• Here’s your periodic reminder that a strong community needs a strong daily paper — and those cost money. Locally owned Eugene Weekly is free every Thursday (say thank you to our amazing advertisers!). But The Register-Guard, now owned by GateHouse Media, needs subscriptions to pay journalists to report the news. Remember that next time you complain about the RG’s online paywall. News reports say the Department of Justice has given the go-ahead to the proposed merger between news giant Gannett and GateHouse Media parent New Media Investments. If the deal goes through, the massive combined company will seek to cut even more costs, which we hope won’t hurt the paper here in Lane County.

Its been a big week for unions in Oregon. University classified staff didn’t strike after all as classes started at University of Oregon this week and Oregon State last week. SEIU, which represents 4,500 workers, announced in the early hours of Sept. 28 that it reached a tentative agreement with Oregon’s seven public universities. The union said in a press release that its workers won’t see any changes to their health care costs and they will get a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment, among other changes to their benefits. Also on Sept. 28, a Fred Meyer boycott was called off as United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 reached a tentative deal with the chain. Finally the UO and its graduate employee union, Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, have declared an impasse, meaning a 30-day cool down must follow before the GTFF’s members can vote on whether to strike.

• “President Pelosi.” How does that sound? Our Constitution says that if the president and vice-president are removed from office, the speaker of the house is next in line. In 2020 a new president would be elected. We can only wish that this tough, smart woman would be president for even a short time.

• The City Club of Central Oregon and City Club of Eugene worked together to put on Part 2 of “Collaboration Defeats Confrontation at Malheur” on Sept 27. This program took place in Bend, live-streamed to a Eugene audience, all coordinated by Joel Korin, past president and current program chair of the City Club of Eugene. It’s quite a story of the High Desert Partnership forming long before the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to try to defuse just such a confrontation. Seventy-five percent of Harney County is public land, so collaboration and partnership are essential. On Oct. 4 City Club will gather to hear about “Eugene’s Downtown Achievements.”

• The Republicans have not announced a candidate to take on our Sen. Jeff Merkley to date. He’s a popular leader in this state, author of a new book, someone we expect to run for president some day. His new slogan:  “Dump Trump. Ditch Mitch. Save America.”

• Besides joining the call for Trump’s impeachment because of his Ukraine contacts, our Congressman Peter DeFazio is pursuing another line of impeachment, how foreign officials try to curry favor with Trump by staying at his properties. Peter is the powerful chair of the House Infrastructure and Transportation Committee. He has oversight over the agency, which oversees the old D.C. post office building that houses the Trump hotel.  As he puts it, “This is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned.”

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