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Slant 6-19-2014

• The Eugene Celebration (the official version of it anyway) may be canceled for this year, but the parade will go on. Kesey Enterprises sent out a press release announcing that thanks to “overwhelming public input and encouragement,” there will be a 2014 Eugene Celebration Parade 11 am Aug. 23 thanks to Lane Community College, the city of Eugene and an all-volunteer steering committee. That evening there will be a $5 concert at the Cuthbert. Sounds like plans are still underway by community members for an unofficial, and free, celebration of Eugene. Now we just need to know when the SLUG queen coronation will take place. 

 

• Two “turtles,” both attorneys from opposite ends of the political spectrum, were applauded June 13 at the City Club of Eugene. Lauren Regan and Cal Smith won the 2014 Turtle Awards “for sticking their necks out for Eugene.”  Founder and executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, Regan specializes in environmental law, civil rights and criminal defense, both in Oregon and now nationally for clients such as tar-sands blockaders. Smith, a business lawyer who has served on the Eugene 4J school board for more than a decade, has given hundreds of hours working through the contentious issues of underfunded schools in a community deeply dedicated to public education. Shout out for turtles.

 

• The UO’s reams of color-coded redacted responses to the public requests by journalists and others have frustrated those investigating the basketball rape case. Among those who refuse to be stymied by the university’s choice to black out large blocks of information in emails between UO administrators and others is the New York Times, which filed an appeal June 12 with Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner asking “that the documents be provided in accordance with the law.” UO Matters blogger Bill Harbaugh has the NYT letter, and plenty of commentary, at uomatters.com.

 

• In response to our “Places and Spaces” feature in our Summer Guide May 29, Eugene artist Scott Parker showed us a painting of one of his special views, an eagle nest above Lamb Cottage in Skinner Butte Park. He says he’s observed bald eagles nesting there and raising chicks for the past four or five years. The nest can also be seen at eye level from the trail going up Skinner Butte.

 

• We’re cutting library hours in Eugene to balance our city budget and struggling with unworkable teacher-student ratios while the ill-conceived wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Eugene taxpayers $637 million so far and counting. The human and financial costs of war are not abstract; they affect all of us. Kudos to the folks still protesting and lobbying for peace and justice while most people in our nation, and in Congress, just sigh and shrug.