Slant 8-20-2015

• The Eugene Celebration may be in some sort of permanent holding pattern, but nothing holds a good SLUG queen down. The old queens and guest judges of the Society for the Legitimization of the Ubiquitous Gastropod crowned Markalo Parkalo (aka Mark Roberts) Aug. 14. Roberts is a mediator and board president of the Lane Independent Living Alliance. We applaud his focus on single-payer health care for all Oregon. Long may the SLUG queen rain. 

• As we go to press with our story on Housing First, we are chagrined to hear that the homeless protest camp known as Occupy the Right to Sleep (OURS) keeps facing eviction from the Oregon Department of Transportation and losing its Bucks port-a-potty.  How is it OK for construction companies to park their potties on the street but not OK for the unsheltered to have a clean bathroom?

• Here’s one more layer on the presidential-nomination parfait. If Hillary Clinton falters because of her emails or the Clinton Foundation or something else, Joe Biden’s team is considering a run for only one term, borrowing from President James Polk, who pushed the country to the Pacific. Ralph Nader recently suggested that California Gov. Jerry Brown is still watching what happens; a one-term promise also would serve him well. And we continue to love “the Bern,” Bernie Sanders, who is speaking to huge numbers, mostly unreported by the mainstream media.

• We keep harping on this, but it is so important: Endless stories and editorials in the mainstream media tell how Oregon needs to recruit tech and other kinds of entrepreneurs to keep the engine firing. Seldom does anyone mention the most important recruiting tool — high-quality public education to bring smart people who care about kids, their own and others. Let’s hear that story.

• 2016 election rumors are rumbling that State Treasurer Ted Wheeler is considering challenging Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, who was one of the American officials recently invited to the Vatican to talk with the pope’s climate team.  We need to know more about Wheeler’s motives or, better yet, the motives of those encouraging him to run.

• The September/October issue of Sierra, the magazine of enviro group Sierra Club, is out, and it has a nice feature on the top eco-conscious schools. Number one is UC Irvine with waste diversion, good mass transit and a goal of carbon neutrality by 2025. The University of Washington and Lewis and Clark College represent the Pacific Northwest in the top 10 as numbers eight and nine. Portland State is number 20. The Beavers kick some Duck butt coming in at number 40 and Southern Oregon University is number 84. The University of Oregon isn’t on the list of 153 self-reporting schools Sierra lists. Ouch. President Michael Schill has his job cut out for him restoring the UO’s dignity on a number of levels. Let’s get our green credentials back, UO!