• If your ballot is still sitting on your kitchen table, the time is past where mailing it will get it in on time. You’ll have to drop it off at an official drop-off site by May 19 at the latest. Some voters tell us they have been hung up because they don’t know which judges to vote for in the contested races. We recommend incumbent Thomas Balmer for the Oregon Supreme Court and incumbent Joel DeVore for the Court of Appeals. The next stop is we charge ahead into the crucial and terrifying general election in November 2020. You can find the rest of our endorsements at a glance in this issue. PS. Given the whole virus thing, let’s not lick the ballot envelope. 

• It’s been a struggle for small businesses to stay alive in the COVID-19 pandemic, and Eugene Weekly is no exception — it’s ads from local businesses that pay for this free paper. Contributions, large and small, from community members have been paying for us to keep printing, and we treasure them and the notes from readers that accompany them. Now, we are excited to announce that we applied for and received a $25,000 grant from the Facebook Journalism Project’s COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund. The grant money helps with staff salaries and will go to jumpstarting our online coverage of local governments to help us watchdog transparency and to aid in our reporting on homelessness. You can check out some of the coverage already available online at We are dedicated to informing this local community, especially during times like this.  

Thumbs up to the grown-ups who are talking to us every day about COVID-19. That’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, Gov. Kate Brown, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and more, but they need to shout louder to drown out the children in the White House. If you’re taking notes, that’s President Donald Trump, Vice President Michael Pence and their minions.

• Here’s hoping Portland metro voters pass the homeless services ballot measure on May 19. Probably a sure thing before COVID-19 hit, this brilliant proposal would really attack homelessness in Portland and set an example for the rest of us. It’s a tax on high earners and businesses to raise $250 million annually for 10 years to be spent on homeless services. The Oregonian reported that $1 million was raised by the campaign to pass the ballot measure. Good luck.

• The COVID-19 lockdown is finally starting to lift (for now) in Oregon, but don’t stop wearing your mask just yet. Gov. Kate Brown announced last week that counties can apply for “phase 1” of the reopening process — which starts on May 15 and allows customers to sit in restaurants and shop retail businesses. Lane County has already applied, outlining a plan for how it would keep the coronavirus under wraps if businesses were to start operating again. Under this first phase, employees will have to wear masks, restaurant patrons will have to sit several tables away from others and a limited number of people will be allowed in retail stores.