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Slant 10-8-2015

• We’re all looking for answers after yet another terrible tragic shooting in our country, again in our state. Are Americans so gripped with fear that they turn to guns to protect them from everything? Have we become a mean-spirited people, putting too many people in prison, offering meager social services and diminished public education, shrinking our mental health programs, including school counseling? Do we glorify violence all the way from endless wars, games and entertainment, to amped-up cheap crime coverage in the media? Are the arms merchants selling us out? Can we as a country and as a community do something to stop the killings? Yes, to all the above. President Obama clearly wants to act. Candidate Hillary Clinton says the president can act without consent of the Congress, and if that is more than campaign rhetoric, we will see in the few months left in his presidency. He needs the support of all of us.

 

• A crowd estimated at roughly 1,200 meandered the cleaned up Civic Stadium grounds all afternoon Sunday, Oct. 4, at a bittersweet event bringing back memories of the old wooden stadium and heralding a new site plan for the 10-acre piece close to the center of Eugene. Kids kicked soccer balls around, hit a baseball or two, bands played, food carts contributed part of their proceeds, UO law students volunteered, old-timers offered tales of the stadium and Eugene Civic Alliance even sold nails collected from the ashes of the 77-year-old stadium which burned on June 29. Now it is on to the fundraising to build again. Three of the four boys charged in the arson were sentenced to five years of probation.

 

• We want to give a well-deserved shout out to Mira Fannin of Sweet Skins and Vanessa Froehling of Fräulein Couture, who showed their lines at Portland Fashion Week to much fanfare the first week of October. Sweet Skins, which specializes in ready-to-wear eco designs using fabrics like hemp and organic cotton, hit the runway Oct. 1 fot Sustainable Fashion Night. Portland style website JupiterPDX.com heaped praise on Fannin for the “radically Oregon experience” she’s created with her apparel, which it describes as “styles that bridge the gap between nature-girl and modern fashionista.” Fräulein Couture focuses on lux, high-end gowns and ensembles. Froehling’s shimmering line whipped the crowd into a frenzy — perhaps the fan favorite of the Oct. 3 Couture Night runway show. Find out more about the designers at sweetskins.com and frauleincouture.com.

 

• The negotiations over the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership were completed early on Oct. 5, but Rep. Peter DeFazio, who has vehemently opposed the deal from the beginning, says there is still one more chance to kill what he calls “the last, biggest, worst trade deal in history” when it comes to the House floor for a final vote. DeFazio says if Congress approves the TPP “the deal will block sick people in developing nations from accessing affordable, life-saving drugs” and allow “giant corporations to attack consumer protections for the sake of increasing their own profits.” Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden argues that the TPP raises “the bar for labor rights and environmental protections overseas.” We will believe that when we see it, and we’re going with DeFazio on this one. The dealmakers have worked to keep the full text a secret, and even with negotiations wrapped up, the 30-chapter document probably won’t be available for another month.