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Slant - 2017-11-09

• What about the footbridge across Franklin Boulevard from the new Knight campus at the University of Oregon to the science buildings on the other side? That was one of many questions asked of former state senator Chris Edwards when he described the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact to the City Club of Eugene on Nov. 3. Why not make it a two-tier bridge so it connects more than the science buildings? It could be a route for students to go to Duck games at Autzen Stadium or simply a way across busy Franklin for all students. Whatever the design, this prominent footbridge could be a great place to hang protest banners. We’re looking forward to 2020 when the $1 billion project opens.


• This weekend’s best leak is the internationally important Paradise Papers, which expose not only tax evasion by various members of Trump’s Cabinet, but also that commerce secretary Wilbur Ross hid his business relationship with Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law. Less telling but also interesting is the information that a Lithuanian shopping mall partly owned by Bono of U2 is under investigation for potential tax evasion. We will be following the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists as they dive into the 13.4 million documents. Locally, we’re unsurprised to find out that Nike is avoiding taxes by shifting profits and trademarks to offshore entities. 


• Investigative journalism gets results: A story in Sports Illustrated last month by recent Eugene Weekly intern Kenny Jacoby detailed the fact that a University of Oregon basketball player was allowed to play an entire season while under investigation in another state on charges of forcible rape. This week, Sen. Ron Wyden sent a scathing letter to UO President Michael Schill demanding an explanation for the university’s apparent lack of concern for student safety. “If these reports are accurate they raise major questions about the university’s commitment to creating and maintaining a safe campus environment,” the senator wrote. Wyden gave a Nov. 20 deadline for Schill to answer a detailed list of questions, including this: “Is there a written policy describing the disciplinary policies and enforcement actions related to UO employees’ failure to follow standard operating procedures?” We wonder that, too.


• There’s a lot of news in this town and we can’t always fit it all in our print edition. In case you missed it, go online to eugeneweekly.com and read this week’s posts about the furor over Seneca timber’s move to join the board of directors at GreenLane Sustainable Business Network, an update on Catalonian independence from a Eugene student in Barcelona and our coverage of the liquefied natural gas pipeline protest at the Nov. 3 Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) meeting in Eugene.


Election results are in, and it’s resounding “yes” across the board — except Creswell, where the voters stood up to corporate sleaze and voted a resounding 85 to 15 percent no against One Gro’s proposed weed store. Around Lane County, voters said yes to fire and school levies as well as to the Eugene street bond and Springfield jail levy. Nationally, the Dems took a lot of state races. We take heart at news such as Sikh Ravi Bhalla becoming mayor of Hoboken and a transgender woman, Danica Roem, winning a seat in Virginia's House of Delegates. We hope this all reflects a swing back to reality and normal human decency.