• “The glass-and-steel building, with a skybridge over Franklin Boulevard connecting to other UO research facilities, creates a stunning gateway corridor between Eugene and Springfield.” So says Around the O’s description of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact. By all appearances it’s going to be a beautiful bridge, and a reported $4.9 million is going into its construction. But we also hope it doesn’t become a symbol of hubris. When a University of Oregon spokesperson told The Register-Guard that the “skybridge is designed ‘to promote research collaboration, not public pedestrian traffic,’” and is not open to foot traffic on Franklin Boulevard, it raised our hackles a little bit. And it reminded us of Florida International University’s doomed skybridge, which collapsed in March 2018, killing six people. As the Miami Herald reported, while FIU’s project started as a simple footbridge, the “doomed pedestrian bridge morphed into something far more ambitious: A gleaming testament to FIU’s lofty institutional aspirations.” 

• PeaceHealth caused an outcry when it announced two weeks ago that it was closing the Nurse Midwifery Birth Center. The medical group cites declining births, but the very vocal opponents to the closure dispute that and question how PeaceHealth got the numbers. This area is one that values alternatives to the conventional medical system, and the closure seems a little tone-deaf. You can follow the battle to keep the center open at Lane County Friends of the Birth Center’s blog at

• When Max Williams spoke to the City Club of Eugene May 17, he put out some shocking numbers. He’s the president and CEO of the Oregon Community Foundation, which puts donated money from more than 2,000 charitable funds to work statewide, awarding more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. For instance, Williams said 41 percent of children born in Oregon are in single-parent families. About 156,000 families in Oregon are on the edge of homelessness, he said. We left the meeting grateful for what philanthropy is doing in this state, but even more aware of what it can’t do when the safety net is shredded and the rich-poor gap is so wide.

• For a unique take on this year’s Oregon legislative session, read Tony Corcoran’s “Hot Air” column in EW. After years of serving in Salem, Tony knows how the sausage is made and is not afraid to tell all. He was in the paper last week, this week and hopefully many more before the legislators trudge home.

Gov. Kay Ivey is the Republican governor of Alabama who gleefully signed the most restrictive abortion bill in the country in her effort to reverse Roe v. Wade. We hear that some folks in her state don’t call her Gov. Ivey. They call her “Poison Ivy.”