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Slant - 2017-08-03

• We were excited to hear from Greenhill Humane Society that Tank, the pit bull who has waited more than 500 days to find a home, was adopted by Eugene Weekly readers after his story appeared in our annual Pets issue. Go Tank! 

 

• Faced with mounting evidence that playing football causes brain disease, what are America’s institutions of higher learning going to do about it? A recent study found that more than 99 percent of brains from deceased former NFL players that were examined contained chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head (goo.gl/wk53QJ). The same study found CTE in 48 of 53 former college football players. America’s universities are hitched to football — they rely on football to generate huge revenues. But universities are supposed to be about knowledge and learning. Can they continue to send students out to play a game that apparently damages their brains?

 

• Are Americans ready for single-payer health care? That topic drew enthusiastic applause Tuesday afternoon when Rep. Peter DeFazio addressed a few hundred people who turned out in the heat for a town hall meeting at Churchill High School. “That does not mean socialized medicine,” the popular Democratic congressman said. “It means you have one entity that insures people.” As a step toward that major reform, DeFazio suggested a “national not-for-profit plan that everyone can sign up for” should be offered to all Americans alongside private insurance plans. We agree.

 

• When Dan Bryant gave his 20-minute local “TED talk” to the City Club of Eugene on July 28, a couple of remarkable numbers stood out. Pastor of the First Christian Church in downtown Eugene and tireless advocate for homeless housing, Bryant told how his 106-year-old church is providing roughly 20,000 contacts with people in need every year. That includes breakfast every Sunday for 400, hundreds more through the Egan Warming Center, and 50 to 100 walk-ins from the street every week. Can the congregation and leadership of this old white Eugene church be in the same country as the leadership in the White House in Washington, D.C.? As Bryant says, “Homelessness is a justice issue.” 

 

• The heat wave this week isn’t just a danger to your electric bill, it’s a fire danger. The Oregon Department of Forestry has declared an extreme fire danger level for rural areas of Lane County and northwest Douglas County, and warns against using gas-powered or spark-emitting equipment. Setting campfires outside of incorporated campgrounds is also forbidden. David Kjosness with ODF's Western Lane District said in a press release, "We are asking that people be extremely mindful of this hot, dry weather and avoid any activity that could spark a fire, whether it is formally restricted or not." Be careful out there!