Slant 11-21-2013

• The fate of Civic Stadium has stirred a plethora of news stories, letters and op-eds and we keep looking for perspectives that get little attention. Jim Watson of Friends of Civic Stadium sent a letter to the mayor and Eugene City Council this week talking about the environmental impact of trashing a huge wooden stadium that’s still in good condition and replacing it with new concrete, steel and pavement. He also wrote about the social implications of a major soccer facility with affordable events that everyone could attend, and would attract our growing Latino population. “Civic Stadium is the kind of place that will build social bonds by bringing diverse citizens together,” he wrote. What about the YMCA? Watson notes the Y has other options for building; Civic Stadium has only one place to be. All good points worthy of elaboration.

We haven’t heard much talk about how Springfield would relish being the soccer center of the region. We love our neighbors up the creek, but hey, Springfield got our hospital and Glenwood (how the !@#%& did that happen?). Let’s not blow another opportunity. Can anyone say “public-private partnership”?

• It looks like rock and gravel from Parvin Butte is going to start moving out to the coast. Neighbors out on Green Hill Road tell us they are seeing permits posted and work going on at the Lost Creek Rock products multimodal transfer station. Parvin breaks our hearts a little — it’s hard to wrap our minds around why the McDougal brothers and Greg Demers would level a scenic butte in the center of a small town. Not only are residents of Dexter dealing with explosions and rock crushing in their small, rural community, they also have to deal with trucks and traffic. There’s no sign so far that Lane County is going to do anything about all the noise and problems or fix what the county says is poorly worded language in the county code. What are the chances the McDougals and Demers are going to be better neighbors out on Green Hill than they have been to Parvin homeowners? Slim to none.

John Nichols and Bob McChesney, authors of the new book Dollarocracy , shouted out a rousing call to action Nov. 14 to a full house in the law school on the UO campus. It’s necessary to amend the U.S. Constitution to get the money out of politics, the two progressives argued, and 16 states already are demanding the change. We agree, but while chasing that structural change, progressives better beat the money on the local level in every little election.

• Kudos to the City Club of Portland for putting out gutsy proposals to get rid of what their research panel calls Oregon’s “Frankentax,” our flawed and unfair property tax system. As summarized by The Oregonian: Repeal Measures 5 and 47/50; replace with base levies, adjusted annually for inflation and population changes; apply property to a rolling average of real market values; create a task force to develop recommendations to re-establish local control over K-12 funding; eliminate exemptions of property from tax bases; improve equity and efficiency of property tax administration.

• It’s probably too early to book your tickets to Texas for the Final Four, but the Oregon men’s basketball team looks very promising. The Ducks can score points fast. Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis, Johnathan Loyd, Joe Young, Jason Calliste and Mike Moser have all demonstrated they can hit three-pointers and ring up 30 points in a hurry. Refs are calling games closer this year, so Oregon’s guards should be able to drive and dish to many good shooters. Coach Dana Altman will have to keep all these scorers happy and find enough rebounding to keep the Ducks in high gear. Watch the Ducks take on San Francisco at 5 pm Sunday, Nov. 24, at Mathew Knight Arena.

• We hear Eugene City Councilor Betty Taylor was re-elected to the National League of Cities Board for another two-year term. She was also re-appointed to the University Communities Council Steering Committee. Betty represents Eugene well on national panels. Makes us look good, makes us proud.