regardless of where and what patrons may be drinking in Eugene, the options beyond the most popular breweries are steadily growing, and that’s to say cheers about.

s TOP – Open for more than 20 years, Sam Bond’s Brewing is one of Eugene’s oldest microbreweries. BELOW – A sampling of the beers offered by Planktown Brewing in Springfiekd, Ore.

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THE LAST

small town state

of

mind

WORDS AMBER COLE PHOTO DEBRA JOSEPHSON

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y brot her Josh a nd I sat at a red l ight , w a it i ng to cross t he br idge a nd cont i nue h is i mprompt u tou r of E l ko, Nev. So fa r, he’d show n me t he new housi ng development a nd t he Home Depot where appa rent ly cit i zens of E l ko spend t hei r free t i me on t he weekends. A s t he l ight t u r ned g reen, I looked to my r ight at t he ent ra nce to I - 80 West . Unt i l t hen, my bea r i ngs weren’t set ; t he sma l l m i n i ng tow n w as most ly a ma ze of st reet s a nd houses, but d r ivi ng across t he br idge, I recog n i zed t he road t hat lead to my hometow n of Wi n nemucca, Nev. I l ived i n Wi n nemucca u nt i l I w as 15. My dad cha nged jobs a nd we moved about 10 0 m i les east to E l ko, Nev. I remember bei ng told most of my l i fe how ter r ible Wi n nemucca w as a nd how it w as t he tow n where d rea ms went to d ie. It w as a fter a l l where Butch Cassidy robbed a ba n k i n 19 0 0. Back t hen it even had a t h r iv i ng brot hel d ist r ict . It w as t he on ly home I k new. It w as ha rd to be l ieve what people sa id about it . Su re, t he pol ice racia l ly prof i led, my 8t h g rade E ngl ish teacher w as a r rested for coca i ne possession, a nd a H is pa n ic g a ng t h reatened to shoot up my h igh school, but no tow n is perfect . One of t he posit ive about Wi n nemucca is it s pred ict abi l it y. K ids went to publ ic school, t he on ly opt ion. A fter g raduat i ng t he class spl it i n t wo: Much of one ha l f went to work i n t he m i nes a nd much of t he ot her at tended t he Un iversit y of Ne vada, Reno. Once t he col lege - bou nd

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f i n ished school, ma ny ret u r ned to Wi n nemucca, of cou rse. I n a w ay, E l ko is a big ger, more com mercia l i zed Wi n nemucca . Wit h a popu lat ion just more t ha n 18,0 0 0, it has not one but t wo St a rbuck s. Ot her t ha n t hat , E l ko is a sma l l tow n t hat su r v ives on m i n i ng. T here a re t wo big players: Ba r r ick a nd New mont . Wit hout t he presence of t hese compa n ies, bot h Wi n nemucca a nd E l ko wou ld sh r ivel up a nd cl i ng to casi no revenue to pay t he bi l ls. “ T here’s t he new New mont bu i ldi ng,” Josh says as we cont i nue ou r tou r. He had spent t he su m mer mont hs work i ng at one of t hei r m i nes. “Dad’s of f ice is i n t he base ment .” I nodded. T he sh i ny new ed i f ice, a sy mbol of t he compa ny ’s power a nd i n f luence, w as l i kely t he most ex pensive bu i ld i ng i n t he tow n. T he tou r concluded at t he hotel where Josh a nd I met up w it h ou r pa rent s. A fter t he tou r, I concluded t hat d rea ms d ied i n E l ko too. I ca n’t help but wonder i f my fat her’s a re bu r ied somewhere i n t he basement of t he mu lt i -m i l l ion dol la r New mont bu i ld i ng. I spent t he ent i re nex t day t h i n ki ng. W hen Josh told me t hat he wou ld work for New mont over t he su m mer, I w asn’t happy. I now rea l i ze why. I w as a fra id t hat he wou ld be sucked i nto t he m i n i ng bubble a nd never leave Nevada . I w as a fra id he wou ld be t he ma n we encou ntered at t he post of f ice, pick i ng up h is 3 0t h a nn iversa r y coi n com memorat i ng h is t i me w it h New mont . A generous g i ft for h is loya lt y.

A s I left a nd d ist a nce sw a l lowed E l ko up i n t he vast not h i ng ness of deser t , I saw t he cu rse of t he m i n i ng tow n. W h i le u nder it , I had no aspi rat ions for mysel f. My l i fe goa ls i ncluded g raduat i ng from h igh school, goi ng to t he Un iversit y of Nevada, Reno, a nd mov i ng back to Wi n nemucca where I wou ld spend t he rest of my l i fe. At t he t i me, it seemed l i ke a good l i fe. It w as t he sa me l i fe so ma ny of my fr iends were goi ng to l ive. A s for ma k i ng money, I w as goi ng to w r ite book s a nd most l i kely teach. T hen, when I t u r ned 60, I wou ld be l i ke my physics teach er, tel l i ng my st udent s what t hei r pa rent s were l i ke when t hey were i n my class. L eav i ng t he m i n i ng bubble g ave me a cha nce of hav i ng a n act ua l l i fe. Had I st ayed, I wou ld n’t be at t he Un iversit y of Oregon. I wou ld n’t w a nt to be a jou r na l ist . T he ex per iences I have had i n my col lege yea rs wou ld be nonex istent . I wou ld n’t have mor phed i nto a W hov ia n (a fa n of t he Br it ish telev ision show, Doctor W ho) a nd met my best fr iend a nd pa r t ner i n cr i me, Sa m. I wou ld have been spend i ng weekends at t he Home Depot . T hat ’s not to say t he m i n i ng i ndus t r y wou ld have r u i ned my l i fe. On t he cont ra r y, t he i ndust r y tet hered me to r u ra l Nevada but it a lso it sent me aw ay. I n doi ng so, it put me on t he pat h I a m on now. It sheltered my fa m i ly from t he Great Recession. A nd most i mpor t a nt ly of a l l, it pays my t u it ion. L itera l ly, New mont g ave me a schola rsh ip. A sy mbol of it s power a nd i n f luence.


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Ethos Winter 2015  
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