Former UO President Michael Schill stayed in Eugene for seven years, a longer tenure than most university presidents these days. We wish him well in his new job as president of Northwestern University in Chicago, clearly a big promotion. Raising big bucks is the principal job of university presidents these days, a task Schill did very well. The Board of Trustees has chosen Patrick Phillips, the UO’s provost and senior vice president, as interim president, and now it will search nationally, even internationally, for a new one. We know they will look for someone, probably a man, who can raise money — but that should not preclude a choice who has a passion for the arts and humanities. The UO and Eugene both need that.
• The race to be Oregon’s next governor is now a triple threat match. On August 16, former Democratic state Sen. Betsy Johnson, who recently disavowed her party and resigned from office to focus on her gubernatorial race, submitted the needed signatures to appear on the November ballot as an unaffiliated candidate. In another corner is Republican and former state Rep. Christine Drazan and in the third corner is Democrat and former House Speaker Tina Kotek. Oregon’s richest, including Nike’s Phil Knight and Columbia’s Tim Boyle, are among donors contributing $7.25 million raised by Johnson. She says she wants to put the people back in charge, but we wonder which people — the rich?
• Good news for those of us who live in Eugene and Springfield and have to throw out food but don’t have space for a compost bin at home: You can now put it in your Sanipac yard debris bin. Sanipac reports that Eugene-Springfield residents toss out more than 40 million pounds of food waste into the local landfill each year, half of which comes from homes. That creates a lot of methane. Sanipac plans to turn the food waste into nutrient-rich compost.
• We’re hearing news that seven out of the eight Eugene Starbucks locations have picket lines outside their stores (the Oakway store is the only one that didn’t vote to unionize). These workers have a long road ahead of them with CEO Howard Schultz saying he won’t bargain with the workers at Starbucks locations throughout the U.S. that are unionizing. So if you can, drop by the Eugene stores to see if they need help or want some food or coffee to get through picketing. And if you’re looking for coffee other than Starbucks, we have several great local coffeehouses in town.
• What we’re watching: Reservation Dogs on the Hulu streaming service. Created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi (the latter of whom you may know for his unique vampire mockumentary series What We Do In the Shadows and pirate-based Our Flag Means Death), Reservation Dogs is one of the most charming shows on TV right now. Now in its second season, the show is set on a reservation in Oklahoma and focuses on a group of teens who are trying to save up money — through nefarious means — to move to California. With rich detail in characters, as well as a hilarious Native American spirit guide, the show runs the gamut of emotions, from laughter to crying.
• The nationwide newspaper giant Gannett laid off many journalists throughout the country on Friday, August 12. Poynter reports that Gannett laid off 50 reporters after the corporation reported dismal second quarter finances. Luckily no reporters at The Register-Guard were laid off, but we were saddened to see layoffs hit the Salem Statesman-Journal. The Salem daily lost Don Currie, its local and business editor, and Connor Radnovich, its state politics reporter. The RG prints a lot of bylines from Salem, so these layoffs will affect Eugene readers. We hope Gannett decides to start investing in newsrooms, not slashing budgets.