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June 7, 2013
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Editorial: Roses and Thorns

Spring cleaning

The campaign to collect junk Saturday in Roseburg’s Mill-Pine neighborhood was a tidy bit of work.

Volunteers conducted a community spring cleaning by picking up castoff appliances, thrashed furniture and other eyesores.

The scrubbing was a celebration, with music and free hot dogs. Several businesses and nonprofit organizations helped.

The event was spearheaded by NeighborWorks Umpqua and the neighborhood group SERVICE, South East Roseburg Voices in Community Enhancement.

SERVICE member Gordon Brown served hot dogs and observed that the neighborhood is on the rise. “We’re at a low point, but people are starting to buy in and fix places up,” he told News-Review staff writer Carisa Cegavske.

The day showed there’s pride in the neighborhood, which would rather be known as historic than rundown.


Spiders wanted

Whether you’re a backyard gardener or a full-fledged farmer who grows berries and stone fruits, there’s a new enemy in town — the spotted wing drosophila.

The fruit fly has been here before — and it’s ruined entire crops — but now its numbers have proliferated, partly because of our mild winter.

The fly lays its eggs in ripening fruit and then its larvae hatch and chew on the fruit.

Those who grow soft fruits like blueberries, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches and plums will have to protect their crops or they may lose them entirely.

Some farmers are having success with putting out vinegar traps. This alerts them to the presence of the fly and attracts and kills some of them.

But the only way to ensure their extermination is to spray the fruit with an insecticide just before ripening.

That’s discouraging for those who avoid using chemicals in the gardens and at their farms. Researchers are looking for a natural predator but haven’t found one yet.

Somehow “pest” doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word to describe our dislike for this insect.


Shear energy

There was no reason for sheepishness at Saturday’s Douglas County Lamb Show and Barbecue.

The number of student competitors was up, rising to 183 from last year’s 170 young contestants. Just as important, the quality of the lambs increased dramatically, according to longtime county ag fixture Mark Hopfer, who volunteered to help guide two- and four-legged participants in and out of the show ring.

Two of the student winners were clear about what helped them net their awards. One spoke of hours spent walking his lamb an monitoring her closely to ensure an optimal diet and exercise regimen. A second attributed her success to the months she spent feeding, grooming and working with her lamb.

As Hopfer pointed out to News-Review reporter Carisa Cegavske, programs that pair kids with potential show animals teach life skills essential to the next generation. Discipline, goal-setting and decision making are all part of the package. The programs also test a community. Will parents, business representatives and club members step forward to support the youngsters’ efforts? Judging from comments made by buyers and civic leaders, the county has a tradition of coming through for kids who are starting on the road to self-reliance.

Call us old-fashioned, but seeing our region’s rural roots emphasize gives us a warm and woolly feeling.

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The News-Review Updated Jun 7, 2013 02:20PM Published Jun 7, 2013 02:20PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.