Eugene Weekly is free every Thursday — and also free every day online. Head over to EugeneWeekly.com to read an update on the Black Unity lawsuit against the city of Springfield that alleges police illegally spied on protesters at the July 29, 2020, Thurston protest; Congressman Peter DeFazio’s bike ride in Eugene to promote the Biden administration’s transportation package that includes $5 billion for protected bike lanes like the one on 13th Avenue; and the Prefontaine Classic on Aug. 20 and 21 that brought some of track and field’s elite athletes, who broke several records at the new Hayward Field.
• COVID-19 hospitalizations are reaching an all-time high in Oregon. Cases are surging, mainly among the unvaccinated, with about 85 percent of the cases so far in August attributed to those (fools) who have decided to avoid the jab. Oregon, once notable for its low cases, is now getting attention for our coronavirus woes. Our hospital beds and ICUs are full, and local doctors and medical personnel are pleading for folks to mask up, social distance and get vaccinated. A letter sent out by Eugene Emergency Physicians about the issue caught the attention of the national media, including the Washington Post and NPR. (You can read that letter on our website). A COVID patient in Roseburg died waiting for a hospital bed. Follow the governor’s mask mandates, indoors and out, and follow basic medical advice, like getting vaccinated.
• On a more cheerful note, vote in Best of Eugene! It’s time to celebrate local Lane County people and businesses. And it’s up to you who wins this annual readers poll, so weigh in and have fun voting! Best sushi? Best photographer? You decide! BestofEugene.com.
• Football is America’s leading spectator sport, both in person and on television. That’s reflected every day in the sports section of The Register-Guard where we see at least one football story. We congratulate the parents and athletic department of South Eugene High School for their guts in eliminating football this season. You can’t field a team with only 19 kids turning out. A SEHS graduate asked us if heading in soccer also is going to be eliminated. Seems unlikely as “the beautiful game” only grows in worldwide popularity and sports with a tendency toward causing brain injuries get less popular.
• It was a pleasure to watch Marin Alsop conducting the New York Philharmonic orchestra Saturday night, Aug. 21, in the wonderful New York Homecoming Concert. It was ironic that lightning shut the concert down long before Bruce Springsteen took the stage in Central Park. Alsop was the much-loved music director of the Eugene Symphony from 1989 to 1996 on her way up to leading the Baltimore Symphony. She was the first conductor ever to receive a MacArthur Fellowship.