• Kudos to Suzanne Haag, Eugene Ballet’s resident choreographer, who’s been honored by the Oregon Arts Commission with its Joan Shipley Award. She’s one of six artists from around the state to receive $3,000 OAC fellowships this year, rewarding “outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work(s).”

• It was impressive and unusual to hear the chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court lobby to citizens for more money for the courts. This was Martha Walters, former Eugene attorney who has been on the Supreme Court since 2006, now the first woman chief justice, speaking on Jan. 4 to the City Club of Eugene. Selected unanimously for a six year term by the other justices, she is using every opportunity to point out that less than three percent of the general fund goes to the Oregon courts that hear half a million cases every year, employing 200 judges. We would like to lobby for Justice Walters on the U. S. Supreme Court. Not likely with Trump and the Republican Senate, but wouldn’t it be great to break out of the Harvard, Yale, Stanford law graduate mold and pick a University of Oregon School of Law graduate?

• While we’re so caught up in the “who should be the next Democratic candidate for president” contest, let’s not overlook our local and state guessing games. Who should succeed Pete Sorenson on the Lane County Commission? Pete says he will not run again. We hear that many progressives are positioning for this political job that actually pays a living wage. What about the governor’s job? Kate Brown can’t run again next time, so who should? It’s never too early to strategize.

• Speaking of the Lane County Board of Commissioners, it’s a new day for the county government. On Monday, Jan. 7, Heather Buch and Joe Berney were sworn in, giving the board more of a progressive slant — although Buch has previously told the EW she wouldn’t play ideological sides. The next day, the board unanimously elected Sorenson to the position of chair (previously held by Jay Bozievich) and Buch as the vice chair. Maybe someday Lane County will catch up to Oregon’s upper levels of government — as Gov. Kate Brown recently pointed out this is the first time in Oregon history that a majority of statewide elected executive offices will be held by women. One of them is our own Val Hoyle, the state’s new labor commissioner, in the perfect job for her. Congratulations, Val!

• On that note, the Eugene Womxn’s March is Jan. 19, and if you want to prep for it, Threadbare Print House is hosting a Women’s March Print Party 3 to 8 pm Saturday, Jan. 12, at 445 Lincoln Street. The event will feature a little patriarchy smashing and the chance to bring a T-shirt in or purchase a T-shirt to be printed with a choice of 10 designs. There will also be free tattoos from Northwest Tattoo, discounts at nearby businesses and donations collected for Planned Parenthood and Oregon Supported Living Program. Full disclosure: Threadbare prints EW‘s Local & Vocal T-shirts with the cover image from this issue. See more, as well as other community stories, online at

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