When most of the news is so gloomy, it’s a pleasure to read St. Vinnie’s Voice, the newsletter of St. Vincent de Paul and its director, Terry McDonald. Consider these numbers: During five activations of Egan Warming Centers in the cold week after Christmas, St. Vincent de Paul provided 842 beds and 1,696 meals to keep unhoused people safe. During two more potentially lifesaving activations in January, the Warming Centers provided 355 more beds and 710 meals. Volunteers worked 645 shifts totaling more than 2,300 hours during the series of activations after Christmas. As McDonald puts it: “My 38-year journey with SVdP has proved to me that we can make a difference.”
• Is The Register-Guard homeless? We’ve been hearing from people around town who can’t figure out where the RG’s newsroom is, or if it still exists. Photos posted on Facebook late last year showed the newsroom at its Chad Drive offices had not only been emptied of furniture but gutted, and a staffer’s report, later removed, said the paper was moving to a building at 10th and Mill downtown. But there’s been no announcement of such a move, or where the newspaper is, and the RG website offers only a mailing address at the old Chad Drive location. So where’s the RG? We emailed Editor Michelle Maxwell to ask where the newsroom is working these days. Turns out, it’s temporarily homeless, with reporters and photographers working from their own homes and cars. “We are currently working remote, as we are in the process of moving,” Maxwell replied. “I can’t comment on specific office information. As soon as I can announce something I will be publishing it for readers. People can reach us by our office phones or by email.” We wish them luck finding a place to rent in this market.
• Marty Wilde, state representative for central Lane and Linn counties, published a long op-ed opinion piece in the Sunday, Feb. 20 Oregonian, explaining why he left the House Democratic Caucus. His conclusion: “We must again put our duty to the people before our loyalty to our party. When the House Democratic Caucus recommits to transparency, accountability and democracy, all Oregonians will benefit.” Interesting that Wilde sent this to a Portland newspaper rather than the two Eugene-based papers in his own district. We suspect that redistricting issues are behind this piece. Recent redistricting in the Legislature led to Wilde’s section of southeast Eugene being pulled into a largely rural district, almost guaranteeing Wilde’s district will be won by a Republican. Wilde argues he was also redistricted out of being able to run for Sen. Floyd Prozanski’s seat.
• Although the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that Nick Kristof could not run for governor this time because of residency requirements, there was one bright light for him. He raised at least $2.5 million for his campaign and still has about $1.5 million left — with latitude for spending it. As other media have reported, he can return it to donors and close his bank account; he can decide to run for another office and repurpose his campaign account, or he can give the money to other political action committees. There’s one more option — he can give the money to nonprofits. Kristof praised the Relief Nurseries around the state, a program that helps families prevent child abuse. How about giving money to the Relief Nursery in Eugene, or providing funding to ameliorate the other problems he was discussing during his campaign — homelessness, public education or economic recovery from the COVID pandemic? He’s fundraised successfully for years through his annual New York Times holiday gift guide, so philanthropic giving should be an easy pivot.
Slant has been updated.