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Slant 6-23-2016

• Eugene Weekly headed to Seattle June 18 for the annual Society of Professional Journalists Northwest Excellence in Journalism awards, which are, according to SPJ, the “the largest of its kind in the nation, with 2,300 entrants and 150 categories.” In the category of Health Reporting, EW staff writer Rick Levin took home a second place award for “The Art of Recovery: Turning Addiction into Art with Transformational Personal Theater,” a feature from January 2015 about a local theater group who uses art therapy for people in recovery. Read it here: bit.ly/1q4aWxN. And in Arts Reporting, Alex V. Cipolle’s “Teeth & Bones: Into the beautiful tormented world of artist Rick Bartow” won first place. The April 2015 story profiled legendary Pacific Northwest artist Rick Bartow — triumphs, demons and all — on the eve of his first retrospective at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Bartow passed away at 69 from congenital heart disease in April 2016. Read the profile here: bit.ly/1DxSj5q.

• Thumbs up for the Turtle Awards given every year by the City Club of Eugene “for sticking their necks out.” Started in 1991, the Turtles are a unique Eugene tradition for citizens who have demonstrated the strong beliefs, vision and courage required to persevere in a risk-prone venture for the good of the whole community. Former Turtle winners, chaired by John VanLandingham, picked this year’s Turtles and introduced them at the June 17 City Club meeting. Hard to find better Turtles than Nancy Golden, former superintendent of Springfield schools and Oregon’s chief education officer, and Susan Sygall, CEO and founder of Mobility International.

• An Australian friend, a graduate of the UO, recently sent us a reminder of  the 700,000 guns handed in to Australia’s buyback 20 years ago. Great suggestion. Can you imagine it happening here? It’s hard to feel hopeful when, after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, senators couldn’t muster enough bipartisan support to pass a series of gun control measures in Congress June 20. We did see a rare moment where we agreed with the NRA in the aftermath of the Orlando Pulse massacre: National Rifle Association lobbyist Chris Cox said recently, “No one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms. That defies common sense. It also defies the law.” 

• The facts that have propelled Bernie Sanders in Oregon and the rest of the country have just come out again in a fact sheet from the Oregon Center for Public Policy, our fine progressive think tank in Portland.  Income inequality between those at the very top and the typical Oregonian is only a hair below its all-time high, OCCP tells us. Oregon’s top one percent now earns more than twice that of the bottom 40 percent. Who are the policy makers who can do something about it?