Slant – 2017-11-16

From COP23 to the latest on the Oregon Bach Festival

With basketball season starting at the UO, it was a curious jolt to see the name William Drozdiak as the author of a new book, Fractured Continent: Europe’s Crises and the Fate of the West, reviewed Nov. 12 in The New York Times. Drozdiak played basketball at Oregon way back in the Stan Love era. He graduated in 1971 with degrees in political science and economics, went on to play pro basketball in Europe, ultimately becoming a famous journalist and scholar now with the Brookings Institution. Let’s bring Bill Drozdiak back to Eugene to talk about his book and basketball.

• In reflecting on all the words spoken and printed for Veterans’ Day, we heard no mention of one of America’s most famous veterans, President Dwight Eisenhower, and his warning to beware of the military-industrial complex. Next year let’s heed his warning, focus less on war and more on peace.

• The national media has been filled with news of Donald Trump’s trip to Asia (and of course his Tweet in which he says he wasn’t calling Kim Jong-un “short and fat”). But Trumpian distractions aside, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, together with Jerry Brown of California and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington traveled to Bonn, Germany, for the COP23 global climate change talks. While the Trump administration has retreated from the Paris Agreement and Clean Power Plan, these governors spoke on a panel focusing on how these three states together with British Columbia have a regional objective of phasing out fossil fuels and moving toward a clean energy economy in a partnership called the Pacific Coast Collaborative. Let’s get a little more media on that.

• A document Eugene Weekly got from the University of Oregon on Tuesday, Nov. 14, shows that Oregon Bach Festival artistic director Matthew Halls was fired last summer while under investigation for complaints of sex and race discrimination Frankly, we’re shocked at what it reveals. The allegations against him hardly rise to Harvey Weinstein territory.

A festival participant, the report says, felt Halls didn’t treat women musicians with the same respect as men. “She said that Mr. Halls does not pay the same attention to female musicians in rehearsal that he does to male musicians,” it said.  The report, from the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, does not make any accusation of sexual impropriety.

In a non-denial denial, UO spokesman Tobin Klinger emailed, “You’re assuming a causal relationship that is speculation” in connecting Hall’s firing to the complaint. He did not, though, offer any other explanation, and the report details a planned threat to fire Halls over the matter and his ultimate termination.

See next week’s issue of EW, which comes out on Wednesday, Nov. 22, for a full account of what’s up at the festival.

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