Slant 7-2-2015

Civic Stadium’s fiery destruction this week is a shocking loss for our community and this disaster is particularly painful since so much money, time, energy and love went into saving the beloved grandstand from the bulldozer. We see on social media that the news of Civic’s destruction went around the world and generated a collective “Oh, no!” from thousands of people who for generations have watched the games, played football or baseball on the field or worked in and around the property. Where do we go from here? A community-wide effort built Civic Stadium in 1938, in times that were much more economically challenging than today. There were many reasons to build Civic, there were many reasons to save Civic, and those reasons are still valid today as we look over the ashes. We can, as a community, rebuild Civic Stadium as a major regional sports center both for kids and adults with a distinctive new design that reflects the past — and looks to the future. 

• Kudos to The Register-Guard staff photographers and writers this week for capturing the Civic Stadium scene swiftly and thoroughly, reminding us why daily newspapers still play an important role in community.

• Here’s a takeaway from the June 26 City Club of Eugene meeting about the future of collegiate athletics at the UO: Economics professor Bill Harbaugh said, “We can make athletics work for the university better … some universities do that.” Retired business professor Dennis Howard did not disagree. Harbaugh will pull a big oar in such an effort. He’s the new vice president and president-elect of the UO Senate, but better known as the muckraker behind UO Matters, the blog that fiercely takes on both the athletic program and the UO administration. Welcome to Eugene, new UO President Michael Schill.

• Bravo to Gov. Kate Brown for signing the bill to allow Oregon parents to opt out of some standardized testing. She’s taking flak for signing, but she’s right. We need to give Oregon kids more teacher time, not more tests. It will cost money, but our parents paid for it. Why can’t we?

Hot weather is particularly hazardous for people who are homeless and word is going out that donations of sun block, sun hats, bandanas, coolers, ice, water jugs and electrolyte products are needed. And of course cash donations can be used to purchase such items. Collection sites are White Bird Clinic at 341 E. 12th Ave., open 8 am to 10 pm weekdays; Occupy Medical, open from noon to 4 pm Sundays at the Park Blocks; or contact the Burrito Brigade through Facebook.

• We talk a lot about climate refugees heading our way (they will descend upon us like zombies in cargo shorts and tank tops), but what about political refugees? Oregon is gaining a reputation nationally as a solid blue state with Democrats in control of both state houses and the governorship, a rarity in the U.S. We’ve seen conservatives flock to Texas, and lefties have been migrating to our state of beavers since the 1960s. Or they come to visit and never leave. But here’s a twist: We talked to some liberal Dems in Douglas County recently who are distinctly in the minority, but they don’t seem to mind. They all know each other and feel a sense of camaraderie, and they like poking and harassing the conservative establishment. It’s kind of like missionary work.

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