From fake news to the ArtWalk

Fake news! An error at the printer meant our Satire Issue didn’t get marked with the April 1 date at the bottom of the page that we had planned to mark April Fools Day. Whoops. Still, even the online stories marked as “satire” had some readers believing we wanted to actually boil dogs and that the University of Oregon football team was complaining about its fancy digs. Check your sources! And check out City Club of Eugene noon Friday, April 7, at the UO’s Baker Center Downtown (or Monday evening on KLCC) for a talk on “Editing Your News Feeds: Facts, Alternative Facts, Propaganda and Just Plain BS.”

• Oregon’s State Treasurer Tobias Read now says he sees a path forward on keeping the Elliott State Forest public. Kudos to the enviro orgs, forest advocates, ralliers, letter writers and phone callers for creating change. The fight’s not over — the Oregon State Legislature needs to move on state bonds to help free the forest from its tie to the Common School Fund.

As Trump policies and tweets depress us, local efforts give us hope. We profiled the work of Johanis Tadeo and City Wide MEChA on our Feb. 23 cover (“Springfield’s Unsung Hero”) and what the group is doing to put kids in touch with their Chicano culture. This weekend, April 8, you can support City Wide MEChA’s Latino Unity Prom that Tadeo says seeks to “come together and unite against all the hate currently going on.” That’s a cause we can get behind. The event is 6:30 pm at Willamalane Park and Recreation District, 250 S. 32nd Street in Springfield. Formal attire is requested to dance to the sounds of Sonido Azteca. For more info search City Wide MEChA on Facebook.

• Spring is here, the Saturday Market and Lane County Farmers Market have opened in the Park Blocks, and the First Friday ArtWalk starts taking place on sunny afternoons instead of dark and rainy evenings — the art is worth it no matter the weather, but the sun does motivate us. The ArtWalk kicks off 5:30 pm April 7 at Lane Community College’s Downtown Campus (which features work by LCC students in Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Media Arts and Culinary Arts as well as dance and music by LCC students). The walk is led by Riley Grannan, co-founder and recently retired managing director of the Eugene Ballet Company. It’s worth a wander. And as long as we are planning your weekend, Hillstomp at the Hi-Fi Music Hall on Saturday night is a bit more raucous than the ArtWalk, but who are we to say no to acoustic stomp-grass?

Donald Trump’s appointment of billionaire Betsy DeVos as education secretary clearly has mobilized local public school advocates for the fight ahead. Here in Eugene District 4J, we have three candidates, all with doctorates in education, competing for one seat on the school board. That’s Dr. Mary Leighton, Dr. Judy Newman and Dr. Jerry Rosiek. The winner of the at-large vote will get to spend hours and hours in a normally thankless job, but this time the community should be thankful that such highly qualified Eugeneans care so much about public education. The election is May 16.

• University of Maine prof David Wagner’s little book Confronting Homelessness: Poverty, Politics and the Failure of Social Policy came out in 2012, but it still is an important read on this tough problem here and across the country. Think about this: “In the longer haul, the socioeconomic arguments for homelessness fit the time period of the 1970s onward as one of deindustrialization and wage decline, with the added issues of gentrification of housing and a decline in social benefits.” Wagner is not long on solutions: “Given the grip of the two-party system on the political arena of the U.S., as well as the complex rules of divided government, it is difficult to imagine immediate changes.”

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