Hungry students and a shortage of Christmas trees

• It’s cold outside and the volunteers of the Egan Warming Center have being going nonstop trying to keep the unhoused in our community warm. Consider donating or volunteering to this valuable service. Here at EW we get reports the University of Oregon students can’t afford to buy food, Lane Community College students who are homeless (LCC has an Egan Center to help with that), veterans who are still on the street and families who don’t have homes for Christmas. This community has made huge strides in caring for those in need, but places like Egan still mark a thin line between survival and freezing to death on Eugene’s streets as the center’s namesake, Major Thomas Egan, did in 2008. To donate or volunteer go to

• We left the City Club of Eugene meeting Dec. 8 even more convinced that Measure 101 should pass in the special election on Jan. 23. Measure 101 is a fee on hospitals and insurance companies that funds Medicaid, which provides health care coverage to 1 in 4 Oregonians. More than 120 organizations and experts including nurses, doctors, firefighters, teachers, local hospitals and patient advocates across Oregon support it. Rep. Cedric Hayden (R-Roseburg) couldn’t make the case against it and Rep. Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) made the case for it. Opponents are using the phony “sales tax” propaganda that Oregonians easily fall for. Not a sales tax, it is a provider tax paid by hospitals and insurance companies.

• Making us proud to be Oregonians: Two of the six U. S. senators calling for Donald Trump to resign as of Dec. 12 are Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden. The others are Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Not that they will force him to resign right now, but it’s a significant step along the way.

• Ho! Ho? No. Local tree merchants confirm a shortage of Christmas trees this year. The reasons? One tells us that the younger generation of tree growers would rather grow grapes. An NPR report confirms this and also adds that marijuana is becoming a preferred crop. The final reason? The Recession. Starting about 10 years ago, growers planted fewer trees because people were buying fewer trees. Trees grow about a foot a year, the public radio story points out, so if you want an eight-foot Christmas tree and fewer trees were planted eight years ago — well, you do the math.

Mr. Jones goes to Washington: In a stunning defeat of Trumpism and a vote for basic decency, Alabamans said “no” to Roy Moore, the alleged child-molester and Bible-thumping theocrat the GOP supported for the Senate. Instead they chose Doug Jones, the first Democrat to win statewide office there in more than two decades. Though Jones’ margin was small — just 1.5 percent — that’s a huge shift from the 28-percent margin that gave the state to Trump just last year. Thanks, Alabama! And thanks to black women in particular — 98 percent of black women who voted went for Jones.