• Learning about the shooting and five people killed in a targeted attack at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis has left us reeling. EW’s had threats before, but like newspapers across the country, we won’t close our doors or stop covering the news. But still we wonder: Will one of us be shot someday because someone comes in the door with a gun? Will Lane Community College or University of Oregon students be shot because someone rampages campus with a gun? Will our friends get shot because they went to a concert? Will our children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews get shot because they go to school?
Thurston, Columbine, Newtown, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland …
They won’t get shot because of anything they did or anywhere they went. All these people are being killed in mass shootings because we still don’t, after all these murders, have our act together in America on real, actual gun control.
• Councilor Betty Taylor plans to make a motion on July 9 to give her fellow Eugene city councilors the chance to offer voters a straight up or down vote in November on an independent elected city auditor. Her proposal will be slightly modified, she says, to meet some of the objections to the elected auditor proposal that lost in May. For instance, a residency requirement will be added, and the cost formula will be modified. Taylor and many others believe the elected auditor lost in May because the City Council put an appointed auditor measure on the ballot, splitting the vote or causing voters to say “no” to both, as The Register-Guard recommended, in the confusion. We wonder how this council will vote on Taylor’s motion.
• The June 29 City Club of Eugene meeting about what changes are ahead for transportation in this area left us thinking that we have good minds working here on how we should all move from one place to another. Speakers were: Lindsay Hayward, general manager of PeaceHealth Rides; Edward McGlone, director of public affairs for Lane Transit District; Marc Schlossberg, cofounder of the Sustainable Cities Initiative; and Joshua Skov, president of Better Eugene-Springfield Transportation. They talked about driverless cars and buses, how to move people who need help, community values such as climate change and much more. A question was asked about bike theft, a major issue in Eugene. Another question brought up free bus passes for students. McGlone said LTD wants to bring that back.
• The news cycle is exhausting. Shootings, rulings, protests. It races by. Last week EW participated in a conference on “Slow News” with the UO’s School of Journalism and scholars and journalists from around the country. Make that the world. Peter Laufer, author of the book Slow News convened the conference, and he asked if we minded opening up our cozy newsroom to a documentary filmmaker making a movie on slow news. No problem! Imagine our surprise when a four-man Italian film crew showed up, and we saw their interviews with folks from The New York Times and Buzzfeed in the movie trailer. Watch out for the film and manifesto next year.
• Amazing Oregonians rallied for quite different reasons last weekend. Portland and Corvallis turned out by the thousands to welcome home their Oregon State Beavers baseball team from Omaha, where they had just won the College World Series to make them this year’s best college baseball team in America — from rainy Oregon yet. Thousands more in Eugene, Portland and cities all across the country marched to protest Trump’s deplorable immigration policies. Many brought their children and carried signs asking how our country could possibly be so cruel as to separate kids from their parents. Sounds like a stretch from pitchers to public policy, but maybe it isn’t. Maybe it’s all about taking our emotions to the streets in this fragile democracy.
More than 1,000 people Gathered at the June 30 Families Belong Together Rally in Eugene
• As we go press, news of the passing of Richard Swift of the Shins, the Arcs and the Black Keys is hitting the music world. Swift also owned a recording studio, National Freedom, in Cottage Grove. He died July 3 at age 41.