Fifty years of the Oregon Country Fair! That’s what we are celebrating in a special insert in this issue!

• Bill Harbaugh, the University of Oregon economics professor best known for his newsy, funny and caustic blog UO Matters, has thrilled us to the bone by announcing his “candidacy” for University of Oregon provost — the position soon to be vacated by Jayanth Banavar. On his blog Harbaugh says he’s running on a platform of transparency and relief from the reign of athletics. “UO should tax Duck coaches’ salaries, not subsidize them,” he writes. “The tax revenue should go towards the university’s academic, cultural and extension missions.” He says he’ll do the job for just half of Banavar’s $500k salary. If only the job of provost were an elected post, he’d have our vote in a heartbeat. 

• If every Lane County voter could have heard the April 26 City Club of Eugene forum on the courthouse bond measure, we would wager that the “yes” votes would win. Steve Mokrohisky, county administrator, and Joe Berney, county commissioner, spoke for the bond measure, and retired Judge Jim Hargreaves against. We agree with Berney’s assessment that we need a courthouse and that Hargreaves is wrong when he says we need a new courthouse, but not this proposal. Seems likely that Hargreaves would never find a new Lane County courthouse he favored unless he designed it.

• Garth Brooks fans proved he’s got friends in low places in the Willamette Valley. Tickets for his June 29 show at Autzen Stadium sold out in less than two hours — setting a venue record by selling all 60,000 seats. Although his shows typically sell out quickly, he also has a tendency to offer a second show. We’ll see if the UO lets the country music mega-star play a second show.  

• Gov. Kate Brown and her staff must not have seen the Instagram photos of James Nash from Enterprise, Oregon, standing with his gun over a dead hippo, dead zebra, dead crocodile and more before she appointed him to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. A big-game trophy hunter on the OFWC? The photos have been removed from the site, but the wildlife conservation community in this state is pissed off and raising money for attack ads on the governor. A Senate committee will consider this nomination on May 8. They should turn it down.