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• 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.

• The welcome news this week is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump Administration’s corrupt ties to Russia has borne its first fruit with three indictments. The headlines were all about money-laundering charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, but the real news was the secret guilty plea by former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who made a deal to rat out Trump and his cronies.

Eugene Weekly got a lot of heated response to last week’s cover story on antifa in Eugene. In the past, readers who disagreed with EW’s coverage have been known to sweep up copies and dispose of them. This time a man identifying himself as an “anti-antifa supremacist” claims to have, with the help of “patriots,” absconded with “thousands” of copies of that issue and burned them. He posted his doings on YouTube and sent us a copy. You can see it on our blog at eugeneweekly.com.

• On the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 11, a strange fellow crept into Eugene Weekly's office wearing sunglasses and a hoodie, then left a few offensive sheets of paper on our front counter and slid out without a word. White supremacists are organizing in Lane County, and they’re trying to make us afraid. It won’t work. Our community must be strong against hate and show that these creeps are right to hide their faces and silently scuttle back to the shadows. Ignoring them won’t make them go away.

• Who could have imagined that professional football players would be leading the way with a profound free speech statement about racial justice and human rights in the U.S.? Who could have imagined that we would have a president and vice-president who would distort that statement for political advantage? We're disappointed in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's call to make all players stand. But locally, we’re proud of the South Eugene boys’ and girls’ soccer players who took a knee to agree with the NFL players.

• What links the largest mass shootings in the U.S in the past 30 years?

When Republican Jack Roberts and Democrat (and EW columnist) Tony Corcoran shared the stage at the City Club of Eugene on Sept. 22, the civility was shocking. Here are two prominent former office holders talking with a crowd of divergent political views and nobody was insulting, embarrassing or threatening anyone else. It was clear that Roberts and Tony Corcoran disagree on most things political except their shared contempt for Donald Trump.

• Seeing our name in the New York Times doesn’t happen every day. In fact, we’re not sure Eugene Weekly has ever been mentioned in the Gray Lady until this week, when NYT classical music writer Michael Cooper credited us for breaking the story of the Oregon Bach Festival’s firing of Matthew Halls. His extensive piece, “A Firing and a Question of Race Roil the Oregon Bach Festival” (Sept.

• 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.


Eugene Opera’s dramatic resurrection from near bankruptcy continued this week with the naming of Andrew Bizantz as artistic director and Erika Rauer as executive director. Bisantz is a familiar and much-loved figure at the podium here. Rauer, a soprano who’s performed at Oper Bremen, Opera Boston and Tanglewood, has also worked as director of education for New York City Opera and manager of elementary school programs at Carnegie Hall. The opera also announced a new season: Barber of Seville Dec.

The air quality in Lane County has been horrendous thanks to more than 300,000 acres of Oregon forests on fire. Houston, Texas, is facing 50 devastating inches of rain — the same amount of rainfall the city usually gets in a year — over just a matter of days. Weather and climate are not the same, but there is no question that climate governs the weather. Climate change is real, and all the predictions for bigger storms and hotter summers are coming true. Now let’s keep talking about what we can do to stop it from getting worse.

• We are excited to see that Lane County is looking to embrace the concept of “housing first” with its proposal to build apartments for the homeless near Autzen Stadium. The $11.7 million studio-apartment four-story project would be located next to the Lane County Behavioral Health building, providing access to services that are a key part of the housing first concept. Housing first, made famous when Salt Lake City successfully homed its chronically homeless, gets those in need into housing then links them to services. The program has been shown to save money.

• The Aug. 12 attack on counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, has us and others across the country reeling.  One woman was killed, 19 people were injured and two law enforcement officers died in a helicopter crash related to the “Unite the Right” rally. How do you respond to such hate? For some with anger, for others, by showing love and support to our fellow humans.

• Mayor Lucy Vinis convened her first Auditor Study Committee meeting Aug. 2 at the Eugene Public Library. Norma Greer and Marty Wilde were elected co-chairs, and the group will look at various cities that have independent city auditors to see what might work best for Eugene and wrap up its research with a report in two months or so. The problem is that an initiative petition to create an independent elected performance auditor is already in circulation with a measure expected to go on the ballot next spring.

• We were excited to hear from Greenhill Humane Society that Tank, the pit bull who has waited more than 500 days to find a home, was adopted by Eugene Weekly readers after his story appeared in our annual Pets issue. Go Tank! 

 

• Sen. John McCain voted in favor of beginning the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act. McCain returned to the Senate floor with stitches above his eye and visible bruising to his face after undergoing a craniotomy to remove a brain tumor last week. Would his constituents in Arizona who are uninsured be able to afford the same surgery? If the ACA is repealed without a plan to replace it, will cancer go back to being a pre-existing condition?

• When even our 10-year-old friend asks what’s going to happen on the old city hall/new county courthouse lot in downtown Eugene, it must be time to look for an answer.

Any suggestions? It will be at least three years, probably more, before ground breaks for a courthouse.

Should we have a garden? Or even trees around the edges? Remember those old-fashioned big-top circuses — wouldn’t that be fun? How about a giant art installation?

Val Hoyle, our popular Lane County Democrat who was majority leader of the Oregon House, told EW this week that she is going to run for Oregon Labor Commissioner in May 2018. Current Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian told Hoyle he doesn’t plan on running again once this term ends. A non-partisan election, this one will be over if a candidate garners more than 50 percent of the vote; if not, there’s a runoff. It’s good to have Val back in the arena, and labor commissioner is a fine fit for her. Next question: Who else will be running?


• The Oregon Country Fair is kicking off, and we treasure this quirky annual celebration and all it does to revel in the hippie culture that makes Eugene Eugene. And as with anything we treasure, we have to love it in all its flaws, whether those might be complaints about the dust or the music acts or something more painful such as the Ritz Sauna story pole debacle that hurt and offended native peoples. As the dust settles, we hope we will hear about efforts OCF makes to work with the native community to restore trust and build new bridges. 


Take this little quiz for us. Can you locate Broadway Plaza? Can you locate Kesey Square? End of quiz. The obvious answers make us wonder why the city staff and Eugene City Council are so slow in officially designating the storied square in the center of Eugene as Kesey Square. The council will consider this in the fall, and it has opened a comment period on the name change. Write mayorcouncilandcitymanager@ci.eugene.or.us or tell them in person Monday, July 10 and July 24, at Harris Hall in the Lane County Public Service Building, 125 E. 8th.

• How many renters get evicted in Lane County each year? The numbers are not easy to come by, but local demographics mapper Joe Kosewic has tracked the landlord cases that end up in court in Oregon and broken down the numbers by county. Evictions that are uncontested far outnumber actual court cases, he figures. Lane County had 1,794 court-contested evictions in 2016. Multnomah County had 5,446, Washington County had 2,952 and Marion County had 1,951. Kosewic says the Residential Eviction Complaint form doesn’t track whether children are involved in the evictions.

• What is “missing middle housing”? Is it missing in Eugene? And since it is, how do we remedy that? Those are the questions, and answers, Josh Skov and Kaarin Knudson laid out to the City Club of Eugene on June 9. The “missing middle” is the duplex, triplex, fourplex, courtyard apartment, bungalow, townhouse, multiplex and live-work arrangement. It is missing increasingly in Eugene, in part causing a crisis in affordability. The city can step up with code and zoning changes, plus incentivizing and showing examples.

• About 40 marchers showed up on Friday, June 2, to protest the downtown Eugene dog ban. It’s interesting that the city decided to wait on banning alcohol in all parks due to “mixed” reviews in public comment, but the City Council charged ahead with banning pups, despite decidedly mixed reviews. Were there more people with money and influence wanting to sip wine or toss back a hoppy beer in the park than there were who stroll with their dogs downtown? For the record, we are pro-dog and pro- a responsible drink in the park once in a while.

• The May 26 murder of two men and near-fatal stabbing of a third by a white supremacist on a Portland commuter train is a sickening punch to the gut. People lost their lives standing up to a man harassing a Muslim teenage girl and her friend. Meanwhile, a local racist hung a banner proclaiming “Jews did 9-11” off an I-5 bridge north of Eugene. Local activists raced to stop it but didn’t arrive in time. And yet, that is our answer: Keep trying to stop the hate. Intervene. Be the helpers.