Eugene Weekly welcomes a new full-time writer, Taylor Perse, to our news staff. Perse, 22, is a 2019 graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. She interned from April 2018 to December 2018 at EW — her first story involved climbing a 200-foot construction crane for an interview — and worked with the UO’s Catalyst Journalism Project on solutions and investigative stories for EW. Last summer, before coming on staff at EW, she interned with the Investigative Reporting Workshop in Washington, D.C. Speaking of former EW interns, Asia Zeller went from EW to a Snowden internship at the McMinnville News-Register and now has been hired as a staff reporter covering education at the weekly Lake Oswego Review.

• Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is spinning in circles explaining why it beat a bobcat kitten to death after it wandered into Oak Hill School. The school, on the edge of forestland in south Eugene, called authorities Oct. 16 to remove the bobcat — a species about twice the size of a typical housecat — after it entered an office at the school and was locked in. No students or staff were injured or threatened. The decision to kill the bobcat by “blunt force trauma to the head” after its capture was made by an ODFW biologist and a state trooper, ODFW said in an email, insisting the animal couldn’t be released because of its “abnormal” behavior — going into a building. A second young bobcat, perhaps a sibling, was captured at the school, examined and released. It didn’t enter a building. Curiosity, it seems, really does kill the cat.

Endorsement: Vote YES on Ballot Measure 20-302. Election day is Nov. 5, and ballots have already been mailed to Eugene voters. It is not a vote for or against the payroll tax. A “yes” vote prevents the Eugene City Council from raising the new payroll tax or using it for other than the specified purposes without a vote by the citizens. The council did not put that choice on the ballot. One councilor we trust thinks the purpose of this voting opportunity is to make the public feel good about the new tax.

Now is a good time to talk about the form of city government in Eugene. Jon Ruiz, city manager for more than a decade, retired Friday, Oct. 18. Sarah Medary, highly skilled in the management of most departments of our government, took over as interim manager this week. We wish them both well, but we wonder whether Eugene has outgrown the city manager form of government? Portland has a version of strong mayor and paid commissioners — all elected, unlike our manager, who is selected by the council and can be removed by the council but not by the voters. Maybe we should simply pay our city councilors more than the small stipend they get, give them staff and thus more power. What do you, our readers, think?

• A new nationwide study ranks Eugene as the top city for homelessness when adjusted for population. The study, conducted by, found Eugene’s homeless population averages at about 432 per 100,000, where the national average is around 168 per 100,000. The second place cities are Los Angeles, at 397, and New York City, at 394. Statewide, Oregon ranks No. 4 overall in homelessness. New York, Hawaii and Washington D.C. are among the other top areas listed. The study also mentions cities that have seen the biggest increases and decreases in homelessness.

• National polls consistently show that Americans are down on government, so why are so many Eugeneans and Oregonians so eager to run for office? We have dozens of candidates announcing for Pete Sorenson’s Lane County commission seat and City Council openings. Folks are even running against longtime incumbent Peter DeFazio for Congress. Two years ahead of time, politicians are positioning to try for governor when Kate Brown is done in 2022, and three candidates have announced for Oregon secretary of state in 2020. At this time in this country it’s more important than ever to have good people seeking public office. We need them.