KEEP LAFER ON 4J
I am writing to urge you to vote for Gordon Lafer for his re-election to the Eugene 4J School Board, which will take place in May. Gordon has served our school district admirably over his past term, and I have no doubt he will continue to do so. His goal has always been to help ensure that all kids in Eugene receive a challenging, engaging and equitable education in our schools.
As a retired 4J teacher, I am greatly appreciative of Gordon’s strong philosophy that teachers, as well as parents and students, have a powerful role in shaping district policies. He has fought tirelessly over the past four years to allow this to happen. Here are a few of his accomplishments:
Gordon has led the effort to restore librarians in elementary schools, and the number has increased significantly. He has also worked with parents and district leaders to guarantee that important events such as final exams, tryouts, field trips, etc. not be scheduled on major religious holidays. Furthermore, he fought for unanimous Board approval for adding portable classrooms at overcrowded Kelly Middle School. Equally important have been his efforts to involve the Board in supporting the community at large; for example, providing health insurance to employees of school construction contractors.
These are just a few of the many reasons why it’s imperative that we re-elect Gordon Lafer to another term on the 4J School Board.
UO WIND ENSEMBLE SHINES IN PERFORMANCE
Friday night, Feb. 3, at Beall Concert Hall, the audience was treated to an extraordinary performance by the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble, who were joined by guest artist Viet Cuong, a Vietnamese-American composer hailed by The New York Times as “alluring and wildly inventive,” along with Eighth Blackbird, winners of four Grammy Awards for Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance during their 25 year history together.
Dennis Llinás, associate professor of music and wind ensemble director, was brilliant in the design and execution of this collaboration, which brought world-class guest artists to the UO campus and provided educational outreach to music students in the Eugene community. Clearly he had supreme confidence that his students could meet the challenges of learning these complex, rigorous compositions. Needless to say they did not disappoint, bringing perfection to every piece.
It is rare indeed to be transported by music so glorious, so seemingly endless that your only wish is to capture the moment to avoid the inevitable ending of an enthralling experience.
As a recent transplant to Oregon, this was the first performance I have attended at Beall Concert Hall. I so look forward to many more. Bravo/brava!
EUGENE CAN BETTER HELP THE HOMELESS
Tina Kotek, Lucy Vinis, caring Eugeneans — we are smarter than this. I see fences up in Washington Jefferson Park, under the overpasses, around empty parking lots (Van Buren and 1st) and the unhoused with tents outside of these fences with garbage strewn all over. Our city puts these fences up so the unhoused won’t live there, right? Why don’t we have enough tent campsites and RV spots for the unhoused before putting up the fences? What is taking us so long to meet the needs of our unhoused community?
We can build a stadium and host the World Athletics Championships and Olympic trials track and field events and pass bills to make our parks even better, but we can’t figure out how to create simple spaces for those who are in need? Come on, shift your priorities. It’s not that difficult to figure out.
It’s quite simple. The city needs to create simple places with the land they have that isn’t being used.
With this land: Create organized RV/car spaces that allow transient people to sleep in their cars and park their RVs. Provide water, showers, toilets and garbage containers and hosts. Like a campsite.
Create tent camping areas that have a toilet, water, showers and garbage containers near downtown with hosts.
Support community-supported shelters like Safe Spot Communities. There’s a three-month waiting list (CommunitySupportedShelters.org — donate now).
When will we get our act together as a community? It’s been way, way too long.