• We asked for suggestions and you gave them. Turns out that once you look at the new Hayward tower and think “Hey, does that look like a giant dick?” you just can’t unsee it. Our top choices are: The Phildo, Phil’s Phallus (or alternately, Phil’s Phallus Palace) and The Nike Shaft. Here’s the full array: Phil’s Dick, Phil’s Folly, The Boob’s Tube, The Wire Spire, Osprey Roost #2 (It’s right across from the UO law school), UO’s UFO, Hugely Ri-Dick-ulous, The Tower of Bowerman, The Tin Chimney, Knight Stick, Phillic Symbol, PK’s Last Erection, The Tower of Dumb, The Nike Knob, The Canard, Phillic Tower, The Lananna Banna, The Knight Blight and Donor Boner. We also got a few new names for Hayward Field: New Coke Stadium and Neverland — it will never be sold-out, it will never make a profit and Eugene will never be rid of it. And, finally, this slogan for the University of Nike: “Phil Knight Just Blew It.” Looks like we are going to have to give out a couple T-shirts.

• It’s great when public education in Oregon gets applause, and that’s what happened last week when Eugene School District 4J Superintendent Gustavo Balderas was named the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year. A possible downside is that Balderas, superintendent in Eugene since 2015, will likely be enticed away from here to even greater challenges after receiving such an honor. For now, congratulations to 4J and Superintendent Balderas.

• A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard argument in two important climate damages cases on Feb. 5 in Pasadena, California. No decisions are expected for some time. One issue in both appeals is whether state or federal courts will hear the cases, brought by California cities and counties against oil majors including Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP for climate-caused harms the companies knew would occur with unchecked fossil fuel combustion, but hid and lied about for decades. This is a big one in the fight for the future.

• Is it only us that hears the dog-whistle in Eugene Wake Up talking about the “lawlessness” of homeless people? We are seeing some media reports that ignore or play down the calls to violence on Wake Up’s Facebook page and in some of the group’s rhetoric. That worries us, as does the rhetoric itself. The “lawless” dog whistle creates a dangerous idea that Eugene is host to a vast sea of evil unhoused people that businesses are the victims of. There are very few sane and sober people who would choose to sleep in a tent on freezing streets and endure a daily fight for sleep, food and survival. Hammering on the idea that homeless people are “lawless” and purposely choosing a life on the streets is creating a scary justification for attacking and mistreating the unhoused. It was no surprise to us that shortly after Eugene Wake Up began to stir up anti-homeless sentiments someone shot a BB gun at an unhoused person sleeping outside Eugene Weekly. Yes, we need to solve homelessness in this town, but feeding hate and prejudice is not the way to do it. 

Then there are the helpers: White Bird Clinic, together with community sponsors, has published a booklet listing where people looking for basic needs like a bathroom or bedding, people in crisis or needing services of all sorts can get help. The “Little Help Book,” listing hundreds of local resources, is available at White Bird and service providers around town (we even have a couple here at EW). Contact with suggestions. 

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