Slant 2016-12-22

• “Community” and “neighborhood” have been the key words through the ice storm still bedeviling some of us. We were impressed by the Holiday Inn Express at Gateway in Springfield that allows pets to sign in with their owners. Twenty-three dogs, three cats and one rabbit settled into warm rooms rented at an emergency rate to their owners for the first night. Huge thanks, too, for the hard-working EWEB crews who have continued to be courteous and considerate to cranky climate refugees.

• The new $1 billion Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact at the University of Oregon is drawing attention to Eugene’s Millrace again. Register-Guard reporter Diane Dietz updated readers on the efforts to rehabilitate the waterway in a Dec. 12 article. Long a project of local planner Jerry Diethelm (and EW columnist), the Millrace was once a vibrant part of Eugene city life. It winds loosely parallel the Willamette River and Franklin Boulevard from near Glenwood to the EWEB building. Although a river city, Eugene has long failed to capitalize on our proximity to waterways like the Millrace that provide environmental as well as aesthetic benefits. The building of the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse failed to revive the Millrace, but perhaps Uncle Phil can throw his money and might behind a good cause, as the Millrace runs along the land for his latest project?

• Thumbs up to Steve Novick, outgoing Portland city commissioner, for his proposal adopted Dec. 7 to impose a surtax on corporations that pay their chief executive officers more than 100 times what they pay their typical worker. As he wrote in an opinion piece in The Oregonian (which opposes the surtax, of course): “Extreme income inequality is, next to climate disruption, the greatest challenge of our era.” Novick was defeated in the November election but hopefully he will continue to lead like this in another public arena.

• Speaking of leading in another arena, we’re counting on Val Hoyle to do the same. Tony Corcoran’s “Hot Air Society” in this issue of the Weekly deftly lays out why Hoyle was not selected for the Oregon Senate seat vacated by Chris Edwards. But Hoyle still cares about issues such as the psychiatric hospital she pushed for in Junction City, and we can’t imagine that she will see that shuttered without a fight. As a staff member of the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at the UO, Hoyle can work for her important causes and prepare for the next round.

• Our Christmas wish for the next four years of Donald Trump’s presidency: That the cold opening of Saturday Night Live will keep on making us laugh and making Trump furious.

• Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is proposing a carbon tax at $25 a ton, enough to raise the price of gasoline by about 25 cents a gallon and raise about $2 billion a year in revenue. His proposal comes weeks after Washington voters rejected a different carbon tax. Inslee’s carbon plan factors into his efforts to raise $4 billion in new revenue, with $3 billion of it going to improve education. Meanwhile in January the Seattle City Council will vote on legislation to end the city’s contract with Wells Fargo, which handles $3 billion worth of city government business, including employee payroll. This addresses not only Wells Fargo’s involvement in the Dakota Access Pipeline but its enrollment of 2 million people in fake accounts to hit sales targets. Fighting climate change, addressing corruption, supporting indigenous rights and clean water and raising funds for education? Hey, Oregon, are you listening?