A tip of the hat to the Heppner Mustangs and Nixyaawii Golden Eagles, our newest state champions.

The Heppner girls peaked at the right time, as they say, knocking off higher-ranked teams each step of the way through the tournament to bring home their first title since 1986.

The Nixyaawii boys were early favorites this year, outrunning and outgunning opponents all season long. But nothing is a given at the state tournament, and the Golden Eagles rose to the big stage without hesitation.

We’re proud of any athletic team that puts in a hard season of work, but seeing that work result in a state title deserves a special place of honor.

A kick in the pants to Facebook for its repeated failures to protect users’ privacy, and now its attempts to position itself as a company that cares.

We’ve learned by now that wherever we go on the internet, especially on social media, will be tracked, downloaded, dissected and turned into market research for somebody. It’s no surprise anymore to go shopping on Amazon for a set of golf clubs and suddenly find ads for golf clubs in our Facebook feed.

But revelations that Facebook shared the messages of its users with Netflix, Spotify and other big vendors show it’s not really serious about keeping personal communications of customers private. Everything has a price tag.

It’s a good reminder that if you’re not paying for a service, then you’re the product.

A tip of the hat to the effort to require tobacco licenses for retailers in Umatilla County, and to Pilot Rock for being the first city council to endorse the rule.

There are times when government oversight of business is unfairly detrimental to that business. This is not one of those cases.

Much like the health inspector’s role in making sure restaurants are storing food at safe temperatures and pools are maintaining healthy levels of chemicals, the county should be able to make sure the serious health hazard that are cigarettes are staying out of the hands of minors.

About a quarter of retailers in Umatilla County sold to minors in 2017-18, proving that there is a problem. And studies show most adult smokers started as teenagers.

Oregon’s decision to raise the smoking age to 21 was a good one. Now we need to make sure that rule is followed.

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