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April 4, 2014
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Editorial: Roses & thorns


Exceptional volunteer

If everyone were as committed to a cause as Fred Smith, our community would be a much better place.

Smith has dedicated his 25 years of retirement to helping children, the elderly and low-income people. For his endless hours of support for others, he will receive the state’s top honor for volunteers: the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Governor’s Volunteer Awards Luncheon on April 24 in Salem.

We’re so pleased that a volunteer from Douglas County will be recognized, and Smith is an excellent choice.

He doesn’t just volunteer to keep busy. He has a purpose. At age 15, Smith escaped a household in which there was domestic violence. That experience drives him to help others who may face similar situations.

That’s why many of the organizations for which he volunteers are focused on children facing difficult circumstances, such as CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates program, and Douglas C.A.R.E.S. (Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Services).

We congratulate Smith and hope the 1997 Roseburg First Citizen can find a place in his award-filled home for this honor. But mostly, we’re grateful for the important and selfless work he does.


Beware of pests

Springtime hikes in the woods should be full of positive experiences, whether spotting tiny wildflowers or admiring the girth and height of gigantic old-growth trees. It’s a wonderful time of year to see the colors of nature’s palette.

But while admiring the scenic beauty of our area, we must be cautious of tiny forest creatures that might decide to hitch a ride home with us.

Hikers need to check themselves and their pets for Western black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks, after excursions into the woods. The pinhead-sized ticks carry Lyme disease and can give it to unsuspecting humans.

The key to avoiding the disease is to ensure any tick that latches on is removed in less than 24 hours, before it has a chance to pass the disease-causing bacteria to humans. Pet owners can protect their animals by treating them with an anti-tick and flea ointment.

Don’t use Lyme disease as an excuse to avoid a hike: Just be sure to check your body and your pets for unwanted invaders when you arrive home.


Let Portland take the lead

For medical marijuana advocates in Douglas County, the past few weeks have been a bummer.

Excuse the flippancy. But we were egged on by the names of the some of the dispensaries the state has so far licensed.

Most dispensaries have adopted names in keeping with marijuana’s purported benefits. There’s Oregon Medicinal Alternatives in Eugene and Homegrown Apothecary in Portland, for example.

But there’s also the Wickit Weedery in Springfield and Doctor Jolly’s in Bend.

Can you imagine a pharmacy calling itself Doctor Jolly’s?

It’s too early to tell whether all dispensaries will soberly carry out their services.

So it’s been a wise move for Douglas County governing bodies to adopt one-year moratoriums on dispensaries. It looks unlikely a medical marijuana retailer will be able to open anywhere in the county for at least a year.

Medical marijuana has been legal for many years in Oregon. But the state is experimenting with something new — a for-profit marijuana industry.

Regardless of one’s views on marijuana, it’s entirely legitimate for Douglas County residents to be wary and wait to see how well the industry functions.

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The News-Review Updated Apr 4, 2014 11:43AM Published Apr 4, 2014 10:16AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.