Auditors, quakes and opionds

News on the Eugene city auditor front. Bonny McCornack of ElectedAuditor4CityAccountability and a chief petitioner for Measure 20-283 tells us that on Monday, March 12, Circuit Court Judge Rasmussen struck the word “independent” from the title of the city’s competing appointed auditor ballot measure. McCornack says, “For true independence the auditor cannot be appointed and supervised by the City Council and must be elected by and accountable to the voters of Eugene.” She argues that the city’s ballot measure “was designed to conflict with the citizens’ initiative, Measure 20-283,” and says the city measure “was so extremely fast-tracked that as of March 15 there are only five days for the city to submit arguments for the Voters’ Pamphlet and that measure didn’t have a number as of press time. Voters will weigh in on the auditor issue in the May 15 election.

• We read the terrific New Yorker article on the “Big One,” as well as our own Cascadia subduction zone coverage, and we have gone to neighborhood meetings about what to do when the huge quake hits, but Steve Robinson scared us the most in his March 9 speech to the City Club of Eugene. An economist, he’s the president of the nonprofit Cascadia Prepared. Clearly it is his mission to push us all into action. The Cascadia fault covers about 100,000 square miles and 10 million people. Robinson said there is about an even chance that a number eight or nine earthquake will happen in the next 15 years. No disagreement, he said, that the “Big One” could happen any minute, and we are not ready for it. Visit his website at for more direction, and see our upcoming story on disaster preparedness. Robinson’s wife, State Rep. Nancy Nathanson, demonstrated a “go-pack,” a small back-pack that  all of us should have ready to go. We are convinced.  It is time to prepare, from schools and bridges to go-packs and water bottles.

We were proud to see Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on PBS News Hour March 12, together with the Republican governor of Maryland, powerfully advocating that the opioid crisis enveloping this country be treated as a public health crisis rather than a criminal problem. Of course, that’s not Donald Trump’s direction, but the bi-partisan governors are right.

• How about Joe Biden for president, Oprah Winfrey for vice president in 2020? Does that interest EW readers?

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