It’s Best of Eugene time! (by which we actually mean Best of Lane County — you can vote for local people, restaurants, businesses and nonprofits throughout our circulation area). Online voting kicked off August 1, and if you prefer a print ballot, there will be one in an upcoming issue. This year there will be a nomination round through Sept. 1 and then a runoff round through noon Sept. 29. This is a readers’ poll so vote for what you love!
• Have you seen Barbie? The hot pink movie is rattling the cages of the less-than-feminist crowd. For you doubters that the plastic doll could be anything but fluff, let’s just start with the fact that the film kicks off in Barbie Land, a matriarchal society of self-confident, self-sufficient and successful women.
• Falling stars! OK, meteors, whatever. Early August is peak time for making wishes. The Perseid meteor shower peaks next weekend, August 12, and we plan to lay on our backs and stargaze.
• Readers know we are frequent perusers of The New York Times (and Lane Community College and University of Oregon students and faculty should know that they get a free digital subscription), but we, and some Portland residents we know, were a little taken aback by the ugly picture of Portland on the front page of the July 29 NYT. The headline: “A Homeless Crisis Is a Test of Portland’s Identity,” and the subhead: “Drug abuse and crime create a deep divide in a liberal city.” Is this the full story of Portland?
• The Bedrock Fire out Fall Creek is still underway with smoke periodically creeping in from the more than 11,000 flaming and smoldering acres, and with about 5 percent containment. The basecamp has moved to Pleasant Hill. We went rafting on the McKenzie last week and saw the still devastated areas of the Holiday Farm fire. While we rejoiced at osprey nests and other signs of life in the burnt snags, it’s a reminder of our dangerously warming planet.
• Let’s hear it for student journalists. In July, Northwestern University head football coach Pat Fitzgerald was suspended for two weeks by that university’s President Michael Schill, former prez at the University of Oregon, amid reports of hazing in the football program. Schill rapidly changed course and fired the coach after student reporters at The Daily Northwestern documented that the hazing was far worse — including sexual assaults and racism — than had been reported by a university investigation. A week later Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne resigned after a freshman reporter at The Stanford Daily reported that three research papers bearing Tessier-Lavigne’s name as principal or co-author contained improperly manipulated data. We publish the work of student journalists from the UO here at Eugene Weekly — and we’re proud of it.