People stand at Broadway and Charnelton as a SWAT team shooting tear gas rounds moves in. Photo by Jade Yamazaki Stewart.


Good news, bad news. The bad news is that Eugene Weekly sustained collateral damage during weekend protests and unrest here in town. At least eight red Weekly boxes were damaged, and one was lit on fire. Luckily it turns out that while our papers burn, our boxes are fairly hardy. And we’d like to thank the person who TV news caught on camera putting out fire in the box downtown! It’s still a financial hit to clean them up, but we were not hit as hard as other businesses. More important, a couple boxes is nothing in the grand scheme of systemic racism that has sparked anger and protest across the country. The good news is that our tireless Distribution Manager Trey Longstreth was up early Saturday morning replacing papers and boxes, so you could still read our news coverage and do your crossword this past weekend. And if anyone has a good photo of the EW box in the dumpster fire Friday night, feel free to pass it on — it kind of epitomizes 2020 for us.

When our reporter is attacked by Eugene police while covering a protest, and when protests arise because of police brutality against people of color, it is time to re-examine how our police department functions. Henry Houston, waving a press badge, standing in clear view well apart from protesters and yelling he was “media,” was struck by a tear gas round while doing his job Sunday night. Video by The Register-Guard shows the canister was clearly aimed at him as he walked across an empty parking lot. To her credit, City Manager Pro Tem Sarah Medary reached out right away and has begun a conversation with us. In a crisis like this, from the out-of-control killing of African Americans nationwide to attacking reporters locally, police procedures need a new look. The department and its chief, Chris Skinner, need to be up to the job, and we need to put the pressure on. In these perilous times in the U.S. and beyond, we are desperate for a return to basic values: Love, not hate. Justice, not fear. Truth, not lies. Generosity, not greed. Respect for differences, not white supremacy. It’s also time to focus on removing Donald Trump from office. That’s on the route to returning to our values.

• Kudos to the school districts who are putting up 2020 high school graduate signs in front yards all over town. We need to honor these kids in every way we can in this spring without graduation ceremonies.

• If you need a lift in these dark times, try a juicy red Oregon strawberry. They’re for sale now most Saturdays and Tuesdays at the Lane County Farmers Market, 8th and Oak. Berries are not cheap, but every bite is worth it, and they sweeten more as the season progresses. And if you feel compelled to do the TikTok strawberry challenge where you soak the berries in hot salt water, for god’s sake don’t show us the video. Some things we just don’t need to see before snacking!