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Slant 7-14-2016

• Whoohoo! EW is just back from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s annual convention in Austin. In addition to talking newspaper business, meeting Wendy Davis, eating BBQ and riding mechanical bulls, EW came home with some prestigious awards. Competing against media nationwide, Art Director Todd Cooper came home with a first place plaque for his music photos (Joey Bada$$ at the WOW Hall pictured above) in the photography category. Cooper together with EW graphic artist Trask Bedortha as well as Darren Quardt and Andy Singer, took second place in cover design, and Bedortha received an honorable mention in illustration. Buy them a beer and tell them congrats when you see them around town with their cameras. 

• Our Congressman Peter DeFazio says he is not going to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this month because he is a superdelegate and he doesn’t believe in superdelegates. Superdelegates are unelected delegates who are free to support any candidate for the presidential nomination at the DNC, regardless of how their state votes. We don’t believe in superdelegates either, but we do want Congressman Pete representing us in Philly, injecting his progressivism as much as possible into the big national show. 

• At 5:30 pm on Thursday July 14 in Harris Hall, there will be a joint meeting of the Lane County Commission and the Eugene City Council to discuss downtown planning and issues like the juggernaut that is City Hall. The current price on building a new City Hall is now up to $18.2 million, about $3 million more than what the city estimated in April, after first upping, then reducing the price tag by millions with back and forth decisions over seismic improvements. That number doesn’t include tearing down the old City Hall. Between design, demolition and a new build, the number creeps closer to $28 million. The city says the latest price hike is due to “a very busy construction market, construction cost inflation and the uniqueness of the design.” Ironically, we had a unique design (and a lower price tag), before the City Council bumbled forward in tearing down the old City Hall. Let’s face it, Eugene tore down its City Hall with no real plan in place for what to do next. We suggest the city turn to local architects and planners who actually care about the city before we move forward with the next scheme.

• Wolves are back in action, legally speaking. It’s a little convoluted, but stay with us through the legal jargon. Back in April, the Oregon Department of Justice threw out a lawsuit from enviro groups challenging the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission’s decision to take wolves off the state endangered species list. Last week, the Oregon Court of Appeals reinstated the legal challenge regarding the status of wolves. Environmental advocates, including Cascadia Wildlands, have been critical of the process by which the state delisted wolves. And if you think about it, how can only 120 members of a species constitute a stable, healthy population? It’s bad science, and it’s bad stewardship of Oregon’s biodiversity. We hope to see wolves gain back the protections they need to once again thrive in Oregon.  

• Not exactly France vs. Portugal or Argentina vs. Chile, but still good soccer. On Friday, July 15, Lane United will play the last match of this season, starting 7 pm at Papé Field (2727 Leo Harris Parkwayin Eugene) against the Washington Crossfire. LUFC matches are a fun two hours on a summer evening, complete with the noise, music, food, drink of the soccer scene.

• Please, not one more robocall from Hillary Clinton. Her robot calls our Eugene landline almost every day, months away from the November election. Maybe the solution is to cut the landline. Better yet, if you’re having the same problem, tell the Clinton campaign to call off the robocalls. It’s a bad strategy.