• University Patrol Offers Safety Tips
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    smartphonesmanyafpSometimes you end up having to walk yourself home. If you can prevent it, by all means stroll home with a buddy or a group of friends. However, if you have no other option than to crawl the streets of Corvallis at night all by your lonesome, you should probably know a few things before you venture out into the darkness.

    Safety tips have been written a thousand times over at this point, but with the recent report made by an 18-year-old woman that she was sexually assaulted on the OSU campus early Wednesday morning— and with the start of the new school year — here’s another friendly reminder to get educated and be prepared as much as possible.

    OSU officials are advising students and community members to walk in pairs and be aware of their personal safety.

    “This is the same message that we do give at any time. It just seems to be heightened now that we had a [sexual] assault reported. We’re giving this message out to all students, faculty, and staff here at OSU throughout the year, even at new student orientation and new parent orientation,” said Oregon State Police Sergeant Eric Judah of the University Patrol Office. “Safety is everybody’s responsibility.”

    Several new technological innovations have recently entered the playing field of personal safety and protection: Welcome Companion and the Cuff.

    Companion, a free personal safety app that you can download to your smartphone, was created by five University of Michigan students.

    The app allows you to inform your parents, friends, or even a public safety department where you are and what route you are taking home. The safety catch? Those individuals can monitor your route as you head home and receive alerts if you run into trouble.

    The Cuff (https://cuff.io) is a piece of “safety jewelry” that looks all shiny and sophisticated on your wrist, but it also enables you to send out an alert in the event of an emergency with the press of a built-in button.

    Judah urges people at OSU to use SafeRide, to call a friend or a taxi, or to contact the OSU Department of Public Safety or OSP troopers assigned to campus if SafeRide isn’t available.

    “I also urge people to sign up for the timely warnings and emergency alerts [that the university sends out],” he said. “Students can actually add their parents’ email addresses into that system. There is a very definite need for people to sign up.”

    Judah added, “I think anything that anybody can do, within the law, to enhance their personal safety, they need to do it.”

     For an extensive list of OSU’s campus safety information, including a sexual assault resource guide and how to navigate the campus at night, visit http://fa.oregonstate.edu/publicsafety/campus-safety-information.

    By Abbie Tumbleson

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  • Hard Truths: Truth and Truthability
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    HardTruths_10_1_15Every election season brings with it a relatively brief period when people talk about things like silent majorities, independent parties, and viable non-establishment candidates. Usually that talk vaporizes after about 15 minutes of people entertaining nonsensical think pieces on why this is finally Nader’s year, or why everything’s finally lining up for Ron Paul, or how Kucinich has a shot, or Ross Perot. Basically after a short stint in fantasy land, people come back down to earth and just cast their vote for their party’s guy/gal, who may be is always a huge disappointment.

    This year, though, there is a strange air about the place. Donald Trump is still firmly in the lead on the GOP side, long after people had predicted he’d already have buzzed off, while Bernie Sanders is trouncing Hillary Clinton at every turn.

    Is it possible that we’ve finally turned that corner? Is the Democratic establishment, which is of course bankrolled by corporate interests just like the GOP establishment, really going to go to the mat for an unapologetic socialist? The smart money is on “of course not.” Because the reality is that if the general election featured, say, Jeb Bush (or for that matter Kasich, Fiorina, Christie, or Rubio) versus Bernie Sanders a lot of those establishment Dems wouldn’t think twice about voting Republican. I mean, not on their Facebook pages, that’s where they’ll want to appear to be loyal class warriors, but I’m talking about what will actually happen in the polling booth. Similarly on the other side, there are tons of right wingers who will go into a polling booth and happily pull the lever for Clinton rather than vote for Trump in the general election. For that matter they’d probably consider Hillary over Ted Cruz or Rand Paul.

    What’s most interesting is how we’ll look back on it from a distance. After Trump and Bernie have faded, will we look back and say, “Duh, of course they faded. Who was really going to vote for those guys?” Or will we actually look at the factors that made them popular and wonder what that tells us about our society? I hope the latter. Because what it tells me is that we’ve come too far from the Socratic notion of “I know that I know nothing” to the Rumsfeldian “known unknowns,” to be so brazenly hubristic.

    Where it was once a sign of intelligence to honestly admit one’s knowledge, or lack thereof, it is now an impossible standard by which we shame each other. It’s not sufficient anymore to simply be right or morally just, but to contrast that with your opponent’s obvious moral turpitude. How could one be pro-life if they’re pro-choice? How can one be religious and support direct contraventions of their own religion? How can we eternally be “on the right side of history?”

    We’ve discovered an efficient route to that in the mantra of “fake but accurate.” This is that basest of human conditions wherein we hear what we want to, block out what we don’t, and justify contradiction to sleep at night, rather than admit that we know that we don’t know.

    A startling and fascinating demonstration will soon be enjoyed by all in the form of Truth, a new film dramatizing the Killian documents saga. For those with an extremely short memory, the Killian story (or Rathergate, as it became known to a country full of uncreative and incredibly lazy pundits) refers to the 2004 mini-scandal that claimed the career of Dan Rather and his producer Mary Mapes. In September of 2004, on an episode of 60 Minutes II, Rather presented a story that contended that George W. Bush, who was just a couple months away from being re-elected president, had skipped out on his Air National Guard service and that pressure had been applied, from shadowy higher ups to his commander, to whitewash his absence. The centerpiece of the report was a document, purported to be from the personal typewriter of Bush’s commander Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, clearly outlining how Bush had skipped out on his duty and how he was being pressured to give him passing marks nonetheless. It was a bombshell story, particularly right before the election. Unfortunately for Rather, Mapes, and CBS, the Internet was well into its existence, and it only took a couple hours for multiple sources to pretty convincingly establish that the document was an obvious forgery. To this day, Rather won’t admit even that much, that the document was no good and he was hoodwinked. Whether or not Bush was a rotten recruit who deserves our scorn is another issue altogether, but at least we could agree, as rational people, that the main bit of evidence was bunk.

    But strangely we didn’t agree on it. And the narrative quickly gurgled to the top: fake but accurate. Sure the memo may have been BS, but that’s beside the point because the greater truth is true. And who needs evidence to know a great truth anyway? And now Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett will play Rather and Mapes respectively in a dramatization of the affair that, and I’m not making this up, will focus on how they were victimized by the press and bloodthirsty citizenry. It wasn’t their fault the documents were fake, and it wasn’t their fault that they were duped when even garden variety non-professionals smelled a fake instantly. It wasn’t their fault they lost their jobs and wouldn’t give an inch in admitting their failures. It was our fault. Because we couldn’t see the truth.

     And so today we have the court of public opinion, which we use to pass judgment on every issue from gun control, race relations, sex crime, and political morality. And if the data doesn’t back up our assertions, it’s okay, because there’s a larger truth. Here’s an interesting “truth” to ponder as we get closer to Iowa and New Hampshire: perhaps the only things “fake” and “accurate” at the same time are silent majorities, independent parties, and viable non-establishment candidates.

    By Sidney reilly

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  • Tales of Freshman Roommate Hell
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    The devilLiving with anyone can be a challenge, and some more than others, but then there is a whole other class of roommate, the truly awful, boasting, vengeful, or stupid, and they can make your life hell. So, if you think you have it tough now, check out these circumstances from the dark side.

    Dear J, My Nightmare Roommate
    By Cathy Andrews

    What I remember best is your deep laugh and your dark, honeyed voice—one of a devastatingly fierce and outspoken woman who no one was quick to forget. I was paralyzed with regret upon hearing the news that you were run over by a car while biking somewhere out in Southern California.

    Out of respect, I will only refer to you by your first initial, J. We met exactly 11 years ago in a wooded college campus in Eugene, when I asked you to be my second dormitory roommate after you helped me scare off the first.

    I must be honest. I only liked you half the time. At 18 years old, I still wasn’t equipped to deal with the world, much less to sleep three feet away from another person—until you forced me to move our beds together— and you drove me absolutely nuts. I’ve never met another girl who told so many lies. You stole my clothes, ran your mouth, and screamed at me if I came home too late.

    Things took a nasty turn when, one evening, you jumped me outside while we were smoking cloves with whichever boys we’d laid claim to at the time. I must have insulted you. I remember you, straddled on top of me while I lay on the ground. I memorized your eyes while you punched me in the face and in the stomach.

    “I’m going to kill you!” you yelled, and I believed it, having never been in a real fight. You were a short, compact, and street-smart Pacific Islander. Being a private school-reared, slowly starving 98 pounds, I didn’t stand a chance. After a few minutes, a female friend showed up and managed to pull you off of me before you gave me a second black eye.

    Traumatized by rejection, the next night I drank myself half to death and ended up getting my stomach pumped at a nearby hospital. When authorities found out about the attack, I rejected their offer to force a restraining order, and moved to another dorm instead.

    I missed you then like I do now. You and I were alike in ways that I could never wrap my head around. We were equally imaginative, and equally damaged beyond repair. The biggest difference between us was the manner in which you spoke openly of your childhood traumas— you were so frank and fearless. I stayed silent about my own pain until years later.

    I respected you most for your honesty, and for that laugh, which warmed my heart in ways I cannot describe. You told me I was beautiful, which I’d never heard from another girl. I hope that one day, in another universe, I can tell you the same thing, because it was certainly true. And on an astral plane someplace in between, I now raise a glass to you, J, for teaching me how to be a friend.

    Revenge Backfire
    By Erica Duvekot

    Freshman year started off for me as it did every other freshman including meeting your roommate for the year. Prior to school starting, I filled out a short questionnaire about myself with dreams of meeting my new, college best friend. It was not what I hoped. She was plastic pretty, popular, outgoing, and flirty.

    Everything I was not. But, opposites can be good, right? We got settled into our new college lives.

    That’s when things really took a turn for the worse. She started boasting about a list she had typed up on her computer consisting of boys she liked and boys she “knew” liked her. I thought this was egotistical to say the least, but I just laughed about it in shock with everyone else. About two months into our roommateship, we clearly did not get along. Complete opposites, we could hardly stand to be in the same room with each other. After listening to her annoying, ditzy bragging about boys for months, I couldn’t take it anymore. I devised a plan.

    Everyone had a small white board on the outside of their dorm room door. I drafted a note with my non-dominant hand professing a crush on her as a secret admirer. I wrote notes for about two weeks. It was driving her crazy! She turned into a mega beast in the dorm with an air of confidence a playboy bunny would have. Finally, I wrote another note saying her admirer would like to meet her at a specific time and place. She was so excited. She went for her date, only to be stood up. While it shut her up about the boys in the yard, the rest of the year was even worse.

    I Don’t Belong Here
    By Thomas Armand

    Party, party, party! I could go all the way from Friday night on an LSD-fueled weed and booze adventure that might have cops or ex-girlfriends looking for my a*s, but come late Sunday morning I could always cram for Monday and score an A. Having weekended that way through most of high school, university was no exception. Weekdays, however, were a different matter.

    I lived like a church mouse Monday through Thursday and learned quickly that most other freshman guys don’t. They were messy, loud, and stupid, pretty much 24/7, and I just couldn’t deal with it. The final straw came on a Tuesday at about 10 in the evening with my one roommate across the hall going at it with The Screamer (his girlfriend earned this nickname in the time-honored way), my other roomie had set off the smoke alarm again with his latest attempt at Top Ramen or something, and there were guys in the living room with a beer bong that I’m not sure any of us even knew.

     Midway through my first term, I rented a room from a quiet little old lady by campus, letting her know that I sometimes “stayed with my parents over the weekend.” After awhile she got tired of having a freshman kid in her house and pawned me off on one of her friends, a quiet freakish Buddhist scientist with a penchant for amazing conversation—I stayed there the rest of the way through school, and we’re still friends.

    By Abbie Tumbleson


    A Different Kind of College Hell

    By Abbie Tumbleson

    While my story didn’t take place during freshman year, it changed my life forever—that much I know.

    I did the whole drinking thing my freshman year. I think the majority of past, present, and future college students have done the same, are doing the same, and will end up doing the same. But that’s not what this story is about. Those college drinking stories take up a different part of my higher-education experience.

    This story is about how I learned to grieve, the experience of losing someone close to me, and how I’ve learned to live with grief.

    My “hell” story happened during my junior year of college, during the damp, bleak New England winter. My father died four days short of his 59th birthday. His longtime battle with alcoholism came to an abrupt end. My mother called to tell me the news—she was barely able to get out whole words and sentences.

    My dad and I had a conflicted relationship, and I missed his last phone call to me just a few days before his passing on Feb. 17, 2009.

    I changed in the months following his death. I wanted to sleep, but developed a bad case of insomnia. I wanted to write beautiful poems in my creative writing classes, but all that would come to mind were memories of my father. Nightmares included visions of him sitting, passed out, on the couch in the living room of my childhood home, as blue as ocean water and as still as death, as I read to him from the pages of his favorite books.

    But with the help of grief counseling, good friends, and running on nights of too little sleep, I made it through the rest of my junior year, and through the rest of college.

     I’m able to remember some of the good things about my dad and I’ve come to realize that, as crappy as it is, we all have to succumb to grief and vulnerability in life. Just remember to keep on keeping on, whether it’s during freshman year or after the unexpected death of your father.


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  • Resident Hall Assistants’ Lives Suck
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    Devil WomanUpon first glance, the role of a Resident Assistant (RA) may seem a bit glamorous. Free room and board, an enhanced meal plan, and all they have to do is sit at a desk once a week and check out items to college kids? Sounds rad.

    But an RA’s role is much deeper than that, basically amounting to an around-the-clock on-call job with duties that make them babysitters for the drunk and clueless. The perks are definitely there, but RAs go underappreciated, overworked, and mistreated by students and higher-ups alike.

    Your average RA is a full-time student dealing with the usual trials and tribulations of the college student on top of their RA duties. They are required to take on desk duty shifts that run from 8 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and to 2 a.m. on weekends, regardless of their schedules the next day. During these shifts, they serve as concierges to their entire building’s residents. They check out a variety of items to students, they let dozens of students per night into their rooms because the students have locked themselves out, and they otherwise handle any situation that may arise that evening. They go on multiple sets of rounds to assess the safety and conduct of the residents in the building, and they act as first responders to a number of potentially unsafe situations.

    For example, RAs often deal with situations where a simple noise complaint turns into a bout with uncooperative, sometimes violent, drunk students. Until campus police arrives, RAs are left helpless and sometimes outnumbered. Other times, RAs are the first to deal with actual criminals, such as the “Cauthorn Creep,” the intruder who had gone on a burgling spree before making a stop at the Cauthorn Residence Hall last year, where RAs were first on the scene after he’d made his leave.

    RAs are also expected to be first responders to any and all needs of their residents, and their bosses, as needed during the day. They are responsible for putting on several events in their residence halls throughout the term and for ensuring all pertinent information is delivered to their students, regardless of the student’s willingness to listen.

    Pay is delivered in the form of free room and board, the highest tier of Oregon State’s meal plan, and a $50 monthly stipend.

    To summarize, being an RA means being a full-time student with a job that can require almost 24 hours of your time with no true means of escape. Working where you live means you should be fairly available at any given time.

    One would hope that someone with as much work and responsibility is treated with care and respect by their residents and employers. Well, one would also hope Donald Trump would fade into the darkness, but nothing really turns out the way we hope, does it?

    While some RAs can find luck and develop lifelong friendships and genuine connections with their residents, most can expect anything from a passing acknowledgement and tolerance to outright hatred and disdain. For some reason, students consider them enemies. They see them as “the man,” as pawns of “the authority,” and they naturally rebel against them. At times, even personal vendettas arise and those potentially unsafe situations have risen in occurrence.

    Then on the other hand, RAs find no blissful relief from their employers as UHDS stiffs them almost as badly. Term after term, RAs are shuffled between buildings and stuck with new supervisors, mostly without any say. Contracts, and as a result the duties of an RA, change at a moment’s notice without any requirement for these student workers to re-sign or agree to their new duties. As such, RAs often find themselves doing more than they signed up for, literally.

    You can only imagine how this takes a toll on these student workers. Mental health deteriorates, grades suffer, and general social conduct falls apart. According to a study released in The Journal of College and University Student Housing in 2005, RAs are more susceptible to burnout, specifically depersonalization, which essentially means they feel detached from reality or themselves.

    Just read some of the quotes released in the study that RAs said they identified with.

    “I feel emotionally drained from my work as a Resident Assistant.”

    “I feel fatigued when I get up in the morning and have to face another day on the job as a Resident Assistant.”

    “I worry that this job, as a Resident Assistant, is hardening me emotionally.”

    “I’ve just become callous toward people since I took this job as a Resident Assistant.”

    These sound like quotes from businessmen at the end of their rope after years of menial work, but instead they reflect our best and brightest: college students working as RAs who are meant to be role models for their peers. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) just recently started an RA support group. A SUPPORT GROUP. There is a clear and present problem here and little is being done to help these student workers.

    So, if you just so happen to be a student living in a residence hall this term, listen up.

    Treat your RAs well.

    Be kind. Be educated. Listen to their speeches and try to be cooperative when needed. Go to their events, because they work long and hard planning those things and their success is directly reflected in your attendance. And remember, they aren’t “the man.” They’re a student just trying to get by like you. Be chill and remember they’re just there to help.

    Oh, and on a related note: even though weed’s been legalized in our wonderful state, OSU is a federally funded college and as such, that dank law doesn’t affect the college or any of the properties on campus. Regardless of the law, OSU remains a smoke-free campus. So save yourself and your RA some trouble and just leave the weed off campus.

    Generally, be wary when you think about crapping all over your RA this term. You never know what they might be dealing with. They might have just spent the night dealing with a crying sorority sister over Mom’s Weekend, because their mom slept with their crush behind their back and it’s just so devastating. They might have been woken up at 3 a.m. to deal with a fire alarm or blackout, having just fallen asleep after a late night of desk duty. Hell, they might have had to deal with their trouble resident who just hailed a slew of profanities and threats their way. You never know.

     So just… treat your RA well and maybe they’ll remember you fondly instead of shuddering in fear when they think back to their years at college.

    By Nathan Hermanson

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  • Crossfit Explosion Hits Corvallis
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    Crossfit2A fairly apt summary of the Crossfit workout ethos come from what they say of themselves: “Our specialty is not specializing.” Borrowing activities from disciplines such as Olympic weightlifting and yoga, CrossFit serves as a fusion of movement with fitness as the ultimate goal. Viewing a routine can feel frenetic. “It looks like they’re doing gymnastics… no, wait, now they’re powerlifting… okay, now that chiseled fellow is repeatedly slamming a medicine ball into the pavement.”

    Workouts begin with a mobility routine. These are a combination of movements designed to loosen up participants while also giving coaches an opportunity to observe any possible risk factors: aches, pains, tightness, and other conditions that may limit mobility. After warming up, the Workout of the Day (WOD) is up next. WODs are developed by the trainers, but Crossfit.com posts a WOD that is occasionally used instead. The goal is to run through these circuit-style as many times as possible. What activities make up a WOD can seem entirely random to an outside observer.

    The CrossFit phenomenon has exploded throughout the country, with over 6,000 official CrossFit gyms. Corvallis has three options for those seeking a CrossFit home.

    The Shop, located centrally in northwest Corvallis, is owned by head coach Drew Skaggs. He and the facility are new to Corvallis. Skaggs originally started The Shop as a garage gym in 2007 in Texas. He began CrossFit in 2009. Once he moved here with his wife, they decided to focus more heavily on The Shop and expanded it into its current state.

    “CrossFit prepares you for the unknown and the unknowable by giving you a broad foundation in fitness,” Skaggs explained while sitting in the very modern, sleek-looking area of The Shop. “You have endurance, speed, power, strength, every fitness quality. If you have a properly structured program, you’ll hit them all.”

    Skaggs, an infielder on the 2003 NCAA Baseball National Championship team for Rice University, played baseball for his entire life prior to getting into CrossFit. He certainly looks the part of a trainer and exudes a quiet confidence. “I had a more traditional strength and conditioning regimen, working for a very specific focus,” said Skaggs. “What I seek, and those that come into here seek, is a broad foundation of fitness.”

    CrossFit Train, located in southeast Corvallis, is headed by 21-year-old Derek Eason. He speaks at length with intense exuberance when asked about the grungy, garage-like aesthetic of Crossfit Train. “One of our members made this,” he said, pointing to a misting unit consisting of PVC pipes and joints forming a seven-foot-high rectangle. “He felt like it would help out our members while they’re running outside. It’s pretty freakin’ sweet.” Much of the equipment used at Train is constructed by members and coaches, giving it a unique feel. “I used to f*ckin’ duct tape weights together in my garage. That’s the kind of vibe I want here.”

    Eason, like every trainer, underwent the Level 1 Certificate course through CrossFit. This allows trainers to be recognized by CrossFit Incorporated, based in Washington, D.C. The cost for the course and test is $1,000. Overall, CrossFit offers 21 training seminars and tests for trainers seeking to pad their resumes. Each of the three CrossFit locations in town pays a $3,000 annual affiliate fee to CrossFit Incorporated in exchange for using the CrossFit name for marketing purposes.

    CrossFit Ubiquity, located at the northeast edge of Corvallis, is the smallest and least expensive option of the three locations in town. A dozen members just finishing a workout hung around afterward, clearly not ready to leave. An older couple was among the ranks, who would likely have appeared out of place in a traditional gym setting. Pamela French is Ubiquity’s head trainer as well as a former collegiate rugby player at OSU. She speaks with a calm demeanor after class, sitting on a stack of dumbbell plates while discussing CrossFit.

    “One of the things that makes my job so rewarding is seeing concrete progression from our members,” said French. “One member couldn’t hang from the pull-up bar when she first started, but today, she was able to hang and lift her knees.” French is distracted, watching Sarah Larson, G3’s general manager, staying after class with a trainer to work on a handstand push-up. French explained that while competition helps drive those in her classes, it is personal goals that make up the foundation of motivation for most. Cheering abruptly breaks out from the far corner of the space. “Sarah just did her first press-up,” French explained. “She has been working on that for months.”

    For people who are not physically fit, CrossFit seems to provide a program through which they can attain their goals. As with any workout regimen, injuries are always a risk. Scholarly articles indicate that much of the risk often associated with CrossFit revolves around shoulder and lower back injuries. The rate of injury decreases significantly with trainer involvement, however.

    John Hammett, a physical therapist with nearly a decade of experience around the country, including the Oregon Coast, says that the stigma surrounding CrossFit’s injury risk is undeserved. “The injury rate is around 2.4 to 3.1 per 1,000 training hours,” (confirmed by two peer-reviewed studies) said Hammett. “That is about the exact same for any strength and conditioning training.” Hammett echoed the sentiment of CrossFit trainers around Corvallis in suggesting that a solid understanding of one’s body is crucial as well as modifying the workout to adjust for injuries or other risk factors. “My poor ankle range of motion prevents me from keeping good form during a heavy overhead squat,” he explained. “I modify and stay light to strive for good form.” All three gyms in Corvallis emphasize injury prevention through modification and proper scaling of movement and intensity.

    Nutrition is certainly an aspect of the CrossFit movement. The trendy Paleo diet (short for Paleolithic era) eschews dairy and grain, as well as processed foods. If a hunter-gatherer couldn’t forage it, it is unlikely to be considered Paleo. Skaggs, who is preparing for a members-only nutrition seminar, explained his eating philosophy in a simple manner. “You can pick anybody off of the street and have them give you a list of healthy foods,” said Skaggs. “Where change happens is when an individual pays attention to what they eat in a meaningful way.” French echoed the importance of diet and nutrition at Ubiquity and addressed some of the criticism the Paleo diet receives. “Critics in the nutrition field will say that it’s bad for your body, you’re starving yourself,” said French. “What is wrong with eating food as close to its natural source as possible while avoiding sugar and processed foods? That’s Paleo. Anytime you have a revolution, there is resistance to that change, and that’s where criticism comes from.”

    “It’s good to shop around for CrossFit gyms,” French said. “Are they a good fit for you? It is a community, you have to get along with your trainers and your fellow members. Some trainers are really mellow, others are going to get in your face, and it’s up to you to decide what fits your personality and your goals.”


    THE SHOP: $159 to $179 a month. Cheaper for longer commitments. Student discount: $119 for full-time students. 

    TRAIN: $130 a month. Couples: $100 each a month. Students: $115 a month. 

    UBIQUITY: Individual 3x/Week CrossFit Training $89

    Individual Unlimited CrossFit Training $104

    By Matt Walton

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  • Build Muscle, Skip the Gym
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    working-out-at-homeKettlebells provide a holistic approach to health and fitness. These cast-iron cannonballs with a handle attached come in different weight sizes. The design allows the user to perform ballistic movements with seamless transitions. You can do these movements in your own home, no gym membership needed. With no shortage of movements, your interest will be continuously peaked.

    According to a study performed by the American Council on Exercise, study participants doing a 20-minute kettlebell snatch workout burned 13.6 calories per minute aerobically and 6.6 calories per minute anaerobically. A quick calculation shows jogging a 10-minute mile at 150 pounds will afford you 11 calories per minute, or at 180 pounds 14 calories per minute. Weightlifting at 155 pounds will burn 3.7 calories per minute, or at 185 pounds 4.4 calories per minute.
    Bodyweight exercises are boot camp staples for a reason. They can be aerobic when done as a circuit, and a 20-minute workout can blast all the muscle groups, improve coordination—and all that before one hits the shower in the morning.
    Otherwise known as calisthenics, it says something that bodyweight exercises originated in Ancient Greece and are still an integral part of most routines for military, law enforcement, or even elite athletes. Not only can you skip the gym, you don’t even need to buy equipment or store anything around the house. Just get online for some know-how, and hit your living room floor.
    Beyond muscle, one of the best things you can do is to take a hike. Your body is supremely designed for this one and may even require it. Our ancestors radiated nomadically throughout the globe by just walking around, and this one’s a cinch with all the trails and water bottles we have nowadays.
    Could be forest, oceanside, urban, or even your own neighborhood, whatever scenery you prefer, just 30 minutes or more a day resulting in a mild sweat and you’re golden. Oh, and the view is definitely better than the gym surrounding the treadmill.
    By Kaitlin Gomez and Rob Goffins
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  • Weighing the Corvallis Gym Options
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    healthy-gym-workout_colorFor a small town, Corvallis has a lot of gyms. It’s often hard to find one that sparks your interest, so we thought we would help. With so many options, it can be useful to think of their personae as aligned with the geography they occupy. The three in the center of town are quite similar to one another—and there are the four outliers in the different corners of town.

    The three in the middle of town are essentially storefront gyms: Anytime Fitness, SamFit, and Snap Fitness. All of them are similarly priced, with single memberships ranging from around $35 to $45 monthly. They share a common selection of lifting and cardio equipment. Snap does offers a second  location at the southwest edge of town, which some will find useful. All are clean, SamFit idiosyncratically so, as they are owned by the local hospital. All have 24-hour access, which cannot be said of any of the outlier gyms.

    Of the three, SamFit has the most space and they have a reasonable selection of classes—they had plenty of cardio equipment, but their lifting machines were downright frustrating for anyone serious. They did have plenty of space for stretching, however, so take it or leave it.

    Snap Fitness has some interesting lifting and class options, and they throw in a certain amount of program review and training for free. They could use more cardio equipment, especially for peak hours, but their offerings are admirable and the gym does clear out quite quickly after peak hours. After SamFit, we wished there was more space for stretching, but it was acceptable.

    Anytime Fitness is the oldest of the three gyms and their lifting machines have weights going only so high—but do not let this dissuade you. The options and ergonomics for the machines are excellent and most users do not need extreme upper ends anyhow. There is a good selection of cardio equipment and plenty of it, even at peak hours. Stretching space was middle of the pack.

    As for the outliers, we start at OSU with Dixon. Our decidedly non-scientific poll indicated this was the favorite of most people associated somehow with the university—but shockingly, not everyone in town is associated with the university. So, we moved on to Fitness Over 50, a highly specialized locale that’s really worth a look for the applicable demographic.

    This leaves us with two other gyms, both on opposite corners of town. Downings in southeast Corvallis is the only gym in town that not only permits power moves, but encourages them—they are what some would refer to as a classic “real” gym. They also offer many classes for other sorts of users. Rates are roughly in line with the storefront places. The owner can frequently be found manning the counter himself and he seems to have an ongoing conversation with many of the members as they come and go. The place has a down-to-earth vibe about it.

    Lastly, in the northwest corner of town is Timberhill Athletic. You get what you pay for here, maybe even more, but it is more club at a higher ticket than any other in town. Some will find this attractive and some not, but they do have more members than anyone else. They offer a huge, well-maintained facility with a selection of everything, including pools and Jacuzzi. They offer many classes in rooms that are larger than some whole gyms, and for those interested, a social atmosphere to boot. In our review, only one minor flaw—and it is minor—they could use another few elliptical machines for peak hours.

    Do remember as you shop to test drive at least a couple of facilities; they all encourage prospective members to do that. Also, there is good evidence that a gym should be within 10 minutes or less of home or work if it is really going to be used. Finally, make sure you ask about specials as many gyms have them at certain times.


    Gym Individual Price/Month Family Price/Month
    Anytime Fitness* $40 $65
    SamFit* $40 $65 for 1 extra person, $15 extra for each additional person
    Snap Fitness* $44.95 $79.95
    Dixon* Alumni- $100 per term Students, staff, faculty $83 per term
    Fitness Over 50* $49 $90 for a couple
    Downings Gym* $45 Student $25
    Timberhill* $68 Couple: $105, Family:$143

    *Prices do not include starting fees, enrollment fees, or any other  fees


    By Dan Arthur and Sally Starner

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  • Intern Chats Corvallis Future with Mayor Biff
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    biff_colorUpon stepping into Biff Traber’s sunlit but small corner office I was greeted by a smiling man in glasses, with pure white hair and an athletic frame. He has been mayor for going on nine months, during which time he has appointed several people to committees. Traber expressed that it took some initial adjustment to the fact that the mayor does not get to vote, like when he was a city councilor, except as a tie-breaker.

    “One of the challenges of the job is that it doesn’t have a vote,” he said. He has also been very surprised by the amount of time and work the mayoral position involves, but he seemed to be enjoying that work, even at 3 p.m. on a work day.

    Traber decided to run for mayor after talking to both Julie Manning, who chose not to seek reelection, and her predecessor. The ability to appoint people to committees seemed worth it, even at the cost of his vote on the city council.

    So, what is Mayor Traber’s central focus for this period in our fair burg’s progress? We talked a lot about the 2020 plan, and what the council is doing right now to achieve some of those goals. He intones that there are some important points of development to be worked on over the next couple of years that are critical to the long-term appearance and feel of the city. Importantly, he appears optimistic.

    By Whitman Spitzer

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  • Corvallis Million Dollar Homes
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    _0X8uZSrb8l3r2W_K50YdxYugLMEOEpDHoaaBrlhHZkAuthor Wendy Wunder once wrote, “The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.” I believe that by looking at the homes of a city, you can glimpse what makes it truly beautiful: its people,. This past month, I had the opportunity to tour three homes in Corvallis that were listed on the Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service for close to, or above, $1,000,000.

    The most common response when I tell people about this piece is that I am just trying to show “how the other half lives,” as if “the other half” is a completely different species that doesn’t need a place in this paper. But that’s not my point. My point is to try to show that Corvallis has so much more to offer than what first meets the eye. There is in our little university town, design.

    True, our little locus of techie goodness is generally focused on green energy,  healthy alternative living, riding bikes, and reciting poetry, but it’s also a place where many walks of life come to mingle and thrive.

    My goal is not to say, “Look what these people have,” but to help show a small piece of  Corvallis that most people do not associate with the town. These are not actually the most expensive homes in the area, but the ones that our staff found the most architecturally  interesting within the price range.

    4430 NW Honeysuckle Drive,
    5 Bedroom, 3.5 Bath, 6,200 sq. ft.
    Realtor Tim Rist 

    I have to admit, when I stepped out of my car and was greeted by Tim Rist, I was surprised to see how young he was, but I soon learned how he had become such a competitive realtor at such a young age. His passion for people showed clearly as he introduced himself. Tim says that he is a man of faith, that he feels led on a path to help people through the sometimes incredibly difficult time of selling their home.

    The home he showed me was simply incredible, yet it wasn’t the fancy appliances or big spaces that were his favorite, nor mine. No expense was spared on any of the finishes, especially the 4.5 x 13.5 foot single sheet granite island, and the layered lighting system, allowing the same amount of light to be anywhere in the room.

    What really won my heart was how sustainable the home was, with complete LED and natural lighting, and added insulation to keep the heating system supremely efficient. The home fit perfectly into the hillside and backed up straight into green space; the front of the house was complete suburbia, but the back was devoted to nature. While we stood in the house and talked, a little deer grazed not three feet from the patio. With trails leading into MacDonald Forest and a huge backyard, it would be the perfect home for an active family with kids. At the end of the tour, Tim said, “I’ve noticed that when I first walk in this house it feels so huge, but once I spend some time here, it doesn’t feel so big.” I would have to agree. When you first arrive it’s a house, but by the time you leave it feels like home.

    5850 NW Highland Place,
    4 Bedroom, 4.5 Bath, 4,710 sq. ft.
    Realtor Fred Adams

    Fred Adams was waiting for me when I pulled up to this gorgeous and unique house. The owners of the house were working on the grounds, and it was lovely to get to meet them and hear about their favorite parts of the house. The most striking thing about this place was the fact that almost every room had some kind of rounded wall.  The home was built on granite, and there are tons of different levels throughout the layout.

    The common areas are expansive, and centered around the kitchen and a large living room with huge ceilings and beautiful fireplace. This is the heart of the home.  The flow is conducive to taking food from one room to the next; the dining room is gorgeous. An entertainer’s dream, the back deck can easily support 30-person dinners, and the whole home is full of space for a family to spread out. Many windows face out to the valley below, making for beautiful views.

    Every bedroom in this home is a suite, complete with a huge closet, a bathroom, and beautiful windows.

    My favorite part of the property was located outside: a man-made creek, designed after an actual creek located on Marys Peak. The home also features several wood touches, including a door with engaging patterned carvings. You will not see another house like this elsewhere.

    2807 NW Silktassel Court,
    4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath, 4,110 sq. ft.
    Realtor Sue Long

    I arrived at this final house a bit early, and was welcomed in by the owners of the home. I was able to talk with them for awhile before Sue Long arrived right on time. She was not only incredibly nice, she came quite prepared with a volume of information about real estate sales in Corvallis.

    The home itself was beautiful and efficient, just like Corvallis. It had under-floor heating, and was built with insulated concrete form, meaning the walls maintain temperature very efficiently. It featured huge spaces on the top level, with Swedish maple floors, Italian marble counters, and beautiful picture windows. The kitchen is definitely a highlight, with incredible counters, a huge pantry, and just the perfect splash of red. A great thing about this home is the ability to live on one single level, without the need to navigate the stairs, but my favorite room happened to be just down those same stairs. The maple office and library was a place any reader or writer would be proud of and happy to live in the rest of their days. Huge shelves lined the walls, and a built-in corner desk completed the room. The downstairs also featured a complete media room, and more bedrooms and bathrooms.

    This home’s  roomy feel and great views make it one of the most comforting yet luxurious places I’ve been to.

    Upon returning to my simple little apartment after touring these homes, one thing was very clear. People define homes in different ways, but no matter where or how you live, Wendy Wunder was right: it feels good to leave home, but it feels even better to come back.

     Final note, if you wish to call one of these properties home, you best hurry. At press time one had already sold.

    By Kyra Young

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  • Predatory Tropical Blob Fish Hit Northwest
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    blob fishClimate change is undeniably present, creating warmer temperatures in northern waters and propelling tropical fish from the Equator to the far Northern Hemisphere.

    It is highly unusual to find species like ocean sunfish, mackerel, and Humbolt squid in Northwest waters, but over the past year, each of these species has been spotted in waters as far north as Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

    The principal cause of the movement of these fish from southern to northern waters is the Blob. Though it may sound like the title of a cheesy sci-fi flick, the Blob is in fact a scientific term for a warm patch of ocean first detected in 2013 by a scientist at the University of Washington. In recent years this massive area of warm water has moved up from Southern California to the North Pacific.

    The increasing heat of the Blob is a consequence of global warming. According to government climate officials, our oceans absorb a thousand times more heat than our atmosphere, and, last year, the average global sea surface temperature was the highest in recorded history.

    The temperature of the Blob has grown by nearly 15 degrees over the past 12 months, and it will continue to increase as long as our winters fail to grow cold enough to produce storms to break up the warm water.

     Along with other once-tropical species, both mackerel and Humbolt squid are now feeding on Northwest juvenile salmon. Scientists’ biggest concern about tropical fish traveling up to the Blob is the fact that they include predators that may eventually decimate native species, like salmon, which are vital to the Northwest ecosystem.

    By Kiki Genoa

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  • Oregon Climate Office Sounds Alarm Bell
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    Dead fish floated in the green waste water.On July 28, Governor Kate Brown declared two-thirds of Oregon to be in a state of emergency. The crisis was the result of a drought with the worst dry conditions seen in 20 years.

    According to Kathie Dello, the Deputy Director of the Oregon Climate Office, Oregon has been on the precipice of drought for some time, the main cause being climate change on a global scale. Because of global warming, the consequence of overpopulation and increasing greenhouse gases, Oregon didn’t get as much snow as usual over this past winter.

    The lack of snowfall led to less snow buildup in the mountains. Normally, this snow melts into our streams and rivers during warmer months, but instead of a large, evenly distributed snow pack, this year’s supply was very small and melted two months earlier than usual. On the peak of Mt. Hood in particular, scientists measured only 28% of expected snowfall.

    “Less snow at a higher elevation leads to less water recharge,” Dello explained. This lack of water recharge was the first alert to environmental officials that our water supply would present a problem.

    Now, fish are dying in the state’s biggest rivers as the water grows warmer and stream flow fades. Farmers who depend on 85% of the water diverted from streams and rivers to water crops have found they will have far less water to sustain their operations. And in the Willamette Basin, infrastructures created to catch water from the melting snow packs to add to municipal supplies were found half empty. “It was a real wake-up call, looking at the water in reservoirs this year, because the levels were so low,” said Dello.

    Though our drought is the result of global climate change, Oregonians can still mitigate water loss on a local scale, as long as we are willing to cooperate with government agencies working to execute water-saving strategies.

    Brown’s call to action granted the state water department authority to begin regulating use of water by Oregon citizens and giving federal assistance to farmers. Since the beginning of August, 11 cities across the state have imposed some form of water conservation. While some counties educate residents with brochures, others have imposed fines for using hoses without permission.

    The lifestyle changes we can make to save water are simple, said Dello. Her first recommendation is to quit watering our lawns in the summer. “Even if you let your lawn go brown, it will go back to green in the fall,” she explained. Reusing water from dishwashing and bathing to water plants and wash cars is another great way to cut down on water use. And homeowners should check their water bills to ensure they have no leaks in their pipes or sprinkler systems.

     Sufficient evidence has proven wrong those who believe that Oregon is too wet for a drought. In reality, most of Oregon is quite dry, and the majority of the East has been hit even harder by the drought than the Northwest.

    By Kiki Genoa


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  • Paul the Beaver Football Security Temp
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    BennyBeaverPaul has worked as a security agent during two Oregon State football seasons. He wasn’t a guard, wasn’t bonded or deputized. He didn’t carry a weapon. In fact, he was instructed to avoid any kind of physical confrontation. If a spectator was behaving belligerently, orders were to back away and summon Campus Security, who did have badges, and weapons, and authority to make arrests.

    Paul was recruited through a temp agency. The agency told him where to report, and when. Hours before the fans arrived at Reser Stadium, Paul would join a group of security agents assembling outside Gill Coliseum. They would talk, catching up with people they had worked alongside on previous football games or at other temp jobs. They would sort through the security company’s uniform shirts looking for their size. A supervisor would address the assembled crew, giving reminders of standard rules (no smoking on duty, don’t leave your assigned post until you’re relieved for a break, don’t just stand there and watch the game), special instructions for the day’s game (if a game was going to be televised, it was doubly important to look professional at every moment, since a camera might pick you up at any moment), and offered words of encouragement.  He assigned people to team leaders and assigned team leaders to different sections of the stadium.

    The agents marched down to Reser and took up their various posts. Some went to tables just before the ticket booths, inspecting people’s bags to see if they were bringing in contraband. Some patrolled the seats alongside the field, among the densely packed fans who were closest to the action and thus most likely to get caught up in it themselves. Some walked the higher bleachers, where people sat who wanted to watch the game in peace (or watch the game and make out, or watch the game and consume contraband that the checker at the gate missed). It was up in the “nosebleed section” that Paul saw a student drinking from a genuine silver hip flask, just like in an old movie.

    Yes, people really do try to sneak beer, wine, liquor, and cannabis into the game. Sorry, folks, maybe you thought the inspection at the gate was just a game, and the prize was getting your stuff into the stadium. Nope, drinking alcohol really and truly isn’t allowed, and smoking anything isn’t allowed either. If an agent catches you with it you will be ejected.

    Working the gate, Paul tried to be evenhanded and inspect everyone’s bags and ask everyone to open their coats. Most people understood the need for inspections and some would pull out a concealed bottle and quietly set it on the ground beside the inspection table. The only ones who ever got really indignant about having to show what they were carrying were expensively dressed young men and expensively dressed elderly men. Those were also the ones who were most often caught with contraband.

    While working in the remotest areas of the stadium, where fans were fewer, Paul would introduce himself to each group, pointing out his fellow security agents and inviting people to seek their help if there were any kind of trouble. One of the full-time security guards saw Paul doing this and thanked him for taking a proactive approach to his job. She invited him to apply to her outfit and promised to give him a good reference.

    One of Paul’s supervisors also saw him doing it and told him to knock it off, though. He explained to Paul that the security agents were supposed to be inconspicuous until trouble started.

    Near the end of most games, security agents were called in from their various jobs to stand on the field, evenly spaced in front of the stands, to discourage the fans from rushing the field before the players had left it. The company very much wanted to avoid a collision which could result in an injury to a fan, or to a player, or worse yet to a visiting player. Agents were instructed to face the stands, remaining quiet and “professional-looking.” The truth was, the agents were strictly for show. If fans actually did rush the field, agents were not to try to stop them. Years ago in Boot Camp, Paul had learned the “parade rest” position. Standing there facing the crowd, trying to bluff them with his presence, he finally had a chance to make use of it.

    Standing on the field at the end of a game, with spirits running high, was the only time Paul felt genuinely worried. There was a small but non-zero chance that he might be knocked down and trampled by a surging crowd. It didn’t happen, but it could have.

     Paul is a graduate of Oregon State University, and had often heard their “Alma Mater” played. He liked the tune, which to him sounded like “O Little Town of Bethlehem” crossed with “L’Internationale.” But it was only while standing on the field at the end of game after game that he finally learned the words.

    By John M. Burt 


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  • Hard Truths: Hard Hits
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    HardTruths_9_10_15Is it still okay to love the NFL? I can’t believe that’s a legitimate question up for debate, but we also have to sometimes confront our own lives and ask hard questions.

    Full disclosure: I still do love the NFL. I love professional football. I love watching it, I love playing fantasy, I love reading about it and obsessing about it during the offseason.

    But recently a friend who I had grown accustomed to talking football with told me he was done with the sport. He read League of Denial, the book that exposes the serious epidemic of brain injury and the alleged organized effort of the NFL to confuse that issue for people, and he was so disgusted with the NFL’s conduct he couldn’t watch any more. I’m not going to comment on the NFL’s conduct because like anything that I love that’s produced in whole or in part by some evil entity, I’m not going to get on a soapbox because somewhere in the chain we’re all buying cereal made from humans by Haliburton, so there’s no point fighting it.


    There is this problem that the game of organized, full-contact, traditional American football is a brain injury factory, in addition to causing lifetimes of pain in other places which was already well-known and accepted. Whether or not you want to blame the NFL for deliberately obfuscating the matter, though it’s hard to explain why you wouldn’t, there’s this underlying question of whether or not it’s morally wrong to watch and root for men to participate in this game that’s killing them.

    Now I didn’t read the book, but I did watch the movie (always a good argument to take from an authoritative source), and there’s no question that NFL players are putting their life and health on the line to play the game. I don’t personally have a huge problem with that, which I recognize sounds shallow, and perhaps it is. I mean, it’s a shame, but welcome to Planet Earth, man. Things are tough all over. You think it’s not hard for a person working a minimum-wage job? To make ends meet and survive? And we’re not talking about closing or not shopping at 7-Elevens. If you told subsistence workers that they could trade that life for a life of financial security and all they had to do was roll the dice with a potential brain injury, how many of them do you think would jump at the chance?

    But it’s a gamble that parents, once they all understand it, will forbid their children to take. At least enough of them to put a serious dent in the money-printing machine that is football in America. This is, of course, only a problem for the NFL and its owners, and the people who love watching football. For the kids who will avoid a future of dementia, Alzheimer’s and worse, if such a thing is imaginable, this is not a problem, it’s a blessing.

    Again, the question at hand: is it okay to love NFL football? I say yes. Just like it’s okay to love other forms of entertainment that may be unhealthy and lead to bad and dangerous behavior. But like many other dangerous and unhealthy activities, we will likely see it disappear in the future as the democratization of information allows everyone to understand its pernicious effects. Which is to say, get it while you can, because the NFL is unquestionably doomed. Parents will start holding their kids out of this sport, the money will dry up, the players will leave, the fans will leave, and it’s only a matter of time. Which may also explain Roger Goodell’s almost Blackbeardian record of rule-breaking and cash-grabbing. Everyone sees the end on the horizon.

    Someday it will seem insane to us to look back at people trying to deny football isn’t dangerous for kids and adults to participate in—the way young people look back at the era when smoking cigarettes was not only politely allowed, but even encouraged in polite society. So, too, will your grandkids wonder how you went out to a stadium and sat next to thousands of others and watched young men give each other brain damage. Like we are the spectators in a grotesque gladiator arena, imagery that hasn’t been so hackneyed since Oliver Stone used it for Any Given Sunday, a film that will be remembered as light years ahead of its time.

    So, as both OSU and the NFL start up their seasons, I steal a line from Hank Williams II and probably 60% of editorials nationwide on the subject: “I’m so lonesome I could cry, cause I’m all balled up inside…”

     Just kidding. Are you ready for some football?

    By Sidney Reilly

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  • Five Artists, One Loft
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    Tim BlackburnFeaturing five quite different artists, this month’s show at The Corvallis Advocate Loft is arranged almost as a series of hand-offs from one artist to the next so that it just feels right. Curation is often reductive and even flailing in its attempt not to risk, but this group show sets all that on its head.

    Jeremy Smith’s pictures have been featured on the cover of MIT’s Artificial Life press journal. He creates two- and three-dimensional mathematical art, including installation art, with a particular focus on shapes and patterns. Much of his art is interactive—paper cutouts that can be folded into polyhedra, a pendulum made of bowling balls. Smith is a computer programmer by trade and is interested in art that is aesthetically pleasing and useful.

    Tim Blackburn characterizes his work as urban art, stencils and spray paint that can be subversive and democratic. Blackburn admires some graffiti artists but he never does it. Instead, his medium is paper, stickers, a suitcase or a gun case. His art does not always have a message, but some of it can be very political. Blackburn said, “Everything I saw on TV in the 70s—horror movies, crime dramas, 50s and 60s sci-fi, campy sitcoms—all of that is in my head and I’m trying to process having to watch countless hours of nonsense.” His work re-contextualizes familiar pop culture imagery with something that is provocative and transformative.

    Tony Fisher is no stranger to working with his hands as well as with metal. His family has owned Ken Fisher Auto & Truck Repair since 1982, and Fisher has been restoring hot rods for 25 years. For his metal art pieces, he sometimes sprays on pigments as he grinds down layer by layer, creating new colors, and he sometimes adds the color later. Fisher’s finished work varies from animals and landscapes to skateboarders, but it is all layered with colors that play as you move about the piece.

    Shar Fagersten, an installation and photography artist that often exhibits in Portland, holds over her Benediction installation along with some of her photography after last month’s well-attended show as the loft’s featured artist. Fagersten’s work evokes discussion between people and self-examination for some period of time after they’ve seen it. Her work on marriage is both highly personal and evocative of a broader conversation, which is also the case for her work on society’s view of women.

    Cyrus Peery is a regular at the loft and he has been gaining some notoriety as of late. As comfortable sculpting as painting, Peery loves working with found materials. This month’s show at the loft will mainly demonstrate his surrealist paintings.

     As an Arts Walk destination, this show is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. The Corvallis Advocate Loft is at 425 SW Madison Avenue, upstairs.

    By Rob Goffins

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