Best of Eugene 2009-2010: Civic Pride
best local uproar
1. The Tasering & trial of Ian Van Ornum
2. Save Civic Stadium
3. Eugene Celebration
When police twice shot 50,000 volts through environmental protester Van Ornum as he lay face down with one or both hands behind his back, the cops energized an uproar that has kept going and going and going. The Tasering won this Best Of category in 2008. This year the uproar continued when the supposedly independent Civilian Review Board, stacked with people opposed to police oversight, agreed with the cops that officers did nothing wrong — video evidence and overwhelming citizen testimony be damned.
person of the year (and why)
1. Kitty Piercy
2. Peter DeFazio
3. Barack Obama
Our mayor was the overwhelming favorite in this category once again this year, getting praise from our readers for trouncing Jim Torrey in the mayoral race, being “the most LGBTQ-friendly mayor we’ve ever had,” being both “nice” and “tough” and showing up for everything, everywhere (defying the known laws of physics). She also garnered kudos and votes for rapping at the Whiteaker Block Party. The list of people mentioned in this category makes up a remarkable who’s who of Eugene, from the late Leslie Brockelbank to Lauren Regan to LeGarrette Blount, “who showed us why we need a boxing team.” Obama’s not exactly local, but it looks like we’ve adopted him as one of our own.
best local politician
1. Peter DeFazio
2. Kitty Piercy
3. Chris Edwards
Pete DeFazio rose to the top this year as our scrappy Fourth District representative in Congress, always asking the tough questions and standing up for transparency, fairness and accountability in our federal government. DaFaz courageously and skillfully held his ground during the congressional summer break, confronted time after time by right-wing radicals in town hall meetings. Chris Edwards is new to the top three list this year. State Rep. Edwards was appointed to the state Senate and is a rising star in state politics.
best public space (indoor or outdoor)
1. Alton Baker Park 632 Day Island Rd.
2. Eugene Public Library 100 W. 10th Ave.
3. Saturday Market 8th & Oak. www.eugenesaturdaymarket.org
Float through the mossy maples amid the blue wizard hats of larkspur on a winding bike trail; watch a pair of geese fly through an outdoor concert before the moon rises over the amphitheatre; drift up to where a beaver chiseled down a tree on the canoe canal; thump along in the steps of a track legend on a trail through woods and meadows; watch an osprey plunge and rip a fish out of a rapid and a heron patiently wait for its chance. No wonder Eugene loves its largest park.
best green cause
1. Pitchfork Rebellion / ending pesticide spraying http://pitchforkrebellion.com
2. Local foods / CSAs
3. tie: Cascadia Wildlands www.cascwild.org / Ending field burning
In Eugene, green isn’t just a color; it’s a way of life. The competition for Best Green Cause was fierce. Our winning cause, ending pesticide spraying as espoused by the Pitchfork Rebellion, made headlines this year in the aftermath of the anti-pesticide rally that ended in the Tasing of Ian Van Ornum and the arrest of Pitchfork rebel Day Owen. Growing your own (local food, that is) as well as buying it locally came in second, with some props going to Adam’s Sustainable Table for their focus on the local. Tying for third were the efforts by Cascadia Wildlands to establish Devil’s Staircase as a Wilderness, and the campaign to end field burning, which was championed by the Western Environmental Law Center, Oregon Toxics Alliance and local citizens and politicians.
best animal-oriented nonprofit
1. Greenhill Humane Society www.green-hill.org
2. Shelter Animal Resource Alliance (S.A.R.A.) www.sarasavesanimals.org
3. Cascades Raptor Center www.eraptors.org
From beasts to birds, Eugeneans voted for their favorite ways to save their furred and feathered friends. Greenhill Humane Society is this year’s most popular way to give some love to our four-legged citizens. With events like Yappy Hour drinks during the summer and their upcoming Art for the Animals local art show, Greenhill involves the community in its efforts to find homes for Lane County’s homeless cats, dogs, bunnies and guinea pigs (the latter are the “small and furries,” according to Greenhill’s adoptable pets listings).
best human-oriented nonprofit
1. FOOD for Lane County www.foodforlanecounty.org
2. Womenspace www.womenspaceinc.org
3. White Bird Clinic whitebirdclinic.org
best environmentally friendly business
1. NextStep Recycling 2101 W. 10th Ave. 686-2366.
2. BRING Recycling 4446 Franklin Blvd., Glenwood. 746-3023.
3. Down to Earth 532 Olive St., 342-6820; 2498 Willamette St., 349-0556.
Recycling and nonprofits are the name of the game this year when it comes to our top two favorite green businesses. Why shop for new and expensive stuff when you can get it used for cheaper and feel good about it too? NextStep’s programs to keep electronics out of the landfill and get computers and electronics to low income and disadvantaged Oregonians got your votes this year. BRING Recycling’s Planet Improvement Center came in second with its many outreach and art events, as well as the daily opportunity to pick through its piles of recycled treasures for all your home improvement needs.