• The month of May is National Bike Month, and the bike rack in front of EW is proof that many are gearing up for the summer on two wheels. There are risks in our area to sharing the road with motor vehicles, obviously, yet there are simple precautions a bicyclist can take. Among them, wear a helmet! Andy Grace, a 13-year-old 7th grader at Hamlin Middle School, can attest to this. Grace recently suffered serious injuries in an accident at the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and Mill Street. It could have been worse, but Grace and his family credit a helmet he was wearing with saving his life. Be careful! We’d like to keep you enviro-conscious cyclists around.

• It’s good news that James Nash’s name mysteriously disappeared from the list of Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission appointees to be approved by the Oregon Senate. He’s the big-game hunter from Enterprise nominated by Gov. Kate Brown but fiercely opposed by environmental groups in part because of his and his father’s opposition to those “dreaded” (and native) wolves. The photo he posted on Instagram posing with a dead hippo didn’t help. The governor says she did not remove his name, so she will presumably still get the political perk from eastern Oregon for appointing Nash. She also will get the backlash from environmentalists for appointing him. We’re just grateful that he’s not on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The $2 billion Student Success Act passed, and we are cheering. But we are also wondering: At what cost? Oregon Republicans ditched legislative sessions for four days, denying the supermajority Democrats a quorum. Republicans came back when Democrats bent the knee to the minority by axing gun and vaccination bills, according to Willamette Week, which broke the story. With the likely death of those two bills and the high probability that the Student Success Act will get referred to voters. Did the Republicans play the Dems? Too early to tell, so for now we will cheer the $2 billion for education in Oregon. 

What we’re reading: “The Mueller Report” — redacted, of course, so lots of black pages in this nearly 400-page paperback published by Melville House. The Washington Post calls it “essential reading for all citizens concerned about the fate of the presidency and the future of our democracy.”

• The May 10 Dowens fire outside Cottage Grove isn’t just a reminder that fire season is early this year, it’s a reminder of just why fire season is early this year: climate change. More rain in the winter, causing flooding; drier summers leading to wildfires. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and thousands of scientists have been warning us. So has Bill Nye, the Science Guy, in a wonderfully profanity-laced interview with John Oliver: “What I’m saying is: The planet’s on fire!” It’s not if, it’s not when. It’s now. Being dour and dire doesn’t do us any good. Look at the city of Eugene eyeing reducing plastics; look at groups like Extinction Rebellion and 350 Eugene. We can fight climate change and stop these fires.

Speaking of the global crisis of climate change, a recent court decision in Australia is as important in Lane County, Oregon, as it is down under. The New South Wales Land and Environment Court in February rejected a proposed coal mine in part because of its climate change impacts, and on May 7 the mine declined to appeal. David Morris, head of the Environmental Defenders Office of NSW, said the court’s rejection of the mine, partly on the basis of its contribution to global warming, had created reverberations “felt across this country and around the world,” and the lack of an appeal now removed “any doubt of its legal validity.” Is there anyone in the White House or Republican majority in the U. S. Senate who understands this?