If you’re exhausted and depressed about the news out of Ukraine, the pandemic, shootings on the streets of America, try watching the Golden State Warriors basketball team dance through the playoffs. The best basketball played in the world, the NBA playoffs will go on for a long time, but we’ve picked our team, and it’s a great escape.
• Last weekend, April 23, more than 40,000 fans went to the University of Oregon spring football scrimmage, about 300 to a Relief Nursery dinner, at least 75 to a fundraiser for Val Hoyle, who is running to succeed Rep. Peter DeFazio. Oh and let’s not forget what a press release from the Eugene police called “500-1,000” (who’s counting?) students and “middle-aged” parents that got wild and crazy that morning near campus. This community clearly wants to party, coming out from winter cold and two year pandemic. To mask or not to mask is still the question. We’re still wearing them, but currently it’s personal choice. Who knows what next week will bring?
• Sunday gave us a peek into early summer in the Willamette Valley. And it was the perfect day to eat lunch at the Southtowne Station food cart pod at 2871 Oak Street in south Eugene. The pod has a food cart for just about every eater. It has gluten-free food from Elegant Elephant, vegetarian-based classics from Vegimoto, vegan Southern food from Flamin’ Rays, Mexican food at Lalito’s Taqueria and deep-fried bites from Hayward’s Kitchen. Of course, the food cart pod is a delight to eat at, rain or shine.
• This week is our annual endorsements issue! We stick to Democratic candidates in the primary — we are the liberal media, after all — and an endorsement in the primary does not mean an endorsement in the fall. Some races, particularly unopposed races, we didn’t endorse in now but will in the November general election. Whether or not we gave them our nod, we appreciate the time spent by everyone — from congressional candidates to city council and tax assessor candidates and supporters — who came and met with us, responded to our surveys, or just reached out to let us know their thoughts on the election.
• It’s terrific when Eugene Weekly scoops The New York Times. That’s what happened April 21 when we ran the story on Adah Crandall, 16-year-old Portland climate activist with Youth vs. ODOT. The Times ran a long story the next day on what Portland and Crandall are doing to fight climate change. Her story came to us through the Catalyst Journalism Project, headed by Brent Walth and Nicole Dahmen at the University of Oregon, and the most important point is that we all need to pound away at the continuing crisis of climate change.
• Have you received a flyer supporting Val Hoyle’s congressional campaign that was paid for by the crypto currency-supported super PAC Web3 Forward Political Action Committee? We asked Hoyle about the advertisement that her Democratic opponents have criticized her about. Hoyle says because of Citizens United, super PACs can send out such political materials and candidates can’t do anything to stop them. In fact, the independent expenditures “may not be made in concert or cooperation with or at the request or suggestion of a candidate, the candidate’s campaign or a political party,” according to the Federal Elections Commission. Hoyle says she didn’t know that Web3 Forward was supporting her campaign for Congress until the flyer showed up in her mailbox. Once again, as Hoyle reminds us, we need to overturn Citizens United.
• Most of us didn’t notice, but on April 20 a common crane — the long-legged bird, not a derrick — became an Oregon celebrity when it appeared for a few days with several sandhill cranes in a marshy field near Burns. Common cranes look something like the sandhills that migrate through this time of year, but are a completely different species. They live in northern Europe, and this is the first record of a common crane being seen in Oregon, ever. Scores of birders swarmed in from as far as California to see it; one group got up early, drove 260 miles from Eugene, found the bird, watched it for an hour and then returned home in time for dinner. It gives us hope that, amid all the misery in today’s world, people still find time to watch birds.