Sen. Jeff Merkley


Sen. Jeff Merkley, wearing an Army-green jacket, showed up to rally for Gov. Kate Brown at the University of Oregon on Monday, Nov. 5. He’s still mum on the question we all want answered: Are you running for president? Previously, he told EW that he would make a decision sometime after November. Now he says he’ll make a decision in January. When asked if he would make the announcement with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, he laughed. Maybe he’s more of a Late Show With Stephen Colbert kind of guy.

• On Nov. 2, Oregon’s senior Sen. Ron Wyden gave a short course on “How to Conduct a Town Hall” to a crowded City Club of Eugene meeting. Although his formal topic was “How to Protect Election Security,” it was fascinating to pick up on his positivity and note how many times he said, “That’s a very good question,” or pulled young people to the microphone. Wyden holds town hall meetings in every Oregon county every year. He calls it “listening to the future.” That’s why we keep returning him Washington, D.C., where he is now one of the most powerful players in the U. S. Senate.

Election aside, news has been flying fast and furious around town. Check out for updates on the Our Children’s Trust case, which was allowed to continue (again) by the Supreme Court and football coverage (Chip came. Ducks conquered. This time.) as well as  music and other coverage that EW’s intrepid writers delve into in between our print editions.

City Councilor Betty Taylor does not agree with giving up the City Hall lot plan for homeless people, calling it “one of the best ideas we had heard.” She was out of town on vacation when the hasty decision was made and also does not agree with scheduling an extra meeting without the agreement of all councilors. As for the plan to work with the county on a dusk-to-dawn site out Highway 99, Taylor says that’s fine, “but we need a gathering place downtown  — near the Dining Room and near the bus station  — a place to be rather than the library and the Sidewalks.”  She’s right, as usual.

• What did Phil Knight expect for the millions he threw at Knute Buehler? Voters weren’t impressed by Uncle Phil’s attempts to control not only the University of Oregon, but also the governorship of the state. They affirmed Gov. Kate Brown. We’re enjoying Oregon’s Blue Wave and mourning only that Democratic hopeful Jamie McLeod-Skinner lost to incumbent Greg Walden on Oregon’s east side. STAR voting lost in Lane County, but we appreciate the Score Then Automatic Runoff team’s starry-eyed hopefulness in trying to change the world, or at least elections. Dems now have a super-majority in the Oregon Legislature, and Marty Wilde joins that with his win in House District 11. Also worthy of note: state Sen. James Manning, appointed in 2016 and endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans, is the first African American to be elected to the Legislature by Lane County. Our county commission now has a progressive majority — thanks to Heather Buch’s Election Day win and Joe Berney’s win in the primary — and voters supported public education and transportation with the 4J school bond measure and the Springfield road bond. Statewide, with Measure 102 passing and the bad measures going down, we applaud Oregon voters!