A lot of folks were pissed when the Eugene City Council passed the Community Safety Payroll Tax ordinance in 2019. Some were mad that the tax is on people who work in Eugene regardless of where they live. Others were against giving more money to the police — even before “defund the police” became a rallying cry in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd one year ago. CAHOOTS has a solution: How about using some of that funding for CAHOOTS’s services? The nationally renowned mobile crisis response program is asking for a mere 5 percent of Community Safety Initiative Budget funds. The trauma-informed, client-centered crisis intervention service saves the city money but faces financial barriers of its own. #FundCAHOOTS.
• Hiking to Tamolitch Pool (aka Blue Pool) is almost a spring and summer rite of passage for many of us. The two-mile rocky trail’s payoff is views of the rushing McKenzie River and then, at the end, the still eerily blue waters at the base of a dry waterfall. We love it — and maybe have loved it too much. The pool and trail need protection, and the U.S. Forest Service is proposing some pretty big changes. The most notable for hikers is decommissioning the current trail on the west side of the river and building a new three-mile trail on the east side. There would also be a three-acre parking area for 100 cars, including four toilets, picnic tables and a fee station. There would also be a toilet added near the pool itself. The pool would be closed for swimming, and guard rails of natural materials put in around the cliff edges. Campsites and other infrastructure improvements are also slated for the area. Local enviro group Oregon Wild has some thoughts on the plan. Want to weigh in? Public comments are due May 28. Follow the link from Oregon Wild’s blog to comment: OregonWild.org/about/blog/tamolitch-pool-changes-proposed.
• If you like good writing about good athletes, check out The New York Times coverage of Sabrina Ionescu now playing pro for the New York Liberty basketball team. She’s already had a triple-double and a game-winning three-pointer. Last year an injury sidelined the former Duck early in the season. As the Times headline writer put it, “Ionescu Is Finally Playing. Turns Out She’s Pretty Good.”
• The good news: We are seeing a lot of local content from the hard working journalists at The Register-Guard. The Gannett/USA TODAY paper is no longer locally owned but its local staffers work hard at keeping the daily paper informative and even fun. The bad news: There was a weird, non-bylined, story in last week’s RG ostensibly about the COVID job market but also bemoaning the paper’s inability to hire and maintain delivery drivers. We pose that key question: Are you paying a wage that makes it worthwhile?
• Good news! Art and the Vineyard will come back to Alton Baker Park Sept. 10-12. That’s a big order for Maude Kerns Art Center, but the annual festival of art and wine, usually held early in July, is an important event in this community. Artists have been asking for it. We’ll be there, vaccinated and ready to (safely) mingle.
• We’ve seen lots of coverage of the five Oregon counties who want to join Idaho. Unlikely, to say the least. Do those eastern Oregonians understand that Idaho does not allow recreational marijuana but it does impose a sales tax, unlike Oregon? Are they watching Boise grow so fast that it soon will be the center of power in Idaho just like Portland is in Oregon? Anyway, dream on. Does Idaho even want you?
• Whither Shakespeare? Ashland’s nationally renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which shut down all three of its stages in March 2020 due to COVID, earlier this year announced a brief season of three plays to open live on stage this fall. In early May, that announcement quietly disappeared from the festival website, with no details forthcoming from OSF administration. Word at press time is that news about the 2021 season is coming late morning Thursday, May 27; check EugeneWeekly.com for details. OSF has been hit hard financially not just by the pandemic but by earlier cancellations due to wildfire smoke. We wish OSF the best with the new season.