In another blow to local journalism, The Register-Guard announced Nov. 2 that it will no longer publish opinion pieces. Having already slashed political endorsements and most columns, the paper is now eliminating editorials, opinion columns and letters to the editor. In a column announcing the change, Editor Michelle Maxwell said editing such work is a “time-consuming responsibility that this newsroom’s resources can no longer bear.” Gannett Co., which publishes The RG, has been urging its more than 250 daily papers to cut back on letters, endorsements and other opinion pieces. Please don’t stop subscribing — we need a local daily paper. And rest assured, dear readers: Your local and vocal Eugene Weekly is as opinionated as ever. We’re going to keep laying out our opinions on matters of importance each week in Slant, and we’re happy to keep reviewing, editing and publishing your Viewpoint columns on local issues. And do keep those opinionated letters to the editor coming!
• Eugene Weekly’s beloved longtime Happening People photographer and writer Paul Neevel is having a retrospective show, entitled 60 Years, featuring images from Neevel’s first year as a serious photographer in 1962 up through the present. The exhibit is at the Emerald Arts Center, 500 Main Street in Springfield. The exhibit runs Nov. 4 through 25, with an opening reception 5 pm Friday, Nov. 11.
• As we go to press, Eugene police are investigating reports of pencil sharpener blades found in Halloween candy. Reports like these — or rumors of fentanyl laced candy — scare the crap out of parents. Is it true? We will be interested to see what the Eugene police dig up. According to Eugene Weekly’s editor Camilla Mortensen, who just happens to have a degree in folklore, there is a phenomenon called “ostention” in which rumors or legends are told about things like sharp blades in candy and the narrative is made real by someone who’s heard the tale. Reality, hoax or ostention, it’s hard enough to raise kids without scares like this!
• Sunday was a big day for womens’ sports in America. The Portland Thorns National Women’s Soccer League championship match was actually shown on prime time on CBS. Some of us sportball fans had to go back and forth to the World Series, but we watched the Thorns best Kansas City 2-0. Portland loves the Thorns, so they celebrated, forgetting for the moment the sexual abuse scandal that’s been rocking the team.
• Back in 2007 the sentencing of largely local eco-saboteurs to federal prison for arson and other actions in the name of the environment gripped Eugene. Some of the Earth Liberation Front activists were even deemed “terrorists” by the feds. Years before that the arsons themselves — a ranger station, a wild horse corral, a slaughterhouse — also gripped Eugene and Oregon. Most of those convicted have served their time, but Joseph Dibee, who had been living overseas, was dramatically captured in Cuba in 2018 (see our story “Slow Burn”). He was sentenced in court Nov. 1 to time served and may have to pay some of the $1.3 million in restitution.
• When we got our copy of the dark money funded attack ad against Val Hoyle we were so surprised by its weird content that we didn’t notice at first it stole some of Eugene Weekly’s Art Director Todd Cooper’s own content — one of Cooper’s photos. The ad, funded by “Green Oregon,” attacks Hoyle in support of Green Party candidate Mike Beilstein, but was not endorsed by Beilstein, who says he doesn’t do attack campaigns, nor by fellow progressive treehugger Doyle Canning, who ran against Holye in the primary. Because of federal elections’ legal loopholes, we won’t know who was behind the flyer until after the election, but Canning and Beilstein say it’s clear Republicans are trying to discourage progressives from supporting Hoyle so the Republican MAGA candidate Alek Skarlatos can win the congressional seat.