Slant: Pride, Pollen and Weird Bird News

Congratulations, Eugene! We set a record! ACHOO! According to Oregon Allergy Associates, which tracks pollen at its local office, June 6 was a record 1,301 (“very high” is anything over 200) particles of pollen per cubic meter of air. OAA says it’s a result of a “perfect storm” of dry weather and wind from the north — the land of ryegrass. You can check the counts at

• June is Pride Month, and before you fret at what might look like a dearth of local activities, Eugene and Springfield Pride is historically celebrated in August to let folks travel to celebrate in places like San Francisco and Portland. has August 12 at Alton Baker Park for its annual celebration, and Eugene Weekly’s annual Pride issue comes out that week. Email with story suggestions! We were delighted to see that Lane County sent a large contingent of folks from Comunidad Latina to the June 4 Roseburg Pride Parade — horses, dancers, music and the art of the charro marched in the community celebration.

• Other events on the horizon are Juneteenth on June 19 — a federal holiday that Monday with a celebration on June 18 in Alton Baker Park, and heads up for the University of Oregon graduation 9 am Tuesday, June 20, at Autzen Stadium. 

• Speaking of events, apologies to Roaring Rapids Pizza Company. We inadvertently used outdated events from its website in our Summer Guide calendar. Our online calendar has been updated. 

• Hardcore birders responding to an online rare bird alert raced from around the valley to Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge near Salem on Monday afternoon, June 5, to see a least tern — a tiny bird that’s been reported in Oregon only 12 times before. No sooner had they found the wayward traveler than a peregrine falcon appeared flying nearby over the refuge marsh. Sure enough, the state’s Lucky 13th least tern became a falcon’s lunch while the birders watched. Sic transit gloria, and all that.

• Make sure you are keeping up with our online news, updated at and in our weekly newsletters, or you might be missing out on the Eugene Beer Week schedule and the fact our newly conservative leaning Lane County Board of Commissioners voted to spend $80,000 a year on dues to rejoin a timber lobbying group. 

• The program committee of the City Club of Eugene picked a tough subject for the June 2 meeting: “Back to Basics: Engaging in Conversation in a Diverse, Polarized America.” It was an interesting, but not very enlightening, presentation. These meetings are open to the public, Fridays at noon, at the Fifth Street Market, also broadcast on KLCC. Lunch is available. Kudos to Joel Korin, a Eugene transplant from New Jersey, for his work picking the subjects and finding the speakers. It’s a considerable contribution to this community. Next up on June 9 is “Rental Housing & Tenant Protections in Eugene.”

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