Jackman Wilson, the now-former editorial page editor at The Register-Guard, penned a farewell column to run his last day on the job earlier this month. He’d worked there three decades. Sadly, the new GateHouse-owned version of the RG wouldn’t run it. But that’s what social media is for, isn’t it? Wilson’s goodbye has exploded all over Facebook, shared by the likes of former Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy. Ever the gentleman, Wilson laments the hollowing out of the RG’s opinion pages — GateHouse has eliminated the Sunday Commentary section and cut daily opinion pages by half — but avoids bitterness about the collapse of newspapers. Our favorite line: “I plan to take a break, and then find some other kind of work to do. Not newspapers. Maybe whale oil.”

Speaking of the RG, word from the newsroom continues to be about staff and pay cuts. A hiring freeze is rumored, meaning many people departing the paper won’t be replaced. Besides editorial page editor Jackman Wilson, recent departures include former senior editor Christian Wihtol and former columnist Bob Welch, both of whom had been working with Wilson in the editorial section; photographer Brian Davies, reporter Saul Hubbard and team editor Ed Russo. Meanwhile, GateHouse has told RG freelancers to sign new contracts cutting their pay and giving GateHouse the right to publish their stories anywhere in the company’s national chain without extra pay.

A herd of perhaps 80 to 90 elk has become the talk of the Alvadore and Franklin Road area north of Eugene, south of Junction City. One farmer showed us a photo on her cell of a row of the majestic animals lined up to swim in her pond. We wonder what would happen if 80 elk decided to mosey down the runway at the Eugene Airport? Unlikely, as they’d find no food, drink or hiding places there — and TSA would try to pat them down.

• On Sept. 4, the 9th Circuit Court found that a camping ban in Boise, Idaho, could violate Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment if homeless people have no other choice but to camp. In Eugene, the city tells us the ruling doesn’t affect current practices for reasons including that in Boise it’s a misdemeanor while in Eugene it’s a violation leading to fines of up to $200. The first question we have is: How many unhoused people have $200 for a fine? The city also cites a number of programs such as car camping, dawn-to-dusk and transitional housing such as SquareOne Villages. Homeless advocates in Boise back in 2015 actually looked to Eugene for ideas. We also applaud Eugene and Lane County for their work, but it’s far from done and this ruling should be a reminder that some of the tactics cities such as Eugene use to get rid of the homeless (downtown dog ban anyone?) are in fact cruel. See more on responses to the homeless ruling as well as the latest on white supremacist Jacob Laskey at

Rep. Peter DeFazio isn’t just campaigning for his own congressional seat. He’s looking to flip Congress from Red to Blue in other states, too. DeFaz recently sent out an email blast saying, “I also want to win back the U.S. House of Representatives so a Democratic majority can hold the Trump administration accountable.” To that end, his Eugene field office will run phone banks to help elect Democratic House candidates across the nation running in congressional districts historically held by Republicans that DeFazio believes can be won in November. One of the first candidates you can help DeFazio support is Katie Hill in CA-25. The daughter of a police officer, Hill, a registered nurse, is the executive director of the largest homeless service organization in California, according to DeFazio’s campaign. You can sign up to volunteer at or drop by the new field office at 222 E. 11th Avenue. Interested community members can contact 541-515-6192.

Comments are closed.