CHEERS & JEERS: Air Good-ish, Masks Okay-ish

JEERS to the weather. It’s too hot. Need we say more? 

CHEERS and BIG HEART EMOJIS to the county for setting up cooling centers all around the towns. They worked quick to keep people alive, and we appreciate that. 

CHEERS to The Lund Report for tackling the hard statewide issues. This time around it’s about the cost of medical care in Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority wants to limit overall cost increases to 3.4% per year, per resident. That means your husband’s $10,000 bill in 2021 will be $10,340 in 2022 and $10,691.56 in 2023 and… need we go further? Maybe the answer isn’t in limiting the increases as much as making the industry lower prices across the board. [Did anyone else hear the whisper of Universal Healthcare on the wind?] 

BEDRAGGLED SIGHS for the new mask mandate. We thought we could be clear faced and fancy free, but it only lasted six short weeks. We could rage at the Governor for putting us back here, or we could stomp our feet and demand she undo this order, but… and it’s a very big but… it’s not the Governor’s fault that so many people refused to get vaccinated. It’s also not her fault that the Delta variant came along. So we’ll just assume the Honorable Kate Brown is actually being honorable and put our stupid masks back on. [rassin frassin mask on m’face grumble grumble] 

JEERS for the toll COVID is still taking on our community. On July 21, The Advocate published what we thought would be our last update on this whole pandemic thing. On that date, our very own Lauren Zatkos reported that there were 3,259 total cases of COVID in Benton County. Here we are at August 12, and there are 3,471 total cases. Granted, 212 more cases doesn’t seem too bad, until you find out that 106 [literally half] of those cases were diagnosed in one week. And that’s just our county. So we’re just gonna put this out there one more time – the vaccine is free and relatively painless, so, you know, go out there and get it already, okay? [Then remember that two small injections hurt way less than multiple blood tests and an IV in one arm and a blood pressure machine on the other arm and those compression socks on both legs constantly squeezing your calves in this crazy hot weather and lying on your belly in a hospital bed and having a tube down your throat and not seeing your family for weeks and maybe dying.] 

CHEERS and deep breaths for Corvallis air quality… for now. In spite of the large and growing numbers of fires burning up the Oregon countryside, Corvallis is still MOSTLY in the “good” range according to the Real-time Air Quality Index. If you have breathing problems, keep an eye on that sucker so you’ll know when to stay indoors [or you’ll know when to just hold your breath until the smoke goes away again]. SAD FACES for Eugene where the air is getting smoky, and Oakridge where they’re tapping into that suffocating “particles are in the wind” department.  

And then CHEERS for Eugene and their innovative solution to houselessness – you know, the solution of giving people houses. For the cost of about $4 million, they were able to create 15 units with two to three bedrooms each, close to public transportation, and a hop-skip-jump away from the fairgrounds… in case there is a need for a fairground…   

JEERS to the slow process of doing something like this in Corvallis. What happened to the managed camping site by the BMX park? What happened to the motel that would become instant housing? Why are so many millions of dollars going to rehab-ing a football stadium that still works just so those people who actually have the wherewithal to attend college or buy football tickets can be slightly happier? [These questions and more on our next edition of Stubbornly Obvious Questions the Corvallis Powers That Be Won’t Answer] 

Big loud raucous JEERS [and possibly throwing things] for the Newberg school board, which voted to disallow Pride, Black Lives Matter, and any other “broadly political” things at Newberg schools. This means no flags – [okay flags can be big and might get in the way of people seeing where they’re going], no clothing – [so no “I Like Ike” right next to no BLM which is kinda dismissive], and no other items – [we’re assuming things like stickers on notebooks or magnets on lockers kinds of things, but also no “HOPE” – such as the Obama campaign signs.]   

Here’s where our JEER is coming from… since when did a person’s sexuality or race fall under the heading of “broadly political”? We have people who are nonbinary working here, and we know nothing about their politics, because we don’t ask about their politics. When a POC comes along, we care about how well they write and if they are willing to report the facts in an unbiased manner; we will never ask if they voted for Trump or Biden. Pull your collective heads out of your collective [CENSORED] Newberg School Board!