Happy Best of Eugene! Happy Halloween, too! Every year we ask you to vote for your favorite people, places and things about Lane County, and every year you help us call attention to all that is good. Thanks for celebrating with us!

• We want to give a tribute to Ted Baker, who died on Sept 3, 2021. His Oct 24 obit in The Register-Guard told it all — how he grew up in Eugene, served in World War II, came back here to eventually become publisher of the daily newspaper his family owned, and then volunteered endlessly to raise money for important causes in his city. He was a remarkable man.

Thumbs up for the doctors, nurses, midwives and others volunteering at the Lane County Fairgrounds to give vaccinations and booster shots to beat COVID-19. If you go there for a booster you leave proud of your community that has organized so well to attack this wicked disease.

• Former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is running for Oregon governor. The candidate has stated that his friends have urged him to run so he can “save” ordinary Oregonians. But Kristof isn’t exactly making friends with his neighbors. Last year, Kristof and his family purchased 115 acres in Yamhill County for nearly $1 million in cash. Months after he took over the property, he began a legal fight with his neighbors. For more than six months, Kristof and his neighbors have generated more than 500 pages of court documents as he tries to make the case over whether he has rights to an easement for a road on his neighbor’s property. Read the whole story at 

What we’re watching: Squid Game. What would you do to settle your debts? The Korean series (make sure you watch with English subtitles and not dubbed) on Netflix explores a clandestine world where desperate Koreans sign up to win billions of won — but they must survive fatal twists on children’s games. Like Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (2019), Squid Game is a socio-economic critique of life in South Korea, including treatment of South Asian migrants, debt and class. The series is filled with horror and gore, but it’s a fictional dystopian that isn’t too far from the real world, especially as the world’s consumer debt continues to balloon. 

“TrackTown Meets the World: What Oregon 22 Can Mean for Eugene” is the topic for the City Club of Eugene Friday, Oct. 29. This program will air on the City Club Facebook and YouTube pages starting at noon. The impressive list of speakers is: Sarah Massey, CEO World Athletics Championships Oregon 22; Sasha Spencer, athlete and teams experience manager; Stephanie Scafa, Oregon 22 project lead, city of Eugene; and Kari Westlund, president and CEO, Travel Lane County. 

• Speaking of track and field, The Oregonian’s recent investigation into allegations of body-shaming female track athletes at the University of Oregon is worth the read. The story is not behind The O’s paywall, but the excellent journalism is a good reminder of why in-depth reporting is worth paying for! 

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