Courtesy University of Oregon

Slant: Antisemitism, Cottage Grove Police, new UO President

The City Club of Eugene March 10 forum about the increase of antisemitism in Lane County and what to do about it attracted a full house to the meeting room in the Fifth Street Market. So what do we do about the hate? Antisemitism is such a repugnant concept in any community, and it certainly needs more attention here. We urge readers to support the Jewish Federation of Lane County (541-484-2541,, whose mission is to support caring, inclusive and enduring Jewish communities. 

• Speaking of what we can do to eradicate antisemitism, we hope House Bill 2905 becomes law. The bill would require Oregon schools to add Jewish history and their contributions to society to curriculum. Education is one of the best ways to combat hate. Legislators can also fight ignorance with science by supporting Senate Bill 854, which would require that K-12 public schools integrate climate change education into all subjects, with an emphasis on Indigenous knowledge, community action, justice and interdependence. 

• We’re excited that 26 volunteers graduated as part of the Trauma Intervention Project’s inaugural class in Lane County on March 11. TIP volunteers go with first responders to a traumatic situation, such as a sudden death, to provide emotional and practical support to survivors. Bridget Byfield, the program director, tells Eugene Weekly that TIP volunteers could be in action as soon as early April. Read more at 

• Five months ago, Cottage Grove Police Department Chief Scott Shepherd and Capt. Conrad Gagner suddenly resigned. And now we know why. The Chronicle published findings — obtained by public records requests after a successful appeal to Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow — that Cottage Grove City Manager Richard Meyers found “numerous instances of wrongdoing.” Among the deeply troubling acts uncovered by the investigation: Shepherd’s “producing pubic hair from his pants” and placing it on another officer’s cell phone, and his refusing to provide backup for a Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy in a gunfight less than 10 minutes from city limits. Gagner was investigated for his frequent use of the “N-word” and homophobic slurs while at the workplace, and sharing police department surveillance footage on TikTok with hashtags #dumbcriminal and #humanizethebadge. Head to to read the full story. 

• John Karl Scholz, provost at University of Wisconsin-Madison, was named president of the University of Oregon on Monday, March 13, extending the line of old white guys who have run the UO in recent years. Nevertheless, retired UO economist and cantankerous UO Matters blogger Bill Harbaugh is a big fan of the trustees’ selection. Harbaugh, who has rarely approved of UO decisions in recent years, studied economics with Scholz at Madison when he got his Ph.D. there. “I think he has the potential to be a great president for UO,” Harbaugh writes on his blog. “This is exactly what UO needs — a competent outsider with abundant academic and administrative experience, from a university with an international reputation.” We’ll be interested to see how Scholz does. Insiders at Madison tell us he’s a cookie cutter choice. He takes office July 1 with a base salary of $725,000 for his first year.