The Blackberry Pie Society, that terrific organization that defines itself as “dedicated to promoting good politics and great people in East Lane County and beyond and having fun while doing it,” sends out important action alerts to its members. The Feb. 7 alert tells us about a bill in the Oregon Legislature “you may want to comment on.” The bill is HB2184; it would provide interest-free loans to school districts and mass transit districts for purchase of electric buses. Thank you, Blackberry Pie Society, we do want to comment on that one.

• February is Black History Month, and our annual reminder that Black history is more than ever could be encompassed in the shortest month of the year. Head over to for events this month, such as the Feb. 12 “COVID 19 Vaccine and the Black Community! Minority Quality Forum,” and to support their work all year. 

• When people die homeless in Lane County, as 30 did last year, the rest of us might notice the numbers — but rarely do we know anything about them as individuals. Were they old? Young? Did they once go to school, have a job, get married, have kids? EW wants to note each homeless person’s death in 2021 by reporting and writing an obituary. In this issue we run the first of those stories, following the Jan. 24 death of Ivory McCune. She was the second person we know of to die homeless here this year; we are still researching the life of Hazel Dai, who died Jan. 8. 

• It’s cold outside, but that doesn’t stop us from loving the new ice cream shop in town, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream. The new shop dropped off two of its creations at EW’s office: Oree-Dough, filled with delicious chunks of Oreo cookie, and Chocolate PB Brownie, which had oozing veins of peanut butter. The ice cream shop will have its grand opening celebration from Friday, Feb. 12, through Sunday, Feb. 14, at the brand new 5th Street Market Alley. 

“Delivering on the American Dream: The Promise of Affordability” is the subject of the City Club of Eugene program this Friday. The second in a three-part series on local housing issues, this will feature speakers Jeff Albanese, MSW; Anne Fifield, city of Eugene; and Dylan Lamar, Cultivate Inc. This program will air on the City Club’s Facebook and YouTube pages starting at noon Feb. 12, and the link will be on their website shortly after. The program also airs on KLCC 7pm Monday, Feb. 15.

What we are (planning to be) reading: Chang-Rae Lee’s sixth book My Year Abroad. We are just cracking the novel open after reading all the long, glowing reviews. Some longtime Eugene Weekly readers may remember that Chang-Rae Lee came to the University of Oregon in the early 1990s to earn his MFA, and while here he wrote Native Speaker, which was the manuscript for his master’s thesis.