University of Oregon track is rightfully known for champion distance runners. But this spring we will be cheering for a Dutch shot putter. Senior transfer Jorinde van Klinken has already set a new NCAA record for the indoor shot put, and she will be a favorite for indoor and outdoor national titles. Go Jorinde!
• What employers and businesses shine a light in your town? We were delighted to see Seth and Melissa Clark of Blue Valley Bistro in Creswell celebrating on a beach on Hawaii with the employees of their small business — in the past the Clarks have treated their employees to shows at the Hult Center, like The Lion King. Any other businesses and nonprofits lighting up the day? Let us know at Editor@EugeneWeekly.com.
• We are planning our Black History Month issue for Feb. 23, and we’d love to hear from our BIPOC readers about what we at the Weekly, as well as our readers, should be paying attention to. Shoot us a note with ideas for what we should be covering — this month and all year long — to Editor@EugeneWeekly.com, or write your own letter to Letters@EugeneWeekly.com.
• It has been fun watching pickleball become the fastest growing sport in America. The Sunday, Feb. 12, New York Times even included a feature about what to wear when you play pickleball, headlined “For Pickleball Players, Fashion Choices Abound,” or “What Is a Pickleball Dress?” in the online NYT. Little skirts and half shirts. It seems unlikely that’s the pickleball fashion in Eugene. We noted while researching the UO’s Club Sports for this week’s cover story that we don’t see a Duck pickleball team. Yet.
• We learned at the City Club of Eugene meeting featuring three local school superintendents that the schools need parents and friends back as volunteers now that COVID concerns and restrictions are slowly reducing. That should be an easy request to fill.
• The Oregon Legislature is discussing some bills that could impact newspapers throughout the state. House Bill 3167 allows digital newspapers to publish legal notices. That may seem like no big deal, but legal notices can only be put in print newspapers, which helps keep publications like Eugene Weekly afloat. The idea is likely that this bill could help smaller digital newspapers in rural communities, but the possible repercussions is that mega corporations, such as Gannett and Lee Enterprises, could abuse it. We hope the lawmakers sponsoring the bill — state Reps. Pam Marsh and Greg Smith and state Sens. Tim Knopp and Deb Patterson — find ways to ensure this bill isn’t manipulated by the corporate news outlets only interested in minimizing costs and maximizing profits. A bill we hope passes is HB 2605, which creates a tax credit for taxpayers who contribute money to a local news publication. Considering the number of newspapers that have shuttered in the past few months and how many news deserts there are in Oregon, news outlets need all of the help they can get.
• “Liquorgate” is the name proposed by a savvy Eugenean for the current scandal in Salem where Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission Executive Director Steve Marks is charged with misusing his power to send rare bottles of whiskey destined for the public to politicians and to keep for high level OLCC employees. Marks has now resigned, but we’re going to be pissed about missing out on that Pappy Van Winkle for a while!