Slant

• June marks two big months for underrepresented communities. First, as most folks know, June is Pride month. Here in Eugene, however, we do our Pride celebration in August (August 10 for Pride in the Park at Alton Baker Park, to be exact). We’ve been told it’s so folks can go to other Pride celebrations elsewhere and still be able to put on our own great party. One party that’s not happening this year, but we hope will return, is the Eugene Juneteenth Celebration. Juneteenth, a federal holiday on June 19 since 2021, commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., and the folks of Eugene Juneteenth have been putting on an event since 2020. Want to help them bring the Juneteenth party back? Go to EugeneJuneteenth.com.

File under the little newspaper that could: Not only did Eugene Weekly come roaring back from our embezzlement with our investigation into now-departed 4J Superintendent Andy Dey, but we won some awards this past year! In the Society of Professional Journalists regional competition, EW was competing in the medium newsroom category (we are deeply unclear how our little embezzled newsroom could be medium-sized, but OK) against papers like Willamette Week, The Bulletin, Gazette Times and news sources across the Northwest. Catalyst Journalism Project student writers Anna Kaminski and Winter Wagner, took first place in Health Reporting for “Crisis Mode” on Lane County’s struggle to build a mental-health crisis stabilization center. And winning in Investigative Reporting was Alexis Weisend’s “Fast and Furious” and “City of Eugene Ignores State Law on Camping,” on how the city of Eugene routinely ignores state laws when it evicts thousands of unhoused people from camping in public spaces every year.

• But that’s not all! The Portland chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association announced its 2024 AAJA Diversity and Inclusion Awards competition winners on June 9, and EW intern and part-time calendar editor Brianna Murschel, competing against full time professional journalists, took first place in politics reporting for her story, “Fear, Intimidation and Justice,” about racism and policing in Springfield. We are delighted by the recognition and even more delighted that because of the support of readers like you, we have been able to report on stories that matter. Support Eugene Weekly!

Oregon asked for nominations last year for the state’s next poet laureate, to be named this spring by the governor. The state got 151 nominations for the post, suggesting 71 individual poetic nominees, says Lucy Solares-Steger, program coordinator for Oregon Humanities, which administers the selection process. Out of those, she says, 40 accepted the nomination — and one has been chosen for the governor’s approval. “Look out for that press release in May-ish for the big announcement,” Solares-Steger emailed in March.

Well, we did look out, and now it’s June-ish, and not a peep. What gives? “Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten word either,” she emailed in late May. “We’ve reached out to our governor’s office liaison a couple times, but they seem pretty busy over there.” She’s now awaiting a decision by mid June. We know Gov. Tina Kotek has a lot on her plate, but this looks like a clear case of poetic injustice.

Last weekend in Eugene kicked off with a major track meet and ended with a major concert. Pink Martini, the Portland fusion orchestra, played to a packed Hult Center on Sunday night. Pink Martini’s singer-songwriter China Forbes even sang a number she had written to Eugene early in her career. Don’t you just love living in a town like this?

On the good news front, our friends at KLCC recently hosted a benefit with NPR’s Ailsa Chang from NPR for its Amplifying Oregon Voices campaign. The event pushed the radio station fundraising past $3 million, helping them to stay on the air with excellent news and other programming.

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