We were heartbroken to hear that Lawanda Manning passed away Friday, June 11. She was state Sen. James Manning’s wife, legislative staffer and, as the BIPOC Caucus in Salem said, “anchor.” On June 14, Senate President Peter Courtney held an “In Loving Memory of Lawanda Manning” in the chamber. Senators from Brian Boquist to Sara Gelser spoke during the memorial. “No Democrat spoke here. No Republican spoke here. No urban Oregonian or rural Oregonian,” Courtney said, then quoted C.S. Lewis: “Her absence is like the sky — spread over everything.” A memorial service is planned for 2 pm Wednesday, June 23, at Willamette Christian Center.
• At least one Republican candidate is now asking Democrats to contribute to his run to win the Oregon governor’s race in 2022. How crazy is that! Dr. Bud Pierce of Salem mailed a request last week: “Let’s give Oregon the leadership it deserves!” Umm, what? Jessica Gomez, a Republican tech executive, also announced her candidacy. Stay tuned. This race should be fun.
• One Airbnb owner in east Eugene near the University of Oregon campus predicts that tourism is coming back big this summer. This may just reflect the glow from rentals for the NCAA track championships, the coming Olympic Trials and UO graduation, but he says reservations are great for the rest of the summer. We’ll take his optimism. After the pandemic shutdown we need it, as long as we keep vaccinations up and COVID at bay.
• We’re proud to have been a step on the way up for Marin Alsop, soon retiring as the music director for the Baltimore Symphony, and still a trailblazer for women conductors. She was loved in Eugene when she conducted our local symphony, but we knew she was headed for bigger stages. Now, after 14 years in Baltimore, she “has brought Baltimore artistic success and arguably the most impressive education program of any ensemble in the country,” according to The New York Times. Sadly, the trailblazing is slow-going — she has not been followed by other able women directing major orchestras, or even at the Eugene Symphony.
• “The New Jet Age? The Future of SW Oregon Airports” is the City Club of Eugene topic for Friday, June 18. Speakers are: Jerry Brienza, director of Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport; Cathryn Stevens, acting director of Eugene airport; and Betty Stansbury, Oregon Department of Aviation. The program will air on the city club Facebook and YouTube pages starting at noon.
• Does the UO have a new runner with the star power of Steve Prefontaine? Maybe. Cole Hocker, a freshman, won the NCAA 1,500 meters on June 11 at the new, no longer historic Hayward Field. His interview after the race flashed that Pre charisma, but he’s from Indiana, not Coos Bay, so not quite so local.
• Eugene lawyer John VanLandingham won EW’s fundraising auction in May for a guided birding tour at Fern Ridge donated and conducted by Creswell nature writer and bird expert Noah Strycker. VanLandingham, who bid $1,100 for the tour, will most likely bring along his wife, Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters, who is a birder herself. The money will help us continue news coverage during these pandemic times.