• How ironic that Oregon public schools finally have a real infusion of funds through the Student Success Act passed by the last legislative session and our district 4-J is bogged down in a controversy over filling a two-year vacancy on the board. The controversy, fueled most recently by an opinion column in The Register-Guard, charges among other things that this board is anti-equity, closed to the Latinx community. That’s a complex issue, and the current board is indeed pretty darn white, but it’s worth pointing out that the board appointed and fully supports Gustavo Balderas as superintendent of 4-J. He is one of seven Latinos out of 197 school superintendents in Oregon. He wrote in a recent op-ed piece in The Oregonian that the “racial diversity of district’s [4-J] administrators is now proportional to the student body.” We’re persuaded that it’s time to focus on doing the right thing for kids with the terrific boost from the Student Success Act. Also, there’s an open seat on the Springfield School Board and applications are open.

• The God, Guns and Trump Liberty rally Aug. 10 was pretty uneventful, as far as rallies with folks walking around with guns go. The Eugene police stayed chill and local de-escalation teams defused the situation. Nice job, because it could have been really bad. Next up is a rally in Portland Aug. 17 organized by Proud Boys and counter-protested by PopMob and others. 

• The Trump administration likes bald eagles on T-shirts, but not in real life. Calling it a “modernization” of the law that saved bald eagles, grizzly bears and alligators from dying out, the White House just made it harder to factor in climate change when determining if a species needs protection under the Endangered Species Act. Fun fact: President Richard Nixon was the Republican president who proposed the Environmental Protection Agency. Welcome to a world in which Nixon looks damn good in comparison to our disastrous so-called president.

• Nothing surprises us anymore in the current Orwellian atmosphere, but when The Guardian broke the story that Oregonians opposed to the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline and processing facility have been under surveillance, we still had to say WTF. So did Rep. Peter DeFazio, who sent a strongly worded letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, saying “Spying on Americans who have made no threats nor participated in violent actions because they oppose a potential federal government action goes against the fundamental freedoms of every American.”