Ted Taylor has been the editor at Eugene Weekly since 1998.
Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) will be attending several events and holding two town hall meetings Thursday, Aug. 18. The schedule was just released today, Aug. 17.
At 10 am Thursday, DeFazio will be at the Willamette River Bridge project ribbon-cutting ceremony. Meet at the UO Motor Pool at 3233 Franklin Blvd.
From 11 am to 1 pm Thursday he will be scooping ice cream at the Lane County Fair Senior Social, and stopping by his campaign booth outside the Performance Hall at the Fairgrounds.
From 5:15 to 6:15 pm DeFazio will speak and take questions at a Eugene town hall meeting at the City Council Chambers, 777 Pearl St.
And from 7 to 8 pm he will be at a Springfield town hall meeting at the City Council Chambers, 225 5th St.
Sen. Jeff Merkley was one of the "no" votes this week on the debt ceiling/budget plan that Congress approved. Fellow congressional Democrats Peter DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer also voted "no." Here's Merkley's statement about his vote:
I’ve got a pretty simple test when I’m considering legislation. Will it help the middle class and small businesses create opportunities and get ahead? It's a test the debt bill couldn't pass, which is why I voted no. All policymakers should use that criteria, but the debt plan we voted on today proves that not to be the case.
After over two years of a devastating recession, and a decade of stagnant wages before that, our number one goal should be creating jobs and making sure our kids have opportunities in the future.
Instead, this deal will cut off jobs and pile burdens on middle class families who are already paying the price for a decade of bad policy choices.
Imagine: Americans who may have lost a job, whose mortgage is under water, who can’t afford their kids’ college anymore and have seen prices skyrocket for food and gas are asked to tighten their belts.
At the same time, the very wealthiest Americans and big, well-connected special interests are 100 percent insulated from any sacrifice. Their lavish tax breaks and sweetheart deals sprinkled throughout the tax code have been conveniently put off limits for any cuts.
The conventional wisdom says we have to swallow this deal. But if we give in to these ransom demands and allow the extremists to continue their assault on the building blocks of middle class prosperity in order to protect the wealthy and well-connected, we’ll be facing more ransom demands soon enough.
I don’t discount the need for tough choices to bring down our unsustainable deficits. But they can’t be only tough choices for those who can least afford the sacrifice, while those in the penthouses and boardrooms continue amassing more and more and more.
This is a fight about more than how we lower the deficit, it’s a fight for our country’s basic values, and our future. Too many in Washington seem to have forgotten that America’s economic strength is inseparable from the well-being of its middle class. If we continue to sacrifice their prosperity to provide more to the well-off and well-connected, we sacrifice America’s greatness. Let’s not let that happen.
Looks like School District 4J has decided to offer the Civic Stadium property for annual lease or the purchase of a three-year option to lease, with some new incentives. But still no option to buy is included in the new deal, which could put a crimp on any group wanting to raise money to save the historic stadium. Another downside to the leasing is that the stadium itself is not considered safe enough to actually be used.
So, anybody want to rent a field and parking lot for three years? It's only $250,000. Seems unlikely. The board is in a bind after deciding to not accept any of the three offers it received for purchase or long-term lease. Until the board makes a new decision to put the property back in the market. we don't expect to see anything happen.
Meanwhile the weeds continue to grow on the field and volunteers from Save Civic Stadium are heading out again Saturday morning with hoes and shovels.
This afternoon (July 28) Gov. John Kitzhaber announced that he intends to call a special election to find a replacement for Congressman David Wu, who resigned this morning.
Wu, a Democrat who represents Oregon's 1st Congressional District, says he will resign after the debt-ceiling issue is resolved. But Kitzhaber says he has not yet received anything in writing from Wu.
McKenzie Pass has been plowed to allow bikes and pedestrian traffic in recent weeks (see our EugeneCycles blog) and we hear the scenic highway will open to motor vehicle traffic Friday, July 15. Both lanes are clear but ODOT is doing some minor repairs before allowing cars. So you only have a couple of days to experience this remarkable road without the traffic.
Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner is expected to announce job cuts and service reductions including patrol responses, closure of 84 jail beds and reduced parole and probation services this week. A press conference is scheduled for 10:30 am Thursday, July 7, at the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, 125 E. 8th Avenue, Room 175.
California Bay Area pundit Marc Perkel nailed it this week with his comment on the Anthony Weiner controversy:
A congressman whose last name is Weiner should be sexting because it looks like the government is subsidizing comedians. But on a more serious note, why are people surprised when someone lies about sex? We live in a society that is in denial about the realities of sexual desire. If not for this instinct humanity would have gone extinct millions of years ago. But because we human animals choose the path of denial, lying about sex is the socially correct thing to do. I'm sure if Mr. Weiner told the whole truth no one would really want to know it. Too much information!
How important is it that the news media cover these sex scandals? And — which ones are scandals as opposed to people experiencing the powers of Darwin? If a Republican does it then it is automatically a scandal because Republicans are in bed with the religious right who believe that all sex outside of marriage is immoral. This is especially true of politicians like Senator David Vitter who publicly criticized President Clinton before Vitter was discovered to have been having relationships with prostitutes.
It is also a scandal when Republicans are caught with underage boys as it was with Congressman Mark Foley, or when an evangelical preacher like Ted Haggard was caught having gay sex with male prostitutes while taking drugs. Some Democrats are also legitimate targets like New York Governor Eliot Spitzer because he was caught with a prostitute after making a political career out of prosecuting prostitutes. Democratic candidate John Edwards is also fair game because he used campaign money to hide his affair from the voters while running for president.
However when there is no abuse of money or hypocrisy involved I don't consider a sex scandal that interesting. Bill Clinton has always been "a hard dog to keep on the porch," as Hillary put it. And then there's Arnold Schwarzenegger. Is anyone really surprised? Now we have a liberal Democrat who is sexting. Who cares? In my opinion the only thing that make Weiner's scandal interesting is his name. Other than that I'd rather see Congress focusing on creating jobs and doing the job they were elected to do. We can save the sex scandals for Hollywood.
EW reader Johanna sent us this tale today:
Eugene has always had a special vibe, more than any other placed I have lived. What happened about a month ago is a prime example of how magical this town really is.
On my way home from work every day, I take West 11th heading West. For the past couple of years, I would pass by a house with an abstract picture of Matt Damon on the window. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but as the years went by, no matter what changed in my life, Matt Damon would always be there to greet me on my way home.
Then, suddenly, about a month ago, I noticed Matt Damon was gone. I knew it was inevitable, since we are a college town, that Matt Damon would eventually move. But the empty window that stared at me as I drove by it every day was beginning to eat away at me.
I decided to fill that void with an ad on craigslist under the missed connections. My original add went something like this:
Dear Abstract Picture of Matt Damon,
You have been the most consistent man in my life for many years. Other men would come and go in my life, but I knew once I took West 11th after work, you would be there to comfort me on good days and on bad days. Rainy days, sunny days, showers with a sun breaks....you'd always be there.
Then suddenly, you leave. No phone call, no forwarding address... I miss you!
Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!
Funny enough, I got several responses. Some on craigslist and some via email. The original owners of Matt Damon contacted me to inform me that Matt Damon had moved to Portland. The new owners of the house also contacted me and were sympathetic enough to put a Titanic poster on the window to remind me that Matt Damon may be lost to history, but my love for Matt Damon will never be forgotten. For your enjoyment, I have attached the responses I got, as well as a final posting from me, ending this magical chapter in Eugene’s life.
I have it on good athority [sic] that Matt (and the boys that lived there) moved out. (11th and Jackson) It is now inhabited by a bunch of young chickies that either appriciate [sic] someone like Justin Bieber or are keeping Matt to themselves inside there. You may want to consider moving on... or knocking on the door. He may still be inside.
I thought I was the only one who noticed that picture on 11th. This post seriously made my day. Where in Eugene is Matt Damon? I guess we'll never know.
Sorry that we took away your sweet prince (Matt Damon). We have just received and Titanic poster that we were thinking about putting in the window. Maybe Leo could be your new man? Once again, sorry. — New members of the west 11th house
that was my old college house you are talking about!! i cannot express how happy it made me when a friend of mine found your posting on craigslist. truly an iconic part of west 11th!!
I just wanted to say that I know exactly the Abstract Picture of Matt Damon to which you are referring. His picture always stood out on the drive, haha. This posting made me laugh. Thanks!
Oh goodness, so funny! We always called that the "Matt Damon House" and by chance we met the guy who lived there. He said he posted it in the window to make it easier for friends to spot the house when driving by. Sadly he moved a while back :( Perhaps we'll see Matt sprout up elsewhere? This made me laugh to see that other people missed it as well!
I was surprised at how many responses I got from people who also missed Matt Damon. I actually got nine responses...all of whom also missed the poster. I'm glad I'm not the only one weird enough to miss a random picture of Matt Damon on the way home from work. It's moments like these that remind me of how much I love Eugene.
Alas, Matt Damon has moved to Portland....
The current renters were awesome enough to put a poster of the movie Titanic ... in memory of my Matt Damon picture ... who is lost to history, but our memory and our love will never be forgotten.