Slant 6-2-2016

Established power and corporate Oregon are mobilizing strategically to defeat IP 28, the value-added tax almost sure to be on the ballot in November. The Oregonian in Portland has been editorializing and writing against it for months. The strategy is to convince voters that this is really only a sales tax, not exactly a favorite in this state. But the basic question is, “What do you propose to bring Oregon public education up to where it should be?” To date, no proposal has come from corporate Oregon, while education leaders we trust call this ballot measure a game-changer for Oregon kids. We believe that students need more teacher time and that will cost the money that IP 28 proposes. This will be an extremely important test of political persuasion in the next five months.

• If you need two hours of laughter in this sorry political season, one suggestion is Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, the wild and crazy play by Christopher Durang running until June 11 at our Oregon Contemporary Theatre on west Broadway. Starring Storm Kennedy and directed by Tara Wilbrew, the comedy is well played by the entire cast. While watching, we totally forgot the miserable clown running for president in November.

Harambe, an endangered lowland gorilla was shot at the Cincinnati Zoo over the weekend after a 4-year-old boy fell into the gorilla exhibit. The shooting leaves animal lovers shocked and in tears, and a popular meme shows an image of Harambe, asking, “Not sure why they killed me, I was doing a better job of watching that lady’s kid than she was.” The incident leaves more questions than answers. Why not use a tranquilizer (they don’t stop the animal in its tracks), was the mom watching her kid? Should we even have zoos and if not, how do we preserve species like gorillas and teach the public to love and protect them?