Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, May 22, 2019, WEDNESDAY EDITION, Page 6A, Image 6

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    6A | WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2019 | COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL
JULIE HANSEN
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DAMIEN SHERWOOD/COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL
Performers read during the one-act play “We Are Neighbors” on Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church.
Stories from A1
Alliance of Lane County
(CALC) and the Minority
Voices Theater.
Both plays are modern
adaptations of CALC’s
20-year-old
“We
Are
Neighbors” project, which
told the stories of local
immigrants through stage
play, photography exhibi-
tion and quilting.
While the general narra-
tive has remained, the new
version has been modified
to reflect modern issues
in the national discussion
about immigration.
“New things have hap-
pened since then,” said
Marion Malcom, CALC
member and a performer
last Saturday’s show. “All
the stories in this play are
based on interviews with
people that we know, so
there’s a whole lot of au-
thenticity.”
Stories were collect-
ed from interviews of
members of marginalized
groups including Muslims,
undocumented
immi-
grants, DREAMers (De-
velopment, Relief, and Ed-
ucation for Alien Minors)
and Syrian refugees living
in the Eugene-Springfield
area.
The touring version has
been performed more than
30 times since its inception
two years ago, Malcom
said.
The story is set at the
21st birthday party for Ele-
na as she is surrounded by
friends and neighbors with
diverse backgrounds.
As the celebration be-
gins, characters share sto-
ries about their immigra-
tion and integration into
the United States.
Many of the characters
experienced hurdles such
as grappling with language
barriers and facing dis-
crimination for not speak-
ing English.
Some characters fled
their homes to come to the
U.S., like Miss Schormüller,
a teacher, who escaped the
Holocaust as a little girl.
“Even though I came to
the U.S. as a child, it took
me long time to feel close
to anybody,” she said.
Ming Ping, an immi-
grant from China, discuss-
es the crackdown on polit-
ical dissent by the Chinese
government and her subse-
quent decision to leave the
country.
Palestinian
character
Ashim came to the U.S. to
escape Israeli occupation
and start a series of restau-
rants, only to be the target
of attacks when racial ten-
sions flared.
Syrian refugee Khalil ran
away from mandatory mil-
itary service, taking with
him only a small bag. Un-
able to find work in Tur-
key, he applied for refugee
status and was eventually
sponsored by someone in
the U.S.
After landing in Los An-
geles, he found out that his
sister and brother-in-law
were killed the night before
by ISIS.
While the characters
talk, a DREAMer’s mother,
who is supposed to bring
the cake, is noticed to be
suspiciously absent and it’s
feared she has been taken
by Immigration and Cus-
toms Enforcement.
After reflecting on how
difficult pathways to citi-
zenship can be, the char-
acters state how their lives
have become rooted in the
U.S. and how they hope ev-
eryone can learn to respect
differences and recognize
similarities.
The show ends on a note
of hope from Elena: “May
all beings be free from
suffering. May all beings
experience a deep sense of
belonging. May all beings
find true happiness and ev-
erlasting peace.”
A discussion with the
audience and cast followed
the performance. Audi-
ence members shared ex-
periences of people they
know who have endured
immigration-related hard-
ships.
Guanghong Atman, who
played Ming Ping in the
play, had participated in
the older version of play
years earlier.
“I never expected that 20
years later this play is still
so relevant,” she said, “and
it is imperative that we
share that with each other
and know our roots, not
only in the physical and
hereditary sense, but also
our roots of our shared hu-
manity.”
Saturday’s performance
marked the first time Cot-
tage Grove had hosted the
play, owing in part to ef-
forts of the Earth and So-
cial Justice Committee of
First Presbyterian Church.
“The church is very in-
terested in immigration is-
sues and helping serve the
Chateau
Lorane
immigrant population and
the refugee community,”
said Karen Hill, pastor of
First Presbyterian Church.
“So anything we can do
to help tell the story and
make sure this is a welcom-
ing place, we want to be a
part of that.”
Malcolm hopes for the
play to have impact on the
way marginalized groups
are perceived within the
community.
“It’s very important for
them to be seen as people
with agency — people who
are resilient and resistant
and not simply people who
are victims of some terrible
circumstance,” she said.
“These are brave, resilient
people who have a lot to
offer and who do offer a lot
to our community.”
Public Notices
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ON GROCERIES.
BEAUTIFUL, HUH?
NOTICE TO CUT OR REMOVE
TALL GRASS –
HAZARDOUS VEGETATION –
COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL
Notice is hereby given that property owners or persons in control of
property are required in the City of Cottage Grove to cut or remove tall
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season from June 15 th to November 1 st (CGMC 8.12 Nuisances).
Tall grass and hazardous vegetation includes: wild blackberry bushes,
weeds & grass more than 12 inches tall anywhere on your property,
including public lands out to the street. Vegetation that is likely to
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cut or removed.
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QRWL¿HGWKDWWKH\PXVWFXWRUUHPRYHWKHKD]DUGRXVYHJHWDWLRQ)DLOXUH
to cut or remove the grass or vegetation will result in the City having to
abate the problem. The cost of abatement will be charged to the property
and if unpaid will become a lien against the property.
Property owners are reminded that they must keep hazardous vegetation
and tall grass cut less than 12 inches until November 1st. Questions can
be answered by the Public Works & Development Department at City
Hall, by calling 541-942-3340 or by email: planning@cottagegrove.org.