Slant

Annette Montero died on the streets of Eugene, run over by a truck as she slept. As our cover story shows this week, she was a person with family and children, hopes and dreams. We think back to the 2008 death of Maj. Thomas Egan, also an unhoused person on the streets of this city. Egan’s death led to the Egan Warming Center, which has doubtlessly saved many people from freezing to death. Will Montero’s tragic death spur the city and the county to stop relying on nonprofits and churches to help the unhoused? Something needs to change, and it shouldn’t take people dying for it to happen.

• There’s a strike on the horizon. Actually, there are several, one of which you can read about in the news section. There’s also a global climate strike. Youth leaders are calling for action on climate change Sept. 20-27. Strikers can gather at noon Friday, Sept. 20, in Eugene at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, or you can head south to Cottage Grove, where folks are meeting at 10 am at Opal Park that same day “to deliver a message to our locale that we are as serious as this issue is,” according to the Blackberry Pie Society. Ralliers will make their way to Bohemia Park for an 11 am-3 pm rally “where we will have speakers, kids activities, music, free food, free market and more.”

Morsels: Maybe it’s because of all those Best of Eugene votes coming in for different local restaurants, but we’re hungry for yummy local eat here at Eugene Weekly. Screamin’ Jay’s Sandwiches stopped by this week with samples of their vegan fare. Two thumbs up to the vegan meatball sandwich, filling on a rainy Monday. The food cart also serves free-range meat sandwiches. You can find them at the site of the old Soup Nation spot at 1398 Kincaid Street near the University of Oregon campus. 

So much for transparency from Gov. Kate Brown. On Monday we learned that the state’s first Public Records Advocate, Ginger McCall, resigned her post as of Oct. 11, citing interference from the governor’s staff. She said Brown’s aides not only kept her from doing her job, for which she was hired in 2018, but told her not to divulge anything about that interference. Brown’s response has been chaotic. First her spokesman denied the allegations; then the governor seemed to confirm them, putting blame on one current and one former staffer. We hope the governor commits her administration to real openness. 

On the local election front, we hear Latinx advocate Joel Iboa has entered the race for the Lane County Commission seat representing South Eugene. Current Commish Pete Sorenson has said he will not run again. Laurie Trieger, interim director of development for Sponsors, announced her candidacy for the seat earlier this year. 

With the departure of Jon Ruiz as Eugene’s city manager, could this be the time to consider another form of government for this growing city? Just asking. In the interim we are encouraged by Mayor Lucy Vinis’s choice of Sarah Medary as interim city manager. She has 23 years of experience working in Eugene city government, including important leadership as assistant city manager and as director of public works. We are told that staff members who work with Medary trust her. It’s a huge plus that she has a degree from the University of Oregon in landscape architecture and horticulture, so she brings an unusual background to the city manager position. She brings planning and design skills to the administrative side of the city, a set of skills this town clearly needs.

Oregon may get a sixth congressional seat after the 2020 census, plus an extra seat in the Electoral College. That’s what Paul Diller, professor at Willamette University Law School, told the City Club of Eugene on Sept. 6 in his lecture on gerrymandering and legislative redistricting for 2020 and beyond. Manipulation of political boundaries is a hot topic, one that Prof. Diller approached like a law school lecture for the opening fall meeting of the city club. The topic on Sept. 13 at noon in the Baker Center is “Collaboration Defeats Confrontation at Malheur, Part 1” and, on Sept. 20, is “Building Workforce Housing in Eugene.”