A tip of the hat to Steve Myren, the former Morrow County undersheriff who will be honored on Sunday, Feb. 14, by an emergency vehicle procession through the county after his death on Feb. 1.

His service record shows he served Morrow County in a number of ways throughout his career, not just as a deputy and undersheriff but also through emergency management work and participation in anti-drug programs at schools. He also traveled to help manage other disaster sites, according to his colleagues, including the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Rural areas often struggle with finding enough qualified people for positions in public safety, medicine and other vital services. We appreciate people who are willing to stick around here for the long haul.

A kick in the pants to the dire situation a new Portland State University study warns is coming for Oregon on June 30, as a moratorium on evictions is set to expire.

The report states an estimated 89,000 households in Oregon have fallen behind on rent, while as many as 200,000 report not being confident they will be able to pay their next month’s rent in full. This sets the stage for a huge wave of evictions on top of those already displaced by fires or floods in 2020. PSU calculates such a sudden spike in evictions could end up costing between $1-3 billion for homeless shelters, medical care, child welfare services and other “downstream” costs.

Oregon can’t keep expecting landlords to eat the cost of their tenants’ rent forever, and needs to provide assistance to landlords as well as tenants. But the Oregon Legislature and local governments also need to act now to prevent a mass eviction scenario. Some worthy suggestions in the report include rental assistance programs, increasing affordable housing, providing landlord-tenant mediation and helping tenants understand their rights and resources when they are facing evictions.

A tip of the hat to those who keep their sidewalks shoveled, the walkways in front of their businesses ice-free, and a path cleared for delivery people and mail carriers when it snows. Bonus points for those who also help clear snow for friends and neighbors in need. Those who have to be out in the bad weather appreciate it.

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