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Slant - 2017-06-29

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. It really is time to make Kesey Square Kesey Square, catch the momentum of the activities planned there and wipe out any glimmers of the old misguided plan to fill the public square with a building.

• Kudos to the Eugene City Council for appointing Jennifer Yeh to the Ward 4 position recently vacated by George Poling. 

A remarkable collection of juried art will be shown and sold July 2-4 at Art and the Vineyard in Alton Baker Park. Ninety-six artists from eight states will be selling from their booths along the river. More than a third of the artists are new to Art and the Vineyard this year. It all opens at 10 am, July 2, and closes with  fireworks July 4.

• “Public records law is the foundation for informing Oregonians about their government and the world around them.” That’s how a recent email from the Oregon Territory Society of Professional Journalists kicks off. SPJ is pushing to make Oregon government more transparent, and House Bill 2101-A would give the public more notice of bills that would increase secrecy and set up a 15-member Oregon Sunshine committee to update and simplify Oregon’s confusing array of more than 550 records-law exemptions. For the first time there would be a public process for review — and potential repeal  — of some of those exemptions. But the bill has not been scheduled for a hearing by the Joint Ways and Means Committee in the Oregon Legislature. Call your state rep and push for more sunshine in Oregon government. (Full disclosure, EW’s editor is on the Oregon Territory SPJ board and EW has had to fight for public records.)

• If you want your president elected by popular vote instead of by the electoral college, you should call or email Senate President Peter Courtney and Sen. Ginny Burdick right away. That’s the advice the City Club of Eugene heard June 23 from Elizabeth Donley and Eileen Reavey, two leaders of Oregon’s grassroots efforts to get the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact passed this year in the state Legislature. Courtney seems to be the biggest obstacle to getting HB 2927 considered by the full Senate. So far, he won’t allow Burdick to hold public hearings and move the bill out of the Senate Rules Committee for a vote on the Senate floor.