Perhaps it seems superfluous to offer a floral tribute to a program run from a greenhouse. Nevertheless, Sutherlin High ag business students have toiled over the soil all academic year, and not just to produce blooms and veggies. The 19 students in the class, which packs leadership and economics into its horticultural curriculum, are also getting experience that will make them more marketable after graduation. The students started last fall by applying for spots in the class and going through an interview. They then planted seeds and starts and tended the resulting greenery. This weekend, the class hopes to rake in more greenery, to the tune of $8,000, at the class plant sale at the high school. Students have been pricing plants and advertising the upcoming sale, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Buyers can expect to pay between $2 and $18 for bedding plants and hanging plants. The sellers will take home more experience in running a business. Everybody reaps a benefit. That’s surely worth a rose or two.
This week’s announcement that Idaho-based chain Winter Ridge will not open a store in downtown Roseburg was a disappointment. Still, nobody should have been surprised.
We don’t fault Winter Ridge owners for deciding that it would be too much of an economic struggle to make a go with groceries in the building where Safeway once operated. Despite the fact that a state-funded study in 2011 suggested that a natural foods store at the site might be able to succeed, the same study concluded a full-service grocery store likely would not. Yet a fair number of downtown shoppers would be on tight budgets. Natural food stores offer nifty products, but usually at a higher cost. The disconnect probably is linked to Winter Ridge’s decision to back away from the Rose Street/Washington Avenue property. There’s no doubt the building needs a thriving tenant, and folks downtown need easy access to affordable groceries. It’s a conundrum to which we wish we had an answer. And it’s too bad the matter once again been has shelved.
Words to the wise
People tend to think of writers as closeted away from the rest of the world, intent only on their scribbles and keystrokes. But the Douglas County-based group called An Association of Writers erased that perception by volunteering to spend time with Winchester Elementary School students Tuesday for an after-school poetry workshop. The children were preparing for an evening poetry slam next week. The writers were finding a practical way to mark National Poetry Month. Through exercises and projects, young writers learned how to produce pleasing word arrangements in various styles. Best of all, they did so using their own creativity — a solid way to boost language skills. Before April ends, we’ll add this haiku as tribute: Young writers, take heed/Choose your syllables with care/Think before you text.