We live in a scary world. Every day we encounter the unknown — new ways that people can hurt the ones we love, new threats from next door and across the world, and the fact that, even in 2012, we argue about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of “rape.”  Yet even amidst the dark times, we see those moments of such kindness and generosity that we can have hope for a brighter tomorrow.
That brighter tomorrow, however, did not start last week. Last week a man used a can of insect repellant to rob a restaurant. 
This week, someone appeared to sense that as a challenge. So another man used a bomb hoax to successfully rob a delicatessen. “The robbery was reported at 12:36 a.m. at Patty’s Deli on Olympic Street. An employee said she received a phone call demanding that money be left outside the business, or else a bomb would be set off. The employee did as demanded and then called police…The device did not contain explosives, and no one was injured, police said.” 
No one was seemingly injured, either, when an employee at Mucho Gusto served a minor alcohol. But it just so happened that the minor was part of an OLCC sting. “The popular Mexican restaurant at Oakway Center ran afoul of liquor laws when an employee failed an undercover sting organized by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC)…The company chose the nine-day liquor license suspension in lieu of the $1485 fine.” 
Not serving liquor for nine days will cost the company a decent chunk of change. But what won’t cost a decent chunk of change, are hair cuts at a local barber shop. “Mick’s Barber Shop has offered free and discounted cuts for over thirty years. The owner says he recently decided to advertise the deal to help more people…Anyone can walk in and get a haircut for no charge or pay what they think is fair. Clement says his profits are modest, but he’s able to stay in business. Some of his loyal customers will chip in a little extra when they get a trim, to help others who can’t pay.” 
Mick Clement wasn’t the only one chipping in extra this week. David Pederson of Sutherlin chipped in, too, to help gather school supplies for needy school children. “He has recently undertaken a school supply drive for the underprivileged youth of Oakland and Sutherlin. His Sutherlin-based production company, Drama Causin Productions, is planning “Overlooked and Underrated,” a “school supply drive and free live hip hop show” for this Friday, August 24…He has already gathered lots of supplies and hopes even more are donated to help the community.” 
You know what would also help the community? More parking downtown. And now City Hall is doing just that, for once, though not surprisingly at a cost: “City Hall was permanently closed Thursday afternoon after a brief flag-lowering ceremony at the building that had served as municipal government’s headquarters since 1964…The parking garage under City Hall will remain in use. City employees and elected officials will retain their parking spaces, plus 175 parking spots that until recently were used by the police department and can now be rented to the public for $57 a month.” 
City Hall wasn’t the only thing shut down this week. “The city is standing by its order that the Cottage Grove Speedway remain closed until it makes substantial progress on mandated fire safety, environmental, drainage and roadway upgrades. The speedway had pleaded with the city to let the facility open so it could hold a scheduled race tonight.” 
On the bright side, the speedway workers can take a vacation. Hopefully, however, they do not spend vacations in central Oregon. “A fast-moving new wildfire is threatening about 100 vacation homes in central Oregon. Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center spokeswoman Lisa Clark said the Geneva 12 wildfire had burned across about 1,600 acres or 2 ½ square miles of juniper and sagebrush by Monday night.” 
Fires are hard to put out. Unless they are the fires in peoples’ hearts. Eugene lost one such fiery individual this week. “John Musumeci, Eugene-Springfield’s pugnacious and often controversial developer and land speculator, died Friday. He was 66. Musumeci, executive vice president of Eugene-based Arlie & Co., died at his home near Pleasant Hill following a long illness…Musumeci had a reputation for being shrewd, argumentative and litigious.” 
While Musumeci died surrounded by his loving family, it is undeniable that a shrewd, argumentative and litigious individual can create feelings of bad blood now and again. But what will not create bad blood is the idea of puppies donating blood to other puppies. “A local veterinary clinic in Roseburg has taken blood donation to a new level, but it’s not people their saving – it’s dogs. The American Red Cross has been holding blood drives in Roseburg for years, and their donation bus typically makes a stop in Dr. Bailey’s parking lot. That got him brainstorming. With the aid of some Red Cross supplies, Dr. Bailey’s Vet Clinic has made the Puppy Blood Bank a reality. The need for dog blood transfusions is high, and extremely costly. The clinic held their first Puppy Blood Drive on Wednesday.” 
Puppies, of course, are cute. But spiders are not. And finding new spiders called trogloraptors? Even worse. “Trogloraptor or cave robber as it’s known in English, is the new species of spider that was discovered in a cave outside of Grants Pass, Oregon. Amateur cave explorers discovered the creatures and sent them to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Scientists there said that the spider was so different from any other they’d encountered that they decided to create a whole new family to put it in.” 
A word of advice: as you fall asleep tonight, try to think about those cute puppies donating blood to other puppies. Don’t think about trogloraptors, or cave robbers, or spiders called cave robbers, or spiders called anything ending with “raptor”…
Trust me on this one.