It’s a cruel irony that a Black leader who has been actively advocating for non-violence in the Eugene protests against systemic racism would be violently hit by a car while leading children in a little march in the Whiteaker neighborhood. That’s what happened to 29-year-old Isiah Wagoner on Sunday evening, June 28. The white driver of the car was detained and questioned by Eugene police, and the police are asking if anyone has a video that shows exactly what happened. This is a critically important investigation that must be monitored by the leadership of our city, and a sobering reminder that people of color are putting themselves on the line as they march week after week. Black Lives Matter. Be an ally in deeds, not just words on Facebook.

We applaud the University of Oregon’s choices to (finally) rename Deady Hall and to stop calling the annual football game against Oregon State the “Civil War.” It’s taken way too long to ponder the differences between documenting history versus aggrandizing racism. We are also down with Gov. Kate Brown’s order to start wearing masks in public spaces after Oregon started seeing a substantial increase in daily cases. It’s really not that hard to protect others from COVID-19.

Hats off to Ed Ray, who finished his 17-year run as president of Oregon State University at the end of June. That’s the longest run for any president in Oregon higher education. He’s been a perfect choice for OSU. Ray displayed some of his talents in his farewell interview on OPB on June 29: plain-spoken directness, positivity, an ability to inspire confidence. Tough times clearly are ahead for OSU and all of Oregon higher education thanks to COVID-19. State funding, already skinny, probably will drop. No students in the dorm beds or eating dining hall food. International student enrollment down. Probably no football — the big revenue sport. All that means huge budget cuts, but Ray said 2020 fall enrollment at OSU seems to be holding at 2019 levels. As Ray put it, we’ll manage.

Uncertainty was the key word in the City Club of Eugene virtual forum June 26 on re-opening for business in Eugene during COVID-19. As Casey Barrett from Obie Development Partners, owners of the Fifth Street Market, put it, “It’s hard to have a gathering place when people can’t gather.” He said the big expansion west of the market is on track, no matter how uncertain the future. Brittany Quick-Warner, president and CEO of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce, cited a 14.7 percent unemployment rate in Lane County. The hardest hit businesses are restaurants, health care, retail and manufacturing. John Barofsky, co-owner of LaPerla and  Beppe and Gianni’s, said customers are coming back, but very slowly.  And Dr. Stacy Chance, chief medical officer of Oregon Medical Group, talked about how we have to be nimble and willing to change. It was a sobering forum that left us, like everybody else, uncertain about the future of our city.