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Slant - 2017-07-20

• When even our 10-year-old friend asks what’s going to happen on the old city hall/new county courthouse lot in downtown Eugene, it must be time to look for an answer.

Any suggestions? It will be at least three years, probably more, before ground breaks for a courthouse.

Should we have a garden? Or even trees around the edges? Remember those old-fashioned big-top circuses — wouldn’t that be fun? How about a giant art installation?

Of course, some have rightfully urged using the space for a homeless shelter, but the cost of maintenance and management always comes up.

Parking. That’s probably what will fill this precious space.

 

• We listened to State Senator Floyd Prozanski, Democrat from Eugene, State Representative Cedric Hayden, Republican from Roseburg, and Representative Julie Fahey from Junction City wrap up the 2017 legislative session to the City Club of Eugene on July 14, and we came to one conclusion.

If Oregon is going to raise more revenue for education, we need to elect more progressive Democrats. There will never be enough “cost containment “ to satisfy the Republicans.

 

• Don’t waste time answering questions to the fake phone pollsters calling themselves “Informed Electorate.” They’ve been calling into the Eugene area with questions about how the people can take their government back, saying they are making half a million contacts a month. Of course, it’s expensive to reach that many people, so they need $20 per contact or even $15. That’s when we catch the scam and hang up, but the caller was really clever. We wonder how much money they have raked in so far.

 

What we’re reading: A friend who just finished Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden recommends it for readers especially interested in how journalists exposed deception by the American military. Some readers, he warns, may not like the emotional details of the fighting. This new book, recently reviewed on public radio’s Fresh Air, reminds us once again of the role of the free press in exposing lies by the government in a democracy.

 

Long summer nights. Eugene police were busy last weekend keeping the lid on downtown partying. The cops arrested two different intoxicated drivers going the wrong way on one-way streets, one of whom bashed a few parked cars in the process. They arrested another man who tried to punch a tavern employee and, across town, nabbed a guy who pulled a gun during a bar dispute. All in all, downtown units “had a busy shift with one of most populated party scenes the commander said he had seen in years,” the department said in an email. 

Enjoy the good weather but be careful out there!

 

Speaking of enjoying the weather, women in town are likely to don dresses or shorts when the weather gets hot. This is not an invitation to harass them. Even if you like what you see, please keep it to yourself! What you may think is a compliment can come across as a threat to a young woman walking alone in an unpopulated area. We’re not quite Saudi Arabia — where police this week arrested a “girl in offensive clothing” for wearing a crop top and a short skirt — but that doesn’t mean women here feel safe in their summer garb, or wearing anything else for that matter.