4J Endorsement Drama, Sparking Joy, and a Local Voice Returns to KLCC — Slant

If you are looking for a special event for Mother’s Day, consider the second annual Marvelous Mother’s Day at Maude’s. It’s from 11 am to 5 pm Sunday, May 14, at Maude Kerns Art Center, at the corner of 15th and Villard streets. The event includes art booths and demonstrations, make-and-take art projects for kids and adults, refreshments, a raffle, gift shop and Club Mud ceramics as well as an international and regional collage show. Sounds like a lovely way to spend time with mom or anyone you care about. 

Looking to spark some joy? A little publication called the Park Bench, put out by the Friends of Hendricks Park, will lift your spirits. It reports that last year the Friends hosted 2,281 volunteer hours in the rhododendron garden, 808 in the native plant garden and 1,288 in the forest. This is Eugene’s oldest park, obviously much loved. Got any newsletters or little tidbits we should know about? Let us know at Editor@EugeneWeekly.com. 

Well, damn, did Donald J. Trump finally get his hand smacked for grabbing them by the pussy? (And if that offends you, we suggest you be more offended by Trump’s actions than by our repeating his very words). On May 9, a jury of six men and three women found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation in a civil trial and awarded writer E. Jean Carroll $5 million in damages. 

In local media news, we hear from Rachael McDonald, the former KLCC news director who took a position in communications at EWEB, that she’s heading back to KLCC as the All Things Considered host. We’ve missed McDonald’s dulcet tones on our radio and are glad she, and her sharp sense of local news, are back on the airwaves! 

The unpleasant and entitled responses from school board member Gordon Lafer and his supporters after we endorsed his opponent in our May 4 issue only confirm our belief that Lafer should not be on the Eugene 4J School Board. After EW endorsed Rick Hamilton, Lafer called on us for “right of reply” because we had interviewed him for an hour but didn’t endorse him. Until 1987, individuals and groups unfairly criticized in broadcast media did have a “right to respond.” However, that doctrine no longer exists in the U.S., and we didn’t unfairly criticize Lafer, not to mention that we’re not a broadcast news outlet.  We barely mentioned him at all. Had we criticized him, we would have started with his lack of commitment to transparency — those “lost” text messages between him and other school board members and his later use of the Signal app that deletes messages — and his lack of desire to discuss it with the board. The Register-Guard had a good recap of the board getting “schooled on public records law” on May 4. 

Lafer wants an 800-word column. Truth is, we don’t have room to offer a column to every political candidate we didn’t endorse for the May 16 special election. More concerning is the complaint by a Lafer ally in a letter this week that our endorsement of Hamilton, accompanied by a photo of Hamilton on the cover last week, somehow constitutes an unreported campaign contribution. Say what? By that reasoning, every article a newspaper writes about an elected official should be reported as a contribution. We’re entering Trumpthink territory here.


Dr. Stephanie Bulger. Photo by Todd Cooper.

City Club of Eugene hosts Lane Community College’s Dr. Stephanie Bulger at noon, Friday, May 12, to discuss “What’s New at Lane Community College” in the Maple Room, at the Inn at the 5th, Market District. Full disclosure: We’re big supporters of community college education at Eugene Weekly, and Editor Camilla Mortensen has taught there for more than a decade. In addition to what University of Oregon Provost Emeritus Scott Coltrane asks her as the first questioner, we’re suggesting that someone in the audience ask what’s happening with the proposed shut down of the campus health clinic, and about a topic near and dear to our hearts — what’s up with journalism courses at LCC? The school boasts a graduate who won a Pulitzer Prize in journalism and another grad who wrote for the Wall Street Journal. 

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