We are watching the Jan. 20 inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris draw closer with delight and fear. The Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol wasn’t the last we will hear from right-wing extremists and domestic terrorists, but hope for a better country springs eternal. Check out Eugene Weekly’s online coverage of the Jan. 9 Trump rally in Eugene that led to three arrests, as well as our story of the quieter and heartbreaking Candlelight Vigil to Mourn Death on the Streets and the list of at least 30 people who died homeless this year.
• At the Jan. 11 Eugene City Council Meeting, Councilor Mike Clark once again refused to condemn white supremacy in response to the right-wing extremist insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. When councilors discussed the possibility of taking a new vote to condemn white supremacy — to include the new councilors — Clark said he’s all for condemning violence on both sides of the political spectrum as long as it includes also Antifa and Black Lives Matter. “We are not being peacemakers when we focus on one political aspect,” Clark said.
• Welcome voices of reason continue to come out of the City Club of Eugene. On Jan. 15, the topic is “Spotlight on the Coast: Economic Challenges and Opportunities” with three speakers: state Sen. Dick Anderson, Oregon’s 5th Senate district; Chief Doc Slyter of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians; and Bettina Hannigan, president and CEO of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. This program will air on the City Club Facebook and YouTube pages starting at noon on the 15th.
• Watch Cliff Bentz, newly elected congressman from eastern Oregon succeeding Greg Walden. He has the distinction of being the only congressman from Oregon and Washington to join Trump’s totally dishonest effort to overturn the vote against him in the electoral college. Embarrassing, to say the least, to have even one Oregon representative among the 147 senators and congressional representatives who endorsed the president’s shameful attempt to subvert democracy. And sadly, no surprise that Republican state Rep. Mike Nearman had a role in opening the door for Oregon’s right-wing Capitol invaders. House Speaker Tina Kotek and others have called for Nearman’s resignation. We agree and call for the Republican Party to learn some common decency.
• Congressman Peter DeFazio has received the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics award from the Wayne Morse Historical Park Corporation at this time when there is so little integrity in politics. Here are the words of Morse’s integrity pledge: “I will exercise an independence of judgment based on the evidence of each issue. I will weigh the views of my constituents and party but cast my vote free of political pressure and unmoved by threats of loss of political support.” We wonder what Sen. Morse would say today were he in Washington, D.C.?
• It’s still winter whale-watching season for another week or so, so if you are tired of politics and humans, you can take a COVID-safe trip to the Oregon Coast in hopes of seeing migrating gray whales heading to Baja, Mexico. The usual organized cetacean watches are off due to the coronavirus, but you can go to StateParks.Oregon.gov for places to witness the sea mammals swimming by.