Your Weekend Reader for March 16-17

by | Mar 16, 2024 | Weekend Reader | 0 comments

I’m still bummed about the loss of The Shoe Hutch in downtown Corvallis, but my pain has been eased considerably by the knowledge that the space at 251 SW Madison Ave., is now the new home of Grass Roots Books & Music. The Gazette-Times’ Kosiso Ugwuede had a nice story about the store’s move. (The story might be behind a paywall.) Hats off to Jack Wolcott and Sandy Smith for keeping Grass Roots growing for 50 years now.

In somewhat more ominous Corvallis news, the Oregon Health Authority has given emergency approval to the acquisition of The Corvallis Clinic by Optum, an affiliate of the insurance giant UnitedHealth Group. As Kristin de Leon explains in this story from TheOregonian/OregonLive, the move essentially short-circuits a state review of the proposed merger. Lawyers for the clinic said the emergency approval was necessary because the financial status of The Corvallis Clinic had “materially deteriorated” since the deal was first proposed in early December. The Health Authority agreed: The clinic’s “financials depict a grim financial projection and threatened immediate closure,” the agency wrote in approving the emergency request. Since most of the information in the clinic’s filing to state regulators has been redacted, it’s hard to make an independent assessment. The clinic’s most recent statement about this on its website dates back to late January, and argues that Optum is a good fit for the clinic. As a clinic patient, I hope that turns out to be the case, but we’ll see. Certainly, judging by the tenor of some these public comments about the merger, I’m not the only one with doubts.

Elsewhere across the state, a big section of southeastern Oregon is now home to the largest “dark sky sanctuary” in the world. Nathan Wilk of KLCC reports that a 2.5-million acre stretch of Lake County was certified this month by Dark Sky International, a nonprofit that seeks to reduce light pollution. It’s potentially a lure for stargazing tourists.

Not to brag (well, maybe a little bit), I had a decent year predicting the winners of Sunday’s Academy Awards, going 18-5. I underestimated the strength of “Poor Things” in the costume and makeup categories. In retrospect, I should have listened to my heart in the animated feature category, which went (properly) to “The Boy and the Heron.” I did think “The Zone of Interest” was a potential winner for sound, but thought “Oppenheimer” would prevail. And everyone knew the best actress race was a dead heat between Lily Gladstone for “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Emma Stone for “Poor Things,” but I was still disappointed, especially as a Montana native. The fact that this award hasn’t created much of a backlash is testimony to the strength of Stone’s performance — and the incredibly classy way Gladstone carried herself during awards season, including the days after Sunday’s ceremony.

I also felt bad for Martin Scorsese, the director of “Flower Moon,” who now has had three separate movies go 0-for-10 at the Oscars. That’s brutal. He’s 0-for-26 over his last four narrative films. You would think the academy would have more love for one of the greatest American filmmakers.

Manohla Dargis and Alissa Wilkinson of The New York Times have additional thoughts on the fraught relationship between Scorsese and the academy in this critics’ notebook feature. They also agree with me that the actual ceremony was remarkably fun. And, while I thought Jimmy Kimmel did fine hosting the show — it has to be among the toughest show-biz gigs — am I alone in thinking that John Mulaney would be an excellent Oscar host?

Longtime readers of the Weekend Reader will know that I love lists — so, naturally, I immediately jumped on this project from The Atlantic: The magazine’s culture desk set out to put together a list of “Great American Novels” stretching back a century. The final list includes 136 selections — and, of course, since the entire purpose of these lists is to stoke debate, it’s time now to argue about what’s on the list — and what’s not. But I couldn’t help notice this detail: Nearly half of the books on this list have been banned at one time or another from schools and libraries.

And, if you’re a longtime reader of the Weekend Reader, you’ll know I love to track the doings of the U.S. Supreme Court — so I read with interest this piece in The Atlantic, in which two legal experts essentially eviscerate the court’s ruling in Trump v. Anderson. This was the case in which Colorado courts ruled that Donald Trump could not be on the ballot because he violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — you remember, the part that automatically disqualifies oath-breaking insurrectionists from being on the federal ballot. The Supreme Court disagreed. To put it mildly, writers J. Michael Luttig and Laurence H. Tribe don’t think the high court’s ruling in the case is among its finest work.

That’s it for this weekend. Join me this weekend and we’ll see what the chance are of putting together a “Great American Novels” Weekend Reader book club — seems like we should be able to knock off all 136 books over the summer. Well, maybe if we started early.

Want your art event listed?

Read more published work

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Recent Blog Posts

Your Weekend Reader for July 20-21

Your Weekend Reader for July 20-21

A not-so-surprising Lee Greenwood flap. Oregon on fire. Commercializing the weather. OSU’s Bazzana starts life as a pro. More lists of books. Misinformation and “weak ties.” And news as you vape! It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more
Your Weekend Reader for July 13-14

Your Weekend Reader for July 13-14

We’re still “Bowling Alone.” Gender and politics. Trump’s campaign managers. The Oregon link to “Oh, Mary!” OSU’s Carey heads to Paris. Documentary controversies. And 67 more books to go. It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more
Your Weekend Reader for July 6-7

Your Weekend Reader for July 6-7

Heat wave — or heat dome? Regardless, stay hydrated. Wolf news. Olympic fashion, crafted from Oregon wool. Blue blazers, Ralph Lauren and “The Prisoner.” RIP, Robert Towne, and the scandal that shaped “Chinatown.” The struggle for access to public records. It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.

Comments on this website are the sole responsiblity of their writers and the writers will take full responsiblity, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment.

We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever.

More Blog Posts

Your Weekend Reader for July 20-21

A not-so-surprising Lee Greenwood flap. Oregon on fire. Commercializing the weather. OSU’s Bazzana starts life as a pro. More lists of books. Misinformation and “weak ties.” And news as you vape! It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more

Your Weekend Reader for July 13-14

We’re still “Bowling Alone.” Gender and politics. Trump’s campaign managers. The Oregon link to “Oh, Mary!” OSU’s Carey heads to Paris. Documentary controversies. And 67 more books to go. It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more