Endangered bird, Bill Fletcher, Oregon's 2nd Congressional District race, South Eugene Axe

Several times a month, EW runs information on pesticide sprays around Lane County, supplied to us by the group Forestland Dwellers. This week we got the sad news that Forestland Dwellers founder Lynn Bowers died Feb. 10. Forestland Dwellers sent us this statement:

“Our dear colleague passed away Saturday, Feb 10.  She was buried on her property in the spot she had chosen. 

“We who continue to struggle for children’s health and safety have much to thank Lynn for. Her kindness, diligence, courage and respect for all were constantly refreshing. She pioneered forest poison mapping and analysis through ODF notifications, inspiring others to continue that work with computers and GIS.

“Lynn seemed always ready to take on a new Nancy Drew-type case of investigation and detective work that could help protect people from toxicants, wearing the lovely clothing she designed and made. Right to the end she was shrewdly allocating her remaining energy to accomplish the most.

“Lynn was wildly loved by her family, friends, neighbors and co-conspirators. Her spirit lives on.”

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Feb. 9 to reclassify the marbled to “state-endangered.” It was previously listed as “threatened” under the Oregon Endangered Species Act. We applaud conservation groups such as Cascadia Wildlands that pushed to get the old-growth-dwelling sea bird reclassified, and we mourn the loss of habitat that led to the bird’s increasingly imperiled status.

• “Bill Fletcher is a prominent labor activist and public intellectual who speaks quite thoughtfully and eloquently on the intersection of race and class along with having an astute take on our current politics,” Bob Bussel of the UO’s Labor Education and Research Center tells us. Fletcher speaks on “Race and Labor: Building a More Just Economy” 4 pm Feb. 21 in Room 145 Straub Hall on the UO campus as part of Black History Month.

• Michael Byrne sends out an interesting fundraising letter for his campaign to unseat Republican Congressman Greg Walden from Oregon’s 2nd congressional district. It seems almost impossible to turn that district blue, but Byrne argues that his grassroots organization can not only help him win but also help Kate Brown stay in the governor’s office. He calls himself “a stonemason by trade and a proud union member.” Byrne will need millions of dollars to defeat Walden.

• We agree with the students who say that South Eugene High School’s team name is hardly the most important issue swirling around their school, but we do applaud Principal Andy Dey and school district officials who ended the argument involving thousands by changing Axemen to the more inclusive Axe. When we suggested that the 90-year-old Axemen be changed for the next century to Axewomen, we got an “are you crazy?” response. End of argument; the gendered mascot needed to be gone. Go, Axe.