• Fireworks celebrations are a blast, and between Art and the Vineyard, the Creswell Fourth of July Parade and Springfield’s Light of Liberty, there will be no shortage of places to celebrate Independence Day and to watch bright explosions in the sky this weekend. That said, remember for some folks the loud bangs can trigger PTSD, and for dogs and other animal life they’re terrifying. July 5 is said to be packed at animal shelters from all the creatures who get scared and run away. That said, enjoy the day, but be mindful of the effects of loud noises and of the fire danger around us.  



Photo by Todd Cooper

• The Oregon Legislature has wrapped, but the drama is not over. There’s still hope Oregon can do its part for the climate. Gov. Kate Brown announced July 1 that she’s prepared to use her executive order power to lower carbon emissions. If lawmakers can’t work it out — including the Republicans who fled the state to prevent a quorum for a vote on HB 2020 — then Brown says she wants to move forward on a statewide cap and trade plan to address climate change. 

• A bigger crowd should have been at the City Club of Eugene meeting on “Combatting Commercial Sexual Exploitation” June 28, but the subject probably is too dark and distant for most of us. Sex trafficking is a form of slavery in which victims are induced to engage in sex through force or fraud, according to the City Club of Eugene program. The two powerful speakers were Tamara LeRoy from the Lane County Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Multidisciplinary Team and Detective Curtis Newell of the Eugene Police Department. LeRoy said Lane County needs more money in a support system, and Newell called this “one of the fastest growing areas of law enforcement.” Social media has enabled an increase in sex trafficking which Newell says “is occurring in our community on an everyday basis.” The national hotline to report sex trafficking is 888-373-7888 and LeRoy’s local numbers are 541-484-9791 and 541-343-7277.



Photo courtesy Jamie Smed/WikiCommons

• Who’s the best ambassador for America out in the world today? Win or lose the soccer World Cup, it’s the lavender-haired 34-year-old lesbian soccer star who refuses to go to the White House because of the orange-haired president who lives there and doesn’t share her values. Megan Rapinoe speaks for us.