The Oregon Blackberry Trust acknowledges leaders and organizations in the Eugene area who are “making a real positive difference in the lives of thousands of people.” The Trust tells us it had fun in January giving the award, some blackberry recipes and $100 to attorney Lauren Regan and the Civil Liberties Defense Center; Terry McDonald and St. Vincent de Paul Society; and Rev. Wayne Martin and The Way Home. More awards are on the way, the Trust tells us. Who else in Lane County is brightening your day or giving back to the community? Tell us at so we can mention them, or talk about them yourself in a letter to

• “Governor Betsy”: How does that sound? It sounds good to conservative-voting Betsy Johnson, who has named her gubernatorial campaign “Run Betsy Run.” Steve Duin’s long piece about Johnson in the Feb. 6 Oregonian made us realize that the former Democratic legislator now running unaffiliated could be our next governor. She won’t be in the Democratic primary with folks like Tina Kotek and (maybe) Nick Kristof, and so Johnson, who recently stepped down from the Legislature to concentrate on her campaign, is already flying around the state picking up support. One key factor is that Phil Knight just gave her $250,000, and he could give her much more in this state with no limits. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s getting ugly out there!

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• Here’s a City Club of Eugene program we all should hear: “Kids’ Mental Health: How They’re Doing and How We Can Help.” Speakers are Beth Stormshak, department head in Counseling Psychology and Human Services and director of the Prevention Science Institute at the University of Oregon; Ellen Thornton-Love, LCSW, clinical supervisor of Lane County’s Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services; and Jessica Swensen, occupational therapist, PeaceHealth Child and Family Behavioral Health and Young Adult Behavioral Health. The in-person meeting is noon Feb. 11 at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street. Proof of vaccination and booster will be required along with wearing masks; live streaming is an option. Go to for more information.

What we’re re-reading: the February chapter of David Wagner’s charming A Lane County Almanac. Based on his long-running “It’s About Time” column here in the Weekly, each chapter gently reminds us of how little we know about the natural world in our own backyard. More copies of this fine little book are now available, locally at Down to Earth, for $25 on Amazon and through Wagner himself at 

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