From 4J to roundabouts in Slant

Eugene Weekly went to print on Wednesday before the Eugene 4J School Board met March 6 to make a decision on Superintendent Andy Dey’s contract. Go online for that update as well as for the story we posted on March 5 about the complaint filed against Dey by a South Eugene High School teacher for kissing her on the cheek without her consent. 

Read any good articles lately? We took a break from Super Tuesday updates in The New York Times to read the charming article in The Gray Lady about the brouhaha among fountain pen lovers over a limited edition ink — Dark Lilac — that was reintroduced but was not quite the right shade. Check out “Intrigue, Ink and Drama Grip the Fountain Pen Community” in the March 1 edition. 

• State Rep. Paul Holvey announced his retirement from the Oregon Legislature last week — the longtime legislator’s intent to retire had been rumored before UFCW 555’s weird and failed attempt to have him recalled last fall. Two local Dems have entered the race: Lisa Fragala, a Lane Community College Board director, recently announced her bid for the Democratic nomination for Oregon House District 8, which includes central, eastern and south Eugene, downtown, the University of Oregon and rural areas south of Eugene. Environmentalist Doyle Canning, who has tried to run against now-retired Congressman Peter DeFazio as well as against current Rep. Val Hoyle, also entered the race last week.

• Two questions have festered for years in college sports: Are student-athletes employees at colleges and universities, and can they unionize? The Dartmouth College men’s basketball team voted 13-2 this week to test the waters and join SEIU Local 560. The Ivy League school is certain to appeal to the National Labor Relations Board, so it will take time, perhaps years, to determine a final answer. Yet with billions of dollars at play in college sports, this bears close scrutiny.

City Club of Eugene is looking at homelessness in Lane County at the noon March 8 meeting at Carlita’s restaurant in the Gordon Hotel. The county is coordinating its approach to homelessness through a state program called All In. Speakers are Terri Hsieh, street outreach manager for HIV Alliance, and Kate Budd, Human Services Division manager with Lane County Department of Health & Human Services.

• The route to the Franklin Boulevard roundabouts continues. Some like the concept and some not so much — but the data show roundabouts increase safety and decrease emissions. The latest news is that after five years and thousands of comments, the design concept is done and the engineering of phase one is underway. The goal for construction of phase one, which begins in 2026 at the earliest, includes continuous and separated facilities for walking, biking and rolling, two lanes for EmX, and the construction of two priority roundabouts.