We recently received a $1,000 contribution from an anonymous friend of Eugene Weekly. This is the largest single gift we have received through these tough pandemic times, and we want to send a huge thank you. Gifts, large and small, from readers have helped us keep printing while so much of our advertising community has been shut down. We have not let a single employee go, although we have cut some hours. And the owners continue to take no profit. And thank you as well to those who sent in subscription contributions for adults in custody in prisons in this state. You made some folks happy, based on the letters they have written.
• Oct. 18 was the day Oregon’s vaccine mandate took effect, and we are good with that. We need vaccinations to control COVID-19. The news coverage lately has focused heavily on those who are fighting the mandate and, given that the numbers of people who are vaccinated or pro-vaccination, that’s not actually fair or objective coverage. Back when climate change first came to media and public attention, the media covered it like climate deniers were on equal footing with those concerned about global warming. They were not, the science is real, and giving equal attention to deniers created a false sense that climate change was in question. The science on the vaccines is real, too (sorry, tin foil hatters). Let’s focus on the folks who are embracing humanity, getting the vaccine and making the world a better place.
• Here’s some good news from Eugene Civic Alliance. Since the beginning of the pandemic to fall of 2021, more than 78,000 people visited Civic Park for the first time. A catered dinner event for South Eugene High School alums was done at the park on Oct. 16. About $1 million still needs to be raised to have the park and the Kidsports fieldhouse fully funded. It’s fun to drop in and see all the activities going on there, including flag football, soccer, lacrosse, ultimate Frisbee, even choir practices and a free Easter egg hunt.
• Speaking of Civic, remember when the Ems used to play baseball there? The cool old wooden stands, the crack of ball and bat? The Ems need a new home now that their play schedule exceeds the availability of the University of Oregon’s PK Park. One place being considered is the Lane County Fairgrounds. There was a survey asking residents if we’d like to see the Ems back in the middle of town (we would) but it also asked if we were down to move the Fairgrounds and Events Center out of town. That’s a resounding no. Let’s keep this multi-use area — concerts, shelter in times of crisis, fairs and fun — in the heart of town and accessible.
• “Responding to Fires in the Western Cascades” is the City Club of Eugene topic for Friday, Oct. 22. Speakers are Amanda Astor, forest policy manager for Associated Oregon Loggers, and John Bailey, Oregon State University forestry professor. With more than one million acres burned and at least 11 deaths, 2020 was another incredible year for wildfires; the fires of 2021 are still burning over hundreds of thousands of acres. This program will air on the city club Facebook and YouTube pages starting at noon.
• What we’re watching: Maid. Based on Stephanie Land’s memoir, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive, the Netflix series follows a young mother who flees an abusive relationship, funding herself by cleaning houses, living in a shelter and transitional housing and jumping through way too many hoops to get help from government social services. It sounds depressing, and at times it is, but it’s also funny and heartwarming with a distinct Northwest feel.