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Slant - 2017-09-14

• We’ve been covering the politics of judicial appointments, first online and today in print, because the rule of law is so critical in the age of Trump. Count the ways that the courts, the judges, have blocked idiotic Trump efforts to alter and diminish our democracy. The Oregon seat on the independent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has never been more important. Our senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley need the support of the Oregon press.


• All the hungry kids who want them are eating free breakfasts in K-5 schools this fall in Eugene District 4-J. No more shaming if you “qualify” for free eats in your school cafeteria. The district leadership deserves high praise, especially when our national leadership is going in the opposite direction. We hope middle school kids will be next or maybe free lunches for all, copying the New York City example of offering free lunches to all of its 1.1 million students, regardless of income.


• Does anyone listen to Rush Limbaugh anymore? While some folks were complaining “the media” didn’t mention climate change enough in coverage of recent wildfires in the West and hurricanes Irma and Harvey, Limbaugh and other right-wing pundits were accusing the “liberal media” of advancing “the climate change agenda.” Hang on to that flat Earth people, while we rock your world: Climate change isn’t a political idea, it’s science. 


EW’s Arts Editor Bob Keefer broke the story of the Oregon Bach Festival’s sudden and unceremonious firing of its artistic director Matthew Halls. The news was soon picked up internationally. We’re still figuring out what happened: Was Halls fired because of a perceived racist comment (without consulting the person affected, classical singer Reginald Mobley)? Why hasn’t OBF been more transparent? In the meantime, to clarify a couple things: Halls did not contact the press after he was let go, EW contacted him. The Telegraph didn’t break the story of the interaction with Halls’ longtime friend Mobley, EW did. The positive takeaway? Ticket sales for OBF may have been slumping but the reaction to Halls’ firing tells us that in Eugene and around the world, people still care about classical music.