420 is upon us; do you know what that means? No, really, do you? 420 is not the police code for marijuana. As the real story goes, a group of kids in San Rafael, California, used to meet at 4:20 pm to search for a lost weed grow. They never found the pot, but the Waldos, as they were called, began using the numbers in reference to weed. Thanks to a friendly relationship with the Grateful Dead, the reference spread, leading to a popular smoking time and day (and advertising that keeps at least one alt weekly printing pages). Don’t believe us? Check out any number of 420 stories in that journalistic weed standard, High Times.

• Based on our social media feeds, at some point everyone has been to and admired Notre Dame, which tragically burned this week. Sadly, also lost to fire recently was the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, and due to arson, the three black churches in Louisiana.

• Speaking of Notre Dame, did you used to hear that playing video games would serve you no good? Well, the video game series Assassin’s Creed is known for its meticulous recreations of real-world settings. Assassin’s Creed Unity is set in Paris, and an artist for the game, Caroline Miousse told The Verge that she spent two years studying the French monument. That’s the sort of knowledge that could be mobilized when France begins reconstruction.

• After hearing arguments on April 12 on a motion to dismiss Prof. Jennifer Freyd’s pay discrimination lawsuit against the University of Oregon, U. S. District Judge Michael McShane said he hopes to rule within the next week or no later than three weeks. Law students were a large part of the audience in the courtroom in the federal courthouse. President Michael Schill of the UO, trained as a lawyer, sat in for most of the arguments. We’re watching, too, with great interest.

Mayor Lucy Vinis gave the City Club of Eugene a detailed and impressive report on the state of this city on April 12, but the questions continued to circle back to the tough and terrible problems of homelessness and housing. Jerry Smith, who said he was “totally dissatisfied” with what he heard and was concerned about the lack of data on homelessness, pointed to lack of income as the real problem. Sandy Erickson asked about the city’s “long-term plans to prevent homelessness.” Mayor Vinis said the city is doing something on this, but not enough. Homelessness is not a new problem for the mayor. She was the development director of ShelterCare before taking this public job

• The news that the University of Oregon is looking to make big cuts in the arts to solve its budget woes (see our story in the news section) is not especially surprising, but it is depressing. University leaders should stand up for liberal arts education. They should stop academic subsidies of the bloated athletic department. It’s hard to take seriously poor-mouthing from an institution that has enough money to build a gaudy new track and field facility to benefit the IAAF Track and Field Championships — a private organization. Instead of cutting programs for the arts, how about eliminating that gross tower planned for the new incarnation of Hayward Field?

•  The results of the annual Eugene Tax Day Penny Poll are in: People don’t want to pay for the military, they do want to pay to help fellow humans and the environment. CALC, Taxes for Peace Not War, WAND, 350 Eugene, Extinction Rebellion XR, Beyond War and Veteran’s for Peace came together at April 15 for a rally and march and called for a re-ordering of federal spending and tax priorities from supporting war to meeting human and environmental needs. Participants were handed 10 pennies, which they deposited in jars representing a six-category breakdown of the federal budget. Only one penny this year went to the military

  • Human services 35.1 percent
  • Environmental services 43.2 percent
  • General government 8.6 percent
  • Military: present & past wars 1 penny
  • Veteran’s services 9.4 percent
  • Paying down the national debt 3.7 percent

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