Local school board elections don’t happen until mid-May, but campaigning is happening right now. Our fine reporter Taylor Perse is interviewing candidates, and the EW editorial board will interview before we endorse. We’ll ask about testing, equity, where the decisions are made for each school, the superintendent choice, and what else? Nothing is more important than public education in America today.

• As we go to press this week, we look back and remember how worried we were about making it through what we thought was a couple weeks of low advertising revenues due to the COVID-19 induced shutdown. We are delighted that with the help of you readers, our advertisers and a couple PPP loans we are still here a year later and printing each week with our staff intact. It’s not over yet, but brighter days are on the horizon. 

“Falling Behind: Solving Oregon’s Addiction Crisis” is the topic for the March 19 City Club of Eugene program. It is based on a 2019 report from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, which found that Oregon “ranks among the most challenged states in the nation for substance abuse and mental health problems, while at the same time ranking among the worst states for access and engagement with care.” The program airs on the City Club’s Facebook and YouTube pages starting at noon and on KLCC public radio Monday, March 22, at 7 pm.

If you want to forget about COVID for a moment and sink into sports, like we do, the “Big Dance” starts this weekend. That’s the NCAA Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, and both Oregon and Oregon State are in each tournament for at least the first round. The pairings are available on the web. Let’s hope fans in the Willamette Valley keep dancing well into March.