• Reading this Slant column and hungry for more opinions about what’s going on in Lane County and Oregon? This week you can find our Local and Vocal columns, written by your fellow community members, at the back of the paper (not far from everybody’s favorite writer, Dan Savage). We’re always looking for opinions on issues that affect our readers in letters and columns, so send them in to

An appalling editorial ran in The Register-Guard June 3. Under the headline “College degrees are a privilege,” the GateHouse-owned newspaper argued that not only is a college degree “not a right” for Oregonians, but that the University of Oregon is perfectly justified in boosting undergraduate in-state tuition by 10 percent (a “moderate increase,” the RG argues) while refusing to make cuts in its multi-million-dollar sports business. No, we don’t think higher education should be free. But education is a right that should be accessible to all Oregonians, and not just those from the wealthy and privileged corporate classes.

• Can it possibly be true that Art Robinson is running once again against Peter DeFazio for his congressional seat? The jillionaire Mercers seem to have been persuaded that 2020 is the year that extreme right Robinson can win. Don’t think so. DeFazio is now the powerful chair of the transportation and infrastructure committee in the House. We’ll just have to defeat Robinson one more time.

• The riderless horse with the riding boots reversed in the stirrups was a profound tribute to the late Oregon Federal Judge Owen Panner in a celebration of life June 1 at the Panner family horse arena outside Medford. Judge Panner, who lived from July 28, 1924 to Dec. 20, 2018, was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as a U.S. district court judge in 1979. Judge Anna Brown presided over the service, asking for the brevity Judge Panner famously favored in his courtroom. More than 200 lawyers, judges, family and friends gathered on a warm Saturday afternoon for this unusual ceremony that closed with the riderless horse led twice around the Panner family horse arena representing a fallen leader who will ride no more.

Juliana v. United States was argued at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals June 4, with thousands following the case via the hashtag #AllEyesOnJuliana. At issue was whether the “climate kids” will get their day in court. Concerned citizens, youth and adults alike, are taking this and other climate lawsuits to court because our local, state and federal governments aren’t doing enough to stop climate change. In an era where our own president is foolish enough to doubt the science behind global warming it’s an uphill battle, but a worthy one. 

• Bend and its environs filled a full page in The New York Times travel section Sunday, June 2. The marketing was a little weird: “…Central Oregon is home to the world’s last Blockbuster store and it’s known for its proliferation of cannabis dispensaries and craft breweries.” The author, Dave Seminara, also mentioned a “popular local bumper sticker” that reads “Bend Sucks, Don’t Move Here.”

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