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Slant - 2017-09-07

Eugene Opera’s dramatic resurrection from near bankruptcy continued this week with the naming of Andrew Bizantz as artistic director and Erika Rauer as executive director. Bisantz is a familiar and much-loved figure at the podium here. Rauer, a soprano who’s performed at Oper Bremen, Opera Boston and Tanglewood, has also worked as director of education for New York City Opera and manager of elementary school programs at Carnegie Hall. The opera also announced a new season: Barber of Seville Dec. 30-31 and Ástor Piazzolla’s tango operetta María de Buenos Aires on May 4 and 6. You can meet the new leadership team when the opera holds a town hall meeting from 6 to 7:30 pm Monday, Sept. 11, at the Eugene Public Library, 100 W. 10th Avenue. 

Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, lays out the best advice for all of us after Trump’s cruel DACA decision on Sept. 5: Organize, register to vote, file citizenship papers now and organize to affect the 2018 elections. She was responding to questions from Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! The subject of a new film Dolores, Huerta is a frequent speaker and visitor to Lane County. She’s is a lifelong civil rights activist and is now president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation for Community Organizing. We at EW also recommend calling your representatives and demanding action.

• Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis’ study group on performance auditors will hold its sixth public meeting at 5:30 pm Monday, Sept. 11, at 990 W. Seventh Avenue. Members are contacting cities and counties around the country that have performance auditors, asking a rather lengthy list of questions. Results of the queries will be presented this fall to a City Council work session. The study group’s formation has raised eyebrows since a separate initiative petition to establish an independent elected performance auditor is already collecting signatures and is likely headed for the ballot in May. Will the mayor’s study group enlighten, or will it just confuse the public when it comes time to vote? Meeting notices and rough minutes are available online at eugeneperformanceauditor.org.

• We’ve started listening to the podcast “Small Town Dicks,” which takes listeners behind the scenes of “small town” crimes. The town isn’t so small — it’s actually Eugene/Springfield. And the show strengthens the area’s Simpsons connections with star Yeardley Smith doing much of the voicing. The podcast, while perhaps lacking the smoothness of a show like “S-Town,” is engrossing because it does what so many shows try to do and takes listeners beyond the headlines. While names have been changed and the stories made anonymous, anyone who follows the news can easily deduce just which crime the show is delving into. The first episode goes behind the scenes — in some grisly detail — of the murder of a young woman by her former boyfriend. While the show hides the names, Lane County will remember this is the case of Casey Wright, who was killed in a brutal incident of intimate partner violence. And that perhaps is the biggest strength of “Small Town Dicks”: That it doesn’t let us forget what goes on in our town. You can find episodes at smalltowndicks.com/media. You can check out EW’s own “What’s Happening” podcast on our website.