31 Aug

In another fall ranking, Oregon universities aren’t contenders

It’s the season of college rankings. Associated Press, ESPN and everybody else loudly proclaim their preseason countdown, although nobody has yet found a hand gesture to go with the boast, “We’re Number 22.”

But recently, we heard another ranking less prominent in August, and still not likely to figure in bowl game calculations:
The Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings.

These aren’t about linemen.

But Oregon universities are way out of line.

The rankings come from the Chinese university’s Center for World-Class Universities, which regularly takes on the daunting task of rating the globe’s institutions of higher education.

It’s a rarefied formula, depending heavily on faculty and alumni connections with Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals — given to the top mathematicians under 40 – and publications in the journals Science and Nature, along with other highly cited articles.

When you’re trying to rank hundreds of universities, you don’t want to get bogged down in assessing cafeterias and counting exercise bikes.

And there is a great deal of international interest in science and math intellectual firepower. It’s the kind of thing that might get noticed thousands of miles – and a Pacific Ocean – away.

Maybe not surprisingly, you run through a lot of rankings before you came to the name “Oregon.” Down where universities are ranked in clusters instead of getting their own numbers, Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University are in the 151-200 group, with the University of Oregon somewhere between 301 and 400.

Maybe this isn’t so bad; there are 500 universities ranked, and who’s to say whether the University of Oregon is really better or worse than the similarly ranked London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine or King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

But there is one aspect which might strike us, especially at this time of year: In the 2015 Shanghai Jiao Tung University Academic Ranking of World Universities, we’re at the bottom of the Pac-12.

Not that the Center for World-Class Universities organizes things that way.

Nobody is surprised, of course, to see the Oregon universities ranking well behind Stanford (#2 in the world, after Harvard); Berkeley (#4) or UCLA (#12). It’s also not astounding to see us behind the University of Washington (#14), although the gap between the UO and the UW is wider than the distance between Eugene and Seattle.

(To be fair, the University of Washington, like many other universities, is bolstered by the numbers from its medical school, while OHSU is counted separately from the Oregon research universities.)

But after that, the rankings run through the rest of the Pac-12 like a Saturday night sports round-up.

The University of Colorado ranks 34th; USC is 49th; the University of Arizona comes in at #90, and Arizona State and Utah make it into the top 100 with a tie at #93.

The Oregon universities are not literally alone at the bottom of the Pac-12; the University of Oregon is joined in the 301-400 cohort by Washington State. And the linemen at both schools could overwhelm the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
But while we’re on the Pacific Coast, the top 100 also includes four other University of California branches: San Diego, San Francisco (a medical school), Irvine and Davis.

These rankings are not just about bragging rights – although when the news came out earlier this month, there were no doubt some more unusually inflated chests in the Bay Area. In the hypercompetitive Pacific Rim, these are the places that Oregon permanently competes with, and university strength is one of the key weapons in everybody’s economic arsenal.

And in terms of Pacific Rim competition, we don’t even want to think about the universities of Tokyo (#21), Kyoto (#26) and Nagoya (#77), British Columbia (#40), and Melbourne (#44).
Oregon higher education had a relatively good legislative session in 2015. It was also heartening Wednesday when House Speaker Tina Kotek, responding to the latest revenue forecast, mentioned higher ed as an investment need.

But as the Academic Ranking of World Universities reminds us, we have far to go – almost as far as the distance to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

Every year, as the football season ends in bleak disappointment for lots of schools, you can count on somebody offering the broad view: More than a billion Chinese don’t care about a football game one way or the other.

But every so often, we’re reminded of what the Chinese – and much of the rest of the world — do care about.

NOTE: This column appeared in The Sunday Oregonian, 8/30/15.

27 Aug

Even in a high-tech time, a need for heroes

It was a big week in the Pacific Northwest for heroism.

The heroes responded to demanding moments, and also reminded us why they’re always in demand.

With Washington state going through its worst fire year in history, and much of Oregon bursting into flames like an oil-soaked rag, thousands have been mobilized and sent to the fire lines – a phrase clearly, and understandably, modeled on the language of battle. The people who fight the fires professionally are called “hot shots,” a curiously – and maybe, in a whistling-past-the-graveyard way, intentionally – flippant title for a job that any wind shift can make suddenly lethal. The job and situation have become more dangerous with the spread of cheatgrass, a water-depleting species sometimes known as “grassoline.”

Last week, three firefighters, Tom Zbyszewski, 20, Andrew Zajac, 26, and Richard Wheeler, 31, were killed by a forest fire near Twisp, Wash. Part of an elite crew that went in first to gauge the size of a fire, they were in a car accident, and before they could escape the fire was upon them.

Interviews with the firefighters’ next of kin agonizingly displayed not only their numbing loss but a heartbreaking pride.

“He was the light of our life,” said the father of Zbyszewski, who for two years had been fighting fires to help pay his costs at Whitman College, and whose parents fought fires for 20 years.
“We just want people to know what a wonderful person he was.”

Wheeler was a fourth-generation firefighter, and his mother said, “He died a hero.”

Over decades, we’ve gotten better technology and strategies for dealing with wildfires, author Kyle Dickman wrote in The Washington Post Sunday. “But the most effective weapon in the increasingly sophisticated arsenal remains the many thousands of young men and women who, each year, spend their summers removing flammable materials around wildfires with chainsaws and hand-held tools.”

And who can suddenly find the fire on top of them.

A few days later, on a train on the other side of the world, three young Americans including Alek Skarlatos – a 23-year-old Oregon National Guardsman from Roseburg recently returned from Afghanistan – ran at and captured an attacker aiming a high-powered rifle at passengers. The shooter kept pulling weapons out of a bag, nearly cutting off the thumb of one of the Americans, who later had it surgically reattached. The gun jammed; if it hadn’t, Skarlatos said in a Skype interview with The New York Times, “I don’t even want to think about how it could have went.”

He told the Associated Press afterward, “In the beginning it was mostly gut instinct, survival. Our training kicked in after the struggle.” Instinct was indeed driving their response; until seconds before they acted, one of the three was fast asleep.

“I’ve always said that I felt I could trust putting my life in Alek’s hands,” Karlotas’ stepmother told reporters. “I honestly can’t say I’m surprised that he knew what to do when faced with that kind of situation. It’s just who he is.”

We like to think that our world is increasingly controlled, more wired, more monitored. Yet we live in a time when both wildfires and train rides are getting not less but more dangerous, and heroism still does things that a computer model can’t. To attack an inferno with a shovel, to charge an assault rifle with only instincts and reflexes, remains a heroism vital in the 21st century.

Monday, awarding the three membership in the Legion d’Honneur – offhand, Skarlatos may be the only member from Roseburg — French President Francois Hollande declared, “You have given us a lesson of courage, of determination and therefore of hope.”

In the movie “A Few Good Men,” Jack Nicholson’s Marine officer delivers the famous speech proclaiming, “You need me on that wall.” Nicholson’s character, of course, is not the hero – that’s Tom Cruise – he’s the bad guy, and guilty, and in his way deranged. But he does get the movie’s best lines, and understandably an Oscar nomination.

Because we know we do need the people on that wall, and at any moment it can become a terminally dangerous place to be.

After the news of the deaths on the fire line, one local TV station showed a hand-lettered sign left on an evacuated house by the family that had fled.

“Firefighters,” it read, shining through the smoke, “It’s just a house. Stay safe.”

I hope they saved that house.

I hope they saved that sign.

I hope we save that attitude.

NOTE: This column appeared in The Oregonian, 8/26/15.

24 Aug

Trump leads GOP against the 14th Amendment

It was always hard to figure out the logistics of just how more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants in Oregon were going to be quickly shipped out of the country, as the hardest-line voices have been demanding. PDX is indeed an international airport, but it doesn’t have that many flights out of the country, and a lot of those flights go to Vancouver.

Otherwise, it would be a matter of finding thousands of buses, or figuring on much more efficient service from Amtrak than we’ve ever seen.

There would also be the matter of tens of thousands of Oregon families being taken apart, and large parts of the Oregon economy essentially ceasing to exist, but hey, we’re talking about a principle here.

But we can put those calculations on hold, and even not worry so much about the families being separated. According to the newest themes in the Republican presidential primary, the approximately 50,000 American citizens in Oregon who are children of those undocumented immigrants don’t belong here either.

There may not be enough buses in the country.

Eight Republican candidates for president, led by Donald Trump, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, are now calling for the end of birthright citizenship, the 14th Amendment guarantee that anyone born in this country qualifies as a U.S. citizen. It’s not entirely clear whether this would be retroactive, stripping citizenship from tens of thousands of born Oregonians who grew up rooting for the Trail Blazers, but it would seem to reconcile two of Trump’s positions: that all undocumented immigrants must leave – in Trump’s phrase “They have to go” – and that he’s opposed to breaking up families.

According to the Pew Research Center, there are about 11.6 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, with just over 1 percent – about 120,000, a decrease from before the Great Recession – in Oregon. The center also calculates 4.5 million U.S.-born children – American citizens – living with them. By the same 1 percent calculation, that would come to 45,000 to 50,000 American children of undocumented immigrants in Oregon.

At least, they’re American as long as we still have the 14th Amendment, which about half the Republican presidential field is prepared to dump – or, like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, “seriously reconsider” – in which case, Oregon will need a lot more buses.

Oregon has already gone through the 14th Amendment fight once, ratifying the amendment right after the Civil War, when it was intended to protect the citizenship of freed slaves. After the amendment went into effect, in 1868, the Democrats captured the Oregon legislature and attempted to repeal ratification, but failed due to the constitutional principle of no-backsies. (Just to make sure, the Oregon legislature re-ratified the 14th Amendment in 1973.)

The principle doesn’t seem to interfere with the current debate, where candidates are cheerfully willing to toss the 14th amendment, just as we once dumped Prohibition. (Some candidates might also be willing to dispense with some other amendments.) Several would support a constitutional amendment to repeal birthright citizenship, although that would take two-thirds of a Congress that has trouble finding just a majority to do anything. It would also take 38 state legislatures, although it’s not hard to think of quite a few that wouldn’t cooperate.

That list would likely include the Oregon legislature, which – far from stripping citizenship from Oregon natives – voted in 2013 to extend in-state university tuition to undocumented graduates of Oregon high schools.

Not only are Oregon Democrats different than they were in 1868, but three Republican senators and five GOP representatives supported the tuition bill.

It’s still six months until the Iowa caucuses, and nine until the Oregon primary, and nobody knows what issues – or candidates – are going to make it here next May. But the number of candidates now attacking birthright citizenship, and the 14th Amendment suggests we’ll be hearing the argument in Portland and Medford. Even former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who does support the 14th Amendment, now warns about “anchor babies” – probably not the term the 50,000 U.S. citizens in Oregon with undocumented parents use about themselves.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Oregon has 170,000 U.S. citizens under 18 with at least one foreign-born parent, who may not be crazy about the phrase, either.

If we’re having a debate here next spring not only about deporting all undocumented immigrants, but about stripping the citizenship rights of their U.S.-born children, we will be talking about changing the face of Oregon. We would reach something we’ve never before managed in Oregon:

A presidential primary debate about mass transit.

NOTE: This column appeared in The Sunday Oregonian, 8/23/15.

24 Aug

To increase graduation, don’t test kids, watch them

Oregon’s on-time high school graduation rate is appalling. We’re among the lowest states in the country, although there’s no reason to think Oregon teenagers are any more impervious to algebra than other teenagers.

Because there are Oregon districts and schools that make it work. Hillsboro high schools, and Rex Putnam High School in Clackamas County, graduate their kids at much higher percentages, and have improved their performance.

What’s key is watching for problems early, and not trying to catch up when it’s too late.

That means watching kids closely during ninth grade, when a lot of kids have trouble with the middle school to high school jump, and fall behind in a way that makes catching up a towering challenge. It means watching for any point when a student starts to seem overwhelmed, or begins to have a truancy problem. A key part of the strategy is building relationships between students and adults.

In a high school bigger than any school they’ve attended before, with all the confusions and pressures of being a teenager, kids can fall through the cracks, and take your graduation rate with them.

These days, we believe in constantly testing kids, and demanding their standardized scores.

But to raise graduation rates, don’t watch the numbers.
Watch the kids.

NOTE: This commentary appeared on KGW-TV, 8/22/15.

20 Aug

Colorado court offers same-sex wedding cake recipe

The Sweet Cakes by Melissa case, about the refusal of a religious baker to produce a same-sex wedding cake, may go on until it becomes a dispute over a same-sex anniversary cake.

Last month, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry confirmed a ruling by an administrative law judge that the bakery’s proprietors pay $135,000 in damages to the couple; over recent months, crowdfunding efforts on behalf of the bakers raised a record $450,000.
It seems an ideal outcome for a high-profile American legal dispute; both sides get paid. But this is not, of course, the end; the bakers say they will contest the ruling in the Oregon Court of Appeals on grounds of religious freedom. Given judicial pace and process, this cake will still be a long time baking.

But last week, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled on a case with virtually the same recipe. Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, Judge Daniel Marc Taubman declared that Masterpiece Cakeshop of Lakewood had violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act by refusing to bake a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins, rejecting Masterpiece’s arguments of religious liberty and freedom of expression.

The Colorado case did not include financial damages, but the court ordered Masterpiece to provide same-sex wedding cakes in future, to retrain its staff and to file quarterly reports on its compliance – possibly accompanied by some nice baked goods for the judges.

Taubman agreed with the administrative law judge that refusing to produce a same-sex wedding cake was not a matter pf pastry choice, but of illegal discrimination: “But for their sexual orientation, Craig and Mullins would not have sought to enter into a same-sex marriage, and but for their intent to do so, Masterpiece would not have denied them services.”

He then dismissed what might be called the “cookie defense” in same-sex wedding cake cases: “We reject Masterpiece’s related argument that its willingness to sell birthday cakes, cookies and other non-wedding cake related products to gay and lesbian couples establishes that it did not violate CADA. Masterpiece’s potential compliance with CADA in this respect does not permit it to refuse services to Craig and Mullins that it otherwise offers to the general public.”

In other words, if you’re asked for a wedding cake, you can’t legally offer an éclair. That would be “bake and switch.”

On the freedom of expression issue, “We conclude that the act of designing and selling a wedding cake to all customers free of discrimination does not convey a celebratory message about same-sex weddings likely to be understood by those who view it. We further conclude that, to the extent that the public infers from a Masterpiece wedding cake a message celebrating same-sex marriage, that message is more likely to be attributed to the customer than to Masterpiece.”

So you would consider a same-sex wedding cake to reflect the bakery’s beliefs only if you think the bakery really cares whether Ashley has a happy birthday. Considering how few birthday-cake bakers get invited to birthday parties, that seems implausible.

Because, points out the court, the bakery is a business: “The fact that an entity charges for its goods and services reduces the likelihood that a reasonable observer will believe that it supports the message expressed in its finished product.”

In the Sweet Cakes case, Oregon labor commissioner Brad Avakian last month issued orders on what positions the business could and couldn’t take on same-sex marriage, which the Sweet Cakes proprietors called a violation of their First Amendment rights. On just that issue, the Colorado court ruled that the law “does not prevent Masterpiece from expressing its views on same-sex marriage – including its religious opposition to it – and the bakery remains free to disassociate itself from its customers’ viewpoints. … CADA prohibits Masterpiece from displaying or disseminating a notice saying it will refuse to provide its services based on a customer’s desire to engage in same-sex marriage or indicating that those wishing to engage in same-sex marriage are unwelcome at the bakery.”

A baker – or a florist or a photographer – can explicitly declare his or her opposition to same-sex marriage. What he can’t do is announce that he will refuse to provide a service to someone the law says he has to serve.

That doesn’t seem too tricky a recipe.

The Masterpiece ruling applies, of course, only to Colorado. But Oregon, like about half the states, has its own anti-gay discrimination law.

And despite all the cake mix notices warning that baking may work differently in the Rockies, the recipe may apply here as well.

NOTE: This column appeared in The Oregonian, 8/19/15.

18 Aug

Failed U.S. mortgage plan foreclosed many futures

At the end of January 2009, less than a month in the Senate and a brand-new member of the Senate banking and housing committee, Jeff Merkley saw a problem in how the Obama administration was planning to deal with the Great Recession’s mortgage crisis.

“Folks in key positions at the top of the Obama financial team,” he cautioned, “are more oriented to Wall Street than families.”

Despite Merkley’s concerns, the administration proceeded with its Home Affordable Refinance Program and Home Affordable Modification Program, promising to adjust 4 million mortgages to keep families in their homes. Endangered homeowners would get in touch with their mortgage holders, get their payments reduced with the help of $50 billion in federal money set aside for the purpose, and both families and neighborhoods would be stabilized.

By that summer, the phones in government offices – and some at The Oregonian – were swamped by calls from applicants complaining about banks losing applications and documents, repeatedly asking applicants for the same information, and telling homeowners not to make mortgage payments because they were applying for modification – and then telling them they were in foreclosure because they hadn’t made payments.

By the end of 2009, Merkley warned, “There are some incredibly telling signs that this is not going well. The program is so far a huge disappointment.”

By the end of the next year, the program that had promised to modify 4 million mortgages had totaled just over half a million. To the House financial services committee, Jack Schakett, Bank of America’s executive for credit-loss-mitigation strategies, conceded “ineffective communications with customers, shortcomings in document maintenance, misunderstandings about program requirements and the inability to comply by some borrowers.”

In 2011, Merkley introduced a bill to require banks to provide a single contact for applicants, to allow homeowners to refinance with different providers and to let bankruptcy judges modify the terms of mortgages, as they can with other debts. By then, Republicans had taken the House, and the issue was dead.

A report issued at the end of last month by Christy L. Romero, special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, explained just how the program – which after six years has modified 887,000 mortgages, instead of 4 million – ended up as less profit than loss. With participation voluntary for the banks, all banks rejected the majority of applications – led by Citibank with 87 percent – and roadblocks in the process led virtually all applicants to be rejected the first time around.

The report told of homeowners improperly rejected four times before finally, with legal help, getting approved.

“We are constantly seeing problems,” Romero told The New York Times, “with the way servicers are treating homeowners and not following the rules. I don’t understand why there hasn’t been a stronger policing from Treasury on servicers. ”

To Merkley, his six-year-old doubts and objections about the program have all been painfully confirmed.

“The program was and is poorly defined,” the senator said last week, and he holds to his diagnosis of the basic problem: Obama’s economic advisors – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers – “were more concerned about strengthening the banks than helping families.”

Partly as a results, the ultimate decisions were all made by the mortgage holders, often distracted by their collecting fees on overdue payments.

“There were fundamental conflicts of interest and poor design,” concluded Merkley. “There is an incentive to prolong the process. The only point when it’s in the interest of the banks (to complete the modification) is when a family is just about to go under.”

Which, not occasionally, was too late.

The bail-out programs have now been extended through 2016, but nobody expects them to make much progress toward 4 million modifications, or in fact to make much progress at all. Merkley reports his office now gets only about one call a month on modifications – most of the people who needed help having found another approach or, more likely, having left their house.

Instead, Merkley thinks about what could have been the effect of the three million mortgage modifications that were promised but never achieved.

“That’s a lot of families not relocated, of kids staying in their schools, of marital tensions that would have been directly reduced,” he says. “It would have had a strengthening effect on the economy.

“It would have been a real win-win.”

Instead, with the design and operation of the program, and how hard it was for homeowners to get help, the recovery didn’t move as much.

But a lot of American families did.

NOTR: This column appeared in The Sunday Or4gonian, 8/16/15.

18 Aug

Trump the product of years of GOP language

I don’t expect Donald Trump to be the next president, although it would be interesting to see Air Force One renamed Trump Air Two.

But I also don’t expect him to go away any time soon, or to follow the normal pattern of presidential candidates.
Donald Trump calls people names, and doesn’t seem to know much about issues or policy proposals?

A large number of Republican voters have spent 20 years listening to Fox News and talk radio. Insults don’t shock them. When Donald Trump mocks John McCain’s time as a war prisoner, or snickers about a female TV reporter, that’s what they think political statements should be.

And this approach gets him most of the coverage, in a crush of 17 Republican hopefuls where it’s hard for anyone else to get noticed. While Jeb Bush works to raise money to buy TV ads, Trump just has to open his mouth to be all over the screen.

His 20 percent support will be hard to dislodge. Eventually, other candidates will begin to drop out, and winning will start to take 30 or 40 percent, which will be harder for Trump to reach.

Until then, get used to a candidate whose position is that other politicians are losers, while he is really rich.

NOTE: This commentary appeared on KGW-TV, 8/15/15

12 Aug

Sanders: Not just class struggle but generational struggle

Sunday evening, on a light rail train heading west from the Moda Center after Bernie Sanders’ massive rally, strangers were telling each other their student debt stories.

There was the son who, as part of his military service, had the Army paying for three years of his college, and still ended up $25,000 in debt to finish. There was the graduate who spent years in a small town in Nevada working down his debt. There were dollar numbers sounding more like real estate than about college.

Of the rally’s jaw-dropping attendance of 28,000 – a number, coincidentally, similar to the average debt of an Oregon public university graduate – a striking number were young, considerably outnumbering the veteran activists remembering Nader and McGovern campaigns. Along with the notes of class struggle, there was a strong theme of generational struggle, of young people alarmed about the condition of the planet they’re inheriting, about pay levels sending their future receding into the distance.

Pay levels that match up against their student debt like a high school hoopster against Shaquille O’Neal.

“I like his stance on renewable energy, following more in Europe’s path,” explained Nick Robinson of Portland, who attends Whitman College. “As a college student, I like his stand on tuition, how we shouldn’t pay so much.”

Possibly Sanders’ biggest ovation of the night, a balcony-shaking roar, followed his pledge that in his presidency, “Every public college and university in America will be tuition-free.”

As a literal goal, it might involve some economic pixie dust. But it’s far enough from our current reality to suggest a lot of space available in that direction.

Especially when Sanders also promises, as he did next, to support those who “suffer under the burden of outrageous student debt.”

Unlike many other candidates, Sanders wasn’t introduced by another political figure; not a lot of prominent politicos support him. Sunday, he was presented by three young activists: an environmentalist, a Latino and his new African American press secretary, Symone Sanders, a recent addition following disruption of appearances by Black Lives Matter. The trio reduced the podium age by decades.

Sanders campaigns differently in other ways. He doesn’t warm up a crowd with jokes, and declare how glad he is to be in Portland. He orates grimly, resembling a particularly disgruntled Old Testament prophet, and seems to get more indignant as he proceeds. He covers the full range of left/liberal applause lines, from billionaires buying the political system to climate change immigration reform to abortion rights to single-payer health care to supporting President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Trying to comprehend both this event and last week’s Republican debate, where the guaranteed applause lines were attacking Planned Parenthood and an impregnable border wall, could make your head – or maybe the political system – explode.

And he connected some broader issues to his young voter crowd. Complaining that none of the bankers involved in the 2008 economic crash had paid any penalty, Sanders compared them to a kid with marijuana in his pocket. Calling for an economy that works for working people, Sanders warned, “We have a huge and tragic situation regarding youth unemployment in America,” then broke the numbers down by white, Hispanic and African American youth.

(Spoiler alert: The unemployment number isn’t good for any of them.)

The political uprisings of half a century ago, of Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy and George McGovern, also had generational fuel, driven by a resistance to being drafted and sent to Vietnam. Part of what’s behind the Sanders effort is a youthful objection to have their lives trashed in a more fiscal fashion.

Others have noticed. Monday, Hillary Clinton unveiled a new, 10-year $350 billion New College Compact, intended to let students attend public universities without borrowing, go to community college tuition-free, and refinance existing student debt. The issue was, said a Clinton staff member, “a great organizing opportunity.”

Sunday evening at court level at the Moda Center, Kristina Grimm and Michelle Larsen responded enthusiastically to Sanders, frequently yelling out “Yes!”, especially on student loan issues.

“My $60,000 education is a burden to me, as I can’t pay back my student loan,” even though she now makes reasonable money, explained Grimm afterward.

“I have two in college, and two more approaching college,” said Larsen, “and I’m worried they’re going to live their lives in debt.”

The roar for Sanders Sunday came from an NBA arena jam-packed with enthusiastic fans, right up to the $15 nosebleed seats.
But you might also hear the sound of a generation.

NOTE: This column appeared in The Oregonian, 8/12/15.