• Driving into Eugene Weekly on the Winter Solstice, we stopped by Blue Valley Bistro’s coffee box off Highway 58 in Pleasant Hill, after getting our dog treats and coffee, the barista said, “No charge,” because a customer earlier had handed her a $100 bill and said use it to buy people coffee this morning. That gift probably made the day of a lot of workers and commuters — it did ours. It’s also a reminder that there are gestures and gifts, monetary or not, we can give to people we don’t even know. 

• Speaking of giving, this issue is our annual Give Guide where we suggest nonprofits for you to support with end of year (tax deductible) donations. We wish we had more pages so we could feature even more of the remarkable groups for you to support. Did we not include your favorite group this year? Write us a letter at and tell your fellow readers who you think they should give to. And please support our advertisers because their ad money buys us the pages we print!

• If you’re looking for an escape from the chaos of the daily news, try tuning into the Oregon women’s basketball team. They are fun. Nearly 9,000 fans watched them beat Mississippi State in a nationally televised game played in Matt Knight Arena. On Dec. 20, they trounced Air Force 82-36 with Sabrina Ionescu setting the NCAA career record for triple-doubles. The big question: can the Ducks beat UConn and Notre Dame to win the national championship this year? Maybe.

• Even scarier than the Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis resignation as Trump’s secretary of defense is the news that cancerous nodules have been found and removed from the lungs of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We’re told that they were caught early and she is missing no time on the bench. She must stay on the court as long as Trump stays in the White House. Do we need to donate a lung?

• Also, to all, a Happy New Year!

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