Slant 5-12-2016

• The primary election is Tuesday, May 17, if you haven’t handed in your ballot yet, do it now! Vote! Don’t feel you know the candidates? Take a minute to glance at your Voters Pamphlet and EW’s endorsements and coverage. In our local primary election just one vote really can make the difference between who gets elected mayor, put on the City Council or is the next president. The Democratic Party of Lane County will be holding an official election night watch party at the Wild Duck Cafe starting at 7:30 pm with many candidates attending.

• We’re still solid for Sanders, in spite of the effort to scare us into gathering around Clinton in the primary because of terrible Trump’s real threat. Bernie Sanders best expresses our values and issues. He doesn’t tack to the middle or the left depending on the political winds at the moment. We trust him. We are grateful for his incredible effort to bring young voters into the democratic process. The mainstream press has dismissed him because he is out of the mainstream, but you still have time to cast your ballot in the Oregon primary. This time it is an important vote.

• Speaking of the election, as you can see in our endorsements in this issue we’re backing Lucy Vinis in the Eugene mayor’s race. City Councilor Mike Clark is too slippery; he’s glad-handing liberal Eugeneans and glibly saying what they want to hear on issues such as the South Willamette rezoning proposal (which did get sent back to the drawing board). Hey voters, you know when your one friend says to you, “You know, Donald Trump does have some good points,” and that statement makes you feel weird and squicky? Think about that if you are thinking about voting for Clark — that he’s unclear on manmade climate change is enough to make us shudder. You’re voting for the sake of future generations.

Rep. Val Hoyle is getting hit with criticism for a $250,000 donation from Michael Bloomberg and $105,000 from EMILY’s list, a Washington D.C.-based backer of female pro-choice candidates. One of her opponents in the race for the secretary of state’s office, Richard Devlin, sent out a press release alleging the “check is an admitted direct payback for a single piece of legislation.” The legislation in question is a 2015 gun control bill. Bloomberg’s campaign praised her for taking on the NRA. It’s big money, and Hoyle has vowed to reduce the influence of big money in politics if she’s elected secretary of state. But, she’s a practical candidate, and if she’s gong to get elected, the current state of politics is money talks. Let’s hope she changes that in Oregon if she wins.

• The results of the 2016 Annual Homeless Point in Time Count are in, and while we have far, far to go, things have improved. There were 1,451 unhoused people counted in Lane County,  a 1.5 percent decrease from the 2015 count. “Count locations included the streets and under bridges, in parks and other places not meant for human habitation, as well as food pantries, day access centers, schools, churches, emergency shelters and transitional housing programs,” Lane County Human Services says. This year “644 formerly homeless people could be found living in permanent housing designated for homeless people on the night of the count,” and that tells us something is getting better. Some of the scary numbers: 434 of the people counted have a mental illness and 13 were unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 18. These people need help. And we can’t help but to think despite the dedicated work of those counting, those aren’t the full numbers.

Lane United Football Club (that’s soccer) will open the 2016 season at Willamalane’s field at the edge of Springfield 7 pm Friday, May 13. Last week Lane United bested the Portland Timbers U-23 team by 1 to 0, so it is riding high. No Spaniards with the local team this year, but a bunch of fine college players. Should be great fun — the perfect escape from politics.

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