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March 28, 2014
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Roses & Thorns


Big hearts

It’s hard not to like elephants. Despite their massive stances, they generally look serene and unflappable, as if they were contemplating Gandhi’s teachings on nonviolence.

So it’s nice to know that Wildlife Safari pachyderms George, Alice and Tava will soon have a nice addition to their Winston digs. In June, they’ll be enjoying a 14,000 gallon splash pond with various embellishments that human visitors to the park can appreciate as well.

In addition to a 12-foot waterfall, observation deck and underground tunnel, the project boasts features provided by the Roseburg-based Victory Builders. Victory’s Tom Pappas, who designed the structure, contributed more than $300,000 in equipment to what the park had budgeted $150,000 to complete. Wells Fargo donated $10,000. Pappas and the bank must like elephants as well.

It’s good that Safari is prepared to make life more stimulating for its trio of elephants, and that the same creatures have inspired others to respond with giant-sized contributions.

Babar would approve.


Closing a chapter

As Jamie Carlson says, sometimes people make stupid choices.

Carlson made the comment to The News-Review last week after the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers reported the counselor surrendered her license, a result of Carlson’s having sex with a client while she worked at the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center. VA officials fired her in November. She’d been barred from counseling patients for a full 15 months before that, while under an investigation she called a witch hunt and discrimination. During that time, she continued to report to work and collect her $65,000 annual salary.

Carlson may have been referring to her improper relationship as the stupid choice. We can think of another one: Lying about it for more than a year and drawing a salary as if she were entitled to it.

Nothing Carlson has said publicly indicates she accepts responsibility for the outcome or remorse for her mistakes.

It may be that Carlson is a good counselor, as some of her former patients have said. It’s too bad she was less than forthright about her professional ethics.


Keeping clean

Glendale, it’s about time.

The city’s sewer treatment plant has long been hit hard during heavy rains. An ineffective network of underground pipes linked to the plant, which was built around the time John Travolta was perfecting his moves to “Stayin’ Alive,” resulted in untreated water sloughing into Cow Creek. City officials said a new plant would cost $9 million and resigned themselves to sending out multiple notices about the dangers of raw sewage and getting complaints from downstream municipalities.

But now, mainly because of $4.2 million in state and federal grants, the plant will undergo an upgrade that will correct the seeping sewage problem. The city will need to take out a loan of nearly $400,000 that will result in an increase in sewer rates. The loan will be repaid over a 25-year period and at 1 percent interest.

Considering that the bulk of the price tag comes from grants and that Glendale’s system finally will be in compliance with state health standards, Mayor Jim Standard was justified in likening the plan to hitting the lottery.

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The News-Review Updated Mar 28, 2014 11:03AM Published Mar 28, 2014 10:56AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.