The May special election is nigh — or at the very least your ballots are mailed this week. So stay tuned for our election endorsements in the May 4 issue. We’ve been watching forums, interviewing candidates and researching positions and backgrounds in several of the upcoming races. We can’t check out every candidate for every school board race, so if you have strong feelings about a school board candidate in these turbulent times, send a letter to Letters@EugeneWeekly.com.
• An email went out to the Lane Community College community from President Stephanie Bulger that the school is recommending to the LCC Board of Education that the school’s Health Clinic “operations cease effective with the end of the Fall 2023 term.” She writes that the clinic is running an annual deficit of approximately $260,000, and that somehow the school can both close the clinic and expand health care. Currently, students pay $45 a term for as many visits as they need — as opposed to paying a copay each visit elsewhere. Maybe the school could first do a better job getting the word out about the health care they can access? Looks like a big topic for candidates in the upcoming LCC board elections to weigh in on.
• By all accounts the Earth Day rally in downtown Eugene had excellent turnout, fascinating speakers and a rousing march through town. We’re suckers for a rally for a good cause here at Eugene Weekly. If you missed the Earth Day rally and march, we hear from Extinction Rebellion Justice Eugene that at 10 am Saturday, April 29, near Free Speech Plaza, across from Saturday Market, there will be another Earth-oriented event.
• We hear from a local nursery operator that planting season is about four weeks behind normal this year. But things are looking up. This week we have temperature forecasts of 85 and 77 degrees. The swifts are flying in and out of the old chimney at Agate Hall on the UO campus. Bald eagles are swooping overhead making those weird screeching noises. Runners hit the road for the Eugene marathon and half marathon Sunday, April 30. Spring must really be here because even the freaking wasps are getting frisky.
• Jameson T. Auten, general manager and CEO of Lane Transit District, spoke to the City Club of Eugene April 21. He was impressive. He said LTD has a “very strong national reputation, and with 330 employees it runs 30 bus routes. Calling “public transportation more than just a ride,” Auten said they are always exploring how to better communicate with the community and how to be more transparent. He was asked about letting leashed dogs ride and whether buses should run on holidays. Next up is Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis talking about the city and climate change, at noon Friday, April 28, at the Inn at the Fifth.
• Longtime readers know that we team up with the Catalyst Journalism Project for in-depth local reporting. If you are a listener-type as well as a reader, then check out the Tuesday, April 25 Think Out Loud for an interview with Catalyst reporter Alexis Weisend about her investigation into how the city is using a category of “non-established” campers to get around a law requiring 72 hours be given to unhoused campers. Find it at OPB.org/article/2023/04/24/rapid-evictions-for-homeless-campers-rise-dramatically.