So far, redistricting of the state’s legislative and U.S. congressional district boundaries has yet to create much of a buzz, but that might change in the near future.

Welcome back, Central Washington University students. Even if you were here last year we still kind of missed you.

In the least surprising outcome of the young school season, the Kittitas School District is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak — 18 cases among staff and students according to the Kittitas County Health Department.

The weekend that defines Ellensburg and the Kittitas Valley for many people, visitors and residents alike, returns in full force this year: The Ellensburg Rodeo and Kittitas County Fair are back on Labor Day weekend.

This typically is the time of year when the final excursions of summer are taken, fair entries prepared and last year’s school supplies searched for any surviving pencils.

As is almost always the case, scenes from the “Lego Movie,” are easily adaptable to real life.

At times it feels like Ellensburg has been in a position of “poised for change” for the past 20 years or so.

Remember where you put your mask? People around the county and state may be asking themselves that question this week, as the recommendation (but not a requirement) to wear a mask at indoor public spaces is reinstated — particularly in areas with low vaccination rates.

Among the many impacts of COVID-19 and the restrictions on public life it entailed, it possibly rendered minimum wage a moot point in certain job classifications and communities, including Ellensburg.

A particularly virulent strain of COVID-19 is causing case rates to go up, some cities to reinstitute restrictions, hospitals to see surges in patients and death totals to rise.

While most of us have been casting a wary eye at the thermometer in recent weeks, hoping for highs to remain in the “comfortable” 90s, over the next few days we’ll need to spare a few moments for the other eye to glace at the mailbox.

Are people pent-up, fed-up or rested up? How people would act and respond after the COVID-imposed restrictions for the past year and a half was an unknown heading into this summer.

A week of record-setting extreme heat followed by a week forecast to be hot, but not quite as extreme, with wind is a recipe for wildfire risk.

There are law enforcement professionals who can delve deeper into the numbers and provide the analytics, but from the layman’s perspective the question is: What happened this weekend?

For the past couple of days, every glance at the weather app has been even more distressing. It seems like the projected highs for the coming week go up two to three degrees every 24 hours.

Ask a room full of people if they want affordable housing in their community and everyone likely will raise a hand in the air.

This is the week that hundreds of Kittitas County young people and thousands of family members have long anticipated — high school graduation week.

It is an indication of what we’ve been through the past several years that a stretch of warm to hot days in early June raises concerns rather than cheers — particularly when the forecast Wednesday called for a high of 96 and winds.

Paris and those glorious Hollywood films of the 1940s and ‘50s probably are partially to blame, but there is an inescapable romantic notion attached to outdoor or sidewalk dining.

There are a lot of numbers associated with COVID-19 — ways to quantify and calculate the impact. But one of the most dramatic impacts is difficult to quantify — the loss of an experience.

Tuesday’s Daily Record front page featured a juxtaposition to fit the times. On the top of the page was a story about people being cautiously optimistic about the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions at the end of June and on the bottom of the page was a story about concerns of KVH physicians ab…

This is the week. If you have a desire to serve in a locally elected office, chances are there is one on the ballot that matches your interests.

With universities and colleges across the state (including Central Washington University) and nation requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for fall enrollment the next logical question is: What about K-12 schools?

Assuming the federal Food and Drug Administration approves COVID-19 vaccines, as expected, lifting the emergency approval label, Central Washington University students, faculty and staff will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination this fall.

If you’re looking for good news — and who isn’t — the announcement that the Ellensburg School District is planning an in-person graduation ceremony for the class of 2021 has to fall into that category.

We are nearing the point in the COVID-19 progression where we will need to ask some tough questions and accept some even tougher answers.

Like every other public institution, the past legislative session was impacted by COVID-19, so much so that you may have forgotten the Legislature was in session at times or missed that it came to a close on Sunday.

It has been a stressful year-plus in public education. Decisions were made that people never contemplated having to make.

In recent years there has been progress in acknowledging mental health and substance abuse issues, taking away the stigma and treating mental health and addiction much in the way we’d treat physical health.

There will be things we take from the last year-plus of the pandemic and incorporate into our lives heading forward — more Zoom meetings seem likely.

In a little more than a week we will be at the point we have longed for since March of 2020 when the COVID-19 shutdowns began — every American adult (age 16 and up) will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

The city of Ellensburg’s purchase of the the Rotary Pavilion property — which includes the gazebo and adjacent bank drive-through — was an example of taking advantage of opportunity with long-term benefits in mind.

We’re at an awkward point in the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine is available, but as of yet, not widely administered to the general population. We are a year-plus into COVID restrictions, with compliance fatigue setting in.

Major adjustments to the daily school routine in April typically are not welcomed, but chances are few Ellensburg parents or students will be complaining in the coming weeks.

Most of us have seen our bank accounts take a bump up over the past week as funding from the American Rescue Plan gets distributed.

Just as Ellensburg students and families were looking forward to spring break week last Friday, the news came out that the federal Center for Disease Control recommended that spacing in schools could be reduced from six feet to three feet.