From sportsball to Springfield in Slant

As the college basketball season winds down with no Ducks in the Final Four, the coaches are working hard to secure commitments from proven players who will transfer to Oregon. Oregon has gained good players through the transfer portal and lost good players. Let’s hope the gains outweigh the losses this year and next March sees the Duck men and women tearing up the NCAA tournament.

• On April 1, Gov. Tina Kotek signed House Bill 4002 into law, recriminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs, and rolling back Oregon’s voter-approved Measure 110. It makes personal-use possession a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. We appreciate that the bill sets out alternatives to criminal penalties by encouraging law enforcement to create deflection programs diverting people to mental health and addiction services, but the Legislature let the increase in fentanyl use get in the way of a groundbreaking measure with this one.

• Spring is here (complete with tree pollen), and that means Eugene’s First Friday ArtWalk has the benefit of light and warmer weather! As always, kick off at 5:30 pm at the Farmers Market Pavilion, 85 E. 8th Avenue. One of the walk’s special events is Emergence: Art by Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Oregonians at the Midtown Arts Center, 174 E. 16th Avenue. The Lane Arts Council notes that “This exhibition from the University of Oregon Prison Education Program and Sponsors, Inc., highlights currently and formerly incarcerated artists with appreciation, so viewers can connect with visually striking stories from inside the prisons.” There will be an artist talk at 6 pm.

“Extra! Extra! Refugee Journalists Become the Story — Migrating to Stay Alive,” is the theme of a University of Oregon conference, featuring journalists from around the world whose reporting caused them and their families to be threatened. The Friday April 5 City Club program is part of the conference and features a report from UO instructor Charlie Dietz on last year’s World Press Freedom Day at the United Nations in Manhattan; Farai Gonzo, a Zimbabwean journalist and professor who will describe her move to Canada for her own security; and Kimberley Mangun of the University of Utah will discuss threats to journalism in Oregon, including stories of Black newspapers in Oregon and how the editors built on the mission of the Black press. Eugene City Club meets at noon in the Maple Room at Inn at the Fifth and is free.

Springfield City Club says it will transition to election programming for the months of April and May. Its programs are Thursdays at noon at the Roaring Rapids Pizza Company, 4006 Franklin Boulevard in Glenwood. Go to for upcoming programs and membership information.

 The University of Oregon School of Music and Dance is hosting a memorial for musician Michael Denny 1 pm April 6 in Berwick Hall at the SOMD. Denny taught courses in jazz at the UO from 1995 to 2021, and his career included performances with Eartha Kitt, Buddy Miles, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Paul Bollenback, Obo Addy and more. He also appeared in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with the Eugene Symphony and at the Cabrillo Festival, both under the baton of Marin Alsop, his SOMD remembrance says.

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