Photo by Todd Cooper

Extreme Climate Change, Celebrating a Judge, the Legislature and the Law on Secret Recordings in Slant

Judge Thomas Coffin, retired U.S. magistrate judge of the U.S District Court for the District of Oregon, had his portrait unveiled at the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse on July 14. Coffin’s long career has included cases like PGA tour v. golfer (and University of Oregon coach) Casey Martin on the applicability of the Americans with Disabilities Act to professional golf tours and rulings on the landmark “youth v. gov” climate case. He also periodically writes viewpoint columns in Eugene Weekly and other papers across the country. 

• Speaking of viewpoints, if you missed last week’s City Club of Eugene on “What Did the 2023 Oregon Legislature Accomplish?” you can get some of what Rep. Julie Fahey had to say in her Local and Vocal online viewpoint at This week’s July 21 City Club is “The Dream at 60: The Future of Civil Rights in Oregon and America,” featuring UO Prof. David Frank, Corvallis City Councilor Briae Lewis and Eugene/Springfield NAACP President Miles Pendleton. Find out more at, attend noon in the Maple Room, Inn at the 5th or listen on KLCC Monday, July 24, at 7 pm. 

• When it comes to recording phone conversations, Oregon is a one-party consent state. This means, for example, if a journalist — or anyone else — wants to record a phone call, only the person doing the recording needs to know. When it comes to recording an in-person interview, Oregon, until recently, required notification of all those being recorded. The Ninth Circuit overturned Oregon’s in-person recording law with its decision in Project Veritas v. Schmidt, ruling that Oregon’s recording law was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment right to free speech. The ruling essentially allows in-person conversations to be secretly recorded but didn’t affect Oregon’s phone recording law.

This scary hot weather certainly is extreme climate change. In addition to holding corporations accountable, is there anything we, as individuals can do about it?  Walk, bike, take public transportation, drive an electric car, be mindful of our impact upon the world. But the most important step we can take is to support and vote for political leaders who understand the climate crisis and want to move against it. The first question we should ask a candidate concerns their position on extreme climate change.

Basketball fans in Eugene who got to watch Sabrina Ionescu break records and win games will not be surprised that she continues winning and being amazing in the WNBA. Playing for the New York Liberty, she has been named an all-star two years in a row. She recently stormed to victory in the league’s three-point shooting contest — she made 20 three-pointers in a row on her way to the best score ever for men or women. Now she needs to win a league championship and an Olympic gold medal.

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