It was heartening to have a class of students from Kelly Middle School at the City Club of Eugene meeting on March 24. We need to engage the youth in civics and appreciate them when they are there. The program was two of the three candidates in the Eugene City Council Ward 7 May election, Lyndsie Leech and Barbie Walker. Students from Kelly were in attendance to ask questions — this certainly is the way to teach kids how our democracy works and how to keep it alive.
• On the Eugene Weekly shitlist: The folks behind the renewal of the Lane County Jail Levy. We have only just started our editorial endorsements process, so if you run across the LaneLevy.org website and find yourself surprised to see the words, “The Lane County Jail is the number one provider of mental health care in the county,” attributed to EW, trust us — we were even more surprised to see it. The quote is from our EW/Catalyst Journalism Project piece on the need for a mental health crisis center and the actual quote is, “The Lane County Jail is the number one provider of mental health care in the county, according to Lane County Behavioral Health (LCBH), indicating a pattern of criminalizing crisis behavior.” That’s not really support for the jail, is it? It’s unethical and duplicitous for the levy supporters to utterly twist the quote and try to pretend it’s the Weekly’s endorsement. Is that really the way law enforcement folks should be presenting themselves?
• Since The Oregonian editorial board decided to pontificate from afar on Eugene politics in a March 12 column, we appreciate Mayor Lucy Vinis’ response to The O in the Sunday, March 26, paper. The Portland paper likes to throw darts at its neighbor to the south, and Vinis called the editorial board out for saying that “posturing trumps good policy in Eugene’s natural gas ban.” Vinis points out that “Housing policy is climate policy,” and she concludes her piece, “Eugene has chosen to invest in solutions to climate change, rather than to perpetuate the problem.” We appreciate outside opinions, O, especially since The Register-Guard isn’t running opinions anymore, but if you are going to weigh in on Eugene politics, you are going to need to consider the climate.
• Speaking of the RG, we noticed that although the masthead hasn’t been updated, a recent story by Cherrill Crosby, who’s been covering a lot of local traffic news, noted at the end that she is “the executive editor of the Statesman Journal and The Register-Guard.” Her bio on the SJ says she also supports the “Great Falls Tribune, Kitsap Sun and Pacific Daily News newsrooms.” Hey Gannett, you folks are working your journalists too hard. But we do appreciate that the powers that be at Gannett at least are finally making a little clearer that it’s more the Statesman-Guard than it is the Register-Guard these days.
• March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility, and we already hear the anti-LGBTQIA crowd trying to link the most recent deadly school shooting to the fact that the Nashville police at one point said that shooter was transgender rather than on the actual issue: The fact that the shooter had seven guns purchased legally from five gun stores and brought a least two AR-15 style weapons and a handgun to Covenant School to murder three children and three adults. Support and hold close your transgender friends and loved ones, and don’t buy into the attempts to vilify LGBTQIA community members. Guns are, in fact, the problem.
• Our pages may be lean, but our reporting still packs a punch. Head to EugeneWeekly.com (and subscribe to our Tuesday and Thursday newsletters!) where you can read a review of Nikki Glaser’s sold out March 25 show at McDonald and a story about two candidates — Bob Baldwin and Kevin Alltucker — who want to succeed longtime board member Rosie Pryor on the Lane Community College’s Board of Education’s at-large Position 6 seat. Keep an eye out for EW’s May 16 election coverage up until the May election with the hashtag #election2023.