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February 21, 2014
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Editorial: Roses & thorns


Roseburg wrestlers on way to state

Roseburg High School reinforced its position as a wrestling power with an impressive performance Saturday at the regional tournament.

Now it’s on to state for the Indians. A lot of them. Besides easily winning the team competition, the Tribe qualified 22 wrestlers for the 6A tournament Feb. 28-March 1 at the venerable Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

The Roseburg contingent will include eight regional champions.

The Indians will look to regain the state title. Last year, they finished third, a down year for a program that had won three straight state crowns and five in the previous six years.

The program’s tradition in this demanding sport is truly impressive.


Inconvenient closure

While we recognize the necessity of stabilizing the Elk Creek Tunnel on Highway 38, its partial closure has to be labeled a thorn.

From now until Memorial Day, no traffic can get through the tunnel between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Saturday evening through Thursday morning.

That means if you live in North County and you want to go to the Oregon Coast for the day on Saturday, you’d better leave the beach early enough to make it through the tunnel on the edge of Elkton before 8 p.m., or you’ll be taking a 50-mile detour on the way home.

Likewise, if you’ve planned an early Sunday morning fishing trip at Winchester Bay, you’ll need to go the long way around, or perhaps head over earlier Saturday evening and spend the night.

Interrupting the Saturday night traffic for a 10-hour stretch seems like a peculiar choice to us, but the Oregon Department of Transportation says traffic studies show the road is more heavily used on Thursday nights.

The closure will allow contractors to line the tunnel with shortcrete to keep rocks from falling to the road. It’s the last tunnel in Oregon to get this treatment.

Let’s hope the three months pass quickly and residents don’t shy away from traveling when it is open. Elkton businesses shouldn’t suffer a loss during the construction.


All aboard

Sadly, we know there are many Douglas County families who have fallen on hard times and have to skimp on meals. That anyone in our communities should go hungry is bad enough. When children are involved, the situation is even harder to stomach.

Bravo to the FISH Food Pantry and Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby. The two have formed a partnership that’s moving full steam ahead to provide canned tuna and other canned fish to youth in need through the Fish4Kids program. Project organizers expect to collect and distribute about 17,000 cans of fish over the next several months.

Each of the partners deserves a special round of applause. The derby earlier this month held a Fish Frenzy at a dinner and auction that netted $14,500 in donations. The format was a 10-minute segment of the auction in which people held up numbers strictly to offer money with no expectation for a prize or product in return. The FISH Food Pantry, aptly named in this instance, has been supplying more than 4,000 county residents with emergency food supplies. About a third of the recipients were children.

Matched together, the two are in a position to offer protein-rich food to kids whose developing bodies critically need nutrition. Thanks to all who helped launch a program we can all support hook, line and sinker.

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The News-Review Updated Feb 21, 2014 01:10PM Published Feb 21, 2014 10:20AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.