A tip of the hat to area high schools that already were teaching civics before Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill last week requiring all Oregon students to take a half-credit civics class before graduating.

Americans as a whole have a dismal understanding of their own government. In 2018, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation surveyed 1,000 adults and found only 36% of them could pass the civics test to become a United States citizen. Such ignorance weakens our democracy and makes people easy prey for misinformation and manipulation.

Graduates of Hermiston and Pendleton should be coming out of school with a better understanding of how this country works, thanks to their civics teachers, and we’re glad other Oregon schools will soon be required to follow suit.

A kick in the pants to the closure of Hermiston’s Veterans of Foreign Wars post. Those involved, from local post members to state leaders, have pointed fingers in every direction about whose fault it was the post’s charter has been revoked, and it seems they are right about one thing: There is plenty of blame to go around.

From interviews with local post members, it seems those involved include at least one alleged embezzler, aided by lax oversight of funds at the local and state level. Local members say the state VFW department shut them down too quickly, when there still were people working to improve the post and successfully bringing in new members, which we agree appears to be the case. But some local members also bear blame for the infighting and drama that alienated current and potential members.

Whether VFW Post 4750 reopens or someone steps up to form a new organization for combat veterans, we hope local veterans are able to find the support and community they need.

A tip of the hat to the Oregon Trail Library District for eliminating late fees and forgiving most past fees. Library district Director Kathy Street said worries about incurring fees have held some families back from getting a library card in the past.

Libraries are a valuable public resource, particularly for those on a tight budget, and we hope the move encourages more people to use Morrow County libraries in Boardman, Heppner and Irrigon in the future.

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