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Slant 8-16-2012

Vote! Vote! Vote! It’s time to start practicing being an involved citizen as the November election looms closer. EW is happy to provide some fun voting practice with our happy, happy, joy, joy, unicorns-and-rainbows-themed Best of Eugene balloting getting underway. Vote on the paper ballot (feel free to decorate with sparkles and colors) in this week’s and future issues or online at bestofeugene.com by October 1.

• When City Council Ward 2 candidate Juan Carlos Valle resigned as chairman of the Eugene Police Commission last week, two credible sources confirmed that he stepped down rather than be voted out of leadership. EW was told that other members were unsatisfied with his leadership, and he was probably going to be voted out. Why mention this? We believe it’s relevant to his qualifications for the City Council seat. Valle tells us he resigned in order to spend time on his campaign.

• After almost three months of being locked out of his office, we hear County Commissioner Rob Handy has access again, though still not 24-hour access to the building as the other commissioners have. And on Aug. 15, as EW goes to press, the county commissioners will vote to approve minutes from previous meetings, including the May 3 “emergency meeting” that kicked all this off. Handy says he will be asking for a discussion and vote on the May 3 minutes specifically, saying he protests the “dual nature” of the notice given to commissioners — Commissioners Bozievich, Leiken and Stewart got notice of the 9 am meeting the day before while Sorenson and Handy received notice at 7:38 am that day, he says. Handy adds that the so-called “emergency” prompting the meeting was not defined as the public meetings law requires and he plans to vote “no” on the minutes.

Local residents who do not subscribe daily to The Register-Guard used to get the free Emerald Valley Shopper in their mailboxes each Wednesday featuring wire service celebrity gossip and recycled ads from the daily paper. Now, apparently to save postage, the Shopper gets tossed on driveways and yards. We’ve noticed them piling up in front of empty rentals and littering driveways of people who are out of town, advertising that nobody’s home. Must be a better, greener way to manage the distribution of this freebie.

Mountain Bike Oregon takes place Aug. 17-19 in and around Oakridge, but you can’t go; it’s sold out. Better luck next year! We hear MBO has everything you want in a bike adventure, from the evening adult beverages (Oregon craft beers) to the plethora of bikes and gear to check out. What we love is the way Oakridge is transforming itself from a timber town to a town that coexists with and profits from the ecosystem around it. Turns out you don’t need to cut trees to benefit from public lands. 

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, editor at eugeneweekly dot com