• How will Councilor Betty Taylor vote when the West Eugene EmX Extension comes before the Eugene City Council this fall? We broke the news on our blog July 3 that Juan Carlos Valle, her opponent on the November ballot, has come out in favor of extending EmX, and we reported that Taylor was rumored to be leaning toward support as well. EW had asked both candidates to tell us where they stand on the issue. Taylor isn’t holding a press conference, as Valle did, but she told us this week, “I have decided to vote for the 11th Avenue route, though I still have concerns for the affected businesses.” And she still wishes “for more, smaller buses on more routes.”
Taylor says she took a tour recently with LTD General Manager Ron Kilcoyne looking at housing on both sides of the proposed route. “I have decided that the bridges across Amazon Creek (which are part of the project) will make bus service more easily available to many people. Also this is probably the only way we are going to have 10-minute service, which is a huge incentive. I was thinking that a fast way to get to Target is not a desirable motive, but getting people to the library more easily is a laudable goal.”
Anyone with doubts about EmX should pay attention to Taylor’s careful decision. This retired educator with a Ph.D. really does her homework and knows the complex issues. Anything can happen right up to the vote, but at this point we hear George Brown is one of the two or three councilors who are still undecided. Mayor Piercy, a strong supporter of EmX, could be the tie-breaker.
• Our cover image June 21 was artwork by Matt Dye based on an original photo of Steve Prefontaine by the renowned late Eugene photographer Brian Lanker. We had verbal permission from the Lanker family to publish the copyrighted image, but Eugene Weekly acknowledges that photographs by Brian Lanker cannot be used or reproduced without the written consent of Lanker, Inc.
• Longtime peace and social justice activist Marion Malcolm has announced she is retiring, again, from Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC), saying “I’m not a good role model for really retiring!” She stepped down from her inspiring decades of leadership at CALC a dozen years ago, but came back to organize special events and develop the Springfield Alliance for Equality and Respect (SAfER). Sounds like she’s going traveling overseas for nine months in the fall. “Marion has had an amazing and influential career as a community organizer for many of the issues for which we all deeply care,” says CALC Executive Director Kori Rodley in the latest newsletter. Picking up at SAfER where Malcolm is leaving off will be Joanna Bernstein who just completed her master’s degree at UO in community and regional planning.
• We wonder if one of our fine local poets has written an ode to sport, the Olympics, even track. If so, promptly send it to us and we’ll put it out on paper or website. Tony Perrottet has written in The New York Times that verse has come back to the Olympics where it was once a competitive event. The BBC is even broadcasting a poem daily from one of the 204 competing Olympic countries and 10,000 copies of poetry were to be dropped by helicopter on the venue. Think about it for the next time we have the Olympic Trials in Tracktown USA.
• A Beard and Moustache Contest for the Eugene Celebration? We have not seen a lot of attention yet for what could be a fun annual addition to the EC, including a parade entry. We did run a letter to the editor May 17 from organizer Tim Boyden, dubbing the contest a “hirsuite pursuit.” A kickoff and fundraiser for the contest is happening from 3 to 5 pm Sunday, July 29, at Falling Sky Brewery’s Brewing House, 1334 Oak Alley. Details about the contest should be available this week at the Eugene Celebration website, stop by “Beard Headquarters” at Out On A Limb Gallery, 191 E. Broadway, or email email@example.com