Despicable is a good word to describe the vandals who tore up the South Umpqua Falls Campground in the Tiller Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest in April. It’s beyond our comprehension as to why someone would deface such a beautiful location. One guess might be that drugs, alcohol or stupidity were involved.
The damage is a crime against all of us because it’s the public’s land.
Anyone who had hoped to cool off from this weekend’s heat by pitching a tent at the campground is out of luck. It must remain closed until Memorial Day weekend so grass can be re-seeded and the campground can heal. The funds required to repair the damage will force the Forest Service to forgo refurbishing picnic tables at the park.
We’re pleased to see a $1,500 reward offered for information leading to the conviction of the vandals. That should be good incentive for anyone who hears someone bragging about their ability to turn cookies in campgrounds to go to law enforcement. We’d like to see the lowlifes who are responsible for the damage be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Keeping the drive home safe
There are more than 240 cities in Oregon. We don’t know how many thousands of city police officers there are in the state. We do know only one received a state-level award this past week for his work to stop drunken driving.
Roseburg Officer Dave Lund was named DUI Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Oregon DUI Multi-Disciplinary Task Force. A Washington County sheriff’s deputy and Oregon State Police sergeant stationed in Albany also received individual honors.
A Roseburg school teacher before he became a full-time officer 10 years ago, Lund, 50, led the Roseburg Police Department with 84 DUI arrests in 2012. He made almost 40 percent of the DUI arrests the department made last year.
His work on the street was only part of his contribution to stopping drunken driving. He also spearheaded a campaign to warn the community about the dangers of drinking and driving.
His previous career as a teacher and his commitment to getting drunks off the road are not coincidental. He’s seen the deadly toll impaired driving can have on the young.
Through the first four months of this year, he’s on pace to equal his 2012 arrest total. He said he expects the pace to pick up because he has a four-month stint on the night shift coming up.
Drunken drivers should consider themselves warned.
Thieves drag everybody down
Some crimes are just low.
Falling into this category are the thefts of all-terrain vehicles from the Douglas County Men’s Softball Association.
Thieves have twice broken into a fenced enclosure and made off with the vehicle the league uses to “drag” the infield.
As countless softball players know, dragging a heavy metal screen over the dirt infield before games makes the playing surface smoother.
There are fewer bad hops, making for fewer errors and fewer fat lips.
After the first ATV was swiped, the league dipped deep into its treasury and bought another one for $1,000. The league’s president, Doug Agee, said this week he doesn’t know what the league will do now.
The best outcome would be for the ATVs to be recovered or returned.
This is a recreational league. Guys get together and play a game. The thieves who stole the ATVs put a damper on the fun. It was a low blow.