Merry holidays! As we head into the New Year, we at Eugene Weekly just want to say thank you for all the support, snarky Facebook comments, thoughtful letters and ongoing readership. We appreciate you!

No City Club of Eugene program this week, but the good news is that they will be doing in-person programs starting Jan. 7. Attendees will have to give proof of vaccination and wear a mask while in the audience at the new location, First United Methodist Church,1376 Olive Street in downtown Eugene. This means that this civic enterprise is going back to asking questions and exchanging ideas face-to-socially distanced face. And remember, meetings are open to the public so anyone can come join the conversation.

What we’re reading: A Lane County Almanac by David H. Wagner, author of “It’s About Time” column in the Weekly and his popular nature calendar. This little book takes you away from the gloom of today into the natural world with both words and Wagner’s wonderful illustrations. He gives gardening tips, bird-watching advice, essays and scientific observations on the seasons. Too bad that it is tough to find copies as we’d like to give it as a gift! Wagner tells us a second printing will happen and books will be available at Down to Earth.

On Dec. 19, Sen. Joe Manchin, the Democrat from West Virginia who has been a thorn in President Joe Biden’s side, said on Fox News that he would vote against the president’s Build Back Better social infrastructure legislation. It’s a huge blow for the Democratic Party as it heads into the 2022 midterms. If Biden wants to do something about his party’s favorability with Americans, maybe he should use an executive order to cancel up to $50,000 of student loan debt per individual, especially as many in the U.S. will start repaying loans starting Feb. 1.

On Dec. 21, West Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich made the surprising announcement that he would not be seeking re-election. His tenure will end January 2023. Bozievich was elected in 2010, back when the Tea Party was running the Republican Party (he even once cosplayed as a Revolutionary-era patriot), and he’s stuck to the conservative fads, such as promoting climate skepticism articles to climate advocates. He’s claimed that he balanced the county’s government, but let’s be honest — the county administration probably had a big part in that. Dawn Lesley, who lost by 74 votes in 2014, is now running unopposed for the West Lane County Board of Commissioners seat.

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