Slant 2-6-2014

Civic Stadium may survive the wrecking ball after all. It’s a wise leadership move by 4J Schools Superintendent Shelley Berman to support the city of Eugene’s offer to open an avenue for both the YMCA and a restored Civic Stadium on the 10.2 acres in south Eugene. Next, the School Board should follow his lead with a positive vote on Feb. 19. Only the city of Eugene’s proposal of $4.5 million includes reusing the historic stadium and the opportunity for a new Y on the site. With that big community decision out of the way, the district can focus on the education issues swirling around out there and look forward to the precious new funds within the year. Kids win in every way.

• With Pete Seeger songs and cries of “Hey, Obama! We don’t need no climate drama!” about 100 Eugeneans rallied at the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse on Feb. 2, joining similar protests of the controversial tar-sands-carrying Keystone XL pipeline across the country. The protests arose after the U.S. State Department unveiled its final supplemental environmental impact study last week, which played down the pipeline’s potential climate-changing effects. Eugene and Corvallis have formed groups to fight global warming. 

• Maybe it’s time for the Eugene City Council to get some cultural sensitivity training. Seems like Councilor George Poling didn’t realize that raising the middle finger is seen as an insult in many countries, including the one he lives in. Activists for the unhoused were dismayed when at a Jan. 29 council meeting Poling sat with his middle finger extended against his head. Alley Valkyrie, who took a photo and posted it to her public Facebook page, wrote that “Poling, the only councilor who openly and regularly expresses bigoted and prejudiced views towards the homeless, held his finger up in this position at an audience full of homeless advocates for a significant portion of the discussion about Whoville.” Jan Bohman,  community relations director for the city of Eugene, objected to EW posting the photo on our blog and said that Poling “often rests his head on his hand” in this particular position, and he could be seen doing so earlier in the meeting during the discussion of the Amazon Headwaters.

 • The O&C Land Act of 2013 gets its first hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this Thursday, Feb. 6, and Sen. Ron Wyden chairs this committee. More than two dozen environmental groups are on record opposing Wyden’s legislation as it is written, and the language in the bill is likely to get worse before it passes the Senate. Environmental protections could be further watered down in conference committee with Rep. Peter DeFazio’s House bill. We’ve heard lots of talk about jobs and money, but not nearly enough talk about carbon storage and climate change, and the economic value of standing forests, wildlife habitat and clean water. In terms of economics, it’s also time to look at our timber taxes in Oregon (or lack of them). And about those promised timber jobs: Nobody’s talking about how more logging on public lands means more exports of private raw logs (and jobs) to overseas mills. 

• Eye candy: (sub)Urban Projections 3rd Annual Digital Arts Festival at the Hult Jan. 30 was a huge success, packing the soaring lobby with young and old. The audience was guided through nine cutting-edge performance pieces, perfectly paced at five-minute intervals, ranging from local band Medium Troy to mapped 3D animation layered over modern dance. This is the kind of event that will put Eugene on the arts map — good to see the public embracing it. Did we mention it was free?

• Get ready to roll. The Emerald City Roller Girls will kick off their seventh season Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Lane Events Center. The 2013 home-team champions, the Flat Track Furies, will battle the Spokannibals from Spokane; the second bout of the night will be between the Andromedolls and the Church of Sk8in to begin the intra-league competition towards the league championship title. This is not how your mother taught you to skate.