Eugene Weekly is delighted to announce we are one of 25 projects funded by the Google News Initiative’s North America Innovation Challenge to research into our local communities. The GNI program supports news innovators looking to research how they could better understand the local communities they serve. EW’s project seeks to understand what our local communities see as undercovered news topics and to better understand our readers and ensure they also understand EW and our mission. To do so we will reach out not only to our regular readers, but also to those who might not see themselves and what they care about as positively represented by a newspaper, focusing in particular on our rural and BIPOC readership. We applied for and got $87,500 to do the research, and we look forward to sharing our findings with the community and other newspapers. Head to EugeneWeekly.com to find out more.
• Thanks to Northwest Community Credit Union, young children in Lane County can be readin’ 9 to 5. The credit union has committed to donate $250,000 over five years to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library service to cover all children in Lane County. Starting Jan. 1, parents can sign their children up to receive a new book in the mail every month, free of charge. According to a press release from the city of Eugene, the Eugene affiliate of Parton’s nationwide Imagination Library serves 3,300 preschoolers. The program adds about 100 new participants each month. Head over to ImaginationLibrary.com to register your household. It’s this sort of stuff that will make us always love Dolly.
• When two adult sons of University of Oregon faculty members came back to Eugene last weekend for Duck basketball and football games, they asked us: How do you feel about Phil Knight? Like him? Don’t like him? Neutral? Don’t know? They were critical of the ostentatious 10-story Hayward Field Tower (we call it the Phildo). So are we. Tell us, EW readers, how would you answer their question?
• If you need another wild governor’s race to follow in 2022, join us in cheering on former Rep. Beto O’Rourke running against Republican incumbent Greg Abbott in Texas. If Beto wins, he’ll be the first Democratic governor since the 1990s. In the ongoing theme of inexperienced outsiders running for state office, Matthew McConaughey also says he might run.
• City Club of Eugene President (and former Eugene mayor) Kitty Piercy tells us that the club hopes to be meeting in person again in January. Meanwhile, the virtual programs continue with this week’s topic “Hate Crimes: Facts and Fixers.” Speakers are Ryan Dwyer, supervisory special agent, FBI; Fabio Andrade, civil rights and equity analyst, city of Eugene; and Lindsay Schubiner, momentum program director, Western States Center. Eric Richardson, Eugene Springfield NAACP executive director will ask the first question.This program airs on the City Club Facebook and YouTube pages starting at noon on Nov. 19.