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Guest Viewpoint

January 18, 2018

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

On May 18, 1970, the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) ran an ad in The Register-Guard. The ad read, in all caps, bold print: “EWEB IS ON THE COAST TO STAY. VOTE NO ON MEASURE 52. SAVE YOUR NUCLEAR PLANT.” The ad also touted nuclear as “the safest of all industries.”

December 14, 2017

The Springfield Roughnecks (formerly Springfield Redneck Revolt) is a grassroots community defense project made up of working-class folk dedicated to building stronger communities in Springfield and throughout Lane County. This is in response to the recent Weekly article “Antifa,” (10/19) which I feel misrepresented the Springfield Roughnecks by implying that we are an “Antifa” organization.

December 13, 2017

What is the sole water source for Eugene? 

I didn’t know the answer either, and I actually live on the McKenzie. Like you, I know now: the McKenzie River. 

There is another question you are no doubt now asking: So if you live on the McKenzie, do you fly fish?

December 7, 2017

My son Chris recently gave me a poster from the 1973 movie The Sting, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, as a couple of conmen in the 1930s who pull off a complicated con on their mark, a ruthless gangster played by Robert Shaw.

It’s one of my favorite movies, and it’s a nearly perfect parable for my time in the Governor’s Regional Solutions Center. 

November 9, 2017

Democracy & Education

by Community Alliance for Public Education


Last May’s Eugene 4J school board elections were the most contested in recent memory. Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE) appreciated the deeper level of debate and analysis that took place. Mary Leighton, Jerry Rosiek and Maya Rabasa met last week to discuss their thoughts as runners up, running as outsiders.  


What equity-related issues do you believe the 4J board should prioritize? 

November 9, 2017

There has been a major business “recruitment” project going on in our community, it's called Project Titan, and I have absolutely no clue about who or what it is, or was. Oh, I've tried, well sort-of tried, to find out. I asked around, here and there, even chatted with a former colleague of mine. 

October 26, 2017

Many Eugene Weekly readers will remember that the two of us were opponents last year in the most contested City Council race in Eugene’s recent history. Now we’re coming together today on a common cause: We urge Eugene voters to get out and vote for Measure 20-275 on the Nov. 7 ballot.

October 19, 2017

Berwick Hall, the new home of the Oregon Bach Festival, is an elegant building — small, modern, light-filled, with a performance hall that can seat up to 140, perfect for small-ensemble performances such as were given at the public reception on Oct. 8 celebrating the building’s opening. Windows abound — from virtually every desk in the office, light floods the space.

That, sadly, is the only transparent thing about the festival these days.

October 5, 2017

Sheldon High School is a world away from the streets of Ferguson, Cleveland, Baltimore or Tulsa. But when soccer players from South Eugene High School took a knee during the national anthem last week, they demanded attention and invited controversy into their community.

September 28, 2017

My biggest fears from a presidential election gone horribly wrong are coming to pass. 

For me, the major issue for a president has always been appointments to run the federal agencies. Our current president is doing what I expected him to do, appointing people who will gut the agencies everyone relies on to protect their health, safety, and the environment. It’s been one horrible appointment and executive order after another. Clean air and water regulations go out the window to provide profits to polluters.

September 21, 2017

By Roscoe Caron and Laura Farrelly

Kindergarten: It’s German for “children’s garden.”

Kindergarten is traditionally based on playing, singing, story-time, creative activities and social interaction. Not in the “corporate model” education era, however. Now, during their first three weeks of school, Oregon’s 40,000 kindergarten kids are given standardized assessments in math, literacy and interpersonal skills.

September 14, 2017

By John Henry, Mike Kimball, Michael Peterson, Michael Carrigan, Guy Maynard and Carol Van Houten

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 17, PBS will present a 10-episode, 18-hour documentary, The Vietnam War, by noted filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Coming 50 years after a pivotal year of escalation of both the war and the anti-war movement, the filmmakers say they hope the documentary will serve as a catalyst for long overdue reconciliation and healing of the deep divisions that war created among Americans.

August 31, 2017

I like to float rivers. That’s a huge understatement. There is almost nothing that I would rather be doing than floating on a river. 

There is something magical about spending days on end moving at the pace of a river, moving with the current. It’s called river time. It’s slow and it’s quiet. That’s a big part of it, the slow quiet. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find quiet these days. But I have always found it on the river. It’s the best vacation I can think of. And it is one of the only escapes from the deluge of electronic devices. 

August 17, 2017

Democracy In Education

“It’s all about attention. We all want to be heard.” That was my friend Tuuli Lehtisalo’s response to how to best serve students. It’s still resonating within me a month after visiting with this dedicated teacher in Finland.

August 10, 2017

Oregonians are fond of saying, “If you don’t like the Oregon weather, wait five minutes,” describing the inconsistencies of the climate in the Pacific Northwest. This mirrors the political climate for trans/gender diverse people in 2017. 

It is hard to know whether to feel optimistic or sob, to run at the problems head-on screaming or hide. It is certainly daunting when we look at the situation from the top down, when those who seem to hold the most power are repealing protections and rights. It can create the feeling that we are impotent to do anything to change it. 

August 3, 2017

Many of the relatives, friends and colleagues gathered at Tom Giesen’s memorial on a sunny April afternoon at McKenzie River Eco-Lodge had been joggers, cyclists and hikers on the treks Tom led for decades. The adventures they described clearly tested their fortitude and often their patience but ultimately gained their admiration and respect for a man who pushed himself even harder than he did them. Lean as an alley cat, he never seemed to sit still long enough for fat to catch up with him — or complacency either.

July 20, 2017

Why write a column about economic development? Lots of people just yawn when they hear the term. But, as they say, write about what you know, and I do know economic development. I did it for a living. And, besides, I actually find it interesting.

But here’s why I write the column: There is a lot of nonsense that masquerades as economic development, and someone needs to call “them” on it. 

July 6, 2017

I know firsthand that running for political office costs money. As a candidate for House District 14 in West Eugene and Junction City, I made a lot of fundraising calls. I didn’t (and still don’t) mind raising money and I think I’m not too bad at it. Every candidate needs resources to explain to voters about why they’re running to serve and what ideas they have for fixing the biggest problems facing your community. 

June 28, 2017

Readers of Lucy Vinis’s June 22 viewpoint may have thought the mayor was voicing support for the citizens’ initiative petition, filed in May, that would amend the Eugene City Charter to establish an Office of an Independent elected city auditor. But the mayor’s intent, in sync with city officials, is to undermine the citizens’ effort with their own self-serving version of an audit function.

June 22, 2017

Accountability and transparency are essential to democracy. As Eugene’s mayor, I invite you to explore with me the potential benefits of a performance auditor to improve the effectiveness of city government and build the community’s trust in our public process.

Last year, while knocking on doors, I heard many express concerns about how well city government is managing resources to advance community priorities.

June 8, 2017

Here’s the deal: If you care about your community, you cannot afford to ignore economic development. 

Economic development is not a benign program implemented by well meaning people to create jobs. It is one of the prime game changers that determine the future of a community. We ignore it at our peril.  

The kind of businesses that we recruit, and how we recruit them, will play a role in determining who we are and what we become. 

June 1, 2017

Testing season is upon us — again. During April, May and June, students take weeks of Smarter Balanced Math and Language Arts tests. This is in addition to a year’s worth of other tests such as OAKS Science, EasyCBM, DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency), EDL2 (Evaluación del desarrollo de la lectura), etc.

June 1, 2017

Many of us recognize the value of bicycling. It’s fun (especially under the sun), it’s good for the health of the cyclist and it’s good for the health of the planet that we’re all a part of.

May 25, 2017

The first time I ever smoked pot was two weeks out of high school at a rock festival in the Atchafalaya Basin about an hour north of New Orleans. June 21, 1971. The sun was just above the western horizon on a 105-degree day. A surfer dude convinced me to give it a try. He thought it might help my incipient depression. As we finished the joint the sun dipped below the distant swamp line, the temperature dropped to a cool 98 degrees, I opened my eyes, really opened my eyes and saw, also for the first time, live naked female breasts. Probably about 50,000 of them.