• We are doing a happy dance over here at the Eugene Weekly offices! First, our journalism won awards in the Oregon Territory Society of Professional Journalists Region 10 competition — covering the states of Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alaska. Our former-staffer, now freelance arts writer Rick Levin took home first place in arts writing for his piece “Don’t Fear the Reaper” on Springfield roadkill artist Jessica Kinser; next our staff writer-then student intern Taylor Perse, together with former intern, now professional journalist Morgan Theophil, won first place in housing and homelessness coverage for their investigative and solutions journalism series on the unhoused; and current intern Gina Scalpone together with Emily Goodykoontz, who is now with the Anchorage Daily News, were runners up in crime and justice reporting for their solutions and investigative story, “The Broken System,” on the court system and the mentally ill homeless. Both those stories were written by students with the University of Oregon’s Catalyst Journalism Project and competed against professional journalists across the region. Kudos also to KLCC and The Register-Guard who also took home awards in audio and medium-sized newsrooms respectively.

• Second, EW’s efforts to stay afloat in this pandemic were further aided this month by a $5,000 Google News Initiative Journalism Emergency Relief Fund grant. Like the COVID-19 Local News Relief Funding from Facebook Journalism Project, this money helps us cover local government and issues such as homelessness, and helps to pay interns and freelancers as well as our staff. 

• And that brings us to the third reason we are feeling perky despite COVID-19. We can’t survive on grants alone, and in addition to our local advertisers, our readers are helping us print this paper by sending $50 contributions and getting a cool EW T-shirt (see our ad in this issue). We can’t wait till the time comes when we can thank you in person, but for now, just keep picking EW up! 

• The Oregon press didn’t pay as much attention as it probably should to a 6.5 magnitude earthquake on May 15 in a remote area of western Nevada. The New York Times reported that the quake damaged a major highway and shook homes as far as Utah and California. Here in the Pacific Northwest we’ve been warned about “the big one” that could come any time. That’s not exactly what we need right now along with COVID-19 and Donald Trump. On the bright side, if you still have a lot of toilet paper and canned food leftover from pandemic prepping, you are on your way to an earthquake survival kit.

What we’re reading: The Book of V. by Anna Solomon is a novel published in 2020 by Henry Holt and Company. Although it’s getting a fair bit of attention, we find it sometimes brilliant, sometimes boring. The novel tells the story of three women’s lives across three centuries and how they ultimately intertwine. It will be interesting to see if The Book of V. catches on with major reviewers.

• If you missed the City Club of Eugene virtual program on the Japanese internment disgrace during World War II, you can hear it on May 26 at 7 pm on KLCC 89.7. The visual aspect will be missing, of course, but the story should still be heard. It’s important to hear how the internment affected individual lives. Thumbs up to the City Club for continuing to put fine programs out there in spite of the limitations caused by COVID-19. There’s no program May 22 before Memorial Day weekend.

Comments are closed.