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Slant 2-5-2015

• We would like to assure parents and their children that Mickey Mouse lives. 

• The Amazon headwaters keystone has finally been saved from development and well over 100 people showed up at Tsunami Books Jan. 31 to join the Be Noble Foundation, Southeast Neighbors, Lane County Audubon Society and others to celebrate the long-fought victory. It’s a fascinating and often frustrating tale over 15 years of lost opportunities, land speculation, neighborhood activism, dogged determination, community fundraising and finally a public-private partnership in honor of the late Erin Noble who loved this lush area. These fragile, mostly steep 26 acres could have been turned into streets, culverts and homes, but instead dozens of Eugeneans paid attention and took action to preserve the critical headwaters and now-connected ecological corridor for open space, walking trails and wildlife. Councilor Betty Taylor was one city official who stood with the opponents of development over the years. More work remains to be done. See be-noble.org for how to help.

Something we were reminded of at the Amazon headwaters celebration from land-use advocate Kevin Matthews: Aerial analysis of the Amazon headwaters using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) indicates a long history of landslides hidden below the trees and other foliage. EW wrote about this back in 2008. LIDAR is a very useful tool that city and county planners could and should use to avoid developing vulnerable sites such as the Amazon headwaters. 

• Great fun to have Tony Corcoran’s spicy words back in EW at the start of the 2015 Oregon legislative session. Longtime readers will remember his “Insider Baseball” columns during some previous sessions. We want to add the perspective that the hard work of many women helped increase the D majority in this election. The Salem Statesman Journal predicts in a headline that “Women Will Guide Oregon Legislature in 2015.” We look to both our own Rep. Val Hoyle, House majority leader, and Rep. Tina Kotek, Portland Democrat and House speaker, to be powerful players. This should be a heads up for the rest of the country.

• We hear retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will be speaking at City Club of Eugene May 1, and apparently one reason she will be in Lane County is to do a little flyfishing, maybe on our world-famous McKenzie River. Lucky is the river guide who gets this customer.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This blurb about Sandra Day O'Conner has been edited to note that she is retired. Also, she will not be accompanied by the Secret Service.

• Well, this is one way to get people back in libraries: Last October, former OSU student Kendra Sunderland, 19, filmed herself masturbating in the stacks of OSU’s Valley Library. The video came to the attention of Oregon State Police after it was anonymously posted to PornHub.com, racking up 260,000-plus views before removal. The video has made national headlines, landing on Playboy’s website with the headline “Large-breasted blonde films porn in Oregon State library; Campus freaks out.” The police issued Sunderland a citation for public indecency. While Sunderland’s motives are unclear, online discussions on sites like Reddit point out that many students turn to webcam modeling and amateur porn to help pay tuition. Consider this a stark reminder of two contemporary truths: Tuition costs are too high and privacy does not exist on the internet.