Here’s to hoping that 2022 is not the emotional roller coaster that 2021 was — it started with hopes that vaccines would put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and ended with Betty White dying just shy of her 100th birthday (and no, it wasn’t from getting a booster shot, you COVIDiots out there). 

• With the start of the new year, it’s time for the local governments to make their annual “state of” speeches reflecting on the past year. Due to the recent COVID-19 case surge, once again all of these events will be virtual (and that kind of sums up 2021 for us at EW). Lane County’s State of the County Address is 10 am Jan. 10. The city of Eugene’s State of the City Address was Wednesday, Jan. 5, but the video will be available to stream online. Springfield’s State of the City launches on its website 5:30 pm, Thursday, Jan. 13. 

• Jan. 7 is the first City Club of Eugene meeting of 2022, and it is a big deal for City Club members. It will be held in-person Friday noon at the First United Methodist Church, 1375 Olive Street, and masks, proof of vaccination and COVID booster will be required. No lunch. Students from District 4J’s four high schools will talk about student leadership in climate education in 4J. They are Bodhi Coelho, Sandra Cronin, Olivia Plumb and Lottie Rohde. Also speaking are Sarah Kirby, 4J secondary science specialist, and Tana Shepard, 4J climate, energy, and conservation specialist. Live-streaming is an option. This program will air on the City Club’s Facebook and YouTube pages starting noon Jan. 7. This long awaited meeting, like many local events, shows resilience in the face of many obstacles, and we applaud President Kitty Piercy and the City Club leadership.

Maxine Scates, the fine poet who lives and writes in Eugene, and who we featured in a recent issue of EW, again is mentioned in The New Yorker, this time in the “Briefly Noted” column. The magazine has run her poetry in the past. My Wilderness, her new poetry collection, is the topic on page 75 of the Dec. 27 issue. Here’s part of what the editors have to say: “In this searching, plainspoken poetry collection, the natural world — infinitely more mysterious in the volatile era of advanced climate destruction — provides a potent metaphor for the mark left by grief. With frank detail and philosophical clarity, Scates addresses parental loss, the passage of time, and the pain of childhood abuse.”

A certain former KEZI anchor-turned-secretary of state candidate-turned-social media personality has left Oregon for greener (or mask- and vaccine-less) pastures in Montana. For the past few years, this social media personality has spread COVID-19 misinformation via Facebook, from making baseless claims on vaccines to social distancing and masks. He’s said in the past he’s leaving because he can’t handle Gov. Kate Brown’s tyranny. If that’s true, we’d like to thank Brown for driving the “Silver Wave” away. 

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