Election results are in! Mostly. Lane County Elections posted the current results at 11 pm May 16, but between vote by mail and close races the winners are not truly definitive until the election is certified, June 12. One of the most contentious races, 4J School Board incumbent Gordon Lafer vs. challenger Rick Hamilton, looks settled with Hamilton ahead of Lafer by almost 6,000 votes. We’d like to think it’s purely our endorsement of Hamilton, but between voter disgust with the school board’s contentious meetings and Hamilton’s affable personality, his win should have been no surprise.
Meanwhile, the also contentious race for Eugene City Council is more up in the air. Recently appointed Ward 7 incumbent Lyndsie Leech, with 48 percent of the vote, leads Barbie Walker 1,489 to 1,008, with Janet Ayres trailing with 599 votes. But while the city says the winner needs more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a November runoff, Lane County Elections says, as EW goes to press, that the office was not expecting to hold a fall runoff.
• Our pickleball source tells us that Eugene does not have nearly enough pickleball courts for this popular and burgeoning sport. Bend, for instance, has many more per capita. Too bad we can’t play pickleball on Hayward Field or at Autzen Stadium. Maybe Uncle Phil Knight could become Eugene’s Prince of Play and encourage more folks to hit the courts — instead of the Prince of Building Places to Watch Other People Play — and figure out a way to provide those courts.
• District 4J staff and volunteers were honored for excellence in education at the 2023 ACE (A Champion in Education) awards ceremony May 4. The champions are Sally Krueger, teacher/ licensed specialist; Faten Abdelhamid, special educational assistant; Kari Skinner, director, risk management and school safety; Caroline Snider, volunteer; Robin Wellwood, school nurse, lifetime achievement. All 294 ACE nominees were recognized. Each champion will receive a $250 grant for their school from the Eugene Education Foundation. That’s better news than the latest bomb threat at South Eugene High School. On the brighter side, too, is Bethel School District’s announcement earlier this year that it debuted a new Black Studies history class this semester at Willamette High School.
• UO art major Kendall Case sent us this photo of one of her latest artistic creations. She used more than 50 copies of a past issue of Eugene Weekly — she picked them up from the EW recycle bin with our blessings — for this untitled sculpture. “I’m very excited for how it turned out and how I was able to showcase where I live in my work,” she writes. “I wanted to share it with you all.” And to think some people use us to line their litter pans.
• Remember last week when we said we hoped someone asked Lane Community College President Stephanie Bulger a question about her plans to cut the LCC health clinic? Well, we are delighted to see that Bulger has announced she’s going to convene a task force of students, faculty, classified professionals and managers, and community partners “to review models to expand health care services to more students at a low cost while maintaining fiscal sustainability for the services.” We appreciate that she listened to the concerns of students and others and is going to have a community conversation after she previously announced plans to cut the campus health care clinic. See our coverage at EugeneWeekly.com.
• What plans do you have for this sunny weekend? As the city of Eugene talks budget cuts to animal services and the library (see our story online this week), Greenhill Humane Society is gearing up for its annual Bark in the Park 10k, 5k and 2k races May 21 and is hoping to raise $100,000 for the animals in need of Eugene and its environs. You can register until May 20 at Green-hill.org/bark and can run with or without a pup. You can also tootle on over to Florence for the 116th annual Rhododendron Floral Parade on May 21 and Rhody Days all weekend long. It’s a fun and fantastic mix of flowers around town and bikers on Bay Street. More at FlorenceChamber.com/event/2023rhodydays. Find more fun in our What’s Happening Calendar or Let us know what events you’re planning, Editor@EugeneWeekly.com.