• On May 31, while Eugene Weekly staff writer Henry Houston was reporting on Black Lives Matter related protests, Eugene police officers hit him with a tear gas canister and shot him with pepper balls. As a result, the Civil Liberties Defense Center filed a lawsuit on his behalf on July 21, alleging the city of Eugene and the Eugene Police Department violated his First, Fourth and 14th Amendment rights — freedom of press, freedom from unreasonable seizures and equal protection of the law, respectively. As the U.S. reckons with systemic racism and its police state, the impetus for this lawsuit is to change how policing is done in Eugene, as people of color and minorities are most affected by poor police practices. 

• The president is sending government law enforcement officers friendly to him to Portland thinking it will help him win in November. Federal forces have pulled people into unmarked cars, targeted protesters with tear gas and beaten a Navy veteran with batons. Local and state officials don’t want Trump and his security force here, but the feds refuse to leave. The Oregon attorney general, two legislators, a Portland church and a nonprofit that tracks extremist groups have filed legal actions against our federal government, and the U.S. attorney for Oregon has opened an investigation. The “naked Athena” doing yoga to scare off law enforcement and the amazing “Wall of Moms” to protect the protesters have brought just as much media attention to Oregon as the feds’ bad behavior — and we hear from former Mayor Kitty Piercy that she’s down to join a “Wall of Grandmas” if someone organizes it. But let’s not forget in the fray of protest and resistance what this is all about — Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police. Here in Eugene, protests and rallies against systemic racism continue, as well as celebrations of Black lives. Keep paying attention.

• Sometimes a political response is so powerful and important that it calls for constant repetition. That’s how we felt about Vice President Joe Biden’s response to President Donald Trump’s refusal to say he would abide by the results of the November election. The Biden campaign: “The American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

• For the last four years, local basketball has been dominated by one name: Sabrina Ionescu. But before Ionescu dominated at the University of Oregon, local basketball was defined by the name Mercedes Russell, one of the most dominant high schoolers ever, let alone at Springfield High. And now we get to watch these two talents on TV the morning of Saturday, July 25, when the Seattle Storm faces off against the New York Liberty as the WNBA kicks off its season!  

What we’re reading: From The Orchid Thief to The Library Book, we love author and journalist Susan Orlean. But we have never loved her more than when she unleashed a drunken pandemic tweet storm on July 14, complaining about her cat, having no candy except fennel seeds and proclaiming gems such as “Ok a newborn colt rocks it totally and he thought my hand was his mom. It was not. He has tasted life’s infinite tragedy. As I mentioned Earlier I am inebriated.” And “I am goi f to sleep. My husband has asked me five hundred rimes@if I am alright. That means it’s go to sleep o’clock.” COVID-19 or not, we have all been there, but perhaps not so divinely and winely eloquent.

  The University of Oregon is planning to return to in-person instruction for fall term. We wonder what that will do to the COVID-count in this community when students, faculty and staff — all masked, of course —  return for the Sept 25-28 Week of Welcome and classes beginning Sept 29? As for one of the fall rituals, Duck football, we only know for sure that the Ohio State game has been canceled, leaving a big hole in the sportsball budget. As for what happens next, change seems to be the only constant.