Farewell and thank you
One dictionary’s primary meaning of the word “vista” is: “a view or outlook, especially one seen through a long passage.”
That view is dimming in Douglas County, at least in relation to another kind of VISTA. The United Community Action Network VISTA Coalition will end in our county after the organization’s last member finishes her commitment in April.
For more than a decade, VISTA members have gone about their duties in the county in ways that might not be obvious to the average resident. They’ve worked on projects that have benefited community gardeners, the homeless, the disabled and young people in danger of slipping through the cracks due to rough times at home. The program’s roots go back 50 years, when President Lyndon Johnson’s Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 created Volunteers in Service to America as a domestic version of the Peace Corps.
The county will continue to receive workers from AmeriCorps, a related labor force that often implements the programs developed by VISTA. But UCAN has announced that the demand for workers by area nonprofit groups has dipped below a level that can sustain the program.
We’d like to concur with one UCAN representative who said that could mean that VISTA workers have created the most needed programs here and others can carry on their good work. True or not, it’s a good time to salute those VISTA members who have lived among us for nearly a dozen years. Your efforts will not be forgotten.
Roseburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2468 Cmdr. Mike Eakin suggested a rose for this week’s column. He wants to recognize an outstanding local family. Here’s what the Myrtle Creek resident wrote:
“Hats off to the Windsor family of Roseburg. Troy, Katie and their six children have been volunteering at the Douglas County Fair for the past three years. Last year they handled the Dress a Vegetable booth, placing contestants’ vegetables on 10 tables. This year there were 28 tables and 2,059 entries.
“Katie’s five kids displayed all 2,059 vegetables nonstop. The children and their ages are: Gracy, 6; Cass, 9; Madie, 9; Mark, 10; and Carly, 11. A job well done.”
Thanks Mike, for bringing attention to some positive role models in our community, not to mention a wildly successful aspect of the Douglas County Fair.
Have chain saw, will travel
Two News-Review readers pointed out last weekend how Southern Oregonians always seem to rise to the task at hand with a can-do attitude.
When a large tree fell across Highway 138 East near Toketee Falls a week ago today — blocking traffic in both directions — many travelers feared they’d be sitting in their vehicles for hours, waiting for the tree to be removed.
Ah, but this is timber country.
Within a few minutes, two guys with a chain saw hopped out of a pickup and began cutting through the log. They cut out a couple of chunks of the tree and rolled them out of the way, opening a narrow lane.
That’s when Robert Guse of Roseburg slipped through on his motorcycle, pausing long enough to shoot some photos of the incident so he could bring them to The News-Review.
Another couple, who were on their way back from Crater Lake, reported a log truck with a boom appeared next. The driver lifted the tree and moved it to the side of the road, allowing travelers to continue on their journeys. Reader and local campground host Ray Laakaniemi wrote to us: “No time for police or law enforcement to get there, but Oregon perseveres. I love this story.”