• The democratic process is alive and well in this end of the Willamette Valley, probably best demonstrated when 5,000 of us marched to support the inspiring Parkland kids fighting for reasonable gun laws. The City Club of Eugene candidate forums, also sponsored by the League of Women Voters, are another significant show of democracy in action. On March 30, longtime City Councilors Alan Zelenka and Mike Clark shared the stage with challengers Hugh Patterson, Christopher Dean and the campaign manager for Thomas Bruno. Eugene Weekly will be endorsing in these races, but we take issue now with one of Dean’s remarks. A Realtor running against Clark, Dean called for a city council that better works together. We disagree. The council represents the wildly divergent views of this city. They should disagree. That’s the democratic process.
• What we’re reading: We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter, published by Penguin Books in 2017, 398 pages. Based on fact, this novel tells the story of a family of Polish Jews who survive the Holocaust in their country with extraordinary love and courage. A chronicle of the terrible creep of authoritarian power, it is an important read for Americans today.
• You really, really love us. Or at least appreciate what we do and the value of an independent press. The April Fools joke we played in last week’s annual Satire issue hit home with a lot of readers who were truly worried EW had been sold. We were touched (and a little amused) by all the calls. And it also reminded us how fragile our extremely important free press is. That point was further hit home when Deadspin released that creepy video of all the news anchors across the country parroting the same lines about “fake news” sent out by Sinclair. KVAL and KMTR anchors were among those who repeated the lines, though they weren’t included in the video. And before you blame the anchors, a former Sinclair news director, writing in the Huffington Post, points out they often sign contracts leading to severe financial penalties if they quit. Support independent journalism, and check out more on Sinclair online at eugeneweekly.com.
Update: The Register-Guard reports that “KVAL morning news co-anchors Lauren Lapka and Cameron Walker declined to read the same promotional statement that was recorded last month by dozens of news anchors at stations across the country …” The RG says other anchors at the station read the statement.
• James Barber and the Dems have kissed and made up. Barber, who is running for the Lane County Commission in the east Lane district now represented by Gary Williams, found himself in the political doghouse last month after reports he had shared sexist and misogynist social media posts five to eight years ago. College Democrats at the University of Oregon demanded he withdraw from the race. But on Sunday, April 1, Barber sat down with the College Dems leadership and apologized, and the apology was accepted, says Chris Wig, chair of the Democratic Party of Lane County.
“It was a great discussion,” Barber says. “We have a lot of mutual respect for each other’s efforts within the community. Misperceptions were cleared up and apologies were accepted. I look forward to working with them in the future, as we continue to build a stronger community.”
• The shooting of Stephon Clark, anti-Muslim flyers on the Lane Community College campus, locally and nationally, and the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., this week — each day is a reminder that we need to fight hate and prejudice.