Iditarod Nights

What we are reading: Ooligan Press out of Portland State University is a reliable publisher of excellent books with a Pacific Northwest focus. We’re tired of ugly politics, and so we’re sitting down with a good romance novel — one with dogs in it. Iditarod Nights by Cindy Hiday comes out in April, and we are enjoying our review copy with love, sled dogs and cold Alaskan nights.  

In an ideal world, Oregon Democrats and Republicans would work together in the 35-day short session that opened this week in Salem and come up with some steps, however feeble, to combat climate change in this state. When State Sen. Lee Beyer and Rep. Marty Wilde talked to the City Club of Eugene on Jan. 31 about the short session starting this week, they were not totally pessimistic. Wilde said the chances were “fair” that climate legislation would come out of these 35 days; Beyer emphasized that we need to discuss climate. Last session, Republicans ran away from Salem to protest 2020, the proposed cap and trade bill, and this week trucks and trailers from all over the state are rallying in Salem to protest. Our view: Do something, Oregon legislators, this should not be a political issue. It’s science. The climate crisis demands action right now.

• At that City Club meeting, City Councilor Betty Taylor asked State Rep. Marty Wilde if the housing bill, HB 2001, could be repealed in the short session of the Legislature. His answer was an unequivocal “No,” much to Taylor’s disappointment. Highly controversial in Eugene, 2001 is a zoning change increasing density in the city. 

• Let’s name that thing on the University of Oregon campus, lurking over Hayward Field like a … well, Bill Harbaugh of UO Matters calls the tower on an “egofice” among other things. Coach Bill Bowerman, whose image is on the tower despite his family’s efforts to disassociate him from it, is probably rolling over in his grave. “University tower” is a totally boring name some are using. Send your suggestions and we’ll even give the winner a Eugene Weekly T-shirt.

Rep. Peter DeFazio broughtJoe Moll to the State of the Union Address as his guest. Moll is the executive director of the McKenzie River Trust. He and DeFazio are working together to fight against the Trump administration’s dismantling of the Clean Water Act. Moll plans to make the most of his D.C. trip by meeting with other Oregon delegates, DeFazio’s committee staff and the Army Corps of Engineers to talk about other water issues. While we’re sad a nice guy like Moll sat through Trump’s hot air, it’s good to get more attention to land conservation and clean water.