Everyone danced as best they could around COVID-19, but the wretched 2020 college football season is mercifully wrapping up. And the University of Oregon — the only Pac-12 school that refused to give the number of COVID positives in its athletic department to The New York Times — finds itself in the middle of a virus-driven mess that the Pac-12 Conference has become. The Ducks did not win the North Division title. That belongs to the University of Washington by virtue of a higher winning percentage. Yet the Ducks will play for the Pac-12 championship on Dec. 18 because Washington pulled out of the regular season finale at Autzen Stadium on Dec. 12 after a series of positive COVID cases, and the Huskies can’t field a full team to play for the title. For the sake of the student athletes (not to mention simple sanity), we will be thankful when this madness ends.

City Club of Eugene this week hosts its annual “Gifts to the City” program with Rev. Dan Bryant as emcee. Gifters include environmentalist Tim Ingallsbee, Midas Well of Black Unity, City Manager Sarah Medary and Eugene Weekly’s editor Camilla Mortensen. You can view City Club programs Fridays at noon on its Facebook page as well as on YouTube, or listen Monday nights at 7 pm on KLCC, 89.7 FM. 

We’re already hearing rumblings about who wants to be the next mayor of Eugene, although Lucy Vinis was just elected to her second term in May 2020. Some say Councilor Mike Clark from the right and Councilor Alan Zelenka from the left are both interested. The mayor of Eugene performs ceremonial duties — too many, in our opinion — but there is certainly power there, should the mayor choose to take it.

With the rush of recent hot news, we nearly missed the big climate story. As Bill McKibben wrote in The New York Times Dec. 10, New York state’s comptroller announced that the state would begin divesting its $226 billion employee pension fund from gas and oil companies if they can’t come up with a plan within four years that’s aligned with the Paris Climate Accord. McKibben calls it a “huge win, obviously, for the activists who have fought for eight years to get Albany to divest from fossil fuel companies and for the global divestment campaign.” Now we need every other state to do the same.

Speaking of climate change, Eugene Weekly‘s Dec. 10 cover story about climate was picked by the Association of Alternative Newsmedia as one of the best articles in alternative journalism in the country that week.  We’ll take it. Thank you. Also a shout-out to Jade Yamazaki Stewart, EW intern-turned-freelancer who just announced he will be interning at The Seattle Times this summer as a features writer. And having wrapped up an internship with The Wall Street Journal, intern/freelancer Donald Morrison just announced his full time position with Easy Reader News in the Los Angeles area. It’s not an easy time to be a journalist — and EW’s interns amaze us. 

• Dr. Jill Biden. See? It’s not that hard.