The bad news: climate change with record-setting heat in the Pacific Northwest; floods in Kentucky; fires everywhere. The good news: a bill agreed to by coal country Sen. Joe Manchin is making its way through Congress. If approved, it will put more than $300 billion into fighting extreme climate change and the U.S. will be a leader in this fight for the future. Of course, Manchin put some benefits in the bill for his West Virginia voters, but it still is a big plus.
• The lengthy heatwave was offset at the end by wildfire smoke creeping in from California and forest fires to the south. The reprieve was welcome but the onset of Oregon fire season is not. The Potter Fire in the Willamette National Forest was first reported at 60 acres the morning of July 31 and was estimated at close to 400 acres by August. 1. The Windigo Fire on the Umpqua National Forest is at 1,500 acres. To find out more about smoke, go to fire.airnow.gov.
• Who are Lane County’s visionaries? We are tossing names around of people who had the vision and fortitude to create change in the area. Some of it you may not agree with, and some you may love. Architect Otto Poticha, toxics-fighter Lisa Arkin, electric vehicle maker Mark Frohnmayer, coach Bev Smith, former NAACP president Eric Richardson, developer Brian Obie, sneaker king Phil Knight, University of Oregon professor and Emily Dickinson specialist Barbara Mossberg. Use a broad definition of visionary and send us your suggestions to Editor@EugeneWeekly.com.
• We’ve been loving the folks coming up Eugene Weekly’s driveway and taking selfies with our Suspish Fish graffiti. Have a Suspish selfie? Hashtag it #EWSuspish, tag us on Facebook or Instagram by August 18, and we will put your name in a drawing for free concert tickets.
• Hayden Bridge, the historic truss bridge on Marcola Road near Camp Creek Road, the bridge a nonprofit would love to gift to the county and the bridge Lane County is trying to run away from, got some unwanted publicity July 31 in The Register-Guard via a Statesman-Journal byline. As noted in EW in 2021, the nonprofit Workin’ Bridges has been trying for years to dissuade people from using the bridge as a launch point to the shallow and rocky McKenzie River below. The story, however, hailed it as one of many refreshing watering holes to cool off in the summer heat, noting that “brave swimmers often jump off the wrought-iron bridge.” That’s dangerous, and everyone associated with Hayden Bridge begs you not to do it.
• Tired of weird online reviews of your favorite Lane County businesses and people? Now you can vote for them as the Best Of Eugene! Head to BestOfEugene.com to vote for Best Food Cart, Best Restaurant, Best Local Food Market — and so much more. Remember, Best Of winners are chosen by the readers, not EW. So get voting today!