• Eugene has not applied to the UO’s Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) for the second year in a row. Our cover story this week examines this program and the city’s decision. But bigger issues are exposed here. Is Eugene really taking advantage of all the remarkable brainpower and expertise available on campus? We know of dozens of positive collaborations, but should there not be hundreds? And where is Eugene in its pursuit of sustainability? We’ve made big progress, but not nearly enough. City staff is still leaning toward more sprawl onto our shrinking farmland, parts of our city are still polluted and underdeveloped, bike and pedestrian transportation is still a relatively low priority, we have not integrated nature into our urban core. The Emerald Canal proposal has been shelved. We are not prepared for a big earthquake. Mass transit with the West Eugene EmX is hitting resistance. It’s a long list.
So yes, we can brag about our accomplishments, but we also need to take advantage of every opportunity to make our city greener, stronger, more resilient. As for the $250,000 cost of participating in the SCYP, it’s worth noting that the city might have spent more than that defending itself (and losing) in the Josh Schlossberg civil rights lawsuit. Could that money have been spent more wisely?
• Phone surveys are common in election years, and a recent Lindholm survey (nearly always funded by conservatives) appears to be looking for vulnerabilities in Mayor Kitty Piercy’s re-election campaign, along with seeing how popular or unpopular city councilors are with voters. Such polling helps candidates and potential candidates identify strengths and weaknesses in their opponents. But the questions themselves provide a preview of who might be running and what their campaign focus might be.
Most of the questions in the poll had to do with Occupy Eugene and how it was handled by the mayor and councilors, so don’t be surprised if Occupy becomes a major issue for conservatives seeking city office. Cynics among us figure the Occupy issue will not focus on economic justice or how to shelter our homeless residents, but rather on bashing the mayor and council for spending money on “anarchists and troublemakers.”
The poll also tested the viability of Piercy’s potential opponents: Pat Farr, Jeff Miller, Mike Clark, Chris Pryor, Greg Evans and Jim Torrey. Piercy’s only declared opponent so far is Kevin Prociw, who was not mentioned in the poll.
• Attention Super Bowl fans: Watch for former Ducks Patrick Chung (starting safety for the Patriots) and Spencer Paysinger (reserve linebacker and special teams for the Giants) to have a chilly reunion. They probably won’t be getting together this week to swap stories about how much fun they had studying together in Eugene!
• Speaking of sports, we hear from UO student Chelsea Schwartze that some revived effort is going into forming a second UO women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. Want to perfect your hammer and corkscrew? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
SLANT includes short opinion pieces, observations and rumor-chasing notes compiled by the EW staff. Heard any good rumors lately? Contact Ted Taylor at 484-0519, email@example.com